Title: Tomorrow and Yesterday
Pairing: Ares/Joxer, Cupid/Strife, Xander/Spike
Disclaimer: I do not own Xena: Warrior Princess, Hercules: the Legendary Journeys, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or Angel.
A club in some random city. The music was loud and the press of undulating bodies crushed against him, stifling the life out of him.
Sometimes he was driven by an overwhelming need to be alone, and at other times he wanted to feel living people around him. It was when the loneliness became too much that he went to clubs and bars and house parties, inviting himself into any place where there were people that he could pretend he was one of.
Tonight he was in a club amusingly named the Sword of Ares. He'd thought the name was funny, some weird omen beckoning him on.
Dressed in black sim-leather pants, a gunmetal gray mesh shirt, and spaceboots, he pushed his way through the crush of people toward the bar. He needed something to drink, then maybe he would dance with one of the too-enthusiastic partiers.
He liked how they all tried so hard to be cold and aloof, playing at a cynicism they didn't really feel. They were in their twenties and early thirties, they had their whole lives before them. They were all so young, and even though they wanted so badly to be jaded, they were just children in dress up, playing the role of youths born to a future of dystopian desolation. Never mind that most of them had never had a day of hunger, or that they had been given everything they had ever needed or could want. They hadn't had to fight every single day just to survive. The biggest hardship they had to face was having their favorite vurt game be all sold out when they went to the store, or suffering the tragedy of having someone else show up wearing the same shirt as them.
"Hey, what's your name?" a girl with overly teased hair yelled, pressing close against him as he tried to catch the bartender's attention. He could feel her breasts rubbing against his upper arm, the lust hardened nubs of her nipples trying to entice him into stupidity.
He gave her a cold-eyed look. She was a child, having used makeup and lots of hairspray to trick her way past the bouncers. She couldn't have been more than fifteen, though the abuse she was putting her skin through would have her looking forty before she was twenty-five.
He could almost smell the sex on her. She was on the prowl, looking for someone with a car and a full wallet. If she wasn't a prostitute yet, it was only a matter of time.
"Why don't you go home? I don't mess around with jailbait," he said.
She shot him a hurt look before slinking back off through the crowd. "Bastard," he heard her mutter when she thought he couldn't hear.
He watched her ass as it disappeared into the distance, then turned back around. The bartender had wandered over and was handling the people next to him.
"What do you want?" the guy asked, barely glancing at him.
"I'll have a Jet Fuel," he said.
With the cool plastic in his hand, he leaned against the bar so his lower back was pressed against the edge. It was a pleasant pressure against him, resting between the ridges of his spine.
He gazed off into the crowd of dancing humans and almost wished that he was one of them. It had been so long since he'd even been mortal, and even longer since he'd been human.
Back when he was young he had never imagined that his life would turn out like this. He'd been the klutzy screwup, more likely to fall on his face in a fight then become a god someday. Yet here he was, nearly four thousand years later.
Things had advanced so much, humans developing technologies far beyond anything he'd ever dreamed of. Sometimes he looked around and didn't recognize the world anymore. This wasn't the place where he'd been born, not anymore.
Humans flew around encased in metal. Shuttles launched themselves to the stations and moon bases everyday, and people boarded colony ships toward planets where they hoped they could have a better future than Earth currently offered.
The world was dying, and it was the saddest thing he had ever known. Soon he knew that he would have to leave too. He would board a shuttle pretending to be human, make his way onto one of those starships, and disappear toward someplace strange.
He knew he was lucky. He wasn't like Gaia and some of the nature gods, tied to the Earth, forever unable to leave it as it died around them. He was a god that only needed humans to acknowledge the ideals that he represented to exist, and it didn't matter where they lived or how. Any world where humans lived, a part of him was there too, sustaining him no matter the distance.
His physical body was presently on Earth, but it was only for a little while longer. He was planning on leaving in a couple of weeks, when he could finally force himself to go. It was just so hard to leave the planet where he'd been born, the only home he'd ever known. But he couldn't stay.
The Earth had been polluted past the point of no return. The ozone layer was nearly gone, the air was a deadly poison to breathe, and nearly all the plants and animals had long since died out. Humans lived in dome-encased cities of plasticrete, plastisteel, and synthetic metal alloys. They lived on vat grown synthetic protein and vegetables gathered from hydroponic gardens.
The only hope for humanity was to find new worlds on which to live, and plans had been in effect for hundreds of years. The first twelve unmanned planeform ships had been launched two hundred and fifty years ago, and more ships had been sent off in the interim.
The colony ships leaving Earth and the solar system far behind them would take decades to reach the nearest inhabitable planet, and the System Governors could only hope that it had been planeformed into a Terra-class environment before the first colonists reached it. The other colony worlds would still be awhile to ready for human habitation.
Still, the first ships were already on their way toward the new colony named Eden.
"What are you thinking?" a husky voice growled into his ear.
He turned with a half smile. "Thinking about you and me living on Eden." He set his cup on the bar behind him and slipped his arms around his lover, pulling him close, nuzzling into his neck. "It'll be a whole new world for us, a fresh start far away from all the memories here."
"And that damn Hercules is on the list for the sixteenth immigration wave. By the time he reaches Eden, we'll already have passed on toward Rivendell." He shook his head. "I still can't believe they named it that."
"At least they stopped trying to genetically engineer hobbits and elves."
Ares laughed. "Don't think you fool me, Joxer. At the time you were desperate to have some hobbits of your own. I remember when the original movies came out... you watched them so many times the machine broke."
Joxer smirked, stroking his lover's arm. "You were just jealous of my crush on Legolas. That was an elf that needed to be fucked."
Standing together at the bar, for all they were surrounded by crowds of dancing, loud-talking people, the gods of War and Peace could have been alone.
After a few minutes, when the laughter and jokes had all drained away, Joxer cuddled himself closer against Ares. "I'm going to miss this world," he whispered, knowing that even if it was too soft for mortal ears, his lover would always hear him.
"I am too," Ares said, pulling him closer against him. "It'll be all right though. Even though everything's going to be different from anything we've ever known, we'll still have each other."
"We'll have to set up a new pantheon though," Joxer said. "And it can't be as easy as the old stories made it out to be."
Zeus was one of the gods that wasn't going to be able to leave Earth. He was God of the Sky, as well as King of the Gods, which kept him from ever being able to leave. Because of her marriage to him, which had been sealed in the old ways, Hera was trapped as well. She was still raging about it, blaming him for trapping her on a dying world with all the humans leaving them far behind. But with the King and Queen having to stay behind, a new leadership would have to be set up.
"Don't worry about it," Ares said. "We'll have the whole voyage to think and plan in. The children will help us too."
"We have to make sure and remind Cupid and Strife, Xander and Spike, and Alemada of the launch times. They're so irresponsible that they might get themselves left behind."
Ares quirked his lips. "They're children, love, it's how they're supposed to be."
"Be that as it may, I don't want to have to deal with you going on a rampage when we're halfway there because we accidentally left Xander behind, all right? You know you have a bad case of overprotective dad syndrome, so don't even try and play my concerns off as nothing."
Ares grinned and pressed a hard kiss against Joxer's forehead. "And some people wonder why I love you so much."
"It's because I think of the things you forget to worry about, that's why."
"You should have been Jewish, you know that, right?"
"You want I should hit you?" Joxer half-joked, though a part of him actually kind of wanted to lay a smack across that perfect face.
Ares seemed to know what he was thinking, as he always did. "No, not really. Come on," he stepped away from the bar, pulling Joxer by the hand. "This is one of our last days on Earth. Let's spend it dancing and enjoying ourselves. These days aren't ever going to come again, you know."
"I know." Joxer wrapped his arms around his husband. "The world is dying. Let's party like we're going to live."
. "That's a good idea. I want to spend my last minutes on Earth with you."
Swaying across the dance floor, slower than the raging beat of the music demanded, Joxer laid his cheek against Ares' chest, nestling the top of his head under his husband's chin.
He could feel Ares' heartbeat through his skin and it was a comfort. For his entire life Ares had been the center of everything he'd done, and to have him so close always made Joxer feel as though a missing part of himself had been returned.
Ares made him feel safe.
* * *
Thrusting deep into Strife's body, Cupid's wings fluttered over them both, fanning cool air across their furiously sweating flesh. He grunted out words with each pump of his hips. "Oh gods, I love you!" he panted, licking Strife's thigh.
Strife groaned and writhed beneath him, his legs hooked over Cupid's shoulders. His toes wriggled along with the rest of his body as he ground himself up against his husband. "Cupie! Cupie! CUPIE!"
"Ahhh... Stri-IFE!" Cupid came hard, his pelvis thrusting maniacally. Strife was so tight around him, milking his cock, wringing him dry. He collapsed across his lover with a last groan of completion, slipping out of Strife's tight passage.
Strife moaned and unhooked his legs, letting them fall loose where they wanted. He wrapped his arms around Cupid, pressing a kiss against Cupid's forehead. "Even after all this time, it's still good with you."
"Better than good," Cupid gasped out. "It just keeps getting better and better every time with you. I love you more and more every day."
"I love you too." Strife stroked a hand over Cupid's wings, liking how they ruffled under his touch. "It's hard to believe it wasn't always like this."
"Yeah, I can't really remember why we weren't together from the very beginning though," Cupid said.
Strife snorted. "The answer's really simple, lover. We were both clueless assholes at first. Then there was that whole era of stupidity... and her name was Psyche."
Cupid smacked Strife's arm. "I explained the whole hitting myself with my own arrow thing. And besides, she was Bliss' mother."
"Ow!" Strife complained, rubbing the pink palm print rising on his milk-pale skin. "I'm sensitive, you know."
"Oh, poor baby, let me kiss it and make it all better," Cupid bent his head to press a kiss against Strife's upper arm.
"While you're kissing the ouchies, I've noticed a real swelling problem that could use some of your attention," Strife said, smirking.
Cupid rolled his eyes at him. "I thought we just handled that a few minutes ago."
"It came back." Strife stuck his lower lip out in a melodramatic pout, his eyes dancing with mirth. "I've gone out of remission. Guess I need to make another emission. So what are we gonna do about my problem, doctor?"
Cupid grinned a little. "Same thing we do every night, Strifey. Try to take over the world... I mean, screw like bunnies."
"Heh. Like music to my ears, baby."
* * *
. Like a slender flame, pale flesh wrapped in black leather that most of the people around him would have been horrified to realize had come from a real cow, Spike made an enticing figure. He drew attention to him, seducing the writhing bodies that pressed against him, slipping and sliding across his back and shoulders. He didn't seem to notice any of them, existing in a world all his own as he swayed his hips to the music. There was a seductively mischievous smirk curling his lips as he stared off into the crowd, completely ignoring all those that tried to capture his attention.
He was waiting for one specific person to come, the only one in this day and age that could ever touch his heart. The one that he loved beyond all definition of reason and sanity.
"Just as beautiful as ever, William," a voice husked into his ear and arms wrapped around his waist, a chest pressing against his back. Hands slid down his firm stomach so rogue fingertips could brush against his groin, teasing him through his skintight pants.
Spike groaned softly, deep in his throat, shifting his stance to offer more of himself to that teasing touch. "Why do you always do this to me when we're around other people?" he asked, even though they both knew he loved this side of Xander and always had.
There was the feel of a shrug. "It's fun. I like the thought of you someday losing control and throwing me down on the floor, fucking me in front of all these watching eyes, making me scream until I come." A warm tongue licked Spike's ear. "It makes me hot."
Spike groaned. "God, you are such a bastard!" He whirled around and threw himself against Xander, burrowing close.
"But you love me anyway," Xander said, wrapping his arms tight around Spike, pressing them together. Spike shivered, liking the feel of Xander's hard erection pressed against his stomach; the only thing better would have been if they could have met groin to groin. It was another reason to curse their disparity in heights.
"Er, pet, let's go back and shag," Spike groaned, pressing his face into the crook of Xander's neck, breathing in that warm, cinnamon-sugar scent. It made him think of freshly baked cinnamon buns, lightly toasted on the outside, moist bready chewiness on the inside waiting for his teeth to bite through.
Xander's laughter vibrated through him. He gently pushed Spike away. "Sorry, pet, but not gonna happen. Tonight is one of our last on Earth. We're going to dance and have as much fun as we can. We have to pack a million years worth of memories into our heads in a couple of nights. We leave in fifteen days. We can have as much sex as we want during the voyage. Hell, if we wanted, we could spend the whole trip rubbing ourselves raw. So let's dance."
Spike pouted for a minute, then let Xander lead him out onto the dance floor.
With Xander so close against him, Spike was happy, as he had been from the first moment he'd realized that he loved the "human." At first, he had refused to let himself feel drawn to Xander, but time and closeness to him had melted his resistance.
Spike knew that his old self would have been disgusted with him. He was whipped and he knew it, but it didn't matter. He had Xander and that was the most important thing.
He had Xander forever.
* * *
Xander could feel Spike thinking about him. It made a warm flush spread across his skin, almost liquid in its sensuality.
With his hands on Spike's narrow hips, he swayed his own body to the music.
"The ocean is blue,
the night is dark,
my heart is alone
until I hear your voice.
I lie-- staring up at a sky
so blue-- it's like something out of a dream
I know-- I won't ever be alone,
as long as I can be with you.
Will you be there now
when I get home?
Will we share the skies
or will we be alone?
The stars shine down
as I say goodnight,
and I hold you close,
and I hug you tight.
"Will you be there now
when I get home?
Will you be there now
or will I be alone?
I hold you close to my heart,
I will never let you go.
Will you be there now
or will I be alone?"
Xander placed his lips next to Spike's ear and whispered the words to the song along with the band. He could feel his lover's shiver of delight.
"Say goodnight, my dear,
say goodnight, my dear,
as the stars in the sky shine down on me.
I lie-- staring upward at a sky
velvet dark-- shining with the children of the night.
Say goodnight, my dear,
say goodnight, my dear,
I lie with the stars in the sky shining down on me."
Xander leaned closer against Spike, slipping his hands to the small of Spike's back, pulling him tight against him. His tongue flicked out against Spike's ear with every break in the song.
His voice was husky as he sang/spoke.
"Will you be there now
when I get home?
Will you be there now
or will I be alone?
The sky is dark,
the sea is blue,
will you be there now
when I get home?
Will you be there now
or will I be a-lone?"
With the last words, Xander's voice fell to nothing and his hands slid down to cup Spike's ass through his pants, the round cheeks snug against his palms. "I love how you feel," he murmured.
Spike laughed and nibbled at his neck. "You taste so warm all the time," Spike said just for Xander. "I don't know what I'd be without you, but I don't think it'd be anything good."
"I know what you'd be," Xander said. "You'd still be the Big Bad trying to kill and eat anything that crossed your path, soul or no soul."
"I was angry when I found out what you did to me, pet," Spike said, pulling away enough to look right into Xander's eyes. Their faces were barely an inch apart, but it felt like forever to Xander's starving flesh. He wanted to consume Spike, to pull him so deep inside that they melted into one being. It was how he always felt around Spike... hungry.
"I never wanted to hurt you," Xander said. "When you hated me, it hurt me more than you can ever know."
"It doesn't matter now." Spike reached up to push a lock of Xander's hair back off his forehead. "I was mad then to find out how much you manipulated my life, but now I wouldn't have it any other way. It doesn't matter. None of it does. This is the way our lives were supposed to go."
Xander smiled brightly, though there were shadows in his eyes. "Do you still miss her?" he couldn't help asking, then wished he could take it back. He really didn't want to know the answer. He didn't want to find out that Spike was still pining after his lost love, that he was only second best yet again.
Spike shook his head, his hair flopping a little. "I haven't missed her since she died, not any of them. I may have thought I loved Dru and then Buffy, but it wasn't the kind of thing that was ever going to last, not like what I have with you. I love you, I lusted after them.
"I'll be with you until the end of time, Alexander Harris. When all the suns fall in upon themselves and become nothing but dust on the cosmic winds, I will still be with you." Spike pressed his lips against Xander's, his tongue flicking out until Xander opened his mouth and let him in, then their tongues tangled together, fighting but not fighting. Spike clutched Xander to him as they kissed deeply, ignoring the crowd of people around them.
Sometimes Xander felt so much sadness that it took all his strength to keep from crying, but as long as he was with Spike he always felt as though he'd been made complete. He didn't have to feel the pain of the world as long as Spike was there to support and steady him in his endeavors.
Xander moved even closer against Spike, running his hands up and down Spike's back, finally slipping his hands into the back of Spike's pants to caress his bare flesh. Spike refused to wear underwear, and Xander was always grateful.
Spike murmured something deep in his throat, but it was muffled by Xander's tongue in his mouth. He ground his pelvis against Xander until Xander slid a leg between Spike's, giving him something solid to rub against. Spike made a pleased sound.
I can't believe we're doing this... again, Xander thought. After their last bout of public sex they'd vowed to behave, though it wasn't really like they'd had a choice. Ares had been standing over them with a bullwhip in one hand and a cheese grater in the other. Xander hadn't wanted to ask what the cheese grater was for, had just promised that he wasn't going to give anymore mortals a free show. Yet here they were, once again making out in the midst of a crowd of mortals.
It's all Spike's fault, Xander thought with a mental nod. He's a born exhibitionist, plus he likes getting in trouble. He's such the Big Bad.
Xander knew he should push Spike away and stop this before it started, but he didn't really want to. This was supposed to be their night to say good-bye to Earth and everything they'd ever known, but it looked like they were going to be spending all their time having sex instead. It was a good thing they still had two weeks to do all of the rest of the stuff on his list.
Xander groaned as Spike's clever fingers unsealed his pants and slipped inside. All the while, their tongues still slid against each other, and Spike still humped his leg. It was good to have a lover that could multitask.
Having to deal with the darker sides of humanity every single day was a hard Duty, one that he had never truly enjoyed. But as long as he had Spike with him, Xander could face everything that came his way and still manage to smile.
Spike was his strength, the only thing that stood between him and complete despair. It was because of Spike that Xander was able to keep going day in and day out while wallowing in the filth humans continued to spew. Begging for forgiveness for their sins while they kept on doing the same old things, thinking that just saying they were sorry would make everything all right. It made Xander so tired with them all that without Spike to bolster him up, he would have given up on humans a long time ago.
It was only because of Spike that humans still had the chance for redemption.
Arching his back as Spike tugged on his erection, Xander closed his eyes tight and gave himself over completely to that touch. His hands rose against his will, slipping up over Spike's hips, up his waist, up his chest, up over the smooth expanse of his neck, up the sides of his face, and up to tangle in that soft, lightly curly hair. He gripped tight fists in Spike's hair and thrust his pelvis forward, offering himself up to his lover's touch.
Xander could still remember a time when Spike's hair was stiff with gel and brittle from constant dyeing. Grown out to its natural color and soft nature, Xander loved to knot his fingers in it, to tug gently as Spike sucked him off.
A lot had changed in their lives, but a lot had stayed the same. Even acting kinder and gentler, Spike was still himself and always would be, which was why Xander had loved him for longer than Spike had been Spike.
"I love you," Xander groaned as he came, not even caring about having stained his new pants.
Spike sucked on his neck, nibbling lightly with his teeth. "You say the best things when you come. Now come here," his voice lowered to a growl.
Xander didn't object as Spike pulled him down to the floor, both completely ignoring the people that hurriedly got out of their way. Xander didn't say anything as Spike ripped open the front of his shirt and began tugging down his pants; he just lay back and let Spike do whatever he wanted.
"Fuck me," Spike whispered, kneeling over him. "Fuck me in front of all these people."
"Perv," Xander said, grinning.
Spike gripped the hem of his own shirt and pulled it up over his head. "You can't call me a perv until we finish having sex, luv, so let's go. I want to ride you while the world watches."
"All right." Xander grabbed Spike by the upper arms, pulling him down on top of him.
* * *
Still tangled in Strife's limbs and the sweat knotted sheets, Cupid suddenly chuckled.
"What's so funny?" Strife asked, still breathing hard. They'd just finished another round of the sexual Olympics. Both had won gold medals.
Cupid turned his head to look at him, a smirk twisting his lips. "Looks like little brother is getting frisky with the Spike."
"So? They're about as horny as you and me," Strife said, snorting through his nose at the thought of anyone being as amorous as they were. He was sprawled out across the bed, his limbs thrown out every which way. His spent cock was still trying to twitch itself upright. He felt a little proud of it, the brave thing. 'Never give up, never surrender,' that was his cock's motto.
"Yeah, but it's been awhile since Xander and Spike have had sex in the middle of a packed club," Cupid said. "Too bad they didn't realize that someone had a vid-cam. Looks like Xander's gonna be the star of yet another porn movie. Dad's gonna be so pissed. He told Xander no more exhibition shows, especially ones mortals can capture on camera."
"Ooh, looks like we better get a copy to add to our collection," Strife said, rubbing his hands together. "We've got the whole set of Spike and Xander sexing it up. It's about time they came out with the next installment."
Cupid laughed. "I can't wait 'til Dad finds out, and you know Daddy Jox is going to have some things to say about it too."
"Unc's just too overprotective about Xander," Strife said, shaking his head. "Xander's thousands of years old, but Unc still treats him like a young godling and probably always will."
"At least with Xander and Alemada around Dad leaves me alone sometimes."
"Yeah, but it's when he leaves you alone that you get yourself into trouble. Remember Psyche?"
Cupid sighed. "Are you going to keep bringing her up forever? The thing between her and me was like forever ago."
"Yeah, but as long as I keep reminding you about her, you won't repeat that same mistake," Strife said logically, though there was a hard glint in his eyes that he didn't bother to explain. Even after all these years, he was still angry over the whole Cupid marrying Psyche thing, though he loved Bliss like his very own son.
Cupid understood that what he'd done had hurt Strife a lot and that Strife was never going to forget that pain, but sometimes he wished things could be different, even though he knew he didn't deserve it. What he'd done had been mean and cruel, designed solely to hurt his lover.
Shooting himself with his own arrow hadn't been completely an accident. On some level he had wanted to hurt Strife, so he'd done it by falling in love with someone else, a beautiful girl that was everything Strife could never be. Too bad she was also a bitch, and once she had her claws in Cupid she'd refused to let go, no matter how much it had hurt everyone around them.
Cupid had apologized a million times for the Psyche fiasco, but knew that a part of Strife would never forgive him, because he didn't even forgive himself. Strife had always been so vulnerable, and he'd taken advantage of that to hurt him, and Cupid was more sorry about that than he could ever say. For the rest of his life Cupid would regret the act of anger that had had him "accidentally" shoot himself with his own arrow. And no matter how happy they were now, in the back of his mind Cupid was always keeping a careful watch on himself that he never felt that kind of hurtful anger again, because he refused to be the source of Strife's pain.
Not ever again.