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No Poetry

by Kyra Cullinan

[Story Headers]
     "There's no poetry between us, said the paper to the pen." 
     -- Gareth Jules 

Xander knows about basements. The list of things he can reliably call himself something of an expert on is short enough that he takes anything he can get: Willowbabble, drywalling really well and the way it feels to live somewhere where the ceiling always creaks overhead. To exist sort of below the radar, underneath everyone else, and he'd never admit how long it took him to get used to the big windows in his new apartment. The ceiling fans instead of rafters and piping.

And it's kind of nice, secretly, to have something that's all his, even if it is a musty, fold-out bed kind of thing. There's a reason he moved to the basement after his highschool career ended in its own explosive way. A step up in the world, even if it was literally a step down. Space of his own for the first time, and he suspects he'll always feel a little nostalgic for the vague, cool dankness cement walls breathe, the cranky rattle of a washing machine in the corner. Not in a "hey, what a great segment of my life" kind of way but it's, like, his thing. Sort of comforting.

The problem is, though, they're supposed to be his thing, but it never works out like that. Well, nothing ever works out the way he thinks it will, but the basement thing gets fucked up for one specific reason. Because somehow, there Spike always, always is. Tied to the chair in his parent's house, of course, pain-in-the-assing it up in Xander's only (semi-)private space. And it's like one of the two of them got stuck on the image. Because there Spike was, busy being crazy in the basement of the new highschool, Xander's basement, because hey, he built it, knew the plans inside out and upside down, at least before the walls decided to start moving around on their own, about which he's still a little bitter. And no sooner is he out of there than it's Xander, why don't you let Spike stay with you again for a while? Until that blows up and now here he is, brooding around the Revello Street cellar itself, all chains and angst.

Giles got back today with two new potentials from Canada and already there have been three squabbles about where they're going to sleep. The last one got halted by Buffy herself launching into an earnest speech equating sleeping arrangements to destiny, and that's when Xander wandered off. He'd go back to his own place but it's almost as crowded and he'd doubtless have to take four people who would rather be there than here and promise to bring back salt & vinegar chips for Andrew and oh, if he's going to the store could he grab Willow the new Scientific American? Also, Anya would like to know why he left her at the altar.

All in all, it's far easier to slip silently down to the basement, forgetting it won't be empty even here. Spike's asleep, sprawled nearly indecently under a sheet but he starts and turns over as Xander clatters down the last few steps and groans.

"What the hell are you doing here?" he asks, even though it's a stupid question, something he should have expected. Spike, always infuriating, takes his time yawning and answers with another question. Same question.

"What are you doing here? Come for another round of rough and tumble with your bird? I could smell the two of you for days last time, you know. Vampire senses, gotta think"

Xander shuts his eyes.

"Fuck you, Spike."

"You wish," Spike shoots back, and oh god, it's going to be one of these days.

"You know, contrary to your own deluded beliefs, not everyone in the world wants a piece of your bony ass, peroxide head." As soon as he says it he realizes it's a tactical error, the perfect opening and that if Spike says anything about either Buffy or Anya he's going to find himself punching him.

For once in his life, though, Spike apparently decides not to say the absolute worst thing possible.

"Denial's a pathetic look on you," he drawls instead. "You don't even know what you're missing out on." Okay, second worst thing.

"God, Spike, do you take lessons on how to be annoying?" he says, leaning his head on the wall. "Or is this, like, a new kind of crazy you're--"

Spike kisses him. Sudden and hard and Xander's eyes fly open, along with his mouth, which means -- well, fuck, this is different and just which part of him decided to kiss Spike back? 'cause that seems to be what he's doing now, if that's what you call this hot tongue teeth grappling thing. His head is still against the wall and Spike is managing to be everywhere in front of him at once so he can't pull away even as his air starts to run out. Spike stops the kiss a second before too long and his smug grin makes it perfectly clear he knows it. Smug, nonbreathing bastard.

"Okay," Xander's mouth is saying. "So I guess Interview With a Vampire wasn't exaggerating on the homoeroticism front, huh?"

"Shut up, Harris," Spike says as Xander mentally tells himself the same thing, and this time he's not sure who starts the kiss. It's ... different. Interesting. Not at all the kind of bad they imply it will be when they train you to staunch heterosexism. He could maybe get used to this, and before his brain's managed to catch up with that thought, Spike's hand is on his crotch, managing to be insufferably confident with a practiced flick of the wrist. This is a bona fide four alarm situation and even as Xander's brain is shouting for a full-speed backpedal his cock has decided to become extremely interested in this whole turn of events. Just as he's wondering if he should maybe reciprocate, if there's an etiquette to this kind of thing, Spike's mouth and hand both pull away leaving him gasping and strangely cold.

Right, okay, so maybe for a single solitary time in his life he can do the smart thing, back away from a stupid situation instead of going at it 110%. But before he can make a move toward that goal, his fly's being pulled down, air cool on his cock as it springs free, and oh god, why do these sudden, fucked up situations always happen to him and why does he inevitably respond by getting harder than should be humanly possible?

"Spike," he says with his last shard of rational thought. "Are-- is--" Doesn't get any farther because Spike's slithered down between his legs and swallowed him whole.

Once, when Willow was still drowning her sorrows over Oz skipping town, she got drunk enough to confess to Xander that Oz had thought he, Xander, was maybe a little bit gay. This tidbit of information had been filed away beside Larry's similar, unfortunate conviction and the details of the not-exactly-Ladies'-Night stripping incident to the section of Xander's brain he purposefully doesn't examine. Right now his brain is insisting that it doesn't see any reason to break that particular boundary when what Spike's doing with his mouth feels so amazing.

He can't figure out if the blowjob is this ... wow because Spike's super-experienced or doesn't have to breathe or if it's just a guy thing, but he tangles his fingers in the sheets and tries not to say anything he'll regret. Watches Spike's head bob, lips brushing pubic hair until Spike glances up, big eyes through flutter of lashes and catches him. Xander jerks his gaze away embarrassedly and for no good reason at all suddenly thinks of where else Spike's mouth has probably been and holy Christ that's about the worst thought he's ever had in a lifetime of bad thoughts. And then there's no more thinking at all because he's making an embarrassing noise as he comes.

Spike swallows noiselessly, sits back on his heels and wipes his mouth while Xander breathes, comes back to himself. Opens his eyes to Spike flopping down on the mattress beside him and only then does he notice that Spike's naked, half a second after he realizes Spike is hard. It's an impressive kind of feeling, knowing he caused that, same inside whoosh that comes with making a girl wet. Cock bobbing against his stomach and Xander reaches for him, brushes a thumb over the head and takes it in hand. The angle's wrong, though, awkward and potentially messy so Xander pats the space between his own legs.

"Come here," he says, and Spike does, hesitantly. Settles back once he realizes, bare shoulders against Xander's t-shirt and Xander spits in his palm, reaches around and jerks Spike quick and steady. More familiarity and weirdness all tangled up together and it doesn't take long for Spike to buck his hips and come, messy and silent.

Xander disentangles himself, tears off a handful of paper towels from above the dryer and hands them to Spike to clean himself up. Feels like he should say something but he doesn't know what, realizes with a kind of heaviness that this has changed nearly exactly nothing. Just one more thing for his personal list of messed up weirdness in a world where he's engaged and then not, has sex with his ex, loses his virginity to the hottest, craziest girl in town, cheats on his first girlfriend with his best friend. Twenty-two years old and he's given up on asking himself why he does absolutely any of the things he does. Can't possibly imagine what will happen next.

Spike is looking away, lighting a cigarette and Xander sits down on the other end of the bed.

"Doesn't mean I don't love--" he says in that new voice, the somber tortured soul one and Xander cuts him off.

"I know," he says and bites his tongue on any comments about newcomer love, how Spike doesn't know anything about being in it for the long haul.

Upstairs, Kennedy is shouting. Someone drops something heavy -- the mace? -- and the backdoor slams, another half dozen feet clattering into the kitchen. Andrew's whine rises and falls, wordless through the ceiling. The toilet flushes. Spike blows smoke rings, looking falsely casual except when he glances over to see if Xander's noticed.

In just a minute Xander's going to go upstairs and fix the shower curtain, ask Buffy if she needs anything from the store, turn down at least three requests for use of his credit card to order pizza, see if Dawn got home from school okay, snark halfheartedly at Anya or maybe kiss her. Molly shrieks. He thinks he smells something burning. Spike sinks a little lower into the mattress.

Any minute now.


(feedback is better than pillowtalk: kyrac@sympatico.ca)

http://narrowstreets.net
kyrac@sympatico.ca
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Fandom:  Buffy
Title:  No Poetry
Author:  Kyra Cullinan   [email]   [website]
Details:  Standalone  |  NC-17  |  *slash*  |  10k  |  04/20/04
Pairings:  Spike/Xander
Summary:  There's no poetry between us, said the paper to the pen.
Notes:  written for wiseacress for the 2003 Secret Slasha challenge.
spoilers: late s7

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