What rhymes with lungs?

Back to Recs & Reviews

Spike/Xander Recommendations from Te.


All of these are taken from my rec page.


"And They Called It Puppy Love," and "Fade," both by Debchan. Located here.

Debchan has a deft touch for humor and dialogue, as her XF pieces clearly show. She also, however, has one *fuck* of a sexy dark side. The kind of dark side that pours itself into vinyl and talks with one of those whiskey and smoke voices and always smells like something exotic and deeply, deeply necessary.

These stories address Spike's fourth season dilemma, and the steps he might have taken to cope with it. It's dark, it's sexy, and there's plenty of lovely, original Xanderangst for those of you who, like me, can't get enough of the stuff.

Sexy and dark and sad and very, very believable.


How to describe Aurora Rowan? She of the lovely, unfolding name which always makes me think of John Hurt's Caligula portraying 'rosy-fingered dawn' and *snicker*.

Well, it *does*.

In any case, she's an old-school fan, certainly compared to janie-come-all-over-herself-latelies like myself. But! She's writing again! And we like that a lot.

Especially when she and Misha take the staid old heavy dialogue format and make it work, work, work in "Monday Morning Going Down."

Spike and Xander, biting and snapping off each other and running desperately away from what they both want only in the sense of stretching a rubber band that, of course, snaps them right back into place.

Flashes of humor, darkness, lust, and a creeping inevitability.

Read this one twice, the layers will surprise you.


Oh, and then there's "A Long Time," which just broke me down. God, something about those life-long stories, the passage of time... I like this one better than CG, I think, even though I would've liked more set-up for the schmoop. I just... there are some lovely, lovely character sketches in there, a few elegant brushstrokes that wrap it all right up.

Lives. God. This one is staying with me.

I look forward to more from Mad Poetess, to be sure.

[Dude. OLD school recs...]


Criss Moody: Losing

Look! It's readable Spike/Xander! Sexy, funny, and *believable*

Who *knew*?

I don't know what to say about this beyond that it's restored my faith in this particular pairing. I mean... wow. I'd pretty much given up, you know?

But... it *can* be done.

Read and learn, fuckers.


Anna: Sidelines

Once, way back when, the Spike and I were lazing around, fantasizing about what it would be like if we could get our favorite writers to write our favorite pairings. We were in the Buffy zone at the time, and there was some serious chair-damage at casa del Te at the very *idea* of Anna someday writing

We thought it would never happen.

We were happily, gloriously, marvelously, wonderfully wrong.

Here, have a few quotes:

"'S okay," Xander shrugged, "Neither am I. It's just this tone of voice I've
cultivated." He was showing it off as he spoke: flat, casual, indifferent, the
accomplishment of years poised between boredom and mortal terror. "Tone is everything. Content meaningless. Observe. Radishes are what's for dinner. Not the skunk again, honey. Yes, that is my broken foot you're standing on."

The other man laughed, and hey, Xander could admit it. He had a little man-crush on Riley.


"Bugger!" Spike bellowed from somewhere outside Xander's field of vision, and suddenly a boot kicked an armchair into view outside the open door. Spike appeared a moment later, coat off and sleeves rolled up, wrestling the chair into submission. He knocked it aggressively around on its legs as he shoved it at the doorway, glowered in baffled rage when it didn't fit through the frame, then hauled off and began kicking its ass again and again in a savage frenzy. Pausing to look up, he scowled. "Could use some help here."

"Right now, Spike, you're my television. Do that dance again."


Despite the absence of any lock on his door, no one had yet disturbed his stuff. And that might have had something to do with Spike, too. No estrangement could quite kill the vampire's sense of territoriality; weirdly
irrational as he was, he seemed inclined to keep Xander safe from harm. Okay, so he'd watched and lurked with cynic-eyed indifference while Xander got mugged last week, but afterwards he'd collected the perps--a couple of ratty Frellar demons--made them apologize and hand back the bag of tacos, and then killed them. That was nice.


Why are you still here and not reading this *story*? Are you *nuts*?

Okay, look. Anna takes season four and skews it in her own mad, merry way, taking one of my old complaints -- Xander being way gayer than Willow -- and running with it and. *AND*

Wait for it.

Writing. Plausible. Spike/Xander.

Run, do not walk.


Benaresq: Drunk

Mmm. Mmm. There's something special about a good Spike/Xander.

I mean, there's something special about every good story, but, when a story has no *right* to be good and is *anyway*... well, that's even special-er.

So here we are, end of 5th season. Spike is bruised and bloody and pathetic in his crypt. There's a whole new sub-genre of Spikely hurt/comfort aborning, and everybody and their mama is jumping in on the bandwagon. We've got your melodrama, your comedy, your rampant smutfests, and almost none of it makes *sense*.

And here comes Ben, making *Xander* the Spikely comforter. No melodrama. Only the best sort of inappropriate comedy. Subtly, deftly handled smut that's still hot. Woo-ha.

So. Special.


Anna S.: Throwing Shapes

You know, when I grow up? I'm going to be able to fuck around just like this.

I mean, she swears up and down that it's just fluff. She titles the file a truncated "frivolity." She half-apologizes for the use of "every cliche in the book."

You know what?

I neither noticed nor cared.

It was a fucking fabulous way to get Spike and Xander together and still deal with a reality or three *while* having a wonderful time. Yes. That phrase. This story will make you believe in Spike and Xander writing snarky postcards
from Carnivale and Octoberfest and Pride Week in Sydney and everywhere else.

This story will make you absolutely convinced that it's nothing but the truth.

Even while it's making you laugh, lust, and sigh.

Have a quote:

"Where do you get blood, I wonder?" Xander got dressed as well, thinking aloud. "Maybe a butcher shop?"

"Right," Spike snarked in a not-unfriendly way. "And there's sure to be an all-night butcher's right around the corner."

Funnily enough, there was. More funnily, they didn't seem at all surprised when Spike asked to buy a few pints of pig's blood. In fact, they had handy
plastic containers of it handy in the fridge, and the man in the stained apron
bagged four of them, along with a stack of napkins.

"Okay, that was...odd," Xander said as they walked away, the implications of their shopping trip taking unpleasant shape in his mind.

Ignoring him, Spike drew out a container of blood and peeled back the lid. He raised it like a ballpark beer cup.

"Whoa!" Xander stopped in his tracks, freaking out. "What are you doing? You can't just drink that on the street!"

Spike lowered the container. "Why not?" he asked in a too reasonable voice.

"I don't know, maybe because it's blood? Besides, don't you want some time to get used to the idea?"

For the first time since Xander had met him, Spike's expression lost some of its gloss and turned honest, even rueful. He took a breath, exhaled hard. "If I think about it, I'm liable to lose my nerve." He held the container in front of him, gazing a moment into its depths, then drank.

Sickened but unable to tear his eyes away, Xander watched as he swallowed with increasing greed. When he lowered the container, there was a smeared trace of red at the corner of his mouth. Spike licked it clean and grimaced pensively.

"How was it?" Xander asked, feeling his stomach turn over.

"Terrible." He paused. "Hits the spot, though." The contradiction seemed to piss him off, and Xander couldn't blame him. Having to drink blood to
keep your grave-cold body animated struck him as a grossly unnatural fate--worse than death in the most literal sense. Except that here was Spike, walking and talking and smoking cigarettes, having sex and bacon and really not all the worse for wear.


You have no excuse for not running off to read this immediately.


Wiseacress: Modus Vivendi

Oh, *man*. ANOTHER brilliant Spike/Xander story, and this one? Comes complete with an OFC that makes me have faith for OFCs everywhere.

Funny, sexy, bleak, painful, dead-on characterization, and just impossible to put down. I remember the Spike was trying to get me to read this while it was still a WiP, but I'm glad I waited -- people could've gotten hurt, otherwise.


Wonderfully done.


Mad Poetess: Bachelor Pad

Well, *fuck*.

Another *good* Spike/Xander. For those of you keeping track at home? That's two in one night.

I'm gobsmacked.

Xander, and the dank, dark, inside of his head as he tries to live with his new houseguest. And, well... damn.

MP manages to write out Xander's angst without lapsing into the usual weepy pussified sturm und drang *this* little black duck has come to know and loathe. And the Spike at the other end of those thoughts is nothing but himself.

Just two men, surviving.

If not necessarily living.


Minim Calibre: Xander On Top

Well, we *knew* it was going to happen, didn't we? The secondary explosion of Spike/Xander fic, that is.

Thing is... things seem to be going a little differently just lately.

Maybe we're all (the writers, that is) a little fucked up and burnt out after
the last two Seasons Of Pain, or maybe it's just that there's an entirely new crop of writers tackling the pairing this time around.

Either way?

This is not your mama's Spike/Xander.

And that's all I'm saying.

Spoilers up through Conversations With Dead People.


Minim Calibre: Fringe Benefits

Minim seems to be determined to restore my faith in Spike/Xander. Or
maybe she's just, you know, *good*.

This story was mostly dialogue, but was plenty descriptive enough to give
me a sense of place and tone. And that tone... *snerk*

Witty, funny, and with just enough of an edge to make you think.

Which is the way S/X should be, imo.


I could've sworn I had more S/X recs than that... hmm. There's an S/X rec as part of my general paean to the Spike here.

I'm also quite fond of her Snake, in which Xander has a profoundly difficult night, and dreams in that uncomfortable way we all know about but few of us can actually *describe*.

A very visceral piece, and more mindfuck than you can shake a stick at.

Back to reviews index
Back to main