A week after the party Xander
and Spike had found an apartment. It was in an old, renovated house, close to
Xander's work and Giles' place, and they had the whole top floor to themselves. It
had two large bedrooms, a smallish kitchen, and a large-ish living room. Only
one bathroom, but that had a huge claw-foot tub plus a separate shower stall, so it was worth the sacrifice of having to take
turns. It had a balcony (that was actually part of the roof, which meant Xander
didn't have to yell at Spike for smoking inside) and it faced North, so it wasn't
too sunny for a Vampire. They loved it.
The kicker, and the thing that had Xander cursing his evil parents, was that rent was the exact same as he had been
paying for the piece of shit basement hed been living in.
Friday morning Xander had signed
for the place and picked up the keys. After work he had gone and picked out some
heavy curtains and installed them, so Spike wouldn't have to worry about stray sunlight while they were moving in. He'd picked out some heavy black cotton ones for the living room, some deep crimson velvet ones for Spike's
rooms (the Vampire had yet to see them, and Xander wondered if hed say anything) and some dark blue velvet for his room, because
he had realized after putting up Spike's curtains that the velvet looked pretty cool.
That night Xander and Spike stayed up all night packing, grinning like maniacs and singing along to Spikes sex pistols
c.d.s. About an hour or so before sunrise Xander looked around and realized that
they were almost done.
somehow I didnt expect packing to be that easy."
Spike straightened up with a groan
and glared at the brunette, "Easy! Pet, you own more crap than any one human
Xander stuck his tongue
out, "If you ask me, anyone who's lived for a hundred and twenty years and can still fit what he owns in his pockets is just
"That's a hundred and twenty-six,
thank you very much. Besides, helps not to own much when your life demands that
you leave town at a moments notice."
Xander laughed and looked
at his watch, "Are you about ready to go? The sun'll be up soon."
"Yeah, I'm all set. What should I take?"
Xander pointed to a pitifully
small pile marked Kitchen. "Those boxes there, and if you have room, the box
of bathroom stuff. That way you can set up the important rooms while you wait
for the rest of us."
The two carried the boxes out
to Spike's car and Spike ducked back into the basement to get his duster. The
blonde Vampire remerged from the basement, patting down the pockets of his coat and frowning in confusion. "Pet, you seen my keys?"
Xander tried to look innocent. "They're on your key chain."
Spike looked confused, "I don't
have a key chain."
A smile broke out on Xander's
face, "You do now."
Spike watched as the boy pulled
something out of his pocket and tossed it towards him. He caught it reflexively,
and then looked at it. A black leather and silver key chain rested in his palm,
with the monogram Big Bad embossed on it. From it hung two keys, one he recognized
as the key to his Desoto, the other, "Is this the apartment key?"
"Yup. Since you have two whole keys now, you adult you, I figured you needed something to keep them on."
Spike grinned, "Cheers, mate."
"Consider it a housewarming gift."
Spike frowned, "But I didn't get
Xander waved him off, "Don't worry
about it. I'm just glad you agreed to move in with me, kept me from all that
Spike climbed into the car and
started it up, "Well then, see you when you get home, roomy."
Xander flashed his roommate a
huge smile, "See you then."
After Spike left, Xander
went back into the basement and looked around in satisfaction, only a few more hours and I won't ever have to see this
place again. Xander threw the last few things in a box and headed for the
bathroom, stripping out of his clothes as he went. Gods, I reek. I'm surprised Spike didn't say anything, I smell like a gor'thak demon turned inside out. Xander closed the bathroom door, and turned on the water as hot as he could stand it. He climbed in happily and sighed with pleasure as the achingly hot water soothed his sore muscles. After a few minutes of luxuriating in the heat, he grabbed the soap. Running his hands over his chest, Xander suddenly realized it. He
was alone. The brunette smiled to himself and ran his hands lower; I haven't
been alone in the place for weeks! Knowing what he knew about Vampire's sensitive
noses and keen hearing, he had been oddly reluctant to jerk off in the shower. Spike
probably wouldn't tease me, much. But still.
Also, the fact that he's the subject of some of these shower fantasies doesn't make it any more comfortable. Despite his acceptance of Spike as just a friend Xander couldnt deny himself the occasional
fantasy, maybe it's because it'll never happen that makes it so tempting, plus he's fucking HOT, he thought idly to
himself as his right hand trailed ever lower. His left hand stayed at his chest,
tugging lightly on his nipples, teasing them gently, and adding in the occasional hard pinch, while his right hand firmly
grasped his now hard length. He groaned softly at the contact, and then reminded
himself he didn't have to be quiet, so he groaned louder. Hand slick with soap,
he set up an easy pace, stroking the length, running his thumb over the head on each upward stroke. Images of Spike flashed through his mind, the blond sprawled indolently on the couch, gesturing wildly
at whatever was pissing him off on the TV, the ice blue eyes staring at him through thick lashes. Xander pressed his forehead to the cool tile and wondered what the Vampires skin would feel like, cool
and silky under his hands, how that smart mouth would look wrapped around his cock.
A desperate gasp escaped his lips at the thought, and he sped up, gripping tighter around his throbbing cock and pumping
faster. He pulled roughly on his hard nipples and recalled his favorite image
of Spike, how the blond had looked earlier in the week, when he had stepped out of the bathroom after showering, a small towel
wrapped loosely around his slender waist, hair dripping, water rolling down his pale chest...a few fast, almost violent yanks
and Xander was coming all over his hand, crying out Spike's name as his body shuddered with his release.
The brunette leaned against
the wall, limply letting the water run over him, Okay Harris, it doesnt matter how hot the man is, he's your friend and
roommate, and that is the absolutely last time you get to fantasize about him. I
mean, come on, what if, miracle of miracles you actually get a boyfriend? How
would he feel if you scream out an evil undead guy's name during sex? With
a sigh Xander finished his shower and dried off. He made sure the last of the
towels and his dirty clothes were packed, before pulling on some clean clothes, and laying down on the couch. The gang will be over in a coupleof hours; I'd better sleep while I can.
In what seemed like only
minutes from when Xander had laid down and closed his eyes, Buffy, Dawn, Willow and Tara were knocking on his front door,
all disgustingly bright eyed and chipper. The moving frenzy commenced. Boxes and furniture were loaded into the pickup Xander had borrowed from work. Giles met them at the new apartment with a box of donuts and coffee, causing Xander to cheer that for once
he was not the donut boy. Boxes and furniture were unloaded, and Spike and Dawn
stayed to unpack while the others went back for the rest. Three trips later and
it was all moved.
Buffy accompanied Xander
to pick up his only new piece of furniture so far, a new queen size bed. As they
loaded the bed into the truck, Buffy eyed Xander suspiciously.
"And why are we buying a
brand new bed? You and Spike celebrating your honeymoon?"
Xander just laughed, "Actually
Buff, now that I actually have a living room I figured I could use my couch for the purpose it was intended, and sleep in
a real bed for once. Besides, Spike has his own room." Xander looked puzzled, "Actually he doesn't have a bed yet, I offered to buy him one but he said not to
bother. Huh, maybe he will wanna share."
Buffy looked shocked and
Xander stuck his tongue out, "Puh-lease. As if.
Get it through your head Buffster, he's not interested in me, or any guy for that matter."
They finished loading the
bed and headed back to the apartment. Buffy turned and look at Xander, "You know, all joking aside, you two have gotten really
close. I never thought of Spike as like, you know, a friend type of person."
"I know. It's strange. At first I hated the guy. But after he got chipped, and we had to hang around him, it's like we got to know what Spike is like when
he isn't trying to be the baddest thing on two legs. And living together, I've
just got to know him more. The more I know him the happier I am that the Initiative
thing happened, 'cuz if it wasnt for them, either you or Spike would have killed the other, and instead I've got the first
guy friend I've had in years."
Buffy tucked a stray strand of
hair behind her ear and glanced over at Xander.
you ever think about what happens when he gets the chip out?"
Xander sighed, "Yeah, but I try
not to. I mean, I would hope that he would care about us enough to not turn on
us, or turn us for that matter. But I don't doubt that he would start killing
again. Thats just who he is, he's a Vampire, a killer, it's what he does. But when you think about it, it's what we do too.
We're all killers; does it matter if it's demons and vamps or humans? So
I suppose in that way we can't judge him too harshly."
Buffy laid a hand on his arm and
smiled a too-knowing smile. "It's hard to care about someone like that. And you really do care about him, dont you?"
Xander smiled sadly, not even
trying to joke his way out of it. "That's me, unrequited feelings guy." He patted her hand, "Don't worry about me Buffy, I'm grateful for the friendship. I've had such fucked up relationships, everything from my no-good parents to demonic
girlfriends, that I'm willing to take whatever I can get thats healthy and mutual. If
it wasn't for you and Wills, who knows what I'd have ended up like?"
Xander was watching the road,
so he couldn't see Buffys expression, but he heard her sniff, and was eternally grateful that they were just driving up to
the apartment, as glad as he was for the emotional bonding thing, he couldn't take it if she started crying for him.
He took his time positioning the
truck just so, in case she needed to pull herself together. The others, at least
those who weren't allergic to sunlight, came downstairs to help carry the bed in. Soon
it was in and set up and Xander just took a moment to walk around the apartment and stare.
His room had the bed as a centerpiece, a bedside table and dresser, a bookshelf even; he'd just have to unpack his
clothes and stuff later. The bathroom was already set up, thanks to Spike and
the girls, though he made a mental note to buy a curtain for the tub, and a bathroom rug.
The kitchen was set up as well, though admittedly they didn't have much of anything to unpack. Right, buy kitchen stuff too. The living room had a
coffee table, couch, and two chairs, even though they were the crappy, beat up set from his basement. The TV stood on an old stand he'd scavenged from somewhere and the stereo was set in a corner, on account
of them not having shelves for it yet. Spike caught Xanders eye as he scanned
the room and they shared a conspirital grin, both thinking, 'It's ours! All ours!'
Xander wandered over and flopped
on the couch next to Willow. "So, what do you all think?"
Buffy picked at the ragged
arm of the couch, "Well, you could use some new furniture, but the apartment is really cute Xan. I like it lots."
Xander ignored the dig at
his ancient furniture and focused on the complement, "Thanks Buff. If we ever
strike it rich and decide to redecorate, you'll be the first person we call."
Willow leaned over and turned
her best puppy dog eyes on Xander. "Xaaander, we've been moving all morning, its like, afternoon already. Were hungry! Feed us!"
Xander wrapped an arm around his
friend and gave her a hug. "Sure thing Wills, what time is it anyway?" He checked his watch, "3:00pm. Wow! We really have been working awhile. I didn't even notice."
Spike rolled his eyes, "You
mean to say that you didn't even notice you'd missed lunch? Blimey, something
must be wrong with you."
Giles actually joined in the teasing,
much to everyone's surprise, "I tend to agree with Spike, Xander. For you to
go more than a few hours without eating is unheard of, perhaps you had better see a doctor."
They all laughed, then got
down to the serious business of ordering pizza. Soon they were all happily stuffing
themselves and discuss the best way to arrange Xander and Spike's sparse furniture.
During a relatively quite
moment Spike glanced at the rest of the group, "So, when's our party? And how
can I be sure you're gonna get us good pressies?"
Willow laughed at the Vampire,
"Spike, you don't get to decide what we get you. You get to be surprised, thats
part of the fun."
Spike looked affronted, "Why not? I can make you a list."
This time it was Tara who shook
her head, "Nope, no list. Don't worry though, we've just helped unpack your entire
apartment, I think we have a pretty good idea of what you two need."
Buffy rolled her eyes, "Yeah,
like a kitchen. How on earth do you two cook?"
Spike scoffed at what he
obviously considered a stupid question, "It doesn't take a lot of skill to microwave a mug of blood or a frozen dinner. Besides, I wouldn't trust the Whelp to do more than boil water."
Xander pretended to be insulted,
"Hey! I can cook. I can cook all
sorts of things."
Giles eyed Xander disbelievingly,
"Really, do tell Xander, what exactly can you cook?"
Xander sniffed, "Well, I can cook
"Heat up canned soup, you mean."
Xander glared at his roommate
and continued, "And waffles,"
Xander glared harder, "And pizza."
"Calling for delivery doesn't
count as cooking."
Xander thought for a moment, "Eggs! I can cook eggs!"
"Congratulations Whelp, you can
cook something that doesn't come in a can or frozen in a plastic tray."
Xander stuck his tongue out at
the Vampire and pelted him with a pizza crust.
"Oi! Watch it, you could hurt
a bloke with that."
The girls laughed and Giles smiled,
"At least it's not my living room bearing the brunt of the food fights anymore."
Spike threatened Xander with a
couch pillow, and then turned back to Willow. "So seriously Red, whens our party?"
Xander shook his head at his roommate;
the Vampire really did have a one-track mind.
Willow just smiled at the impatient
Vampire, "When do you guys want to have the party?"
Xander thought about it, ignoring
Spikes suggestion of 'Right bloody now, hand over the pressies.'
"Next Friday, Wills. That way we can finish unpacking and I won't have to worry about work the next day or anything."
After everyone had left
and the sun had set, Spike and Xander headed out to the nearest 24 hour Wal-Mart and stocked up. They returned home, several hours later, with Xander several hundred dollars poorer, but now they had sheets
and towels and ice cream, and beer and important stuff like that. The two men
kept grinning at each other moronically as they finished unpacking and fixed themselves dinner. They settled down on the couch, they still didn't have a table, and Xander eyed Spike over his frozen dinner.
"So Spike, what exactly
are you going to do about furniture?"
Spike rolled his eyes, "I told
you not to worry Whelp, I'll get myself set up."
Xander nodded, then gestured around
the sparse living room. "As soon as I get another paycheck, we'll see about getting better furniture."
As Xander went to bed that
night, in his own real bed, in his own apartment, with his roommate and friend just down the hall, Xander thought that his
life probably couldn't have gotten any better.