Mentally Unstable Thumb-Sucking Pussycat


by Saber ShadowKitten
Tiny Smiles 10






Spike had mail.

The envelope was addressed to William Barstow from the State of California. Xander stared at the piece of mail, wondering what it could be. Spike never got mail, aside from the occasional "Mrs. Xander Harris" advertisements Xander teasingly gave him. [Maybe he won the State Lotto. Boy, would that be welcome now, after spending all my savings refurbishing the apartment.]

Xander unlocked the new management-approved deadbolt on the door, then unlocked the new management-approved doorknob lock with a second key, allowing him into the apartment. "Hey, I'm home," he announced as he entered.

Spike, tucked into the corner of the couch, replaced television blaring Saturday afternoon soccer, stared at Xander for a long, tense moment before popping his glistening thumb into his mouth and turning his attention back to the program. Xander clenched his jaw, slowly resetting the locks and removing his coat to give himself a little time to calm down.

It had been four weeks since the burglary and assault, and Spike had been a bitch to live with. Moody, snappish and, most nights, roaring drunk, the vampire rebuffed almost all efforts Xander made to slip back into the comfortable routine they'd had before the robbery. If Spike hadn't liked Xander, the brunette doubted Spike would even let those few efforts that were allowed to occur.

On the positive side [which wasn't really positive at all], Spike was comfortable enough in Xander's presence that he wasn't embarrassed by his stress-related thumb-sucking, which had gotten worse since the incident. Before the incident, Spike had pretty much stopped the unconscious behavior while living with Xander. [Lately, though, that darn thumb was permanently pruned.]

Xander felt like a failure. A complete, utter, worse-than-his-parents-ever-made-him-feel, total failure. He had failed to protect his vampire. He was failing to bring comfort to Spike. He couldn't even take revenge on the jerk who'd hurt Spike because a) the guy was human, and b) Xander didn't know where the hell to find him.

Xander's feelings of failure weren't assuaged any by recent goings-on with his friends. It turned out Buffy's new boyfriend, Riley, was one of the Initiative pricks that had put the chip in Spike's head. Xander and Buffy'd had a long, angry row about that, escalated by Oz's brief return to Sunnydale and his capture and subsequent rescue from the Initiative compound. Add in the renegade Initiative project, Adam, murdering both humans and demons left and right, and Riley was lucky he still had his limbs. Xander was thisclose to shoving something into both Riley and Buffy's brains to see how they liked it.

Xander dropped beside Spike on the couch and put his hand on the vampire's leg. Spike flinched, but didn't move away like he sometimes did. [Must be a good day,] Xander thought humorlessly. He tossed the envelope into Spike's lap. "Mail for you."

Spike's brow furrowed and he slurped when he pulled his thumb from his mouth. He tore open the envelope, removed a single sheet of paper, and read it. Then, he carefully refolded it, stuck it back in the envelope, and threw it at the television.

Xander dropped his head onto the back of the couch, silently cursing, as Spike disappeared into the bedroom. [I. Hate. This.] Head beginning to throb, Xander retrieved the letter and read it. [Wait a sec, this is good news.]

The letter was from the State of California Prosecuting Attorney's Office. The police had apprehended the bastard who'd robbed the apartment and assaulted Spike. The letter was informing Spike of something called a Fact-Finding Hearing and that he was to contact the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. It also said that a witness subpoena for his testimony would be forthcoming.

Xander went into the bedroom and found Spike in bed, facing the wall. "Spike, what the heck is wrong now? This letter says they caught the jerk."

"Whoopie," Spike said sarcastically.

"C'mon, Spike," Xander said with irritation. "This is what we've been hoping for."

"Bullshit!" Spike exclaimed, shooting upright. "You may have been hoping for it. I just want to bloody forget the whole thing!"

Xander sighed. "I'm sor--"

"Don't you dare pity me," Spike hissed, his eyes glowing yellow.

"Pity you?!" Xander tossed the letter on the bed. "I don't pity you. I have never pitied you."

Spike snorted derisively. "Sure, mate. Whatever you say."

Xander snapped, his frustration and anger and anxiety coming to a boil. He swooped down, snagged Spike by his shirt, and shook the vampire. "I. Don't. Fucking. Pity. You," he snarled. "I worry, I obsess, I fantasize, I want, and I fear for you. I hate what happened. I hate that I can't fix it. I hate the Initiative for chipping you and I'm not happy with Buffy for dating one of the assholes who did it. I want more than anything to rip apart the guy who dared to even look at you, let alone knife you. The look in your eyes whenever the apartment door opens infuriates me and breaks my heart at the same time, and I hate that there's nothing I can do about it."

Xander put his knee on the bed, leaning down as he pulled Spike closer. Startled blue eyes stared into stormy brown, and Xander's voice lowered to a gravelly cadence. "You know what, I lied. I do pity you," he said. "I pity you for killing what was a good thing between us, and I pity you for missing out on what could have been even better."

Xander kissed Spike then, hard and forceful and backed with all the out-of-control emotions he was feeling. He thrust his tongue between Spike's lips, claiming the vampire's mouth as his property, possessively dominating the blond.

Xander abruptly tore his mouth away and released Spike. Both of them were panting heavily, and Spike's stunned look and swollen lips almost caused Xander to attack him again. But Xander didn't. "I'll be in the living room if you decide to grow up," he told Spike, then walked stiffly out of the bedroom.

An hour later, Xander having abused the television remote to its death, Spike wandered into the living room and stopped directly in front of the younger man. Xander looked questioning at the vampire, but instead of speaking, Spike curled up onto the couch with him, laying his blond head on Xander's thigh like he'd not done for weeks.

The brunette shook his head in exasperation and smiled, kissed his fingertips and pressed them to Spike's temple before sliding his hand into the vampire's hair.

Xander soon learned that a vampire could purr with his thumb in his mouth.



*****



The person who'd burgled the apartment and knifed Spike was only fourteen years old. A big fourteen year old, but still a Junior High School kid.

Spike hadn't spoken a word since he'd found out.

Xander smoothed the vampire's dress-shirt collar and brushed back a fallen lock of Spike's rapidly growing blond hair. There were a lot of people in the County Courthouse: attorneys, civil clients, witnesses, criminals and Court staff. Spike had just been called by the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney to testify in the closed juvenile hearing, and Xander was giving him some [Win one for the Gipper!] last minute advice.

"I know you went over this with the Prosecutor, but just remember to answer all questions truthfully and you'll be fine," Xander said, feeling as though his was the testimony the State's entire case was based upon, and not Spike's. The brunette gave Spike a half-smile. "Just don't vamp out, okay?"

Spike nodded, his expression one of blank indifference, and he turned to follow the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney into the courtroom. "I'll be right here," Xander called after him, but he didn't acknowledge that he'd heard.

The door closed behind Spike, and Xander sank onto the bench outside the courtroom. Juvenile hearings were closed to the public, which meant Xander couldn't sit in the courtroom while Spike testified. Xander instead had to suffer a bad case of nerves in the hallway and pray to the gods that watched over fools and their pet vampires. [No, not a 'pet.' Never a pet. A roommate, a friend and, hopefully someday, a lover, but never a pet.]

Xander had a general idea what was going to happen in Court. He had taken Spike to the Prosecuting Attorney's office both for the initial deposition and for pre-hearing instructions and "practice." On both occasions, Spike had spoken, but only to the extent of answering the attorney's questions. [Other than those two times, Spike's been Mr. Clam, not even whining when I made him watch the Magnum P.I. marathon with me.]

Spike hadn't been unapproachable, however, since Xander had set the pity-record straight. He'd basically snuggled with Xander on a nightly basis, thumb firmly ensconced in his mouth and purring like a finely tuned engine. [Lamborghini, definitely.]

But once Spike had called the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney the Monday after receiving the letter and discovered that the bad guy was a fourteen year old kid, the vampire hadn't said a word. [I'm in love with a mentally insane vampire. Heaven help me.]

Wait. What?

[Eep, eep. Gah. Eep.]

No, no, no! Bad! Xander was NOT in love with Spike. He wasn't, he wasn't, he wasn't.

He was.

Xander whimpered and slumped lower on the bench. He was in love with Spike. William Barstow. Nerd Boy. The psychotic vampire. The shy virgin. The mentally unstable thumb-sucking pussycat. And they hadn't even had sex yet!

[Eep.]

How the hell had that happened? When had it happened? Why had it happened?

[Deeeeeeemon magnet.]

[Shut up, you. Me. Whatever. Eep.]

Xander pinched the bridge of his nose. [Why me?] He sighed heavily. Well, he had two choices: tell Spike, or play like Spike and keep silent.

When the courtroom door opened sometime later, not only had Xander still not decided, he'd given himself a headache thinking too hard. Xander stood as Spike came out, looking a bit worn around the edges. The assistant to the Deputy Prosecutor followed the vampire out, thanked him, and said he was free to go. Xander nodded politely to her, lightly cupped the back of Spike's neck, and steered him out of the Courthouse.

The car was parked on the shaded side of the building, and Xander waited until they were underway to address the other man. "How'd it go?"

Spike shrugged, staring at the partially tinfoil-covered window.

Xander sighed. "Y'know, your imitation of a mime is really good. I should stick you on a street corner with a hat and you can start earning your keep."

"I made a deal with Adam to get the chip out."

Xander was amazed he was able to pull the car to the side of the road unscathed. He put the car in park and turned to Spike. The first thing he'd said in weeks, and Xander already wanted him to shut up again. "Okay. Slowly, and so I don't misunderstand. You did what??"

Spike picked at a fuzz on his pant-leg. "I made a deal with Adam to get the chip out," he repeated. "I get you and your chums at odds and the Slayer to the Initiative complex on a certain day, and in return the Patchwork-demon removes the chip."

He chuckled humorlessly. "Most of my part is already done. You and the others stopped speaking with each other weeks ago: you, Willow and Rupert aren't talking to the Slayer because of Finn; you and Willow aren't speaking because of some comment she made about university; Rupes is having a mid-life crises and drowning himself in bottle after bloody bottle of Jack. All that's left for me to do is get Buffinn from point A to point B when Adam says, and I'm finally free."

Spike fell silent again, and Xander stared sightlessly out the front window as he processed what Spike admitted. [Ho-boy.] After a moment, the brunette asked, "Are you sure you can trust Adam to keep his end of the bargain?"

Spike's head whipped around and he stared, eyes wide with surprise, at Xander. "You're not going to stake me?"

"Of course not," Xander said immediately. He tapped his fingers on the steering wheel. "There's got to be a way to work this so you get the chip out and we get Adam," he said more to himself than to his car-mate. "Hmm, maybe if we put a tracer on Buffy..."

"Xander."

Xander turned at the tremulous call of his name. Spike was looking down again, his hands clasped tightly in his lap. "I'm only going to say this once," he began. He cleared his throat, but his next words were still rough, and quickly spoken. "I'm sorry. I'm angry and scared and depressed, and you're the only reason I haven't taken a walk in the sun."

Spike lifted angry tear-filled eyes to Xander. "It was a soddin' human child, Xander. I couldn't protect myself against a child who doesn't even have his short curlies yet. He broke into our home, trashed the place, stabbed me in the bloody chest, and I. Could. Do. Nothing."

In an instant, Xander had his seatbelt unbuckled and was across the bench seat with Spike gathered awkwardly in his arms. He pressed a kiss to the blond's forehead, his nose, and across each eyelid, before grasping his chin and shushing him with soft lips and tongue.

Spike fisted his hands in the front of Xander's shirt, clinging to the younger man. The kisses revealed a desperation that Xander wasn't prepared for. Spike's adorable shyness had disappeared under a wave of need to replace what he was feeling inside with something else.

"Woah, woah, woah," Xander breathed, breaking away from Spike's voracious mouth. He opened his eyes and looked down at Spike's flushed, upturned face. "As much as I'm enjoying this, it isn't right."

Spike started to protest, but Xander hushed him. "You're hurting, and I'm here," Xander said, extracting his shirt from Spike's grasp. "When we kiss, or do anything else, I want it to be because we're hard for each other, not because you want someone to distract you from your thoughts for awhile." He kissed Spike's knuckles, then purposely pushed the blond's hands away and retreated to the other side of the car.

Spike was quite again for the entire trip to the apartment. But, just before he got out of the vehicle, he mumbled, "Kissed you because I like you a lot."

Xander caught up with Spike at their apartment door. He spun the blond around and pressed him against the black-painted wood, making sure he felt the evident bulge in Xander's pants. "Guess what?" Xander purred. "I like [love, love, looooooove. Moron.] you more."

He watched as Spike's face turned a cute shade of crimson. [Bet he's cursing the fact that vampires can still blush.]

"I'm going to kiss you, here and now, until your eyes cross and toes curl," Xander stated, his dark gaze glittering. "Then, I'm going to get us ice cream. Vanilla, as a reminder."

Spike gave Xander his patented wide-eyed virginal stare. Xander smiled wolfishly, licked his lips, and attacked. The blond squeaked and squirmed and opened under Xander's mouth like a night-blooming flower. ["I don't think he even knows what a 'pistol' is."] Hot, hungry, heady, and other words brought to you by the letter 'H' [horny], the kiss was everything Xander had been waiting forever for. And it was Xander's eyes that crossed and Xander's toes that curled and [bonus] Xander's knees that went weak.

The brunette stumbled backwards, breathing heavily, heart thundering in his chest. He put a wildly shaking hand to his mouth and stared at the disheveled vampire slumped against the door.

Bright blond hair sticking up every which way, lips bruised purplish-red and puffy, flush staining those devastating cheekbones, and blue eyes hazy with desire, Spike was the perfect picture of debauchery.

"Ice cream. Vanilla. Bye," Xander rasped and fled as fast as his legs could carry him.

*****

Xander's List of Things to Remember:

1. Vanilla ice cream + Spike = horny Xander

2. White plastic spoon + pink Spike tongue = very horny Xander

3. Spike tiny smile + shy blush = mushy Xander insides

4. Spike = Love

Note to self: Avoid vanilla ice cream, plastic spoons, and Spike if want to keep sanity.

Of course, insane people have more fun...



End