Title: Predatory

Author: tarotgal

Fandom: Buffy the vampire slayer (set during season 4 sometime after Hush)

Rating: PG13 (for blood because, hello, vampire!)

Pairings: Technically, none. But could be seen as pre-Spander

Disclaimer: Joss, ME, and all that. Not me. This is just a fanfic.

Summary: A short fic with absolutely no plot whatsoever in which Xander's sick and Spike's... just Spike.

Notes: Written for my Sneezefic132 challenge. Because, for some reason, bloodlust isn't common enough to be an LJ mood ;-)





     A loud noise woke Spike, who would have fallen out of the chair had he not been tied right to it. Overwhelmed by grogginess and hunger, it took him an entire second to focus and figure out what the sound was. Spike looked over at the bed and the man in it. His gaze was drawn towards the skin exposed around the white wife-beater and, more specifically, to the neck. While he didn't much mind the noise now that he was awake, a sharp pang of hunger now struck him. Though he knew it was futile, he struggled against his bonds for a moment, picturing himself leaping upon the unsuspecting sleeping man and drinking his fill. But the ropes were far too tight and had no give at all. He lifted a foot off the ground and kicked hard at the side of the mattress with the bottom of his boot. "Hey, Harris! You're snoring!"


     Xander gave a snort as he woke, flustered and disoriented. He coughed and pulled his arm up, bending it at the elbow and propping himself up with it. He found a look in the vampire's eye that he wasn't the least bit comfortable seeing.


     Something more caught his attention, however. He dragged his free hand over his forehead and shivered slightly as his damp forehead met the chilly basement air. A glance at his wristwatch told him how early it was yet; the sun would be up, but just barely. "Why'd you wake me up?" he asked, his voice so rough and scratchy that it startled him, his eyes opening wide. "I sound awful!" he exclaimed.


     "You do sound awful," Spike agreed with a tone in his voice that sounded like he was pretending to restrain his amusement.


     "Must be getting sick," he said, thinking out loud. His eyes widened even more. "Oh God. Please don't be syphilis again!" But, suddenly, his eyes shut and breath caught. His whole body drew back and then snapped forward with a firm sneeze. "hah-AhhhShhooo!" He sniffled and rubbed at his nose. "Not syphilis," he decided, then moved his arm to fall back against the bed and his pillows.


     From the chair, Spike eyed him. Xander was so close Spike could see veins, so close he could smell the worry, the discontent. He looked terribly pale, drained. Spike had seen that-- had caused that-- in so many before, and it felt like so long since. Being so close only made Spike hungrier. He was in need.


     After a few seconds, during which Xander neither released him nor got him breakfast, Spike shoved again at the mattress with his boot, harder this time. "Come on, Harris. Hungry vampire here. Got to eat something."


     Xander winced and rubbed at his closed eyes. "I can't get up," he said. "Go get your own blood for once."


     There was an annoyed sigh. "I'd like to but it's rather hard to do when tied to a bloody chair, innit?"


     Xander opened one eye, looking over at Spike. "Oh yeah." Xander regarded the phone for a moment, considering his options. Anya'd be over in a heartbeat to take care of him, that was for sure. But he didn't particularly want to spend the day hearing Spike make comments about the two of them. Ideally, he could call Buffy or Willow or Giles to come get Spike and keep him until Xander felt better, but the sun was already out. So, finally, Xander pulled himself up.


     The trip over to the mini-fridge and microwave was far too far for him and his already dizzy head. So he simply fumbled with the knots and the padlock for a moment before releasing Spike. Spike's mouth curved into an evil smile. "Go," Xander commanded, his arm heavy and his pointing imprecise as he gestured to where the vampire's food was. Then he collapsed back onto the bed, coughing a little and sniffling a lot.


     Spike, however, sprang up. Avoiding the sunlight streaming in through the short, wide windows at the top of one wall of the basement, he headed over to the tiny refrigerator. Inside was a large thermos of blood. He grabbed a mug from the drying rack which rested on the fancy front-loading washer-dryer combo and poured a good amount in.


     His heart leapt at the sight and smell of the blood. It was rich and thick, but drinking out of a mug was nothing at all like drinking a person. His skin crawled with need as he shoved the mug into the microwave. Then he spun around, arms crossed over his chest, watching Xander.


     The man looked helpless, unprotected... inviting. Spike could practically taste him already. How easy it would be to sink his teeth in and drink. How easy it would be to take him now, when he couldn't fight back. How swift and steady the blood would flow down Spike's throat and into his own veins. It would be warm, maybe hot if he was feverish. There would be a slight tinge to it, of course, as the man was sick. But all humans were impure to some degree anyway. A little head cold wouldn't ruin the taste. The taste of Xander.


     "Spike!" Xander moaned from the bed.


     Spike tilted his head, watching Xander. Every breath was inviting, every swallow drew attention to his neck. And now Xander was calling out for him. Inviting him over, perhaps. Spike wasn't sure, but he thought he might be able to drink if invited. If it worked for thresholds, surely it could work for food.


     "Spike, your blood's ready!" Xander groaned, rubbing an ache in his forehead as the irritating, high-pitched dinging of the microwave continued.


     "Oh, right." Spike turned at the reminder, removing his cup. It was warm and what he needed... but not at all appealing. Not the way Xander would be. Or was.


     With a resigned sigh, he tried to satisfy his urges by drinking down the mug of blood. It helped to pretend it was a real person. It helped to pretend it was Xander.


     "hehhh-TChooo! hehhShooo!"


     Of course, it wasn't very easy to pretend. His acute hearing brought every sniffle, every breath to Spike's ears, reminding him that he was actually drinking pig's blood from a novelty mug.


     When Spike finished, he set the mug aside and licked every stray drop of blood from his lips. Then he ran the back of his hand against his mouth. He could feel it rushing through his body, making him warm and hard. Making him crave more. He glanced over at the man, hungrily.


     Xander was sneezing again. "hahhh-AHChuhhh! AhhhShooo! Hahh..." Cupping a hand to his nose, he looked around wildly for something he could use. He did not find anything, however. "K'Shooo! Huh... hah... ehhh-HERShahh!" Xander shuddered at each release, and though Spike hadn't sneezed in over a century, somehow he could relate all too well to Xander's need.


     "Here." Spike settled back down in his chair, dropping a tissue box onto the bed, then tossing over a bottle of generic cold medicine. He bent one leg over the arm of the chair and picked up the television remote to click it on and browse through the channels.


     Xander blinked, bewildered. "What?"


     Spike shrugged and cocked his head to the side, watching Xander's every move.


     Twisting off the bottle cap, Xander lifted it to his lips and took several deep gulps. It was warm and what he needed... but not at all appealing. He made a face at it and wiped the back of his hand against his mouth. He grabbed a few tissues out of the box and, one-handedly, blew his nose. Then he looked over at Spike, still suspicious.


     "What?" Spike asked, shrugging.


     Xander continued to rub a tissue at his nose. "I don't know. I guess when I untied you I just expected you to be all predatory with wanting to kill me and escape... not helpful with bringing me Kleenex and medicine."


     Spike tensed up and spoke quickly. "I know what you're thinking and this isn't Stockholm Syndrome. It really isn't."


     "HA--" Not really listening, Xander scrambled for another tissue. "Hurshoo!" He fell forward.


     Realizing he was watching a little too closely, Spike shifted in his chair, putting his leg down and trying to concentrate on the television. "S'not bloody Florence Nightingale Syndrome either," he muttered.


     "hehh... what? Snffff! huhShooo! And why do you keep looking at me like that?" Xander said again, between sneezes. "hahhh-Chuhhh!" He blew his nose again, glaring at Spike over the tissues.


     Spike shrugged again. "Maybe I don't want to hear you sneezing through all my programs." Frankly, it was much easier to fantasize about Xander when he was unconscious. And especially with this chip in his head, it was certainly easier for Spike to fantasize than to actually act. "And since I can't drink you to shut you up, guess that'll have to do," he said, nodding towards the medicine.


     Not knowing what to say, Xander stretched out in bed to go back to sleep.


     Spike leaned a bit closer to the bed, listening as Xander's racing heartbeat and breathing slowed considerably. Spike grinned, wishing he could take just a small taste. Maybe it wouldn't hurt so much if he didn't bite down too hard. Just a small puncture and sample. A lick and a swallow and...


     Xander opened his eyes, staring at Spike who was staring at him. "Thought you were watching TV," he said, reaching for another tissue or two. "hahh... huhhChushhh! Chooo!" He blew his nose and relaxed weakly into his bed. He didn't have the energy to get up and tie Spike to the chair again. "And no eating me while I'm sleeping," he said, as though Spike were suddenly vulnerable to the power of suggestion.


     "Wouldn't want you anyway," Spike said with a laugh of mock disgust. But he kept staring, listening as Xander slipped slowly into sleep again. Sick and completely vulnerable again. Utterly delectable. Spike leaned even closer, practically salivating.


     Then he suddenly found himself up and walking, not towards the bed or the door, but to the fridge again. He didn't take the time to heat it up, simply gulped down the thermos' contents while staring unblinkingly at Xander.