And other thoughts--
I feel so damn free when I send something off to be beta-read. Because I have this little 'I don't have to write on the next bit, until the beta gets back to me-- why should I, when it may change based on the beta-reading?
Which sounds horrible, but what it boils down to is that I get a few angst-free days when it comes to CG. Since there's *always* a next part.
So-- fluffy cottontailed things that have been wandering the corridors of my brain:
Drain-bamaged!Spike-- angst, angst, and more angst-- but in a good way. Boyos protect each other. Spike needs taking care of, but because he does, because he can get reckless, he's extra-protective of Xander, too. Not selfishly, because he knows he needs someone there to take care of him (though he sometimes checks himself and asks if that's the case) but because he doesn't want to lose Xander; he's able to recognize some of his own behaviors in Xander, at times, and say "Hey, if I'm not allowed to do that, neither are you, wanker."
Plus, Xander can be self-destructive for the sheer hell of it-- because of his own insecurities. So having to focus on taking care of someone else keeps *him* grounded. Especially having to focus on doing it while trying to make Spike feel like he's *not* doing it, at least to an extent.
And the whole "what if this hadn't happened, would you still love me?" question is intriguing. Something they might never answer, but might eventually realize that they don't need the answer.
Also think Angel could play a big part. Sort of a S/X, Angel fic. As Saber would put it. That is, Angel's not involved in the romance, but he's almost as central a character as the boyos, because of his role in their lives. That part's felxible, of course, but the idea appeals to me.
Human!Spike: I dunno. It's not that I've come up with any more insight into this idea, really. Just that every time I think about it, it seems like it could be a really well-rounded story. It's not just "What if they all Shanshu-d" and it's not just "what if Xan's mum went mad" and it's not just "how does Spike deal with not being immortal" or "how does Spike deal with being somewhat helpless." "How does Xan deal with responsibility that he doesn't really want but feels he should take." "How does Xan deal with his own fear that what happened to his mum might happen to him?"
It's a balance of everything. Things that really can go together, because the boys are both learning things about the human condition. Including our gravitating towards one another for comfort, sex, friendship, etc. when we never expected to get together with that person-- changing plans, settling for something (each other) and discovering that it works.
Well, and nekkid!boyos are never wrong, unless there's character death involved, which there ain't.