Not True Nowhere
For Andrea, Secret Slasha 2003
"Don't you dare lie down on the bed like that," Wesley said, not needing to look over his shoulder at Xander to know that it was being contemplated.
"But I'm tired," Xander whined.
When Wesley did turn to look, Xander was standing next to the bed, looking at it longingly. "If you get that slime on the bed, you'll be more than tired -- I'll bend you over my knee and spank you."
Spike appeared in the doorway, eyes sparkling. "Oh no," he said, in the most false tones Wesley had ever heard from him. "Not a spanking."
"A spanking! A spanking!" Xander chanted in a high-pitched sing song voice. "And after the spanking -- "
"The oral sex," Spike finished, his grin spreading wide across his face. "Yeah, Xander. You heard Wes -- don't you dare get anywhere near that bed."
It wasn't that Wesley didn't find the two of them amusing -- he did. For once, he even knew what they were referring to. But somehow, feeling as if he was always going to be the one on the outside of all the little jokes... it made him stand with his spine a bit straighter, made him force his face into a frown that wasn't completely genuine.
Xander made a little sound of disappointment and grinned at Wesley sheepishly. "Don't worry -- the shower's probably the better place for me right now anyway."
That wasn't a surprise -- if either of the two of them was likely to notice Wesley's discomfort in a situation and cater to it, it was Xander. He'd shown up in LA along with the rest of Buffy's motley crew just after Sunnydale's destruction, and it hadn't been long before he and Wesley had struck up uneasy alliance. Young girls everywhere, invading the offices of Wolfram and Hart while Buffy and Giles had tried to decide what on earth to do with them.
Watching Angel and Giles move around uncomfortably, with Faith trying to lighten Angel's mood but unable to curtail the apologies that Angel made whenever he had to walk too close to Giles, had made everyone tense. When Wesley had made the tentative offer for someone to stay on his couch, Xander had glanced at him, just once, quickly.
Toward the end of that day, Wesley had looked up from his desk to find Xander standing in the doorway. Xander still had that odd mixture of qualities he'd had in high school -- quick to self-deprecation, but at the same time possessing an air that he'd manage to keep surviving no matter what happened. The combination of the two made him seem both younger and older than his years.
"Hi," Xander said.
"Hi." Wesley waited as Xander fidgeted in the doorway, then asked, "Is there something I can help you with?"
"Were you serious before?" Xander leaned on the frame as if he were trying to make himself seem more relaxed. "I mean, about someone crashing on your couch? Because I was thinking... maybe I could be that someone."
Wesley blinked, then nodded slowly. "Of course."
Xander's answering smile was clearly genuine. "Thanks. The thought of getting away from all that estrogen, even just for a night... it sounds pretty good, you know?"
Wesley had known. And one night on the couch had turned into another, followed by a Saturday afternoon of drinking beer at a pub that was local to Wesley's flat, where the clientele acted as if they knew him and he made the mistake of having two too many drinks on an empty stomach. Xander had walked him back to the flat, solicitous in a mature way that just confused Wesley even more than he already had been, and then kissed him just outside the door.
He'd been utterly flabbergasted. It wasn't that Xander's advances weren't welcome -- it just seemed like forever since someone had last returned Wesley's affection, and despite his own somewhat inexplicable attraction to the man Xander had become, he hadn't expected this.
So when Buffy and Dawn had gone off to England with Giles and Andrew, and Faith had taken Robin and Willow to Cleveland, dividing the new Slayers between them, Xander had stayed. It hadn't taken him long to find work -- it was no surprise to Wesley that Xander hadn't wanted to be in Angel's employ -- and they'd settled into something... a bit domestic actually.
It hadn't even occurred to Wesley, when Spike had shown up and begun his inevitable arguing with and torment of everything that breathed and didn't, that Spike and Xander might...
But they had.
There was a history between them, of course there was. And it wasn't that Wesley didn't find Spike attractive -- he'd been every bit as eager as Xander, once Spike had become corporeal again and made it clear that his intentions to leave LA as soon as he was able had been nothing more than a sort of beta posturing.
Still, that... whatever it was between Spike and Xander -- the camaraderie that let them trade private jokes, the shared past that allowed them to reference things Wesley had no familiarity with -- left him feeling as though he'd never fully be a part of what they had.
As if something was missing.
Wesley was startled out of his reverie by a gentle touch on his biceps.
"You okay?" Spike asked.
He nodded. "Yes."
"Don't look it." Spike had that thoughtful look on his face, the one that said he could see right through you. The one that said he knew all your secrets.
"I'm fine," Wesley said, glancing in the direction of the bathroom, where Xander had gone. He could hear the water starting up, then the sound of Xander getting under the spray.
"You gonna go join him? You were the one pushin' for the naked bodies." Spike tilted his head to the side slightly.
"I wasn't... well, I was. But not because of that," Wesley protested. The shower wasn't big enough for three; there had been plenty of times they'd all bemoaned that fact. "You go ahead, I'll wait until you're done."
They'd gone out to destroy a nest of vampires that Spike had heard rumor of in one of his casual eavesdroppings at Wolfram and Hart. Although Angel reluctantly found things for Spike to do, it never seemed to be enough -- Spike always needed more. More fighting. More attempts to prove himself top dog, or at the very least to make Angel doubt his own position as leader of the pack.
More sex, Wesley was reminded, as he saw that Spike had gone, and heard a familiar groan come floating out of the bathroom on a cloud of steam.
It hadn't taken them long to dispatch the vampires, but Xander had managed to put a foot wrong, and had fallen in the remains of something best not thought of or described. The stench on his clothing during the drive back to the flat had been horrific.
Wesley removed his own shirt, which was a bit redolent with sweat, and went slowly into the bathroom, where Xander and Spike were enjoying each other rather enthusiastically in the shower.
He waited patiently for them to finish, then moved past them without a word and took his own turn under the somewhat less than hot water as they conversed and toweled themselves dry. Neither of them seemed to notice his reticence, and he couldn't say that he blamed them for the lack of attention.
In bed, later on, Wesley found himself in the middle again. It was odd that he so often seemed to end up between Spike and Xander, with one cock in his mouth while the other pushed into him. He and Xander had had a well defined relationship until Spike had thrown himself into the mix -- since then, everything had gone topsy-turvy, and Wesley no longer knew which end was up.
"Love it that you let me fuck you now," Xander panted behind his ear while thrusting slowly inside.
Wesley just groaned around Spike's cock and clenched his hand in a fistful of sheet.
Spike thrust like a man possessed, full of a sort of kinetic energy that didn't seem to quite belong to him. It left Wesley breathless and eager for more.
He told himself that it meant something that he was the one they wanted in the middle, one arm thrown over his waist and another cooler one resting across his thigh.
But he never quite believed it.
The phone rang at a quarter til four in the morning, and neither Spike nor Xander stirred in the slightest. Wesley had to climb over Spike's unprotesting body to get to it.
"Pryce," he said, his voice rough with sleep.
"You still looking for that Trevalen claw?"
What a charming way to start a conversation, although, considering the source, Wesley wasn't too terribly surprised.
And he was looking for a claw -- had been looking for one for months. It was a component in a spell he wanted to cast and, more importantly, the only one he'd been unable to acquire through normal channels.
Wesley moved through the bedroom and out into the hallway, keeping his voice low. "I take it you've found one?"
Bish -- not Bishop, something that Wesley had been told when they'd first met -- cleared his throat. "Kinda."
"And what does that mean?"
"I know where one is. You know a guy called Starling?"
Wesley did, although calling him a 'guy' was a bit overly generous. "How do you know he has one?"
Bish laughed, a short sharp sound like a bark. "How do I ever know anything? Got the connections, that's how I know."
"I take it you're not interested in acquiring it for me?" Wesley sighed and rubbed his forehead. The claw in question wasn't the sort of thing he wanted to take any chances with -- if there was one, he wanted it in his possession as soon as possible, even if that meant going to retrieve it himself.
"Hey, you didn't pay me to get it, you just paid me to find it." Bish didn't sound put out -- he was casual, relaxed. Wesley could almost picture the man slouched back in a chair, half the buttons on his shirt undone and his collection of gold chains on display. "Speaking of which, you haven't paid me."
"That's because until now you hadn't found it," Wesley said mildly. "Normal finder's fee? I can have the check in the mail to you later today."
"Yeah. Don't worry -- I know where you live."
"That's more comforting than you could possibly know," Wesley said, and hung up the phone.
Starling's apartment -- which was referred to as his office, which was laughable at best -- was less than twenty minutes away, and he was not unused to visitors at all hours. If Wesley left now, he could be back before Spike and Xander woke.
He didn't know he was in trouble until Starling's door closed behind him.
The phone was ringing and no one was answering it, and Spike's arm was resting over Xander's ribcage. Xander groaned and waited for the phone to stop ringing.
It rang again.
Spike twitched. "Get the bloody phone," he muttered.
"You get it," Xander muttered back. "I'm comfortable."
The phone rang again.
"Oh for crissake," Spike said, and rolled half-heartedly toward the edge of the bed just as the answering machine picked up.
"You've reached Wesley Wyndam-Pryce. I'm not available to take your call, so please leave a message and I'll get back to you as soon as possible." A familiar pause, then Spike's voice. "Oi! Don't --" Still Spike, but in a slightly calmer voice. "Also the home of Spike and Xander Harris," Spike said. "If you're hearing this message, we're either not home, or we're shaggin'. Leave a message and when we get off, we'll try to call you back." Another pause. "Unless we hate you. Then we're not calling back." Wesley's voice again: "Yes, thank you, Spike. My deepest apologies to anyone listening to this message."
Then a long *beep.*
A rough man's voice started to speak. Xander thought he recognized it, if only vaguely... like maybe once he'd answered the phone and heard the guy talk. Anyway: "Hey, it's Bish again. Forgot to tell you that Starling's got himself a new bodyguard -- doesn't take well to unexpected visitors. I'd hate you to walk into a situation you couldn't handle -- then I might not get paid."
There was a click, then the sound of the answering machine saving the message.
Spike had fallen asleep again, but Xander was wide awake. "Spike, get up."
Spike groaned and rolled over, burying his head under the pillow and one arm.
Xander poked him in the side, hard. "Spike. Where's Wesley?"
That seemed to get through to the sleepy vampire, who sat up groggily and looked around. "Not in bed?" Spike said helpfully.
"Yeah, I figured that part out, Einstein." Xander got up, looking around for his pants before he remembered that they'd been relegated to the trash heap after last night's little prat fall. He went over to the answering machine and pressed the 'play' button, then stood there looking at Spike as the message replayed.
"Shit," Spike said.
"Again with the yeah," Xander said, calling out "Wes?" loudly through the apartment, hoping for a reply even as he quickly started pulling on some clothes.
Spike was getting dressed too. "He's gone," he said, nodding at the top of the bureau, which was tellingly empty of the wrist weapon that Wesley always kept there. "Least he had sense enough to take that."
"The question is, where the hell is he going?" Xander went over to the phone, picked it up, and dialed '*69.' While he waited for the connection, he glanced up and caught Spike's eye. "If he's gotten himself into trouble, I'm gonna kill him."
Wesley ducked another swing and threw himself to one side, rolling and coming up with a pistol in each hand. The demon, whatever it was, was as fast as anything he'd ever encountered, its hide unbelievably thick. It did flinch when the bullets hit it, but they barely seemed to slow it down. In the blink of an eye, it had one huge hand wrapped around Wesley's throat, shoving him up against the wall like a butterfly on a pin.
He struggled violently, but it was useless -- the demon might as well have been a statue for all the good it did. The creature's hand tightened a millimeter further, reducing his oxygen supply to almost nothing.
The edges of his vision began to dim.
At the same time, doors on opposite sides of the room opened -- one with a violent slam into the wall, the other with a *click* and a casual swing, and faintly, Wesley heard... something. Some things. Spoken words in a language he barely recognized, and over that a shout, and then there was a tremendous jolt and he was dropped to the floor.
He smacked his head back against the wall as he landed, biting his tongue, and therefore had to contest with a mouthful of blood at the same time he tried to suck in enough air through his bruised throat to remain conscious. Someone was standing in front of him, and someone else was kneeling next to him with a hand on his shoulder.
"That's right, buddy, you want to back the hell off." Xander was the one standing, brandishing a sword that would be of no practical use whatsoever -- the pieces of Wesley's shattered one on the floor should have told him that.
Wesley tried to sit forward, to say something to warn Xander, but nothing came out. His throat felt swollen, bruised in a way that was inexplicably and disturbingly familiar somehow.
"S'okay," Spike said beside him, arm going supportively around Wesley's back, opposite hand resting on Wesley's chest, stroking gently. "He's got the situation under control. Just... breathe, will you? It's okay."
The comfort was... well, comforting.
"What the hell are you doing here?" Starling said, stepping around the still growling demon that was standing in front of Xander menacingly. He made a dismissive gesture with one hand, and the demon blinked, grunted, then turned and trundled off through the open doorway Starling had come through.
Wesley drew a shuddering breath and tried again to speak, but managed only a hoarse croak.
Spike squeezed his shoulder. "Take it he didn't have an appointment then?" he asked Starling.
The man -- well, half demon technically, and tended to act as a representative of the worst behaviors of his kind -- crossed his arms over his chest. "No."
"So this the way you treat everyone? Person shows up at your door and you send tall, dark and disgusting to greet them?" Wesley could hear the frustration in Spike's voice.
So, apparently, could Xander, who moved over closer to both of them. "Spike, cool it, would you? Look, there's obviously been some kind of misunderstanding here." Xander dropped to one knee and looked Wesley in the eye. "You okay?"
Wesley nodded, thinking it was best to save his voice for an actual explanation. "Bishop called and said you had something I'm looking for," he managed to say, although speaking made his throat ache abominably and he sounded rather like someone else.
Starling relaxed. "Oh yeah -- he did say something about you being interested in that Trevalen claw. You coulda called, you know."
Wesley got a hand back against the wall and used the leverage to push himself slowly to his feet, with Spike's hand under his elbow providing no small amount of assistance. "I didn't realize it was necessary. New henchman?"
"New bodyguard," Starling emphasized, actually having the nerve to look offended. "You were in my line of business, you'd have one too. Do you realize how many times I've put my life on the line just by opening the front door?"
Xander cleared his throat discreetly.
Starling blinked, then chuckled. "Okay, yeah. Guess maybe you do. Least you've got yourself a couple of bodyguards too, huh?"
That wasn't they were, Wesley realized... not at all. But this wasn't the time or place to get into it. "Do you have the claw?"
"Yeah, I got it. Doesn't come cheap though."
Wesley took a step forward, only a bit shakily. "Get it," he said tersely, aware that he still wasn't quite himself, "and we'll talk price."
Starling went off into the back room, and almost immediately Xander's hands were on Wesley, warm and exceedingly gentle. He tilted Wesley's head up, looking at his throat with a concern that was apparent.
"How does it look?" Wesley asked.
"Don't talk," Xander said. "You're gonna have a hell of a bruise. Bruises. And why didn't you wake us up?"
"If you don't want me to talk, you shouldn't ask me questions," Wesley said, wincing at even the light touch of Xander's fingertips across his skin.
Thankfully, Starling came back into the room with the claw at that moment, sparing Wesley from having to attempt to explain.
Of course, that only got him off the hook for about ten minutes. As soon as they left, with the Trevalen claw carefully wrapped in a cloth and tucked into Wesley's jacket pocket, the questions started up again.
"So since when do you go off and deal with stuff like this by yourself?" Xander opened the passenger side door of his car and then stood there as if waiting for Wesley to get in.
"I brought my car, Xander." Wesley gestured a few spaces away, where his own car was parked legally, as well as locked, unlike Xander's.
"And if you think we're letting you drive home in it looking like that, you're nuts." Xander pointed at the seat. "In. We'll come back and get your car later."
It seemed pointless to argue, so Wesley got in and closed the door.
With Spike atypically silent in the back seat, they drove back to the flat. The claw was only a slightly uncomfortable reminder of the incident against Wesley's hip compared to his bruised throat, but he didn't mind either when it came down to it.
Xander continued to glance at Wesley as he drove, to the point where Wesley started to suspect he might have been safer driving home himself. "You okay?" Xander asked finally, as he pulled into the small parking area behind the building.
"I'm fine," Wesley said.
"Yeah, only because we showed up when we did," Spike said, looking more than a bit twitchy as he got out of the car and began walking backward toward the building, although Wesley knew that it was at least half an hour until sunrise. "Xander hadn't woke up when the phone rang, and you'd have been pushing up daisies."
"Starling would have called it off in time," Wesley said, although he wasn't entirely certain this was true. He sighed as they went inside the building, and stood back with Spike as Xander unlocked the door to the flat, then waved him in.
Spike figured he was exercising a lot of restraint, what with not throttling Wes and all. 'Course, demon henchman'd already done that for him, so not like it was necessary at that point.
It wasn't even that he was really that pissed off at Wes -- more that there'd been all that adrenaline that he hadn't expected, then nothing to do with it. He wanted to smoke half a pack of cigarettes, drink a bottle of good booze. Punch something. But he'd cut short his chances of getting a good fight in when he'd hit that demon and it'd dropped Wes.
Who looked pale and worn out, bruises on his throat blooming like dark deadly flowers. Spike kicked the door closed with a booted foot and went over to Wes, just needing to get his hands on him again, reassure himself that he was okay.
"What -- " Wes started to say, still hoarse, and Spike shut him up with a kiss.
The two of them didn't kiss much really. Was like Xander'd been some kind of connection point between them, some kind of magnet drawing the two of them toward him, but from opposite sides of the room. And Wesley was hesitant about it even now -- Spike could feel his pulse trembling uncertainly under thin cotton shirt and fragile skin. Could feel something swelling in his own chest, something that had a name that couldn't be said out loud. Not yet.
But Wes' mouth was hot, and their lips slid together, bumped and caught. Uncoordinated, like two people who hadn't learned how to dance with each other yet and were still trying to work out who was leading. Tasted like blood -- didn't take long for Spike's tongue to find the little raw spot on Wes' where he must have bitten it before.
Spike's hand was right on Wes' hip, right where it was bony, trying to anchor him there. Trying to show Wes that he wasn't gonna just float away, that they weren't going to let him.
Xander was behind Wesley, peeling off his jacket and letting it drop to the floor, unhitching the broken wrist weapon and letting that fall too. Pressing up against Wes from the back. One big hand slid past Spike's and pulled Wes' shirt up out of his waistband, slipping under the fabric and over what Spike knew was warm smooth skin. Xander's hand moved higher, and Wes moaned suddenly, sharply, into Spike's mouth as fingers pinched a nipple.
"You okay with this?" Spike asked, grinding himself against Wes at the same time and eliciting another little sound.
Wes took a breath and blinked at him. "I..." Shook his head.
"That a no?" Spike thought it'd looked more like a lack of oxygen to the brain, and no surprise there, what with the erection Wes was sporting.
"No. I mean, it wasn't a no. I... this is..."
Xander's hand moved lower, down across Wes' belly. "This is us," he said, "showing you."
Wes twisted slightly and kissed Xander. "Showing me what?" he asked, sounding puzzled.
"Showing you," Spike said, pushing Wesley backward and Xander along with him, until Xander's back was up against the wall and Wesley was trapped between the two of them. "That you never do that again. You understand?"
Wes swallowed uncertainly, but Spike could feel Wes' cock twitch a different sort of response. "You don't want me to...?"
"Go off without us," Spike said. He pushed his own hip bone against Wes' cock, hard. "Not when there might be trouble. S'what we're here for."
Wes tensed up between them. "I thought you were here because you didn't have anywhere else to go."
Xander growled and moved, faster than Spike was ready for, turning Wes and shoving him into the wall, leaving Spike standing there. "Tell me you don't think that." Xander's face was whiter than Spike could remember seeing it since he'd lost the eye.
Wesley looked from one to the other of them for a long minute, then slumped visibly in Xander's grip. "I'm sorry," he said, and Spike wasn't sure if his voice was so hoarse from repressed emotion or his bruised throat. "I didn't..."
But Xander'd heard enough apparently, because he'd already let go of Wes and whirled to stomp across the room and then back into the bedroom, where he slammed the door loud enough to make the walls shake.
Spike looked at Wes. "Good going." He felt torn between checking to see if Xander was okay and staying to make sure Wes was okay.
"I didn't mean to hurt him," Wesley said, rubbing his throat gingerly with one hand. "But he deserves better than to be lied to."
"He deserves better than to have you thinking we're just using you too," Spike pointed out. Decision apparently made, for the moment at least, he stepped closer and brushed Wes' fingers aside. "Breathe okay?"
Wes seemed confused at the question, then nodded. "It's superficial -- I'll be fine."
"Wouldn't call it superficial," Spike said, finding himself distracted by the color of the bruising. "But yeah, you'll be okay. Physically, at any rate."
"I'm sorry," Wes said again. Hesitant, like he wasn't sure he wouldn't be rebuffed, he reached for Spike's hand, and Spike let him take it. Let Wes entwine their fingers together, watched him study the way their hands fit. Like he was trying to sort something out in his head.
"Not the reason I'm here either," Spike offered finally.
He was rewarded with a quick glance of blue eyes meeting his own. "No?"
Spike shook his head. "No." He moved closer and kissed Wes, and this time it was different. Slower, more thoughtful. Less desperate, but somehow more at the same time. Which didn't make a hell of a lot of sense to Spike, but he knew how to take something and run with it.
When the kiss ended, Wesley looked like he'd come to some conclusion. "I should... I should go talk to him."
"Yeah, you should." Spike grinned a little bit, tilted his head to one side. "We okay?"
Wes leaned forward and kissed him again, quick and dirty. "We are. Better than okay."
Spike gave Wes a thirty second head start, then followed him to the bedroom, where the door was ajar. Xander was standing over at the window, looking out where the sun was gonna be rising any time now. Spike could tell by the way he was standing that his arms were crossed over his chest, and by the way he was relaxing into the touch of Wes' hand on his back that he was getting what he needed, whether he wanted to admit it or not.
"I'm sorry," Wesley said. He moved his hand up to Xander's shoulder and squeezed, then slid it down to Xander's lower back and rubbed in small circles. "You've every right to be angry with me."
Xander sighed and shook his head, trying to relax. It wasn't like being uptight about this did any good. "I'm not mad. I mean, yeah, I am, but I'm mad at myself too." He turned to face Wes, whose profile was bathed in the gloomy yellow light of the little bedside lamp. "I should have said something sooner."
"No... I should have said something. I should have asked." Wes tangled his fingers in the front of Xander's shirt, pulling him closer, kissing him.
It felt just as great as it always did -- maybe better, because for what might have been the first time it seemed like Wes was really there, something close to all of him right there in the moment with Xander.
His own hands were moving over Wes' body, trying to find the right way to show him he was loved. There had to be a way to do that, right? His fingers struggled with the buttons on Wes' shirt while they kissed, open-mouthed, rolling kisses.
"Never do that again," Xander murmured.
"Go off without you?" Wes asked, sounding breathless as Xander's teeth nipped as his now-bare shoulder.
Xander kissed Wes' throat, lips skirting over the bruised area as light as a feather. "No," he whispered. "Think I don't love you."
And then Spike was there too -- Xander hadn't even realized he was in the room, but there was Spike's hand pushing his out of the way to run over Wes' bare chest. "Didn't think I'd let you leave me out of the equation, did you?" Spike said in a low voice, before sliding his lips over Xander's fleetingly. "You two keep kissing."
Still between them, Spike dropped to his knees, his hands fumbling at Wes' belt.
Xander grinned at Wes. "Think we should listen to him?"
There was a little gasp from Wes as Spike freed his erection. "Oh, I think -- " Another gasp, and Xander glanced down to see Spike's tongue flickering out across the head of Wes' cock. "I think this is one of those instances in which he knows what he's talking about."
No disagreements there. Xander dropped a hand down to rest on Spike's shoulder, then leaned in and kissed Wes again.
And again. And then some more. What felt like an eternity of kisses, all wrapped up and presented under the Christmas tree like something Xander would be happy to open repeatedly even if it was the same thing every time.
Wes was shivering, his breath coming in quick desperate shudders as his hands clutched at the sleeves of Xander's shirt. "Xander," Wes said, in a little voice that was still all British and proper. "I... Spike -- " Then his head tipped back, eyes closing as he came into Spike's mouth, his whole body twitching.
Xander glanced down -- Spike's hands were at Wes' waist, helping to hold him up. Spike let Wes' cock slip from his mouth, then tilted his chin up to grin at Xander upside down, letting the top of his head bump against Xander's erection.
Wesley shivered again, his grip on Xander's sleeves relaxing a little bit. "God," he said. "I don't... I..."
"Shh," Xander told him. "Don't say anything."
Like they were sharing a brain, he and Spike got Wes undressed and over onto the bed, somewhere along the way shedding their own clothes.
The bed that was big enough for three sleeping as long as they were friendly was plenty big enough for three having sex. Especially since somebody was usually on top of somebody else. Like right now, when he was on top of Wes, his cock riding Wes' pelvic bone, slipping along the heat of him like a stone skipping across the surface of water. He wanted in, but the angle was wrong and then Spike was shoving him out of the way.
"Hey," Xander protested.
"Shh," Spike said, kissing him, hot and sharp, like the blow-job he'd given Wes had honed his lips somehow. "I want to fuck him. Wanna fuck you, Wes. Can I?"
"Hey! No!" Xander said, frowning now. "You got to suck him off -- I get to fuck him."
Wes pushed himself up onto his elbows, his hair tousled. He couldn't have looked sexier if he'd tried. "I really think -- "
"You always get to fuck him!" Spike complained, running a hand up the inside of Wesley's thigh.
"I'm sure we can -- " Wes tried to say.
Xander shoved Spike's hip. "That's because I was here first."
Wes started, "Xander, that's really not the -- "
"'I was here first?!" Spike asked incredulously. "Oh, there's a mature comeback. Don't you -- "
Loudly, Wesley said, "For heaven's sake, will you both shut up."
To Wesley's complete surprise, they did. The way they blinked at him was actually rather comical, but he didn't feel like laughing. And once they were both focused on him rather than each other, he felt exceedingly uncomfortable. On display. Also, his fingers itched to reach up and adjust Xander's eye patch, which was just the tiniest bit askew.
He let himself do it, but before he could pull his hand back, Xander turned his head and kissed Wesley's palm. It made him shiver, yet somehow failed to break the mood.
"What d'you want, Wes?" Spike's voice was husky, all trace of playfulness gone. "Tell us and we'll do it. Anything."
God, he wanted... he wanted to be convinced. Not just for now, but once and for all, that he was in the middle for a reason of more than just convenience.
Unfortunately, Wesley was quite sure that was impossible. For now would have to do.
He reached for both of them, pulling them down to cover his body in a tangle of limbs. "I just... I want you." The physical evidence, at least, that they wanted him as well was apparent, and he decided to concentrate on that.
Xander was working his way down Wesley's body, circling his navel with a damp tongue and then moving lower still. Wesley felt the muscles in his calves and thighs go taut as Xander's tongue laved over his balls, his cock twitching in response to the attention.
Spike's tongue, doing its part in the equation, was tracing a vein in Wesley's neck, carefully avoiding the bruised areas. The fact that it still hurt, or perhaps ached would have been the more appropriate word, was both a turn-on and, somewhere deeper in his psyche, disturbing, like an echo of memory so repressed that it was lost to him.
He needed it exorcised.
Wesley groaned, the sound dragged from him by two mouths on his skin. "Please."
"Please what?" Xander asked.
"I need..." Wesley hesitated -- didn't want to say it. Didn't want to make it true.
"Tell us," Spike said, growling low beside his ear. "What do you need, Wes?"
"Need... need you to hurt me." Spoken, the words had a power that made him flush with both shame and desire.
That gave Xander pause; Wesley could feel it in the thumb that rested over his hipbone, in the warm breath against his inner thigh.
But Spike, at least, seemed to understand what he was asking for. "Something you're not telling us, isn't there." His hand snaked down between Wesley's legs and latched onto his balls, twisting with what was only a promise of cruelty, not actual pain. Not yet.
Wesley shook his head -- the answer wasn't there -- and Spike's response was another twist, this time hard enough that it made Wesley gasp.
"Something... something I don't know," Wesley managed. "Can't remember."
Xander had moved back up his body and, seeming to take his cue from Spike, pinched one of Wesley's nipples. Not with the casual authority that Spike had -- Xander wore the mantle with less confidence. That was clear not only in his touch but in the look in his eye. "You don't mean... really hurt you. Right?"
Breathlessly unable to answer with Spike's fingers clamped around his most sensitive parts, Wesley rolled his head to catch Spike's gaze, mutely begging him to explain.
"He's trying to get at something," Spike said gruffly. "Think this might work, is that it?"
Wesley nodded, grateful to be understood.
Without easing his grip, Spike leaned over Wesley and kissed Xander. "Trust me?"
"You know I do." Xander's voice was a bit shaky perhaps, but it sounded as if he were on more solid ground now.
"Good," Spike said, releasing Wesley and sitting back on his heels. "Wes? Hands and knees, facing the end of the bed."
Wesley moved to obey at once, everything within him a roiled mess of confusion that, somehow, he was convinced Spike and Xander could make sense of.
There was no warning at all really -- the briefest of touches, then Spike's finger pushing inside him with no lubrication save what might have been a thin coating of saliva. He let out an involuntary sound of surprise.
"Xander, get in front of him and kiss him. Hard." The tone of Spike's voice left no room for disobedience.
Wesley found himself kissing -- being kissed by -- Xander again, just as Spike had instructed. Hard, tooth-clashing kisses that he knew would leave his lips as bruised as his throat, but which he was eager for all the same. If nothing else, they distracted him from the way Spike had what felt like three fingers inside him now, stretching to an exquisite burn that might have been what had him moaning.
His erection was insistent, painful, but there was no direct stimulation for it, nothing to bring him relief. "Please," Wesley heard himself say, and although it was to Xander, he knew Spike would hear him.
"It's okay," Xander said, face flushed with excitement and a hand on his own cock, pulling at it. "You want -- "
"No," Spike said forcefully, before Xander could even finish his question. "Don't let him come."
Xander blinked. "What?"
"Don't let him come," Spike repeated. "Do whatever you have to -- use your hand, find a cock ring, I don't care. Not until I say."
Apparently Xander couldn't follow the directive and continue to kiss him at the same, because he moved to Wesley's right, and then Wesley felt Xander's thumb and forefinger encircle the base of his cock tightly.
Wesley moaned again, but then Spike started to speak, and Wesley's attention was riveted there, hopeless, helpless. "You want me to fuck you, Wes? Take you hard, so hard I leave marks?"
"Yes," he said.
"So hard you feel it for a week?"
"Good. Because I'm going to. Only one question left for you to answer." Spike's fingers twisted inside him cruelly, nudging over his prostate and making his cock throb. "What do you want in you... my cock, or my fist?"
Wesley felt Xander's grip falter. "Spike, that's -- "
"Shut up," Spike said. Wesley wasn't certain he'd ever heard Spike use that tone with Xander before. The vampire sighed almost inaudibly. "You said you trust me -- gotta trust Wes too. It's his decision."
Wesley's thighs were trembling, and it felt as if there weren't enough air in the room. "Your hand," he said, before he could change his mind, before he could let it talk him out of what was needed. "Do it."
Spike's fingers withdrew.
Wesley closed his eyes and waited.
Xander's hand around his cock was firm, the other hand stroking over his lower back lightly, comforting.
Then Spike's fingers were back -- slick, rubbing against him and then pressing in, three all at once, almost taking his breath away with the suddenness of it. They probed deep, not giving him the time to adjust.
"Relax," Spike said, and added a fourth finger.
He took a breath, cautiously, and Spike moved his fingers. Stretching, then in and out, fucking him slowly. Pushing deep. Wesley let his head drop down, let the sensation roll over him like a wave, his cock like iron in Xander's fist, aching. "More," he said finally, and even he could hear that it was more an order than a request.
Spike said, "Now," tucked his thumb, and started to slide his whole hand inside of Wesley.
White hot pain like... like something he couldn't recall, a memory of pain so sharp and localized that it was everywhere at once. Which didn't make sense rationally, Wesley knew, even as he wondered how there was any part of his brain capable of being rational when Spike's hand was inside him, unquestionably where it didn't belong.
Spike's hand was inside him.
Wesley froze. It was too much -- it made it a bit difficult to breathe deeply. Or actually at all.
"Breathe," Xander reminded him. "Breathe, Wes. It's okay."
He tried, but didn't completely succeed. His lungs felt crowded, and there was a sharp, coppery taste on the back of his tongue that he eventually realized was blood. It was... incredible. As if, by letting Spike in, everything else was eclipsed -- positive, negative. Lost.
"Bloody hell," Spike whispered, and Wesley felt Spike's fingers flex, just the tiniest bit. Lightning flashes shot through him, making him twitch.
"It's... I don't..." Wesley didn't know what to say to convey what he was thinking.
Spike curled his hand into a fist, drawing his fingers in slowly, his knuckles rearranging the pain into a new pattern that, for a moment, caused Wesley to feel like he was going to black out. The sound that escaped him was primal, came up through him like he was channeling something bigger than himself.
"Jesus, Spike, take it easy," he heard Xander mutter, but the hand on his cock, anchoring him, didn't waver.
"S'what he needs," Spike said.
Their voices sounded far away, and Wesley felt... closer to something. Whatever it was that was missing... for the first time he thought he might be able to reach it.
Spike's fist moved forward, deeper, and Wesley screamed. Beneath it he heard Spike say something, and as Xander released the grip on his cock, orgasm hit him like a blow.
He could feel his body shaking, feel a roar of pain rush through him like a brushfire, burning everything in its path. His back arched, and his right arm felt strangely numb, a pins and needles sort of feeling. His hands clutched for something to hold onto, but there was nothing.
He couldn't breathe. It was as if, somewhere along the way, the route between his lips and his lungs had been severed.
He couldn't breathe.
There was a ringing sound, slightly muted. He couldn't place it.
With a gasp that sucked air in through his tortured throat, Wesley came back to himself. The hard, unyielding ground beneath him became their bed, firm and comfortable. Spike was lying behind him, spooned up close for warmth and comfort, and Xander was in front of him, watching his face carefully.
"Wes? You okay?"
His voice was rough when he answered. "Yes. I... yes."
"Suss out what you were missing?" Spike's arm was thrown over his waist, Spike's mouth nuzzling the back of Wesley's shoulder.
A long time passed before he answered. "No."
It was gone again.
When Spike and Xander had both fallen back asleep, Wesley extricated himself from their loving embrace and went to fetch his jacket from near the front door where it had been dropped. The Trevalen claw was still tucked neatly into the pocket, still wrapped in the cloth handkerchief.
He'd known something was wrong for months. Now he had the means to correct it.
Barely aware that he was tracing his fingers over his throat, Wesley carried the claw over to his desk and set it down, then opened the spellbook to the page with the memory recovery spell he'd been waiting to perform.
If he started the spell now, he could have it done before Spike and Xander woke.