The abrupt interruption wasn't welcome. Xander shifted his gaze from Spike to the hulk standing at the head of the booth, where the
waitress had just been. Xander frowned as he tried to recognize the human. "Er... oh. You're
"Boyfriend. Riley. Riley Finn," Riley corrected, glancing over at Spike. There was a pause as
Riley waited for an introduction. Xander didn't give him one.
"So, uh," the big guy stammered. "Buffy's been wondering where you are."
Xander rolled his eyes, then looked over at Spike. Spike was watching Riley with polite
disinterest. "Tell her I'll call," Xander said.
Riley frowned, but nodded. "Well, see you," he said, and wandered away.
"Another big, dumb, Irish bloke." Spike shook his head. "Can we say 'Angel substitute?'"
"He's going to tell Buffy he saw us, guaranteed," Xander said, tilting his beer to his lips. He
swallowed the watery brew and gestured at Spike with the bottle. "Though since I didn't give him
your name, we shouldn't have any problems. Not that Buff's any threat to you."
"True," Spike said. "I could easily make her my third Slayer." He picked up his amber bottle of
beer. "Funny how that doesn't sound very enticing any longer."
"I wouldn't let you kill her, anyway."
"I thought you trusted me," Spike half-smirked.
"I do. With me," Xander said. "I don't trust you with anyone else."
"Smart boy." Spike sipped his beer and relaxed back into the corner of the booth. "I think it would
be more fun to bed her. Or seduce the Irish Potato away from her. The Slayer is beautiful when
"I thought you wanted to have sex with me?" Xander baited, shoving away the odd hurt he felt as
well as the green tinge of jealousy. "If your reaction to my kiss was any indication, that is."
Spike froze, the beer bottle partway to his mouth. He looked at Xander for a long moment, then
confessed, "I do, but I can't."
Spike shifted his gaze. "Can we not discuss this?"
"No. I want to know why you can't," Xander said firmly. He'd admitted to himself that he liked Spike and now he was being shut down. He didn't like it.
Spike slowly drank his beer, finishing most of the bottle before answering reluctantly. "Because I
trust you, too. Implicitly. And I don't want to lose that just to get my end away."
Xander was surprised, but he understood, since he'd just told Spike the same thing. Complete trust in someone was nearly impossible
to attain. If Spike felt sex would do something to harm that trust...
"Okay, no sex," Xander agreed, raising his bottle in a promising toast. "But you don't know what you're missing."
Spike's mouth twisted in a parody of a smile as he met Xander's eyes. "Oh, I know what I'm
missing. Being kissed by you was quite telling enough."
The pizza and cheese bread arrived then, and the subject was closed.