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TITLE: Vexed Again (1/1)
FEEDBACK: Constructive criticism received with real gratitude. Praise received with mindless dance of joy.
ARCHIVE/DISTRIBUTION:, List Archives, Wherever. Just ask.
SUMMARY: Xander goes looking for trouble. It finds him. Follows 'Wild Again' and 'Beguiled Again'.
SPOILERS: Nope. Set shortly after 'Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered'.
CONTENT/WARNINGS: Dru/X. Ang/X implied
DISCLAIMER: I am not now, nor have I ever been, Numfar. Not even a little bit. Text inside quotation marks inside brackets is from episodes & belongs to magnificent Jossverse writers. The characters are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Kuzui, Sandollar, and David Greenwalt Productions, 20th Century Fox, and whoever else may have a hold upon them. The situation is wholly mine, and I do not mean to infringe upon any copyrights.

He knew that he was pretty much asking for trouble, walking home bare-throated and slayer-less through this particular part of town, but Xander really didn't give a damn. The moon was a paper-pale rind pinned onto the orange-black sky and it afforded precious little illumination, but there were streetlights a-plenty pouring their buttery glow over sidewalks and picket fences alike. He was pretty sure he'd hear whatever came at him in time and he was itching for a fight - something to distract from the ever decreasing circles of feeling angry about feeling guilty about feeling angry about feeling guilty. The fact that he was almost the worst fighter he knew really did nothing to sooth him. Xander Lavelle Harris was royally pissed.

No sound but the soft pad of his own Wal-Mart sneakers on the sunwarmed cement and the muted mutter of applause and canned laughter seeping from the televisions in the sleepy houses he passed. A kid's trike in a driveway. A rusty swing set in a yard across the street. The very picture of suburban innocence. Granted, the paint on the picket fences was peeling away and the brittle grass was gasping for water, but to a casual observer this could be one of the poorer suburbs of Anytown, USA. Xander knew better; in this neighbourhood nobody would come running if you screamed. It was not one of Sunnydale's more salubrious areas. Some of the demons were scared to frequent it.

It had been a busy couple of days on the Hellmouth.

The damnedest thing was that he'd been trying, *really* trying. Possibly the necklace had been overkill, but that was what regular people did, wasn't it? Normal guys got their normal girlfriends romantic gifts for Valentine's Day. This had always been purely theoretical knowledge in the Xanderverse up until now (unless you counted the snarky cards he and Willow used to exchange as part of their two-person Anti-Valentine's-Day Club) but he was sure that it was so. He really had not expected to be dumped.

He was playing the game, dammit; looking for one normal thing in the ridiculous Hammer Horror extravaganza that was high school life in Sunnydale. It wasn't that he loved Cordy - hell, he hardly even liked Cordy - but he liked dating her. And that was *almost* the same thing. Because if he were dating Cordelia Chase, then it was much easier to ignore the constant drip, drip, drip of 'not smart enough', 'not rich enough', 'not cool enough', 'not hot enough', 'not strong enough', 'not man enough', 'not broody enough' - not ever goddamn good enough. He kept right on grinning through every banana skin and bump on the head, through every fresh humiliation, but the whole damn time he could feel the anger slowly building up behind his eyes. He could just about understand what made a lone lunatic start firing randomly from a rooftop on a fine summer's day. At some point you just had to draw a line and say 'no more.' He wasn't there yet. But he could understand how a person could find themselves just snapping like that, even one whose neighbours all thought they were 'such a nice guy.'

But then suddenly, to his own very great surprise, he was basking in a little of the reflected glory of Queen C; and guys who wouldn't even deign to speak to him before all wanted to know his secret. And they were still jerks and he didn't want to try to hang with them, even if they'd have let him - but he was only human. Of course he liked to be seen with her. From can't-get-a-date loser to Cordelia's stud muffin of choice - this was very much of the good, regardless of whether Will and Buffy understood or not. At the end of the day they were both girls - *of course* they weren't going to understand. Jesse would have understood perfectly.

Xander might not be a superhero, but he had Cordy on his arm and that won him a whole bunch of Alpha male bonus points. Until she wasn't on his arm any more.

He paused, suddenly sure that he had caught a flicker of movement over to his right. Stood very still, every muscle quivering with coiled energy - but nothing happened. After several minutes of standing poised like an aggressive shop window mannequin he finally admitted to himself that it might very well have been a cat. He did another quick 360-degree check, but unless a demon had crept up behind him and then disguised itself as a very battered Ford, he was still alone.

So OK, maybe the spell had been a dumb idea, but Xander had been pissed. Then he had been in quick succession smug, then embarrassed, then scared, then smug, then embarrassed, and now he was right back to being pissed again. On the plus side he was back with Cordelia (and there were even tantalising glimpses of a real human girl lurking underneath all the lip gloss and hairspray - although knowing his luck she probably had hidden shallows) but on the minus side he had already tripled his monthly quota of public humiliation.

Then there was The Guilt. The Guilt dogged him everywhere - the wounded look on Willow's face, the tightening of Giles' mouth when he walked into the library, the way Miss Calendar ducked out of his way, the blush staining Amy's cheeks. The rueful half-smile curving Buffy's lips. He was one big walking apology.


And always in the back of his mind there was the *other* thing. The reason he'd been trying that bit too hard with Cordy. But he wasn't going to think about Angelus; denial wasn't just a river in Egypt, it was a Harris family way of life. Not that there were skeletons in their closets, exactly; the Harris skeletons were so far out of the closet they were practically holding their own Mardi Gras. All very dull, very white trash. A litany of not-good-enoughs embodied in the steady trickle of final payment notices coming in and the growing torrent of empty beer cans going out. But you didn't ever talk about it, and you kept the bruises covered up.

So he knew he was asking for it, walking home alone, but Xander was fine with that. Welcomed the clarity of it all - of not having to hold back, not trying to play the game. There was nobody to be angry at except himself right now, but he'd had enough of that. Didn't need any excuse to be pissed at Angelus - so very many there to choose from already. Let him come, then, with his Eviler-than-thou black leather pants and his lame-ass quips. Xander wanted to feel something other than this maddeningly bland Chinese water torture of guilt and inadequacy.

But it was Drusilla who found him.

Turned out he wasn't ready at all. The tickle of cool breath upon the nape of his neck was Xander's only warning, the merest instant before strong, slender fingers tangled in his hair and a ridiculously un-Californian voice filled his ears.

She was barely a bite away.

"You made me see you," she said by way of explanation, after he had done with the jumping and yelling and pulling away from her unresisting caress to stand facing her armed with a big old stake-shaped empty space. This wasn't how it had supposed to unfold; he had expected it to be in the shadows somewhere. He had also expected it to be Angelus; fighting a woman was not how he'd planned on spending his evening. Not that she was a woman, but even hitting a demon *shaped* like a woman seemed so very, very wrong to Xander -this in spite of the fact that he knew she could take out half the Razorbacks squad with one lily white hand tied behind her back.

She had stood up to Angelus for him, of course, outside the Summers' House, which was kind of nice of her in a twisted vamp way. Other than the whole offering-to-drain-his-blood-and-steal -his-soul part of the deal. He still wasn't entirely sure whether Angelus would have killed him, if she hadn't appeared, or whether the vampire had had something else in mind. They had been playing - well, whatever game it was they were playing, for a while now. Xander still didn't know what the rules were, but he didn't think Angelus was just going to kill him. Surely he'd have done that by now, if it were going to happen. Wouldn't he? But you couldn't tell with Angelus.

Drusilla frowned at him and her eyes abruptly yellowed as fangs sprang out and her pale brow grew bumpy.

The familiar bloom of fear swept away any lingering thoughts of guilt or frustration. Ah - this would be that clarity he'd been looking for. Unfortunately now that he had it, what Xander realised most clearly was that he wanted to be tucked up at home in bed worrying about nothing more life-threatening than his wounded pride.

"You put strange things inside my head," said Dru, her tone thoroughly disapproving. "Naughty boy. Only Daddy's allowed to do that. Such a nasty trick to play on a poor girl!"

Xander stared at her and realised abruptly that she really was completely and thoroughly nuts in a way that not even Angelus came near. He had no idea what she planned, but he knew that he would feel bad about hitting her. Right before she broke his neck.

Once again the Xander Lavelle Harris patented Big Stupid Plan skills were coming to fruition in a spectacularly bad way. Go walk on the wild side, Xander. Go looking for a fight with a vampire, Xander. Are you familiar with the word 'Duh!' at all, Xander?

"About that spell, thing?" he said, grinning weakly and raising his hands in a vaguely placatory fashion. "Can I just take this moment to tell you how really, *really* sorry I am about that?"

He was apologising to a *vampire*? Hello? Earth to Harris?

"I mean, who knew it would all go so horribly wrong? I was really just trying to get my girlfriend to like me again after she went and dumped me at the Valentine's Dance just when I was really starting to like her, or at least maybe like her, if the Cordy that I sometimes think I see is really the real Cordelia Chase and not just a figment of my overactive imagination, because it's so difficult to know whether the girl I'm necking is this secretly lonely and rather sweet little rich girl who just acts like a hard case when really she's got a heart of gold, or if that's all just a projection of my romantic teenage ideals and she really does have a hide like a rhino and less compassion than Atilla the Hun. Although actually you probably don't really care about all that, do you? No. Right. So why don't I just head on back to my house and let you get back to, ah, whatever busy vamp business you about before I so rudely walked down the street you were using. I'll just be on my way. Nice bumping into you again. And I really am sorry about that magic thing, by the way."

"Why didn't I see you before?" she asked, studying him with the open curiosity of a small boy peering at a new kind of spider. The vamp features had fallen away again, which was obviously a relief but also a little puzzling. She wasn't pretending to breathe and her earnest face was paler than the silver sliver of moon that curved high above her left shoulder. It was a strange face, the planes as sharp and eerily still as if she had been carved out of soap or wax or marble. He found himself staring at it when he really should have been making with the staking or, since he didn't have a stake to hand, running like hell.

"You hide behind Daddy's Slayer all the time, but she doesn't see you either. Nobody sees you. They think you're all soft and spongy, but you're made out of flint. Pretty sharp edges perfect for drawing blood or starting fires." She smiled and reached out one waxen finger to smooth his eyebrow into place. "You can't see yourself, can you? All your mirrors lie. But I can see you. Look into my eyes."

She really did have the most amazing eyes. Not that she was pretty, really; not like Cordy or Buffy. Drusilla was actually kind of funny looking - in an attractive way, but funny looking just the same. She didn't look like she'd have ever been picked for a cheerleading squad back when she had a pulse, even if they'd had cheerleading back then which of course they didn't, especially not in England and, God, she really had the most extraordinary eyes...

And soon he didn't see the waning moon or the ratty houses with their tatty picket fences. He didn't see the white lace framing her sharp collarbones or the serious line of her mouth. He didn't see the soft fall of flawless tar-black hair glistening in the amber light. Xander was utterly lost in the depths of Drusilla's dark eyes.

Buffy was finally kissing him. He couldn't quite remember how all this had come to pass, but if it was a dream he really didn't want to wake up any time soon. It didn't feel like a dream, though; it was full Surround Sound, Technicolor, Taste-o-vision Buffy kissage and all Xander's previous dreams of Buffy kissage paled into insignificance beside the marvellous melting pressure of her satiny little lips on his and her hungry tongue sweeping through his mouth.

She didn't taste at all how he'd expected. Her saliva was cool and slightly sour and it turned out that she kissed a lot like Angelus. Which was weird, when it was a slim girl-body up against his torso and a tiny Buffynose brushing against his face; but it made plenty of sense. She'd spent an awful lot of time locking lips with Deadboy back before she started locking hips with him and swapped her virginity for his humanity. She was very strong; he'd known that, of course, but the reality was pretty impressive. Fingers kneading his scalp and shoulders like some kind of strange new martial-massage-art-form while her skinny little legs wrapped right around his waist and her pelvis ground against him. Gotta love those SlayGal muscles.

Her nails were a lot sharper than they looked.

And then, dear God in heaven, there was nakedness. Bonafide Buffy nakedness - and by bona, he meant boner, and by boner he meant porn. Xander could barely breathe.

This was all his sweet dreams of sunshine and goodness and affection and honeyed words. Not like the other. That had been so very, very wrong - that had been all about darkness and self destruction and parts of his Xander-ness that he didn't want to think about. Fucking a vampire. A male vampire. A very male vampire. Just too dirty and downright unbelievable to think about in the sunlight. And Buffy was all about the sunlight, with the impossibly silken hair brushing his mouth and tickling his throat. The things he had done with Angelus - had had done to him by Angelus -they were just the memory of a bad dream. This was his reward for being so damn loyal and reliable and supportive all the way through. For being New Man about getting his ass saved by a little slip of a blond girl. For dealing with the discovery that demons were real without going postal about it.

Skin against his skin. Cooler than he'd have expected but so strong and supple and eager against him that it was only one more exciting layer to the whole sensation of finally getting the girl. The right girl. The one he'd wanted all along. And her breasts in his large hands were small and firm and utterly marvellous, the nipples poking into his warm, dry palms like little fingers, rasping against his skin and making him moan in unthinking pleasure. When her hand slipped inside his waist band and found his cock Xander felt he could die happy. Only he'd really rather live and get a whole lot happier. He was terrified that she was going to stop and it would all turn out to have been some sort of misunderstanding but she was looking right into his eyes and smiling as her soft little fingers ran along his shaft. Possibly someone or something had already killed him and this was heaven. Kissing Buffy. Fucking Buffy.

Couldn't quite remember how they'd gotten here - it wasn't her bedroom or his bedroom, but it was *a* bedroom and that was more than enough. He let her pull the shirt over his head and felt oddly self-conscious in a way that he hadn't ever done with Angelus (don't think about that, that never happened) because this was *Buffy* and so it really meant something. It meant everything.

And the imprint of her cold fingertip on the weeping slit was better than anything he had imagined. The tiniest pulse of movement, circling, tugging the skin gently around before her hand slid back down the shaft, finding and weighing his balls and he was bucking under her, wanting to be naked and in her now, now, right this moment now. Lips travelling across his torso; tongue painting some elaborate design onto his skin; teeth tugging at the sharp peak of a nipple and making him cry out; fingers tiptoeing around under his clothing and tracing patterns over his cock. Each tiny movement sent shivers of helpless electricity through him, pressure building up agonisingly in his belly. Heard himself whimpering and bit down hard on his full lower lip..

"Please..?" he said; a groan gift-wrapped in consonants.

She laughed, a sound that was pure affectionate delight, promising fulfilment of his wildest wet dreams. And he should never have let Angelus touch him, he knew that now more than ever; but it had all turned out okay after all, thank God, oh thank God. Perhaps that had all been a dream, because -

Oh -

Oh! -

The part of his brain devoted to forming rational thought decided to have a nice lie down and let Xander have some quality time with his penis and its new best friend. A short burst of ungainly wriggling with Buffy's hands yanking at his clothes and then Xander's pants were rucked down around his ankles; and he must look pretty dumb right now, but really who gave a flying fuck about that? He wasn't starring in a porn film, he was - merciful Zeus, he was Having Sex With Buffy. Nothing of self-hatred about this, nothing shameful or desperate or any of the other dark things he'd come to associate with sex. This was a celebration and a prize; this was tender and sweet and luscious and loving. Buffy's mouth nuzzling his navel, licking through the coarse curls and then - sharply indrawn breath, shuddering groan - then slipping up along the underside of his cock and sliding ticklishly around the swollen head so that it jerked like a sticky fish and rubbed against her chin.

And then lips closing around his erection and the almost unbearable pleasure of this wet and intimate caress. Suction that had him shuddering helplessly under her, all his wisecracks vanished and nothing remaining but this trembling need. Defences and artifice all stripped away, leaving him raw and fragile and tender under her tongue, hopeless and adoring. He belonged to her, entirely to her; he would die for her and kill for her - there simply weren't words to say how much Xander worshipped Buffy right now. She had saved him. Again.

He could feel the familiar tightening pressure and knew that he was going to come soon - which was embarrassing and disappointing, because he wanted to make her happy and be a good lover and like the guys in the movies who lasted for hours and hours, but he was a teenage boy and this was So. Damned. Good that he wasn't going to be able to keep from coming...but then Buffy squeezed the base of his cock and made him gasp in almost-pain. He backed down from the brink and stared pleadingly into her pale eyes.

"Naughty boy," she said patiently. "Not yet, you silly thing." And she crawled up over him, pressing him back onto the covers, her tight little nipples grazing trails of icy fire up his torso, her skin scraping softly over his bobbing erection until her mouth found his mouth and then her wet pussy was pressing up against his balls and his shaft and for once he couldn't think of a single thing to say. Large hands found her breasts and played with them like they were the best of all possible toys, pulling at the hard nipples until she gasped. Felt her fingers wrapping around his wet cock and then she was pulling him into her and his world contracted to the sweet sopping squeeze of her cunt clenched around him. His ass bucking up off the mattress but she was completely in control, her body swaying around in hypnotically slow circles as she squeezed him painfully tight with her pelvic muscles. He gasped her name and she let out a sudden peal of laughter and shifted gear, started riding him like a pony; her powerful-skinny thighs pinning him down as she impaled herself on his rigid cock, grinding her short silky curls into the dark nest of his pubic hair and then bouncing up until he almost slipped out altogether before slamming herself back down. He found her rhythm and matched it, carried along by the punishing pace she was setting and gasping out her name like a mantra.

So good. So good - Christ -

"And what have we here?"

Xander was still trying to place the terribly familiar voice when the world shifted and he stared uncomprehendingly at Buffy's altered face. Not Buffy's face.

He was fucking Drusilla.

"He followed me home, Daddy," she said, smiling wickedly at someone behind Xander as she continued to ride him and the ferociously tight clasp of her cunt made him moan again, torn between rapture and despair. "Can I keep him?"

"I won't take any more of your insolence, my girl," said Angelus in a warning tone. The voice made Xander shiver. He squirmed ineffectually under Drusilla but found himself completely unable to budge her; she was really very strong. All his efforts only served to make her moan and wriggle with lascivious delight, and sent more waves of inappropriate pleasure surging through his body. He was half astonished that he was still hard in the circumstances - chalk another triumph for the teenage penis. He was evidently getting too damned used to experiencing terror and desire simultaneously - the joys of adolescence on the Hellmouth.

Angelus stalked slowly into view, an appreciative expression on his face. Shit. Shit. He had meant to find Angelus, admittedly, but not like this. Xander could not bear the realisation that it had all been a lie - all that sunshine and affection and wish fulfilment just an illusion conjured up by the mad vampire who was still straddling him. He felt his soul shrivelling under Angelus' knowing gaze.

"Thought you were finally having a go with Buff, did you?" Bastard. Xander had never felt so naked in all his short life. Angelus leaned forward, one hand idly petting Drusilla's hair as she writhed in slow circles, grinding her fingers against her clitoris with each roll of her skinny hips. "Never gonna happen, Xander. Not in a million years. You're the dufus who trips over his own feet and has to be rescued from the big bad wolf. The nice, unthreatening Boy Next Door that everyone's mom likes and nobody wants to date."

And that wasn't true, damn it all. But it felt true. He watched as Angelus' roving fingers travelled down to stroke Drusilla's bobbing breast and twist her nipple sharply. She cried out in delighted pain and renewed her zealous attentions to Xander's cock, her slick pelvic muscles crushing around him almost too hard, making him groan helplessly under her. He was going to come, and probably get his throat ripped out for his troubles. Right now that seemed almost appealing.

"Except you aren't really nice, are you? You aren't nice at all. But Buffy would never lay a finger on you, Alexander Harris; and certainly never lay you. This is as good as it gets - and it's already more than you deserve." His large hands were running up and down Drusilla's bare torso, stroking her like a cat, and Xander found himself disturbingly aroused by the sight. Remembered exactly how those hands had felt on him. A beat later there was no remembering involved -the long fingers had travelled down to the sticky nexus of conjoined flesh and was exploring their meshed genitals. Angelus slid one digit inside Drusilla and then another, never taking his eyes of Xander's as the thick fingers wriggled up against Xander's cock in the tight wet channel of her cunt and his thumb smashed into her clit. Drusilla screamed and bounced; and the convulsive spasming of her muscles were more than Xander could take. He came with his eyes closed, unable to recapture the belief that he was with Buffy but still scrabbling to deny the truth.

After an unbearably long moment he felt the almost-painful sensation of withdrawing from Drusilla. Heard her feet slapping on the floor, followed by a giggle and the quick smack of a kiss. Angelus. He still didn't open his eyes.

Heard Angelus laughing quietly and then the familiar hiss of a belt being tugged free.

"Very pretty. Now it's my turn."

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