Phrase And Fable
by dodyskin

He has a house. It has four bedrooms, and lots of other rooms like libraries and studys. It feels like home, sorta. Not like his home, obviously, but it feels like Alexander Harris's home. Sometimes some of the girls stay with him, never for long, just passing through. Some come to train, others to rest, mainly to rest. He is restful, apparently. He sleeps during the day. It's just easier that way. He dreams a lot. Vivid, not nightmares, they're... nice? A retreat. Seems only fair, if your life is a nightmare, sleep should be a daydream.

His dreams always start the same way, with the morning rituals. He shaves in his parent's bathroom, showers in his apartment, and dresses in the basement. He drinks coffee in Joyce's kitchen and dunks his doughnut from the box on the library desk. He picks up his car keys from Giles's coffee table, and heads out of the crypt to the dorm.

Spike is there, always, waiting by the Espresso Pump with a pool cue and a minion, and crinkling up his eyes in the sun that shines down fiercely in the alley behind the Bronze. He's dead, as usual, and soulless, which is the way of dreams.

He runs a comb over his bald head, because his hair always gets in his eyes and picks up Spike who slides into the back of the ice cream van, complaining about the mess of bodies. There are always bodies in the back of the Taurus, so they sit side by side, as usual.

They bicker in comfortable silence, as they walk through the tunnels to the dorm.

Buffy and Willow throw fights at each other's pillows, which chatter incessantly about holding house chords. D minor is failing, and may soon be out of reach.

He hands them pizza and they fork the strands of ramen into their mouths while Willow marks a circle and places candles at the corners. Her long hair falls over her face and it shimmers copper brown in the gloom of the gym.

Spike pulls him away, as usual, and they stroll through the halls to the basement, where they always end up somehow. The basement spins slowly on a gentle wash cycle and he always wonders why he never wonders about Spike being here.

Spike chains himself up in the bathtub and drinks blood from a long straw that reaches round corners to the mug on the library desk. And so they begin the inexorable slide from subtext to tub sex.

He asks, as he undoes his pants and pulls out his dick, "How are you so calm about this?"

"Well," Spike replies, looking up through curls that slick back and then fall. "This isn't exactly breaking new ground for me, love."

"You could at least fake new ground," he complains. "I feel like a dork."

"Yeah," Spike says, sounding it out round the sides of his cock. "You do."

His dad tumbles down the basement steps, clinking like bottles and shouting his name.

He zips up his pants and wraps on his toolbelt. "I have to get to work," he tells Spike.

"Why?" Spike says.

"That's my dad," he explains. "Devaluing the traditional family since 1981."

He opens his father and walks through to the Magic Box, flipping the shop sign from open to closed.

He spoons sugar into his mug and takes it with him into the back where it is raining tunes from the ceiling and Tara dances, as usual. The moon howls in the corner and she quiets it with soft words and cookies. He takes her hand and she takes his. They put their hands in their pockets and dance.

She asks, shyly teasing, as they waltz round the straw man, "Where's your better half?"

"Better half?" he says, and turns her slowly, "I'd say better quarter, third if I'm feeling generous." He looks down at his feet and says, "These aren't my shoes."

He runs the hot water and fills up the pool. He shaves in his parent's bathroom, showers in the locker room, and dresses in the basement. He drinks coffee in Joyce's kitchen and dunks his doughnut from the box on the library desk. He picks up his car keys from Giles's coffee table, and heads out of the crypt to the dorm.

Spike is there, always, waiting by the movie theatre with a pool cue and a minion, and tapping his feet to the sound of his shoes. He's dead, as usual, and fangless, which is the way of dreams.

Spike slides into the car, sinking into the seat. He ignores these antics, and they are both silent, until the seat finally says, "What's got your tool belt in a tizz?"

He turns up the radio to drown out the noise, and the seat bubbles with anger, "Green eyed monster been rearing its ugly head?"

The radio shorts out as the water reaches it and he says into sudden quiet, "I haven't seen Buffy in days."

They swim through the parking lot and hike up the wall. It's slippery when wet, so they often fall. They climb and fall and climb and fall until they circle round in on themselves. He has Spike's dick in his mouth and Spike has his, so they talk out of their asses, which seems practical.

"Are you going to tell them?" Spike asks

"Well," he says, as he moves in for a deep kiss. "It's easier done than said, you know?"

Buffy pouts and smiles as she rubs her hands over their two heads. "How come I'm at the bottom of the necking order?"

"This is not the Buffy Show, you know?" he replies as he pulls out from the kiss. "I am not just the supporting cast. I have a life too."

"The Buffy Show?" she says. "That's a stupid name. I'd call it Buffy: The vampire slayer, that's punchier." She cartwheels and flips, putting her fist through the TV.

"Who in hell would watch a show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer?" Spike says, turning on Passions and deflating his chair.

"More than would watch Xander the Construction Worker."

"Ooh, that's harsh," he says absently. "Anyway, it's be more like Xan the Man. Who's the Man?" he ninja-exes with his hands and tears the air for a minute. "Xan!"

"No one would know how to pronounce it." Willow says as she sews up the rip with a hypodermic needle. "You'd wind up being called Exxan."

"True, that brings a whiff of gas stations that I could do without."

"How did we get onto this?" Buffy asks.

"I believe you were bitching about not being Spike's Neck of the Week."

"Ew, no! That's not what I meant. Just be careful, I can't help thinking he has a hidden agenda."

"Hidden agenda?" he says, and he kneels in front of Spike's wheelchair, pulls his head down and mashes his mouth against the pale forehead. "Spike? His agenda is not hidden. His agenda is an exhibitionist. His agenda gives other agendas a lap dance while they stuff limelight in its g-string."

"Forget it," Buffy says, as she locks them both in the book cage. She picks up Willow and pushes her through the mesh. "Doughnut?"

He dunks his doughnut in his coffee and picks up his keys from the counter of the Magic Box. Willow and Buffy slouch in UC Sunnydale sweats and giggle. Willow tips the brim of her thinking hat and Buffy paints it white.

Spike nudges him, leering. "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."

"See, is that supposed to be dirty?" he responds. "How do you make that sound dirty?"

"It's a matter of working with your material," Spike says, as he loads him into the shopping cart. He punts them along with one leg off down Main Street. "You've got bird, and bush there, emphasise them and it's all downhill from there."

"You know what I love about you?" he calls over the roaring wind. "It's your understated eloquence."

Spike unloads him and puts him away in the larder. He watches the vampire as he fixes himself blood and whisky, and opens a can of peaches with his teeth. He is framed by the larder door; its pages flutter in the breeze. A picture of domesticity: art imitates wife.

"This brings a whole new meaning to creature comforts," he says happily.

"Is it like some sort of disease?" Spike says with irritation spreading through his voice like a rash.


"Can you not just say something normal for once?"

"It's not my fault," he says, grinning. "I'm not mad; I'm just drawn that way."

"Will you stop?" Spike says, and slams the book shut.

A cloud of dust blows in his face and he reaches for a towel from the stack by his bed. He gets up and walks down the stairs. The afternoon sun streams in through the window and he shades his eyes as he checks on the girls.

"I don't want to," he says.


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