Just An Ordinary Sunday

by Saber ShadowKitten
Tiny Smiles 12

Xander wondered if there was anything more perfect than an ordinary Sunday afternoon. A soft rain pattered against the casement windows of the apartment, blending with the soft sounds from the television. The rich smell of coffee drifted in the air, awakening the senses before the caffeine awakened the body. The Sunday newspaper was spread open on the kitchen table. Xander leaned on his elbows, mug of coffee clasped between his palms, reading the sports pages. He was dressed comfortably, a plain tee thrown on over his jeans, and his hair was still damp from his recent shower.

Xander glanced up when the television went off and Spike unfolded himself from the couch. The sleep-tousled vampire wove unsteadily towards the hall, rubbing his eye with one hand and scratching his backside with the other. Xander snerked and went back to reading the paper.

Spike returned a short while later, having donned a black tee and white socks with his green plaid sleepshorts. His hair, which hadn't been cut or bleached since last Christmas, was a two-toned, curling, mussed mop on his head. He padded into the kitchen, stocking feet silent on the off-white linoleum, and poured himself a cup of coffee, using his favorite mug. It read: "Mornings suck, which is why I don't get up until after noon."

The blond plucked a pencil from the jelly jar on the counter, which was filled with other writing utensils, scissors, various screwdrivers and pliers, and an American flag Xander had gotten on the Fourth of July. Spike dropped his glasses case and the pencil on the kitchen table, pulled out the chair next to Xander, and sat down. Sipping his coffee, he sorted through the sections of the newspaper until he found what he wanted. He opened the paper to a page mid-way through, slid on his glasses, picked up the pencil, and went to work on the Sunday crossword puzzle.

It was just another ordinary Sunday at the Harris/Barstow residence.

Since the destruction of the Initiative, Xander and Spike had fallen into a comfortable routine. Life was nice and complacent. [It's like living with a brother, if I was in Arkansas.]

The first month after Adam was no more, Spike barely left the apartment. Depression and post-seizure fear had kept him close to home. There was much snuggling on the couch [which I in no way minded] and sweet, reassuring kisses that made Xander's insides mushy. As the weeks continued to pass, however, and no new life and death situations occurred, Spike became less clingy and more like his normal half-psychotic, half-neurotic self. Hard on the outside, soft and gooshy in the middle. [Like an old Starburst Fruit Chew. Lemon flavored, because he makes my mouth pucker. Heh.]

Xander was happy, hopelessly horny, and hesitantly hopeful that things would either stay the way they were or progress in a forward moving direction. Or a horizontal direction. He wasn't too picky.

"Giles called," Xander said conversationally, setting his mug on the table. "He bought The Magic Box on Friday and wants us to go over there and be his free labor."

"First a flashy motor, now a shop," Spike tisked. "Next thing you know, he'll have Buffy in his bed. Or the witches, if he's lucky."

"Okay, that's just gross," Xander told him. [No! Bad brain! Eew!]

"Why?" Spike looked over the tops of his glasses at Xander. "Rupert isn't that old, and your chums are hot bits of fluff."

"He's Giles." Xander shuddered. "Giles can't have sex with Buffy or Willow! That's- that's like incest! Not to mention very, very icky!"

"Hmm," Spike responded non-committally. "I just thought Rupert 'I'm Going Through My Mid-Life Crisis' Giles might be looking for companionship in the near future."

"If he wants companionship, he should get a dog," Xander said. Spike's brow shot up and a corner of his mouth quirked. Xander caught on to the double entendre, and punched him on the arm. "You are a sick, sick vampire."

The blond chuckled and returned to his crossword puzzle. [Yeah, you can laugh, Disgusto Boy. I'm the one who's going to suffer from the mental pictures. Barf.]

Xander took a large gulp of his cooling coffee to get rid of the taste of bile in his throat. He stood, went into the kitchen, and poured himself a fresh cup. On the return trip to the table, he swatted Spike on the back of the head. Spike laughed. [Bastard.]

Settling into his chair again, Xander went back to reading the newspaper. The rain continued to pitter-pat-pat against the windows, adding atmosphere to the comfortable quiet of the apartment. When he finished with the sports section, Xander folded it neatly and dug out the comics. He glanced at Spike as he unfolded the paper, and a soft smile crossed his face.

Spike worried his lower lip as he studied the crossword puzzle in front of him. Several locks of hair had fallen over his brow and, with his glasses, he looked every bit the Assistant, Assistant Librarian he professed to no longer be. He leaned forward, a frown of concentration wrinkling his forehead as he penciled in an answer on the page.

"I love you, Spike."

Spike paused briefly in his writing, then finished filling in the word. He laid his pencil down, removed his glasses, and folded his hands in his lap. He turned slightly on his chair towards Xander and, head down, asked hesitantly, "Er, what was that?"

"I said: I love you," Xander repeated, casually sipping his coffee. Inside, he was surprisingly calm. At peace. [I'm channeling my inner-Yoda.] It just felt right, telling Spike now. There were no apocalyptic disasters hanging over their heads, death was not imminent: it was just an ordinary Sunday in August, and he was in love with Spike.

"Oh. Um..." Spike started to fidget, his hands twisting in his lap. He looked everywhere but at Xander. "Uh..."

[Adorkable.] Xander probably should not be enjoying the flustered blond's reaction so much, but it was amusing. He hadn't expected returned declarations of love [heck, I didn't expect to profess love today], so this was entertaining enough.

"But we haven't even... ah...," Spike's hand fluttered in the direction of the hallway, "...so how can you know that... erm..."

"Spike, I don't have to fuck you to know that I love you." [Is Spike hyperventilating?] "The two aren't fully related."

"But... but..."

[If he starts sucking his thumb, I'm going to melt into a puddle of mush.] Xander set his coffee on the table, captured a nervously gesturing hand, and kissed Spike's knuckles. He held the trembling [gooshy feelings!] hand and addressed the distressed man.

"Listen, you don't have to say or do anything just because I told you how I feel," Xander said. "I simply wanted you to know."

"How long?" Spike croaked. He swallowed nervously, his Adam's apple bobbing dramatically. "How long have you l-loved me?"

"Since about April." Xander released Spike's hand, stood, and went into the kitchen, giving the vampire some 'breathing' room. He poured his coffee into a travel mug.

"Oh," Spike said faintly. "That's a bloody long time."

Xander dropped a kiss on top of Spike's head as he passed, heading for the door. "I'm going over to The Magic Box so you can process this in peace. If you're gone when I get home, I'll understand." [I'll hate it and be miserable for possibly ever, but I'll understand.]

He didn't look at Spike as he left, afraid to see disgust replacing surprise on the blond's face. If Spike was going to break his heart, he'd rather it happened when he wasn't there. [And that makes sense only to me. I hope Giles stocked chocolate at the store. I'm going to need at least a pound to get through the next few hours.]


The Magic Box was starting to resemble a store again, rather than a hotel for dirt and creepy-crawly things. Xander's legs ached from carrying boxes up and down stairs, and his hand throbbed from hitting it with a hammer. [Not my most shining of moments.] Between himself, Buffy, Willow, Tara, and Giles, they would have the store ready to open tomorrow. [Well, not really. Giles would have to do inventory and restock and all that fun stuff first. Which reminds me: don't answer the phone for the next few days.]

He still couldn't believe Giles had bought the store. Neither could Willow or Buffy. In fact, every other word out of the Slayer's mouth had to do with death and Giles's apparent wish for it. Xander agreed; he knew how many proprietors were now pushing up daisies. [I'd like for Giles to stay daisy-free, thank you very much.] But Giles insisted he was not an idiot and that The Magic Box was a good investment. So the worker ants kept working, and Xander ate lots of chocolate.

"Where do you want this, Giles?" Buffy asked, standing beside a glass cabinet.

"Ah...," Giles looked around, then pointed, "...over there, if you'd please."

"'Kay." Buffy easily picked up the cabinet and moved it.

"Do you have any idea what all this stuff is?" Willow said, shifting through an open box.

"No," Giles admitted. "But there is an inventory list around here somewhere. I'm certain everything is on it."

"Your bookshelves are assembled," Xander announced from the loft, dropping his screwdriver into his toolbox.

"Very good." Giles gestured to a pile of boxes at the bottom of the stair-ladder. "If you would bring those boxes of books up there, please."

[Woohoo, more boxes to carry!] "Sure, Giles."

The bell above the front door jingled, and Xander froze at the top of the stairs as Spike rushed inside, followed by a gust of wind and a whole lot of rain. He slammed the door shut and turned to greet the others with a twisted smile. "Rain's picked up a bit," he said wryly.

That was an understatement. Spike was drenched. His hair was plastered to his head, and droplets of water hung from his ears, nose, and chin. His clothing clung to his body like a second skin beneath his duster, outlining his lean muscles and turning Xander's knees to jelly.

"You look a little wet," Buffy teased.

"Like a drowned r-rat," Tara added with a timid smile.

"You could wring me out and create a lake in the desert," Spike said, looking around the store. His gaze found Xander and skittered away immediately, the smile disappearing from his face.

[Horrid, ripping pain...]

"Come along, Spike," Giles said, beckoning the vampire towards the back room. "I have a change of clothing you may borrow."

Xander sank down on the top step of the stair-ladder after Spike had followed Giles out of the main room. He didn't know what Spike's being at the store meant. The blond was on friendly terms with everyone, especially since Adam royally screwed him over, but he didn't go out of his way to pal around with them.

Xander was still sitting there when Spike emerged from the back, dressed in Giles's clothing. The soft ivory shirt he wore was a tad big, and the cuffs on the cotton dockers were rolled up. He looked completely and utterly adorasexy. [Whimper.]

The girls apparently agreed with Xander's opinion, because they fawned over Spike. Xander growled [my vampire,] stood, and stomped down the steps. He turned his back to the salivating masses and surveyed the boxes of books he was to take up to the loft. [Eenie, meenie, myvampire, mo.]

Hefting a heavy box up the stair-ladder was no picnic. The steps were steeper than the ones to the basement, and the books had to weigh a billion pounds. [And there are at least eight more of these boxes. Can we say 'hernia,' class?]

Xander set the box in the back corner of the loft, turned around, and jumped with a manly squeak of fright. "Spike!" he exclaimed, pressing his hand to his pounding heart. "Don't sneak up on people like that."

Spike smiled devilishly, his blue eyes sparkling. Xander's heart, if anything, pounded harder. "Sorry," the wildly curling blond apologized insincerely. "Won't do it again... today."

"That's good to know," Xander said warily. "Um... what are you doing here?"

[No! Please! Not the pout!]

Spike ignored Xander's mental pleading and his lower lip slid into pouting position, glistening with moisture from recent licking. [Must... resist...] "Don't you want me...," Spike paused significantly, before adding, "...around?"

"Saying things like that is a surefire way to get yourself kissed," Xander pointed out, his voice growing husky.

"Maybe...," Spike stepped closer, so they were toe-to-toe, "...that's what I want." He abruptly dropped his chin and cleared his throat. "If- if you, er, do, too."

Xander grabbed him by the shoulders, spun them both, and pressed Spike against the convenient wall. "I always do," Xander growled. Spike looked shocked and pleased and aroused all at once, his wide blue eyes flecked with gold.

Xander's mouth descended upon the vampire's with a hiss of need. There was no finesse in this particular kiss, just a fierce, raw passion that ripped through all barriers. Emotions were stripped of their wordy camouflage and laid bare. The kiss was primal. Primitive. Base. And elicited wild applause and wolf-whistles from the peanut gallery below.

Xander angrily broke the kiss and glared down at his so-called friends. Tara blushed and hid behind her hair. Giles pretended to be busy. Willow and Buffy grinned unrepentantly and bombarded him with cheers for more. [I am going to kill them.]

"Xan?" Spike's soft call drew the brunette's attention away from the girls and to the debauched man plastered to the wall in front of him. The vampire's desirous gaze was focused upon Xander, and he said thickly, "Home?"

"Home," Xander agreed. "Now."

They only made it as far as the Bel Air, parked on the street a block from the shop. Or rather, against the car, in the heavily pouring rain which had soaked the borrowed ivory shirt Spike was wearing and molded it to his torso and robbed Xander of coherent speech.

Xander pressed Spike against the side of the car and devoured him with hungry kisses, ones that were wetter than the rain. One hand gripped the vampire's white-blond hair, the other bruising his backside. Xander pushed his thigh between Spike's legs, bringing his hip flush against the marble hardness beneath the dark cotton trousers.

And then there was writhing. Heavenly writhing against a hell-spawn creature with the blue, blue eyes and wet cotton trousers that did nothing to hide what Xander felt digging into his hip. But he didn't see, couldn't see past the black and white and red spots dancing behind his eyelids. He heard a strangled sound, but couldn't tell if it came from him, or Spike, or a cat that had been kicked. It really didn't matter, because Spike was shuddering in his arms and placing sloppy kisses on his neck and... [INCOMING!]

It was raining outside, the softening end of a downpour that had washed everything clean. The rich scent of coffee drifted from the Espresso Pump as the side door opened, and a man with a newspaper emerged. He unfolded it, held it above his head, and hurried down the street through the drizzle. It was just another ordinary Sunday in Sunnydale, but Xander found the one thing more perfect than that.

"I, uh, don't think Rupert's gonna want his trousers back," Spike said sheepishly.

Xander threw back his head and laughed.