Eight Days A Week


by Saber ShadowKitten
Tiny Smiles 8






"Spike watch your --" Xander winced as Spike cracked the top of his head on the metal framing of the closet organizer. "-- head."

Spike sat back on his heels and rubbed his skull. "Soddin' piece of junk," he grumbled. "Why can't we just use the closet without this bloody contraption in it?"

"Because, my bleached blunder," Xander pushed Spike's hand away, put his hands on the blond's shoulders, and dropped a kiss on his head where he'd hit it, "the shelves are an essential part of apartment living."

Spike tilted his head back and looked up at Xander. "Then why'd we get the little cardboard dresser?"

"So you would look up at me like this while asking that question, giving me an excuse to do this..."

Xander brushed a feather-light upside-down kiss across Spike's lips.

Spike's hands clasped the sides of Xander's face when he started to straighten. Surprised but pleased, Xander began a gentle assault on the other man's mouth. Spike's lips parted beneath his, and Xander slipped his tongue inside to taste the cool, moist recess--

"Ow! Damn it!"

Xander jerked his head and blinked several times, and found himself on the receiving end of an angry glare. "Why didn't you warn me that I was going to smack my head?" Spike growled, rubbing the top of his skull.

"Uh, sorry," Xander released the closet shelf part he'd been holding while Spike tightened the screws, and quickly put some space between himself and the blond. [Before I ravish him on the bedroom floor.] Which actually didn't sound like a bad idea, except Xander doubted Spike would suddenly get on all fours, wiggle his sexy ass, and say, "Take me, babycakes."

Spike would never say "babycakes."

Smooching daydreams aside, Xander's Sunday had been going very well. That morning, he'd forgotten about the bunkbeds and ended up flat on his face on the lower double-bunk next to Spike. The thumb-sucking blond had shot upright, blue eyes wide and rapidly flitting around the room seeking danger. He'd found Xander with the wind knocked out of him instead.

"What're you doing?" Spike had grumbled groggily.

"Forgot my 'chute," Xander had gasped in reply.

Spike had snickered. Xander had flicked him off. Spike had grabbed his finger and pretended to bite it. Xander had spent the rest of the morning in the shower, whacking off.

The new apartment was pretty much unpacked. Xander had waited to start on the bedroom until Spike had wandered into the living room and had fallen back to sleep in front of the television. [Complete with remote control operation on the unplugged set. Cute, cute, cute.] Then, the brunette had tried to assemble the closet organizer alone and found it impossible, so that activity had been postponed until Spike was really awake to help.

"I'll go dump the box in the trash," Xander said to Spike, gathering up the cardboard shield. "You can put away the tools and then your new clothes."

Spike saluted him with the screw driver. [Does that mean he wants to screw me?,] Xander wondered. He shook his head as he left the bedroom. [Argh. Bad Xander. Sometimes a cigar is just a foul, noxious, cancer-causing stick of tobacco.]

Xander returned to the apartment after dumping the garbage and found Spike lounging on the bottom bunk, sock-clad feet hooked into the bed springs of the top bunk. The clamp arm-lamp was on behind his head, and he was reading the paperback book Xander had found him with Saturday afternoon. [Spike's wearing his glasses,] Xander observed. He quickly turned away. [Don't laugh, don't laugh, don't laugh...]

The brunette smothered his snickers and went about unpacking his clothing. Spike had taken the lowest closet shelf and the bottom drawer of the cardboard dresser for his meager belongings. They were really going to have to do some shopping, somewhere a little more hip than Wal-mart, and get the vampire more clothes... but not until he gained a few pounds. [Which reminds me...]

"Hey, Spike." Xander tried not to laugh as Nerd Boy looked at him in askance. "Where were you getting your blood supply?"

"Melrose Butchers," Spike replied. "And Willy's, before..."

The vampire abruptly turned back to his book, leaving his sentence dangling. But Xander could fill in the blanks on his own. The brunette felt his anger flare, and his movements became jerky. Someone or something had hurt his vampire so much, Spike wouldn't even finish his sentence.

[Woah, there. Slow up, Overprotective Man. Spike doesn't necessarily want your help. Besides, he's nothing to you but a possible conquest, anyway.]

Right. Sure. Pull the other one.

Xander left his remaining clothes for later and left the bedroom. He dragged his fingers through his shaggy hair in frustration. The desire he had to care for and protect Spike was getting out of hand. Wanting Spike for his sinfully delicious [although way too skinny] body was on thing; wanting Spike for his shy and bruised heart was something else entirely.

Xander spent the next hour Not Thinking about the vampire in the bedroom, instead concentrating on hooking up the television to the antenna and preparing dinner, using the stove rather than the microwave. He only burned his food a little bit.

Sitting at the card table set up in the kitchen corner, Xander scratched out a grocery list as he ate. At the bottom of the list, "human blood" was written and underlined twice with a note to call Angel jotted beside it. Xander was Not Thinking about Spike's health when he wrote it, because he was still Not Thinking about Spike.

Dishes done and shopping list in his wallet, Xander settled in front of the television for a few hours of brainwashing. Channel-surfing wasn't that fun with only five stations. Luckily, Fox had a good prime-time lineup on Sundays.

Mid-way through The Simpsons, Spike meandered into the living room and plopped onto the couch beside Xander. He gave the brunette a shy, tiny smile before turning his attention to the television. A short time later, he was purring softly as Xander played with the white-blond hair at the nape of his neck.

*****

Morning came too early for Xander everyday that work week. His shift was twelve hours long, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., with several breaks and a forty-five minute lunch. The work was satisfying, and it was nice to see the fruits of his labor instantly.

Each day, the alarm went off, and Xander blindly climbed out of bed and drank a cup of black coffee brewed by the automatic coffee-maker. [The automatic coffee-maker: a gift from the Gods.] Then, with eyes half-open, he performed his morning constitutional, dressed, checked on Spike, and headed off to work with another cup of coffee in hand. Twelve hours later, he returned to the apartment and, with eyes half-closed, ate dinner, showered, snoozed through prime-time television, and was in bed, asleep, by 10:00 p.m.

Xander's contact with Spike had all but vanished, save for the few moments he made sure the vampire was safely tucked in bed, uninjured, every morning. Xander noted that Spike had stopped sucking his thumb mid-week. The brunette couldn't decide whether it was good that the vampire felt secure living with him, or bad that the vampire felt secure living with him, a Scooby Gang member. [There goes my manly ego,] he thought.

By the time Saturday rolled around, Xander was quite ready for the weekend. He liked his work, but it was beyond tiring. He slept in on Saturday until after noon, waking only to pull a Spike and move to the couch before falling back to sleep with the television on.

He woke a few hours later with his face plastered to Spike's ass.

"Mmph," Xander mumbled against the boxer-covered bum. Somehow, he was half-under, half on top of Spike. The vampire was sprawled face-first on the couch, his legs stretched over Xander's legs. Xander was bent forward and slightly sideways, his arms around Spike's middle and his cheek snuggled against Spike's rear. [This is getting to be a habit. What is it with me and Spike's butt?]

Xander didn't bother to answer the obvious.

Sitting up, the brunette stretched, brought his hand down, and began to rub small circles on Spike's lower back. The football game that Xander hadn't watched was over and the weekend news was on the television. A glance at the clock on the VCR [which I set all by myself] revealed he had three hours until Buffy and Willow arrived for the housewarming party. [Ugh. What was I thinking? I'm too tired, still, to even move. I'll have to change it to a couch-warming party.]

Somehow, Xander knew the weekend wasn't going to be long enough. [There needs to be eight days in a week,] he decided. With his luck, however, he'd end up working six days instead of having a three-day weekend.

"Mm, Xan, like that, don't stop," Spike mumbled, a low purr beginning to rise from the vampire.

Xander smirked and his fingers danced lower, brushing lightly over the top swells of the blond's buttocks. The purr cut off abruptly and the half-globes tightened as the vampire tensed. Xander slid his hand up again to the safety of Spike's back, amusement alighting his dark gaze.

"Buffy and Willow are coming over tonight," Xander told the blond, drawing idle patterns on Spike's pale skin. "You're welcome to join us for 'Dinner and a Movie.' We're supposed to be making Cry Babyback ribs."

Spike snorted.

"Didn't think so." Xander walked his fingers up Spike's spine as far as he could reach. Spike curled with the touch and shivered when the brunette scratched his nails on along Spike's back on the way back down. The vampire began to purr softly again.

"Like that?" Xander asked.

"Mm-hmm."

Xander continued to trace his fingers over Spike's back for several minutes longer, watching as Spike's muscles rippled under his skin. "I kinda missed you this week," Xander said eventually. "No one put me down, or called me names, or made fun of my friends..."

"You're ugly and your mother dresses you funny, tosser," Spike threw out.

Xander laughed, smacked Spike on the rear, shoved the white, white legs off his lap, and stood. "They'll be here before eight o'clock. I'm taking a shower."

"Good. You smell like a bloody sewage dump," Spike commented, sitting up. His blond hair was sticking straight up on one side. [Heh, heh.]

Later, Xander realized, as he was dressing in the bedroom and listening to the shower running through the wall, that this was the first time he was witnessing Spike doing common human stuff, like showering or other grooming activities. Back in the Harris basement, Spike had always been up and dressed -- more often than not, already gone, too -- by the time Xander had gotten home from his day jobs. The entire week living in the apartment had been the same: Xander had arrived home long after dark and Spike had already left. The weekend of the move Xander didn't remember Spike cleaning up at all, although he might have while Xander was asleep. [Good thing, too, because now I have wet, naked Spike pictures in my brain. And soapy, naked Spike. And soap running off of naked Spike.]

Xander sat on the bottom bunk and dropped his head into his hands with a groan. What he wouldn't give to be in the shower with Spike, running his soapy hands over that pale body, stroking and caressing the other man's hardened sex.

"Oh, gods," Xander moaned, adjusting the painful bulge in his trousers. He flopped back on the bunk, pressing his palms to his eyes, and was immediately surrounded by Spike's scent. Xander whimpered. He wanted the blond so damn badly. Maybe it was a very good thing that he worked such long hours, after all. Xander doubted he could survive being this aroused all the time.

The shower shut off, and Xander bolted the bedroom. The further he was from Spike when the vampire left the bathroom, damp and possibly just clad in a towel, the better. Xander prided himself on his iron control, but iron still melted when put next to fire.

Xander grunted goodbye when Spike [unfortunately dry and dressed] said he was leaving. The brunette received a curious look and a shrug before the vampire left the apartment.

Within seconds, Xander's trousers were around his ankles behind a locked bathroom door.

*****

A much more relived Xander greeted his best friends when the two ladies arrived at the apartment. He took the grocery bag that Willow held and brought it into the kitchen. "Welcome, wenches, to the Palace of Pleasure."

"Wow, Xander, the place looks great," Willow said, hanging her coat on the coatrack beside the door. "The furniture and lack of boxes really makes a difference."

"And it's clean, too," Buffy commented, passing her winter coat to Willow. "I thought all bachelor pads were supposed to have dirty clothes, pizza boxes and beer cans lying around, and bras hanging on the lamps from your wild orgies. What gives?"

"Sorry to burst your bubble, Buffster," Xander said, unpacking the grocery bag. "Except for the stray sock, the bleached one and I are neat freaks."

"I don't blame you, after all that time living in the basement," Willow said.

Buffy flopped onto the couch and picked up the paperback book and glasses sitting on the end-table. She slipped on the glasses and opened the book. "Is this book any good? I noticed Riley was reading it before class yesterday."

"Ooh, you're noticing what Riley is reading." Willow tweaked Buffy's ponytail. "That's a definite crush sign. You're crushing on Riley."

"Am not," Buffy protested. She looked back at Willow and smiled. "Well, maybe a little crushage. Have you seen him in that blue shirt?"

"Yes, Buffy, he was wearing it yesterday. I'm in your class, remember?"

"Do I need to get out my shotgun, Buffy, and find out what Riley's intentions are?" Xander teased. "And you'll have to ask Spike about the book. He's reading it, not me."

Buffy dropped the book like a hot potato and wiped her hand on her pants. "Spike can read?"

"Yes, Spike can read," Xander scowled at her as he joined them in the living room. "He's not stupid."

"Xan, people who can't read aren't stupid, just illiterate," Willow scolded. "Don't stereotype."

Xander ducked his head and scuffed his toe on the hardwood floor. "Sorry, Miss Rosenburg."

Buffy tittered, and Willow yanked her ponytail somewhat hard before heading into the kitchen. "You behave, too, missy," the redhead warned jokingly.

"Yes, ma'am," Buffy called over her shoulder. She exchanged a grin with Xander, her eyes magnified anime-style by the glasses.

"These," Xander carefully removed the black-framed glasses from her, "are not a playtoy." He folded them and looked around for the case.

"Why? Are they Spike's, too?" Buffy's brow went up.

"Yes," Xander replied simply, heading for the bedroom, ignoring Buffy's gasp and giggles. Not seeing the glasses case on the box substituting for a night-stand, he dropped to his knees and checked under the lower bunk. The black soft case was sitting on an open notebook with a pen clipped in the spiral binding. Xander grabbed the case, tucked the glasses inside, and caught sight of his name as he was putting the case back.

Xander knew he shouldn't, but he did, and his breath caught. The notebook page had his name written all over it, both full and shortened versions, in different types of script. It was classic crush activity, something Buffy was probably doing with Riley's name.

A large smile spread across his face as he put the notebook back where he'd found it. [Spike likes me!] Xander had suspected, but to have it verified meant he could progress with his persual of Spike less tentatively. [Spike likes me! Rule!]

Feeling giddy and gooshy, Xander bounced out of the bedroom and joined the girls in the kitchen, where they were setting out cooking equipment needed for dinner. "What's my job?" he asked, tamping down on his jubilation. It was exceedingly difficult, but he managed, with only a stray psycho-happy grin escaping now and then.

"Change the channel on the tv, the show's about to start," Willow instructed, tying his 'Stick a fork in me, I'm done' apron around her waist.

Cry Baby was a musical and was pretty dang silly, in Xander's opinion. But the dinner portion of "Dinner and a Movie" was scrumpdiliumptious. Between the three friends, they'd whipped up tender babyback ribs with a spicy barbeque sauce, mixed veggies [so we don't get Scurvy, and die], and cornbread. Well-stuffed, they were all cross-legged on the couch, giving daisy-chain backrubs while watching the follow-up movie, Edward Scissorhands.

"I could take him," Buffy commented, curling into Willow's hands, her eyes on the television.

"Buffy, he's not a monster," Willow tisked.

"Looks like one to me," Xander said, rubbing Willow's shoulders in the chain.

"Just because Edward is different, doesn't mean he's a monster," Moral Willow stated. "This is a classic 'Beauty and the Beast' story. Look beyond his physical detriments, and you'll find a shy, caring, intelligent, wonderful man."

"Kinda like Spike, huh?" Xander said. Both girls' head rotated Exorcist-style and in sync, majorly freaking Xander. "What?"

"Xander, you just implied that Spike, the evil, blood-sucking vampire, is shy, caring, and intelligent," Buffy said, staring at him in shock.

"Don't forget 'wonderful,'" Willow added, wearing an expression identical to Buffy's.

Xander laughed nervously. "Who, me? Why would I go and do a thing like that?"

Willow Blair's head swung towards Buffy and they did that silent girl-communication thing that Xander hated. He hated it more when he was the topic of the mind-meld.

Willow turned to focus on him again, wearing her Concern Face. "Xander, are you feeling okay? Is work too hard? Have you been getting enough sleep? Eating healthy?"

"I'm fine, no, yes, and yes," Xander answered. He held up his hands. "And before you whip out the straight-jacket, I know Spike is an evil fiend plotting to kill us when the chip goes bye-bye. But, I figure, if I'm nice to him, he'll kill me first and, more importantly, without any pain."

What he told them was the truth: he had no delusions that Spike wouldn't go on a killing-spree once he was de-chipped and that the Scoobs were at the top of his hit list. But that might not happen for a very long time. Why should Xander give up the opportunity to deflower a sexy, sexy virgin? Besides, there was actually more danger to his heart [a biiiiiig danger] than to his life, in pursuing Spike.

Buffy leaned towards Xander and lowered her voice. "Do you really think Spike is Edward Scissorly?"

Xander's eyes twinkled and he couldn't prevent his smile when Spike's notebook scribbles popped into his mind. "That's for me to know and you to find out."

The blond Slayer made a face. "But Spike's icky."

The front door burst open suddenly, and "Speak of the Devil" Spike swaggered in, a huge Cheshire-grin on his bleeding face. "'Allo, lunchables."

"Spike, what the hell happened?" Xander jumped to his feet and rushed over to the injured vampire. Spike had a long, straight gash running from his forehead all the way down to his waist. His shirt was slashed in two and blood stained his pale skin red.

"'S'just a flesh wound," Spike said offhandedly.

Xander herded him to the bathroom, tossing a "Be right back," over his shoulder to the girls. Bathroom door closed, Xander removed the first aid kit from beneath the sink, faced the blond, and winced. "Shit, Spike. What happened?" he asked, carefully pushing the duster off the vampire's shoulders.

Spike grinned again, the split on his lips pulling apart, giving him a bloody smile. "I can fight other demons!" he exclaimed, bouncing on his toes.

"Hold still," Xander growled, trying to remove Spike's torn shirt without hurting him.

Spike brushed Xander's hands away and yanked off the tee-shirt. The gash skipped his neck and started again at his collarbone, making a solid, bleeding line from shoulder to the waistband of his jeans. There were no guts spilling out, and Spike was vibrating with excitement, so Xander trusted that the injury looked worse than it was. Still, his hands shook as he started to doctor Spike.

"Tell me what happened," Xander prompted, after clearing the knot of worry from his throat.

"I was on my way home when I ran into a Beghtel demon," Spike began. "Tall, hairy buggers, they are, and very territorial. He didn't want me sharin' his sidewalk. We had words, he tried to chop me in two with a sword, I took offense and punched the soddin' prick. Imagine my surprise when the chip didn't fry my noggin."

Spike bounced again, and Xander shot him a warning glare. The blond stopped, but his eyes continued to dance. "I can fight other demons, Xan," he repeated. "Do you realize what this means?"

Xander finished bandaging Spike, cupped the smaller man's cheek, and met his excited gaze. "Yes, I know what it means, Spike." And he did know what it meant to the vampire. Spike could protect himself now against other demons. He could regain a portion of himself that the chip had taken away.

"We should celebrate," Xander suggested, dropping his hand. "Whatever you want to do, as long as it doesn't involve loss of limb or my wearing a thong."

Spike blinked twice, glanced at Xander's crotch, looked back up, and blinked twice again. Then, he blushed. "Um... uh...," he mumbled, flustered.

"You don't have to decide now." Xander smothered his grin and tossed the unused bandages into the first aid kit. "I'm done. Try and be careful, okay. My knowledge of first aid only extends to band-aids and kisses."

"Kisses?" Spike squeaked.

"Yeah." Xander turned, stepped closer to Spike, and brushed a kiss over the butterfly bandage on Spike's forehead. "All better," he said with a small smile.

Spike's eyes were huge, the blush still staining his cheeks, as he stared in shock at Xander. Xander groaned softly, bent his head and lightly pressed his lips to Spike's cut ones.

The kiss was brief [too brief] and chaste [too chaste], but it stole Xander's breath away. Xander quickly released Spike and turned his back to the vampire. His hands shook again as he returned the rest of the first aid supplies to the kit. "There's fresh blood in the fridge," he said, a bit huskily. "Willow brought it from Giles's."

The silence stretched on and became deafening. Xander kept facing the sink, waiting for Spike to leave the bathroom. [Please leave, Spike, before I lose control and kiss the demon out of you.]

"Er... can we go to the show again, to, um, celebrate?" Spike inquired hesitantly.

"Sounds good to me," Xander croaked in reply.

"Right, then." The bathroom door opened and Xander sensed Spike leave. The brunette immediately threw on the cold water and stuck his head under the stream.

A few minutes later, a damp Xander returned to the living room and flopped onto the couch beside Willow. Buffy was in the kitchen, arguing with Spike, who had changed and was sipping from a mug.

"Everything's okay, I take it?" Willow said.

"Yep," Xander replied. "Spike just found out he could fight demons, despite the chip."

"So I heard." Willow nodded towards the two in the kitchen. "Spike's telling Buffy she's got competition and that she'd better watch out, because he plans on superceding her reputation."

Xander sighed. "Why do I think that's a bad thing?"

"Oh well, look at it this way," Willow began, giving him a secretive smile. "At least you'll have lots of opportunities to kiss it and make it better."





End