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Title: Adjusting

Author: Dragonmaster

Rating: Hard R

Genre: Humour/Romance

Category: RPS

Pairing(s): James/Nick

Series: Darkness and Light

Feedback: I'll be your best friend...

Warnings: Real Person Slash. Charlie-speak. M/M action - not for kiddies!

Disclaimer: They own themselves! Work of FICTION! NEVER happened!

Summary: Nick and James adjust to their new relationship. James deals with Kelly's shovel talk and Nick must survive a day with James' bandmates. Insanity ensues.


By: Dragonmaster

"No way, James. Not going to happen."

"Please?" James Marsters begged. His lover shot him a dark look before getting off the couch.


"I'll let you make fun of my height. On live tv," he tried again. The look he received was no friendlier than the first one had been. Fine, James thought. I'll just have to do something he won't be able to resist. And there was only one thing that could break Nicholas Brendon. Smiling evilly, James turned to face his lover.

And pouted.

Nick cringed and quickly averted his gaze. James quivered his lower lip and made his blue eyes wider and more innocent looking as his internal cheerleader did a victory dance.

Finally, Nick gave in. "Fine. I'll spend the day with your goddamn band." He sat back down on the couch. "And you can stop pouting now."

James grinned and nuzzled his lover's neck happily. "Knew you'd see it my way," he murmured.

"Not like I had much choice," Nick replied, pressing his lips against his lover's temple. "It's really only fair, I guess."

James froze. He knew what that tone in Nick's voice meant and wasn't exactly eager to find out what his partner had planned.

Nick grinned an evil grin. James swallowed hard and attempted to return the grin. Mentally, the young man cursed himself for walking right into the trap.


"Yep. If I have to suffer, so do you." At James' confused headtilt, Nick explained. "Kelly just happens to be working on the set of Angel today. He offered to take you to lunch."

James glared at his lover. "You're evil." He paused, and then tilted his head again as a new thought popped into his head. "Wait; Kelly knows about us?"

"He suspects something. You know how he gets." The dark-eyed man glanced at his watch. "And you're due on set in twenty minutes."

"Shit!" James yelped. He bolted into the bedroom and quickly pulled on a pair of jeans. Looking around frantically for a shirt, he spotted one on top of the dresser where it had been thrown the night before. Snatching up the shirt, he ran back into the den, giving Nick a brief kiss before running out to his car.

It was only when he had pulled into the studio's parking lot that the blonde realized that the shirt was several sizes too big and smelled like Nicky's cologne.

Not my day... James grumbled to himself as he ran into the studio, the much-too-big shirt billowing out behind him.


Once more dressed in tight black clothes and hair freshly slicked back, James headed over to Makeup. He hadn't been as late as he had thought, and only Dave had mocked his shirt.

Briefly stopping in the lobby to grab a bagel and a cup of coffee, the Californian walked into the Makeup department.

Or, rather, walked into the broad chest of Kelly Donovan.

"Whoa; hey there, Spike," Kelly said with a grin, reaching out to steady James. "What's the rush?"

Great, James thought bitterly. Just who I didn't want to see. "Uh, no rush," he said casually.

"Good, good," Kelly grinned. "Are you free for lunch? I want to know how my brother's doing, and you seem to see more of him than anyone else these days," the older man said, giving James a meaningful look.

Making a mental note to call Steve later and tell him to give Charlie free rein when they met with Nick, James gave his lover's twin a forced smile. "No problem, Kel. How about Chili's?"

"Fine by me. See you at twelve." With that, Kelly left.

After his makeup had been applied, James arrived on set only to find that he wasn't needed for any scenes yet. Ducking backstage, he dug in his pocket for his cell phone. Quickly punching in Steve's number, he leaned against the wall and waited for the keyboardist to pick up.

It wasn't Steve who picked up.

"Jams! Dude, Stevie won't let us get a goat. Can we get a goat?"

James sighed. "No, Charlie. Put Steve on."

"How about Jell-O?"

"No. Put Steve on."

Charlie let out a strangled whine before James heard Steve's voice. "Hey, man. Sorry about that. Aaron and Kev decided it would be funny to give Charlie coffee," the keyboardist said. "I'm thinking about bringing a collar and leash when we meet up with Nicky. Maybe a muzzle too."

"Don't. Just let him go. And give him more coffee."


"You heard me, Sellars."

"Feeling vindictive, are we?"

"You have no idea." James looked up as Amy waved to him. "I gotta run, man. Just do what I said, okay?"

Steve sighed. "I'll do it, but you owe me, Marsters."

"I know. See you around." He hit the 'end' button on his phone and jogged over to Amy with a satisfied smirk on his angular features.

"Uh-oh," Amy laughed. "I know that smile. What did you do now?"

James leaned casually against a desk and crossed his arms over his chest, adopting his 'Spike Stance.' Slipping into the familiar cockney accent, he replied, "just planning me revenge, ducks. Nothin' for you to worry 'bout."

Amy raised an eyebrow, but said nothing, for Joss had arrived and begun explaining the scene.


For once, lunch break rolled around far too quickly for James' taste. He laid his duster down on a table in Wardrobe and headed out to his car, not bothering to change out of Spike's clothing.

After having a five-minute argument with himself over whether Springsteen or Tom Waits would better reflect his mood, he gave up and shoved Nirvana into the CD player. He was off.

Chili's didn't take long to get to. It was only about a ten-minute drive from the studio, so James wasn't surprised to see Kelly lounging against the door as he pulled into the parking lot, singing along to 'All Apologies.'

As he walked over to Kelly, the two men were immediately set upon by a group of thirteen-year-old girls.

"Oh my god! You're Spike and Xander from Buffy!" one practically shrieked.

James raised a dark eyebrow and glanced over at Kelly, whom the girls had mistaken for Nick. He looked very different from Nicky in James' eyes; his hair was much shorter, was clean-shaven rather than having the beginnings of a beard, his face was longer, even his eyes were a lighter shade than Nick's. You're just biased because you're in love with Nick, a little voice piped up from the back of his mind. James told the little voice to fuck off and mind its own business.

"Actually, I'm Xander's brother, Kelly," Kelly explained, shooting James an apologetic look.

The multitude of girls quickly apologised for their mistake and left after asking both men for autographs.

James and Kelly were seated fairly quickly, (quickly for Chili's, anyway,) and ordered drinks. They sat in companionable silence as they looked over the menus until Kelly decided it was time to put an end to James' curiosity.

"Guess you're wondering why you're here," Kelly began.

James couldn't resist. "To eat?" he said with his trademark shit-eating grin.

Apparently the same grin and quirk of an eyebrow that usually got him thrown down onto the nearest flat surface had no effect on Nick's twin.

"I want to know what's going on with you and my brother."

Damn, James thought. Guess we're laying all our cards out on the table. He took a sip of his drink and opened his mouth to say the first excuse that came to mind when Kelly cut him off.

"Are you romantically involved in any way with Nicky?"

Thrown off-guard by the directness of the question, James had no option but to tell the truth. "Yes."

Kelly sat back, obviously satisfied now that his suspicions had been confirmed. "How long?"

"'Bout a week and a half, two weeks."

"I had a feeling it was you," said Kelly.

James tilted his head in confusion. "What do you mean?"

"Nicky called a few days ago and I guessed that he was with someone. I was right. Then he said that it was someone that he had already known. That comment, coupled with the fact that you two had seemed very close over the past few months made it fairly obvious whom he had slept with." Kelly fell silent as the waitress came and took their orders. "He does seem happy, though," the dark-eyed man mused as the waitress left.

"I love him," James admitted. "I have for a long time."

Kelly nodded. "I can see it. Does he love you?"

"I don't know. I think it's too soon for him to sort out his feelings for me, anyway. He's just starting to put his life back together." Kelly looked satisfied with his answer and smiled. James returned it and sat back, the apprehension leaving his body. He reached for his drink and took a large mouthful before setting it back down.

Without warning, a strong hand reached across the table and wrapped itself around James' throat. Kelly's dark eyes burned into his and the smaller man decided it would be good to hold still and focus on breathing.

"You do realise that if you hurt my brother in any way, I will make your life a living hell, Marsters," the deceptively calm voice said quietly.

Just as quickly as the hand appeared, it was gone and James could breathe again. Bringing a hand up to massage his neck, he glared at the other man, who was now calmly sipping his drink as if nothing had happened.

"Good thing I'll never hurt him, then."


The rest of the day went by uneventfully and as soon as James got home, he went upstairs to the bathroom. All he wanted at the moment was a long, hot shower.

Turning on the water, he stripped out of his clothes and stepped into the spray, letting the hot water soothe the aches in his body. He closed his eyes and leaned against the wall, feeling knots of tension leave him. As if from a distance, he heard the shower door open and felt warm arms wrap around his waist.

"You're evil, you know that?"

James opened his eyes and met soft brown orbs. He gave Nick a lopsided grin. "Have fun today?"

In an instant, James found himself pinned between the wall and Nick's body. The older man grinned and ducked his head to nuzzle his lover's neck.

"It was more interesting than knee surgery, I'll give it that," Nick mumbled against James' skin. "But, don't," here he punctuated his words with a sharp nip to the smaller man's collarbone, "do that again."

James groaned and rolled his hips into Nick's. "Deal, with one condition." He ducked out of Nick's grasp and quickly reversed their positions. "We take a restraining order out on that psychotic brother of yours."

Nick looked down at him with eyes that were nearly black, his long hair plastered to his face and neck. He took James' face in his hands and tilted his head up a little. "Did he hurt you?" Nick rubbed his lover's neck and James couldn't help but wince when calloused fingers brushed over a bruise.

"I'll be fine," James said quickly, upset that the mood had been broken. "He's just really protective of you."

Nick gently brushed his lips over James' throat. "He shouldn't have done that," he murmured. Lifting his head, he kissed James softly, the younger man's hand coming up to tangle itself in long thick hair.

Feeling his arousal return, James deepened the kiss and flicked his tongue against Nick's lips, silently requesting entrance.

After a moment of relearning each other's taste, Nick broke the kiss. "Bed?" he asked breathlessly.

James nodded. "God, yes."

The lovers stumbled out of the shower and into the bedroom, all thoughts of the past gone from their minds, replaced by thoughts of the present and each other.