Title: Never Have I Ever…
Pairing: Spike/Xander with tiny mentions of Spike/Wes, Wes/Angel, Xander/OMC, William/Angelus, Spike/Dru, Xander/Dru, Xander/Faith, Spike/Buffy (Yes, folks, you read it right, I actually went there - for four whole words. I'm shocked too.)
Feedback/Concrit: darkhavens @ slashverse.com
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be. No harm, no foul, no money made.
Warnings/Squicks: Mention of a rather gruesome OC death.
Summary: Spike and Xander get drunk and compare résumés.
Notes: Written for slashfest - here.
Challenge: Spike/Xander: post-Not Fade Away, comparing notes and getting through each other's walls. With alcohol. [Request by butterfly]
ETA: Edited to correct the name of the game - thanks go to lirm35m for catching that. ;)
Never Have I Ever…
They met up in a demon bar in Cairo, of all places - Xander, on a well-earned break from hunting down fresh Slayers, and Spike, intent on drowning every sorrow he could find.
It went something like this:
Someone behind Spike stumbled and knocked into his back, spilling precious drops of liquid memory suppressant, straight JD.
"Oi! Watch where you're going why don't you, you bloody great poof!"
The stunned, familiar voice didn't even cause a ripple in Spike's fog of poor-little-me melancholia.
"Gods, Spike, didn't you even have the courtesy to let us know? We thought you'd gone down in the alley with the rest of Angel's crew."
Spike finally registered the buzzing around his head and turned to see what insect was creating it. If Xander hadn't reached out and caught him up by the lapels, he would have toppled backwards off his stool.
"Harris?" Spike's eyes rolled up and tried to focus on the ceiling. "Haven't I suffered enough, you thankless gits? Just finish the torture already and bloody kill me!"
"Good to see you too, Spike. I'll tell everyone you said hi, but that you're too busy wallowing to visit, okay? I'm sure Dawn will understand - she only cried for a month, and Giles, well, that whole guilt trip thing looks good on him anyway."
Strong, pale fingers wrapped tight around Xander's wrists, grinding the bones together as they fidgeted and twitched.
"The Bit… cried for me? She was actually sorry I was dead? I thought she hated me. Never did forgive me for that stupid…" Spike slumped. "She's better off not knowing I'm around, she'd only fret."
Patient, Xander waited for the questions about Buffy, questions that, strangely, didn't come. Instead, Spike remained precariously balanced on the barstool, hands locked around Xander's wrists on his lapels.
Refocusing on Xander, Spike again seemed surprised to see him, frowning for a moment before toppling slowly sideways. Xander held him up while Spike struggled to find his feet.
"Can't do this here, too many tossers listening in. Got some fancy digs down the road, if you're coming."
Still operating on automatic, too shocked to argue, Xander pried Spike's fingers from his wrists - he'd have bruises by morning - and slung a supporting arm around the skinny vampire's waist.
"Lead on, MacDuff." Then, off Spike's incredulous look, "What? It's not like you didn't know I could read. And stuck in the middle of Africa I took what I could get. Still, I'd rather have a good Koontz or King, something I can laugh at, but Shakespeare and the classics have their place."
All he got for that was a soft snort of disbelief, so he buttoned his lip and allowed Spike's staggering gait to lead them down along a winding path of crooked streets and narrow alleys. Eventually they reached the rear entrance of a large hotel, all curves and angles in softest sandy peach with dark plum shadows.
"Angelus was a bastard, but he was canny with it. He set up accounts and shell companies all over the place so the money was always there when he needed it. Just before the final showdown he… Well, I'll never have to sell this sweet arse on street corners to make my way in this benighted world, that's for sure."
Xander blinked again, eyes focussed inwards on the tantalising mental image of Spike dressed for hooking. Glurble.
The door was open and Spike led the way through the dimly lit corridors, Xander trotting madly to keep up and keep Spike upright.
A mile or so of coffee-coloured carpet and uncounted stairs and finally they were stopped outside a door.
Xander waited. So did Spike.
"I presume you've got a key? This is your room, right?"
Spike squinted at the number painted discreetly on the doorframe and then began to pat himself down with random slaps. Xander took that as a yes.
Fifteen minutes later, they were inside and seated on the floor, a fresh bottle of JD and two glasses on the low table between them.
"Exactly, mate. So. So… Why are you here?"
Xander's gaze flickered around the room, taking in the huge plasma screen hung high on the wall, the slightly open door that allowed him a partial view of a marble tub that was easily big enough to seat three, maybe four, if they were friendly, and the thick black linen curtains on the balcony doors. He was, reluctantly, impressed.
"I got sick of hunting baby slayers with nothing but my wits, so Giles set me up with a small suite at the Alhambra." He dragged a hand through the thick pile on the chocolate coloured carpet. "I think I like this place more."
"The Cairo Alhambra's shite. Definitely not demon-friendly. Ever tried getting fresh blood delivered after eight o'clock? Might as well ask them to dance the Macarena."
Xander blinked again and tossed back another shot. He wasn't quite drunk enough for this conversation.
And then he was, and somehow they'd moved from discussing hotel services to playing a twisted back-to-front version of 'Never Have I Ever…'
Spike poured another shot and lifted it high.
"I shagged the Slayer!"
Then he emptied the glass and waited, hand on bottle, for Xander to admit he'd won that round.
Xander scowled and reached for the bottle.
"What? You're telling me you had the balls to shag psycho-bitch? Weren't you always mooning over the princess and the witch? I'm impressed!"
The whisky hardly burned at all as Xander swallowed it down; the pain in his throat was caused by memories.
"She shagged me. Climbed on board, took what she wanted, then threw me out. Stupid me, I thought it meant she actually liked me."
They shared commiserating glances and another couple of shots.
"I saved the world for humanity and nobody gives a shit."
Spike drank and Xander rolled his eyes.
"Oh, please! I've lost count of the number of times I've saved the world. I was the one who figured out how to kill The Judge. I was the one who stole the damn weapon that blew him up! Sure, Buffy got to be the one to pull the trigger, but only 'cause Giles was worried I'd screw it up." Xander emptied his glass and refilled it. "And then there was the time I talked Willow out of destroying the world, and, let me tell you, those magic zaps burned! I was sore for weeks after and did anybody care? Did they even think to see if I was injured? Hell no!"
He poured again.
"Ooh! That time with Angelus and Acathla and that sword thing - I told Buffy that Willow said to kick his ass when I was really supposed to tell her that he might be getting his soul back. So not only did I help get rid of Acathla, I also helped send Angel off to hell, but not for long." His shoulders slumped. "Dammit, Spike, don't any of you Aurelius vamps stay dead? First Angel, then Darla - and what's with that whole vampires-having-baby-Connor thing anyways? - and then, my friend, there is you. Is it a thing? Should we be worrying about the Master showing his bat ears again? 'Cause I have to tell you that wouldn't be fun at all."
Spike opened his mouth to reply but Xander barrelled on.
"Hey! The Master! He killed Buffy! I was the one who brought her back to life," - another shot - "and thereby spilt the Slayer line, and… Oh gods, Faith's my fault. How many points do I lose for causing Faith?"
A lone bottle clearly wasn't up to the task of fuelling the game, so Spike staggered out to the kitchen and returned with two more, plopping himself down next to Xander, knees brushing.
"Drink up, luv, you've had a shock."
Glass clinked against glass in an unsteady rhythm as they self-medicated their personal aches and pains. Then Spike spoke up again.
"At least your family wasn't completely screwed. I know your dad was a bastard and your mother never gave a shit, but at least they didn't try to break your spirit or fuck you till you broke."
Xander shuddered, first at the thought of his father, and then at the very real image of Angelus raping Spike.
"I turned my mum."
Whisky in the sinus cavity burned like nothing Xander had ever experienced before and he gasped for air.
"Jesus, Spike, give a guy some warning, eh? That's just… New low, buddy. I think we can definitely say you won that round."
"Right. 'S your turn."
For untold minutes, Xander pondered the twists and turns of his life, trying to come up with something unusual to toss into the ring.
"I turned down the chance to be immortal."
"What?" Whisky flew and spattered on the carpet as Spike switched and stared. "You? When?"
Xander squirmed around to face Spike and grinned wickedly.
"Drusilla once told me that my face was a poem. She wanted to take me home so I could be your baby brother."
The expression on Spike's face was priceless and Xander momentarily wished he was carrying his digital camera.
"You're taking the piss, right? My Dru would never… Hold on. Don't tell me you were the kitten she wouldn't stop raving about? The one that Daddy wouldn't let her have, the one that 'shone so bright'? That's just fucking typical Dru, that is. Find the one toy nobody wants her to have and make a fuss about it. No wonder Angelus was spitting feathers for days - that really pissed him off."
"So, what about you? Did you say no when Dru offered you sweet immortality?"
Yet again, Spike snorted loudly.
"I jumped at the chance, mate. She said I was 'effulgent'. Of course, she also said she could see 'burning baby fishes' but in my addled brain that just improved the poetry of the moment."
Xander wondered at the wince Spike gave as he mentioned poetry and stored it away in a hopefully-not-too-alcohol-soaked corner of his brain, for further scrutiny.
"Nah, I didn't turn down immortality, just the chance to be a real boy again. Bugger shanshu. Why would I want to get old and die, I've barely even lived! There's a whole bloody world out there to play in for the likes of us. Well, for the likes of me, anyway. More fool you for turning down my Dru."
They drank to Dru.
"Ah! I bet I can think of something you haven't done. Slayer of Slayers here, if you'll remember."
This time Xander took several slugs straight from the bottle.
"My head count for the last three years is seven… No! Make that eight. I try to forget that Kairi wasn't dead when I found her. She should have been; they'd flayed her skin off and staked her out in the sun at least a day ago, but she was still breathing when I got there, for a while, at least. She was the latest one, the reason I needed a break. The others were too sick, or crazy, or already broken. Giles keeps telling me killing them is a mercy, but it doesn't help."
Xander scrunched his eyes closed to stop the tears falling - he knew that once they started they wouldn't stop and he was just too tired. The arm around his shoulder pulling him in to a lopsided hug was unexpected but never more welcomed. He curled in easily, arms wrapping tight around Spike's waist as his breathing jerked and skipped over sobs that tried to steal his breath. This felt right.
"He's right, luv, about the mercy, but wrong about who he used. You're no more a cold-blooded killer than I'm a nun. Can't believe he thought it wouldn't affect you like this, or maybe he knew it would but he did it anyway. 'S possible. At least he knew there was no way you'd ever stop caring and start to like the job. Maybe I'll have a word and set him straight on a thing or two, yeah?"
The top of Xander's head brushed Spike's chin as he nodded, and Spike took another belt of Jack.
"Right, where were we? We've both shagged a slayer. I wonder, have you ever had a watcher on your cock? You'd be amazed at how many are just gagging to screw a vampire."
Xander nearly choked at the thought of Spike chained in Giles' bathtub, and Spike must have sensed his rising panic.
"No, you nit. Me and Ripper never would have worked. Too similar by halves, that's our trouble. Nah, I had Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, ex-watcher and rogue demon hunter. Stupid git was better at shagging them than he was at hunting, and if you don't believe me you can ask Angel." He paused. "Well, no, obviously you can't 'cause the bastard's dead, but believe me, they were at it like ferrets at the office. Didn't dare enter a room they were in without knocking loudly. Could make a body ill, all that 'Ooh, Angel' and 'Wes, Wes, yes!' Totally bloody nauseating, really."
There wasn't enough whisky in Xander's bottle to erase the mental images that Spike's words had conjured up. He shuddered.
"Well, pet, what about you? You found a watcher to shag? I bet there's one or two who don't look that bad in tweed skirts. I bet they jumped at the chance to ride a real live Scooby."
"Raoul, in Algeria. He was really hot; did the most amazing things with his tongue. Then there was Aloysius, in Johannesburg, he was buff. Six foot four of solid ebony muscle and not a word of English. Who knew sign language could be that much fun?"
The stunned silence filtering down from just above his head had Xander easing back from Spike's chest to check his face. He looked shocked.
"Just how long have you been batting for both teams? When Willow heard you say 'Gay me up,' she didn't do it - did she? I'm pretty damn sure I would have noticed that."
Stuck halfway between embarrassed and aroused, Xander blushed, fidgeted and tried to move away. Spike didn't let him.
"She, uh, didn't really need to after all. The great wall o' repression kinda tumbled not long after. I still didn't… haven't, really… only Raoul and Al. They were fun and fit but nothing to write home about, y'know? I'm really not looking forward to the answer to that letter. D'you think I should just include it in my will and let them find out that way? I wouldn't have to answer any 'Who do you think is hotter?' pop quizzes."
Spike was still staring.
"You have two eyes."
Both eyes rolled dramatically.
"Gods, you're quick. You know that trickster demon who stuck your soul back on? Well, it turns out he does a nifty sideline in eyes too. It's not mine, of course, that would be too easy, sneaky bastard. It sees the freakiest things sometimes so I keep it covered a lot. I got it after that ugly mess with Kairi."
He lifted a hand to fiddle with the patch that was no longer there, instead digging a knuckle into the ache that ringed the socket.
"I wanted to be whole again, and not the broken mess that Giles' lawyers had to bail out of Burai jail. I've only had it a month - does it look okay? I can never tell. Every time I look at it it's different."
The awe on Spike's face was unnerving.
"You have two eyes."
Spike's hands came up and framed Xander's face, pushing back his hair so Spike could study every lash and crease and iris fleck.
Xander opened his mouth, ready to utter something - quite inane, he thought, maybe, but maybe not, who knew? But he never did because cool Spike lips got in the way and then Spike tongue slipped in. Then the rest of Spike got with the plan and climbed aboard the Xanman. After that, it all got kinda blurry but it felt good.