THINGS TO DO BEFORE I DIE
by Robin the Crossover Junkie
Xander has a list of things to do before he dies. He started it the day Jesse left a layer of ash on his converse sneakers, and he’s occasionally added to it ever since. So far, he’s been lucky, and he’s still ahead of the deadline, but he’s learned things can change at any moment.
He figured that one out when Anya died. He’d always added to the list, but he’d never worked particularly hard at doing the activities on the list. Now he makes a concerted effort.
There are the easy ones, like “have sex” (number 2), “tell Buffy you love her” (number 17), “fall in love” (number 12) and “move out of his parents’ house” (number 31). There are also the stupid ones, like “bungee jump” (number 16), “eat weight in Twinkies” (number 74), and “swim across the English Channel” (number 7).
He keeps the list with him most of the time, because he still hasn’t filled in all of the one hundred things. Through the years, he has written random thoughts on the list, and is now up to 87. He suspects he’d have gotten well past one hundred if half of the things that would have made it to the list hadn’t occurred before he thought of putting them on it. Like “travel to Africa” (which would have been 93, he thinks, after “save the world repeatedly”, “propose to a woman”, “help Willow with her magic addiction” and “watch Sunnydale become a crater”).
He never thought “see Spike again” would be on the list, but there it sits at number 87. He doesn’t know why he put it on there. He was heading to a small African village to meet with another slayer, and his mind fluttered, as it sometimes did, to Spike. Because Spike had gone to Africa to restore his soul, and Xander often wondered how. So he’d pulled over on the side of the road, written it down, thinking he’d have to see Spike again in order to ask him. Andrew had emailed him, saying that he’d promised Spike he wouldn’t tell, but he couldn’t hold it in that the vampire wasn’t as dead and buried as they’d thought. Xander hadn’t been able to put it out of his mind. He’d resisted writing down number 87, but finally couldn’t stand it anymore.
After recruiting the new slayer, whose name he couldn’t remember because there’d been so many now, he called Giles and told him he was taking a small vacation, and could someone cover Africa for him, and then he’d hopped a plane to LAX.
When the elevator doors open, Xander steps out, and immediately wishes he’d stayed in the tiny box.
“Xander! Oh, my God! Xander! Hi!” Harmony squeals, enveloping him in a bone-crushing hug that makes it impossible for him to reach into his back pocket for the stake he keeps there. “It is so good to see you!”
“Get off of me, Harmony, before I have to fight you again!”
“Oh, please. Like you’d pull my hair in public!” Harmony gushes as she squeezes him again, and Xander wishes he’d finished off more of the items in his list because Harmony’s definitely crushing the life out of him.
“Harm?” Xander hears from across the room, and he searches for the voice of his savior with a pleading eye. When his gaze falls on a green demon in a garish yellow sateen silk, he knows he’s already in hell. Which, hey, better than Buffy told him it was, anyway, because no ten million uber-vamps looking to snack.
“Harm, you’re crushing our guest,” says the demon, and Harmony backs up with a grin. Xander immediately reaches for his stake, and the green demon wrinkles his nose.
“Now, now, Cupcake, don’t think the boss would appreciate you dusting his gorgeous gofer.”
Xander blinks. And doesn’t pull out his stake.
“Administrative assistant, thank you very much, Lorne,” Harmony sniffs, and the demon, who Xander must assume to be Lorne, tips his head acquiescently.
“You’re Angel’s secretary?” Xander blurts out, trying to hold back a laugh.
“And a damned good one,” Lorne replies with a blinding grin. “So, I take it you’re here to see the big boss, then. Friend or foe, Cupcake?”
“Well, okay, then. Harm, doll, why don’t you go in and tell Himself that a neutral party’s here to meet him, while I get to know the handsome stranger,” Lorne told the blonde with a wink in Xander’s direction.
Harmony toddles off with a bounce in her step, and Xander nervously shuffles his feet. This was a bad idea. This was definitely a bad idea.
“So, Cupcake, you here to see the Big Boss for business or pleasure?”
Xander can tell that this Lorne is trying to feel him out, learn about him, get the nervous twitch to leave his eye, but he’s not buying. So far, all he’s seen in this office are two demons; one evil vampire who pulled his hair, and one he can’t identify and definitely can’t decide which team he’s batting for. In both senses of the word. Xander thinks that maybe if this demon turns out to have a white hat that matches his yellow suit, he could set him up with Andrew. Just to get Andrew over his Xander-crush, that is. It’s definitely not because he’d be amused by Andrew’s mousy personality matching up with someone as obviously extroverted as Lorne.
Before he can think about it any more, Angel comes out of his office, trying to mask his worry with nonchalance. Xander could smack himself. The last time any of the Scoobies had come to see Angel unannounced it had been to tell him Buffy was dead.
“Xander,” Angel greets him with a nod, and Xander gives him a small smile in return.
He bites back the requisite “Deadboy”, choosing instead to stay silent.
“Heard you were in Africa.”
“I was,” Xander tells him, as he puts his hands in his pockets. “How’s the bureaucrat’s life treating you?”
“Even though that’s all he does, the big fibber,” Lorne chuckles beside him, and Xander snorts and looks over at him. Lorne’s looking at him a little too closely, and Xander wonders what it is that makes ambiguously gay men stare at him that way.
“What are you doing here?” Angel asks, deliberately ignoring Lorne’s comment.
“Got a strange message from a mutual acquaintance,” Xander confesses. “Apparently souled vampires never stay dead.” He can’t quite keep the accusation from his voice, though he’s not sure whom he’s blaming here: Angel or Spike.
“Please tell me you’re here to take him off my hands?” Angel replies, almost pleading.
Xander snorts again. “And not get to watch you squirm? He must be driving you batty. Battier.”
“Does Buffy know?”
“I didn’t tell her.”
“Far as I know, he only told me.”
“Andrew and I are…friends.” Xander stumbles over the word, knowing it’s not completely applicable. Andrew has a crush on him, and Xander… Xander doesn’t hate the guy, and they have a strange Sci-fi-geek-trip going, but they aren’t friends.
Lorne’s really eyeing him up now, and Xander almost blushes. He wants to scream “we’re not fucking! Have you met Andrew? He’s got balls the size of a gnat’s!” but he knows that would only make the demon chuckle at him. Especially since his first impulse wasn’t to scream that he wasn’t gay.
Because, honestly, if it came up with a particularly hot guy that struck his fancy? He probably wouldn’t say no.
“So if you’re not here to take him away, why are you here?” Angel asks, and Xander can tell he’s getting a little bit impatient. Which only makes him want to mess with the vampire even more, but he pushes that impulse back.
“Got a list,” he replies, wondering if it’s vague enough to bother Angel, but honest enough that Angel will let it drop.
Angel studies him for a moment, and Xander wonders if he has spinach in his teeth, the way people are staring at him today.
“So, anyway, Deadboy,” it slips out, “do you know where I can find him?”
Angel ignores the nickname, and it makes Xander smile a little. Old times.
“He usually comes around just when I don’t want him to,” Angel tells him. “So if you want to see him, wait until someone pisses me off.”
“Which will be in about twenty minutes, because you have a meeting with the head of the Fralen Council,” Harmony informs him cheerily.
Angel groans. The elevator dings behind Xander, and as he’s turning to look, he hears Angel speak. “Right on cue.”
Xander’s facing the elevator, and Spike stepping out of it.
The vampire stops short. “Harris?”
Xander mentally crosses off number 87.
“What the hell are you doing here?”
“Cupcake here has come to visit you, Slim,” Lorne informs him.
“I heard you were hanging around.”
“That’d be the one.”
“Pillock. I told him not to tell anyone. He would tell you.”
And Xander knows Lorne’s studying him again, but he refuses to rise to it.
“So how’s life being LA’s new helper of the helpless?”
“It’s a gig.”
The elevator dings again, and out steps an incredibly large, incredibly hairy individual with a suit and tie that really brings out his horns. Xander takes a step back on principle.
“Dosh Ka,” the hairy fashionista greeted them with a regal bow.
“And that would be your four-o-clock,” Harmony chirps. Xander gives the demon a wide berth as Angel ushers him into his office.
“So, Puddin’, what brings you to the office?” Lorne asks Spike.
“Got bored,” Spike admits. “Donkey Kong’s broke.”
Xander blinks twice. “Donkey Kong?”
“Got my hands cut off.”
“Interesting life you lead.”
“And then some.”
“How’d you break Donkey Kong?”
“Something’s glitching in the system. Can’t get the bloody monkey to jump over the barrels.”
“Sounds less like it’s broken and more like you’re just no good.”
“I’m a vampire, Yankee Doodle. I’ve got reflexes out my arse. If the monkey’s not jumping, the game’s broken.”
And suddenly Xander’s mouth’s doing that thing where it disobeys direct orders from his brain.
“I’ll bet you a beer I can jump the barrels.”
A raised eyebrow. “You’re on.”
He and Spike take his rental car, with Spike peeking out from under a heavy blanket in the backseat to give him directions.
“Call you Spartacus,” Xander says when he sees the tiny apartment Spike’s living in and it’s dour décor.
“Got what I need.”
“But not the skills to play Donkey Kong.”
“Watch it, Droops, I don’t have a chip anymore.”
“Witness me tremble.”
They sit and shout obscenities at Donkey Kong while Spike pulls beer after beer from the fridge.
It’s a few hours later when Spike accuses the game system of playing favorites.
Xander laughs at him. “The game is not a sentient entity, Spike. It doesn’t hate you on principle.”
And then Xander leans over and kisses Spike’s perfectly formed cheekbone.
Which should have been number 88, if only to see the complete shock on Spike’s face now.
The look of shock, that is, that doesn’t last long; Spike surges forward, wrapping one cool, strong hand around the back of Xander’s neck as he pushes Xander down on the sofa and begins to use his tongue to search for the tonsils Xander had removed when he was twelve.
Xander realizes number 89 should have been to suck on Spike’s tongue, based solely on the deep sound rumbling from Spike’s chest when he does so. Xander decides to mentally add a few things to the list.
Number 90: rip off Spike’s T-shirt. Check. He basks in the sight of cool alabaster skin, tiny goose pimples raising on flesh as his fingers play connect the dots with imagined markings on Spike’s chest. He moans when Spike pushes his own shirt up, feather-light touches whispering against his skin and sending shudders of anticipation across his nervous system, traveling over his whole body at once with no destination or pit stops.
He thrusts his hips up when Spike straddles them, fingers locked in the vampires tight grip and pressed into the cushion under his head as the very breath is sucked from his chest with the power of Spike’s lips. This is not kissing. There is definitely no word for what this is, but kissing is a magnificently powerful understatement. This is…existence.
He cries out when Spike nips gently at the skin of his throat, arches up when Spike’s nails scrape across his distended nipples, growls when he pushes and rolls them onto the floor, pressing Spike back into the carpet and beginning an almost violent nipping and sucking and tasting of the pure white flesh before him. His lips and teeth and tongue travel muscles and ribs and long-dormant veins, and Spike’s growl is cut off by a gasp when Xander’s teeth latch onto the soft skin just under Spike’s navel.
Then Xander is thrown off again, Spike’s hands clawing at his slacks, tearing them to shreds until Xander is bare, naked, vulnerable. Spike grips hair, yanks back, worries at the skin of Xander’s throat with blunt teeth, tongue soothing simultaneously as Xander struggles to remember how breathing works. Another burst of energy and a roll, and Xander is yanking at Spike’s jeans, letting them rest around Spike’s knees like binding chains, and with absolutely no hesitation, no fear, no consciousness of consequences, his hand wraps around the weeping column of flesh, glorying in the rough-slick slide of calloused palm over velvet steel.
Vertigo, and Spike’s flipped them again, shoved Xander’s knees to press against his shoulders, and there’s something wet and strong and wriggling at his asshole, blearily recognized as a tongue, licking at him and pressing on him and entering him, pushing deep inside and Xander can’t even move, can’t even breathe, can’t even scream, because there’s nothing to him but pleasure, as Spike’s tongue is inside him and Spike’s lips are sucking at stretching skin. Another rough push inside and this time Xander is screaming, nearly sobbing, hips pushing down and back
Then Spike is up again, yanking Xander to his feet and Xander can barely stand, his legs are completely limp, his cock so hard he can barely breathe, and Spike drags him over to the bed, small and unassuming, practically throwing him down on it. Xander lets his hands clutch at Spike’s hair when the vampire sucks Xander’s tongue into his mouth, and suddenly there’s a hard cock pressed against his own. The moan is ripped from his throat and he whimpers when one of Spike’s hands takes itself off his hip. He vaguely hears the scraping of a drawer opening and closing, smells raspberries and nearly squeals when cool gel is squirted onto his belly, pooling slickly and running over his skin. There’s the sound of the tube dropping to the floor and he moans when Spike’s fingers rub the gel around on his stomach, then slide down, under, in.
Suddenly everything is infinitely slow. Every moment seems to last a lifetime, and every scrape of flesh on flesh as Spike presses into him, opens him, stretches him, lasts an eternity. Time stands still when Spike takes Xander’s hand, flattens it against the warming pool of raspberry lube dribbling down his belly, spears it, slicks it, and presses it against his cock. Xander watches his hand wrap around pale skin like a snake, sliding up and down, coating and covering and stroking, then spreads his legs and bends his knees and finally, for the first time since he first kissed Spike, makes eye contact.
Slide, stretch, burn, full, and Xander’s only eye goes blind as Spike begins to move, slowly, surely, unwaveringly, and he wraps one knee around a bony hip, fingernails digging into Spike’s back as they ever-so-slowly move together on the bed, pushing and pulling and rocking together. Spike lets out moan after moan as Xander squeezes around him, pushes up into him. Xander tries to pull Spike closer, tries to pull himself up on Spike’s strength, presses their chests and bellies and mouths together and groans when his cock rubs against Spike’s trembling belly, quickly made slick by lube and leaking fluid.
Delirium takes over and Xander realizes that everything that they’re doing, every touch and cry and breath should have been on his list, and he’s well over 100 now, easily making his way to 110, 160 if he cheats and makes the last fifty items “feel Spike thrust into me again”, and then everything stops.
He sees blue, and it’s Spike’s eyes, and he feels electric fire, and it’s inside him, and he hears screaming, and it’s coming from him, and there’s hot come spraying from his cock, coating his chest and Spike’s chin. Then there’s a burst in him, something exploding or imploding and his arms and legs aren’t just trembling they’re vibrating he feels Spike come inside him, and is that what it feels like because holy fuck, he’s coated with it, filled with it, and he can feel every twitch of Spike’s cock inside him, feel everything and it’s like he’s high, on ecstasy or on acid or on cocaine. Everything’s brighter, everything’s slower, everything’s purer.
Spike collapses on him, stays inside him, and Xander falls limp, stays wrapped around him, and he knows he’s lying in the wet spot, but there’s not a whole lot of bed to move to and why on earth would he want to move?
“Don’t think this is the last time we’ll do this. I’m gonna teach you everything about sex, Pet,” Spike purrs in his ear. Xander continues to gasp for air.
Time to start a new list.