Spike studied the stake in his hand, trying to imagine the feel of it piercing his heart. He wondered if he'd feel his body breaking apart and crumbling to dust, or if it would just be one mind numbing flash of pain and then nothing.

He snorted. Nothing.

He was nothing before Dru found him. Less than nothing. Cecily had said as much. Then Dru had come along, beautiful and broken and she'd needed Spike.

Now, not only had he lost her but he'd lost his bite. He'd lost everything that had made him who and what he was.

He was stuck in this fucking basement, singing to the bloody Slayer's tune and begging for his next meal; relegated to nothing more than Xander's house boy.

Spike groaned, lip curling in disgust at the ridiculous excuse for a shirt he wore. “Doing a little laundry for once wouldn't kill you,” Spike parroted, staring at the stake again.



Xander was not thinking about the way Spike looked in his clothes. He wasn't. Besides, Spike's own clothes were a lot... tighter, sexier, you know, if you were into that kind of thing. Which Xander wasn't.

Except there was something... intimate about seeing someone else in your clothes. Just like all those chick flicks Willow and Buffy were always forcing him to watch. The ones where the couple gets it on and then the girl slips into his shirt so that they can have a midnight snack or something.

The guy always really likes it.

Xander can kind of understand why.

Except Spike wasn't his girl! Spike wasn't anything. And there was absolutely nothing wrong with Xander admitting that another guy could be attractive. He was secure enough in his masculinity to admit that Spike was... sexy. He had the accent, and the muscles. And, yeah, maybe those blue eyes with that white blond hair was sort of a good combination.

But Xander wasn't thinking about any of that.



Sometimes Xander wondered if they'd even notice if he were gone. It never lasted long, and when he really thought about it he knew that they would. But, still, sometimes he felt like he could fade into the background and no one would be the wiser.

It was hard being best friends with a witch, a Slayer, a Watcher and even a vampire. It was hard being just ordinary guy in that kind of group.

He tried not to think about it too often, tried not to be hurt when he wasn't needed, when the best he could do was provide a distraction for the rest of them.

It was even worse now that Spike was a part of it. Buffy pretended to hate him, but Xander knew that she liked having someone else around to take up some of the slack. Someone else with superhuman strength. Someone else who could actually make a difference.

It wasn't hard to imagine them together.

Xander couldn't decide if he were jealous of Spike.... or Buffy.



Spike shoved another box of Twinkies into the back of the cupboard. He glanced around, listening for a moment until he could hear the faint thrum of Xander's heart down the hall. He took a moment to adjust himself before striding into the living room to turn on the telly.

“Hey,” Xander said a few minutes later, ripping open a Twinkie and stuffing it into his mouth as he dropped onto the couch beside Spike.

Spike bit back a groan, feeling his erection pulse against the zip of his jeans. He couldn't help turning slightly to watch as the sweet pastry slid passed Xander's lips. He swallowed against his own dry throat as Xander's Adam's apple bobbed with each swallow.

Hell, Spike didn't know why he tortured himself this way. He could just let Xander's supply run out and then he wouldn't have to deal with this, but he liked watching Xander's... enjoyment of it. He especially liked the little humming noise that Xander made as he bit into the sweet, the creamy filling exploding onto his tongue.

Spike couldn't hold back his groan then.

Xander turned, looking at Spike funny. “Did you buy a new box of Twinkies?”

“Why would I do that?” Spike huffed. “Think I care whether you run out of sweets?”

“How do you even know that I like Twinkies?” Xander asked, eyes searching Spike's. “Have you been.. watching me?”

“What? Don't be an idiot,” Spike said, but he saw the way Xander's lips curled up at the corners as he turned back to the telly.

Maybe he'd let the next box run out and see if Xander might like a new treat.






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