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|Sparrow2000 has always been a great supporter, and recently she's started doing these wonderful rec lists where she separates her picks into categories (and tells you why she loves them). This is a great new set of recommendations from someone with great taste!|
|Every Shade of Grey||Kink||Hurt/Comfort|
|Beastie Boys||Big, Long Reads||Stripper/Whore fic|
|Alternate Realities||Crossovers||Xander-Plus or Minus|
|Afterwards recs||Het/Gen rec||Xander Gets Around recs|
Recs that span Every Shade of Grey
Dark & Angsty, which does kind of get to the point, but there are so many gradations of both
Xander & Spike
Red Apple Falls by _dellamore was a Halloween fic from a couple of years ago and oh shit it’s scary. Bodies are being found in Sunnydale and while the whole gang suspects who the killer is, only Xander realises why the murders are happening. A tale of completely obsessive love which proves that making deals with the devil always comes with a price. Shiver…
Intervention by othercat could almost have gone in the D/s section, but although the dynamic is there I don’t think it’s the be all and end all of the story. Xander has been working in LA, allowing his friends to think he is dead. He only comes back to Sunnyhell to face his worst nightmares when he hears that a monster from his past has returned. The premise of this is interesting because it's Xan rather than Angel who went to LA to do the protector of the city scene with the LA crew being his team. The remaining Scoobies certainly don’t recognise this new version of their friend and the reason for the deception only becomes apparent in some fairly horrific but very subtle flashbacks. I always wish there had been more of this fic because I would love to have seen the scenario developed further. There is one hot little aside story if you wondered what the boys got up to when the gang weren't around. You can find Intermezzo here
The Highwayman by CC is another shiver inducing story. The Initiative is determined that our boys shouldn’t be together and Xander will do anything to keep Spike safe, even if the consequences are shocking and heartbreaking. This story just makes me want to cry although it has a happy ending of sorts – if you kind of squint.
The first time I read inlovewithnight’s Hand Me Down I was absolutely speechless. There’s dark and then there’s this story. Spike isn’t exactly chipless, but he isn’t exactly chipped, and furthermore, he isn’t exactly sane. To top it all he has a crazy plan to hurt Buffy, but it’s someone else who will actually suffer. Go read, it’s just terrifying.
Now four from the completely amazing artist formerly known as wiseacress.
Dark Horse is set in a dystopian future where vampires and demons rule and humans are a food source. Spike spots a completely unrecognisable and practically non-responsive former Scooby at an illegal auction and takes him home. Over time their relationship grows to one of tentative trust until the threat of betrayal pushes Spike to make some drastic plans. Xander’s line “I used to be important” gets me every time and I defy you not to have your heart in your mouth in the final scene.
Here Comes a Candle has such a sense of creeping unease that it gives me goose bumps just thinking about it. Spike is acting even more strangely than normal and when Xander reluctantly gets talked into giving Spike a lift on Halloween you just desperately want him to refuse.
Modus Vivendi is one of those stories that just kind of hypnotises you and before you know it you’re read 16 chapters and are shaking your monitor desperately to find the rest. Xander is living in LA and finds himself on the wrong end of a severe punishment beating by enemies of Spike. Things go down hill from there with Xan holed up in Spike’s apartment with no way of contacting anyone and unable to get about unaided. On top of that, he keeps getting these really strange dreams. Modus really is very bleak, but as you would expect it is beautifully written and completely compelling.
Wiseacress got so many complaints about the way Modus ended that she wrote a sort of sequel and I think it proves the adage about being careful what you wished for… Ars Moriendi takes off from the action at the end of chapter 13 of Modus, thus pretending the last 3 chapters didn’t happen. Xander finishes up going on the road with Spike and finds himself slipping further and further away from everything that was once familiar. I still find the end of this story horrifying in its inevitability and every time I read it have this insane hope that somehow it will turn out differently. Beautifully bleak and gut wrenchingly sad.
Credence is probably my favourite ever story by tabaqui, which is saying something considering how many wonderful stories she has written over the last few years. Spike finds Xander caring for a sick Oz while living on the street and offers to help(in his own inimitable way). However nothing comes for free and so begins a very complex dance of courtship and mind games as Spike starts to coax Xander’s inner hyena and baser instincts to the fore. Like Modus Vivendi, I find Credence completely hypnotic, I think it’s the cadence of the writing and the atmosphere the poetry creates. It’s just a truly gorgeous luscious story
Hypnotic is also the word that springs to mind with Lines in the Sand by Meredith Bronwen Mallory garnettrees. Spike finds his past coming back to haunt him and promises made long in the past have sudden bitter sweet reality. The sequel Sunlight in My Cradle is set just after the enjoining spell at the end of S4 and develops the story further. Both these stories are beautiful and poetic and based on a fascinating premise and I’ve always wished there had been more, but the two existing stories are gorgeous in their own right. Don’t be put off by the author calling Xander’s mother Ellen, she admits at the time of writing she didn’t realise that the name Jessica was there in canon.
Thirst by carolyn_claire has Xander and Spike stranded in the desert playing chicken with a box of matches. It’s not exactly dark, but for all the desert heat it does give me chills.
I can’t say anything new to say about lit_gal's Beautiful Broken and Broken Revenge other than to say read them and read them again. Spike comes across Xan 6 months after he disappeared and finds him very much changed. The story comes plastered with warnings about how dark it is, but it is a story about recovery in the long run. Huge and very satisfying, but not for the faint hearted. I kind of struggled with what category to put these stories in as there’s lots of kink and plenty of h/c as well, but in the end this seemed the best home for it.
Te’s Post Grad series is one of my favourite fics. Xander feels abandoned by all his college going friends and after taking a bunch of pills he goes for a walk in the moonlight. Fortunately, or otherwise, Spike finds him and takes him home. This is the start of a very twisted relationship which spans a number of stories, and all are worth reading. Spike handing Xander a collar to hide a very nasty love bite always has me chuckling gleefully, but that’s just me.
Lattice and Pearls is ladycat777 doing what she does best - creating a dark, disturbed, possessive Spike who just can't let his boy out of his sight without putting his mark on him. The scene where Buffy sees them in the alley is just gah!
Also by ladycat is Simplicity. Xander is caught in the backlash to a spell and Spike takes care of him. You might call this a story of enlightened self interest…
spikedluv’s Boy is a little dark gem. Set before Buffy comes to Sunnydale; Spike is playing messenger for his Sire and picks up a little plaything at a slave auction. He finds this particular toy still has a mind of his own, but that just makes it even more fun for Spike.
Also by spikeluv is The Offering. Spike stalks and terrorises Xander after the events of parent teacher’s night. I just love the twisted courtship in this story.
I'd almost forgotten about Clarity's Barbie Doll until I was putting together this list. Xander thinks back on his childhood and finds parallels in his current life. This story always takes me by surprise for some reason, it's really quite insidious and that's why I like it so much.
I just fell in love with Twitch by The Spuzz when I first read it. Spike kidnaps Xander in the belief that the boy will come to love him over time if only they stay together long enough. Obsessive Spike is always creepy and here he is just major league disturbing.
There’s very little to be said about Spike’s Revenge by CJ because the title says it all. The chip is out and it’s payback time.
Turnabout by Eliza Shaw (speakingsilence) isn’t so much dark as just very, very grey. Post Chosen, Spike finds Xander in desperate straits holed up in a demon infested motel with no sign of his friends. As Spike starts to uncover the reasons for Xander’s state he realises that he will have to call in the great broody one to help get them both out of there. I know everyone’s read this one, but it’s a great story and I just hope Eliza updates again soon.
Altered by Megg is just desolate. Xander is seriously hurt in an earthquake and now only Spike can make him feel anything. However the vampire’s course of treatment doesn’t exactly follow the Hippocratic Oath.
Purgatory by Shimmer has Spike and Xander in the middle of nowhere having sex and getting stoned. It should be a straight forward PWP, but somehow it feels much more sinister and there is a wealth of untold back-story just waiting to be written – so I’ve got my own mental scenario of how and why they’re there in the first place.
And there more drugs in the mix in Tripping by Maz. Xander has been hanging out with Devon and Oz and after a little too much acid, he bumps into Spike, who promptly sees the opportunity for a little bit of fun with his lunch. I’ve always thought that putting this down as Humour in the Genre field is a bit strange as the action is actually quite dark. However a stoned Xander is quite funny and Spike certainly seems to be enjoying himself.
Bound by Love and Hate by saturn_girl is horrifying and completely logical. Angelus has tortured and killed all the Scoobies and left Xander on the brink of death. The only thing Spike can do to help Xander get the revenge he needs is to help him become what he loathes most. Short and to the point, it’s a story that just gets the job done.
_sharvie_'s The Visual Spectrum: Seeing the Light is a Xander & Spike story in as much as they are both present in the story. Xander comes to a realisation about the nature of evil and his own culpability in giving it entry. I can feel my anxiety levels rising every time I read this story, it is just so damn intense and I can see every single scene in my head in glorious Technicolor.
Then we have Jake’s The Devil’s Bargain series. Xander’s been reading too many Watchers’ books and when Angelus comes to town, Xander thinks the only way of protecting Anya is by asking Spike to accept the claim he made on parent teacher’s night. Thing is, Anya isn’t too happy with her boyfriend just giving himself away, however well intentioned he was. As ever stuff happens. This isn’t really that dark, but it’s not all hugs and puppies either (or should I say kittens, since Drusilla does make an appearance)
This Flesh We Wear by Scorpio isn’t really an Angel or a Spike fic as such so I’ll put it here between the two sections. Angel sees a mysterious stranger at Cordy’s funeral and realises that it’s a very changed Xander. The life our boy has led since he disappeared from high school shocks the broody one and brings back memories of his errant Childe. There’s such a feeling of desolation about this story and Willow’s gift to Xander is a killer.
moosesal's Depravation is also an in between fic featuring both Spike and Angel. Spike is frantic when Xander goes missing and asks Angel to help find him. This is very dark and creepy, but that’s why it’s on this list.
Holy by Christina Melani has just about everything you’d want in a threesome fic. It’s got evil Angelus, predatory Spike, innocent virginal Xander and lots of porn. Oh and Xander in a skirt, just for a bit of extra spice.
Xander & Angel(us)
Bruised series by Lar was one of the first Xangelus stories I ever read and I was quite shocked how under my skin it got. That’s all I’ve got to say really.
If you’re in the mood for something really, really bleak, there’s always The Existence series by Laure Alexander. (The second story is the series is by Nicolette Marquis McFadgen) This isn’t everyone’s cup of tea as the darkness really is just unrelenting. It was one of the first stories of its kind I came across when I first discovered I had a taste for dark fic. Xander is horrifically abused by Angelus as a message to Buffy and when his father compounds the abuse and his friends appear to betray him, Xander returns to the vampire in the horrible logic that at least he knows what to expect from Angelus. I’m not even sure I really like this story, but I am drawn to it from time to time for some reason. It’s not an easy read and the darkness is coal black. I suppose there is a happy end of sorts, but I don’t really think there is redemption for anyone, so don’t read this when you’re depressed.
And we’ll stay with bleak for Nowhere Near Love by Creed Cascade and Echoes Revenge. Angelus lures Xander away from Anya and once separated from his friends begins to terrorise him into submission. On top of that Buffy makes a wish in a fit of temper and Anya is on hand to grant it, which only makes the situation worse. This is Angelus at his nastiest and that’s just the way I like him sometimes
What can I say about Nexus by rakshathewolf which hasn’t already been said? My main problem was deciding which category to put it in as it’s got Angelus, D/s, h/c and lots of angst and darkness, so feel free to disagree with me putting it in here. Angelus returns to Sunnydale after Wesley removes his soul and goes looking for the boy he held captive 5 years previously Spike narrates the story to Buffy, but even Spike’s perception of past events isn’t necessarily what actually happened. I came across this story when there were only 6 chapters up at the Island and started checking obsessively for updates. Outside of the whole being held captive by a psychotic vampire there are 3 or 4 chapters in the middle of the story which are very, very dark but they do drive the narrative forward. Raksha is writing a follow up, Caritas, but so far there are 4 chapters available.
I recc’d witling’s The Assistant in my end of year round up last year, but again it bears repeating. Xander goes to LA at the Council's behest to help Wesley with the latest apocalyse, but his visit coincides with a spell which mislays that damn slippery soul. Things aren’t very pretty for a while and then the terror just gets under your skin. It’s just great stuff. (The link is to Witling’s main web page – the story is about half way down)
The Nightlife series by Christina Melani _dellamore is another coal black look at the very twisted relationship between Xander and Angelus. Our boy is with the vamp willingly (sort of) but the desperation in the relationship just oozes out of every sentence. Be warned this is not comfortable reading and the second section has some of the most horrific scenes I’ve ever come across. Having said that it does hit the spot if you are in a very, very, very dark fic mood.
Angelus Complex by ladycat777 has the evil undead finding Xander in the bathroom at the Bronze after Cordy has carried out the ritual Valentine’s Day humiliation. Let’s just say Angelus isn’t there to comfort the boy.
And there’s more from ladycat with In Every Parting(redux) and this time it’s Angel acting on his baser instincts with our boy in a car. I know sex in a car is supposed to be one of the great teenage dating rituals, but I don’t think anyone ever envisaged it quite like this. (maybe I’ve had a sheltered life!)
Te’s back with Tell the End. Xander drives to LA to enlist the help of the AtS gang against major apocalyptic badness. However when he gets there he discovers that Angel isn’t quite himself. This is just dark and very, very disturbing – everything you’d want in a story.
And there’s more from Te with the Cell Series. Gonna has Angel, Xander and sex (that’s about it really) Chain is co-written by The Spike and is a sort of sequel to Gonna. It’s the same two boys, a little restraint and mind games in the dark – delicious. Check out the brilliant cover art by Livia here.
I just love strickens_girl’s Dark verse.(read Cries in the Darkness first) Glittering little images of the twisted relationship between a master vamp and his boy, it’s like the best, bitterest dark chocolate you’ll ever get as a present.
The Dissonance series by Ethrosdemon stands out as being uber disturbing in a genre which has more than it’s fair share of disturbing stories. Angel remembers his relationship with Xander and decides that it’s a part of his past he would like to revisit. There’s lots and lots of hurt here and very little comfort, but it’s a terrific read. (there’s no link between the parts so I’ve just linked to the main Ethrosdemon webpage – the first story is about half way down)
And we’re still on Xangelus for saturn_girl's Scarlet Letter. Angelus has gained power over Xander through a combination of blood and magic and the gang are unable to stake the evil undead because it will also kill their friend. I'm really excited that after a long hiatus, she's posted a new chapter at her LJ, and I hope if she gets enough feedback she'll continue the story.
Angst Monkey by kaygrr is another story which I continually harp on about and again I know everyone has read it, but the list just wouldn’t be complete without it. Xander is fatally wounded in a fight and Angel has to turn him because he’s the only one who can wield the weapon which will fell the next big bad. However Angel doesn’t make our boy a childe or a minion, he makes an abject – a vampire who has no unlife of his own outside the wishes of his Sire. If ever a fictional character was going to get hate mail from readers it would be Angel in this story – the scene with the holy water still makes me gasp. Fortunately Kay had Spike on hand to give the baby vamp a little TLC.
Neither Spike or Angel...
Now don’t fall over, the next one isn’t a Xander fic (I think he appears in one scene) twilightofmagic's Voices in the Night is Giles/Wesley and quite beautiful. The two watchers have been lovers in the past and Giles is haunted by the fact that he didn’t answer Wesley’s call for help at the end of AtS. Then Giles starts to have dreams….. I hope this fic wins every award going because it would be richly deserved.
I’ve always got time for a good Ethan fic and Observed Strategies for Survival by ladycat777 and wesleysgirl scratches that particular itch nicely. Ethan meets Xander at the Espresso Pump and somehow persuades him to come back to his motel room – stuff happens. The scene with Giles towards the end is a killer. Like a lot of Ethan/Xander stories, this is just so dirty, bad and wrong – everything you’d expect from the esteemed authors and that’s what makes it so damn good.
Calendar Boy by Te has Ethan watching Xander wash himself after a performance at the Fabulous Ladies Night Club. The reference to Xander’s patented panther crawl makes me giggle every time.
And if you’re in the mood for more Xander/Ethan by Te and Debchan try the Wall series. Xander is in a very bad mood and a certain chaos mage finds himself on the wrong end of the famous Harris temper – the disturbing thing is he seems to enjoy it. To say more would give the story away, but at the end I’m not really sure who is in control of whom
And sticking with Te, there’s Times like These. Caleb visits Xander in the hospital after the eye incident to persuade him to change sides. The idea of Xander/Caleb almost had me screaming in the other direction when I read it, but it truly is compelling, very logical in the context of the story and completely terrifying.
Another Taste by saturn_girl took me by surprise the first time I read it. Xander is visited by Buffy, but he soon realises that this particular Buffy is acting very out of character. I really wish Joss had had the guts to do something like this scene in the series because there is a scary logic to it.
And also by Saturn Girl we have A Disciplined Man. Xander gets up close and personal with a member of the Initiative and discovers that protecting loved ones comes with a high price. This is a Graham fic and I really like the idea that Mr Clean has some really disturbed stuff going on under the surface.
Sleeper by booster17 is one of these fics that creeps up on you and insinuates itself into your head so you’re thinking about if for days afterwards. Xander is the CEO of Wolfram & Hart and living with Faith. When Buffy is killed and Faith is called, Xander realises just how high the price of his power really is. This is just so great, if you’ve read it before, go read it again.
Slow by Beneresq has Xander finally realising that sometimes friendship and love are no defence against the pursuit of power, especially where your best friend is involved.
There’s lots of other dark and angsty fic out there, but that’s just a sample of some of the ones I come back to again and again for a whole variety of reasons. If you think there’s something missing it could well turn up in one of my other categories – this kind of pigeonholing is about as far from an exact science as you can possibly get.
Anyway that’s more than enough for now. After all that darkness I’m off to curl up with something bright and happy.
Xander & Spike (with the odd sprinkling of Giles..)
First up has to be Secrets by Eddibea. Spike exposes Xander’s most hidden desires and offers to make them come true. Not everyone is happy about the situation. Completely gorgeous big multi-part D/s with great kink and believable character interaction. It’s unfinished, but has been left at a point where that’s okay, but if she ever writes more I’ll be at the top of the queue.
And hot on the heels is The Hours quartet by Yindagger yin_again. Written as a challenge fic, Spike offers Xander one hour of payback to wipe the slate clean for all Spike’s past insults and his encounter with Anya. Even Spike is taken aback with Xander’s reply. The four parts take place in the lead up to Chosen and also the period afterwards. Again beautifully written, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read this.
Following on from this, dancetomato did a follow up fic here which takes place a year after the final events in The Hours. Done as a birthday fic for Yin, it does full justice to the original and that’s all I’m saying.
Labyrinth by rowaine is post Chosen and sees Xander leaving his friends behind to search for a definition to his life. Giles of all people points him in the right direction and that’s right in the way of a certain blonde. Very hot S/X action and there’s even some Giles action mixed in to add some extra spice.
I’ve rabbited on about Second Verse and its sequel Musical Wars, by lit_gal so I’ll only say that Xander finds his place in the world and Spike gains a not altogether exactly human pet. It’s terrific reading and I love it to bits. Oh and there’s an extra great little ficlet here.
sexymermaid’s Shards series has 2 main stories and a lovely bonus codicil. It doesn’t look like D/s to start with but trust me it gets there. Something bad has happened to Xander and the pieces of himself and his perception are only seen in fragments. The one thing grounding our boy amongst all the confusion is that blonde again. Yet again stuff happens. In the second story the boys must rescue Dawn from the bad guys and find themselves re-enacting their most private relationships in a very public way.
Bargain by katharina is one of the first D/s fics I came across and while I loved the story I do have some issues with the way it is written, but that doesn’t stop me re-reading. Spike makes a bargain with the PTB to get one of the Scoobies as his very own in exchange for not doing some big nasty. He doesn’t expect that the donut boy will willingly sacrifice himself to save his girls, but being Spike he decides to take full advantage of the situation. What always intrigues me about this story is that Xan volunteers and therefore makes himself complicit with whatever happens to him. I’d love to see another take on this. Unfortunately this story hasn’t been updated in nearly 2 years but there are still 15 chapters to get stuck into.
I know I’ve harped on about Maz’s Observations, but I really do love it. Spike teaching Xan the nuances of a complete power exchange. Lots of kink, but this is about the relationship not just about the porn (although the porn is excellent!)
twilightsfic's Rules of Life was one of my favourite fics of the last couple of years. Xan goes on his road trip and comes back to Sunnyhell with a completely new perspective on life and love. There is a modicum of daddy kink but it’s there to move the plot on, and isn’t the be all and end all of the story. It’s just an immensely satisfying coming of age story with added kink.
I mentioned speakingsilence Eliza Shaw’s Unacceptable Losses in my fic of the year list for 2005 and it’s well worth mentioning again. I remember finding it on her LJ with only a few chapters written and being blown away. Xander is struggling to find atonement for a truly shocking deed and believes his only redemption is punishment. I nearly put this in the Angst category because there is lots of it, but the kink just sat up and begged me to put it in this category, but be warned this is kink with major plot.
ladycat777’s Quarry verse is just a joy if you’re into this genre. Spike for once has a strategy that actually works and seduces Xander in a way which I guarantee will make your brain melt. You can find the parts here, here and here. My keyboard has steam rising just writing about this story.
Also by Ladycat is Hunt Brother. This could probably have gone in the hyena category, but I think the D/s is more predominant. Spike discovers the buttons to push which will make Xander compliant and takes full advantage. There is one absolutely shockingly brutal chapter in the middle, but it is well flagged. I think it's destined to be unfinished, but it’s still one of the must reads in the genre.
Vibrator fic by Ladycat is a smutty little snapshot of a vamp, his boy and the very public use of sex toys – what more could you ask for!
Finally by Ladycat is Wrapping Paper. Spike asks Giles to help get him something special for Xan’s birthday. I don’t think anyone expected Giles to get quite so much into the spirit of things. It’s short, it’s dirty, and to top it all, it’s got Giles doing naughty things.
piksa’s Dark Surprises finds Spike deciding to accept Angel’s gift from Parent Teachers night several years after the fact. It doesn’t occur to him that Xander might be quite happy with his life the way it is and have some minor objections to Spike’s plans. I’m not entirely convinced by Xander’s characterisation at the start of this, but once the story gets moving it settles down nicely. Lots of D/s, some h/c, a bit of Stockholm syndrome and Scoobies to the rescue(sort of..) make for a good plotty read. Some of the formatting on the website was a bit squiffy the last time I looked, but you can also find it in her LJ memories if necessary.
I just love truly_tazi's Master’s Pet:Stress Relief. Xander is late home from work and that means he needs to be chastised – oh yes. Just great fun, it was supposed to be the first in a series, but sadly it sits there on its own looking lonely. So go read and keep it company, I guarantee satisfaction.
Fulfilling a Fantasy by camisha is one of my few Dom Xander fics. The first time I read it I was really shocked at this Xander, but then I read further and understood. To say anymore would give away the story so just go read.
paperk8’s Knowing Style made its appearance in the Spander Inquisition back in 2004 and blew everyone away. Spike takes Xander to an LA club to try to bolster his self confidence and unlock the potential he can see in the boy. Just beautifully written and a completely wonderful read. Oh and Xander in lace up leather trousers in just a bonus!
Robin the Crossover Junkie’s Supple has a completely awesome manip at the head of the fic which more or less sums up the plot. Spike buys Xander a present which leads to mutual pleasure for both. Not much else to be said really.
There’s more from Robin with Duality. Xander wants to bottom, but his inner hyena won’t let him. So what’s a boy to do – simple, just ask your friendly neighbourhood vamp to help out. This should really go in my hyena section, so this is more of a cross reference (how sad am I…)
Then there’s Chance Encounters(Spike/Xander) and Chance Encounters(Xander/Spike) by Evil Willow and Crazy Dru. Both stories are written as if they were RPG’s and be warned the colours they are written in might make your eyes bleed, but the content is fun. In the first one Spike finds himself in Vegas looking for some gratification and finds it the form of a Scooby who’s just been coerced into doing the stripping thing. As ever, stuff happens. The second story is set a year later when a just chipped Spike decides to have some fun at Xander’s expense –or at least that’s how it starts out. Writing this made me go back and re-read both stories and they are just hot and all about control – who has it and who responds to it.
kimberley_fan’s Jump verse is just great. The first story Jump to the Left has Xander and Spike living their own personal groundhog day and it isn’t a kink fic as such, but you really need to read it to understand where the boys are at in the sequel Late Night Double Feature where Xander is contemplating exploring new horizons. Both these stories are just great reads and very well written.
I really wish spikedluv would finish her Puppy for Spike fic. Angelus wants Drusilla’s attention all too himself so he picks up a puppy to keep Spike distracted. The puppy concerned isn’t very happy with his new role. One line in the story just sums it up.
"No name, no clothes, no choice"
Just really good fun, but she left it with our puppy about to be spanked for not minding his tongue and I really want to know what happens next..
For the Love of My Brother by _sharvie_ is another fic which I live in hope will some day be finished. To use the author’s description, Xander is a successful businessman who also lives as a sexual sub to his stepbrother’s alter-ego Spike. They meet for a weekend session, but secrets from Xander’s past threaten to ruin the relationship they have built. Sharvie has promised she will finish this story, so I'm sending her mental chocolate on a weekly basis!
D’yer Ma’ker by Randy Sex Kitten txrabbit has a voyeuristic teenage Xander watching Giles dominating Wesley in the library and realising that he has found what was missing in his life. Spike is an observant vamp and decides to help the boy out. That’s it really.
Let Mercy Lead by altyronsmaker is another of my few Dom Xander fics. Spike needs to be broken in order to heal and Xander helps him. The thing I really like about this story is that Xander’s weapon of choice is his words, just as it always was in canon, but here used to devastating effect.
The Power Struggle series by saturn_girl is just great and very perverse fun. Spike kidnaps Xander on the eve of his wedding and won’t let him go ‘til he’s fulfilled some of Spike’s needs! Xander for some reason or other isn’t best pleased with the situation. This is a multi-part story and as the title suggests the balance of power seesaws as each of our “heroes” plots to get the upper hand and hide what’s going on from Anya!
Now a little subset of painting kink! sexymermaid’s Obsession only has Xander present for the last couple of chapters, but is mainly Spike/Giles. Ethan knows what Giles needs and gives him a painting of a figure who will satisfy the most exacting of requirements. It’s just hot and let’s face it any story with Ethan manipulating Giles is always great fun.
Chiaroscuro by winterlive is one of those stories which just lingers in the back of your head for ages after you’ve read it. Dom Xander picks Spike up at a specialist club and takes him home for the night. Trouble is Xander isn’t the Dom he appears and the blonde sees right through his act and needs to know what he’s really been bought for. Read the fic to find out – it’s hot and intense and just a bit sad.
Kink - Xander & Angel(us)
I first came across speakingsilence Eliza Shaw’s Need a couple of years ago and was blown away by the sheer hotness. She takes the cliché of Angel in this case coming across Xan in Oxnard and makes it into something quite brain melting. I think the scene with Xander performing on the stage is indelibly burnt into my brain. Need sort of leads into another of Eliza’s fics
Turnabout which I’ve already talked about in my Shades of Grey entry,
And there’s some lovely Xangelus in what is definitely one of my favourite fics of 06, The Seduction by sexymermaid. Angelus runs across a teenage Xander in an alley one night and decides he has to have the boy. What starts off as a relatively straight forward mission to gain a new pet becomes very complicated when the vamp develops feelings for the very mouthy teenager until you wonder just who is in charge in this relationship (especially when a hyena comes calling!) Mix in Oz, Darla and a slightly off centre Buffy, stir, simmer and serve! What can I say; it’s Jan so you just know it is going to be good.
Kink - Xander & Wes
Most people know nwhepcat as a brilliantly talented Het writer, but her Lessons series is awesome and it’s Xander/Wesley. Find part 1 here, part 2 here and part 3 here This is D/s without most of the normal hardware, but it is brilliant and the third part especially is a killer.
And there’s more from Wesley in margarks’s Crystals verse. The watcher wants a boy and uses a little crystal therapy to satisfy his needs. It’s just naughty and wrong and oh so delicious.
To round up this section, here’s a few “Pet” fics as they seem to make a nice little subsection.
Top of the list in this category has to be Xanpet by Siege. After the confrontation in the graveyard in Normal Again, Spike wishes that Xander had seen him at the height of the terror of the Scourge of Europe. A certain vengeance demon hears him and poor Xander finds himself in Paris in 1889 in a chateau belonging to Angelus and William the Bloody. This is just a great rollicking read and although it’s not finished there’s still 15 big chapters to enjoy, and Siege has said that she will get back to it one of these days once her RL settles down.
amejisuto’s Master and Pet series is just lovely. Xander wants a Master and offers himself to Spike – Spike accepts and each story is a little snapshot into their life together. I defy anyone to read the 3rd part, Florida Water and not sniffle a little at some point.
The Pet verse by nashmaveric has Spike deciding that he wants Xander as his pet – willing or not. Because he’s short of time he gets Drusilla to cook up a potion to make the boy more compliant – oh, and if he doesn’t drink it, Spike will start killing everyone in the neighbourhood. Sometimes it just sucks to be the White Knight…
In Just Another Game by pixel2817 Spike and Xander are in a long term relationship, but when Spike asks his lover to become a traditional vampire’s pet for 2 weeks as a death day present, their relationship enters a whole new phase. There are four chapters up and they sit quite happily as they are, but I really would like to see more of this if she’s ever in the mood.
Time Well Spent by Echo’s Revenge and Creed Cascade isn’t your traditional pet story. Xander, Spike and Angel find themselves thrown back in time due to a spell and because Darla and Drusilla are around, Xander has to pretend to be a vampire pet for his own protection. Once there he kind of finds he likes the role. This is just great fun, especially the bedroom scene when the Scoobs finally manage to make contact with our feckless trio.
Inner Realms of Madness by Scorpio is a pet fic with a difference. Spike is trying to get the chip out and the only person who can help is Xander who used to be the Aurelius family pet. Trouble is that Xander is now clinically insane and in a high security asylum. This is a pretty dark story with a lot of flashbacks to Xander’s life as a vampire pet to explain how he finished up in his current mental state. The final scene is really shocking.
Last but absolutely by no means least we have Elderly Pets by rngrdead. It’s looks as if it’s going to be a standard – demons now rule the world and all humans are enslaved and/or food fic, and at it’s most basic level that’s true. But there’s so much else going on in this story. A couple of years after the world goes to hell, Spike discovers a very changed Xander and takes him home both to keep as a pet and as a comforting reminder of the world now lost. For the next hundred years or so both vampire and pet create a family and work within the rules of the new system to make things better for themselves and for the humans who are left. A number of people got very upset when this story first appeared because Xander is willingly fathering children who then become part of a human stud farm, but if you trust the author everything has a context and the story really does work. And I defy you not to cry at least 3 times over the course of the story.
And ***stop press*** Elderly Pets has tied with Quantum Xander for Best Spander fic in round 2 at the Fang Fetish Awards which just goes to prove that Josie was right to ignore the flames and follow her heart and her crazy muse Daisy and write the story she had in her head
There now, not as long as the dark fic post, but long enough and hopefully kinky enough to satisfy the most discerning palate!
H/C Recs with a free box of tissues and a cuddle for every reader!
Amnesty ‘verse by amejisuto is lovely. Xander feels worthless and his humiliation is complete when his bid to end things is interrupted by Angel. So starts a tentative dialogue, turning to friendship and to something deeper. It’s just great and beautifully written and not finished yet if we keep feeding the author!
Fragments was a RPG written by ladycat777 and xanphibian which just cranked up the hurt and the angst about as far as it would go. The Scoobs find Xander practically catatonic and brutalised after an unexplained disappearance and after his physical wounds are healed the gang have to deal with the shell that is left. Spike is put on Xander sitting duty and it quickly becomes clear that there’s more than just physical and mental trauma to overcome before recovery can begin. The flashbacks are really disturbing and the effect they have in the present is unsettling to say the least. Very disturbing, extremely compelling and the comfort is very satisfying even if the means is slightly unconventional – but we are talking about Spike here. It’s just a terrific read – well you wouldn’t expect anything else from the authors concerned.
And still on the subject of Xander trauma, authoressnebula’s Lost takes a similar theme. Spike and Xander have been lovers but split up after a fight. After a time apart Xander turns up on Spike’s doorstep severally traumatised and unable to say what happened to him. One of the things I really like about this fic is that the girls are completely supportive of Spike and Xander as a couple as well as trying to support Xander’s recovery. Again some fairly grim flashbacks illuminate the current situation.
Velvet Crypt’s Smell of Home starts off being all light hearted before becoming very, very dark. To flush out a new big bad the gang have to gain access to a demon conference and Xander and Spike have to pose as lovers (which the girls think is hysterical). However the big bad has some nasty past history with Spike and uses Xander to get revenge. It does get a tad gory towards the end, but it isn’t a death fic, (unless you’re a red shirt or a bad demon) so don’t worry
Also by Velvet Crypt is Ritual. The gang get kidnapped by a mad sorcerer who’s forces them to voluntarily perform a series of brutal acts on each other. What he didn’t bank on was the compassion of our heroes changing the nature of the spell being cast with some unexpected results. I think there was going to be more to this story, but it sits quite nicely with the two parts which are there.
The grand daddy of all h/c fics; Alexandria Brown’s Waiting Here has it all. Spike discovers Xander is cutting himself as a coping mechanism for abuse and as he tries to help they begin a tentative relationship. The scene in the basement when the gang finally confront Xander’s abuser is a bit over the top, but after all the poor lad has been through it’s also perversely satisfying.
Elegantly Wasted is another fic by Alexandria Brown which rates about 12.8 on the Angst-o-meter (top scale of 10) When Spike orders a little bit of “O Pos” on the hoof, he really doesn’t expect to see one of the former Scoobies turning up at the door. After a bit of stalking he tries to save Xander from his new life, but sometimes things are just beyond fixing. Be warned, this story is unfinished and is left at a point that just makes me want to howl. That said, it’s a cracking read if you want a story where the hurt is so severe that no amount of comfort can really help
What makes kyrieane’s When Angels Wept different is that although our boy is hurt, there is no supernatural agency involved, he just falls foul of your common or garden American Psycho (hmm good name for a book). However, this isn’t a story about the torture, but about the slow road to recovery with an extra side of angst. There are 4 chapters up which I re-read several times in a vicarious attempt to get another fix, and I do hope she updates again soon.
Now I know everyone has read Twilight Time by Shadow, but I couldn’t not include it. Spike finds Xander holed up in a crypt after he’s been beaten by his father, so naturally the vamp takes him home and provides his own unique brand of TLC. The gang aren’t too happy with the burgeoning relationship, but then, when are they ever?(that's a rhetorical question by the way!) It’s just a great read and I love it to bits.
darkhavens’ Grungefic features a 16 year old Xander who’s alone and mourning for Jesse when Spike comes across him in a club and decides to take him home. I know that Spike is a bad rude man and has his own agenda here, but you can’t help applauding that he can see Xander’s pain and wants to do something about it. The scene with the tobacco tin gets me snuffling every single time. It’s unfinished, but I live in hope.
amejisuto and suki_blue’s Grief Counseling is just lovely. Xander is grieving after Buffy’s death and finds comfort through email with a anonymous friend called Sean. However Sean is closer than he thinks. Then Willow decides she needs to bring Buffy back from the dead and our boys have to band together to stop her. It’s just great stuff and an immensely satisfying read and is still being updated regularly.
Mercy by Robin the Crossover Junkie has Spike trying to help Xander through memories of child abuse. It’s not a fic to read when you’re down, but it is great h/c.
And there’s more abused Xander in Kayla’s Broken. One thing that does get my back up is Spike constantly thinking about Xander as his “Nummy”, but it’s not the only story which does this so I’m just being picky. Anyway this time the abuse is in the present rather than the past. Spike helps and of course the gang jump to the wrong conclusion. I really like Oz in this fic and the appearance of his "friend" towards the end is just a bonus.
Some people will probably say that Firehorse’s My Scorpion doesn’t really fit into h/c, but I think it does and it’s my list, so hey! Xander comes to Spike’s crypt bearing Chinese takeout and looking for company. As they talk, Xander gives Spike some insight into his life and offers to help Spike get de-chipped so long as he takes Xander with him afterwards. To use the old chestnut – stuff happens – and it’s hot!
Ruby Raindrops & Burgundy Secrets by chocgood84 has some very sweet h/c. Buffy is having difficulty dealing with the fact that our boys are together and Spike has to comfort and reassure his lover. It’s not epic and not really angsty, but it’s just a very satisfying little bite.
The Benediction series by Claire won’t be everyone’s idea of h/c but I still think it qualifies. Xander has found what he needs from Angelus, but when the soul returns and guilt drives the vampire away, Xander turns to Spike for the special comfort he craves. Angel of course isn’t happy with the situation.
In kyrieane’s Reparations, Xander visits Spike after witnessing a round of hate-sex with Buffy and offers the vamp solace and sanctuary. It’s very short and just beautiful. I first came across this as a rec on kimberly_fan’s website so it just proves that recs do work.
I just re-read Kay’s Matter of… series recently and I’d forgotten just how much I enjoyed it. Xander is hit by some very nasty side effects from a demon and on hearing there is no cure he does what any self respecting White Knight would do and decides to kill himself rather than endanger his friends. Fortunately (or otherwise) Spike thwarts that particular plan and carts him off to LA so that the great broody one and Doyle can research a cure. If you haven’t read this one, then all I can say is I wouldn’t mind taking my medicine like this! There are 4 stories in the series at the moment following the burgeoning relationship between the boys and the various reactions of the Scoobs and I live in hope of more.
Perdition Catch my Soul by estepheia starts with the premise that Xander rather than Buffy followed Spike into the church after their encounter with Ronnie the worm monster boy at the start of S7. Later he pulls Spike out of the school basement and voluntarily lets Spike stay at the apartment rather than having the vamp imposed on him as happened in canon. As the story stands at the moment there is a lot more hurt than comfort for both of the boys, with Spike struggling with nightmares and his shiny new soul and Xander wrestling with the realisation that he still loves Anya while being attracted to Spike. It’s not a cheery fic and I’m not sure if Estepheia intends to continue it, but it is worth reading the chapters that are there.
I think is a rule that there has to a story by witling in every list and this is no exception. Boglescat 'verse has everything you would expect from her; it’s snarky and sad and funny and hot and is full of great little details. Spike is sick and Xander is in denial and Sunnydale is being terrorised by tribe of little critters that just don’t know when they’re beaten. It’s witling, so of course it’s great.
Also, no list is complete without a story from tabaqui and this is no exception. In Compass Rose, Spike realises that Xander is quietly fading away in his role as faithful sidekick on the hellmouth and resolves to change things. The vamp's solution is to kidnap the boy and take him to see the world, with a pit stop via Dru to sort out the chip first. This story isn’t so much about physical hurt as mental and emotional suffocation and the means to escape into new horizons. As with all tabaqui’s stories, the language is lush and the imagery is evocative and it all adds up to something quite beautiful.
I discovered speakingsilence Eliza Shaw’s Cause and Effect fairly late on. I’ve been hooked on Turnabout and Need for a long time, but for some reason had never got around to Cause and Effect until last year, but I’m very glad I finally did because it is just terrific. Xander goes AWOL from the Council after hearing Spike is alive in LA, but recovering from his encounter with Dana the psychotic hand chopping slayer. As the boys begin a tentative dance of friendship and attraction Xander tries to help Spike recover from his injuries and fight against a familiar figure from the past who is bent on destroying the vampire. It’s just a great story, but then you all probably knew that before me!
What Makes Us by Laikokae is one of whole raft of “Angelus does terrible things to Xander, but he doesn’t tell his friends what’s happening” fics, but unlike a lot of them this one is good. – or at least I like it. When Angel returns to the hellmouth Xander can’t cope with such a tangible memory of the abuse he suffered and it’s up to Spike to provide the comfort until the gang get a clue. The final confrontation is a wee bit over the top, but by that time you’ll probably be cheering them on!
Talking of the Past by Maz is kind of oblique h/c. Xander finds some comfort in memories of the past and moves nervously towards his hopes for the future. How cryptic is that! Just go read and all will become clear…
It’s strange, the first time I came across Deep Water by Claudia6913 I wasn’t engaged at all and didn’t follow it for ages. Then I came across it again by accident and was hooked. Willow and Spike save Xander from almost certain death in Africa and now it is up to the newly resurrected vampire to try to bring some life, hope and love back to the damaged boy – no one said it would be easy. I love Willow in this, and even Kennedy is sort of tolerable, which is a pretty big compliment to the writing!
Deeply Loved and Deeply Hurt by kate_fire are just wonderful. Kate has created a whole new mythology with Xander discovering from a couple of very ancient vampires that he is a “Deepling” - a person who has hyper sensitivity to emotions and their consequences. The dynamic of the first story is too complicated to get into, but suffice to say it involves Xander, the ancient vampires, the gang, Riley, Spike Oz, Wesley and a goat! The second story provides the heartbreaking background to the Wesley we met in Deeply Loved and in the end gives two separate resolutions.
I just love Protective Custody by nashmaveric and virtualpersonal. It’s definitely at the fluffier end of h/c but that’s a nice change with all the angst floating about. Spike gets a choice from the PTB post Chosen, but it’s a lesson in being careful what you agree to without reading all the small print because there is always an agenda. Hot and sweet and fun with the hurt and comfort being spread equally between the boys. If you ever want a feel good h/c fic (if there is such a thing!) then this is what I’d prescribe.
Future Hope by Clee starts with Xander trying to commit suicide as a means of escaping an abusive relationship with Spike. However the PTB get involved and Angel gets a call from the hospital telling him of Xander’s situation. It’s up to Captain Forehead to work out what went wrong with his errant childe and try to coax Xander back to some semblance of normality and self respect. Be warned the story isn’t finished and it’s not been updated in an age, but there’s still a lot to enjoy.
What can I say about yin_again's 29 Linear Moves and the sequel 49 Circular Moves apart from go read them now if you haven’t done so, and go read them again if you have! It’s the summer after Buffy gave the world her gift and 2 survivors do a delicate dance of grief and need and want and desire and guilt. Told as a series of drabbles these are probably 2 of the most perfect examples of fanfic ever (IMHO).
I’m kind of cheating with this last one. It’s definitely got the h/c but it also acts a little trailer for my next list. Lost soul is by Echoes Revenge and Creed Cascade and is set post School Hard. Xander is upset that his friends don’t seem bothered about the stunt Angel pulled in the confrontation with Spike and ironically the only “person” that seems to care is Spike himself. The gang aren’t too happy with this turn of events and things boil up nicely from there….
I’m not sure what exactly to say about the No One Else series by jstabe or why I class it as h/c. Xander pays a huge price to keep his friends safe from Angelus and eventually finds the safety he needs from the thing he feared most. I’ve gone on record as saying daddy kink isn’t my thing, however somehow here it didn’t bother me, I don’t know if that’s because it is a manipulation tool rather than anything else.(Or maybe I’m just a hypocrite!) The other stories in the series are Who Do You Belong To, Always Mine and Remembering. They are all terrific and I hope that she'll revisit this 'verse some day.
Well that’s it then, at only 6 pages the lists are gradually getting shorter, but I’m sure I’ve probably missed a ton of stuff out that I’ve just plain forgotten about. So I’ll probably add more as and when my aging memory has a little light bulb moment.
Beastie Boy Recs
In Trickster, lit_gal takes the old chestnut of Xander dressing up as something different at Halloween and makes it into something very, very hot. Our boy dresses as a vamp and when Ethan’s spell kicks in he suddenly has the memory and the “urges” of a 900 year old vamp. The fun really starts when he runs into Spike. There's also a terrific sequel, Janus’ Shadow, with an unpossessed Xander still retaining the memories and feelings of the ancient vampire and the human guilt of what he did when possessed. Sit back and enjoy the ride (as it were!)
The Choice by saturn_girl was one of the very early stories I read in the fandom. Xander and Cordy have been captured by Angelus with no hope of escape – nasty stuff happens. I think this story has two morals – just because you’re a master vampire doesn’t mean you should be cocky and just because you’re a jaded reader of fanfic; don’t assume you know what is going to happen. I love this story; it’s just such a kick in the teeth, but in a good way.
And talking of devastating endings, suki_blue’s See Me is a killer. Spike and Xander have a confrontation with the gang and force them to confront a shocking truth. She also has a prequel Not Forgotten, which outlines the circumstances leading up to the events in See Me. They are both just great stories.
Sajinn’s The Travelling Red Curtain has Spike gradually removing Xander from his friends, his life and his right to choose anything for himself. There’s a real sense of desolation about this story; Xander’s isolation and Spike’s manipulation just drip from every sentence.
In An Eye for an Eye, A Soul for a Soul by Adalisa, Anya gets her vengeance on when she decides that the gang are culpable for Xander ending up in coma. She opens up a door to the Wish ‘verse and a certain familiar vampire appears in Sunnyhell to carry out his own very twisted version of justice for his “twin”. This is just creepy, but kind of heart-warming in an “I’ve got a psychotic evil twin who will do anything to protect me” kind of way. Goodness fanfic really does warp your mind after a while!
I love the characterisation of Spike and Xander in Damned with You by amejisuto, Xander especially is so damn funny. Xander is horribly injured at work and Spike turns him – yes I know it’s a plotline that’s been done lots of times but Ame makes it really engaging and the boys have so much fun together that the reader can’t help but have fun too!
Thrice Damned by denied_heaven is pretty heavy on the angst. Angelus has captured, tortured and finally turned Xander and while he is playing with his new childe and renewing his relationship with Spike, Willow comes through with the ensouling spell to get rid of Angelus. Trouble is it also souls the other two as well who are left to deal both with the Scoobies and with a missing Sire whose guilt drives him back to LA as fast as his legs will take him. Pets the boys and glares at Angel!
In Cycles of Change by Rimau new big bad is trying to end the human world (again) and it’s up to the gang to put a stop to it. After overhearing some new information about the apocalypse, Xander is attacked by a couple of henchmen and nearly drained before Angel comes to the rescue. Unfortunately the only option is to let the boy die or turn him and ever the White Knight, Xander opts for door number two so he can relay the vital new info to Buffy. Let’s just say life is not simple for the new vamp.
There’s also a sequel, Lab Rat where yet another stereotypical tweed wearing representative of the Council turns up to investigate Giles’ unorthodox methods. When she discovers that there are two vampires helping the Slayer she is less than pleased.
No vamp Xan list would be complete without mentioning darkhavens’s Baby Vamp series. I once said that Spike and his new childe are like Butch and Sundance on mescaline and I still hold by it. Just brilliant fun and of sustained quality considering the number of drabbles which make up this series.
If you thought _dellamore’s Red Apple Falls was dark, then try Take this Waltz and read it from behind the sofa. Xander gets himself an unlife and decide to take a look at this brand new world. His Sire isn’t happy with his childe’s show of independence.
In Training a Childe by Dove, Angel turns a willing Xander so they can be lovers forever. However when Spike arrives back on the scene things become just a little complicated. The story is frustratingly unfinished and left at a point where you really do want to know what is going to happen in the next chapter. However it does mean that you can make the rest up in your head the way you would want it to end! I have no idea if Dove will ever come back to this, but hopefully one day…
Reconfiguration series by Lar and Ethrosdemon if fascinating and frustrating in just about equal measures. Xander is in the wrong place at the wrong time and as a result finds himself struggling with a whole new bunch of emotions. Add Angel into the mix and you’ve got angst galore! It’s a really great fic, but the frustration is that after 9 really intriguing big chapters, we cut to an interlude which raises all sorts of big questions, but there are no more chapters to answer them. I don’t know if this will ever be finished, but it’s still really worth reading for what’s there.
Lint’s Little Red Book is another chiller. Xander sends Buffy a token of his affection…. Shiver…
I just re-read The Viking series by Jameschick a couple of weeks ago and I’d forgotten what fun it was – apart from the whole death, killing and general mayhem stuff. There’s a new bigger than big bad in Sunnyhell and he’s got a very nasty little game in mind for one of the gang. This is a 5 part series, but the last part ends on a bit of cliff-hanger so I do hope Jameschick gets the notion to come back to it one day.
Irony by Scorpio is short, sharp and oh so pointy. Spike thinks about the newest threat to appear in Sunnydale and muses on the strangeness of life on the Hellmouth.
Also by Scorpio we have Lex the Ruthless:Childe of Spike. Xander walks into the middle of one of Willow and Tara’s spells and finds himself in war torn Poland facing a very unchipped William the Bloody and things just go down hill from there. I’m always really ambivalent about time travel stories in general as there are so many inherent inconsistencies in the set up, but that aside, this is great fun
Kniaz' t'my by Kisa is one of those stories that I read and re-read quite happily without ever getting bored. Spike is mourning for his lost love when an almost familiar figure changes the course of his unlife. Even just typing this little paragraph makes me want to go and read it again – just thinking about the scene where Spike is looking at the painting is enough to give me a hot flush. Go, read, now!
If you’ve read Lines in the Sand and Sunlight in my Cradle by Meredith Bronwen Mallory garnettrees then you won’t be surprised by the sheer beauty of the imagery she conjures up in Empty of Tomorrow. Xander remembers his Sire and muses on the oddity of a life without mirrors. I wish she’d written more of this story, but the 2 parts that are there are just immensely satisfying.
In Cicirossi’s Evil Soulless Things Spike makes a wish and wakes up to find his world has tilted just a little bit off its axis. But being an opportunistic kind of vamp, he decides to just go with the flow. I love Xander in this story, he’s just so funny.
Not Quite the Loneliest Number by stoptocheer is sad and creepy and just plain disturbing all at the same time which is pretty impressive for a pretty short story. Willow gives Xander a whole new perspective on life and suddenly he finds that everything that used to elude him adds up. Go read, it’s like a little cut throat razor, cold, hypnotic with an edge you could bleed to death on.
I think janedavitt should get some kind of award for coming up with a fic which has possibly my favourite ever title for a story. Xander and the Vampire Zebra (how great is that!) Xander is flattered when Giles asks for his help to take out a monster that is terrorising animals at the local zoo, but the trouble is Giles is looking to tap into some of Xander’s more basic instincts to make the kill. I almost put this in my “kink” list, but with a title like that it really had to be here. And thank you to Jane for reminding me of Red in Tooth and Claw which is an extension of the Vampire Zebra story. It had been niggling the back of my head that there was another version of this story, but I couldn't remember the name until Jane tapped the memory cells into life.
One of the very first slash fics I ever read with janedavitt’s Predatory Acts after I discovered this strange new world of fanfic via the TWOP forums – they have a lot to answer for. Anyway reading this story early on set my reading expectations for the genre pretty damn high.
Spike does a reccie on the Hellmouth during the Master’s time and happens to run across a possessed Scooby. Naturally the vamp takes his new plaything home, but discovers that sometime toys have teeth. This is just so great and the hyena and the vamp together are just hot. In the sequel Preying on my Mind it’s 2 years later and there are some things Xander just can’t forget. (and cue dum, di dum, dum dum…. music!)
Forged in hell by Echo’s Revenge & Creed Cascade has Xander using his residual hyena instincts to help the gang protect the Hellmouth while Buffy is away hiding in LA. Things get complicated when Angel returns from Hell, but not nearly as complicated as they get when Buffy finally returns to the Hellmouth. This is almost a Marty Stu hyena Xander story(if there is such a thing..) with our boy being faster, deadlier and sexier than the non-hyena version, but it’s still fun and in the end that’s all it takes.
There’s something about Beneresq’s writing which always makes me shiver and her two hyena fics Tame and Feral are no exception. Angel offers to keep hyena possessed Xander “safe” while the gang search for a spell to return him to normal. So begins a bizarre relationship between keeper and kept until you wonder just who really has the power. In the second story, Xander may be hyena free, but he can’t rid himself of his memories or his feelings of his time in captivity. Both stories are short and completely hypnotic.
The Art of Submission and The Act of Dominance by brandil are stand alone stories within a much bigger fic called The Witch, The Warrior and The Vampire. The wider story has quite a lot of Spuffy which isn’t my thing, but for reasons too complicated to go into Spike is Xander’s Sire by proxy and these 2 short stories give a very interesting snapshot of their relationship.
The 28 day Itch by reremouse is just hotter than a hot thing from hot land. When Giles ends Ethan’s Halloween spell Spike is less than happy to have had his fun cut short. So he “persuades” Ethan to help him find another source of entertainment, and the results were even more fun that he expected.
In Leader of the Pack by suki_blue Xander struggles with his sexuality, the hyena searches for a pack leader, Angel obsesses, Buffy polishes her gaydar, Spike decides running away is the better part of valour and Drusilla tells tales about the future. When you’re 16 and horny, growing up on the Hellmouth is just plain complicated. I love this, it’s just great fun. Find it here here and here.
In Harmless Wolf Fun by dessert_first Xander and Oz do some bonding and muse on the allure of meat based products! It’s short, sweet and very funny.
Wolfie stories and other bits..
denied_heaven offers up another type of beastie Xan in Stricken. Our boy turns up on Angel’s doorstep begging to be killed, but of course the broody one’s soul won’t let him do the deed. However an unexpected show of dominance by Angel and manipulations by Angelus ensure that life in LA will be anything but straightforward. This is a Wip and I just love it to bits.
I hummed and hawed whether to put this next story in this category, but in the end I thought what the hell. Strays by Te is the start of a series of stories with Oz trying to hang onto the threads of his humanity through his friendship with Xander and both of them finding that emotions only make life even more complicated. I just love Strays, it’s another one of those truly hypnotic fics where you just find youself at the end of part 7 and not being quite sure where the time went. Oh, and there is an awful lot of sex in this fic – just in case there’s anyone out there who is bothered about that kind of thing, and a really bizarre discussion between Xander and Giles about Werewolf foreskin (I’m not joking!)
Dark Side of the Moon by moosesal has more Oz/Xander goodness. Xander struggles to come to terms with some new developments in his life and Oz is there to help him work things through. That’s it really.
rngrdead took beastieness onto a whole other level with 2 Squared, where her muse was definitely smoking something she shouldn’t. Creatures are disappearing from the local zoo and Spike and Xan investigate and fall foul of an illegal animal trading ring and a very potent spell. Do persevere with this, it gets very bizarre, but it really does work in a crazy kind of way.
Finally I should just repeat my recs for Angst Monkey by kaygrr,
The Assistant by witling and
Duality by Robin the Crossover Junkie.
They’re vamp or hyena Xan, but because I’m perverse I put them on 2 of my other lists. There also a few other stories floating about on the previous rec lists where Xander is vamped towards the end of the fic, but I’ve not repeated them here as the turning isn't the main part of the story. It’s a pain, but some stories just don’t fit into nice neat little boxes!
Big Long Satisfying Reads
Slash - All Spike/Xander (with occasional additional playmates!)
I think my ultimate long comfort fic has to be yin_again Yindagger’s Long Time Gone. It was one of the very early Buffy fics I read back in the day and it’s still one of the very best. Xander turns up on Spike’s doorstep after 8 years with no contact with the gang. I love this mature Xander who is struggling to keep himself together in the wake of a devastating event and turning back to his friends for help. More than anything else I love that this is a great friendship fic, with added porn. The UST in the first few chapters is tangible and it’s just a brilliant and incredibly satisfying story.
Quantum Xander I & Quantum Xander II by Jameschick places Xan in Sam Beckett’s shoes leaping about in time and dimensions meeting himself, his friends and Spike in a variety of guises and situations. The jumping off point for Part 2 is the aftermath of the events at the end of the first part – which is pretty logical.
Again, just a honking great big read.
Changes I & II by tabaqui is a beautiful reworking of Season 4 onwards, with Xander and Spike slowly coming together as friends and then lovers a completely logical and beautiful way. Also check out Oz and a great OC Derio. The language and imagery are lush and evocative like all of tabaqui’s stories and it has periods when you’ll go from happiness to gibbering wreck in a single sentence – which is a lot to lay on a story. It’s angsty (some of the chapters towards the end of the part II make me sob every single time) and it’s gorgeous and it hurts like hell, but then anything worth while often does and it just makes me so damn happy. If you don’t read any other big Buffy epic, everyone should read this one (Just my humble opinion)
The Sands of Time series by Jameswalkswithwind and Wolfling finds a teenage Xander turning to Giles as an escape from parental abuse. Giles eventually adopts him and each of the stories details their developing family relationship. This is a big fuzzy fic with Xan meeting Giles parents and eventually going to college to study demonic chemistry. Oh and there’s a little plot about a relationship with Spike which definitely doesn’t meet with parental approval. Another big epic to cosy up with on a rainy afternoon.
I don’t really know what to say about Repossession. I nearly didn’t include it because this is meant to be a list of my favourite stories and to be absolutely honest it isn’t one of them. (Ducks and waits for the volley of flying rocks) However I’ve put it in because it is such a well known story and I don’t want to impose my feelings on anyone else. Spike is brutalised by the Initiative and finds his way to Xander – it’s also got Riley, Angel, bad tempered Gods, Xan in a kilt, Spike in fluffy slippers and a very intelligent dog. (Oh and a construction firm with an apparently bottomless budget) It’s one of the biggest Spander stories around in terms of length at a honking 124 chapters and it’s a story which really does seem to polarise opinion; folk either love it or hate it. I don’t have strong feelings about it one way or another but although I’ve read it all the way through once. I’m not sure I’d do that again, but I could see me re-reading parts, especially the first big h/c section again before the plot gets too out of hand. If you haven’t read it, have a go and make up your own mind.
The Stranger Things series by Esmeralda is a big multi part story which kicks off with Xander getting kidnapped by a bunch of demons looking for potential mates. Spike goes to rescue him, but has to prove that the boy is his. I like that you think you know what is going to happen and then the author takes an unexpected turn with that scene. Anyway after much bickering and misunderstanding our boys get together and eventually visit LA and the great broody one. The main pairing starts off as Xander/Spike, but then Angel and Doyle get into the mix and then after lots of alcohol all 4 of them get very friendly. One of my favourite sections in this series involves the return of Penn – there are some seriously scary scenes in this part. I haven’t caught up with this series for ages and I know there are some updates I haven’t read, so that’s something to look forward to when I get the time.
What can I say about From Out of Nowhere series by suki_blue? It’s got Spike, Xander, a bit of Angel, a smidgen of Angelus, a goddess masquerading as a snake and sundry other things just too complicated to go into. Just go read it, it’s great.
Alexandria Brown’s Back with Me is unfinished and likely to remain so; however it still has 17 big parts and is settled at a pretty good place. Xander goes to pieces after he finds Anya being unfaithful on their one year anniversary and Spike calls in an old friend to try to help. The old friend in question just happens to be one of the most powerful beings in the universe which kind of scares the shit out of the Scoobies. There’s nothing like having an all powerful older being on your side when you’re trying to mend someone’s broken heart and seduce them at the same time. I went back and reread this a while back and have spent the last month trying to do the freaky mind control thing on Alexandria Brown to get her to write the rest.
Day of Days and Night of Nights are two big multi-parters by Sajinn. In the first one everyone has forgotten about Xander’s 22nd birthday except the vamp who decides to mark every year of the anniversary with a different sexual act. (hmmm, maybe I should suggest that for my birthday this year!) In the follow up, Xander decides to return the favour for Spike – but as the vampire is considerably older that’s a hell of a lot of porn – chapters 14 and 28 of Night of Nights are particularly memorable in that respect and really deserve an entry all of their own in my Kink category! Anyway once the Scoobies cotton on to the relationship our intrepid duo go on the run and even more fun ensues.
Also by Sajinn is Better Living With Chemistry. Again it’s a two parter with Buffy taking advantage of Xander on the rebound from a break up with Anya, but wanting to keep their relationship quiet. Eventually Xander gets fed up and begins to change and mature from being the donut boy under the gentle ministrations of a certain blonde. Buffy is wildly out of character but her relationship with her new boyfriend Austin is so funny that I almost forgive her.
In the second story Spike and Xander are together and just when they are both happy Willow leaves a potion lying about in the magic shop – guess who drinks it thinking it is lemonade. Go read and find out what happens next. Again Willow is very out of character in this, but the story is such fun that I don’t really care.
Five Rings Series by Josiergnrdead has the boys initially getting together via the wonders of fanfic and things just develop and get more complicated from there. There are five big complete multi-parters to this series so far with the possibility of more if we send Josie's muse Daisy enough chocolate! I just love Josie as a writer, her characterisation and universes are always so richly textured and beautifully realised even if they do get a bit off the wall on occasion! This is another gorgeous series for a wet afternoon, or for anytime really.
No More Snakes & Ladders by tabaqui and reremouse was one of the highlights of 2005 for me. It’s 2004 and Sunnydale is a crater, but when Xander unexpectedly finds a very much worse for wear Spike he should have known that things were never going to be straightforward again. I can’t say anything else about this story apart from go read if you haven’t read it already, and if you have, you know there’s a very good reason to read it again.
Jackson’s Sweet Revenge could easily have been in my dark and angsty category because god knows there’s enough of it, but at 37 chapters it seemed to be begging to fit in right here. Spike is sick of being neutered by the chip and rejected by Buffy so decides to get to the girl by breaking one of her friends. Trouble is, with no Dru on hand to tell him the future; he couldn’t have foreseen what was going to happen with his oh so brilliant plan. This is just one of these stories that you come back to about once a year and rediscover again just how brilliant it is – and shouting at Spike through the monitor is always therapeutic!
Het/Gen - because occasionally I do read something other than slash!
nwhepcat’s Lilac City is probably my favourite epic het story, although pretty much anything she writes is always wonderful. This story features a very different Xander from our normal boy – he’s separated from his friends, struggling to keep himself alcohol free and working as the night manager in a supermarket in Spokane. Things are chugging along fine and dandy, if a little lonely, until a girl in his AA meeting asks him to be her sponsor. When he discovers she’s having terrifying dreams and is exceptionally strong he knows that things will never be “normal” again. As with all hepcat’s writing, the characterisation is spot on, but it is the little details which reveal why Xander is so isolated and explains his motivation and reactions to the new twists in his life. I think I’ve just persuaded myself to go right back and read this again. It’s in 3 parts The Loner, The Artisan and The Watcher.
nemo_gravis was my 2005 het writer of the year for a whole raft of stories, but I think that Broken qualifies for this category as the story spanned 60 entries in his LJ. Xander wakes up from a long term coma and fights his way back to health inch by very painful inch. I’ve said before that one of things which fascinates me with this story is how you characterise a person whose whole personality is communicated through his facial expressions and his speech, if you take away his voice and facial movement. It’s a credit to nemo that he makes it work. Anyway Broken has Xander in tweed(oh yes) a very interesting jaded Buffy, a brilliant OC called Morris Aloysius Perrin and some very tricky prophecy type stuff that just keeps moving the goal posts. It’s just great, I love it to bits.
liz_marcs is another writer who constantly hits the mark when it comes to great storylines and characterisation. Living History has a honking 70 chapters which should keep even the most hyperactive reader occupied for a while. The plot is way too complicated to try to explain, but suffice to say that a group of time travellers travel back to Moscow 2008 to get help with an urgent matter. Trouble is, their calculations are a tad off, and they end up in Cleveland in 2003 – OOPS, doesn’t begin to cover it!! The whole gang are involved in this story, but I especially love Faith and the OC’s are great fun. As with all time travel stories, trying to unravel the logic will make your head hurt, so take my advice and don’t try to deconstruct it, just read and enjoy.
Reccing The Road to Hell by Starwayman and the follow up Road to Hell II:The Road Back by Mprattky will probably get me thrown out of the cool readers club, but what the hell…. Xander has turned his back on the gang after the fall out from the ensouling spell. And when Drusilla realises that he has a major part to play in the future battle with the First she manages to get him sucked into a hell dimension. When he finally escapes 5 years later he realises that time has moved differently (such is the nature of demon dimensions) and he has 5 years worth of knowledge of events which have yet to happen in his own time. At the start of the sequel Xander wakes up to find himself in the hands of a government organisation that are just itching to get a hold of his memories.
This is a honking big Marty Stu boys own story with lots of guns and gung ho action and a plot line which spirals ever more out of control. Having said that, I’ve always kind of liked it and will definitely read it again. Don’t look at me like that, sometimes I read Jane Austen, but I have been seen with a John Grisham in my hand from time to time and I bet the rest of you have as well.
There are a number of other stories which could easily go in here in terms of actual length but for reasons that have nothing to do with logic I’ve decided to place else where.
tistoo Tisienne Blue’s Getting to Know You series
Nick Midian’s Dark Reflection series
The first two will be in my AU list, the Getting to Know You series will be on the Afterwards List and Dark Reflections will be in my a Crossover list.
Stripper & Whore fic recs
Because nothing says love like dollars in the waistband!
Gloryhole by the wonderfully talented witling was on my fic of 2005 list but it deserves another mention. The world has gone to hell in a hand basket and demons are now the ruling class. When Spike goes looking to call in a debt and get a little amusement at a high class brothel he couldn’t have anticipated who was on the menu. I just re-read this recently and it reminded me of just how damn good a writer witling is – as if we needed reminding.
Witling strikes again. Her Prawn verse has Spike finding Xander on a very cold street corner with nary a Scooby in sight so he feeds the boy and takes him home – of course you don’t get anything for free. This destitute lonely Xander just breaks my heart at the start of this fic and Spike is anything but altruistic. This should really go in my Angst category, but it’s a whore fic, so here it sits and quite lovely it is too!
sexymermaid’s Manservant is mainly Spike/Riley (oh my god she actually got me reading and liking Riley – the world as we know it has ended) Anyway, moving swiftly on; Riley inherits a vampire as his own personal whore when he arrives at the Sunnydale outpost of the Initiative. This is a very long angsty complicated story, but it is immensely satisfying. I read the whole thing in one sitting and really felt I’d gone through the ringer at the end, but in a good way. My normal boy of choice, Xander also has a small and pretty tragic part as Angelus bait who is turned into a vampire whore by the soldier boys, but even with this amount of hurt, there is still the possibility of love...
When I first came across Incident at the Bay of the Descending Dragon by reremouse I was so hooked I re-read it three times in as many days. James Bond has got nothing on our Xander – swanning in and out of countries, collecting slayers and being all windswept and interesting, and perhaps a little lonely. Trust Willow to use Council money effectively and arrange a little companionship for the boy on his latest mission. Now that’s what I call friendship! This is just great fun, go read..
There’s more Spike whore in Lessons by ladycat777. The initiative chip works both ways – causing pleasure as well as pain, and someone decides to take advantage. It’s only when Xander comes across him after 2 months of being missing that the Scoobies realise the extent of the chip’s power. I just want to give Spike a cuddle in this story and I do find Giles to be quite disturbing, he’s just so damn clinical it’s kind of creepy. There are 2 other little ficlets from the Lessons verse which you can find here and here. I don’t know if ladycat will ever come back to this story, but it’s worth reading what’s there.
eyezrthewindows If You Ever Hunger always makes me really sad. Xander is alone in the world and forced to sell himself just to get through to the next hopeless day. One night he meets a new client who takes more than a passing interest in the boy. I’m starting to sniffle just thinking about it.
In Merely a Possession by tj Goldstein, Xander is kidnapped and forced into an unimaginable life. I’m a bit ambivalent about this story; I think the first part works really well and the emotional and mental manipulation and breakdown of Xander’s character is horrifying but really believable. But I do start to get a little bit bored by the time I get part way through the 3rd part and while I want resolution to the story it hasn’t been updated in an age. I know that doesn’t sound very positive, but I do still like it and it’s worth having a go at, but be warned it really is very dark (should have been in my Shades of Grey list really..)
If you’re not in floods of tears by the time you finish The Price You Pay by soft princess then you have no heart. Xander runs from Sunnydale to escape the horror of Buffy and Anya’s deaths, but finds another kind of horror waiting for him in San Francisco in the shape of a man called Bryce. This story is a 3 hankie job if ever there was one. It's funny, the author knows exactly what emotional buttons to press to get the desired reaction from the reader, but the strange thing is that I never feel I've been manipulated until I look back on the story well after I’ve finished reading. At the time I just get pulled along. One thing I would say is that Angel is far too good to be true, but as he’s helping one of my boys I’ll forgive him. Go read it yourself and see what you think – but be prepared to have the tissues at the ready!
I really wanted to rec Secrets and Outcomes by aoikoi_liikin but the link at her site isn’t working. However I emailed her and she’s in the middle of re-editing it and there are 4(unedited) chapters up at her LJ out of a possible 11 chapters already written. She’s going to post the outstanding chapters when she’s had a chance to do the re-edit., so it should be worth checking back regularly. . I have to say chapter 4 will make your brain melt!
Anyway back to the story - Spike discovers Xander is leading a double life as an extremely high class escort for both humans and demons and the vamp decides to try a little taste for himself. I really enjoyed the story as far as it had got when I first read it and you can find the first 4 chapters here. Go give her lots of feedback and hopefully she'll update quickly!
In tgray’s Detour, Spike passes the time with a tasty dark eyed morsel and thinks about the future. It’s short, hot and just a little bit twisty – yum.. The fanfiction.net link plays up from time to time, but you can always find the story in her LJ memories if necessary.
Gentleman’s Night by Ladycat and Lumenara Dharhm is just hotter than a hot thing from hot land.
Our boy is in the Fabulous Ladies Night Club as you might expect when the boss asks him to stand in for a sick stripper. And exactly what is in that drink they gave him before he went on stage because this is not the boy from the Bronze who can’t dance. Of course a certain vamp is on hand to witness the donut boy’s finest hour. There have been lots of fics with this premise, but this is definitely one of the best. It was meant to be the first in a series, but so far it’s all on its tod.. Go read, enjoy, find your vibrator or take a cold shower…
Laid Bare by Robin the Crossover Junkie has Xander and Spike in a bar making a drunken bet over a talent contest. Spike may be a rocker, but he was never going to win once Xan started stripping – and he’s wearing a kilt – gulp, flails…. That’s really all there is to it, but hey it’s quite enough thank you very much.
My favourite Xander as a stripper fic has to be Velvet Crypt’s Striptease. Spike comes across a very familiar face shopping for G-strings in a sex shop in New Orleans and discovers that Xander is the headline act as a high class demon strip joint. I just love sexy confident Xander in this fic, he’s not ashamed of what he does and he knows just how to get what he wants – and in this case that’s Spike. The chapter where the gang finally see them both stripping together on stage is both hot and hysterical and well worth the price of admission.
Bare It All by authoressnebula should probably be in my h/c list, but it’s got Xander stripping so here it sits. Spike catches Xander’s act and decides to save the boy from himself. It’s just sweet which is just what you need after reading a pile of whore fic.
And reremouse is back with her Stripper verse. It’s got Spike, Wesley, Holden and Xander and I only have one complaint about it – it’s unfinished and I really want to know what happens next! Does the freaky mind control thingy on reremouse in the hope of more soon….
No list of stripper fic would be complete without No Power On Earth by Circe. Spike teaches Xander some moves while gathering what he needs for his latest nefarious plan. Oh and there’s a vampire gang on the loose – just in case anyone gets bored.
I almost forgot about Taltos’ Dancing Queen, which would have been very remiss of me. A Marine walks into a strip club(insert your own bad joke here) and discovers everything that he was missing in his life. The trouble is the military aren’t too keen on any of their blue eyed GI Joes getting hot and heavy with a sexy brown eyed boy and things just get angsty from there. The stripper section is really just the catalyst for the rest of the story, but all in all it’s pretty damn hot.
Including How I Spent My Summer Vacation by _beetle_ in this list is a little bit of cheat as Xander stripping is only mentioned in passing in one little sentence. However it is a Xander at the Fabulous Ladies Night Club story where he’s big with the dish washing and the rationalising until the vamp blows into town and proceeds to upset Xander’s world view. I just love this story and knew I wanted to highlight it somewhere and this category seemed the best fit.
There are few stories which I’ve already mentioned in other lists which also could be mentioned here, so I’ll just gallop through them quickly.
The first story of Evil Willow and Crazy Dru’s Chance Encounters stories is a Xander as a stripper fic, and I’ve talked more about it over on my Kink post, because this Spike is all about the control…
I mentioned Elegantly Wasted by Alexandria Brown in my h/c list. Spike comes across a Scooby who is about as far removed from the mouthy teen he knew from the Hellmouth. This Xander is selling himself, his blood and his self respect in order to keep body and what’s left of his soul together. This story is beautifully told, it’s destined to remain unfinished and it just breaks my heart.
speakingsilence Eliza Shaw’s Need was also on my Kink list. Angel comes across a familiar figure outside a club in Oxnard and when curiosity gets the better of him, he gets a ringside seat at a show which will bring all his baser instincts to the fore. Oh boy, it’s hot.
What's the Alternative?
The stories veer just a tad off course
Kept is sexymermaid’s beautiful tale of a state run by the Initiative where vampires can only be whores or gladiators and women are subjugated. Kept was probably my favourite new story to appear in 2005 (and there was some amazing competition) Spike is a courtesan and Xander is the naïve gardener he courts until the brutality of the world they live in and the greed and self interest of others comes between them. All the gang are there in a variety of guises and there is the most wonderful OC in Robin. I can’t really say what I feel about this story, the language is lush and poetic, the imagery is both vivid and delicate, and reading it is like watching a painting come to life.
Nessuno by riani1 is a story I backed off from when I first came across it, because the concept seemed a bit bizarre even for an AU. Xander is an innocent novice priest studying in the Vatican City when he accidentally becomes involved in the sinister world of political intrigue and magical power struggles. I’m so glad I persevered because it’s just a great read, with vampires, the Inquisition, the Borgias, architectural history, and a very familiar blonde soldier of fortune who might just have an interest in our innocent boy.
In Battleground _sharvie_ has created a completely compelling, terrifyingly brutal universe whose inhabitants fight for the pleasure of the Emperor and rise and fall at his whim. Spike and Xander fall through a portal and become victims of the regime with Spike fighting and Xander being forced to act as his body servant. The atmosphere that comes off this story is amazing, and the sheer desperation between the boys as Spike goes off to fight once again just makes me shiver. Sharvie has said this story is part of a bigger War ‘verse she has floating around in her head, so right now I just want to poke around in her brain and see what else is in there.
kyrieane’s Apartment 4A is all human AU and it’s quite beautiful. Xander, who is struggling to come to terms with the loss of his eye and his profession, moves to Oregon and finds hope and the impetus to look life in the face again from the inhabitants of a small boarding house. This story is like a big cup of my favourite hot chocolate, it’s sweet, satisfying, makes me very happy and I’m always so disappointed to get to the end.
Scaling Heaven by tabaqui is a Spander Space Opera, but don’t let that put you off. Spike is the captain of a not totally legal trading ship with Xander as his handyman and lover and there are some great OC’s amongst the crew When a deal inevitably goes awry the boys find themselves up to their necks and beyond in a whole lot of trouble. As ever with tabaqui the background set up to the story is spot on, so you never really question the idea of the boys in space – they just are!
tesla321's S Curve series is another lovely human AU. The whole gang are there in high school exploring life and love and the joys of naughty touching when their parents aren’t looking. Xander discovers that strong, silent and broody jock Angel has another unexpected side to him which leads to a whole new set of horizons. There’s an awful lot to get your teeth into with this series and the good news is it is still being updated. But be warned you’ll need to search through the listing in TG’s memories to get the first set of chapters in the right order. The first one is part way down the page.
In Slip Slide Melting by Tisienne Blue tistoo Spike comes to his senses after the final battle with the Dragon and the Black Thorn, but quickly starts to think he’s losing his mind because this may be LA, but not as we know it Jim. The world has changed and demons and magic are known and this new regime is governed by a shockingly familiar face. The plot is far too complicated to go into, but what I like about Tisienne Blue’s stories is that like Josie(rgnrdead) she creates this completely complex world and then really makes the characters and the environment live for the reader. This story is complete, but there is a tantalising TBC at the end of the final chapter so I live in hope.
Model Angel verse by strickens_girl is about as nasty a tale as you’ll find, but beautifully done for all that. Angel is a top model (which you’d probably guessed from the title...) and when he finds himself a new toy to amuse himself with and act as the perfect accessory; you just know that things are going to get nasty. Stir in Giles as his extremely creepy manager and Xander as a rival model and former lover and you’ve got all the ingredients of an accident waiting to happen.
Everyone has probably read Lifetime in a Minute by Desert Wren, but it is one of my favourite stories. Xander goes back in time to retrieve a vital book and encounters a very familiar face. This is a pretty cuddly fic with a little side order of angst and it’s just a great read.
And talking of fics to cuddle up to, Jameschick’s A World of their Own is like wrapping yourself up in a big fleecy blanket. Our intrepid duo go through a dimensional portal and end up in a place where they seem to be the only people there (hence the name of the fic!) Realising they have no way of getting home we follow our boys as they build a friendship, a home, a relationship and a sauna – not necessarily in that order. Just writing this makes me want to go and read it again.
savoytruffle's There's Your Trouble is a mind bending, double trouble, universe hopping kind of a story. There’s two Xanders, two Spikes, Giles and Wesley living together and lots of gratuitous references to Charlie’s Angels. I can’t really explain it, just go read and enjoy.
eliade’s untitled vampire for sale story is another example of why I started these lists. I remember reading it when it was first posted and being completely hypnotised, but months later I couldn’t remember who had written it or where I’d seen it – thank god for collective brain at bloodclaim for ending my misery. Xander is isolated from everything in his former life when he spots a strangely familiar figure in a pet shop window. So of course he takes his new pet home. I don’t know whether to call this fic dreamlike or nightmare-like because it has a real sense of bleakness about it, but that’s what makes it work so beautifully.
And from winterlive we have Rebel Prince. A very slimy Lee Mercer encounters 15 year old very innocent Xander in Sunnyhell and persuades him to come and look pretty at a party in LA. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be shouting at the computer to tell Xander not to get in the limo, but to no avail.
This is unfinished, but there’s enough going on to keep the most jaded reader interested and it’s sitting at the moment with Xander trying to persuade Lindsay that every good toy needs a Master! Write more soon winter, please….
tgray's Discoveries is an all human AU and about as angsty as they come. Xander meets Spike at college and is immediately attracted, but as their “relationship” progresses he realises that Spike has more issues than The National Enquirer. Add in a very possessive, self centred Buffy, a manipulative, predatory Angel and a completely amoral Ethan and you’ve got the makings of a great story. The sex in this story will make your brain dribble out of your ears, but I should warn you that it is unfinished unless she has chapters lurking somewhere other than her LJ, but there’s still 35 chapters to enjoy.
Bent Justice by Kat B has Spike as undercover law enforcement trying to break a prison drugs ring from the inside. As with all the best AU’s the internal logic of the story completely works and the UST between Spike and Angel is just brilliant. All the gang are there, with Warren in particular as a really slimy piece of work and Ethan as the warden, so you just know the regime has to be corrupt. Writing this has made me go back and start reading it again, and it really is as good as I remembered.
The next three stories are a little subsection of Rock Band AU’s. There are a lot out there, but these three just really do it for me.
Shame the Devil by Yindagger yin_again has Spike in full rock god mode with Xander as his manager. I really like the way the gang are portrayed when they’re all together and the UST between the boys is just hot. Unfortunately the story is unfinished, but there’s such a lot to enjoy it doesn’t really matter. As with all Yin’s stories, the writing is terrific and the characterisations completely believable and I just love mature, unwittingly sexy Xander to bits.
Affected by winterlive finds a teenage Xander at a London club fixating on the lead singer of a punk band. When the man in question spots his admirer there’s only one place to go and that’s home with the infatuated teen in tow. This was one of the early stories I read when I expanded my fic reading horizons beyond websites and discovered LJ and I was completely mesmerised. Xander is innocent and vulnerable and oh so eager to learn, and Spike is everything we know and love, but even the toughest nut has secrets he may not want to share. This is unfinished, but there’s still a hell of a lot to enjoy.
Then there's Daydream Believer by vampirefever. It's just great fun. When Alex makes eye contact with the lead singer of a band, things will never be the same for either of them. Yummy stuff happens. What I love most about this story is that although it’s completely AU, the whole Buffy canon is brilliantly segued into the story in a way that’s very clever and makes absolute sense. Oh and Giles is just terrific. There are eight chapters and although there’s definite potential for more it does stop at a logical place. In the memories listings there’s also some other great S/X ficlets which have nothing to do with the story, but they’re all worth reading.
There's more from tabaqui with Hero. William and his father Giles befriend a homeless runaway who believes that magic exists and that vampires and demons are real. I cry every damn time I read this story and I defy anyone no to do the same.
I’m not entirely sure that A Long Forgotten Kiss by writan_bur should be in this category as it’s not entirely AU, but it has such a dreamlike feeling about it that I always think about it in this context. Spike finds Xander after 50 years apart and finds the boy much changed and yet not so. So he calls in some help to try to solve the mystery of what happened. The story is being updated intermittently, but it really is hypnotic and a real feeling of sadness permeates this story for me and it hooks me every single time. I hope it’s updated again soon.
Well, that’s it for now. As ever I know there are piles and piles of AU's out there, but again, these are the ones that rise to the top when I want an AU fix.
Crossover Recs - aka "How The Hell Did I End Up Here?"
That Summer by Dulcinea is a crossover with Anita Blake. Xander’s car breaks down in the middle of nowhere and the nearest source of help is a rundown and very isolated house which just happens to be occupied by Asher. To earn enough money to pay for the car repairs Xan agrees to do repairs on the house and over time comes to realise that there’s something not quite right about his mysterious landlord. I love the gentle build up of the relationship between the two characters, it’s very believable, and the last chapter always makes me all mushy.
Bridges by Tassos runs with the old chestnut – what if Tony Harris hadn’t been Xander’s father. It’s a SG1 crossover and has Jack O’Neill discovering he has a son after being cited in Jessica Harris’ will. He discovers Xander running a summer school for girls “self defence” in Cleveland and after a few false starts father and son get to know each other. One of the things which makes this fic such fun is that both sides have this big secret to keep and have to keep skirting around explanations about most of the principal parts of their lives. I just love Xander meeting Teal’c for the first time at a Christmas party and having a conversation about Batman.
Trick or Treat by Kei is another SG1 crossover. Xander and some junior slayers are out on patrol when they run across Jack and the team pursuing an escaped Goauld. Before you can say “escaped Goauld” said nasty has jumped down Xan’s throat (and is prompted coughed straight back up) Realising that something is not quite right the SG1 team hijack our hero and ship him off to Cheyenne Mountain for observation. The relationship between Jack and Xander is really well drawn and once the NID get involved, not to mention a certain Agent Finn, things get really complicated. This is now complete and will definitely take you a whole afternoon to read and enjoy.
The gorgeous lit_gal crossed my 2 favourite fandoms – BTVS and The Sentinel in Learning Curve. The Council of Watchers has sent Xander to Cascade to find out more about Sentinels from Jim and Blair. However, after an initial misunderstanding it becomes obvious to the Sentinel and Guide that the Zeppo has a power all of his own. And on top of that he obviously has the repressed hots for a snarky blonde vamp. The boy really does need taking in hand… I just re-read this story the other night and it just reminded me how great it was. With the author concerned you know the characterisation is going to be spot on, it is really well written and it’s just a joy to read and read again.
I’m breaking form with my next rec as it isn’t a BTVS crossover, but as it’s my own list I reckon I’m allowed to break the rules. Sticking with lit_gal, Shadows of the Past is a Sentinel/La Femme Nikita crossover. When I first read it, I wasn’t really that familiar with either of the fandoms (my LFN exposure was the original French movie, so how purist is that… and my Sentinel knowledge came from lit_gal’s Guidelines series) so the story had to stand up on the strength of the writing and oh boy does it or what... Jim finds his past catching up with him and he and Blair are unwillingly sucked into the world of black ops. Even if you were like me and didn’t know the fandoms, go read, it’s just great. I live in hope that one day there will be a sequel – offers up appropriate sacrifices to the storytelling gods…
Jolie Coeur by CCCarioca is another Anita Blake crossover. When Dawn tries to invoke some voodoo gods in a misguided attempt to help Xander she inadvertently stirs up some very bad mojo and Xander finishes up in the AB ‘verse – naked in a graveyard. The whole premise is very far fetched (even more than normal!), but if you can get your head around Xan as a trainee voodoo priest who behaves like a complete slut with practically every male character in the entire story then you’ll probably enjoy it a lot. In fact reading that last sentence again, that’s probably why I love this fic quite so much.
suki_blue’s Hell Raiser: The Angels Beneath is as creepy a fic as I’ve read in the last wee while. (Guess what the crossover is?) Riley finds a strange box and brings it home to Sunnydale and then proceeds to go slowly out of his tree. There is character death in this story as well as some really disturbing imagery, so be warned, but don’t let it put you off reading.
Carving out a Future by Dreamfall is a Firefly crossover. Xander is injured saving Kaylee in a street fight and is taken on board Serenity to recover – not everyone is happy to accept the stranger, especially given our boy’s initial reaction to the captain who looks just like one eye-gouging priest. On top of that Xander has been in the deep freeze for a long time and no longer has his normal support structure around him so he decides to take a ride with the Serenity crew. They don’t go looking for trouble, but that doesn’t mean a thing. The first 31 chapters are at Twisting the Hellmouth, but you can get sneak previews of the new chapters as they are published on LJ here.
Hells Handyman by Kazwil in anther AB crossover. After the confrontation at Kingman’s Bluff, Willow’s magic sends Xander to an alternate dimension where vampires are known about and he unfortunately is a minor with no registered identity. 3 years on, our hero is a working carpenter with the protection of the Master of the City when he runs into Miss Blake and her kitties. And why is he talking to an invisible Willow – read and find out more. This isn’t finished, but it’s still a good read.
kaygrr’s City Hunting and Neon Hunting are crossovers with 2 fandoms I know nothing about, namely Law & Order SUV and CSI. In the first Xander encounters Elliot Stabler and in the second Warrick and I don’t think either man will forget the occasion. (see there I go again talking about fictional characters as if they were real – arggg.)
I first came across Sabershadowkat’s The Dark Cavalier on mpoetess’s rec list and she said it was kind of a crossover with Discworld, so I’m taking her word for it as I’ve never read the books. Xander is Death’s apprentice, amongst other things, but not everyone is happy that he happens to have the big guy’s favour. Okay, when I first read about this story I thought it sounded too weird even for me, but give it a go if you haven’t already, it’s really good.
No Pirate on Earth by Circe circe_tigana is just great fun. As you might guess it’s a PotC fic which starts with Spike playing cards with Captain Jack. Spike has finally met is match with someone who’s an even bigger cheater than he is and he gambles his most precious thing on the last game – trouble is his most precious thing is Xander. The captain of course is only too happy to accept. This is just great fun with the odd fanfic in joke if you know where to look.
I started to read Voracity’s Greedy Hedonistic Sluts Society on the strength of the title alone! It’s a Highlander crossover, with Xander deciding that in order to enjoy the hedonistic lifestyle he aspires to, he needs to be a kept boy and Oz and Giles are only too happy to oblige. Mix in Methos initiating Xander into the joys of man sex and Xander working in a demon brothel to expand his life experience and earn some cash (all of which happens in the first couple of chapters) and you know you’re not reading a story which pays any attention at all to canon. Everyone is wildly out of character and the story veers totally out of control in the later chapters so it’s not one to read if you’re a purist. It’s completely silly but that’s kind of the point and if you want some fun on a dull afternoon, it might just cheer you up.
And there’s more from Highlander in Nick Midian’s Dark Reflections universe. A stranger with a familiar face returns to Sunnydale and things will never be the same for the gang again. There are two huge stories in this ‘verse; Dark Reflections and Cross of Changes. The latter is tantalisingly unfinished by just a couple of chapters, although the story has a complete label on it (it may be the links are just faulty) Anyway between the two stories, what is there will keep you occupied for ages and I just need to say that I just adore Cordelia in these stories.
Three Against One by Eckles71 is a Charmed crossover. It isn’t particularly one of my favourite stories, but I’ve included it because it does have one big long flash back scene that I just love and wish we’d seen in the series because it would have packed one hell of a wallop. Xander is living in San Francisco with Andrew and Dawn and struggling to make ends meet. As he struggles with his memories of how they came to be there, two women do a spell to find their sister the perfect man. If you read this you’ll probably gather the scene I’m talking about is the one in the hospital, it just gets me every single time.
I only discovered amejisuto's Ordinary Heroes a short time ago, but am completely hooked despite not knowing anything about the DC universe. Xander leave Sunnyhell to try to find his place in the world and discovers that people other than the Scooby Gang might actually think he's got something to offer. This is a BTVS/DC Comics (Batman etc) crossover, not something I thought I'd ever find myself reccing, but go read, it really is terrific.
Make sure you read Wolf Tracks by amejisuto before you read Lycanthrope, Vampirism and Magick. The first story isn’t a crossover, but sets up the premise for the second one which is a Charmed crossover. Xander has been bitten by a werewolf and as he comes to terms with his new status he runs across a trio of witches with their own problems. Ever the White Knight, the boys decides to help.
There are piles more crossovers out there, but these are just a few of my favourites.
Xander Plus or Minus, because writers just can't let the poor boy be!
Souped up, Knocked up, What's up, Femm'ed up
In this week’s crawl through the rag bag of random information I call my brain we have stories where Xander has been changed in some way. He’s either got some kind of power, is pregnant, or the father in a male preg, lost his memory causing a lifestyle change, or changed sex completely. So it’s the Xander we know and love, but with some additions or subtractions – hence the title of this group of recs.
The first time I read Seeing Beyond Imperfections by Lissa, I just fell in love and revisiting it just reinforces that love. Xander is one of the Council’s most powerful seers, but not all his visions can prepare him for seeing a supposedly really dead (as opposed to undead) Spike. The tentative bonding between the boys is beautifully done and I just love that there is really affection and friendship between the gang. I may just go off and read it again.
I know I’m not particularly a fan of Repossession, but Lazuli kat’s Manifestation is intriguing. Xander has developed powers of clairvoyance and when a new big nasty is on the horizon Angel and Spike ask Xander to help. Trouble is the nasty doesn’t like anyone poking their nose in its affairs. I’m really behind with this story, but I’d certainly recommend you give it a go on the strength of what I have read.
I’ve already recced Deeply Loved by kate_fire in my h/c list but it bears repeating here. A couple of ancient vampires help Xander to tap into unrealised powers and life for the gang will never be the same. Oh and there’s a goat involved as well – honest, it does make sense. I love that kate_fire has created a whole new bit of mythology in Xander’s powers and makes it believable.
The other week I went back to re-read a bit of amejisuto’s Hold me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me, just to remind myself of a couple of plot points and finished up reading all 55 chapters over the course of a weekend. Yes, it proves I have no social life, but also proves how damn addictive the story is. Xander comes across a very drunk Spike mourning Drusilla and decides to help out the undead dipso. This is basically a retelling of S2 with Xander getting a boyfriend with a sunlight allergy and complicating what was already going to be a hectic year. Oh and when Xander is visited by Dru in his dreams things start to get really messy. I could have put this story in so many different categories, AU, h/c or at 55 chapters it could have gone in my big long honking reads list. I may have to do some cross referencing, and now I’m sounding just like Giles….
I have to say that male pregnancy stories are not really my cup of tea and there seems to be a proliferation of them across a whole range of fandoms for some reason. However there are a few that I will own up to liking a great deal and for better or worse they’re listed below. They range from the truly fluffy, to sad and in one case seriously disturbing.
In Misconceptions by Iamthelizardqueen Xander plucks up the courage to tell his friends about his “condition” and is shocked when they think he is joking. Ironically it is Spike who realises the truth and offers support, even if he’s not altogether altruistic in his intentions. This story is unfinished and was last updated about a year ago, but there’s still a lot to enjoy and Spike playing nursemaid is just too good to miss!
Magic Moments by suki_blue is one of those stories that you should read if you’ve had a really bad day at the office. Xander and Spike fall foul of a demon with a wicked sense of humour and our intrepid heroes suddenly find they have an unexpected problem. This story just makes me giggle insanely every time I read it; go read and I defy you not to do the same.
There’s more from amejisuto in Blood Ties. The Initiative is searching for an alternative way of creating a super soldier and Xander and Spike are on the receiving end of a little experimentation. Then things start to get really complicated. This is unfinished, but there are 14 chapters to enjoy and it’s definitely worth a read.
The Rising Son by _sharvie_ is about as far removed from the usual fluffy bunny male preg fic as you can get. Xander decides to take back some control after being the victim to an Initiative experiment and then of Spike’s obsession. Shiver… This is one seriously twisted, scary, dark fic (and did I say it was terrifying..) Go read, but make sure you leave a light on when you go to bed!
Don’t read Baby Blues by karenbear if you’re in any way depressed because I guarantee that you’ll be in tears. Anya is attacked while on patrol and to protect the baby she’s carrying, Willow transfers it into its father. Wail; I’m getting sniffly just thinking about it.
After the Fall by Josie rngrdead starts off as another Initiative experimentation story, but becomes much more than that as it goes along. The Initiative is a global movement and all beings with any supernatural association have been rounded up. Our boys end up in a science lab with devastating results, but a chance to escape leads them back into a very changed world where pockets of resistance still exist. This is really an AU story, but the male preg is a big plot point so I still think it fits here.
In Blood Borne by Jenny twilightsfic, Spike has been feeling unwell, but when Giles and Xander call in a doctor they couldn’t have anticipated what was really wrong with the vampire. This is just a good read with a little bit of angst and a fair amount of backrubs…
Sweet Memories by Kayla is just a classic and I’d get thrown out of the cool reader’s club if I didn’t include it. Xander tries to reorganise his living arrangements but doesn’t anticipate a demon derailing his plans – really the boy should know better. This is just great fun and should be on a prescribed reading list.
As If We Should Forget We Have No Hands by tabaqui is an amnesia fic, but not in the traditional sense. Spike finds Xander traumatised in a Vietnamese hospital with no memory of how he got there or of his previous life. Slayers are dying and demonic forces are at work and somehow Xander is the centre of the puzzle. Like all tabaqui’s stories, you can’t not read this once you’ve started and pictures she paints with words makes the story spring to life.
Thowing Shapes by Anna S eliade is just great. If you came to with no memory, a suitcase full of cash and a sexy blonde next to you, what would you do? I think the answer would be, enjoy yourself and that’s just what our boys do. I really like that there is no set up to this story, you’re just slap bang into the middle of the action with no explanation, a bit like what has happened to our intrepid duo.
xanphibian’s Amnesia Xander always creates a real lump in my throat at the start. Xander wakes up from a long term coma with no memory of how he got there, or of his current relationship. This is just so angsty at the start, but it gets happier as you go on.
Manly Girly Giggles by Kiara Rogue was one of my very early ventures into fic reading and my very first exposure to girl Xander stories, which is why very few in this genre live up to my expectations. Anya decides Xander needs to understand a woman’s point of view and Spike likes what he sees! Add in giant murals, Buffy taking Xander shopping in Victoria’s Secret and Riley being all manly and protective and you’ve just got great fun. Oh, and did I mention the bit about the big honking alien invasion…..honest! This is just a great read and I just love Kiara’s banner at the head of the story, the gang all just look so damn happy – must have been pre season 6!
There is a follow up Radio Active Flowers which is unfinished, but worth a quick look.
And there’s another spell to blame in Mangled Spells and Manly Bits by lit_gal but this time it’s Willow mucking up Spike’s love spell during the season 2 kidnapping. Poor Xander, he really can never catch a break when writers decide to have a bit of fun. But he does make a very pretty girl…. There are two sequels, Mangled Spells and Girly Bits and Mangled Spells and Manlier Bits. There are also a couple of additional ficlets here and here. The whole story just makes me smile.
I know this was a short post, but to be honest, I like my boy as he was designed to be, all human with all the problems and frailties that implies - I think above anything that’s my ultimate kink.
Afterwards Recs - The "Post" post
Post Chosen, Post Apocalypse, Post "some other big event or trauma" list.
So to get the show on the road, the first story appropriately enough is Aftermath by imaginaryimages. Spike comes across Xander and Dawn in post apocalypse LA and they soon discover that while the visible enemy might be a psychotic Angelus, there are unforeseen dangers lurking much closer to home. This is just a great story which went on hiatus for a while due to illness (I think) and I was really excited when it was completed.
Eldorado I: Once in a Lifetime by Mustang Sally & Chase finds Xander turning his back on the gang and taking a job with a Texas construction firm. But when you find the path of your life is suddenly paved with gold, you really should take a look at the quality of the workmanship. It’s a great story with Xander very believably being seduced by a new life where people value his opinion and expertise until reality bites with a vengeance. I think this was meant to be part of a series, but I’m not sure if any more was ever written.
yin_again and wesleysgirl’s Coming Around Again is just lovely. Xander and Spike have been lovers in the past until misunderstandings and miscommunication drive them apart. Can a reunion of the gang to fight the latest big bad help to heal the rift – read the story and find out, I promise it won’t disappoint.
I remember reading the first few chapters of kimberly_fan’s Through the Looking Glass when it first came out and being intrigued. But then I lost track and only discovered it again recently and was chuffed to find it was finished. Xander is living a normal vampire/demon free life in San Francisco when he thinks he sees a familiar figure while walking home from work one night. In his wildest dreams he couldn’t have imagined what he would discover next. It’s funny, because Kimberly thought the story wasn’t up to snuff because she didn’t get the level of feedback she had for her terrific Jump ‘verse stories, but this is a great and unexpected story. There are a couple of brilliant OC’s and lovely character interaction. The ending may feel a bit sudden, but that’s just the way it came to her. Do go and read this and give the author some feedback.
There are some authors that are just going to pop up on every list just because they are such wonderful writers and the next two ladies fit these criteria.
Little Shadow by witling is just gorgeous, bleak and sad (everything you would expect from the esteemed author!) The human world is over and 2 vagabonds try to come to grips with their new existence and mutual dependency. I can’t really say anything else about this, apart from please go read.
tabaqui’s Dogs of War is a real kick in the stomach. The Initiative have quarantined Sunnyhell and the good citizens are being rounded up into camps. Xander has escaped and it’s up to him to survive and try to save his friends. All I can say is take that Riley Finn!! (you see I stay completely objective and detached from the stories I read, oh yes..)
There’s more from tabaqui with Babylon which was my favourite story from her last year. Spike is travelling across another apocalyptic landscape when he comes across a demon camp and an old circus trailer boasting the sign “the last pure breed human on earth”. Being Spike he just has to look inside…
As ever with tabaqui the language and imagery it evokes is dense and detailed and contrast beautifully with the harshness of the world as it now stands.
And finally from tabaqui we have Tumble, Turn, Overflow. Xander agrees to do a favour for Giles, but even he couldn't have forseen just how much shit could hit the fan from one good turn. This could very easily go in my Shades of Grey list, and if she continues to terrify me at the same rate, it could still happen.
After all the post apocalyptic bleakness you might want to check out chocgood84’s Gingerbread Homes and Christmas Wishes. Xander has been forging his own path for 5 years when he invites the gang to join him for Christmas, but more than anything he’s hoping that Spike will come too. This is just such a fuzzy story, with a little side order of angst, but it just makes the smooches so much sweeter.
In Want by Shanyah Xander is all growed up and a prosperous partner in a building firm. However when a very demanding new client comes to town, the boy’s comfortable new world starts to change. I’m bouncing gleefully just thinking about this story!
In Hunger by Lazuli, people are dead and the world has moved on and Spike is Keeper of the Hellmouth. When the next apocalypse beckons, the vampire summons Xander to help him, but the man who arrives bears no resemblance to the boy from before. The first few chapters of this story just break my heart.
Anything of Nothing is exactly as gorgeous as you’d expect from yin_again. Xander and Anya have it all; money, the house, the cars and pool, but there are gaps in the relationship and gaps in Xander’s soul that can’t be filled by anonymous strangers. It’s dark and bleak and sad and hopeful and it’s very, very hot.
The Working Man by Clee is just one of those satisfying stories you go back and re-read about once a year. Xander is separated from the gang and happily working in his own craftsman carpentry business. But when he comes to the attention of the LA gang, shocking secrets from his past come back to haunt him. Just go read.
In kaygrr’s Priest Xander, the fang gang are looking for a runaway child demon and their search takes them to a church drop in centre and an encounter with a familiar face in a very new guise.
Unbreakable by fanbot is just gorgeous. Xander has been missing for 5 years and when the gang get word that an unbreakable slave is up for auction they couldn’t have anticipated what they would find. This is just such a big satisfying read and for months it had me waiting obsessively for Wednesday and fanbot’s weekly update.
In Waffle House by Sajinn, Xander finds himself in Charleston looking for work and a place to settle, but when he comes across a face from the past in a fast food joint he couldn’t have anticipated just surreal his life was about to get. Xander’s employer Lavinia is just a brilliant OC who has nicknames for all her staff, much to their embarrassment. I won’t give away Xander’s but it makes me giggle insanely every time I read it! I also defy anyone to like Buffy in this story, although you might feel a bit sorry for her if you’re feeling charitable!
Last Days of Rome by reremouse has S6 resurrected Buffy using and abusing both Xander and Spike. Then the boys get a clue that perhaps they have something to offer each other! This is just a perfect little gem of a story with tentative camaraderie turning into mind blowing sex and then into something deeper. Sigh, just gorgeous.
tistooTisienne Blue’s Getting to Know You series nearly went in my AU list until I realised that all the events take place well post Chosen, so there is no reason why it couldn’t have happened this way in canon. Xander is the best selling author of a series of vampire novels and when his agent hires someone to pose as the lead character Spark the fun really starts. Again there are some great OC’s in this series and it’s lovely to see a well written, happy, prosperous Xander, although there will be a fair bit of angst along the way. I have to say though that I just want to smack Willow and Buffy in the first story, because they so deserve it. There are three huge stories in the series Old Enemies, Acquaintances and Introductions I love them to bits and they are just a great antidote to some of the more doom laden “post” stories, although I need my fix of them as well.
In Tribes of Blight by kat8cha, humans are living Mad Max style in guarded camps and suspicion of outsiders is a necessity to keep alive. When two members of another Tribe make an appearance, secrets from Xander’s past come back to bite him with a vengeance. The parts are out of order in kat8cha’s memories so you do need to work out which part goes where.
In Herself’s The Approved Mode of Payback Spike is babysitting Illyria following the battle with The Black Thorn when he runs across a drastically altered, needy, screwed up post Africa Xander Harris. The pain in this story just makes me want to curl up in a ball, but the writing is beautiful and it makes the hurt come alive. There’s a much longer sequel Blue Eyed Boy and to quote the author, “Spike finds that doing the right thing by a Xander suffering from deep psychic wounds after his time in Africa is a more complex task than he’d first realised. Love’s a funny thing….” Finally there is a bittersweet codicil Some Scenes from the Later Life of Two Heroes. It’s far in the future and human frailties have finally taken their toll. What’s left for the ones who can’t fade away? (Warning this last story is het, but it’s beautifully done and Herself got me to read a pairing I’d normally run screaming from, and liking it!)
All Our Exploring by Doyle finds Xander in Egypt hunting Slayers and coming across Spike and Illyria. (Hmmm a Watcher, a Vampire and an ex-GodKing walk into a bar…) This is just great, there’s snark, lots of drinking, Illyria quoting Samuel Webster and a fair amount of boy groping. What’s not to love?
And last, but by absolutely no means least under my Xander/Spike section there’s crazydiamondsue’s Sunday Morning, Coming Down. This could have gone on so many of the other rec lists, it’s got great h/c, it’s angsty and at 17 wonderful chapters it’s a pretty big satisfying read. Post Glory, Buffy is dead and Anya has left and two bewildered men try to make sense of their lives. But when events from the past can be changed, who knows how it will affect the survivors. When Sue finished this story after a long hiatus, I went back and started back at the beginning to remind myself how wonderful it was before wallowing in the final chapter. The final line just goes straight through my heart.
Now four from the terrific writing team of janedavitt and wesleysgirl.
I’m not a Giles/Xander shipper but over the last year or so I’ve been getting drawn into the pairing. Act of Nature finds Xander working for the RWC renovating an old farmhouse on Iona. When Giles turns up a few days before Christmas he brings some shocking news which will eventually change the entire nature of their relationship. I think the reason this works for me is that I feel completely safe in these writers’ hands with the portrayal of this pairing, the plot is great and it just pulls you along. Oh, and OC John is just yummy….
And there’s more in One Year On. It another Christmas and Giles is worried that Xander is unhappy and wants to leave. Sigh, I just love this.
In Saturation Giles and Xander are finding their groove in a post Africa relationship when Spike turns up on the doorstep; a very human, confused, confrontational, vulnerable Spike. I really like the slow build up and set-backs to the relationship, especially with Spike struggling with the reality of being human.
And if you enjoyed Saturation you’ll probably skip right onto Pervasion. When Xander goes to Rome for the weekend, Giles finds he has to keep Spike in line. And what will happen when Xander comes home? Well, what are you waiting for, go read and find out!
I only came across Fast Forward To A Few Years Later by RealMitzvah a short while ago. It kind of took me by surprise because I had thought I’d read pretty much everything at The Island, but it’s always fun to come across new stuff. It’s 2016 and Xander is living with his girlfriend Katie in the US when Willow calls with a plan to have a reunion at Giles’ house in the UK. Part of the pre-travel plans includes giving Katie an ABC guide to the supernatural, but it’s not until the gang get together that it is obvious that there are other deeper secrets to be revealed.
No Cold and Heat by danawoods is definitely one of my fics of the year for 06. Xander and the gang find Oz hurting and far from home and bring him back to Cleveland. This starts off as very bleak, but gradually there’s the hope of sanctuary and recovery to come. The scene where Oz looks in the mirror gets me every single time. Go read, this is just a great story.
I can’t express how much love I have for Seeing Africa by huzzlewhat and I feel very guilty as I never actually gave her any feedback at the time. Xander is travelling through Africa, thinking about his life, telling stories and searching for slayers. It sounds like a 1001 fics with a similar premise, but believe me it’s not. The writing conjures up evocative images of each very different African country as he travels and the campfire tales he weaves from his own experience take this story to a whole different level. And did I say that I liked it.!
To Live and Learn was the first story I came across by nemo_gravis and I can honestly say I’ve never been disappointed with anything he’s written. This is another post Africa Xander who has separated himself from the gang and is living in New Sunnydale working as a carpenter and part time sculptor. However Xander has a secret he’s never told the gang and it might just ruin his chance for happiness. In retrospect this story shouldn’t work, and could be accused of too many clichés, but nemo makes it work beautifully and it’s a story I’ve read a number of times and know I’ll continue to go back to.
In The Weary World Rejoicing by annakovsky, the world as it was had ended and a group of survivors hang onto life by their fingernails, and Xander Harris counts down the days ‘til Christmas and waits for his best friend to come home. It’s bleak and beautiful and it makes me shiver every damn time I read it.
And Out of this Stony Rubbish takes off from where Weary World finished. I won’t say anymore because it would spoil the first story, but it is equally as lovely.
Ishmael Sings of the White Whale by liz_marcs is one of those stories that you come back to again and again and every time you find something you missed. Post NFA, Angel is obsessing about taking down the Senior Partners while Faith tries to get him back on the front line on the streets. Add in a ghostly Wesley and some truly shocking news from the Sunnydale gang and you’ve got a story so beautifully constructed that I just want to get inside Liz’s head and see how it works.
In nwhepcat’s The American Stranger, Oz is wandering in Africa when he keeps hearing tales of another American traveller. Eventually and inevitably they meet.
The sequel is Indelible where Oz and his travelling companion turn towards home and Oz realises that his perception of the world is very different from his friends. I just love the nifty use of the monks’ memory spell in this story, it just works so well. Be warned, this story has got some Xander/Dawn in it, which would normally make me run screaming, but in this case hepcat really makes it work.
And here’s just a few that I’ve mentioned on other lists, which would also fit nicely here.
From the Big Satisfying Reads list
Long Time Gone by Yindagger
No more snakes and ladders by tabaqui and reremouse
Lilac City by nwhepcat
From the Shades of Grey list
Dark Horse by wiseacress
From Whore/Stripper list
Gloryhole by witling
From H/C list
Grief Counseling by amejisuto and suki_blue
29 Linear Moves and 49 Circular Moves by Yindagger
Het/Gen Recs -
'cause sometimes Xander sleeps with girls (gasp!)
I’m going to repeat the het/gen recs from the other lists for the benefit of anyone who wouldn’t normally go near a rec list which is predominantly slash and therefore might have missed the morsels of het/gen at the end of the posts. Additionally I have occasionally just copied some of the summaries over from my other lists, because there are only so many ways you can summarise a story without either spoiling it or being totally cryptic.
Any rec list in this category has to start with nwhepcat. I can’t remember a single thing I’ve read of hers that didn’t make me want to read more. However here are a few of her stories that really stand out for me.
I’ve already mentioned Lilac City, but it’s so wonderful I will do so again. Xander is living separate from the gang and fighting to stay sober while working as the 3rd shift manager in a supermarket in Spokane. However one day he meets a girl with a drink problem and strange dreams. And so it begins… I love the device hepcat uses of Xander rediscovering his love of woodwork to create a guitar from scratch as a metaphor for the trials and tribulations the characters go through in the story. In this story, the devil is all in the details and they are as lovingly crafted as Xander’s guitar.
Dormant Magics could almost be classified as slash in a strange kind of way, if you stood on your head and squinted. Faith and Xander are patrolling when they get zapped by some pretty funky magical thingy and hi-jinks ensue. This is part of a wider Snapshots series and they are all worth a read.
There’s also some lovely Xander/Faith interaction in Sunnydale Calling, which I think was the first hepcat story I ever read. Xander picks Faith up from prison and they talk on the way back to Sunnyhell. It makes them both realise that perhaps they have both moved on and can find a little common ground. This is part of a great cycle of stories call Old Acquaintances and I would happily amble through everyone of them.
Then we come to Keeper of the Book. There’s a crazy man hanging around Anne’s homeless shelter in LA, and when the gang go to help they discover a very, very disturbed Xander who is on a mission. The trouble is no one can work out what the mission is, because no one can understand the notebook he carries with him. I just love this, it’s got all my favourite characters and a completely off the wall Goddess worshiping Xander who is completely out of his tree. And thanks to tabaqui for reminding me that Keeper of the Book has an equally terrific sequel Another Door. The gang get a new case, Lindsey plots badness and Spike and Xander get friendly. Yes, I know this is a het list, but this sequel has slashy goodness, so be warned.
I mentioned these two stories on my Afterwards list, but will repeat them again here. In The American Stranger, Oz is wandering in Africa when he keeps hearing tales of another American traveller. Eventually and inevitably they meet.
The sequel is Indelible where Oz and his travelling companion turn towards home and Oz realises that his perception of the world is very different from his friends. I just love the nifty use of the monks’ memory spell in this story, it just works so well. Be warned, this story has got some Xander/Dawn in it, which would normally make me run screaming, but in this case hepcat really makes it work
All the stories I’ve mentioned are wonderful as is everything else at hepcat’s website, but I think my all time favourite set of stories (at the moment!) are What Gets Left Behind and its follow up Three Fathers. Wesley has been “protecting” Connor for nine years and when things fall apart, Xander feels the foundations of his own life start to shake. Perversely what really makes these stories for me is the harshness of the events and the dubious morality of all involved; there are no good guys in this world and the black and white of the Sunnydale years has dimmed to many shades of grey.
I first came across liz_marcs when I read Revelations and was immediately hooked. If you ever wondered if Xander suffered any lasting effects from Willow’s magic, then this story might just give you the answer. Xander has done something shocking and after he turns up on the doorstep of the Hyperion he takes Faith back to Sunnyhell so he can face the music. This is told from a variety of points of view so you may think some of the pacing is a little uneven, but I still think it works really well overall.
And for a terrific companion piece check out nwhepcat’s Remix The Ballad of Charles Whitman which has the whole story retold from Xander’s perspective. Go read, it’s just brilliant and disturbing as hell.
I’ve also mentioned Living History before. It’s a time travel story and trying to unravel the logic always makes my head hurt, so don’t try. A group of time travellers are trying to reach Moscow in 2008, but the trouble is they’ve reached Sunnydale in 2003 This starts a chain of events which will have repercussions for everyone concerned. There are great OC’s and Faith in particular stands out.
Ishmael Sings of the White Whale finds a post Black Thorn Angel obsessing about taking out the Senior Partners while Faith tries to get him to fight the beasties in the here and now. Although the main characters in this story are Angel, Faith and Wesley and to a lesser extent Buffy, it’s the way Liz writes about Xander and Willow which really makes me shiver. This is a story I come back to time and again and always find something I hadn’t noticed.
Cuckoo in the Nest is about the Buffy ‘verse’s most hated father; none other that Mr Tony Harris. We follow Tony’s thoughts and reactions as his son weaves in and out of his life and it’s a credit to Liz that in some cases you actually feel sorry for the man – although the minute it happens she stamps on the feeling before it can breed. Liz has also written a kind of “DVD commentary” for the story, chronicling why she did what she did at given points and the effects she was after by writing in a certain way. It’s really worth a read and you can find it here, but enjoy the story on its own terms first.
I have a real soft spot for Liz’s one-shot Dismay although I know it wasn’t everyone’s cup of cocoa when she first wrote it. It’s the morning after the night before and Xander has a deep and meaningful, if one-way, conversation with the person upstairs I just want to cuddle him at the end of this. Dismay was a follow up to Wicked Raygun’s Disbelief, so read that first to get the full context. This is Scooby misunderstanding at its most hurting, sigh.
Finally, my favourite Wip from Liz is Water Hold Me Down. Xander falls foul of an act of revenge and finds himself in a parallel world where he sees how his life might have gone if he had made different decisions at key points in his past. The trouble is he has no idea how to get back home and there’s already a version of him running around, so two of him are always going to cause trouble. I should say that this isn’t a double trouble caper story, it’s far to complex for that and I can’t wait to see how Liz is going to untangle the completely complicated web she has woven. Please Liz, get back to this one soon.
nemo_gravis makes me a very happy bunny. I first came across him on INAP with To Live and Learn and was so excited to find a new writer who could actually hang a story together and pull you in. Xander has retired from the good fight after Africa and set up shop as a carpenter in New Sunnydale. As his woodworking becomes more ambitious and life seems to be looking up we discover he has secrets which may just scupper his chance at happiness. This story takes a device which has been done before (many times badly!) and really makes it work for me and makes me believe in the characters and the story.
Light Blinded is nemo’s Africander story. Trouble is, it’s still going strong long after the ficathon has ended! Strange things are happening in Africa and when Buffy hears that Xander is missing, presumed dead, she decides to find out just what happened to her friend in the face of the Council’s seeming indifference. Things get really complicated when Tony Harris grows a conscience and also decides to find out what happened to his son – if only for the laudable intention of beating the crap out of him for worrying Tony! The Buffy/Tony interaction is hysterical and when the pair find out what happened to Xander, Tony’s world view takes a pretty big jump to the left! This is a Wip, but nemo knows that if he doesn’t get back to it soon, I’m going to come calling with a pretty big stick.
I’m not sure what to say about Wicked except that it’s hotter than the proverbial hot thing in hot land. It’s Xander/Willow or possibly not. You really have to read it and work it out for yourself. It’s also a Wip, but he has promised that he will finish it.
In Broken, Xander gets in the way of a bullet (or seven) in Africa and wakes up to find himself conscious, but unable to move or speak and the gang believe that he is brain dead. However when he has a dream that Buffy is in danger he claws his way back to a semblance of health inch by painful inch. Trouble is when he is finally up and about he discovers that Buffy is no where to be found. This is a fascinating Xander who can’t speak or emote and has to make himself understood by gesture and writing, a situation which obviously frustrates the hell out of him. And when Buffy comes back and a very tricksy set of scrolls is uncovered things start to get very complicated indeed. If you only ever read one nemo story I would say go read this.
If you’re looking for something really, really dark then try the Partners ‘verse. Xander is a Watcher who has had to do the unthinkable and then rubs it in the Council’s face. Perhaps only Faith can really understand how he is feeling. This is a really dark edgy dangerous Xander and Faith and some of the imagery from this just lingers in my head, and the porn will make your brain melt. Shivers happily.
The wonderfully titled Blueberry Syrup is a crime against nature, and by the way, thanks for saving the world! by Maddog is just one of those stories which makes me happy whenever I read it. Giles and Xander bonding over breakfast after our hero saves the world from crazy Willow – that’s it really, but it’s all it needs.
Roads Less Travelled by Casix Thistlebane finds Xander and Dawn road tripping round the country looking for Slayers while the rest of the gang set up the new school in Cleveland. This is really a series of short stories as our intrepid duo meet a variety of Slayers, weirdoes and things that go bump in the night as they go along their merry way. It’s just an entertaining read although there is one plot hole which makes me think there is a chapter missing somewhere, or it might just be me not reading properly.
Entertaining probably isn’t the work for Roulette also by Casix Thistlebane. Xander contemplates the mechanics of dying and extremely disturbing it is too!
Disturbing is also the right word for The Hollow by Jeanny. I first came across it via a rec list at liz_marcs LJ and it just lingered in my mind for ages. What if Willow had pulled Xander into her magical addiction; after all he would do anything to help his best friend? It’s short, but doesn’t need to be any longer and goodness, it’s just got cold in here.
The Weary World Rejoicing by annakovsky and the sequel Out of This Stony Rubbish always haunt me for days after I read them. The world is in tatters and humans are struggling to survive and Xander Harris counts down the days to Christmas waiting for his best friend to return to him. I just love the pictures this story paints in my head.
Also by Annakovsky is The Rapturous End. Xander is in Africa and Buffy is having Slayer dreams and the end of the world might just possibly be nigh. Again there is a real sense of desolation, but that’s what makes the story work so well.
The Road to Gabon by nocturnalista is great fun. Giles and Xander are a latter day Crosby and Hope setting out to Africa to track down a missing Slayer. However the old Council guard may just have other ideas. It rattles along and although it’s a Wip, it’s really worth a read. I’ve been very guilty of not feeding back on this story, which I must rectify.
And mara_sho has a really interesting Wip in The Final Straw. There are two long chapters up and I’m very curious about where she will take it. It’s post Sunnydale and the gang are regrouping but relationships are fractured and someone is noticeably absent. This is a Xander story, but not told from his point of view.
The Road to Hell by Starwayman and The Road to Hell 2:The Road Back by MPrattky are just big honking boys own tales. They are like the equivalent of watching all three Die Hard movies back to back – not hard on the brain, but kind of satisfying if you’re in the mood. Xander has spent five years in a Hell dimension courtesy of Drusilla and when he escapes he finds time has barely moved forward in his own dimension. That just means a lot of people would like to get their hands on his memories of the events which have yet to happen in this time. There are lots of guns, macho posturing and a plotline that gets wildly out of control, but I have a bit of a soft spot for it for all that.
One of the very first gen BTVS stories I read, before I got irrevocably sucked into Slash was Touching Willow by Pete Meilinger. Before anyone says it, this is not touching in the naughty sense! This is a post fluke fic with Xander falling apart because his best friend can’t bear to be near him in case it risks her relationship with Oz. It gets a bit overwrought at times, but I just love the Buffy friendship in this story, it’s something you don’t see often enough. There are four stories to this cycle and each one has a link to the next and the whole thing hits the spot when I’m in a particular mood.
And from Pete Milan we have Wisdom of the Fool, Folly of the Wise. A bit like Road to Hell, this story gets wildly out of hand in its later stages, but it starts off as a great friendship fic before the relationship issues come into play. Xander moves in with his girls to help them pay rent on their college accommodation, but what the girls don’t know is how Xander is getting his share of the rent money – bounces up and down gleefully. Don’t worry if you lose the plot part way through, I know I did, but it’s certainly worth starting.
I haven’t read that much lwbush but I do like Secure yourself to Heaven. It’s an interesting take on the S4 joining spell with the Council needing the gang to re-enact the bonding to form a single force to stop Glory. However all great power comes with side effects and this is no exception. I just think this is a really original interesting way to reuse canon and it makes for a great story. The sequel, Pretty Postcards from Hell begins a while after the first story finishes, but just when the gang are getting comfortable again; Cordelia has a vision... The link to Secure Yourself to Heaven takes you to the main web page and the story are about part way down, but there are no links between the parts.
The Mercy Seat by bellatemple is a Wip, but it’s really worth a look. Slayers are dying and Xander is hearing voices, and just how come he woke up at the bottom of the Sunnyhell crater anyway. There’s so much to love about this story, and Bella writes “crazy” in a really compelling and disturbing way. This hasn’t been updated in some time, but if everyone reads it and feeds back maybe she’ll start again because I really want to know what’s going to happen next.
I can’t express how much love I have for Seeing Africa by huzzlewhat and I feel very guilty as I never actually gave her any feedback at the time. Xander is travelling through Africa, thinking about his life, telling stories and searching for slayers. It sounds like a 1001 fics with a similar premise, but believe me it’s not. The writing conjures up evocative images of each very different African country as he travels and the campfire tales he weaves from his own experience take this story to a whole different level. And did I say that I liked it.!
Nick Midian’s Dark Reflections universe is a Highlander crossover and when a stranger with a familiar face returns to Sunnydale things will never be the same for the gang again. There are two huge stories in this ‘verse; Dark Reflections and Cross of Changes. The later is tantalisingly unfinished by just a couple of chapters, although the story has a complete label on it (it may be the links are just faulty) Xander/Cordelia is one of my favourite het pairings and in these stories Cordy is just terrific.
In Arriving Home in Winter by Ainon Xander and Dawn meet up at Cleveland airport. Dawn talks and Xander contemplates. I just like the dynamic in this story, it isn’t a “ship” fic and it isn’t really even a friendship fic, but I think the gradual dance of reacquaintance after a long time is really well done.
Xander Gets Around Recs
because the boy is a complete and utter slut and that's why we love him!
This is my “Xander Gets Around”list, which basically is a collection of any slash story which didn’t seem to fit in anywhere else where the boy spreads his love and his legs with varying degrees of success!
I do love Sleep While I Drive and I’m very guilty of not telling mireille719 often enough. Giles joins Xander on his great American Road Trip and soon find themselves sharing more than just the driving. Mireille calls this her indulgence fic, and why the hell not, it’s just a lovely story and I just love Giles in it so much.
And there’s Xander/Giles goodness with Sordid Library Porn also by mireille719. With a title like that you just know it’s going to be good and it really doesn’t need a summary!
I always get a bit freaked by Jameswalkswithwind’s Sacrifice; it’s just a little bit on the disturbing side. There’s an inevitable prophecy that needs combating and Giles turns to Xander for help. I really don’t think the requested mode of help was what Xander was expecting. As I say, it’s a great story, but the morality is kind of dubious and it’s a credit to the author that they pull it off.
Ocean and Candle by Melissa has a very similar storyline to Sacrifice and it’s interesting to read the two stories back to back. I’ve no idea if the respective authors knew about the other story or how far apart they were written. I like them both, although I’m a little more comfortable with Giles in this story, he seems slightly more honest somehow, but perhaps that’s just me being weird!
nwhepcat’s Thinks We Never Talk About finds Xander suffering from the “aspect of the demon” thing from Earshot while Larry finds himself having a shock initiation into the trials and tribulations of Scoobydom. Most writers can supplant one character for another in canon events to suit their own purposes, but it takes a really good writer to then crank the plot in a completely different direction. As Xander would say – Welcome to Boy World.
There’s more Xander/Larry goodness in The Gradual Series by Scorpio. The title of this story says it all really, I just like the way Xander is gradually finding the confidence to explore his sexuality and that Larry gives him the space and support to do so. Cordelia is completely over the top, but from the way she was in the high school years, perhaps she really would have acted like this. The story is left hanging and I suspect won’t ever be finished, but there’s still a lot to enjoy.
Lar’s Paying Attention is another story where Xander angsts about his sexuality and Larry attempts to coax him out of the closet. It may not be original, but that doesn’t stop it from being great.
And this little subsection of Xander/Larry stories closes with What He Wanted by Rayne Jelly. I just came across this a couple of weeks ago on ff.net. I know you really have to plough through a lot of stuff there to find the good stuff, but I was really taken with this story. Larry contemplates all the things he hates about Xander – can we just say, repress much!
nashmaveric’s Not Worth It just proves how nasty and wrong this pairing is (except when it isn’t) Xander has finally come to terms with his sexuality and has the gentle caring boyfriend to prove it – yeh right…. I just want to cuddle the poor baby at the end of this.
And here’s another reason Lindsey’s the man we love to hate. In Abbie’s Missing Pieces Xander plays the White Knight but although the vamp might be dust, just what kind of monster did he save. I wish Abbie had written a sequel to this because reading it as it stands just makes me really, really anxious.
You can find the slightly more acceptable face of Lindsey in the Shameless trilogy by Lar and Ethrosdemon. Funnily enough this consists of 3 big juicy stories, No Shame, Falling and Damnation. Lindsey goes out looking for a little action and finds more than he expected in Oxnard. The canon events of both Buffy and Angel are beautifully twisted to make the story work and can I just say that the boys are just so hot in this. But be warned, there’s major angst as well as the porn, especially in the 2nd and 3rd stories and when you get to the epilogue you might just want to read it from behind your sofa. Sigh, I’ve just spent the last 2 hours re-reading the whole thing while the ironing pile sits and grumbles at me. Sighs happily and goes back to the computer.
And we end this section on a fuzzy note, and Lar is back with the truly gorgeous Chicken Soup for the Gay Man’s Soul. Lindsey’s not well and Xander makes him feel better. What else do you need!
Outtakes and Basement Tapes by entrenous88 is a little hot gem. Xander listens to some Dingo’s tapes and then gets his own personal command performance. This is just Xander/Oz goodness.
I just love the next two stories so much. They’re completely hot and oddly delicate (which I know is a weird thing to say) and the Oz characterisation is just wonderful. tesla321 and dessert_first’s Lessons in Cool: That Music Thing finds Oz teaching Xander to play the guitar which leads to other fun things to do with their hands. And in the follow up Lessons in Cool: Being John Wayne it’s the following summer and Xander decides to be a man and apologise to Oz about the fluke. Much male bonding ensues!
And while I’m on the subject of Xander/Oz I really have to mention glossing’s Nice Shirt. In case anyone doesn’t know, in canon Xander wore a red 25cent peep show tee shirt in Out of Sight, Out of Mind in S1 and Oz was spotted with the same shirt in Anne at the start of S3. This is the story of the shirt and the way the boys interconnect over the years. I just love the rhythm of this fic, and the characterisation is spot on.
And now that Xander has been a complete slut with most of the male population of California I’m going to bring him back where he belongs because the boy and his vamp really need to be together.
estepheia’s Pandora ‘verse is one of those stories that I tend to forget about and then about once a year I come across it by accident and think – how the hell could I have forgotten about this! It’s Spike/Xander with lots of fighting, fucking, misunderstandings, miscommunication, a healthy dose of angst and just a touch of schmaltz. Oh and some gratuitous public toilet sex. One thing I really like about this story apart from the hot boy stuff (obviously...) is how vulnerable Spike is, it’s just really well done.
In Steam by Two Ladies of Quality, Xander enjoys his first experience of a Turkish Bath, but then a certain vamp turns up and unsettles his serenity and a lot else besides. The sequel Touch finds our two boys angsty and confused after the wedding that wasn’t and the magic box videothon. Perhaps it’s time they found some solace in each other. Sighs happily
If you’re looking for something long and hot (and there will be no sniggering at the back there please!) then you couldn’t do better than The Education Series by Pet. Devon and Oz initiate Xander into the joys of hot male loving and pot and then send him off to capture the vamp of his dreams. Much fun, shagging, Scooby shouting and demon killing follows. And there’s a little bit of angst just in case you find you’re having too much of a good time. I guarantee that the last chapter will make your brain melt.
Playing Games by jstabe has Spike and Xander having fun with each other’s fantasies. Then Angel takes a hand in the game and even more fun ensues. Basically, whatever kink you could possibly have is bound to be scratched in at least one of the chapters. And if you're still itchy ther's always Playing Games II
And it's road trip time again In The Mix by Yindagger yin_again. Xander burns a disc of all his favourite music to play while he drives and every song illustrates something about his feelings. But when Spike decides to come along for the ride, the music speaks louder than the words ever could. Just writing about this made me go back and re-read the story; it really is just another all time favourite.
Nicolette Says Jump by Kalima is another very early story I came across when I first discovered slash and it’s still as much fun as I remember. Xander and Spike speculate on the joys of “big girls” and find one who wants to take them home and feed them brownies. The boys will never be quite the same again. Hee, hee, I just love this so much. By the way, the link takes you to the main web home page, so click on Kalima to get to the fun.
I couldn’t complete any list without including Alexandria Brown’s Brown Paper Packages. Xander discovers Spike is extremely photogenic and this leads to mutual satisfaction for them both. There is also an “interlude” fic with Spike and Dru in Amersterdam which you can find here, however Xander isn’t in it, so that makes me grumble and yes I know I’m obsessed!
Episode 23 by Melissa is just funny and very hot. The boys are bitching at each other and happily living by that well known river in Egypt, but the rest of the gang know exactly what’s going on. Hee, it’s just fun.
The first time I read darkhavens’ Hot in the City I just about had to take a cold shower. It’s clubbing night and the boys go dancing and hook up with an unexpected dance partner. Oh god, I’ve got tail kink – thud, keels over dead!
And talking of hot, I’ll finish this final list with the granddaddy of hot fics. Nightwatch by the Webrain is just gah! Spike watches Xander sleep, but what will happen when Xander wakes up? I absolutely guarantee this will make you want to jump on the first hot body you see after you finish reading.
Well that’s it, I can now collapse in a heap! I really had no idea this was going to last so long or get so big (sounds like something Xander would say to Spike..) Thanks again to all the lovely people who encouraged me to continue with this and as I say I’ve made some lovely new friends. After I’ve posted this I’ve going to a separate “tags” post and post that link on Bloodclaim in case anyone else is interested.
For the record I’ve counted 367 fics all told, so that’s one for every day of the year and a couple extra for a leap year. Goes off to collapse in a heap and have a glass of wine!