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Pairing: Spike/Xander
Alternative name(s): Spander
Gender category: m/m, slash
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Canonical?: no
Prevalence: popular
Archives: The Spander Files
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Spike/Xander is the pairing of Spike and Xander Harris from the Buffyverse.


In canon, Xander and Spike have an antagonistic relationship, which started all the way in season 2 episode "School Hard" when Angel offered Xander to Spike in order to trick the younger vampire. Later on the seemingly mutual dislike was fueled even more after Spike slept with Xander's former fiancee Anya and after Spike's attempted rape on Buffy at the end of season six.

Spike and Xander have lived together twice – during season four when Spike was first chipped by the Initiative and during season 7 after Spike won his soul back and subsequently went 'bug-shagging crazy' with guilt.

Xander (to Buffy): "No one is judging you. It's understandable. Spike is strong and mysterious and sort of compact, but well muscled."
Buffy: "I am not having sex with Spike! But I'm starting to think that you might be!"[1]


This article or section needs expansion.

There was a small portion of the Buffy fandom shipping Spike and Xander following the second season. However this was not a common or popular ship until season 4, when there was more interaction between the characters.[2] For a time, S/X was believed to be the most popular slash pairing within the fandom.[3] However this is open to debate as the disparate nature of early online fandom makes it difficult to rank ships.

Despite their antagonistic relationship and their limited interactions in canon, this ship has remained popular and works are still been produced.

Common Tropes

  • Xander was offered to Spike by Angel in the second season episode "School Hard," and although he never formally accepted, many fanfiction authors use this as a plot device – Xander as Sire's gift and Spike returning to take what was his.
  • In season one episode "The Pack", Xander is possessed by a hyena spirit. This resulted in a lot of fics (Hyena!Xander is a very popular trope) where the hyena spirit returns/never left and claims Spike as part of pack and/or mate.
  • In season 4, a chipped Spike is kept tied up in Xander's basement apartment. This scenario was a jumping off point for many fics.
  • Post-Not Fade Away fics, set after the final episode of the Angel (TV) series.
  • Vampire!Xander works can be canon divergent where Xander becomes a vampire, sometimes sired by Spike. Other fics were set in the canon Wishverse.
  • Threesome fics often paired Spike and Xander with Angel or Anya Jenkins.

Notable Fanworks



Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.


Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.


Recs and Reviews


Spike/Xander fic always attracts me and I thoroughly enjoyed this essay. The point you made, "Spike and Xander attempt to use magick to solve their problems" had never occurred to be before. I love it when I get a new thought about something I've grown used to thinking about. ::little light bulb over my head::[5]


Aww, this is lovely! Very thorough and very sweet.


Through s3, Xander expresses appreciation for lots of guys, and even in s5, he notes how compact and well-muscled Spike is. Moreover, "Phases" is an awesome look into his homopanic when Larry comes out to him, and it gets picked up again in "Earshot". I've always figured Xander was bi at the very least, even if he never *did* anything about it.[6]

Archives, Communities & Resources





  1. ^ Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 5 Episode 18 "Intervention"
  2. ^ Oz/Xander (BtVS) ship manifesto essay by gloss, Oct 2004, accessed 19 June 2019. Before the advent of S/X in s4, O/X was the dominant Xander-slash ship.
  3. ^ The hot new thing by Wisteria contains discussion of the sudden rise in popularity of Spander and ship ranking.
  4. ^ comment by z_rayne in a slashphilosophy post by partly_bouncy, May 15, 2005: Slash Philosophy - History of slash fan fiction, Archived version
  5. ^ "ship_manifesto Spike/Xander (BtVS)". 2004-08-27. Archived from the original on 2022-03-25.
  6. ^ "ship_manifesto Spike/Xander (BtVS)". 2004-08-24. Archived from the original on 2022-03-25.