He woke up with his face plastered against Spike's ass again.
Cross-eyed, Xander groggily stared at the half-rounded lumps he was drooling on. [Comfy. No! Not
comfy. Bad pillows. Squishy pillows. Comfy pillows. Sleep more.]
Fifteen minutes later, Xander woke again, sat up, and rubbed his eyes. Bugs and Elmer were
involved in an aria on the television [seen it a billion times.] Yawning, he absently scratched his
thigh as he tiredly studied the vampire sprawled across his sofa bed. Clad in only his jeans, Spike
was soundly sleeping on his stomach, his blonde head turned to the side and his thumb stuck in his
mouth. [Still stressing. Although last night was pretty stress free.]
When they had arrived back at the Harris Hellhole, also known as the basement, the night before,
things could've been awkward, but they weren't. Spike had stripped down to his jeans and flopped
across the end of the fold-out bed that Xander had opened. Xander had turned on the television,
turned off the lights, changed into a pair of shorts, and plopped down beside Spike, as if
watching movies with him was an everyday occurrence.
Erica Eleniak still had the tits to give Xander a boner, and it hadn't been until he caught Spike
wiggling, too, that he'd ceased to be embarrassed about it. The two had exchanged knowing grins,
adjusted themselves, and continued watching the movie.
About mid-way through the flick, Xander had gotten up to use the facilities. When he'd returned,
he'd rejoined Spike on the fold-out, only turning so he was laying with his feet on the pillows and his
head propped on his hand near Spike's hip. It had taken the Brave Little Toaster several failed
attempts before Xander had laid his hand on Spike's lower back. Spike had stiffened and
looked back at Xander. He had studied Xander for what had seemed like an eternity, his blue eyes
unreadable in the light coming from the television. Finally, Spike had given him the tiniest smile, turning
the Big Bad into Shy Little Boy, and then had returned his attention to the television
and arched against Xander's hand. A soft purring had underscored the remainder of that movie and
the one following, until Xander had succumbed to sleep.
[And woke with my face stuck to Spike's ass again,] Xander thought. He was waiting for
embarrassment to hit him, but it didn't seem to be forthcoming. With a shrug, he leaned down,
kissed the soft skin of Spike's lower back, climbed out of bed, and headed for the bathroom. He hit
the bathroom light, shut the door behind him, clicked the lock, and stared at himself with horror in
"I just kissed Spike," Xander whispered. The embarrassment attacked then, coloring his entire face,
ears, neck, and upper chest a lovely shade of pink. Kissing Spike had been as natural as
breathing, just like putting his hand on Spike's lower back at Giles's house the prior evening. That
he didn't notice what he was doing until after the fact only testified to how normal and right the
actions felt. [And I'm going out of my mind!]
After a shower that left him with frostbite, Xander felt much more clearheaded. So, he kissed Spike.
So what? Spike had been asleep, and no one else had been witness to Xander's illicit
smooching. Xander could [would!] pretend it never happened.
With that mind-set, Xander left the safety of the bathroom. He took one look at the sleeping blonde,
panicked, and fled.
Several fruitless hours of job-hunting later, Xander gave up pretending that he wasn't freaked by
kissing Spike and threw himself upon the mercy of the gods. The gods laughed. Xander
whacked them over the head with a rubber mallet. He won a can of green slime. [Interesting
message, oh Whack-A-Mole gods. Don't know what it means...]
With a sigh, Xander pocketed his slime and headed out of the arcade. His stomach rumbled,
reminding him that food was of the necessity and yummy goodness. [What type of grease shall I
pollute my body with today, huh?] Mark Pi's Chinese was right next door to the arcade, and
Xander's stomach directed his feet into the establishment. Then Xander's stomach took control of
his mouth, ordered double of what he could usually eat, and used his hands to pay for all the food.
He attempted to give his stomach a stern talking to about the value of money and his lack of said commodity,
but his stomach ignored him in favor of making his feet walk him home.
Xander caught on to what his stomach was doing and he preempted the hostile takeover of his mouth
before his stomach asked Spike if he liked Chinese. [I can handle my own affairs, stomach, thank
you very much.] Wait a minute. Affairs? [Ack! No! I am not having an affair!] Anya would
eviscerate Xander if there was even the hint of infidelity. [And, besides, why would I want to have
an affair with Spike, of all affairees? Aside from the fact that he looks kinda cute in a sexy, ruffled
way all snuggled in the blanket like that... ]
Spike was, indeed, snuggled in a blanket, curled up in the corner of the sofa bed with his
blonde hair sticking up every which way. He was sitting up but asleep, his cheek resting against the
back of the couch, his left thumb in his mouth, his fingers hooked over his nose. [He must've
woken up and fallen back to sleep watching tv. And I've got a squooshy feeling in my chest. This is
of the good that is not. Ho-boy.]
As he dished the Chinese onto two plates and settled on the other end of the sofa bed, Xander told
himself that in no way would Spike look as adorable sucking his thumb awake as he did asleep.
Then Spike opened his eyes. He was still adorable. [Whimper.]
"Hey," Xander said as if it was normal to have the Evil Thumb-Sucking Monster wake up in his
bed. He picked up the second plate and offered it to Spike. "Chinese?"
Big blue eyes stared at Xander and he wondered why there wasn't a law against vampires
that would eat your liver for breakfast looking so young and innocent. All Xander wanted to do was
take Spike in his arms and snuggle the badness away. [Again -- whimper.]
Spike's thumb came out of his mouth with a small slurp. His nose crinkled as he rubbed the back of
his knuckles over his eyes and he made sleepy childlike noises. Then the thumb went back into his
mouth, two fingers hooked over his nose, and those big blue eyes focused on Xander again for a
short moment before drifting shut.
Xander set the second plate of Chinese down, picked up his fork, and resumed eating. He pointedly
ignored the ooey-gooey, ooshy-gooshy feeling in the center of his chest.
The next time Spike woke, Xander was paging through the local newspaper. The extra Chinese had
been covered and stuck in the refrigerator, waiting to be nuked and eaten. Xander still sat on the
pull-out opposite from where Spike was curled up. Xander just sort of knew Spike was
truly awake this time, even though Spike hadn't moved.
"I was thinking about catching the 5:30 show at the Sun," Xander said without preamble.
"Gladiator's playing and I feel the need to see maiming and bloodshed outside the normal course of
slaying." He glanced over at Spike. "Wanna join me?"
Those innocent blue eyes looked more aware as they steadily met Xander's gaze. The thumb
slipped out of Spike's mouth which immediately turned up in a grin. "Xander Harris, are you
asking me out on a date?"
Heat suffused Xander's face, and he dropped his eyes to the newspaper. "No," he replied
emphatically. "I'm going no matter what. I just though you'd might want something to do, since I
doubt you'll be going bar-hopping."
Silence. Xander didn't dare look at Spike, for fear he would do something embarrassing, like
admitting that maybe he was asking the vampire on a date. [Mother Mary and Joseph, maybe I
should've used the Whack-A-Mole mallet on my own noggin.]
"Does this flick include popcorn?"
Xander's gaze whipped to Spike in surprise. Spike was studiously picking fuzzies from the
blanket that was around him. [Cute.] Ugh! Spike was not cute! He had to stop thinking that!
[Must see blood, violence, and death.] "Yeah, popcorn's included. So are Ju-Ju Bees, if you're
Spike looked up at him from beneath insanely long eyelashes. One corner of his mouth quirked.
"Believe me, pet, I'm always good," he said coyly.
[Now there's the Big Bad I know and lo-- hate! Hate! Know and hate!] Xander cleared his throat,
crinkled the newspaper, and nodded. "How nice to know," he said as blandly as he could. "We'll
leave at five."
Spike stared up at the marquee with an expression akin to awe. The bright lights of Sun Cinema's
sign cast a garish glow on his platinum hair. High school students [and the unemployed]
stood in line for tickets to the 5:30 show, shivering under their winter coats. The sun set early in the
winter months, making it seem colder than it really was in Sunnydale.
"I haven't been to a show in a bloody age," Spike said, looking around as if he were visiting
Disneyland for the first time, rather than going to the movies.
"The films have sound now," Xander commented with amusement. "And they're in color."
Spike shot him a look that read: 'when I get rid of this chip, I will do bad things to you.' Xander
only laughed as he stepped up to the ticket window. "Hiya, Max," he said, recognizing the theater
employee behind the plexiglass window. "Two, please."
"Two?" Max looked past Xander as he took the money. "I don't see Anya."
"That's because Anya's not here."
Max gave him a sly look. "You got a little sumthin-sumthin on the side?"
"Hey, Harris," Spike appeared at Xander's side, glanced at Max, then looked up at the taller man. "This
theater have those stadium seats I've read about?"
"This is Sunnydale, Spike," Xander said. "They don't have stadium seats. Heck, half the seats
don't even have backs."
Spike's lower lip thrust forward in a pout. Xander chuckled and, without realizing
what he was doing, tapped the tip of Spike's nose in a plainly affectionate gesture. "Some of the
seats do rock," he placated. "Although I don't think they're supposed to." He took the tickets from
a stunned-looking Max and partially saluted. "Later, man."
"Later," Max said faintly.
Walking inside the theater, Spike passed by the ticket taker without pause. But before the kid could
tackle Spike for non-theater etiquette, Xander handed him their tickets. "He's with me," Xander
said. [I can't believe I just admitted that in public.]
"Next time, tell him to wait," the taker said with all his pimple-faced authority. "Be sure to keep
Xander gave him a wan smile and pocketed one of the ticket stubs as he walked into
the main lobby. He joined Spike in the concession line, ignoring the glares from the patrons who
stood behind Spike. "Here," Xander said, giving Spike the second ticket stub. "Hold onto
that. Some of the employees take their jobs a little too seriously."
Spike stuck the ticked stub in his duster pocket without looking at it. His focus was concentrated on
the lighted board above the concession counter, listing the products and [aack!] prices. They were
next, and as they stepped up to the counter, Xander unconsciously put his hand on the nape of
Spike's neck. He looked up at the lighted sign and answered the concession girl's query. "Yeah,
we'd like two medium popcorns, extra butter. Unless you don't want butter, Spike." Xander turned
to Spike... to find Spike staring somewhat dazedly at him.
Xander frowned. "Spike? Butter? No butter? Parkaaaaay?"
Slow blinks from Spike. [Did the prices blow his mind, too?,] Xander wondered. "Hello? Earth to
bleach boy? Do... you ... want... but... ter?"
Spike suddenly grinned brightly, and it was Xander's turn to blink from the abrupt change
of demeanor. [This vampire is so weird.] Right, and all other vampires were normal.
"Extra butter for me, luv," Spike addressed the concession girl. "And a large Pepsi."
Xander shook of his confusion over Spike's behavior and added to the order. "And a box of Ju-Ju
Bees and SweetTarts." [Goodbye, money.]
A few minutes later, loaded down with goodies and a small cup full of butter-salt ['Cause you can
never have enough salt on popcorn], Xander led the way into the screening room and chose a seat,
back row center. The theater wasn't very large -- being in the back row at the Sun was like sitting
in the middle row of an L.A. theater. Plus, the back row center seats had the most stuffing left in
Spike dropped down beside Xander and immediately put his feet upon the seat in front of him.
Another giddy [weird] grin at Xander and Spike dug into his popcorn with gusto.
The lights dimmed shortly thereafter. Xander munched his own popcorn and let the movie draw him
in. He had no more thoughts about kissing Spike. Or about how cute he was. Or about how normal
and comfortable it felt to touch him. [Nope, no Spikey thoughts here. My mind is Spike-free.]
Then Spike started commenting -- loudly -- and cheering -- even louder -- every time someone
on screen was killed. There was much shushing from the others in the show. Xander, in fact, told
him to shut his mouth several times. Finally, enough was enough. Xander didn't want to get kicked
out [not after all the money I spent!] and Spike's insistence that there'd be more blood if hit that
particular way, was rapidly leading to theater ejection.
"Spike," Xander hissed, leaning over so his mouth was inches from Spike's ear. "If you open your
yap one more time, the employees will have to sweep you up in order to throw you out of here."
Spike turned his head to reply, only Xander hadn't move away yet. Xander's lips scraped
across Spike's cool cheek and came to rest against Spike's lips. Their noses cracked together, but
Xander felt no pain. Eyes wide, Xander stared into the equally large blue eyes centimeters away.
[Oh... my... God... my lips... Spike's lips...]
Neither of them moved as the movie played on. The whole Roman Army could've marched off the
screen and into the theater and still neither of them would've moved. Then, finally, slowly, Xander
tilted his head a little, sealing his mouth completely over Spike's, and tentatively kissed him.
It should've been Xander who was completely flustered when the soft kiss ended. But it was Spike
who dropped his chin and gave Xander a tiny, wary smile before moving as far away in his seat as
possible. It was Spike who fumbled with his popcorn and drink until he put both on the floor. And
it was Spike who was now almost, but not quite, sucking his thumb. The back of his thumb pressed
against his lips and his fingers hooked over his nose as he stared resolutely at the screen.
[Adorable,] Xander thought, covertly watching the blond. He'd admitted to himself that he'd just
kissed Spike and liked it. A lot. [Understatement, Xan-man.] And it hadn't even been a knock-out,
drag-down, passionate smooch. Just a gentle meeting of the mouths [that left me wanting more. It's
official -- I've truly lost my mind. Ooshy-gooshy feelings, do what you will. I'm just gonna sit here
and enjoy the ride.]