Author: Jessica Walker
Distribution: Just let me know.
Spoilers: Through "As You Were."
Pairing: ::cringe:: Spike/Andrew. I'm sorry. I really am.
Summary: An ex-geek ex-supervillain and a geeky not-quite-supervillian have one too many. Takes place shortly after Riley makes the crypt go ka-boom.
Rating: NC-17 for drunken homoerotic smut and mild violence.
Disclaimer: Joss owns them, even if he's not twisted enough to make them do this.
Notes: I'm kind of an anti-geek in that I'm a total pop-culture retard; I don't get nine-tenths of the references the geeks make on the show, so I'm sorry if I've screwed any of them up here. Love for the super-betarific Donna, of course, and profound apologies to the world for writing this pairing.
Buffy: Who are you?
Andrew: Andrew. I summoned the flying monkeys that attacked the high school? During the school play, you know?
Warren: He's Tucker's brother.
Jonathan: Yeah, he's Tucker's brother.
Xander: Now I get Warren being the supervillainy type, but I thought Jonathan
completely learned that lesson. I never even heard of this other guy."
~ "Doublemeat Palace"
"The first star you see may not be a star. I'm not your star."
~ Something Corporate, "Konstantine"
"Tucker, is that you?"
"It's me, Mom." Andrew appears in the kitchen doorway, overstuffed bag of laundry noticeably tipping him to one side.
"Oh. I thought you were your brother." Mrs. Wells doesn't look up from the pages of her cookbook. "You're home early."
Andrew pauses, a bit taken aback. "I- I haven't been home in three weeks, Mom. And Tucker's in Massachusetts, remember?"
"Mm-hm," she replies, spinning the spice rack in search of the lemon pepper. Andrew rolls his eyes and makes his way through the living room.
"Just here to drop off your laundry?" booms the voice behind the evening edition of the Sunnydale Banner-Herald.
"Yeah. I-I mean yes. Sir." He'd had every intention of doing his own laundry until Warren tried to "reprogram" the washer last week. True to his promise, it washed a load of clothes in 6.95 minutes. Then it imploded, and Jonathan's He-Man t-shirt caught fire. Andrew suggested summoning a clothes-washing demon of some sort, if such a thing existed; the idea was quickly vetoed.
Mr. Wells sighs from behind his newspaper. "Andrew, I just don't understand why you're so irresponsible. Why can't you be more like-"
Andrew feels his face curl up in an involuntary wince. "I-I don't know. Sir."
"You staying for dinner?"
At the moment he can't imagine anything more horrifying. "No, sir."
"Got a date?"
Andrew stifles a laugh, glad that his father still hasn't glanced out from behind the paper. "No, sir."
Warren has a date. He's actually quite good at getting dates, although they usually end with the girl in question throwing her drink in Warren's face and storming out somewhere between the appetizer and the first course. They've learned to keep a safe distance if he comes home with his tie smelling like a martini. As for Jonathan... well, ever since figured out how to make the paragon spell work in hour-long increments, without all the nasty, demon-ridden side effects, he's been seeing those Swedish twins again.
The only action Andrew ever gets is when he summons the K'ashbadhi, a gender-nonspecific race of demons who give amazing head, and there's nothing like being the geekiest in a room full of geeks to remind you how downright pathetic you are, is there? But they haven't thrown him out of the gang
and they're usually pretty nice to him. And they've learned not to mention his brother.
"We got another letter from Tucker today," his mother says cheerfully when Andrew escapes back into the kitchen.
Isn't that nice.
"They made him captain of the math team."
"That's great," Andrew says flatly, grabbing a coke from the refrigerator.
"And he's dating a cheerleader! What do you think about that?"
He snickers, choking on his drink. "I think your brilliant mathematician is the world's shittiest liar," he mutters under his breath. He also thinks that if Tucker was actually getting laid he wouldn't have time to write so many goddamned letters.
"Nothing. I gotta go."
Andrew's about ten seconds from screaming. "I gotta go now," he says shakily, and bolts out the door.
Outside the sky is just fading from blue into deep black. He sucks in a deep breath when he reaches the front porch, his thin chest hitching as if there's not enough oxygen inside that house. He reaches into his pocket, fingering the $50 he took from his mother's purse, and begins to walk. Two blocks away from the house and he can breathe again, three and his hands stop shaking. He wonders how long he can borrow Warren's clothes until he has to cave and go back for his own. Ten blocks and he's in a part of town that small skinny humans just don't go after dark if they want to keep all their parts. It's turned into a ritual, and he walks a little farther every time.
//you don't need their fucking washer and dryer, you can buy new clothes, you're a fucking supervillain, you can steal clothes, why do you keep going back there? What kind of glutton for punishment are you, Andrew? It's all Tucker's fault, anyway. Tucker and his stupid letters.//
Fifteen blocks and that voice in his head is quieter but he still feels restless, twitchy, like he's trapped inside glass. This time he pauses in front of a bar that he has no right going into and thinks about his prospects for the evening- being, at this point, returning to the empty basement that he shares with Warren and Jonathan, or going back to-
no. not an option. Never an option, really.
//wonder if she'll notice the missing money. wonder if she'll remember you were even in the house?//
He thinks about the drunkest he's ever been, him and Jonathan in the lair with a stolen six-pack and Dr. Who on DVD. And okay, he really wasn't all that drunk, just kind of light-headed, euphoric; took the edge of and Christ if there aren't a lot of edges in him this evening. Why does he keep treading this same ground over and over again, these streets he shouldn't be on, these places he shouldn't go? Three places he's afraid to be in and this bar is the least frightening of them right now and really, where else is he supposed to go?
//deathwish much?// his brain whispers insidiously, and he tells his brain to shut the hell up for once as he steps inside the bar.
An ugly, lumbering scaly thing starts towards him threateningly, and Andrew takes a deep breath. It's a L'gar S'narsk, big and scary but easily controlled. He cracks his knuckles experimentally before waving his hand towards it and muttering a couple of words in Latin that he still isn't sure how to pronounce. The air shivers slightly and the demon backs away, growling.
Andrew approaches the bar, rubbing his shaking hands together. It was a lucky break; summoning demons is easy. Getting them to go away, he's still working on.
"I wanna whiskey." He tries to sound tough and mature; it so doesn't work.
"Need some I.D."
"I- I'm twenty-one."
A forked tongue flickers between the bartender's lips. "I.D."
"I am! Really!"
The fact that he doesn't turn twenty-one for another six months isn't the issue so much as the fact that he doesn't look a day over sixteen. If only Jonathan were here, he thinks; he knows how to conjure very authentic-looking IDs. "Could I please have a whiskey?" He gives up on demanding this time and goes for plaintive.
"No." The bartender doesn't glance up from his newspaper. He doesn't sound angry; he sounds bored.
"Dave, why don't you just give the kid a fucking drink?"
Andrew looks up in surprise and cowers briefly against the bar. Whiteblond hair, long black coat. Spike. The vampire who, only a few months before, invaded the sanctity of their lair and nearly destroyed their action figure collection.
Except the doesn't have the confidence and swagger he had when he showed up the lair that night and threatened Boba Fett. Spike's face is pale and drawn, his eyes suspiciously swollen. He slumps in the barstool next to Andrew as Dave places two shots of whiskey in front of them.
"Why'd you do that?" Andrew asks warily, glaring at the vampire.
Spike shrugs. "You shouldn't ever deny a bloke a drink when he wants one. Downright criminal, it is. Hell, even I'm not that evil." He spares a glance in Andrew's direction. "Warren's friend, right?" Something in his inflection clues Andrew in to the fact that this isn't Spike's first drink of the evening, not the first by a long shot.
Andrew snickers into his glass. "Warren's friend. Sure. That's a new one. Or you could just call me Tucker's brother, everyone else does." The vampire quirks a scarred eyebrow at him and he amends, "Andrew."
Spike shrugs indifferently, and tosses back his drink. After a brief pause, Andrew takes a deep breath and does the same.
He thinks, for an entire two seconds, that he's going to be okay. Then he realizes that his throat is about to explode, that his sinuses are on fire and his tongue's gone completely numb and he cannot breathe and that's pretty fucking scary and he'd like to at least comment on his incipient demise but the only thing he can manage to say is "blaaageeaaauuuuuuhhhhgggguuuhhkk."
"Oh, for Christ's sake." Spike pounds Andrew none-too-gently on the back. "Order a wine cooler or something, ya fuckin' pansy."
Andrew knows of forty-two species of demons that he could summon right now to rip Spike limb from limb if he hadn't left the conjuring powder at home. "Shut up." Okay. Breathe. Breathing now. He can handle this. Everything. is. cool. "I want another one."
Like the little vampire girl in the movie. Like Oliver Twist. Not enough, never enough.
"I don't think whiskey's your drink, mate."
"I said I want another one." The room feels warmer now. Warm, with a soft glow.
"Dave," Spike calls with a dramatic roll of his eyes, "another round for me and the whelp who can't handle his liquor?"
The bartender sets another whiskey before him and Andrew picks it up, eyeing the liquor apprehensively. Maybe if he drinks it really, really fast-
Or not. "Bleaugh," he chokes. "Yeauch. Yeuuuugh. Bleah."
"Stop that," Spike snaps. "It's fucking annoying, that."
"Sorry," Andrew says, a little testily. He feels dizzy. It's nice.
"Wouldn't expect anything more, anyhow. You and your friends."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Andrew blurts out, and it occurs to him that his voice sounds a lot louder than it normally does.
"I'm just sayin'. You lot. Skulking around in a basement with your big plans. Children playing at supervillains." Spike gestures to the bartender again and whiskey magically appears before them- Andrew isn't quite sure how it got there, but things seem to be moving at an unusual speed. "Downright pathetic, it is."
"Don't flatter yourself," Andrew retorts, and his voice sounds harsh to his own ears. "Punk rockers are just geeks that break stuff." He rolls the glass in his hands. "'Sides, I've done... a lot. Lots of villainy stuff."
"Oh yeah? Such as?"
"Monkeys," Andrew replies, taking a gulp of whiskey and coughing. "Demon monkeys. I trained 'em to attack the school play. Romeo and Juliet. Two stagehands ended up in the hospital."
Spike raises an eyebrow appreciatively. "Sounds fun."
"It was. One of 'em stole Lady Capulet's wig. It was way better than my brother, he did this thing, with hellhounds and the prom... I mean, all Tucker had to do was pop in a video and leave 'em alone. Do you have any idea how many passages of Shakespeare I had to read to those stupid monkeys?"
"Yeah, well, Romeo and Juliet's just a bunch of bollocks anyhow," Spike says glumly, staring into his drink.
"Richard III," Andrew replies seriously. "Now, that's art."
"Hear, hear," Spike grumbles, clinking his glass briefly against Andrew's. "Why'd you do it?"
"What?" He's finding Spike's train of thought harder to follow.
"You know. With the-" Spike waves one hand expressively. "With the monkeys and the theater and that. Revenge? Nefarious plot? Or were you just bored? Sometimes I just get bored."
"Oh." He shrugs. "Dunno. Seemed fun. Just wanted to know if I could, is all."
He's not sure that's entirely honest; Juliet was played by Lisa Rosenthal, with whom he used to make out behind the bleachers during the science fair or in the back of the classroom during chem lab. Until they turned fifteen, and Lisa grew long hair and breasts and curves and football players like Tom Hendricks (a.k.a. Romeo) started asking her out.
But, truth be told, that was just a bonus. It was a challenge, is all. No matter that the play was a mere week after the nearly-fatal senior prom- this was not about Tucker and his lame stunts. Point was that Andrew had pulled it off nicely- Buffy didn't even stop him like she did his brother. In fact, the Slayer didn't attend classes the week of the play- rumor had it that her boyfriend was sick, or injured or something. Tucker got three days suspension and wasn't allowed to walk at graduation, but Snyder only gave Andrew a week's detention for his "simian antics."
"Andrew," his mother asked pointedly as they left the principal's office, "is this about your brother's stunt with the dogs at the school dance?"
Hellhounds, Mom, he thought silently. They were hellhounds. And he didn't even summon them or anything. Found a nest near the Hellmouth and shot them with tranquilizer darts that he stole from the librarian's office. Lame. "You know, Andrew," Mrs. Wells said patiently as they drove away from the school, "you don't need to act out in order to prove your specialness."
//Yes, I do,// he thought desperately, pulling his knees up to his chin and staring sightlessly out the car window. //I do, I do, I do.//
One good thing came of it, after all. One of the seniors, dark-haired guy, good with computers, approached him the morning after the play. "That was impressive work last night, man," he said. "You've got a real talent. Can we talk?"
Spike's voice startles him back to the present. "You at university?"
Ordinarily Andrew would try to deconstruct that segueway but he's beginning to figure out that this is drunk, yep, this is what he came in here for, Spike is drunk and apparently so is Andrew. "I- I was."
Spike blinks, slowly. "But...?"
Andrew turns the glass in his hands, speaking quickly. "Well, see, I've got this brother-" His voice sticks in his throat for a moment. "He's a year older than me and he's really good at science, like really good and he finished up at UC Sunnydale a year and a half early and now he's on his way to grad school at MIT on full scholarship." He pauses for breath, tightening his fingers around the shotglass. "So I started there last year and I was taking all these advanced chem classes, 'cause my dad said so, even though I wanted to take history and all my professors were like 'oh, you must be Tucker's brother. We expect great things from you.'" Sarcasm drips heavily from his voice and he bites down on his lower lip. He had been sitting in the back row, he remembers, and the professor's smile was too big, too wide, and his hand had tightened convulsively around his ballpoint pen as he heard his brother's name and thought //not again. not again. not again.//
Andrew shrugs. "I quit. That day. Went to the registrar and dropped all my classes."
"You didn't think you'd pass?"
If he could just get his fingers to grip the glass more tightly, his hands would probably stop shaking. Weak hands, slender fingers, sweat-slick palms. Nails bitten down. He wishes Spike would stop asking him questions. "Of course I'd pass. Chemistry's not that hard. Probably get a B or an A-minus or something. But I'm not Tucker. I can't do what he did. And if I can't, well, there's really no point."
"So... what? Moved back in with mummy and daddy?" Spike smirks.
Andrew stares off into the distance, remembering showing up on Jonathan's doorstep, sporting a bruised eye. No, really, man, I ran into a door, it's cool, could I maybe spend the night tonight? And tomorrow night? And the night after that? "I stayed with friends."
"For a year?"
The year's passed quickly in a haze of D&D and semi-organized crime, and if Andrew's wasting his life, he doesn't particularly mind. He spent eighteen years waiting for his life to start and it turned out to be the same old shit. He doesn't want his life to start anymore. He wants to hide in Warren's basement, where it's safe.
Spike gives an indifferent shrug when he doesn't answer the question. "I didn't finish university either, y'know."
Spike motions to the bartender. "Died."
Andrew thinks about dying a lot. When he was seventeen he thought about it all the time, and then there were sharp things and scars and medications and an endless parade of shrinks until he finally ended up in the same counseling group as that really short kid with a nasal voice who had tried to blow his brains out in the school clock tower the spring before. Therapy never helped Andrew, but Jonathan and Warren did, and he's better now. Yeah, so sometimes he wakes up in the middle of the night with a great shuddering pain his chest and he sits up on his bed in the corner and wraps his arms around this knees and cries quietly. Very quietly, if he can at all help it. It's not that bad. The others are used to the sound and know to leave him alone. But they always ask, just once, voices sleepy and muffled: "you okay, man?"
He always says yes, and they always leave it at that... but it's enough. That voice in the dark. Andrew's better now. He's better now because he's got friends who want him to be better, and if he didn't have them...
He doesn't like to think about that.
"Would you make me into a vampire?" he asks abruptly, the words tumbling out of their own volition. He bites down hard on his bottom lip, as if he could somehow take them back.
//stupid, stupid, stupid//
Spike looks startled, and Andrew stops him before the inevitable refusal. "S'okay," he says quickly. "I mean, s'cool. Forget it." Stares into his drink. He wouldn't want to spend eternity with himself, either.
"Look," Spike explains patiently, "I couldn't do it anyway. Even-"
Even if he wanted to. "I said forget it," Andrew repeats, more forcefully this time. Takes a deep swallow of whiskey. This time he doesn't choke.
He hates Spike. It's not quite logical- he doesn't even know Spike- but he knows he can't do anything about it, so he just sits there staring, hating, hating Spike with his unnaturally cool hair color and his swishy leather coat, hating the waitress that keeps flirting with him and ignoring Andrew, hating those sharp eyes and cheekbones that were just- so-
Because Andrew's hair is always a mess, and the clothes that hang uneasily on him often don't match, and sometimes when he's brushing his teeth in the morning he opens the medicine cabinet so he doesn't have to see his reflection. And he wants to be Spike so badly that it aches, aches to be inside this skin, this gangly, awkward, skinny body with a mouth that always says the wrong goddamn things. But it's useless. Shy, socially inept dorks don't turn into bad-ass creatures of the night. And he knows, after all. That Spike is a real supervillain, and the Troika are just boys with toys.
"What's it like?"
"Oh. Good. It's good." Spike tosses back his drink and gestures for another. "Real good, you know, I've had a lot of fun, with the evil." He seems hesitant to broach the subject, but then adds enthusiastically, "I killed Slayers. Two of them."
"Wow," Andrew says appreciatively. "That's so cool. Hey, were you the one that attacked the school during Parent-Teacher night that one time? Jonathan thinks it was you but he's not sure."
"Yup," Spike says, swelling up with pride. "That was me. Were you there?"
"Yeah, dude. I had to hide in the boiler room all night." He picks up the drink in front of him and suddenly realizes that it's somehow become two or three drinks, very blurry drinks at that. Oh well. Might as well drink them all. "You killed my science teacher. The night before the test. It was awesome."
"Glad to be of service."
"And what about chicks?" Andrew presses excitedly. "I bet you get a ton of chicks."
Spike's confident smirk stays in place for about three seconds before collapsing. "No," he says, his voice hollow. "Not especially." And, with a defeated attitude, he slumps over the bar and buries his head in his arms.
"It's over," Spike says brokenly. "She says it's over, and I think- I think maybe this time I believe her. Bitch. Fucking bitch."
"I'm sorry," Andrew says, lifting the whiskey to his lips again. He's not even remotely sorry; he's not capable of feeling sympathy for anyone who's at least had someone, even if he's lost them. "You want us to kill her?" he says grimly, sarcasm heavily lining his voice. "We're real good at that."
Spike looks quizzical for a moment, and then his eyes widen. "Holy shit," he says, with a touch of admiration in his voice. "It was you lot, wasn't it? That dead girl."
Andrew glances around uncertainly, still sober enough to be paranoid. "Dude, it wasn't my fault."
Spike chuckles appreciatively. "So you're the ones who almost got the Slayer arrested."
"Yeah," Andrew replies uneasily. "You mad?"
Spike shrugs, tosses back his whiskey. "No. Serves her right. Self-righteous bitch. You do that sort of thing often? With the death and all? I must say, that was impressive work."
"No," Andrew says quickly. "No, the death was a one-time thing. No more death. We've put a moratorium on death."
"You sure? It's just, that Warren bloke... seems a tad unbalanced to me is all."
Andrew shrugs. "Yeah, well, he doesn't like not getting his own way. And sometimes he's... mean." Andrew tried to talk to him, once, about What Happened. Suggested that they take the whole supervillain thing a little slower after the extreme fuck-up of Katrina's demise. Warren hit him, hard. Later Andrew told Jonathan that he'd run into a door.
"Then why do you stay with him?"
Andrew squirms uneasily in his chair. Because he can do stuff. He has power. He can make things happen. Because he doesn't fuck up the way Andrew fucks up. "Because- because- he's Warren. You know?"
Spike snickers. "Sounds a lot like Angelus."
"No one. Never mind."
"It makes me feel like I'm... I don't know... part of something. Like it matters if I'm around." Andrew speaks fast, the words rushing over his tongue. "Sometimes I feel like I'm not even here. Like- like I have to make people see me or I'll just disappear."
"I get that," Spike says reflectively.
"No, you don't," Andrew snaps. "You don't know what it's like to be me."
Spike chuckles. "I was you.
Andrew peers at the mirror behind the bar, at his stupid pale face and haphazard hair. Spike doesn't reflect, of course, but his shotglass floats up and down. Andrew lowers his head onto his folded arms, laughing crazily at the image- and he thinks- not entirely sure where the thought comes from- that Spike's eyes are so blue that it hurts and he doesn't want to go home yet where it's so damn quiet and he would very much like for Spike to touch him all over.
"What's so funny?"
Andrew snickers and points at the mirror. "You're not there."
Spike snarls and hurls his shotglass at the mirror, shattering the glass into sharp, silver shards. "Am now."
"All right," Dave the bartender snaps. "That's enough, Spike." The forked tongue makes it sound like Sssspike. Andrew giggles again. "Time to go."
"What? You bloody wanking-"
"Closing time, Count Bleachula. Take your boy-toy and get lost."
"I'm not a boy-toy," Andrew grouses, squinting his eyes blearily at his X-Files watch. He thinks it says two a.m., but who knows? "Am I a boy-toy?"
"You're asking the wrong guy," Spike slurs, tumbling off the stool and barely catching himself from falling to the ground. "Come on, Super-Nerd. There are other bars. There must be other bars. I'm sure of it."
He stumbles and Andrew catches his arm, rolling his eyes. "God. You're wasted. You're wasteder'n me." Wasteder? Christ. Just making up random words now. "You should go home."
"I don't wanna go home," Spike replies drunkenly, running his fingertip in lazy circles through the rings of condensation decorating the bar. "Home is empty. Lonely. Kind of incinerated."
The lair is empty, too, and it occurs to Andrew that he has no desire to go back there tonight, when the others won't be back until at least dawn. "There are other bars," he echoes. "You said so."
They're almost to the door when Spike weaves again, staggers, lurches to one side and ends up barrelling straight into Andrew. Knocking him into a wall, hard, hard enough to make him see stars when his head hits the plaster. Spike's hands clutch Andrew's chest in an attempt to steady himself, his face an inch, maybe two inches away from Andrew's. He hears himself suck in a startled breath, realizing how long it's been since his lips have been that close to anyone else's.
"Sorry 'bout that," Spike says, blinking slowly.
"It's okay." Because it is. Something about it is very, very okay.
"Humans are so fucking warm. All that blood racing inside you. Heart pounding. Never still, even for a moment. How do you stand it? Isn't it exhausting?"
"You get used to it," Andrew murmurs.
Spike tilts his head to the side, eyeing the boy quizzically, and one hand snakes up towards Andrew's face, fingertips tracing the line of his jaw. "Your heart's pounding. I can hear it. Are you scared? You don't look scared." Pressure of fingers hard, almost painful at his pulse points. "Why did you come here tonight?" Spike asks, his words slurring only slightly. "Was it to get killed, or to get laid? It's always one or the other, in places like this. Which was it?"
Andrew blinks, trying to look nonchalant in spite of heavy intoxication. It won't work; nonchalant just looks clueless on him. "I'm not sure."
"'Cause you've practically got "Disembowel Me" printed on your forehead and "Fuck Me" printed on your ass, mate. You're aware of this, yeah?"
"Yeah." He stares into Spike's eyes, wondering if there's a name in the prism for that color. "What about you? Which one is it for you?"
Spike shrugs. "I'm already dead, mate. You're so smart, you do the math."
"Oh," Andrew replies, and then realizes what Spike's saying. "Ohhhh. You mean-?"
He means Andrew. He almost asks if Spike wouldn't rather have someone else instead, but he glances around and realizes there isn't anyone else here. Except Dave the bartender, of course, and Dave's unattractive enough to make Andrew feel downright sexy in comparison. "Me?"
Spike shrugs. "Guess so." He pulls out a cigarette, stares blearily at Andrew over the flame of his Zippo. "Depends. Do you usually say no when you mean yes? 'Cause, really, I hate that."
Andrew cocks his head to the side, considering. "Nuh-uh. I usually say yes and mean yes, please."
Spike exhales a cloud of smoke and smiles, a slow, sharp smile. Leans forward, close again, so close. "Let's get out of here, yeah?"
His head clears a little when they reach the cool, rain-washed streets. The last drops fall on his nose and into his hair and he sobers up just enough to realize that it's a stupid idea, but not sober enough to change his mind, or indeed prevent himself from giggling hysterically at the situation at hand.
"Whass' so funny?" Spike slurs.
"This is stupid. This. Me. You. Us. Fuck, it's so stupid." Hysteria starts to become panic and Andrew runs a hand uneasily through his hair. "I mean, you're dead. God, what am I doing? What the fuck am I doing?"
Spike puts one hand on Andrew's shoulder- maybe as comfort, or maybe simply to steady himself as he stumbles forward. "It's okay, mate. Calm down, willya?"
"No, it's not okay," Andrew fumes, pushing Spike away from him. "You're taking advantage of me. Or I'm taking advantage of you, or something. And I don't even know you."
"And if there were a risk of catching a social disease, or either one of us getting knocked up, that might be a problem, but I really don't think-"
"No. It's not just that. I-" He bites down on his lip, fighting back tears of frustration. "I'm really drunk, Spike."
He means more than that. He means that he didn't mean to take that third whiskey or that fourth or that fifth but he couldn't seem to help it once he felt that cold hardness start to break down into something soft and safe and warm and there's something about Spike's eyes that are so fucking blue. He means that the edges of the world were blurry and nothing made sense even before he started drinking so he doesn't hold out much hope for any decisions that he makes at this point. He means that he can hear thoughts in his head that he knows aren't quite sane, and he can already see himself doing something very, very stupid before the night is over, something he might very well regret, something that could get him fucking killed and he can't even stop himself from plummeting headlong down this path of Something Very Stupid because-
because he's cold inside his skin most days, like he's rattling around in here by himself, and the echo is deafening. And if somebody, anybody would fucking touch him it could pull him back to the surface of his skin again, make it bearable to live in here.
His parents were never big on physical contact, and when they were it always turned out badly. Some doctors- Andrew read it somewhere once- say that children who aren't touched can die. They get sick, weak, they wither away. Andrew knows it's not true, but he wishes it were. And if he starts being honest with himself, he'll have to admit why he picks so many fights with Jonathan that result in punches and playful wrestling, or why he savors the friendly back-slaps Warren dispenses at a job well done. Because he needs something, anything to convince him that he's not fucking radioactive. Because he can live with skinny and ugly and geeky and stupid and clueless and scared and confused but he's having a real fucking tough time with coping with alone, and the whiskey tugging his brain in ten dizzy directions is doing a damn fine job of convincing him that all the Something Very Stupids in the world don't stand a chance when he feels like this, when he feels like he's trapped inside himself, screaming to be let out. Because alcohol and fear have worn down his defenses to the point where the only coherent thought he has left is I'd like this ache to stop, please, I don't much care how. Because, Jesus Christ, Spike might rip his throat out tonight and he wishes he could summon up the energy to care.
But he's not sober enough to explain all this, so all he can do is echo lamely, "Christ, Spike, I'm so drunk."
He grins. "Yeah. Me too."
"Does this make me a slut?"
"Yeah. Don't worry. You get used to it."
"Don't you think-"
"What the fuck do you want? You want me to tell you this is a good idea? It's not a fucking good idea. It's the worst fucking idea I've had all year," Spike snaps. "Think you can cope with that, or would you rather go home and have a wank while looking at pictures of- of- Queen Amidala or whoever the fuck it is you-"
Andrew tightens his jaw, seething. "No. I just want-"
"-to feel something. I know. Heard it all before. Spare me the speech, all right?" Spike leans forward clumsily, bracing himself against the side of the building to keep from falling over. Andrew can feel the texture of rough brick at his back and he leans against the wall and waits.
Spike's lips are so close to his own and he thinks if only there was something, a hint of warmth, the motion of breath, anything but the glare of pale skin and blazing eyes- then this might make some semblance of sense. And then Spike leans forward, and Andrew can feel the lightest burn of razor-stubble- how do vampires shave, he almost asks?- but he forgets because Spike's lips. Are cool and very, very insistent and he tastes like whiskey, like nicotine, just vaguely like blood. His fingers curl around the back of Andrew's neck and their lips press together with bruising pressure. He can feel Spike's teeth, hard and slick against his lips, slightly sharp even without fangs, and then a tongue, quick, impatient, fucking his mouth. This isn't kissing, at least not the way he
thinks of it; it's a full-on oral assault. It's like being swallowed whole and God, oh God he wants to disappear, he could disappear inside that mouth. Some small part of his whiskey-addled brain is screeching that he's making out with a guy, a dead guy at that, but he's past caring. Warren has his cerebral dampeners and FemmeBots, and Jonathan has his twins, and Andrew's got exactly jack shit. And he knows he's just the means to an end but hey, sure, whatever. Feeling's mutual, anyway. He forgets the need to breathe and by the time he pulls away he's actually light-headed, gasping.
Spike's fingers trail slowly down the side of Andrew's neck and he nuzzles the boy's throat with a soft purr, lips running slowly over his jugular. He leans in close, his erection pressing against Andrew's leg. "You live near here?"
Andrew nods wordlessly, shaking, and leads the way. Spike walks behind him, silent.
"This isn't a lair," the vampire snaps when Andrew unlocks the door and leads him to the basement. He's chain-smoking and Andrew hopes the smell will be gone by morning; the others know that he doesn't smoke. "It's a clubhouse for bored schoolchildren."
"Shut up." It can't be that, can't be just that. Because if their lair is just a basement filled with action figures, then the Troika is just a bunch of losers, and their Fearless Leader is just a disgruntled and slightly disturbed engineering major, and Andrew-
-what's Andrew then? He'll tell you what. Nothing. Tucker's brother.
"It's a lair, he says again, stubbornly, sitting down on his bed and watching in horror as Spike stubs his cigarette out on one of Jonathan's Babylon 5 commemorative plates.
Spike doesn't waste any time joining him on the bed. They clutch at one another artlessly, like horny teenagers, desperation bleeding out of their fingertips. Tongues and teeth snapping. He's never touched a vampire and he'd always assumed that there was something elemental about them, something not-quite-real, like cold morning air or rain-washed stone, something slick and hard to grasp. Spike is as big as life, all sharp angles and smooth planes and insistent tongue. A hand drifts indifferently under Andrew's shirt, cool fingers against his flat stomach, before moving away again. Andrew moans and leans into the touch, following Spike's hand as it tries to pull away. "Don't," he mutters between kisses, and Spike grins. "Touch me." Cold fingertips snake against his torso again, tracing the curves of ribs and sternum, thumbs raising his nipples to sharp points. Andrew moans deep into Spike's mouth, writhes his slender body against those chill hands.
He speaks, finally, between the vampire's lips, unwilling to pull away from that mouth long enough to form words, in tones so low he is certain that it will not be heard. His voice trembles ever-so-slightly and later he will realize that only the haze of alcohol coating his brain allows him to speak the words that have been screaming in his brain since they left the bar.
"Fuck me. Please."
A soft snicker from Spike, a tongue flickering between Andrew's teeth. Acquiescence.
Spike leans forward, pushes Andrew back against the mattress. He runs the flat palm of his hand torturously along Andrew's groin and the boy whimpers, flexing against the slow, sweet burn of that friction.
"You want me?" Spike whispers huskily.
"Duh," Andrew snaps.
Shirt pushed up all the way to his neck, high enough for Spike's mouth to begin at the pale hollow of his throat and work its way down, tongue flickering over collarbones, past the curves of his ribs and over his hipbones. Andrew trembles against those cool lips, eyes tightly closed. He can feel the slick of cool fangs against the skin of his abdomen and he waits, breathless, for the inevitable bite that does not come. And he wants it, God, he wants it so bad, wants Spike to pierce his way through pale flesh and jutting ribs and drain him dry. He wants to bleed his way out of this skin. He's sure his insides are prettier than his outsides, anyway.
The points of Spike's fangs scrape ever-so-lightly against his flesh, and the vampire seems to be pushing the limits of something here, testing himself
((couldn't do it anyway, even if I wanted to- what does that mean?))
"Do it," Andrew snarls in a voice that does not sound like his own. Acquiescence. And there is a piercing and a notquitepain and then the warmth of blood, two lazy trickles from twin wounds that slide down his stomach, barely staining the waistband of his boxers; and a cool tongue that follows them, lapping up the blood in rough strokes, long slow burn against flesh. Andrew arches up involuntarily against that mouth and then, oh, then, cool hands methodically undoing his zipper-
and Andrew is nearly certain that he's not gay. He is fascinated by women, after all, obsessed by them- Scully, Xena, Princess Leia, Christina Ricci, the aforementioned Lisa Rosenthal, the Slayer, the Slayer's cute redheaded friend, the Slayer's cute redheaded friend's cute blonde friend, and that really hot computer teacher who died his sophomore year in high school, fixated upon the shapes and smells and sights of unattainable women but that is not the point. Oh so not the point when his dick is in Spike's mouth.
"Christ. Oh. Fuck." His voice is so loud in the silence of the room, and he clenches his teeth together until his jaw aches.
Gag reflex, he half-thinks, his brain scrambling for cohesion, language with which to link together his thoughts. Probably doesn't have one. Christ. Swallowed. Fucking swallowing my cock. Oh Christ. He chokes back an extremely bizarre noise that sounds something halfway between a whimper and a sob. Tongue. Oh, God, Spike's tongue, wrapped so tight around him.
His hands clench and unclench spasmodically, fingers trembling, scraping for purchase and they wind up in Spike's hair, twisting hard between the locks, pulling them into stiff little peaks. Whatever keeps Spike's hair in its usual skull-plastered position melts stickily against the sweat on Andrew's palms and
//feathers,// his mind thinks crazily, drunkenly as his body jerks in spasmodic patterns to the rhythm of Spike's mouth. //like feathers dipped in honey.//
His fingers tighten too hard and Spike growls low in his throat, sending waves of vibration through Andrew's cock and the boy bites down hard on his lower lip to keep from screaming or coming or both. The vampire finally reaches up and tears Andrew's fists from his hair, pinning his hands to the mattress and leaving fingertip-bruises along the pale lines of his wristbones.
"Ow," he whimpers, but his voice sounds very, very far away. He'll wear those faint bracelets of black and blue for days, he knows; he bruises easily and the marks don't fade. They called him into the school counselor's office more than once, inquiring after busted lips and blackened eyes. Nothing ever came of it; this is Sunnydale, after all.
Hands travel down slowly, down the length of his arms and the lines of his cotton-clad torso, cool fingertips against the pale skin covering his hipbones, holding him steady as he begins to buck hard. "Oh, God," he moans, and gathers up the comforter in shaking hands to keep himself from grabbing Spike's head again and fucking his mouth hard and then, oh, then, the world spins in dizzy circles and he screams as he comes.
Spike pulls away, long throat working as he swallows, and Andrew curls up on his side, trembling.
"You all right?"
"Yeah." As soon as feeling returns to his extremities. He'll be just. fine.
Spike leans in to kiss him as he rolls over and Andrew realizes that he's not drunk anymore, it's something much worse than that, under the influence, he needs this, he fucking needs it, Spike's mouth around his cock, cool hands against flushed skin, anything, just to stop feeling so fucking untouchable for once. And now that he's tasted it-
-now that he's tasted it he wonders if he'll ever be able to stop. To pull away, let it go. To survive again, here, in this room, cold, alone. Without this.
He finds his hands on Spike's belt buckle, fingers restlessly moving over cool metal and black leather, hot palm against the bulge of Spike's crotch. Afraid to move but God he wants Spike's cock so badly he's about to scream, feels an animal cry of frustration building in his throat, take me, fuck me, break me, god won't you and all he can think, all he can say is-
"please," he whimpers. Fingertips hooking hesitantly in the waistband of Spike's ragged jeans, the curve of the vampire's abdomen cool and smooth against Andrew's fingers. "Please, Spike-"
He wants. God, he wants. He can hear it screaming inside him, it's deafening, his nerve endings are on fire. He's never felt like this before, never wanted like- oh, God, he craves. Never enough, please, sir, I want some more, God it's never enough. "Please. Don't stop-"
Feral grin, all gleaming teeth and flickering tongue, hands unconcerned with gentleness or romance or even patience as they tear at Andrew's clothes: shoes, socks, jeans, boxers stripped away, blunt painted nails scraping his thighs, buttons popping in protest as his shirt is ripped violently from his body. He gathers Spike's black t-shirt in his fists in response, tugging at the cloth. The vampire grins salaciously and strips his torso bare.
Thin and pale like him, but somehow on Spike it looks right. Skin almost translucent, vanilla-pale, muscle roped tightly over bone and Andrew can't seem to tear his hands away. Spike feels cold now, like ice against Andrew's flushed skin. He runs his hands compulsively over Spike's chest and stomach, unsure, afraid, terrified but goddamnit if he can't seem to keep his fingers away from that fucking belt buckle, loosening, unfastening, button and zipper, c'mon c'mon c'mon-
Spike is cool and rock-hard in his grip and Andrew moves his hand slowly, carefully
//what am i doing? christ, i don't know what i'm doing//
The vampire tilts his head back, eyes half-lidded, blue barely glinting beneath black lashes. Moans softly and begins to rock his hips slowly against the motion of Andrew's hand.
"Oh, that's- yes..."
"Am I doing this right?"
"Fine," Spike mutters breathlessly. "Yes, it's fine. It's... shut up. God, you're so warm." Slow friction, sliding in and out of Andrew's fingers. A low groan. One hand reaches down, covering Andrew's, guiding him. His other hand clutches at the back of Andrew's neck, pulls him close, kisses him hard. Teeth and tongue and the pressure of fingertips at his throat, and Andrew moans deep into Spike's mouth, quickening the motion of his hand.
"Oh, Christ." Spike pulls back, shaking slightly, and quickly tears off the remainder of his clothing.
He crouches over Andrew, sliding snakelike up the length of his body, skin gleaming-pale and eyes famished. And Andrew panics, because it's want and it's directed at him, sallow skin and jutting bone and messy hair, Spike wants him, oh, God, Spike wants him, Andrew, skinny, stupid Andrew, even if it's only in the most superficial sense of the word and that's not the way it works, it's weird and it's wrong, so fucking wrong that his head spins because and if he thinks too hard about it he's gonna freak but he has to know "Why?"
Spike lifts his head from his current assault on Andrew's ribcage. "Hmm?"
"Why?" he persists, voice cracking just slightly. "Why me? You don't want me. I know you don't want- no one ever wants- w-was I just- less repulsive than anyone else at that bar, or-"
Andrew swallows nervously. "Sorry. K."
Wide grin. "That's why," he whispers. "You do as you're told, don't you, pet?"
"I do not." Andrew's a supervillain. Dammit.
"Is that so? Let's see-" a pair of lips down the length of his jugular, nipping the tender exposed flesh. Andrew trembles all over, hands tightening, gathering nervous handfuls of his Star Wars bedsheets- "and you're putty in my hands, aren't you?" The boy moans as Spike's mouth works at his ear, whispers softly there. "Scream my name when you come."
He nods wordlessly, and pulls Spike down on top of him, warm to cool, flesh against flesh. Muscle to bone. "I could do things to you. God." Teeth. Oh, teeth everywhere, barely scraping. "Break you into pieces, make you beg like a bitch in heat. Oh, I could." He traces fingertips over Andrew's ribs, eyes him hungrily. "Twist you and bend you to my will, anything I wanted- God, you're so fucking breakable, I miss that about humans- anything. You wouldn't stop me. You wouldn't leave."
He wouldn't. At least not for a while.
"What about you?" Spike's expression hardens. "Why do you want me?" the vampire snarls. "Tell me why you want me."
"I'm afraid of you," he whispers in reply, breathless. It's true. Half-true, anyway. A good enough reason, and what he suspects Spike wants to hear.
Truth is Andrew would fuck anything willing right now. Truth is Spike feels the same way.
Spike drags his fingers slowly down Andrew's ribcage, fingertips testing thin skin and curves of bone. "Is there-"
Andrew points wordlessly to the bedside drawer. A house full of frequent masturbators always has lube.
Spike paws briefly through the drawer. "I can't find-"
"There. Under the SFX magazines and the aboriginal summoning flute."
"Geek," Spike says scathingly.
Forty-two species, three of which could remove Spike's spleen through his nose, and the conjuring powder's only an arm's length away. Andrew tightens his hands into fists and swallows all the nasty things he wants to scream back in reply. He can have dignity and principles and righteous fury later, okay? Now is not the time.
"You ever done this before?" Spike asks doubtfully, squeezing lubricant onto his hand and sliding one finger slowly into Andrew. He feels his body tighten and he lets out a breath slowly before giving a soundless nod.
The bong is three feet tall; Warren keeps it in a cabinet with a lock that only he knows the combination to. He spent two semesters in shop class perfecting the design and the first time they used it he felt like the top of his fucking head was coming off, he was so high. Warren's eyes were dark that night, he remembers, dark and oddly intense and he had just broken up with Katrina, only days before. And then he-
-he doesn't remember what happened. Not exactly. That wasn't the first time they got stoned, or the last, and even if he can remember, he knows that Warren would rather not. But he knows he's done this before.
"Relax, then," Spike says snappishly, adding a second slickened finger, a third. Andrew grits his teeth against the pressure, clenching his hands around Spike's shoulders. "Maybe we should've given you more to drink."
"I just woulda thrown up."
"Point well taken," Spike replies, and enters Andrew- slowly, but not slowly enough for any semblance of comfort. One stroke, two, pressing hard and Andrew moans something that might be "yes" or might be "no," he isn't sure. Pressure, pain, ojesusgodfuckow and hot, God, he feels so hot, feverish and light-headed and he thinks the world must be coming apart at the seams, yes, it must, he's flying apart in all directions and he just digs his fingertips into the smooth muscles of Spike's back and grips harder until the pain passes.
Slow, steady rhythm, almost nearly heaven but of course not quite. It's close enough. Spike buries his face in Andrew's throat, the tip of his tongue tracing the boy's jugular as if he can taste the blood beating below the surface of the skin, and Andrew can hear-
-breathing. A soft pant, as if Spike needed the oxygen. Habit? "Why are you doing that?"
"Breathing heavy. Why are you breathing? You're dead."
Spike rolls his eyes. "Shut up."
"I'm just sayin'..."
"Jesus Christ, shut up."
"Sorry." Spike's right; he's gotta learn to keep quiet. No one wants to listen. He bites down hard on his lip, silent as Spike pounds into him, because there are so many things he wants to say that really don't need to be said. Look at me, he begs in his mind, say my name. Tell me I'm not repulsive. Tell me I'm a good fuck. Tell me I'm real, I am real, I swear to God I am-
"Oh, God," he moans, and he can't hold it back any longer, he can hear his voice, so fucking loud in this empty room, hoarse and breathless and screaming, calling down all the gods and most of the lesser demons and begging Spike to fuck him harder, harder, please harder. He can't help but say "please." Not because Spike wants him to ask permission or anything, but because there's something in him that can't help begging.
What Spike wants to hear is his name. He twists his hands tightly through Andrew's hair and jerks the boy's head back, forcing his gaze in Spike's direction. His face changes, shifts, and Andrew wants to look away from razor-sharp fangs and gleaming yellow eyes but suspects it might be very hazardous to his health to do so. "Look at me," Spike snarls viciously, fangs snapping only inches away from Andrew's face. "I want you to look at me when you come. Look at me and say my name." He runs a hand over Andrew's sweat-slick abdomen and finds his cock. Pulls once, twice, so slowly, and the boy shudders in delight.
"I am." Those fangs are so, so sharp. Spike could kill him, oh Christ Spike could kill him right now and he very nearly hears himself begging for that. He stares into those golden-blue eyes and thinks about Spike's fangs sinking into his neck, thinks of his blood burning in Spike's lovely long throat, thinks about Spike leaving him a dead dry husk in this bed and he's still thinking about that when he climaxes with a strangled cry. He yells something when he comes, and he's pretty sure Spike's name is in there somewhere. He feels every muscle in his body pull bowstring-tight and he clenches his fingertips hard into Spike's back.
Those marks won't show, he thinks. He's sure that Spike doesn't bruise easy at all.
Spike's eyes are tightly closed and he looks... he looks... like he's not even here. And he's not, in a way, and Andrew knows it, he never expected otherwise, but still-
It hurts. Because he's not even a body anymore, just an empty space. He starts to speak but he knows his voice will crack and break.
He wonders where Spike is now. He wonders if she's pretty, whoever she is. He's sure that she is, as sure as he is that Spike won't remember Andrew next time he fucks her. She's better, after all. Better because she wasn't willing to die at the tips of those fangs and a sacrifice like that should mean something but it doesn't. There is nothing here in this bed that means anything at all. Andrew reaches up, thumb in the hollow of Spike's cheekbone, and the vampire opens his eyes. Reads the frustrated hurt on Andrew's face. Rolls his eyes in derision.
It's his own fault, after all. Trying to make something where there's nothing. He really should know better; he wants Spike to close his eyes again.
The boy finally sighs, twists his head away. Stares at the wall. "S'okay," he says dully. "I wouldn't wanna think about me at a time like this, either." He stares at the wall until Spike finishes.
He doesn't remember falling asleep. He wakes after sunrise, with a piercing pain behind his eyelids, to the sound of Spike getting dressed- zippers and the soft swish of clothing.
"You leaving?" he asks, without rolling over to face Spike.
"Good." The others will be back soon, and he doesn't know what they'd say if they came in to find Spike in his bed. Maybe they wouldn't say anything at all. Maybe Warren would just bitch about recruiting Spike for the Forces of Darkness, and Jonathan would give him that sad, understanding look he gives whenever he smells mandrake root in the lair and knows that Andrew's been summoning K'ashbadhi again. But maybe they'd kick him out of the lair and out of the gang- for having gay sex, vampire sex, whatever- and Andrew can't have that. Getting laid is all well and good, but Warren and Jonathan are all he's got.
"Look, mate," Spike starts, sounding a little hung over, a little ashamed and a lot annoyed, "it's not like we-"
Andrew rolls over, squints at the vampire standing by his bed- pale, so pale in the morning sunlight barely filtering through the windows. "Spike," he asks seriously, "what's my name?"
Spike furrows his brow for a moment, doesn't answer. Doesn't have the decency to look embarrassed, to look away. Andrew is absurdly grateful for that.
//look at me. look right at me and see nothing.
everyone else does anyway//
"Sun's up, luv," Spike says quietly. Andrew closes his eyes against the sudden sting of tears. Spike probably calls everyone that. But still.
"You're inventive. I'm sure you'll figure something out," Andrew snarks, pulling the blanket over his head.
He doesn't hear Spike leave, but he knows he's gone; he recognizes the way the room feels. He can feel the empty spaces around him closing in, the places where his brother doesn't appear, the space that the girl in Spike's head should be occupying. The blank places where Warren puts bruises that will only wither and fade, given time. He reaches beneath the sheets and runs one hand over his stomach, fingers seeking out the twin pinpricks of scab and healing skin. His wounds. Something that no one else can have now.
He hopes they scar.
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