Home, Sweet Hellmouth
The vacation had been exactly what Xander had needed. He was well rested, well tanned, and well laid. [Woohoo!] Spike seemed to have equally enjoyed himself, if the content purring beneath the protective blanket were any indication. Of course, Xander’s petting Spike could be the cause of that, too.
With Spike’s head resting on Xander’s thigh, Xander drove them from the cruise port back to Sunnydale. His mind played over the days and nights spent on the trip, which made it [literally] hard to drive. Just being with Spike was the best, but Xander couldn’t deny finally [FINALLY!!!] getting to take Spike wasn’t a fantabulous highlight. Something Xander had done repeatedly, and planned to do repeatedly, possibly on the side of the road if he didn’t stop thinking about it. [Sunlight. Dead vampire. You can wait until you get home. Or find a cave.]
Xander had no luck with finding a cave, and he let Spike dart into the apartment building before parking the Bel Air. Xander dragged the suitcase and suit bag into the foyer, down the stairs, and through the door to the apartment. Before Xander could suggest sex, Spike pointed to the answering machine as he took the bags from Xander. “Message.”
Spike had already started down the hall, and Xander sighed. He walked over to the machine and pressed play. “Xander, wel-welcome back. Please come to the Music Box as soon as possible. We have a dire situation,” Giles’s voice said. Two seconds in the door and it was back to slaying. [Home, Sweet Hellmouth.]
Xander noted that Giles hadn’t said to bring Spike. [Grr.] Not only was he not going to get laid, Giles was still being a dickhead. Xander deleted the message with more violence than necessary.
“What did that button ever do to you?” Spike asked, amused, as he returned from taking the suitcase to the bedroom.
“Giles needs me at the Music Box, but of course not you, because you’re just using me for free blood bags and a place to crash.” Did Xander sound bitter? [Nooooooo. Not.]
Spike scowled, stalked up to Xander, and poked him in the chest. “Listen here, you nonce. I’m not sticking around anymore because of the chip in my head. This chip controls my feeding, not my feelings. If I only wanted food and a place to stay, I’d move to L.A. where there’s another vampire who bags it and lives in an effin’ palatial hotel, not a basement apartment barely big enough to swing a dead cat.”
Spike’s blue eyes were sparking mad. “You tell Rupert that I happen to like the little witches, and the Slayer, and even him when he’s not being a pillock. If this chip ever came out, I wouldn’t go after any of them because they’re my soddin’ friends. This chip isn’t a soul. It doesn’t change who I am – never had. I’m staying here because this is where you are, and if Rupert doesn’t like it, he can shove it up his ass.”
Xander was having one of those moments, the life-altering kind that don’t always announce themselves before coming. His moment, however, wasn’t quiet. In fact, it was storming out of the apartment, snarling loudly, “You know what? I’m going to tell the trotter all that to his face. Unlike him, I have the knackers to do it.”
[I’m going to spend the rest of my life with Spike.]
Alone in the apartment, Xander wrapped his mind around the thought and hugged it tightly. He’d been in love before, but that sort of long-term consideration had never appeared. And even though Xander had the worst example [understatement] of what marriage was, it didn’t scare him. Not with Spike.
“Oi, Xan! Are you coming?” Spike yelled from outside.
“Yeah, yeah. I’m coming.” Xander picked up his keys and went to catch up to his vampire. [Hm, I wonder if now is too soon to propose…]