Spike was under the impression that Xander was crazy, not that it made him love him any less. After all he had been sired by Dru, raised by Angelus, and nurtured as a young vampire by Darla. None of the three were sane.
Thankfully Xander’s version of crazy didn’t involve blood, guts, and eating babies. No, Xander’s version of crazy was Twinkies, fighting demons, raising baby slayers and Christmas cartoons. It was a tradition that so far had only ended in one fight and that was when one of the older slayers told the girls there was no such thing as Santa Claus and the demented elf had shown up to kick her ass. Needless to say the Council believed in Santa Claus and made sure there were plenty of cookies for the old man.
That was only a week ago. The repairs to the house were finished and everyone was in the living room watching the last few minutes of Charlie Brown’s Christmas and was getting ready to watch Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.
Spike had no idea why he had to be a part of this group as he hated most of the bloody Christmas cartoons, but Xander had batted his big brown eye and Dawn had given him the pouting look. That had decided it quickly, Spike had never been able to say no to his Bit and since getting with Xander he had learned it was the same way with him. As they sat watching the commercials Spike remembered what brought him together with Xander.
Spike was propped up against the couch, a scowl marring his beautiful face. Xander was sitting across the room staring gloomily into the darkness out the window beside him. The hospital waiting room was filled with Slayers, watchers and the other assorted group that the New Council had gathered.
They had fought an apocalypse earlier and once again the women Spike and Xander loved had been injured. Buffy was in critical condition and Willow had nearly burned herself out stopping the demons from coming into their realm and burning the world bare.
Spike watched as Xander got up and left the group, Spike followed, not wanting to stay with the group without someone he was familiar with or fought with.
Since the fall of LA, Spike had been brought into the Council with most of the Fang Gang, having only lost Wesley to the battles. Gunn was still recovering from his injuries a year later, and Angel had finally gained his redemption and become super human, human being the key word.
Angel and Buffy had surprised everyone by remaining friends instead of picking back up their ‘Grand Love Affair’, both being adult enough to know that they weren’t the same people they had been in Sunnydale when they were together.
Buffy and Spike were together for a short while, but like with Angel, Buffy and Spike realized they were better friends than lovers, especially as Buffy knew that Spike was interested in Xander. Something he had confessed on a drinking binge one night after the apocalypse in LA. Surprisingly, to Spike, Buffy had thought he and Xander would be good for one another. She set about inventing reasons why they should be together. Willow and then Dawn had gotten into the mix helping Spike get beyond the barriers Xander had erected around himself during his time in Africa.
Then the Council was inundated with the return of their dead. Spike had been sure that the boy would end up back with either the Cheerleader or with Anya, instead, Xander had treated the two young women the way that he did Buffy, Dawn, Willow, and Faith. Xander didn’t date unless you counted the nights he and Spike went out to the pub and shot pool and talked.
Spike came to stand at Xander’s side and saw the fear and tension he was hiding from everyone else. Dawn and Giles would be arriving soon with Angel and the rest of the core Council group, each of them hoping that they wouldn’t be arriving to the news that Buffy and Willow were dead.
Spike was shocked when Xander turned and hugged him; after a few seconds Spike wrapped his arms around the younger man and just held on to him. “I can’t lose them, Spike, I’ve lost too many,” Xander choked out.
“Hush Whelp, we won’t lose them. The Slayer is strong and the Witch is just tired. They won’t leave us, not after everything we’ve been through. You’ll see. They will be up and about complaining about ruining their clothes fighting the beasties,” Spike said, pulling Xander back so that he could see the boy’s face.
Xander swallowed harshly and then kissed Spike. Spike let the kiss go on for several wonderful moments and then pulled away. “Let’s go back to the waiting room,” he said gently. Xander nodded, but kept a hold of Spike.
It was six hours later that Willow joined them waiting for news on Buffy, and two days later that Buffy was healed and able to leave the hospital. Thankfully the hospital and the doctors overseeing her treatment were used to treating Slayers and they were not inundated with press and people who wanted to dissect Buffy.
After life had settled back into the regular routine of fighting and living as a member of the Council, Xander had dropped a bomb in the middle of dinner.
“I’m leaving for two months. Trista called me and she needs help in New Zealand with the house and the girls there.” Xander’s words brought a hush through the room and then pandemonium began. Everyone started shouting and Spike had sat back hurt.
“You can’t go by yourself! The rules are clear, no member of the Head Council travels alone,” Dawn snapped, upset for Spike.
Xander looked irritated. “If you had all waited to throw a fit you might have let me get to the part where I asked Spike to go with me.”
Everyone shut up at that and several people, Willow and Kendra, flushed in embarrassment.
“Why Spike?” Kennedy asked with a huff of breath as she linked fingers with Tara. The Slayer and the White Witch had agreed to share Willow when she was returned from the dead.
“Because we’re dating. Would you go that long without Willow and Tara?” Xander said patiently.
Kennedy grinned and shook her head, “I didn’t think you realized you two were dating.”
Xander stuck his tongue out at the girl he had become good friends with. “Just because I am clueless at some things doesn’t mean I can’t realize when I am dating someone. Besides, Spike is important to me and, yeah, we’ve been dating for months without making a big deal out of it, but I didn’t want to rush into something that had the potential to hurt us both.”
Spike clenched a hand on his thigh and then casually reached over and pulled Xander into a kiss, the second of their relationship. He felt giddy over the fact that Xander considered their nights at the pub to be dates and that he wanted to go slow and not push things between them. Very rarely did someone consider the fact that Spike had feelings. The only ones to really do so were Dawn, Willow, and Buffy. Now he could add Xander to that group.
Catcalls and whistles caught his attention and the pair broke apart, Xander gave him a bright smile and eased back in his chair. Giles chuckled and calmly went back to eating his dinner. Unlike the others Giles had not lost his temper, knowing that his son would be asking Spike to go with him. Giles had been with Xander going over the latest reports out of Africa when Trista called. Giles later told Spike that he was the first person Xander thought of to accompany him.
The time in New Zealand was fantastic and while they did work and put a stop to minor ascensions, Xander and Spike spent most of their time just talking and learning each others histories. They also learned the others point of view in shared experiences. Spike was also Xander’s first and only male lover, something that still made him feel smug and honored when he thought of it.
The ending song of the cartoon caught Spike’s attention and he laughed as Dawn and Willow guilted Xander into doing the Snoopy dance, making the younger slayers giggle and get up to dance beside him. Spike smiled, his mate might be crazy, but Xander was his and that was what meant the most to him.
The group quieted down and Xander took his place back at Spike’s side as Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer began. Spike thought he and Xander were a lot like Rudolph, just this side of odd with no one wanting them around except their family they created. Then they showed how they could be useful and still be odd, making a life built on duty and finding love and acceptance in the process. Perhaps it was the poet within him, but Spike thought it fitting that they ended up with each other.
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