I hope you all had excellent holidays. My life since last posting has been full of various ups and downs. Cat died, had an experience almost close to romantic, had wonderful holidays, and, what you're all probably most interested in, wrote a new chapter of Sour Revenge. I experimented a little bit with this chapter, so I'm pretty nervous about it.
Some day, this series will be finished. Once that happens, I hope to write many stand-alones in loads of different fandoms. Also, I'm so going to create an icon journal. You have no idea how many icons I have waiting to be posted.
I predict three more chapters of this series, not including this. For a sane person, this might take about a week. But, since I'm me, who knows when I'll be done? Feedback will definitely encourage me to write faster, though. *g*
Title: Sour Revenge, Part 30
Rating: Entire series is NC-17, though this chapter's PG-13.
Concrit: Very welcome in comments.
Disclaimer: The characters, story, and rating system are not mine and since I'm not making any money, nobody should care that I'm using them.
Summary: Whole series written for willowschild who asked for "A variant on what happened to Xander when he cast the love spell. Only instead of attracting all women it was all men and the only one who could break the spell was his true love."
Beta'd by the fantastic and brilliant kitty_poker1.
Previous parts here.
Thank you authoressnebula for the banner and icon!
Xander contemplated Spike's face for a moment before shaking his head, regretfully. "Spike, you... you kill people. I can't just overlook that. Yeah, I like you. A lot," Xander pretended to ignore Spike's self-satisfied smirk at that remark and continued, "but I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I dated a murderer."
Spike frowned and looked away. After a few seconds, he sniffed and turned back to Xander. "I could stop," he said with false conviction.
Xander didn't pretend not to notice it. "No, you couldn't."
Spike grinned back. "Get a coffee with me. No big deal. No candles, no kissing, no sexiness, no genocide. Non-committal coffee."
The moment Xander ran his hand through his hair, hesitating, both he and Spike knew that Spike had won that round. Xander met Spike's eyes and ignored the intensity that greeted him. "Yeah, okay. Coffee."
Xander left the lights off as he walked into Giles' living room. He could make out Spike's white outline in the darkness. He kneeled before Spike and nudged him gently. Spike didn't even stir.
For not the first time in the past few weeks, Xander wished Spike was human. Then he wouldn't have to worry about the fact that Spike was sleeping so soundly at 3 AM.
How long had it been? Just two weeks?
"You win, all right? You don't have to do this anymore. Just wake up, you stubborn corpse." There was no response. Xander wasn't expecting one.
Getting Giles to agree to let Xander go on a date with a mass murderer was easier than Xander had expected it to be. The argument, "he hasn't killed me yet," didn't go down too well, but all Xander had to do was explain to Giles that he was resolved in giving this relationship a chance, however foolish it was. Giles seemed to realize then that if Xander was going to do something so, well, insane, then it was better that he knew about it than not. Before he was permitted to go, though, Xander was forced to eat more garlic than he ever wanted to, put on two crosses, and sprinkle himself with holy water.
As he left, Giles bade him be careful and gave him a look so intense that Xander wanted to go back to his storage-closet-turned-bedroom and hide under the covers there forever.
Xander tried to give him a reassuring smile and gestured at himself. "With all these precautions, I think I'll be having the safest sex of any teen in Sunnydale." When he saw Giles' eyes widen at that, Xander quickly amended, "Not that we're going to be having sex! This is a strict no-sex date. Just coffee!"
Giles didn't smile, but there was clearly amusement in his eyes as he wished Xander a good night.
Standing outside Giles' apartment, Xander inhaled the cool air. "Just coffee." He looked up at the sky and exhaled slowly. "Just coffee with a vampire."
Thinking he might have heard a creaking floorboard, Xander glanced nervously at the stairs. The ensuing silence assured him that it had just been one of those nighttime sounds that you can only hear when you're doing something wrong and terrified of getting caught.
Xander swallowed. He was terrified, all right, but he was resolved. With one hand rubbing what he hoped were soothing circles on Spike's forehead, Xander slid his other hand into his pocket and pulled out the switchblade he had stolen from the library earlier that day. He opened the blade and traced it with his thumb, wondering if there were any other school in the country where, if a student wanted to steal a weapon from the library, a switchblade would be the least dangerous of all his options. He wondered if there were any other schools in the country where a student would think to steal a weapon from the library at all.
A voice that sounded suspiciously like Giles told him all the reasons why he shouldn't do what he was about to. He began to tap the knife against his knee with a quick and nervous rhythm. When Spike's outline appeared to jerk in its sleep, Xander's hand quickly shot back to his side. As his pupils began to adjust to the darkness, Xander was able to make out Spike's features more clearly.
Spike's lips were parted. Xander smiled to himself as he wondered if Spike would be snoring right now, were he the kind of guy who needed to breathe.
This was awkward. This was more than awkward. This was impossibly awkward.
Xander didn't know what he was expecting, but he knew it wasn't this. He was used to Spike being Mr. Smooth Seducer, never short on confidence or something raunchy to say.
This was not the Spike he was used to.
This Spike was... well, for one, he wasn't wearing his normal black tee, red shirt, duster combo. Oh no, this Spike was wearing a navy blue sweater. His face, which usually radiated all of the confidence he couldn't have fit into his words, was shut to Xander, and his eyes, which usually sparkled with life way more than any dead guy's eyes had a right to sparkle with, were fixed squarely on the coffee he held in his hands.
When he'd arrived, Spike was already waiting for him, standing outside the café and shifting his weight from leg to leg. They had exchanged their mutual and civil compliments, enquired after their health - or lack thereof, in Spike's case - ordered their drinks, and then, well, then nothing. They sat in mutual and impossibly awkward silence, only occasionally interrupted by one of them clearing their throats, causing the other to raise his eyes, which, once met, caused the original throat-clearer to lower his awkwardly as the silence reaffirmed itself.
They sat this way until they had both finished their drinks, at which point Xander started chuckling.
Spike started nervously as if somebody had fired a gun and stared at Xander, perplexed. "What?"
Still smiling, Xander waved his hand at Spike. "Relax." When Spike didn't, Xander started laughing again.
Spike frowned and crossed his arms impatiently. "What?" he repeated.
"It's nothing," Xander assured him, unreassuringly. Spike just continued to stare at him, frown deepening. Xander stopped laughing and gestured towards Spike. "It's just... look at you!"
Spike looked at himself. Then he looked at Xander, still frowning.
"What are you doing?"
Spike didn't need to ask what Xander was talking about, but he did it anyway.
"You are Spike, right? William the Bloody? The same big bad vampire who has been stalking me and tricked me into blowing him in public?" Spike broke his frown to smirk at the memory. "The evil fiend who has killed unfeelingly and indiscriminately for over a century?"
Spike didn't exactly appreciate that remark, but he couldn't really find any point to dispute. "What of it?" he asked, instead.
Xander was beginning to feel what it was like to be the confident predator. He had the power in this conversation right now and it was making him giddy. No wonder Spike liked it so much. "Do you realize that you just sat through a train-wreck of a date acting like some nervous teenaged boy?"
Spike straightened his spine in offense and Xander smiled playfully at him. "You weren't any better," Spike countered.
"Well, I think I have more of a right to it, considering the circumstances. You, on the other hand, have just regressed 100 plus years and quite possibly have lost the respect of the entire vampire community."
Xander's words had their desired effects. The challenging nature that usually flowed through Spike's personality returned with full force. He grinned, and Xander could tell that he had just lost that power he had been growing fond of. He wasn't mourning the loss, though.
"Night's not over, pet. If you want, I can show you just how little I resemble a nervous child."
Xander shook his head, 'no,' but his eyes betrayed him. Xander was definitely not averse to the idea of some 'grown-up fun.'
Spike grinned. "You so want me."
"No. I don't."
"Love, this is textbook stuff. You say 'no', but your eyes say 'yes'."
"No it's not."
"Is no-- Okay, maybe it is. But it's not. I'm not going to do anything groiny with you tonight, Spike. Or any time soon."
While it sounded an awful like rejection, to Spike, it was a promise. "That mean you will any time not-soon?"
Xander paused before looking down. "Maybe," he whispered. When he looked up to meet Spike's eyes, they were dancing.
"How soon is 'not-soon'?"
"Why? How long are you willing to wait?"
Spike let his eyes roam Xander's seated body. There was nothing special about this body that he couldn't find anywhere else. Hell, he could get up right now and, after a night on the town, could go home with three boys who'd be perfectly willing to give him what he wanted from Xander. But, for some reason, the idea made him sick. After long consideration, Spike answered, "Forever."
His answer surprised them both.
"Why?" Xander asked.
"Buggered if I know."
Xander seemed to be satisfied. He opened his mouth to say something else, but the waitress came over to give them their bill.
Without looking at it, Spike covered it with a fifty and told her to keep the change. Xander and the waitress stared at him in shock. Spike shrugged. "Came into a decent amount of money today." It was all the explanation anybody was going to get out of him, and the look in Spike's eyes said that it was not up for discussion.
When the waitress left, Spike moved to stand up, but Xander stopped him. "Three weeks," he muttered.
"Three weeks what?"
"Three weeks. No sexy touching or anything. Not even kisses. Don't even look at me below the waist."
Spike blinked. "Come on, pet. Isn't that a bit harsh?"
"That's not even the worst part." Spike motioned for Xander to continue. "I want you to not kill anybody. Think of it as a no-carbs diet. Only, instead of carbs, it's murder."
Spike chuckled. "Not bloody likely," he challenged, arms crossed again.
"Those are my conditions. Three weeks of keeping it in your pants and keeping your fangs from stopping any pulses. Or any other part of you from stopping pulses."
"And what, exactly, is my grand prize for doing this? Not that I'm agreeing, mind."
Xander looked down, feeling very self conscious. "Me."
Spike sat to full attention. "What - like a slave?"
Xander wondered if he should be concerned about that slightly evil glint in Spike's eyes and tone.
"No. Like... a boyfriend."
Narrowing his eyes, Spike leaned back again. "What privileges come with that?"
"Well, for one, I'd be more willing to trust you." Spike snorted. "You'd probably be more respected among my friends." Another snort. "We would spend more time with each other." No snort.
Xander smiled. "I wouldn't object to doing... things. And I'd only do them with you - no one else."
Spike raised an eyebrow and started nodding.
"Of course, that also means you are obliged to obey the same restrictions."
"Bollocks to that!"
Xander scowled. "That's the deal. Take it or leave it."
Spike surprised them both again by considering it. "I'll take it."
Xander blinked. "Good."
With the hand that wasn't holding the knife, Xander traced Spike's lips. He had kissed those lips. It seemed to long ago, but he could remember it with perfect clarity. He doubted that he would ever forget the way Spike's lips felt against his. Cordelia's kisses weren't even comparable to Spike's.
Cordelia. All Xander's second thoughts diminished as he thought of her. It was because of Cordelia that any of this had happened. If she had been willing to sacrifice her shallow status of popularity-queen... But she hadn't. Xander wasn't worth that sacrifice to her. Spike, though. Spike did sacrifice so much more than Cordelia was unwilling to.
Here Spike lay before him, still sacrificing, even though Xander said it was okay, that he could stop. Xander had given him a free pass, but Spike refused. Spike was sacrificing his two closest friends, with whom he had shared over a century of memories, and he was doing it for Xander. He was sacrificing not only his lifestyle, but his freaking life. Of course the dumbass vampire was too stubborn to admit that he was sacrificing that.
"Why would you do this? What are you trying to prove?" But, of course, Spike stayed just as still as before. "Dumbass," Xander added, for good measure.
Xander shook his head. He was ready.
Giles brought up a good point when Xander told him about his deal. What was going to stop Spike from lying? Xander hadn't thought of that before, but Spike had and was pissed as hell that Giles mentioned it.
"I'm not a liar." He was, so he didn't feel guilty by saying so.
"Can he stay here?" Giles and Spike turned to look at Xander as if he'd just suggested they all take off their clothes, cover themselves with jam and walk to the Bronze. They responded at the same time.
"I don't think that's wise."
Xander didn't drop the issue. "Giles, come on. If he stays here, we can make sure he's not up to anything mischievous. And, Spike, think of it as... a temporary break from Angelus. I know you think he's a... ponce, or whatever you called him. He doesn't have an invite here, so he'll be out of your hair for three weeks."
Spike seemed to be pleased with Xander's argument, but Giles was still unconvinced. "And what, exactly, would stop him from killing us both in our sleep?"
Spike didn't bother taking offense to that jab. It was a fair enough question, considering that was one of his first thoughts. It was also one of the reasons he objected to the idea. If he was going to be starving himself for three weeks, he was bound to start viewing Xander and his new father-figure as TV dinners.
Xander looked at Spike and seemed to be thinking the same thing. "We could confine him?"
Spike rolled his eyes. "I doubt Rupert here is the type who has spare handcuffs lying around the house, pet."
Giles coughed politely and moved to his linen closet. He pulled out a set of shackles from within.
Spike barked out a laugh. "What aspect of your night-life do those fall into, Rupert? Bein' a watcher, or bein' an over-the-hill, filthy pervert?"
As a response, Giles looked Spike squarely in the eyes and said calmly, "I'm not that old."
While Xander covered his eyes uncomfortably, Spike just had to raise an eyebrow appreciatively. "Nice."
"Okay, before I go stab my own eyes out," Xander said, still covering his face, "does this mean that Spike can stay?"
Giles looked over the shackles, then at Spike. "As long as he doesn't mind spending three weeks in chains, promises not to be as annoying as I know he's planning on being, and doesn't mind drinking exclusively pig's blood, I see no reason to object."
"Like hell I'm drinking that disgusting shite. Can't you just steal me some from the hospital?"
Xander looked to Giles, who replied, "The hospital uses that blood to save lives. You'd be amazed at how many people in Sunnydale are rushed to the hospital for blood transfusions." Pointedly looking at Spike, he added, "Nobody can quite explain why so many patients suffer from mysterious blood loss."
"Oi, don't look at me, mate. Mine never make it to the hospital." Spike quickly realized what he had said, and looked at Xander, hoping he hadn't just ballsed everything up.
Xander rubbed his eyes and sighed. He forced a smile. "I guess it's a good thing you're going through rehab now, then."
Without giving himself any more time to change his mind, he slid the blade across his forearm and hoped the school psychiatrist didn't ever see the mark he was definitely going to leave.
Spikes nostrils flared as Xander moved his arm closer to Spike's face. He pressed the open wound to Spike's mouth. The moments Xander had to wait before Spike reacted were impossibly nerve-wracking.
"Now don't go pretending you're not hungry. Just drink it," Xander pleaded. Spike didn't react.
"Drink it!" Xander hissed. "Drink!"
He almost started shouting, but he finally felt Spike's tongue reach out and make contact with his arm. He drew a jagged breath when he felt Spike begin to start sucking in earnest.
He soon began to feel light-headed and surprisingly aroused. As the seconds ticked by and Spike continued to take from Xander, Xander's prayers soon changed from "let him realize what he's doing before he kills me dead" to "please make my boner go away before Giles discovers my corpse tomorrow morning."
Spike was fine for the first few days, if not a little bit of a nuisance. Xander liked having him around, though. Coming home and hearing Giles and Spike bickering was almost like coming home to his own parents, only here, Xander knew that these two people both cared about him. It was a great feeling.
Soon, though, they started to witness changes in Spike. He was clearly getting thinner and paler. He was beginning to sleep more and his usual light-hearted arguments with Giles began to take on a new, vicious side. Strangely, though, Spike never lashed out at Xander.
Giles threatened to kick him out countless times, but didn't. Xander wasn't sure if it was because he felt sorry for Spike, or because he was terrified of unlocking the shackles.
Xander tried to offer pig's blood to Spike, but each time he was met with disgust and childish stubbornness. He left it within Spike's reach, but it remained untouched.
When Spike passed out mid-sentence while he and Xander were talking, Xander had to pour two glasses of ice-cold water before he woke up again. That night, Xander offered Spike his own blood. Spike grabbed Xander's hand tightly, growled, and told Xander never to make the mistake of offering that again, because he was not always going to have the self-control to turn it down.
Things continued to decline in this way for a while, until Xander decided he was going to do something about it. If Spike was going to continue being so stubborn, he was going to have to take matters into his own hands.
That night, when Giles served him garlic steak for dinner, Xander returned his plate with all the garlic still on it.
He breathed a sigh of relief when he felt Spike let go of his arm.
He almost thought Spike had fallen back asleep until Spike shifted his head closer to Xander and slowly opened his eyes. "Thought I told you not to do that."
Xander laughed and wiped some tears off his face. "Did you? I must not have been listening."
Spike snorted and shut his eyes again. They remained in silence for a few moments. Xander was considering getting up and letting Spike get back to sleep, but he wasn't sure if he could get his legs to function enough for him to do so.
Eventually, Spike lifted an eyelid and spoke again. "Fuck, Xan. What do you eat? Taste like a bleedin' gourmet meal, you do."
Xander blinked, slightly taken aback by the unusual compliment. He assumed it was as close to a 'thank you' as he was going to get. He nodded and winked. "Always expect the best quality at Chez Xander's."