Bargain at Any Price

Summary: Xander's dad sells him to Spike.

Warning: This will be slash, which is hello, gay now! Heh.

Pairings: S/X

Disclaimer: They're not mine and it's not fair. (pouts)

Feedback: It's worshipped and coddled. snicker_imp@msn.com

Xander thanked the powers for the fifth time that day that Spike was no longer in his care. He wasn't sure what he would have done to get rid of him for his father's yearly visit. He paced the length of his living room looking for anything out of place. It was only his father, a man he truly despised, but for some reason his visits always brought out the Martha Stewart in him. The apartment was spotless, and for that matter so was he, dressed in his work best. Anything to make a good impression.

He snorted to himself derisively. By all rights he should just meet the man in a nice infested graveyard and be done with it. He carefully ignored the bottle sitting on the end table. For years he had been fighting against his father's particular habit, but a part of him was prodding him to have a drink. Just one to relax. He growled at himself and began pacing twice as intently, careful to not look at the end table. There were two glasses. He didn't even remember getting more than one out of the cupboard.

The glass made very satisfying crack as it hit the wall. It was more than a little tempting to chuck the other one, but he didn't want to be rude to his houseguest. "Apartment guest? No. Maybe total ass whose soul purpose is to make life my living hell. That's more like it."

"Good going Xander. He's not even here yet, and you're already losing it enough to start talking to yourself again." He shook himself and took some deep breaths. "Just relax." He told himself, "He couldn't make you do anything you don't want to."

The sudden pounding on the door startled him into a really embarrassing yip kind of scream. He tried to compose himself but as he opened the door to reveal a bruised and bloody Spike, his calm fled for the hills most likely never to return.

Xander's moment of hesitation was all it took for Spike to slide past him with barely a glance in his direction and went directly in to the bathroom. Xander didn't move until he heard the door click and water start to run.

"Shit," he said, shook himself, and pounded on the bathroom door. "Spike, I don't care what happened to you, what's after you, or why you even came here, but you are going to have to leave now." He said, trying to keep his voice steady and commanding.

"Well you should never have invited me in, then, eh?" Spike yelled back over the noise of the shower.

"Well, now I'm inviting you out. Don't you have somewhere else to haunt? What about Buffy?" Xander yelled back. He rolled his eyes and entered the bathroom.

Spike was in the shower, safely concealed by the ugly maroon shower curtain. "And be tied to a chair again? I don't think so. 'Sides, I don't think I could stand the little pity party thrown in my honor."

"You're sounding surprisingly lucid, tonight." Xander said and smiled a little when he saw the Spike silhouette start at the proximity of his voice. "And since you're sounding so sane, I'm sure you can find a place to go."

Spike peered around the shower curtain suspiciously, "Why do you want me out so badly, whelp?"

Xander's gaze was drawn to the lean chest. It was almost a physical hardship to draw his eyes away from the cuts and gashes and blood washing away down the drain. Finally, he met Spikes smirking eyes.

"Because I don't like you?" He said and cringed. It was never a good sign when his statements came out sounding like questions. Or when he couldn't stop staring at a male vampire's bloody chest.

Spike just smirked again and went back to his showering. "Good try, now sod off and lemme shower."

Xander was about to answer when a firm yet controlled knocking was heard at his door.

"Eep." He squeaked. Fortunately, the bathroom door swung out, so he shut Spike in and put a chair under the knob to keep him in place. A quick check in the mirror showed him a very frazzled but not too untidy young man. With a nervous flick at invisible lint, he opened the door.

"Alexander," his father nodded at him gravely.

"Dad." Xander answered somberly, "come in." He moved out of the doorway giving his father room to pass before closing and locking the door behind him.

His father imperiously took in the apartment in a way that made Xander very conscious of the second hand furniture and dollar store decor. He found himself wanting to make apologies for the place but held his tongue. He knew for a fact that his father had lived in far worse conditions. Even worse than the basement.

"Would you like a drink?" He asked, and gestured toward the bottle. At the curt nod from his father, he poured the drink and handed it over.

His father sniffed it appraisingly and smiled at the young man. "Why this is very nice, Alexander. Aren't you going to join me?"

Xander didn't even fight the glare provoked from that question. "No, I don't think so." He said struggling to keep his voice even. His father's voice was polite, but Xander sensed clearly the mockery just below the surface.

"No, of course not," the older man sneered.

Xander fidgeted awkwardly and wondered idly if he was cursed. When a sudden pounding erupted from the bathroom, he stopped wondering.

"Oi! You bloody pillock! Lemme out!" Spike hollered.

Xander's face quickly turned a very amusing shade of red as his father regarded him.

"You're keeping a man locked up in your apartment?" He asked evenly.

"Um, no." Xander replied, and cursed himself for his unusual loss for words.

Spike, however was not suffering from such a malady. "Let me out you wanker, 'fore I bust down the door, tear out your throat and have my way with your action figures!" His yells were punctuated by a very conspicuous snarl.

Xander's father arched an eyebrow in surprise. "You're keeping a vampire locked up in your apartment?" His voice wasn't so even that time.

Xander's brain was going a mile a minute, trying to come up with excuses. He's just a friend. Snerk. Yeah that would work. He owes me money? Well, he does, but that's no reason to lock him up. The Slayer made me do it? Oh, that would go over real well. Unfortunately, by the time his brain had caught up with him, his father had already made his way over to the bathroom and released the angry soggy vampire.

"Ta, mate," Spike said distractedly to his savior. His attention was completely focused on exacting revenge from the demented Scooby who had the brass to lock him in the loo. He advanced on Xander in full game face. The young man backed away babbling excuses that went unheard as he was herded into the end table by the enraged vamp.

"Ow," Xander said as he hit the table. One of the corners jabbed him in the hip, and the bottle was knocked over, contents distributed all over his pants.

Spike smirked, "Looks like you spilled you...blood?" He sniffed. Yes, that was definitely blood covering the Scooby. Good look for him. Then he remembered the man who released him and whirled around in shock.

Xander's father stood by the bathroom door, and watched the little scene before him. "Spike." He nodded greeting to the vampire.

Spike's eyes widened comically before he restored his calm disinterest. "Been a while, mate. What brings you to Sunnyhell?"

"Oh, just visiting my son." was the answer. Xander groaned and thumped his head against the wall at Spikes evil grin.

"Really? How interesting," he drawled, eyeing Xander from head to toe. "I never would 'ave guessed." He turned his attention back to the older man. "By the way, you still owe me that eleven quid. 'course after almost fifty years of interest the sums gone up a bit, but I'm sure you can afford it."

Dracula rolled his eyes, "Really Spike, I don't see why you're still on about that money. You did cheat after all."

Spike smiled nastily, "Course I did. So did you. 's kinda the point of the game."