Xander hesitated and then took the short cut down the alley. It was getting late but somehow now that he knew what was lurking in the shadows, he was less afraid of it. Carrying a stake around had taken a bit of getting used to, but now the weight of it in his pocket was comforting.
He’d almost reached the well lit street when the shadows to his left shook and shimmied and rearranged themselves. He’d always thought of vampires as being fast; he’d never realised quite how still a creature who didn’t need to breathe could be.
Then he looked at the face of the vampire who had stopped him and the stake seemed as solid as sawdust.
“I know you,” Spike said, letting his game face dissolve and tilting his head as he studied Xander curiously.
“Don’t think we’ve ever been introduced,” Xander said, surprising himself by actually being able to form a sentence.
“Oh, trust me, pet...any friend of Angel’s is just one of the family.”
“Not a friend. More of a –” Xander came to a halt. Trying to describe his feelings for Angel would get complicated. Of course, it wasn’t likely he’d live to finish the story.
“Not? Pissed you off too, has he? Can’t say I’m surprised. Always was a bloody-minded bastard. Do you think he really would have let me take a nibble? That what’s bothering you?”
“It didn’t help,” Xander admitted, edging to the side. Maybe he could run really, really fast...might make it as far as that crate, bring it crashing down behind him, so Spike tripped on it and fell down, spitting curses as he, Xander, escaped to live another day...no. Fantasies were all well and good but when your life expectancy was measured in minutes it was time to concentrate.
“If you kill me, the Slayer’s going to come after you. I’m one of her best friends.”
Spike rolled his eyes. “Oh, please. I’m the meanest vampire in this town as Angel’s down with a bad case of soul-having. She should be coming after me already. Girl’s got a sacred duty, hasn’t she? And if she’s so much of a friend, how come she didn’t tell you not to go into places like this?” Spike glanced down and grinned. “Is that a stake in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?” he mocked.
“It’s a stake!” Xander said, his voice squeaking high. OK, that probably wasn’t the best thing to do; telling Spike he had a weapon, but the alternative was...well it wasn’t an alternative.
“Really? Don’t like them. Got this tendency to turn people like me all dusty. Mind if I take a look?”
Spike shoved Xander backward, until he reached the wall, and laughed up at him, letting his hand wander as he pretended to search for the stake. “Not here...no...oh, now this is interesting...but it’s not a good place to keep it. No time to unbutton...and unzip...and pull this out when you’re in the middle of a fight.”
Xander squeezed his eyes shut. This wasn’t happening. He wasn’t up against a wall, rock hard and aching, with Spike’s cool fingers stroking him harder and harder and ...
His head jerked up, “What!”
Giles sighed and said, in the patient tone that made yelling seem friendly, “I asked – twice – if you had anything to add to Buffy’s account?”
Xander gave Buffy a hunted look as his fantasy was dragged into the daylight. “No. She was just a few yards behind me. Spike grabbed me, saw her, took off. End of story.”
Giles gave him an exasperated look, as if that hadn’t been worth waiting for. “I see. Well, we can only assume he was simply hunting and happened to choose you by chance. I can’t think it was premeditated.”
It was. I was offered to him and he wants me. Oh, God, he’ll come after me again. Oh, God, I want him to.
“Yeah, that’s it. Not like he really wanted my – me – my me – meat. Uh. I gotta go.”
Xander left running and Giles stared after him. “Buffy, I’ve never really felt I understood Xander, but did he just seem -?”
“Extra wigged? Yes.” Buffy nodded wisely. “Whole big, not liking to be saved by a girl thing. When I caught up to him he looked sort of disappointed, you know? As if he thought he could handle Spike by himself.”
Giles looked shocked. “I think Spike would be more than a match for him! Good Lord. I trust he was properly grateful when he realised how lucky he was?”
Buffy pouted. “Not so you could notice.”
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