Xander woke up in the middle of the night, his heart beating harder than ever. He wasn't sure what awakened him, only that he was wide awake and reluctant to go back to sleep. Spike was sprawled next to him, silent and still in his slumber. Making sure not to make too much noise, Xander crept out of the room and down the stairs.
When he was a kid he would go to Spike with all his problems and Spike would help him fix things or live with them. After Spike had left, Willow had taken his place as Xander's confidant. This time though he was on his own. He'd grown to love this world's Willow and heavens knew he adored Spike but neither of them could help him now.
He stumbled to the kitchen and opened the freezer. Both Buffys believed that ice cream made everything better and Xander tended to agree. He grabbed a carton of Haagen Dasz Cookies and Cream and went to sit at the table, jumping back when he saw his doppleganger already there, with his own carton of ice cream.
"Haagen Dasz?" he asked, nodding at the carton.
"Ben 'n Jerries," Xander answered, lifting it up so he could see.
"So we have some differences," Xander said as he sat himself down.
"Hey, it's more than the ice cream, you're gay, I'm not."
"Yeah, yeah..." he dismissed the protest with a wave of his spoon.
They sat there in silence for a while, both content to just eat.
"I hear you're leaving tomorrow."
Xander shrugged in response.
"Spike will be bummed."
"Yeah. Would you...what would you do in my place? Say you were dropped into my world and fell in love with, I don't know...Spikette."
They stared at each other for a moment, one waiting for an answer, the other studying him carefully.
"I don't know. If it was just me, I would stay but your Willow and Buffy are there too, right? If they love you as much as my girls love me...tough choice."
"Try fucking impossible."
They lapsed into silence once more.
"Could be fun if you stayed," Xander said thoughtfully. "I always wanted a brother."
"Yeah, me too." The smile was honest but half-hearted. He could have fun here. He had a surrogate family all set up and he had Spike. Here he had Spike.
"Okay, let's see..." Xander suddenly said, loud in the silence, "What would you miss from your world? Other than the girls. What is there that makes it absolutely imperative for you to go back. Because, let's be honest, with an army of slayers they don't need us. They may want us, you, a Xander, but they don't need one."
"Well there's my job."
"You can get one here. Willow can mock up fake ids like nobody else in the world."
"There you go then. Decision made," Xander said, leaning back with a self-satisfied look on his face. "You can pop over, say goodbye to the girls, let them know you're safe and pop right back. I'm sure Willow can keep the gate open a couple of hours."
"You make it sound so easy."
"Look, I know you. You're me but with added swearwords. You love Spike more than I ever loved anyone. Remember what you told Buffy? About Riley I mean. Did you tell her the thing with the love when he was leaving?"
"Good because I can't be bothered to repeat all that. You love Spike. Stay with him. God knows he'll be a misery to be around if you leave and he'll take it out on me 'cause I look like you. Either that or stalk me and I'd rather avoid that thank you."
* * *
After the Xander that belonged in this world had gone back to sleep, he had remained in the kitchen with his ice cream and his thoughts. Perhaps his doppleganger was right. Perhaps it was that simple. By the time Willow came down for her morning coffee he'd made up his mind.
Once everything was arranged he felt lighter somehow, yet looking down at a sleeping Spike he felt a tug of sadness in his heart. No matter what he had chosen he would have to give up someone, he reminded himself as he sat on the bed next to Spike.
"Spike? Wake up, sweetheart, I have news," he said, touching Spike's shoulder.
Spike groaned, blinked his eyes open... and it all hit him. The reason he wanted to stay asleep, with his dreams to comfort him. "Is it time?" He sat up and swung his feet over the side of the bed, never taking his eyes off his lover. "I can't come... to the ritual. I can't," he said.
"I want you to," Xander said simply, "I need you to be there so they can see, so they can know I'll be okay."
"Can't say goodbye... not there." He stood up, and pulled Xander up against his frame, burying his face into his neck and drawing his scent in for maybe the last time, or close to it. "Just bloody can't, Xander. When..." swallowed over the lump in his throat. "When are you leaving? How much time do we have left?"
"Hey, no, you got it wrong," Xander exclaimed. He stroked Spike's hair, smiling down at him. Spike's reaction had only confirmed that he had made the right decision. "I'm going to say goodbye. I can't let them worry." Xander tugged Spike's hair back until he was looking up at him. "I'm staying," he said, "with you."
"You're..." Spike lost his words, but he was a man of action, if anything. His mouth descended over Xander's in a long, hard, relief-filled kiss. "Staying are you... Right, you owe me a happy moment on the ferris wheel." And now he'd have the time to show him how persuasive he could be if he put his mind to it. Though he was looking smug, he hadn't let go of his Xander.
"Oh no, there are kids that will be traumatised," Xander laughed, "I will not be responsible for scaring little kiddies."
"We'll see," Spike said moving his hand down low on Xander's back, "we'll see." When Xander tipped his head back, he searched his face. "What if you go back there and they talk you into staying. You sure you're coming back? Don't... don't do to me what you arsehole of a Spike did to you." He was dead serious. He could take being told that Xander was leaving, but waiting for something that never came was different.
Xander kissed Spike, smiling against his lips. He could get used to this requited love thing.
"You're coming with me, remember? So they can see why I'm staying here," he pointed out. "Willow worries, much like this Willow, and seeing you will make her feel better."
"Coming with you. Right." That would be strange. "Alright. We can gather up your things while we're there," he agreed. "Porn collection?" he guessed.
"Yep, and some kinky oufits you're gonna like," Xander smirked. "The Village Boys got nothing on me."
"Better not meet any of your kinky friends," he groused, knowing someone or someones had to have taught Xander all his little tricks... tricks that drove the vampire mad.
"Nah, Harry left years ago. He wanted kids and stuff and I wanted...well, more kinky sex." Xander pushed Spike so the blond got going.
"Good thing, that." Despite the push, he held Xander to him one last time, forcing himself to believe this wasn't a dream. It was better than the dream he'd dreamt, far better.
* * *
The portal looked like a big swirly thing to him, Xander thought as he stood there, staring at it.
"I promise it's good," Willow said.
"No hell dimension or a third Xander on his way?" Xander asked for the umpteenth time since they started the chant.
Or worse, another Spike. For some reason, Spike had already started getting jealous of his alternate self and was scowling.
"You don't have to do this," Buffy said, seeing Spike was unhappy. But that only deepened his scowl so she went back to following Willows chanting instructions.
At Buffy's words, Xander moved to Spike's side.
"She's right. You don't have to do this," he said quietly, reaching out to take Spike's hand.
"And leave you to your Spike's tender mercies, not on your life." Squeezing Xander's hand possessively hard, his eyes blazed with emotion. Maybe they wouldn't find the other vampire after all.
"We don't even know if he'll be there," Xander pointed out. He grinned at Spike and dropped a kiss on his lips. "Even if he was, I have the Spike that I want."
"You've known him longer." Before he could say more, they were pulled into the portal and gone.
Xander stepped out of the portal into the very same room, with the very same people. They were even dressed in similar clothes, he noted.
"Hi all!" he said. That was all he managed to say before the air was full of screams and curses and he found himself surrounded by his girls and hugged until he could hardly breathe.
Spike on the other hand, was pushed off to the side and then came face to face with au!Spike. They glared at each other for a moment, and then reading the other vampire's intent, Spike escaped that one's lunge. He pointed at the vampire. "Don't make me hurt you, yeah? He'd never forgive me."
"You snatched him away. If there's a mark on him," Au!Spike snarled.
"There's plenty of marks... places you're never going to see." Laser blue eyes flashed.
"Xander, what's going on?" Buffy asked, pulling away and looking at not one but two Spikes. "I know you like em Xan, but did we really need a spare FAV?"
Xander didn't answer. he was too busy looking at Spike, his Spike, the original one who made up acronyms for him and got him out of the house when everything got too much. He stepped closer, until he was standing right in front of Spike, eyes earnest and hopeful.
"Spike?" he asked hopefully. When the blond nodded Xander grinned widely and punched him squarely in the mouth.
Cursing, Au!Spike was ready for a second hit and gripped Xander's wrist before it came. "Are you bleedin' mad?"
"Hands off, mate," Spike snarled, even as a familiar scene played out before him.
"I owed you that, you fucking bastard," Xander yelled, tugging his arm in an effort to release his wrist. He could see the girls standing to the side, Willow shocked and Buffy watching them closely, ready to intervene. "You don't damn well leave when it suits you!"
Spike was twitchy... didn't like the other Spike's hands on his Xander, but then again, Xander looked so angry he was liable to start a fight he couldn't win. Sides, the boy had to get this off his chest, that he understood.
"Didn't suit me." Au!Spike hooded his eyes, and released Xander. "By the by... you left too."
"Ten years after you did," Xander snapped. He brought his arm close to his chest and rubbed at his wrist. "And I didn't mean to do it, I jumped in front of Buffy. You just buggered off. Stupid FAV," he muttered, taking a step back, towards his own Spike.
"Who the bloody hell are you?" Au!Spike's gaze flicked to the other Spike, then back to Xander.
"Come on mate, he needs to know the truth, yeah? Tell him and we'll push off." Spike put an arm around Xander.
Buffy exchanged looks with Willow. They knew their Spike was semi-evil. Only reason she hadn't dusted him, well... after two tries that went wrong, was that he seemed to be reformable. Once they'd found him and asked for help finding Xander, they'd reached a truce. He'd agreed not to kill any humans in LA. Not much of a concession, but if he was staying in LA it meant he wasn't killing anyone. True to his word, he'd helped search for Xander, and in the process, he'd somehow gotten involved in their patrolling and occasionally helped. Angel wasn't the only vampire who turned against the dark side, but this one just needed a little pushing.
Xander pointedly turned towards Buffy and Willow before he answered the question.
"This is Spike. My Spike, I mean. From the universe I jumped to. He has a soul and he lives here, and he's...we're...I'm making a mess of this," Xander groaned,
Au!Spike looked like he was about to tell them to fuck off, but something softened in his features. "You know why I had to leave." His gaze was locked with Xander's, a part of him hurting because he hadn't been there to stop whatever took the boy's eye. He remembered well what it felt like to have trusting brown eyes look up at him ... absolutely believe in him.
"Do now. Didn't then," Xander replied. "Spike helped me figure it out. My Spike, I mean. From the universe I jumped to. I was a teen, I thought you left because I disgusted you," he said softly.
"Disgusted, never." Taking a step closer, Au!Spike put his hand on Xander's cheek, ignoring the heated bristling coming from his alter ego. "Left because I thought I was confusing you. I might still at be," he said, pointedly looking at the other Spike.
That was it. Xander was pushed out of the way, and Spike threw a right cross that connected. Suddenly, both vampires were engaged in hand to hand, neither one about to give up. Their coats billowed around them as they kicked, punched and blocked, trying to get the advantage.
Xander stepped back when the two blondes lunged at each other, eyes wide in shock. Of all the ways he'd pictured this meeting two Spikes fighting wasn't in any of the top one hundred scenarios.
"You know," he said, tilting his head a little, "that's kinda hot."
Buffy cocked her head. "I can see what you'd like about it."
It took the two vampires a while to realize they were too evenly matched for there to be a winner. There was blood though, and aching jaws, and resentful looks when they each let the other out of their attempted headlocks and stepped back.
When Spike looked over at Xander and recognized naked lust on his face, it only pissed him off more. "Stop looking at him like that, yeah? And he's half an inch shorter," he groused.
"I was looking at the both of you," Xander pointed out. "Blond twins! It's every guy's," he glanced at Buffy who still had a contemplative look on her face, "and girl's dream."
Au!Spike shot him a look and went all business. "Right then, we've got you back, now we send him back where he belongs, and all's right with the world."
Guys, they had to be blind. Buffy shook her head. "No I think they're both staying. God I hope I won't be responsible for having to keep you two from fighting all the time. Could get old fast. Unless there's nudity and oil involved," she grinned at Xander.
Xander didn't smile back. Instead he looked at the ground and shuffled his feet a little.
"Well, erm, not exactly," he said. "Spike has a soul, you see, and he saved the world and they need him. Over there, I mean. And, okay, I love you girls, I do. Willow, you know I love you, right?" he looked at his friend, desperation clear in his eyes, "I love you both but you don't need me here." He saw them both about to protest and lifted his hand in a stopping gesture. "I'm not saying you don't love me or want me or whatever but you don't need me to save the world. So I'm going back. With Spike. Over to his world."
"I'm sure there's some sort of paradox rule or... something ... some reason you really shouldn't." Buffy knew it was a lost cause. Been there, done that... defied logic and rules because everything in her soul told her everyone else was wrong about the love she'd chosen.
"You sure?" Au!Spike looked steadily at him. "What if you don't get along as well as you think? What if he's a right bastard?"
"You don't get to say that," Xander snapped, "You left. Forgiving your sorry ass doesn't mean I forget you left me."
"You can't pop back and forth," Willow whispered sadly. If he could have, then this wouldn't be so hard.
"No," Xander agreed, the anger draining away at Willow's sadness. He pulled her into a tight hug, resting his cheek on her hair. "I'm sorry. Maybe Willow, the other Willow, can open a portal every couple of years? Can she do that? I could see you or send you letters."
Spike shifted, uncomfortable with the sadness and other emotions radiating around the room. "We only have twenty four hours here. Probably shouldn't waste it hugging and declaring our love, and such." When everyone's eyes shot daggers at him, he raised his arms up. "What?"
"You can be such a FAV, Spike," Xander said but he was smiling as he said it. "He's right, though. I should get some of my stuff, call Giles maybe, say goodbye. Wanna help me pack?" he asked Willow, who was still wrapped around him with her face hidden in his shirt.
"Looks more like a CSI, if you ask me. And I mean literally." Au!Spike smirked. "Can I kill your dad now?"
"What's a CSI?" But no one was answering Spike, since they were shouting "no" at the other Spike.
"No killing anybody," Xander said after everyone got quiet. "And he's not a CSI. Well, he does suck cock and I'm happy about that," he grinned, "but he's smart, my Spike is. Not to mention, talented," he said the last one to Buffy, "I can understand your Angel obsession now. Not needing to breathe? Fucking brilliant!"
"You called me a cock sucking what now? Git." Spike was slightly mollified by his boyfriend's compliments though, and that was the only thing preventing another physical confrontation.
"I'm sure he meant it as a compliment," Buffy chimed in. Who knew she could be a peacemaker. Then she gave Xander a secret smile. "Yeah, the 'no breathing' makes up for a whole lot of other 'no's' in my case."
Xander smiled back, his own smile tinged with sadness as he realised how much he would miss this easy camaraderie with Buffy and Willow. Maybe he would get it again with the other Buffy and Willow, but it wouldn't be the same. He didn't grow up with them, he grew up with these ones.
"Come on then," he said, "let's get me packed up and go out somewhere. Spike can tell me what he's been up to since he ran like a cowardly dog, and I can tell you about the universe I'm moving to."
He smiled at the group, his family all together for once, and released Willow so they could walk out together.
* * *
[BtVS Regular Verse]
Their new apartment was near enough to walk to Buffy's place but far enough that the noise they made at nights didn't disturb them. At least that's what the girls said. Spike smirked at the thought of how noisy Xander could get...
Then he heard the boy snap another order and sighed. "Make up your bloody mind, I'm not a mover." He pushed the dinner table back to the same spot it had been three times before. "I'd best be getting a good present after all this, yeah?"
"I'll do that thing with the tongue and the fingers that had you breaking the couch," Xander said absently. He was putting plates and cups away in their cupboards. The china had been a present from Giles and was thus of good quality and great taste. Giles' initial horror at being stuck with two Xanders had melted away to acceptance and then to fondness. He turned to look at the table. "It looks good there...what do you think? Leave it like this?"
"Perfect." Translated to 'it will do' or 'anywhere is fine.' "Broken couch wasn't my fault, they can't go around building them just to sit on... not in this day and age." Licking his lips, he gave Xander a predatory look. "Where do you want me?"
The question gave Xander pause. He looked at the unpacked boxes, then at Spike, then back at the unpacked boxes.
"That's not a fair question," he said, a small whimper escaping his lips.
"I'll rephrase then." Casually, he pulled his shirt off, and played with the top button of his leather pants. "How do you want me?"
"But...packing! We have boxes!" Xander exclaimed. There was a soft snap as Spike pulled the button free. "Who cares about the boxes. Bed, now. We have a bed, right? Never mind we'll use the couch!"
"Right. Bloody good idea," smirking, Spike dropped down on the sofa, put his arm across its back and patted his lap. "Come then. I've got a mind to unpack a thing or two myself."
"You're a bad, bad influence," Xander smiled as he straddled Spike's lap. "Worse than your doppleganger ever was."
"Good. I'm worse. I'm badder. I'm better," he nudged his hips up, biting his lip as his cock brushed against Xander's. "Just don't forget that, yeah?" His finger trailed down the middle of Xander's chest, until he caught a fistful of his tee shirt and pulled him close for a kiss.
Xander's response was lost against Spike's lips. He pushed Spike back into the couch, following him with his whole body, until there was not even a sixteenth of an inch of space between them. The kiss went on until he had to break for air.
"Couldn't forget if I wanted to," he murmured and leaned down for another kiss.
"Good answer." Raising his head, Spike melded their mouths together for another long, heated kiss, chasing Xander's tongue with his own. Things could have been different, his boy could have easily chosen to leave him. That thought had Spike holding him tighter, groping him as if he'd never touched him before and was learning all his secret places all over again.
When Xander broke for air, Spike started pushing the boys shirt off. His eyes burned hotter than usual, when he made the gutteral pronouncement. "Mine."
"Mmmkay," Xander sighed. Much as he wished Spike wouldn't be as insecure as he was, the random declarations of ownership were damn hot. "Now, prove it," he said, tilting his hips so he could push their cocks together.
Gripping Xander's ass, he dragged him forward as he lifted his hips, released and dragged him forward again. Fuck... the hard contact between them sent fire rushing straight to his groin. Forcing Xander back, he undid his belt, and pulled it clear off with a flourish. For an instant, his eyes dropped to the boy's wrists and his mouth went dry. "What're you thinking? Fantasizing?" he asked, glancing back up, and rolling his hips.
"Maybe," Xander smiled as coyly as he knew how. He leaned forward to whisper in Spike's ear. "Wanna hear about it?"
"Hell yeah. Will I need the belt?" His voice was thick with need as he wrapped the belt behind Xander's back and used it to pull him even closer.
"No. Though the Toth stick thing might help," Xander grinned as he allowed the belt to pull him down enough to kiss Spike.
"The what stick now?" He took Xander in an open mouthed kiss, slowly working him up to a frenzy. "I'm quite open to new things, but..." Right, he didn't plan on getting buggered with a bloody stick. "Lose the pants, Harris. I'll show you my stick..."
"Toth stick would give me two of yours," Xander explained. The urge to laugh faded as Spike's hands brushed against him as they worked his buttons free. "Two Spikes, all for me."
"Two Spikes?" His hands froze, and he stared at Xander. "You mean him"
He knew the answer. Suddenly needing to make Xander forget that other Spike, he tugged his pants down low, and reached inside. His grip around Xander's cock was firm and sure. "I'm much better looking." Ever so gently, he squeezed, then ran his thumb over Xander's tip, reveling in the way Xander's knees clenched into Spike's sides.
"N-no," Xander stammered, nearly incoherent as he pushed into Spike's touch. "Fuck you're good at that," he gasped. "H-he's...oh God, stop a moment, can't think." He grabbed Spike's wrist and held it still. The blond's fingers kept moving, tightening and releasing him. "Two of you. He's a father figure, you're mine," he said in one breath. "Mine," he said again, releasing Spike's wrist and leaning forward to kiss him again.
"But you're thinking of him... what with the Toth stick." Spike wasn't appeased, but he accepted the kiss, and deepened it... showing Xander what his non-father figure could do with his tongue. "Bet he can't do that," he said smugly, seeing the state Xander was in.
"He's shorter too." This time he used the pad of his thumb to stroke the underside of Xander's cock. "In every way that counts, yeah?"
"I wouldn't know about every way," Xander said. "Don't stop that," he commanded when it felt like Spike was slowing down. "Stick would give me two of you. Two of this," he cupped Spike's crotch, giving it a squeeze of appreciation, "two of this," he pressed his lips against Spike's, his tongue pushing inside for a taste, "twice the dirty words, twice the skills, twice the fucking brilliant sex. Then I'd put you back together," he whispered against Spike's ear, leaning down to nibble on his neck before he continued, "because I don't think I could handle two of you for long. One is enough for me."
Spike groaned, his sight growing bleary for a second. "Two of me then, not him." Comprehension dawned, and suddenly he wanted what Xander wanted. "One of me would fuck your mouth, yeah? The other would be behind you," he moved his fist faster up and down Xander's shaft. "Then you'd be between us, both of us whispering... both of us hungry for you... wanting..."
Bloody hell, was it possible to get horny thinking about two of your own self?! He pushed Xander up, made short work of removing the rest of their clothes, and laid back down, wrapping his legs around Xander's hips and rocking. He slid his hand over Xander's ass and ran his finger in circles around the sensitive area of his hole. "You wouldn't know if you were fucking or getting fucked."
"Fuck yeah," Xander gasped. "Just like that."
He pushed up, trying to get Spike's finger deeper inside. "Please, more," he moaned when Spike refused to help. "In. Now."
"Which one of me are you speaking to?" Spike kissed him, preventing an answer, and seeing a blinding flash as Xander started to thrash. Still, he teased, fucking him hard but holding back on the other need he'd created.
"Either, both, now, please," Xander begged, incoherent in his need.
"Both of us want you," Spike answered thickly, pressing first one, then two fingers inside his lover. Sheer need slammed into him. Rolling them onto their sides for more control, Spike started thrusting hard, pressing Xander into the back of the couch, pleasuring him with his fingers each time he pressed him back.
They fucked and fucked, until incoherent sounds were coming from both of them. Then Spike was on the very edge. Somehow, he found Xander's mouth, and kissed him... showed him how it felt to belong to someone. And somewhere along the way, he learned what it felt like to belong to someone else.
"That was," Xander paused to catch his breath, "fun," he concluded. He smiled sleepily at Spike and closed his eyes for a moment. "Kinky FAV," he murmured, "check. Own brilliant apartment, check. Friends giving me moving presents, check. Quite an HEA for a poor LLC," he smirked against Spike's chest.
"BFE." He nuzzled Xander's hair, and added. "Shut up."
(A/N: If you haven't seen the lovely banner for this, check out ch.1. Hope you enjoyed the story and we'd love to hear from you :) )