by Saber ShadowKitten
Tiny Smiles 5

Spike was sleeping sitting up again when Xander awoke Friday morning. Head propped on his hand and mouth open, Spike had a lovely trail of drool running down his wrist and disappearing around his forearm. [Cute,] Xander thought with a smirk.

Xander had let Spike stay curled in the corner of the sofa-bed, watching tv, when he'd had gone to sleep around two in the morning. Spike had looked so depressed that Xander didn't have the heart to even put up a token protest of sharing the pull-out. Pushing down the urge to cuddle Spike, Xander had simply said goodnight and gone to sleep.

Climbing carefully out of bed, Xander shut off the television and went to shower and dress. Then, armed with the newspaper, he headed out to get himself a job [sha-na-na-na, sha-na-na-na-na. Get a job...]

Quietly, Xander let himself into Hell's Basement and propped the armload of flattened moving boxes against the wall. He was fairly bursting with excitement -- not only had he been hired by the construction company, he'd found a quasi-nice, affordable apartment, too. [I am so out of this basement... and into a basement apartment. But a parent-free basement apartment, with more than one room... and a working stove... and my own phone line...]

Xander did a little Dance of Joy -- silently, though, because there was a sleeping vampire-shaped lump on the sofa-bed. Another twirl, and Xander boogied out the door again to retrieve more boxes from the car. [I'm moving on up, to the East side, to a deluxe apartment in the skah-ahhhh...]

Xander couldn't believe his good fortune, especially after the el suck-o that was the beginning of his week. [Ah am mooooving. Moving, moving, moving. Yeah, yeah, yeah.] He'd gone from having three crap jobs to zero to one that paid more than all three of the others combined. And he found an apartment in his price range that wasn't a dung-heap, which meant he could finally leave his parents and their drunken fighting. [I am taking my comic books, my Babylon 5 commemorative plates, my bashful vampire, and my dirty movie collection and hitting the road. Hoo-hah.]

Life was good. Life was beyond good. Life was approaching the greatness level. Life was almost at the Dream Come True stage. Xander had a new job, a new apartment, and a new, unopened Mr. Smithers action figure that he'd found at the superstore when he'd stopped by to pick up a celebratory Snapple. It was simply a good day to be alive.

"Xan, wait..."

Eh? Xander propped the second load of boxes with the others and took a step towards the sofa-bed. The Spike-lump shifted under the sheet.

"But... Xander, no..."

[Dreaming again,] Xander thought, moving closer to the bed. He hadn't used the blackmail from Spike's last dream, but that didn't mean he couldn't stock up on more material. It would help when Snarky Spike returned.

"I didn't... wait!" Spike moved under the covers again, curling in a ball. "Please, Xander, don't leave..."

The soft, wavering voice cut Xander to the quick, and he was on the bed in a second, unburying Spike from beneath the sheet and attempting to wake him. "Spike, wake up," Xander urged, carding his fingers through the uncovered blonde's hair and brushing them along his almost-healed cheek. Xander's other hand slid down Spike's curled body and lightly rubbed small circles on his lower back. "Wake up. You're having a bad dream."

Ridiculously long lashes fluttered and unfocused blue eyes opened. "Xan?"

"That's me," Xander said. "And you're not awake yet. C'mon, bashful, rise and shine."

Spike blinked again and his dark brows furrowed as he looked up at Xander, awareness in his eyes. "What do you want?" he asked in a sleep-roughened voice.

"You were dreaming," Xander replied, still rubbing his hand over Spike's back. "Didn't sound like a happy one, so I woke you."

"Oh." Deeper frown. "You're wearing your jacket. Are you leaving?"

[So that's what a heart pang feels like.] Xander shook his head in response to Spike. "Nope. Not me -- we. Are leaving, that is." He gave Spike a quirky grin. "What do you think of bunk beds?"

"Bunk beds?"

"Yeah, bunk beds," Xander repeated. "If we get them, I'm on top."

Spike's eyes grew round as saucers and Xander felt a flush spread across his face. [I can't believe I just said that. Is it getting warm in here?] "The top bunk," he corrected. "I meant, I get the top bunk." [Not that I would mind being on top the other way. And now it is time for me to babble incoherently, thanks to that mental image. Daherbanible. Frewziwhosa. Projumasnazzle.]

Spike dropped his eyes and began to fidget. Then he said in a very thick voice, "I don't mind being on bottom."


Spike was off the sofa-bed and behind a closed bathroom door before Xander registered that he even moved. Then again, the blood supply to Xander's brain had been depleted: all of it was currently in his other head.

It took the door slamming upstairs and the yelling of his parents to snap Xander out of his daze. A screech of anger from his mother was as effective as jumping into an ice river. "Thanks, Ma," he muttered sarcastically. Rising from the bed, he crossed to the bathroom door and knocked on it. "Spike, I'm going to heat up the leftover Chinese. You want?"

"Uh... sure," came the wary answer from behind the thin wood.

"Okay," Xander said. "The jeans hanging on the back of the door are for you."

While the Chinese food was being bombarded with radiation, Xander chastised himself for making things awkward again with Spike. He liked Spike's shyness, but that didn't mean he wanted things to be uncomfortable between them. Besides, innuendo aside, Spike might not want to be flirted with.

Xander blinked in shock as something occurred to him. [What if Spike wasn't bisexual?] Everyone assumed, but that didn't mean it was true. It would go a long way in explaining Spike's sudden shyness. If Spike was attracted to Xander, but he'd never been with another guy before... [Holy identity crisis, Batman!] Could it be true? Could Spike be a virgin when it came to playing with the boys? Sexual innuendo was just talk, it didn't necessarily mean what was implied. [I used to imply all sorts of things before I became a switch-hitter.]

Xander recalled how flustered he'd been the first time he'd responded to flirting from another guy. After surviving the Ascension, Xander had decided that he wasn't going to say no to anything for the entire summer. [And I didn't. Not even when Bobbi turned out to be a hermaphrodite.] Xander had learned during his time in Oxnard that stripping wasn't the job for him, Fantasia should only be watched after ten hits on a doobie, one could never have too many condoms, and the prostate gland was his friend.

But how was he going to find out if Spike was bi or not? Xander doubted he could just ask; talk about creating an awkward situation. Giles's books? Maybe. Call up Angel? [Snort. Fat chance.] Work it into a conversation? That had possibilities.

But what to do until he found out? [To flirt or not to flirt, that is the question.] Xander currently had no significant other, so he was free there. He was most definitely attracted to Spike, liked kissing him [ohhhh yeah], and enjoyed making him purr. Perhaps Xander should go easy. Take baby steps. A little light flirting, some hand holding, maybe a few stolen kisses. If it was Spike's first time, man-wise, or if he was simply wary of a new relationship, it wouldn't hurt to take things slow.

Xander replaced the Chinese with a mug of blood. Course of action decided, he relaxed completely. "Spike, food's on!" he called, setting the food on the folding table. He glanced towards the bathroom as the door open. His lips began to twitch.

The blue jeans Spike was wearing were about four inches too big. The only thing holding them up was his black belt and they were rolled at the bottom. Xander tried not to laugh. He really did.

"Sod off," Spike growled at him, taking a seat at the table.

"Sorry," Xander tittered. "We'll get you some that fit tonight."


Xander grinned, handed Spike the mug from the microwave and joined him at the table. Spike's hair was wet and brushed back, the bright blond locks curling at the ends. The butterfly bandages were gone and the three gashes had healed to thick white lines running across Spike's face.

"Oh, hey," Xander dug into his jacket pocket, which was hanging on the back of his chair. "This," he extracted two keyrings and held out one towards Spike, "is for you."

Spike gave him an odd look and took the keyring with a single silver key on it. "What's it for?"

"The new apartment." Xander bounced in his seat. "We're moving!" Bounce, bounce.

"We?" Spike stared at the key in his hand. "You... want me to go with you?"

"Of course," Xander said.


Teeny-tiny voice of wonder, followed by one of those tiny smiles. Xander's insides turned to mush. [I'm starting to get it baaad.] He cleared his throat. "So, uh, as soon as the sun goes down, we're off to the store for jeans and miscellaneous junk. Then we'll swing by the apartment and you can ooh and ahh over our new homestead. Sound good?"

"Can we not tell the Slayer where it is?" Spike asked with an air of excitement.

"No, we have to tell her," Xander replied. He smirked. "I plan on abusing her superpowers to help us move."

"Hmm, smart boy. Knew I liked you for a reason." Spike abruptly ducked his head, shifted on his chair, and concentrated studiously on stabbing a piece of broccoli with his fork.

Xander's smirk became a soft smile and he started babbling on about the wonders of the new apartment to his adorably shy roommate.

It really was a good day to be alive.