Title: Hours of Forever
Chapter: Never Saw it Coming
Rating: still PG
Feedback: Feel free, just don’t hurt me, k.
Never Saw it Coming
Willow swatted at her friend, ”How’d it go? You know, with Spike?”
”Jeez, Wills, do ya have to make it sound like you’re asking about a date?”
The petite redhead giggled, ”Sorry, Xan.” She paused for effect, ”But you two would make a cute couple.”
Adopting a stern expression, ”Willow, you know I love you, but I said ’gay me up’ NOT ’set me up’- especially not with the not-so-evil-undead.”
The life-long friends shared a laugh before Willow turned serious again.
”Seriously, Xander, how’d it go?”
Sighing, ”It was fine. We talked, watched some bad movies, and got drunk. Normal guy stuff. It was actually kinda nice.”
Willow watched her friend in awe. She wondered if he knew how truly happy he sounded, at that moment, talking about his evening with Spike. A sad smile flitted across her face as she remembered Tara once telling her how perfect Spike and Xander were for each other, like a living yin and yang. Taking in the memory and her friend’s appearance, the witch decided to have a word with their resident vamp. And if his reaction was anything like Xander’s then she was going to unashamedly play the role of matchmaker for her boys.
”Spike? You got a minute?”
”Always for you, ducks.”
Willow descended the stairs into the basement and made her way to the vampire’s perch. As she sat down next to Spike on the cot, she asked, ”You and Xander, you’re okay now?”
”Yeah, Red, we’re fine. Had a nice little chat with him.” The vamp chuckled as he played with an unlit cigarette. ”Might even ask him to do it again sometime.”
The young witch positively beamed. Yin and yang, just like Tara said. Now, she just had to make sure it happened.
Two days later, to their mutual surprise, the two men got paired off for patrol. As patrols went, at least recently, it was rather calm.
Spike got to eviscerate some skanky tentacled thing, along with a plethora of feisty fledges.
For the first time in ages, Xander contented himself with picking off the stragglers and those foolish enough to attempt escape, and allowed himself to actually watch the vampire fight. Sure, he’d watched Buffy fight and seen the pair spar more than once, but his focus then was usually on Buffy. When she fought it was about strength and talent. Spike, well, Spike was animalistic- graceful and primal, all at once. It was the way he had always thought sex should be.
By unspoken agreement, Spike walked the young man back to his apartment.
”Ah, home, sweet home.” Gods he hoped he wasn’t making a mammoth mistake with this, ”Um, you wanna come in before heading back to estrogen central? I still got some blood from the other day- if you’d like.”
”Thanks, mate, don’t mind if I do.” *(He asked! He asked! Didn’t have to ’cause he did.) Shut up- don’t know why yet. Probably wants something. (Don’t care- he asked.)*
For the second time in less than a week, Xander found himself quite happily sharing his couch with Spike. ”You never did tell me what your degree would’ve been in.”
”Hmm, you’re right, Whelp, I never did.” Spike replied smugly. He swirled his blood thoughtfully, *See, he did want something. Wants to embarrass us more. (Doubt that. He hasn’t mentioned the other stuff.) Give ’im time.* then spoke, ”Literature, was a bloody library clerk.”
The vamp nodded.
The boy gave a depreciating snort and Spike was suddenly aware of the aroma of disgust pouring off of him. *(What the hell?) Told ya- matter of time.* Looking over his friend, *Yeah right. (He IS.) Hmph.* Spike took in the slouch and disheartened look in Xander’s deep eyes. Steeling himself for unwanted answers, ”What’s the matter, mate?”
”Oh, nothing, just realizing how truly out of place the Xan-man is.” *Gods, I did not just tell Spike that!*
*(Ha, wasn’t us.) Well, we brought it on. (Then we fix it.)* ”What the devil are you on about, Xander? You belong more than I do.”
Xander actually laughed at that, ”Spike you’re one of the gang and have been since Glory. It just took me a while to realize it.” He squeezed Spike’s shoulder companionably. ”I seem to be doing a lot of realization lately.”
Xander’s scent changed yet again, this time, rather than disgust, it was laced with resignation. Spike growled. *No. (No.)*
Before he knew what was happening, Xander was pinned against the couch with a face full of snarling game-faced vampire.
”Listen here, Whelp,” his voice was a low steady growl, ”I don’t know what or who has given you the idea that you’re not worthy, don’t belong,” *If I find out I’ll rip their guts out through their nose. (Gladly!)* ”but it’s bollocks. You, Xander ’Pain-In-My-Undead-Ass’ Harris, are important,” *To me. (To me.)* ”needed,” *By me. (By me.)* ”and wanted.” *By me. (By me.)* ”Understand?”
Confused brown eyes locked with Spike’s golden ones and once again the mortal’s scent changed. Now there was hope and something else the vampire couldn’t quite identify- though it stirred memories he’d thought long dead.
Quickly, Spike’s face dropped to his human visage and crystal blue eyes, every bit as confused as his own, caressed Xander’s face and an elegant pale hand petted his cheek.
”So warm…” the vampire murmured. Then, ”You are important, pet, don’t doubt that.” Leaning in, Spike swiftly kissed the young man’s lips.
It was barely more than a brush, a touch, but it sent waves of heat and electricity through both men.
Then, as suddenly as it had begun, Spike’s lips were gone and Xander was no longer pinned down.
The swish of leather and a calm, ”Thanks, mate,” were all Xander heard before the door closed behind the vamp.
*What the ’effin’ hells were you thinking? (Me?) Fine what the hells were WE thinking? (That despite everything, he accepts us.) It’s a front, has to be. (Does it? He let us into his world.) Hmph. (Alright, we were also thinking that he’s kind, loyal, loving, and beautiful.) And kissable, don’t forget kissable.* Spike’s fingers touched his lips as his internal conflict continued. *(Yes, kissable.) Made us feel alive. (That he did.) … … …want ’im. (We’re not using him to replace her!) ’course not. He’s better than her anyway. (Really…) Oi, you’re not the only one who can be the voice of reason. Managed a hundred plus years without your pansy ass. (Sure, tell yourself that.) Bloody loudmouth- liked it better when you couldn’t talk! (Yes, yes, much easier to ignore then.) What’s it matter? You want him, too. …don’t you? (Of course I do- WE kissed him!)* Sighing happily at the memory, Spike sat on the back steps of the Revello Drive house to have some smokes and attempt to figure out his unlife.
A soft feminine voice broke through his reverie, ”Hey Spike, how was patrol?”
The vampire looked up at the young witch who had always been kind to him, whether he deserved it or not. ”Was fine, Red. Made sure Xander got home safe, too.”
Sitting down next to the vamp, she asked, ”You sure you’re okay Spike?”
”’m fine, pet, been thinkin’ is all.”
Willow nodded knowingly, ”It’s hard. Adjusting, I mean. Makes you see things different. Life isn’t quite so black and white anymore.”
”Never was to begin with.”
She leaned her head on Spike’s leather clad shoulder, ”She used to try to tell me that. Always pointing out the dark and the light- looking for the balance. I thought I understood.” Willow sniffled and wiped her watery eyes. ”I miss her.”
”I know, luv, miss her, too.”
”Do you think there’re people out there for us?”
”For you- I don’t doubt it. For me…” *Dru only truly wanted ”Daddy”. (Cecily wanted anyone but me.) Buffy… (…was a mistake.) And Xander… (And Xander…)* ”…I don’t know,” he finished quietly.
Willow leaned in and kissed the vampire’s cheek, and as she stood to leave she added, ”Give him a chance, Spike. You both deserve it.”
Xander sat on his couch, a hand on his lips, and his mind racing. He should call Willow. And say what, ‘I just had the most intense kiss of my life, and it was from Spike.’ Spike! Spike kissed me. Drop-dead gorgeous, sex on legs, can have virtually anyone he wanted, Spike kissed me, the Zeppo, Donut Boy extraordinaire, the normal one. And gods it was soft. He was soft, like he actually cared. And warm. How could he be warm? But Xander swore he was- something had to cause the wonderful burn that travelled from his lips full circle through his body.
If that was just a kiss, what would touching and being touched by that marble flesh be like, what would a KISS be like- would that warmth consume them. Gods, he wanted to know. He needed to know.
The sun rose and Xander still sat dumbfounded on the couch. When the phone rang, he barely noticed, he answered it in a daze pleading a family emergency kept him from work and had distracted him from calling in. As soon as the line disconnected, he dialled Willow’s number.
When Willow arrived she found Xander in much the same position as when he’d called her- sitting on the sofa with a dreamy look in his eye- though she obviously couldn’t know that.
Taking a position next to her friend, she took his hand and asked, “What happened last night, Xan?” The young witch nervously gnawed her lower lip, fearing she’d somehow hurt her friend, misread the signs maybe.
Xander chuckled, “What happened? What happened was I watched Spike fight- he’s beautiful when he fights, when we got back here I invited him in, we started talking again, and he…” Xander just stopped, he didn’t know how to explain it.
“Goddess,” Willow whispered. “What did he do Xander?”
Xander shook his head, this was ridiculous.
“Xander, please, tell me what he did to you. If only so I’ll know how badly to hurt him before I turn him into a pile of dust!”
The threat of dustage snapped Xander to attention. “NO!” He looked pleadingly at his dearest friend, teary eyes begging her to understand. “He… he told me I was important and then…” the boy gulped in a deep breath, “…then he kissed me.”
“Xander?” Her small voice spoke oh-so-quietly, relief flooding her. “He didn’t hurt you.”
“No, he barely even kissed me, but Will…,” he began to smile goofily as he warmed to his subject, “it was incredible, like completing a circuit, warmth and energy and power coursing between us- through us. I’ve never felt anything like it.”
Willow squeezed her friend’s hand tightly, “Xan, you know how Tara always tried to see the good in people and the balance in, well, pretty much everything?”
The dark boy merely nodded, knowing how much it still hurt his Willow to talk about the blonde witch.
“She always thought you and Spike belonged together.”
Xander’s eyes grew wide at the revelation.
“She said you were the perfect balance. I used to think it was only her wishful thinking, but when I saw you the other day after… and then Spike was just the same. I think she was right, Xander. Especially if a kiss had that effect.”
Releasing a calm, almost contented sigh, Xander asked, “So, what do I do now? Sure as hell not going to have this out with the teeny-patrol around.”
Giggling, “Yeah, worse than being trapped in a room full of Cordettes.”
The memory and visual had both laughing merrily.
“I know, I’ll send Spike over tonight and you guys can talk in private.”
“You sure the Buffster won’t mind?”
“Of course not. How’d you think you two wound up patrolling together?”
Xander growled in mock indignation, “You sneaky little…”
“Yeah, but you still love me.”
Spike knew the instant Willow returned to the house; she was covered in Xander’s scent and his tears. The tears were what jerked him from his less than comfortable sleep and had him charging heedlessly up the stairs.
Willow’s hand was poised to knock when Spike flung the door open causing the shocked witch to squeak.
Scared blue eyes ringed with gold searched hazel ones, “Why was Xan cryin’?”
Smiling reassuringly, “Can I come down, Spike?”
The vampire reluctantly moved back and trailed the witch down the stairs to sit, once again, on his cot/bed.
“Xander’s fine, Spike, okay?”
“But he was cryin’- can smell his tears on you,” the vamp stated matter-of-factly.
Just as she had with Xander, Willow took Spike’s hand, “You two need to talk. No pretences, no agendas, no expectations, no interruptions, and no running away.”
“Nice dream, Red, but, in case you hadn’t noticed, got Potentials to train and an apocalypse on the way.”
Slipping into resolve-face as easily as Spike would into game-face, Willow brooked no argument, “Listen here mister, there’s always an apocalypse on the way, we can handle the Potentials, and Xander needs you as much as you need him. You are going to go to him tonight and sort this out.”
“Willow, I…” but the words trailed off and the vampire closed his eyes attempting to gather his thoughts.
Willow’s next words were soft-spoken, “He was crying because I threatened to dust you.”
Spike’s eyes shot open, fear, shock, and hurt plain on his beautiful face. *(Thought we could trust her.) You’ll never learn.*
The witch squeezed the pale hand she held, “Spike, I… I thought you’d hurt him. He wouldn’t tell me what happened and he looked so vulnerable.”
“Never hurt him.”
“I know that, Spike. I knew it then, I wasn’t thinking. I’m sorry. See, it was my idea to send you guys on patrol together, so if anything happened it would’ve been my fault. I had to protect him.”
*Grrrrrrr, protecting the Whelp is m’ job! (Our job. The important thing is she meant well.) Grrr. (Oh, calm down!)*
Taking several deep, albeit un-needed, breaths, Spike calmed himself. “Red, Willow, I would never hurt Xander, anymore than I could hurt the Niblet. Thought you, of all of ‘em, got that.”
“I’m so sorry Spike. Please?”
“’s ok, pet.” The vamp wrapped an arm around the redhead, hugging her gently. “Gods, we’re a pair.”
The witch chuckled quietly, “We’re all misfits here, Spike. I think that’s why it works.”
“Ha! Could be.” The vamp smiled brightly even as he shook his head in disbelief. “So, got any advice for me and Xan?”
“Just remember I have a shovel and I’m not afraid to use it.”