Seven Languages




On Second Thought, Not 200 words

The first time, it was about doing that one insane thing you always wanted to do before you died, because they were seriously about to die. And, when the world didn't end, it seemed like the best thing for everyone involved to just pull on the casual denial and pretend the whole thing never happened. It was a mutual thing - neither wanted to think or believe that it had been anything other than something desperate, something crazy, something totally out of character.

That didn't mean that Xander didn't think about it all the time. It didn't mean that he didn't remember with crystal clarity the way Spike's skin had felt like watered silk, the way his mouth had tasted like smoke and candy and tea. It didn't mean that he didn't play it over and over, like a loop of film in his head, hearing that honeyed voice whispering in his ear, telling him secrets, urging him on, teasing, begging, burning.

Just because it licked the edges of his mind like a hungry flame, flaring to brightness in his dreams and subsiding to a smoldering ember when he was awake - that wasn't any kind of reason to do it again.

I Can't Remember Where You Live 175 words

The second time, it was about anger. It was one of those things that sometimes happened when you got so mad that you had to kill something or fuck something. Guy thing. And Xander couldn't take it out on Anya; he just wasn't wired that way. Sometimes the planets align, or the orbits of two peoples' pain intersect, or the fates converge, and that's what happened. Shoulders bumping at the Bronze led to much more - starting in the alley, finishing in the crypt.

The alley was hard and fast, with snarling and cursing and rough hands. The crypt was a repeat, just with a little more control, still about power and force. But, by the time they made it to the bed downstairs, the anger had cooled and something shifted, and Xander found himself reveling in the passion, but also relaxing into the situation - want and need without all the strings of emotions there to choke him. In the morning, Spike said something typically assholish, and Xander left, and they didn't speak of it again.

I Think That I Laughed 150 words

The third time they were drunk. Somehow, the universe and the Hellmouth and Jack Daniels conspired to find the two of them at Willy's, drowning their sorrows separately. A demon picked on Xander, and Spike stood by while the demon got its ass kicked, giving pointers and drinking Xander's booze. Spike threw the unconscious demon into the alley and sat down, and the glasses kept refilling and emptying - bar magic.

This time, they went to Xander's apartment. Anya was long gone, and the place smelled of pizza and beer. They laughed all the way home, laughed their way out of their clothes and into the bed. They stayed there all weekend, and Spike showed Xander the best cure for a hangover, and Xander showed Spike what he'd learned that summer in Oxnard. Before dawn on Monday, Spike ruffled Xander's hair and slipped out, and he whistled on his way home.

I Woke Up With a Word in My Head 125 words

The fourth time was in the closet, but neither one laughed at the joke. Spike wasn't even sure if Xander was real at first. When he decided that he was real, Spike prayed for the first time in a hundred years, thanking whoever was listening for letting him feel warmth and want and kindness again.

They huddled together, all silky skin and scratchy blankets - their limbs intertwined like the whorls of a puzzle ring, and neither one could tell who was clinging to whom. They didn't speak much - there wasn't a whole lot to say. At least, not with words. In the morning, Xander moved back to his own bed, and Spike slowly got better, and the world went completely to hell around them.

I Would Come to Visit You 100 words

The fifth time was in a cold, narrow bed in the hospital wing at Wolfram and Hart, and Spike couldn't use his hands. Xander didn't care - he felt as though he had hands enough to go around, and a hunger that could consume the world. They stayed together in Spike's ratty flat for six days and nights, ordering in, watching television and not taking Angel's calls. By the time Xander reluctantly went back to Africa, Spike was beating him soundly at Donkey Kong and almost smiling again. They kissed in the doorway, and Xander waved goodbye from the taxi window.

I Can't Think of Right Words to Say 75 words

The sixth time was in a tent, with flickering firelight throwing shadows on the canvas and the quiet African night close around them. There wasn't another soul for twenty miles, and Spike demonstrated how very well he had recovered his manual dexterity. They slept during the day and traveled at night, and two weeks passed like two minutes. At the airport in Capetown, Xander pulled Spike close, but didn't say "Stay," though he wanted to.

I Could Walk on Water 50 words

The seventh time was against the wall of an abandoned building, with rain pouring down to wash dragon's ichor off Spike's coat and tears and dirt off both their faces. They watched the sun rise from the shelter of the building.

Spike said, "Stay."

"Where would I go?" Xander answered.




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