The sky was hard, black and glittering like obsidian. The stars were nothing more than the glitter of facets. Xander sat in the door of his tent and considered the night sky. It was unusual, even here where everything was unusual, and he wondered what it meant. ‘cause, of course, everything meant something and not so much as a plant out of place was really out of place. Sometimes the watchers made his head hurt.
But this was strange enough to be a portent of something. No moon either, to soften the sky—though that meant no weirs, thank you for favors. Vamps maybe, though they rarely ventured into the wild. Vamps were very urban, thankyou very much. Other demons, not so much, but the others usually didn’t go out of their way to stalk campers in the Mojave at mid-winter.
And the reason he was camping in the Mojave on New Year’s Eve? Blame Africa. Blame nearly going mad from the noisy quiet of the savannah at night, until the underlying true quiet seeped into his bones and made itself at home. It had never left him and parties and noises and people celebrating became unbearable. That first year home he’d found some of that quiet peace by a dying fire in the library of the council headquarters in London. Giles, he found, liked the quiet as well, though the older man had given him a puzzled look when he diffidently asked if he could sit in the other chair. The silence between them stretched until Xander rescued the whiskey glass that was drooping in the sleeping watcher’s fingers. It hadn’t taken long before the need for peace spoiled him for what the slayers and the younger watchers called fun. Loud music, loud conversations, frantic movements; maybe he was just getting old but none of that appealed at all. So on big party nights he left and he found the desert to be the most hospitable place to find what he needed.
But there was still that weird sky to think about and pondering it kept the peace at bay.
Then, in the silence (Too silent? Waiting silence?) a soft rumble of an engine that grew louder and just more as it cut the quiet. A mat-black suburban assault vehicle drove through the scrub like it was a just paved highway. God but he hated the damned things—all dick size and flash when a pickup would do for real people. It pulled up to his tent and turned off. Well, damn, an apocalypse?
The driver’s door opened and a black figure crowned with glow-in-the-dark white hair stepped out of the vehicle. Xander felt his jaw land somewhere in his lap and didn’t even care. “Doesn’t anybody stay dead these days?” He asked plaintively. He knew the answer to that—Joyce and Tara and Anya were still gone, so just the evil undead? Then there was Buffy—the exception to prove the rule.
“Evening, Harris.” Spike shut the car door, turned and leaned against it. “Happy New Year.”
“Uh… yeah. You too. What’s up?” He could be cool too, maybe, sorta.
“Brought you a prezzie.” Spike opened the back door and pulled out a bag.
“You brought me a present?” Xander doubtfully considered the really delicious beef soup he’d eaten for dinner and wondered about the mushroom that flavored it. Because this? Not surreal, not at all.
“Yeah. Here you go.” Spike came forward in a swirl of black wings against the paler grey of the desert. He crouched down next to Xander and held out the bag.
Xander took it, reached in and pulled out a bottle of Jack. “You sure this is for me?”
Spike grinned, his flashing teeth white in the dark. “Yeah, but I’d some hope you’d share.”
“Oh, well then.” Xander twisted off the cap, tipped acknowledgement to his benefactor, and took a swallow. It burned in that good way he always forgot about between drinks. He waved the bottle at the sand and gravel. “Have a seat. Tell me why you’re really here.” He offered the bottle.
Spike sank gracefully to the ground, took the bottle and drank. “Good stuff that. Well, d’you know about the Lawyers?”
The bottle was half empty when Angel killed the dragon.
“Well, doesn’t that just figure?” Xander huffed. “I suppose he’ll end up the first vampire saint.”
Spike laughed aloud at that idea and Xander smiled. “Good story so far, but what does that have to do with you hunting me down to share a drink?”
“Well, when we made it out alive—God alone knows how—we… well we needed to touch the people we cared about. We’d lost so much—the princess and poor Fred and Wes. Blue went off to commune with the stars or something, Gunn went to Pittsburgh to visit relatives. Angel and I went off to jolly old England and met up with the Slayer, Red, the Bit and the Watcher. That took awhile since the littlest poofter actually can keep a secret.”
The littlest… oh, Andrew. “He knew?”
“Yeah. Anyway, everyone caught up a bit and when I asked about you they said you were walkabout.” Spike took a drink. “Something about hating parties.”
“They said you were quiet these days too. Figured I had to see that for myself.” Spike leaned back in the dirt and tipped his head up to the sky. “Thought you’d be less likely to stake first and talk after if I brought a bribe.”
“Oh, I thought it was a present.”
“Can be, if you want. Anyway, I didn’t get to the point of my story.”
“Oh yeah. See, dying… there’s a reason we’re not supposed to come back or speak from the dead and such like. It’s because when you get your marbles in straight at last, you realize…”
“Oh,” Spike waved a hand, “the usual things. That there’s no point in waiting or yearning or wishing and such, that you should just go for it. Like Yoda says, you do or do not.”
Xander blinked at him. “You’re sure about those marbles?”
Spike sat up again and shifted closer to Xander. He leaned in as though to impart deep secrets. Xander turned his head to offer his ear for whispers, but a cool hand caught his chin and turned his face back and a cool mouth brushed across his. “See, when I came back I thought about a dark eyed boy with a sassy mouth, and when we didn’t die again, I had to see what’d changed and how much. And if I could do or do not.”
Living with Spike had taught him one thing for sure, Spike always telegraphed when he was pulling Xander’s chain. While Xander couldn’t quite see Spike’s features, the voice was absolutely sincere. “You want… sorry, I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around the concept.”
“Yeah, well, I can understand that. Took a bit for me to get it too. But look, do you hate me?”
Hate, not at all. Like? Maybe. Admire, oh yeah. “No, I don’t.”
“Could we be friends?” And Spike’s voice had softened.
Xander eyed the pale blob that was Spike’s face. “Yes, I think so. Is that what you want?”
“Not entirely, but if that’s all I can get I'll take it. Been chasing love for so long, I forgot about friendship. And that’s its own kind of love, innit?” Spike shifted. “Watching you Scoobies showed me that when I cared to look.”
“And now? Why now?”
“Because I listened when they talked about you. Listened to what they said, and what they didn’t say. You’re done, yeah? No more saving the world. Well, me too. I’m fine with the rah, rah, go team! But I don’t want to be in the thick of it. I want to make a home. I want to take care of someone. And, I think, so do you. We could take care of each other? We’ve both always been the carers—maybe it would be nice to be cared for too.”
“I find it difficult to believe that you wouldn’t be in the center of any fight that came our way.” Xander drank a little whiskey and considered.
“Maybe in a hundred years, who’s to say? But not now. Angel’s great crusade about did me in.” A pause, then Spike asked carefully, “Came our way?”
Xander shrugged. “I get lonely and other than your propensity to leave the wet towels on the floor, you aren’t a bad roommate. We could go that far anyway, and see what develops.”
“Only that far?” Spike pushed a little.
Xander laughed. “Roommates with bennies?” He leaned in and kissed Spike carefully, tonguing open Spike’s lips and making a long, slow reconnaissance of his mouth. Spike’s hand came up and gently cupped the back of Xander’s head before he returned the favor. Xander was breathless when they finally parted. “Maybe,” he gasped, “we could give that aspect a trial run?” He stood easily and held a hand out for Spike.
Spike took the hand and flowed to his feet. “My you have changed.”
“Not so much—I’m still male and there’s the possibility of sex. I’ve just become less particular on the gender. Still very particular on the person, though.” Xander bent and moved into the tent. “It’s going to have to be on the sleeping bag—I don’t usually pack padding. You coming in?”
Spike followed him into the tiny space. Xander pulled off his boots and put them at the foot of the sleeping bag. Spike followed suit and then his leather duster came off too.
“Let me zip the tent—no snakes this time of year, but there’s other things.” He leaned over Spike to work the zipper and press the velcroed flaps together.
“Gonna love getting you out of all that gear,” Spike said.
“Not this time,” Xander laughed. “I guess you don’t notice, but it’s cold. And I bet your hands are going to feel like popsicles.” He caught Spike’s chin and kissed him again. “But there’s a lot that can be done with your clothes on.”
“Teach you mum to suck eggs, mate.” Spike chuckled.
Spike moved forward and Xander lay back on the sleeping bag. They were kissing again and now the kisses were less exploratory and much more about sex. Xander’s hands moved up under Spike’s shirt and the vampire hissed against his lips. “So hot! Christ but you’re hot.” Icy fingers returned the favor and Xander yelped.
“I knew it! Here, put them here.” Xander moved Spike’s hands into his armpits and let them warm. “Yeah, that’s better,” he said after a moment and several more intense kisses. Xander wondered if Spike could tell his tonsils were missing. He reached down and worked Spike’s belt, buttons and zip. True to form, Spike went commando and Xander began an ungainly—considering the restrictions of clothing—but enthusiastic exploration. His hands warmed where they touched and Spike made little groaning noises in response. Spike, too, was exploring; tweaking nipples, tickling flanks, undoing Xander’s jeans and delving inside.
“I’m thinking blowing you would be nice,” Xander moaned and Spike’s hand gently rubbed his balls.
“Same time, yeah?” Spike arched as Xander’s hand squeezed his dick hard.
“Oh yeah.” Xander settled on his back, the cold accentuating the precome on his exposed cock. Spike gave him one last thorough kiss then turned over him and Xander wished he had turned on a lantern to see what Spike obviously could see. He reached up and found the cool, hard cock, leaking and swollen, and pulled. Spike settled down and his kiss-warmed mouth slid right down Xander’s cock to the root.
“Oh my fucking god,” Xander moaned before guiding Spike’s cock into his mouth. It was cool still, but not cold, the precome salty, slippery on Xander’s tongue, the gorgeous length and breadth filling his mouth, pushing down his throat.
Xander tipped down his chin to take it further and Spike slid off him and gasped, “Like dipping my wick into a flame.” Xander swallowed around the intruder and Spike groaned. “This is going to be bloody quick, you keep that up.”
Xander hummed, more mouth less talk, and Spike apparently understood because he swallowed Xander down again. They commenced an intricate game of Who Gives The Best Head accompanied by theme music consisting of wet, slurping sounds, moans, and the sliding sounds of rip-stop nylon.
It actually took quite a while, in spite of Spike’s prediction, but they eventually reached a point where their abbreviated thrusts grew erratic, their groans more anxious, their grips on each other tightening hard. Then Xander felt the burn and ache that heralded orgasm, the pull in his lower back and the feeling of his balls tightening. He tried to hold it off and sucked harder to urge Spike on, but Spike just scraped his teeth along the full length of Xander’s cock and that was it. He forgot for a second about sucking, about breathing, as he shot into the haven of Spike’s mouth.
Spike swallowed noisily and began licking like Xander’s dick was the world’s best lollipop. Xander took a deep breath about Spike’s still turgid cock and went back to work. Then it was Spike’s turn to pause, to stutter his hips, and then thrust as he pushed spurts of come down Xander’s throat.
Spike turned back around and Xander pulled him down into his arms. “Mmmm.”
“Yeah, that was good.” Spike held him back, then added, “We’d best get in the bag, luv, before you zonk out in time-honoured male fashion.”
“Okay.” Xander stirred enough to pull down the sleeping bag’s zipper and crawl in. Spike followed and zipped it back up. Xander wrestled a quilt over the top, turned Spike on his side, and wrapped around him. “Night, roomie.”
“Night, then, mate.”
It didn’t take long for Xander to be teetering on the edge of sleep, but one thing was crystal clear. Spike was part of that deep, still quiet he held inside himself.
Happy New Year, he thought, unable to quite articulate the sentiment. And it did rather look like it would be.
And a sliver crescent moon rose in the obsidian sky and softened it into velvet and jewels.
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