Three parts in and I fell completely in love with the pairing, and the idea of the pairing, which meant that as soon as I finished that fic, I went trolling for more.
I've fallen in love with other boys since then - John/Rodney of Stargate Atlantis, and Sam/Dean of Supernatural - but Spike/Xander will always be my first and best love, the one that got me writing and posting fic.
So, to celebrate my fourth Spanderversary, I bring you fic!
(It was supposed to be a 'Five' fic but I'm still having issues with the writing thing, so it's a 'Two'. *g*)
Title: The Punctuation of Xander
Fandom: Pairing: Buffy: Spike/Xander
Concrit: darkhavens @ slashverse.com. If you spot a typo, please feel free to tell me in comments. I want you to!
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be. No harm, no foul, no money made.
Notes: This is set in the Protected!verse, where Spike and Xander are in an established relationship and have decided that they want to be together for as long as possible, but without turning Xander. Xander bears scars and tattoos and other markings of spells and protections gifted to him by various demons. Each fic tells the story of one or more of these markings. Each fic can be read separately, with no knowledge of the rest of the 'verse.
Most people think that the tiny tattooed comma near the corner of Xander's mouth is a vanity-inspired stylistic dimple. When someone asks about it, he just shrugs and smiles and lets his not-a-dimple wink in and out.
It's easier than telling most of them the truth - that it's the mark of honorary kinship with the Crah'sheq Clan, the ruling house of the Davrek demon nation with its worldwide population of roughly 75,000, all of whom would view him as a boy prince deserving of respect and protection, and maybe even personal sacrifice.
How to explain that he was adopted (and magically tattooed) into demonic princehood for having the balls to stop Buffy from getting her slay on, and for telling Giles he'd got a translation wrong and nearly caused the collapse of the Davrek nation into anarchy.
Of course, it wasn't quite that simple. He'd actually ended up sending Spike off to deflect Buffy from her hunt and kill mission while he explained to Giles, in embarrassing, demonic sex-shop-referencing detail, how he came to know the Davrek symbols for 'congress', 'dangerous', 'internal', 'pressure' and 'lubricate thoroughly' - not that that last one was strictly necessary for the corrected translation, but by then he was on a roll. A short roll. A roll that rolled at full speed through TMI-ville, out the other side and straight into Holy-crap-did-I-just-actually-say-that-t
So yeah, vanity-inspired stylistic dimple is simpler. Also much more effective at getting him checked out and hit on and gifted with phone numbers - at least while Spike isn't flashing fang at anyone who stands too close or stares too long or just plain smiles wrong. Spike's never pretended not to be a jealously possessive lover, and Xander's never pretended not to appreciate that fact. It's a symbiosis that works well for them.
There are three little dots on the palm of Xander's right hand, carefully placed to pick out a tiny triangle joining his heart line, his life line and the almost imperceptible crease that the Ashenn insists is his kah line - the line that tells the story of the power of his tongue.
The Ashenn insists that story is a great one, that his tongue has saved hundreds of lives and will save thousands more. Xander's not entirely convinced - he can barely see the faint little groove, especially in amongst the other lines and creases and scars that cover his workman's hands. But the Ashenn insists and Spike kicks his ankle under the table to get his attention so he can give his patented 'Shut the fuck up and listen, you dozy git' glare. So Xander shuts up and listens and lets the Ashenn burn three surprisingly pain-free spots on his palm with a smoking twig.
Xander doesn't ask about the twig, or the smoking, or the painlessness thing. Life with Spike has taught him that 'ignorance is bliss' isn't just a platitude for the brainless of the world. Sometimes a smoking twig is not just a smoking twig and at those times Xander is content to remain ignorant.
He does however ask 'why?' but the answer is vague enough that it still leaves him pretty damn blissful.
Blissful, but with a handy dandy way to test for possible poisoning. The bliss is slightly disturbed by the fact that the Ashenn seemed to think the gift would one day be necessary.
It was still a cool trick, and one they test exhaustively. The Ashenn said they could use it to test 'food and drink, emollients and unguents' - basically anything absorbed or ingested by the body.
It isn't hard to tell the difference between 'not advisable' - which, scarily enough, encompasses most store-bought lubricants - and 'highly toxic' - the response they get to Xoltec slime.
'Not advisable' feels itchy - a spider skittering in frantic little circles on his palm. 'Highly toxic', by contrast, burns like acid.
Over time they discover a thousand and one reactions in between the two, from the tingle-zap of cinnamon oil - putting a minor crimp in their plans for spicy sex games - to the unexpected searing burn of Spike's latest delivery of Absinthe. (Net result: two dead demons, three injured and a whole new supply chain to facilitate Spike's love of the Green Fairy. And a plethora of fairy jokes that gets Xander spanked when he won't shut up. They count that as a win for each of them.)
mini_nanowrimo running total: 8383 words, in 18 days