Disclaimer: I'm just playing, they don't belong to me, just each other. Many thanks to Random Dent for the beta and suggestions of ideas.

World of Leather

Xander couldn't sleep. Sleep after sex was supposed to be normal, but sex was 'normally' supposed to take place in a nice comfortable bed, maybe even on a beach under the stars or on some soft moss in a forest if you were feeling adventurous, but it should be somewhere conducive to sleeping afterwards. The crypt was not conducive to sleeping at all. He thought briefly that perhaps he should start giving some thought to the location before engaging in such activities, but then in his experience, sex wasn't terribly conducive to thinking, or at least thinking about anything other than more sex.

The location didn't seem to bother Spike very much - he was lying sprawled across the central stone slab with his mouth wide open, a small puddle of drool collecting beneath it - but then it was his crypt. Xander mused that perhaps the reason the human body's immediate post-coital reaction was to switch itself off had nothing to do with conserving energy, but because watching someone else sleep was not in the least bit sexy and if it happened too often might eventually put them off and that sort of thing can really screw with a species' chances of long-term survival.

All his requests, pleas and promises of even more exotic sexual favours than usual had failed to persuade Spike to install a mattress (although the feathers, handcuffs, chocolate sauce and slayer costume complete with blonde wig and plastic stakes had kept them amused for an entire weekend) and Xander had eventually had to admit defeat and put up with sleepless nights in the crypt. It wasn't like it didn't have its compensations.

Xander took a moment to consider the few options he had to amuse himself until Spike woke up. Sleep was definitely out, but he had two other choices: either he could sit and watch Spike dribble or he could take advantage of the opportunity to have a look around - around meaning everything and anything that Spike wouldn't usually allow him to look at. It wasn't much of a choice to make and within a few seconds of the question first forming in his mind, Xander was on his feet and sticking his nose into things which Spike would have preferred him to leave alone.

The first thing to catch his eye was the leather-bound book which had been placed in a corner in such a way as to create the illusion that it had been thrown there carelessly and therefore wasn't of any great importance. Xander had seen this before, although only in the few seconds it took for Spike to subtly hide it under something. It turned out to be some kind of diary, detailing evil plots, murders and the highlights of almost a century of sexual adventures with Drusilla hidden in what was mostly a volume of rambling angsty poems which would have made the a stoned fourteen-year-old look like the Poet Laureate. He would come back to this later; it might prove very useful, for purposes of blackmail if not inspiration.

After replacing the book, Xander continued his search, which was slowed down slightly by the lack of furniture in the crypt - having a look through someone's drawers was a little difficult when they didn't actually own any drawers and left anything on the floor. Xander's thoughts wandered off on a tangent inspired by their unintentional innuendo - rummaging through Spike's drawers.mmmm. Pulling himself together, he finally saw it, what must have been the unconscious object of the search from the beginning. Hung reverently on its peg - an actual peg bought, well, stolen, from a shop and painstakingly screwed into the stone wall - The Coat. It had seemed like such an intrinsic part of Spike that when they first started seeing each other Xander had been surprised, though a little disappointed, that the coat could ever be separated from Spike, even for long enough to have sex. He knew that it would be a waste of time to go through the pockets; Spike never kept anything in them in because it would stick out and mess up the line of the Coat, and what kind of vampire were you if you couldn't create a dramatic and stylish silhouette against the full moon?

Xander wrestled with his conscience for a few seconds, but when faced with temptation like that, his conscience didn't stand a chance. He slipped it on. Or at least he tried to slip it on, it stuck a bit around the shoulders and upper arms and although he got it on in the end it left him feeling a little bit like the Incredible Hulk. Hulklike, he pulled a face and flexed his muscles and tried an experimental growl. Then he looked for a mirror. Only when he had turned through 197° of the circle which he had intended to allow him to perform a complete scan of the room he realised, not only that as a vampire, Spike was fairly unlikely to own a mirror, but that he was also sitting up on his stone slab watching, and, if the look on his face was anything to go by, had been for some time.

"Having fun, pet?"

Xander stopped suddenly and tried to think up an explanation. However hard he tried, the only thing that he could bring to mind was the time when he was six and Willow had given him permission to look up her skirt approximately fifteen seconds before her mother had walked in.

"Aren't you going to finish doing your little twirl, or are you going to pose for me again?"

Perhaps he should tell Spike that it was all because of the giant spider. Yes, he'd seen a giant spider running into the sleeve and tried to catch it. No, that was what he had told Willow's mother and if anything it would work even less well now than it had then.

"No twirl? You know, I never really thought about it before, but you'd look a lot sexier without the coat. So why don't you come over here and let me do something about it?"

"You're making fun of me aren't you?"

"Course I'm bloody well making fun of you, you were posing and growling away a few seconds ago, it was all I could do to stop myself from laughing."

"Then maybe I don't want to take coat off." Xander pulled the coat around himself protectively, or at least pulled the two sides of it as close to meeting as possible.

"I'm offering you sex, of course you want to take it off, you can hardly bloody move with it on."

Reluctantly, Xander shuffled towards Spike, accompanied by the tortured creaking of leather under extreme strain.

"Good boy. Now, if you'll just stay nice and still and let me get this off without causing any damage, I'll make it worth your while."

Spike started at the pulse in the vein of Xander's neck, kissing and sucking roughly in a way that would leave a fairly obvious mark, left hand moving downwards and the right reaching for the collar of the coat to slide it off Xander's shoulders. Then both hands were at the collar of the coat and not so much sliding as tugging.

"I know I said you should stay still, but if you just put your arms out to the side and back a bit this would be a lot easier."

Xander complied, deciding that perhaps keeping the coat on was a little overrated and Spike pulled at the collar again. It didn't work. He walked round behind Xander and tried again.

"Stand up against the wall, we'll try it that way."

"I thought we were trying to get me out of the coat first, we shouldn't be getting sidetracked. Anyway, don't you remember what it did to my knees the last time?"

Spike gave Xander one of his best withering 'I-really-don't-have-time-for- this-remind-me-why-I-even-bother-putting-up-with-you' looks. Xander looked down at his feet embarrassedly and walked over to face the wall. Spike came up behind him, grabbed the coat by the lapels, and, putting one foot on the wall for extra leverage, tried pulling again. This time with added grunting.

"Oh yes, yes, yes! Give to me Spike, you sexy beast."

This time Xander didn't even need to see the look; he could feel it on the back of this neck.

"Sorry."

"You're really not helping."

"Is there anything I should be doing? I'll take your silence as a 'no', or perhaps an 'I don-' aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrggggghhhhhowowowow. Stoppit, you're going to dislocate my shoulders. No, really, stop. If you do manage to dislocate my shoulders you'll have to take me to the hospital and the nice doctors will want to cut the coat off."

The pulling stopped. "Got any better suggestions, then?"

Xander looked frantically around the room until a crumpled tube by the bedside caught his eye. "Lube! We could use it to loosen it a bit and then the coat should come right off."

"But it'll stain the lining."

"I'll get it dry cleaned. And wouldn't it be better that just waiting until the coat starts the stretch to fit me?"

In the face of this undeniable logic, Spike went and got the lube and began trying to rub it on around the places where the coat was stuck, but there wasn't much lube left and quite a lot of Xander was stuck and the lining of the coat seemed to be sucking up most of it anyway.

"Maybe cutting it off wasn't such a bad idea after all."

"Over my undead body."

"But the lube's making it all cold and icky."

"You got yourself into this, you know."

"Maybe if we just got a really small pair of scissors and unpicked one of the seams."

"No."

"But we could get it sewn up again."

"No, it'd destroy the whole. soul of it."

"The soul? You think your coat has a soul?"

"Well, it's got a history, and character."

"Mostly because you never get it cleaned."

"It's black, it doesn't show the dirt and it's not like I sweat or anything."

"You still manage to make it smell all vampy."

"I thought you liked it. And more to the point, I like it, except now it's going to be all human-smelling and stretched and covered in lube."

"So you don't want it back and we can just cut it off?"

"No, we can't bloody well cut it off."

"So you have another idea about how to get me out of it?"

"D'you know what? I think I have."

******** ********

"Maybe this wasn't such a good idea, Will. I know you're worried about Xander and everything but if he's still at Spike's then he's probably safe. In fact, better than safe. You know, like really, really, wouldn't-thank- us-for-interrupting-him happy."

"I don't know, but he might not even be there. Maybe Spike hasn't seen him in days either and he's worried too. Ok, maybe not worried, just annoyed that he's being ignored and then he'll be all moody and won't be any help. Maybe we shouldn't go after all."

"Well we're here now, so we might as well ask."

"No wait, I can hear moaning. You were right, we shouldn't bother them, cos they're both really happy and won't appreciate being disturbed. Maybe we should get them a little 'do not disturb' sign for the crypt, you know, to prevent misunderstandings if it ever happens again."

"Hang on, is that good moaning or bad moaning?"

"Buffy! Are you listening? Don't you think they deserve a little privacy?"

"Yes, I'm listening and I can hear a lot of 'no's and 'stop's and it doesn't sound good. What if Spike's gone evil and he's torturing Xander?"

"Didn't you and Riley ever get a bit.experimental. You know, some people like it like that and who are we to pass judgement on what goes on between two consenting adults."

"Ok, I wasn't thinking about that and I *really * did not need those mental images, but I can hear this sort of whirring, creaking noise."

As if on cue the whirring and creaking stopped and a dread voice issued forth from the crypt. "Is there somebody out there?"

"Xander? Is that you?"

"Buffy? You've got to help me, Spike's got me chained up and he's torturing and starving me."

Without stopping to give further consideration to what they might see on the other side of it, Buffy and Willow threw open the door of the crypt. Then immediately wished that they hadn't.

"Ok, whatever sick and twisted mental images I had, they were nowhere near as weird as this."

Spike was sitting sprawled across one of the few chairs in the crypt, a mug of warm blood in one hand and Xander.

"What are you doing handcuffed to an old exercise bike wearing nothing but a pair of underpants and Spike's leather coat?"

"He's supposed to be cycling, which is what he was doing until you came in and so rudely interrupted us."

"This may seem a bit of a strange question, but why is he supposed to be cycling?"

"Because Spike's an evil slavedriver."

"I'm only an evil slavedriver because I have to be-"

"No you're not, you enjoy it, it's the first part of your depraved plan to rule the universe."

"By handcuffing everyone to exercise bikes?"

"Hey, I resent that, you're hurting my delicate feelings. Now Xander, do you want to explain how you got yourself into this situation or should I? Alright, I'll start then. The coat is stuck-"

"Stuck how?"

Everyone looked at Xander who just looked embarrassed. "ItrieditonwhenSpikewasasleepanditwastoosmallanditwon'tcomeoff."

"So first, I tried to get it off by the normal methods, like pulling and-"

"Did you try using soap or something to try and make him slippery, I had to do that once when the spaghetti jar got stuck on my hand and it came right off."

"We did try lubricating it, but it didn't work."

"It just went all icky."

"Who's telling this story, you or me?" Xander went back to looking at the floor. "So then after that didn't work I decided to use my natural problem solving skills to look at the problem in a different way..."

"And he came to the conclusion that the coat isn't too small, I'm too big and that I have to stay chained to the exercise bike until I lose enough weight for the coat just to slide off."

"Uh huh."

"What about unpicking one of the seams so that he can take it off and then sewing it up again?"

"Nobody else is touching the coat, that's how this started in the first place. The sooner you leave Xander to get on with his punishment, the sooner he can finish it and I can have my coat back. Now, would you like one lettuce leaf for dinner or two?"