Spoilers: Takes place post- Storyteller. No spoilers, except for the ep itself
Disclaimers: All Joss, all ME, all the time.
Summary: Spike and Xander have a short conversation on the sanctity of one's resting place.
Author's Notes: Oh, c'mon. Like he wouldn't know! Thanks, Kelly and Chris, for being available for this! And to Colleen, the Ficlet Queen!
He slowly shifted his eyes from the television to the hallway. Spike loomed in the doorway, the flickering light from the idiot box making him look eerie as hell.
Which he was, Xander thought. All cheekbones and that god-awful freaky hair. And hello. Vampire. Something the man never forgot, even if certain others did.
The man got up and crossed the room, stepping back into the hallway, out of line of sight. "You need something?" His tone was almost belligerent. Didn't need this right now. He had enough to think about.
Spike answered his question with a question of his own. "You still have that apartment, right? Didn't give it up or anythin'?"
Xander made a rude noise. "Yeah, still got it, for all the good it's doing me. Why? Looking to get out of Slayer Central? Cause I'll be happy to help you on your way. Hand you the key and everything..." he said, digging in his pocket.
Voice still low and even, Spike continued, "And Anya. She has a place, yeah?"
What was this? Twenty questions? He thought he was beginning to get it, though. "So?" he said, bristling. "Buffy wants us here. All of us. Just like she wants you here. And boy," he said shaking his head, "I can't believe I just nailed those two thoughts together at the hip."
"Interestin' choice of words, Harris, considerin' why I'm up here, talkin' to you, instead of downstairs where the racket's somewhat muted." Spike stared at the man with a shadow of an old time smirk in his eye. Looked a little dangerous.
Xander's eyes darted away momentarily as he shifted on his feet, and shoved his hands into his pockets. Spike being all cryptic was something to feel uncomfortable about.
"Look, Harris, you can nail anything you want, anytime. But. Not. In. My. Bed."
Eyes flying back to the vampire's face, and then moving away, Xander gulped, flush spreading from his ears to his cheeks in record time. "I don't know what you're talking about." He tried to brazen it out. After all, they'd washed the sheets.
Spike snorted. "Save it, Harris. Knew it before I sussed out the sheets were fresh." He tapped the side of his nose in satisfaction, enjoying Xander's confusion. "Vampire, yeah? Get that?" Spike smirked. "Bet it ripped you and the ex good and proper that the chains were gone."
"Okay," Xander muttered as his eyes lifted heavenward, "where's that magic knife? Cause I am so slitting my wrists now." He lowered his gaze and his expression melted into something that seemed apologetic. "It just happened, okay? It was really Andrew's fault. He did this interview with us." He took in Spike's rolled eyes. "No, really. And we got all into the talky thing and then one thing led to..."
"The basement?" Spike interjected, looking suspiciously like the cat that had swallowed the canary.
"Hey," Xander said in his own defense. "Bed shortage here. And nobody goes down there, anyway. Well, much."
The man saw Spike's look soften. Must have been a trick of the dim light. "So then... things all right? You and her all champagne and roses now?"
"Um, no. Not so much." Xander said quietly. Spike looked... pained?
Xander's eyes dropped to his feet as he had a sudden flash of the awkwardness he'd felt when it was over. The singular lack of after-sparkage.
"Thought maybe..." The vampire let the sentence trail off into nothingness.
The last thing he needed from Spike was his pity. Xander looked up, pulling his shoulders straight. "Nope. Not that it's any of your business."
"Hey," Spike countered, recovering nicely. "Shaggin' the bird in my bed makes it my business, even if you did wash the sheets after. Not that I care if you're on or off, of course. Cause I don't."
"Well, don't get your duster in a twist," Xander said bitterly, giving the vampire a cursory head to toe run. "I don't think it'll be happening again." At Spike's subtle change of expression, he looked down briefly, then turned to go back to the sofa that his nightly contortions had begun to make lumpy and uncomfortable. "Just a 'one more time' thing," he mumbled, defeated.
Spike reached in the pocket of his duster for a cigarette as he headed back toward the basement stairs.
"More than some get."