Tied up and naked, Xander's heart is hammering painfully hard. Each thud is forcing blood fast around his body, pushing it into places already packed tight to bursting.
"Over-rated," he gasps. "You get by without it, don't you?"
Spike chuckles. "Don't think that counts, love."
Hands that tied each knot without ceremony or haste drift over his body. They can do that. They're allowed. They can touch and stroke, pinch and tweak, tease and lightly smack. Blunt nails can drag patterns on his skin and wake it, inch by quivering inch.
Spike can do anything he wants to do to Xander except hurt him. And by now it's all that's left that they haven't done.
There used to be a space inside Xander that was waiting to be filled with the pain Spike could give him. The hot, sharp sting of a dismissive word, the dull ache of an indifferent look when he talks. The ragged tearing agony of being betrayed.
He's starting to trust that it's going to stay empty.
Still wishes Spike could do this for him, do this to –
The salt water from the soaked sponge drips and splashes onto every patch of reddened skin on his chest and belly and legs, stinging coldly, and then the air fills with the crisp zing of citrus. Spike holds a piece of quartered lemon in his hand and meets Xander's eyes, his own half-closed as he smirks.
"Do it, you -" Even this hot, skin itching, skull hurting with the pressure, with the need, he can't swear convincingly at Spike, can't call him names. If he tries, he's flashing back to the times when he meant them all, every one, and he doesn't like remembering that.
Spike brings the lemon to his mouth, catching the first pale wasted drop on his tongue and Xander whimpers.
Spike gives him a cool, unforgiving look and then relents, like always, and crushes and squeezes and catches every drop in his cupped, curved hand.
Then he slaps that dripping hand hard against Xander's cock; stiff and straight and begging better than he ever can, and every tiny nick on the thin soft skin catches fire and Xander howls far back in a throat made wet by a watering mouth and Spike waits to be told he can bend his head and lick the lemon juice off, tip of the tongue slowly.
On the night table, by the lube, the sandpaper, fine grain and nearly, not quite smooth to the touch is starting to curl up at the edges.
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