Xander's palm slide-skitters down Spike's back. Over the dip and swell and down to the curve of his ass, then stops. One hand, flat against his skin. No other touch on his body but the soft, worn sheets below him, the slight pressure against his right hipbone where Xander's weight next to him makes the saggy mattress tilt a bit. Next to him, but not touching, except for that one hand. Fingers splayed, not pressing, not moving, just... there.
Just there, each finger, curve, hell, each work-pressed wrinkle, traceable in Spike's head, behind his pillow-shuttered eyes. The old, ridged scar below the thumb from a Fellbeast's horn, and the fresh new jagged cat-scratch cut across it, from the battle of the ear-mite drops. The Siamese tail-kink of the middle finger, where last year's broken knuckle never did heal right.
And skin. Skin, flesh, warm around the edges of the scars and lines and bumps, against Spike's skin. A burn too hot for just the touch of a human hand, even against his ten shades cooler ass. But there's that shape in his mind of Xander's hand on his skin, searing its way in. Like he's red there beneath it, like it's leaving a mark, like that hand's fallen hard with a smack that he'd relish but doesn't need, not tonight, because this is enough.
Enough, the shape, the touch, the heat, that Spike's sure somehow as he drifts off, that it'll still be there tomorrow. The next day. Fifty years from now. The brand on his ass that says plain as day for any who get lucky enough to read: property of Xander Harris and don't you forget it. Fingerprints and all. He ever gets lost, and he won't, they'll know who to ship him back to, that's for sure.