Damned With You
“Do we have to?”
Spike gritted his teeth. “Yes, we do. Xander, I’ve explained this.”
His boy sighed, the sound of it slightly shaky due to the fact his lungs weren’t used to deep breathing for dramatic effect quite yet. “Can’t we just go down to Brazil or wherever and find Drusilla? I like her better; she might be evil and crazy but at least she doesn’t hate me.”
“Xander, you have to be accepted by the Master of our line. That’s Angelus. It will never be Dru. Much as she’s a Master in her own right, she’s way too barmy. So we have to visit Peaches and I’d rather give him a call and warn him than have his Poofyness and his minions trying to kill us as soon as we step foot in his door.”
Xander had his human face showing but he gave a very good growl as he sat down on the couch. “He won’t like it, and won’t do it. Both Angel and his evil twin hate me so I really doubt they’ll do this.”
Spike grabbed the cordless phone and sat down beside his Childe. He hated to think it, but Xander might be right. “Let’s not borrow trouble. If it happens, it happens. We’ll deal with it then.”
Spike had to admit his Childe was doing him proud. Not even two days awake and he’d managed control enough to talk to Tara when she’d come by the cabin earlier that day. She’d been glad to see that Xander was all right but was upset. Evidently, Red and Giles had both taken her to task for agreeing to go along with Xander’s plan, even though it had been what his boy had wanted.
It was Monday. They would be leaving the next night for LA as soon as the sun went down, and before that Spike knew that Xander would have to talk to his friends. So that left tonight, after his call to Angelus.
He needed a drink. Several drinks. If Xander was okay maybe they’d go to Willie’s after the big showdown, get roaring drunk and kill half the demons there. Xander had been training and had surpassed what Spike thought were his own abilities when he was first turned. Then again, that was more than a hundred years ago and, while he had a good memory, those first few days had been filled with little else but hunger and hatred. Hunger for blood, sex, Drusilla and hatred of his own past.
And, of course, hatred of Angelus.
“I don’t know if it makes me feel better or worse that you’re obviously having doubts about calling Angel. Can’t we just…I dunno. Stake him or something? Then you’d be the Master of the Clan and could welcome me. We wouldn’t need him, then.”
Spike grinned for just a moment. He could actually see that; Angelus wouldn’t be expecting Spike to be well fed and with a Childe. Xander’s soul didn’t seem to have a problem with the idea of killing Angelus. Then again, from what he could remember his boy had always been ready to dust the elder vampire. It would be so very easy to do.
Problem was, that would probably tip the Slayer over from being pissed with them to actively hunting them. Spike could handle that, but he’d hate it for Xander’s sake. Add in that Angel was supposedly the sodding Champion of the Powers, and he was afraid that if they dusted him Xander would end up with the job.
A little recreational killing and saving the world was alright, especially with Xander, but he didn’t want to be stuck doing it full time for the next century or two.
“Best not, pet. We don’t want to have your little friends after us more than they are already.”
Xander leaned against his side. His lover had always been affectionate but since his turning he’d been cuddlier. Spike had teased him that he was just a big cuddly puppy the night before and his Childe had vamped out and bitten him. He said it was to remind his Sire that this puppy now had fangs.
After which Spike had thrown him down on the floor to prove who had the bigger fangs.
“If you’re just going to sit there and fantasize about sex, maybe I’d better call, Spike.”
Xander grabbed the phone from his hand and there was a brief tussle for possession. Spike finally let his boy have it, simply because he had a better chance of getting through to the poof’s secretary.
Xander dialed the phone and grinned at his lover. “Don’t you love me anymore, Daddy?”
The words and tone of voice Xander used went straight to his cock and his pants became uncomfortable. Before his turning Xander had said that he didn’t think he could handle a bigger kink than bedding a vampire. In the past two days, however, his Childe had learned a few tricks that were guaranteed to wrap Spike around his little finger even more than he already was.
He growled. “Not nice, boy.”
Xander fluttered his eyelashes. “Gonna punish me, then?”
He lost his human face and dragged Xander onto his lap. He wrapped his arms around his squirming Childe and pressed his hips upwards, letting his boy know how much his words had affected his Sire. Xander just laughed and squirmed more.
“Angel Investigations, we help the hopeless. How may I help you?” The voice on the other end of the line was definitely that of the prom queen’s.
“Hey Cordy, it’s Xander. Is Angel around?”
“Xander, why are you calling here?”
“Umm, you mean Buffy hasn’t called you guys?”
“No, why should she? Is something wrong, Xander?” Her voice had gotten shrill and both Spike and Xander winced at how the sharp sound grated on their ears.
“Fuck, Cordy, why don’t you shriek? No, there isn’t anything wrong. Well, not really. I’m…kind of dating Spike and I needed to talk to De—Angel about something.”
“Okay, I so don’t want to know about your sex life. And I thought you and Anya was weird! But why do you need to talk to Angel?”
Xander chuckled. “Thought you didn’t want to know about mine and Spike’s sex life, Cordelia. Change your mind?”
“What? You’re calling Angel about sex!?”
“Well, Spike did spend a lot of time with Angelus…”
“Okay, eww! Just stop. Ignorance is bliss and I want to stay blissful. He’s downstairs, trying to beat some sense into Connor. Hold on.”
Xander sighed and sank into Spike’s arms. “I think I’m glad we don’t talk to the gang in LA that much; I couldn’t handle telling her that I’m dead.”
“You’re only a little bit dead, pet, and there’s a difference. Not looked through your pockets for change yet, have I?” He let his hands roam to his Childe’s chest and then made a grab for the phone. “Here, it’s probably best if I do this.”
“Whatever. It’s not like I want to talk to Angel.” Xander sighed. “I can’t really call him Deadboy anymore, I’ll have to think of something else. Grandpa, maybe?”
Spike snorted. “Have to be Great Grandpa, pet.”
Xander hopped up and down on his lap and Spike grunted. It hurt so fucking good. “I know!! I know!! I can call him DangerMouse and Wesley can be Penfold!”
Before Spike could laugh or slap Xander upside the head for being a geek, Spike heard Angel come on the line.
“Xander, what the fuck are you thinking?!”
Spike wanted a cigarette, badly. “He’s thinking up new nicknames to call you, Poof, that’s what he’s thinking.”
“Spike.” One word but Angel managed to put as much hatred as he could into it and Spike found a corner of his mind rethinking Xander's whole killing Angelus idea.
“What do you want, Spike?”
This would be so much easier if Angelus didn’t have that pesky soul. “Me and Xan, we’ve been together for the past two months…”
“Together?” If possible, Angel’s voice got even flatter.
“Yeah, that’s what you call it when you actively seek out someone else and spend your time shagging like weasels. We’re together.”
“You, and Xander, are together. And you’re telling me this…why?”
“Well, there was this accident down at the site where he worked. He was hurt real bad, yeah? And I only followed his wishes, got him fixed up with a soul good and proper and everything.”
“Spike, you had better not be telling me what I think you’re telling me.”
Spike smirked and goosed Xander. He knew his Childe was listening to everything that was being said. “Congratulations, Gramps, it’s a boy.”
“You turned Xander. You turned Xander Harris, vampire hater extreme, bumbling idiot and sidekick to the Vampire Slayer?”
“Oi! I’ll have you know that my boy’s not an idiot! Never has been. Smart enough to stand up to you, both with soul and without, so you shove that thought up your arse! Told you, we’ve been together for a while, I’ve been all domesticated and everything. Chip even stopped working and I didn’t go on a bloody rampage. Even rinse my bloody mugs and once in a while cook dinner. Even let Xan have a go at being on top a time or two. But Xan…he was hurt bad, Angelus, worse than Dru ever was. She was just weak but he…even if he had lived it would have been terrible. Living inside a shell of what he once was. And he left these letters, see, about his wishes if something should happen to him. Like, instead of being buried he wanted to be cremated so no one could dig him up for parts.”
Spike could feel Xander turning in his lap but he didn’t pay any attention to it. A soft nip to his ear captured his attention, though, and Xander was whispering in his ear. “Spike, you’re babbling. Just…ask.”
Spike really needed that drink now. “Right, anyhow, he wanted to be turned if something happened and I wanted him. So I did. Glinda stuck his soul on tight, so it’s not like we’re going out and killing innocent virgins. That is, if you can find any this day and age in Southern California.”
“Hey, Dawn had better be innocent still or I’m gonna find the guy who did it and put him in a world of hurt!”
Spike clapped a hand over his Childe’s mouth but the damage was done. “I thought you said he had a soul, Spike.”
Xander leaned over and spoke near the phone. “Would have done it before becoming Deadboy the Third, Angel, and if you caught some guy trying to take advantage of Buffy’s little sister you can’t tell me you wouldn’t tear his dick off with your bare hands, demon or not.”
There was a moment of silence and then the sound of rueful laughter. “There is that. Spike, I assume you want to visit?”
“Yeah, Angelus. He’s my Childe, after all. If he’s not welcomed into the Clan, members of other Clans will try to hurt him and it’s not like the Aurelius Line is strong right now. He’ll need your protection and mine.”
“When are you leaving?”
“Sunset tomorrow.” Spike allowed himself to relax. Evidently, Angel approved of Xander wanting to castrate anyone taking advantage of Dawn. That was…an odd bonding moment that all three of them could agree on.
“Why not tonight?”
Spike laughed and Xander spoke into the phone again. “Sorry, DangerMouse, my funeral is tonight and I kinda wanted to watch.”
“So, how’s the kid doing?”
The man who spoke to Spike was older, fiftyish maybe, with gray hair and a face lined with wrinkles thanks to age and working in the sun. The funeral had been for the benefit of Xander’s co-workers, mainly; with the exception of Tara none of the Scoobies had shown up and Spike couldn’t help but be glad. Xander’s friends didn’t need to deal with a pissy slayer while grieving.
Of course, none of them knew he was still walking around, and currently sitting in Spike’s old crypt so he could hear everything but not be seen. None of them but this old codger.
Spike narrowed his eyes and the old man spread his hands out in a placating gesture. “Don’t mean no harm, but I’ve lived here all my life and you get to know things. Was worried a bit when Xander showed up with that giant hickey of yours a couple months ago but, well, he’s been happy. Is he…dealing with the change okay, is all I’m asking.”
The other mourners had left and it was only him, Tara and this man whose name he didn’t know but who actually had known Xander, if just a bit. He looked over towards where his crypt was and saw that Xander had come out of hiding and was grinning at him. Spike turned to the man and nodded.
“He’s okay. Got him fixed right up, woke up the other night. He’s over there.” Spike pointed with his chin. “Don’t worry, mate, can’t say he don’t bite no more but he’s not…”
The old man laughed. “Not one of the morons that don’t know when to come out of the sun. Good. I’m…well, can’t say I’m glad but at least the kid’s happy and still around, you know?”
Spike just shook his head as he watched the man walk away. Tara came up behind him and laughed. “Xander always did lie badly.”
He shook his head. “Boy was always too goody-goody for his own good. That’s what got him into half of the messes he’d land in.” Spike walked over to headstone of the grave. Alexander Harris, 1980-2001. Friend and White Knight. It had seemed…fitting, at the time, but now Spike realized that his Childe hadn’t left his White Knight tendencies behind with his heartbeat.
He’d almost been late to his own funeral. They were walking through the tunnels and found that some minions in Sunnydale Below had caught some git of a maintenance worker. Of course, before Spike could even blink Xander was in there, throwing punches and kicks that two weeks ago would have left him tripping over his own feet. It was beautiful, seeing this graceful, deadly demon that still had the soul of his lover.
But did the worker thank them for their trouble? Fuck, no. He ran away screaming.
He looked over to where Xander was talking to his former co-worker. He could hear their conversation; the old codger was telling his boy to make the most of his second chance.
And that’s what it was, Spike realized. A second chance.
He looked at Tara and she was smiling too, but there were dark circles under her eyes. “What’s the matter, Glinda? The others still giving you a hard time?”
She sighed and looked down so that her hair hid her face. Her way of protecting herself, Spike knew, but he sure as hell wished she didn’t need it. “I—it’s just…well, they think I shouldn’t have agreed, or stopped you. They don’t think that all this...” her arm waved in a vague gesture, “that this is what Xander wanted. That you made it up, or persuaded him.”
Spike growled and clenched his hands. “Goddamned stupid fucks. If I was going to do something like that, I’d admit it. What do I care? They’re just going to end up pushing Xander away.” He caught a look at her face and stopped. “Fuck, Glinda, they’re pissed off at you. M’sorry ducks. It’s not fair; I shouldn’t have dragged you into this.”
“N—no. I’m glad. I did what Xander wanted.”
Spike could hear Xander walking up to them, his footsteps quieter than they had been as a human. He turned to really look at his Childe, but other than the extra grace and confidence, he was pretty much the same Xander. Oh, there were differences, sure. It was almost as if his Childe was…concentrated Xander. Everything that had made him special as a human was extra.
He grinned and held out his hand to Xander. “Glad you did, Tara, we both are.”
Xander bounced on his toes. “I’m very thankful, Tara. I’m sorry if I caused you…problems. But, I really did want this. Well, not the whole building falling on me and getting squished part. I would have liked to go on as normal for a few more years and give the guys a chance to get used to the Spike and Xander show, but hey, I’m here and, while I may not be breathing, I’m still kicking.”
Xander gave Tara another one of those rib-cracking hugs and Spike knew he was grinning like a bloody idiot but he just couldn’t help it. A week before his lover had been human, then Xander had been hurt and now he was a vampire but through it all Xander was Xander, thanks to this shy woman with wisdom beyond her years.
“Right, enough of this soppy shit. We’ll just have to go and visit the Slayer and company and prove to them that this is what Xan wanted and if they don’t like it they can take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut.”
Tara giggled and Xander grinned. His Childe bounced again and Spike found himself wondering if Tara had used jumping beans in the spell to secure his soul. “You know, there were a few times when they sent me on a doughnut run that I wanted to say just that. Well, maybe not that exact phrase, but hey, that’s a good one! I’ll have to remember that.”
They turned and started walking to the Magic Box, the two vampires keeping the witch in between them.
They walked through the streets of Sunnydale, and most of the shops and human places were closed up. It was May and getting dark later and later. Usually Spike hated summer, simply because he got bored out of his mind staying inside for hours at a time. Looking at Xander, he realized that he probably wouldn’t be getting bored for at least five hundred years or so.
He couldn't help but worry, though, about what would happen once they reached the Magic Box and about seeing Angelus the next night. Hopefully, after that things would settle down and Spike would have the chance to really spend some time with Xander, helping his lover adjust. Xander had already asked about hunting, but Spike was putting him off. For one thing, he didn’t want Angel getting his knickers in a twist over hunting scum bags, since Xander’s soul was definitely different from Angel’s.
For another, the feeling of having his Childe feed from him was so erotic that just the thought of it had him adjusting his pants.
Xander laughed and Tara looked confused but before either of them could say anything they had come out of the alley across from the Magic Box.
Xander stopped and looked at the shop. Spike knew what he was doing; he was using his new found senses to see who was there, cataloging scents and how many heartbeats were in the room. The sign said Closed and the shutters were down but there was light inside and Spike could tell that everyone with the exception of Dawn was there, even Xander’s ex. He growled and Xander looked at him worriedly.
“Sire? Do you want to do this?” And Spike hated that his beautiful Childe sounded so uncertain, so afraid. Xander was a demon now, he shouldn’t be afraid of anything, but Spike knew he was still the same person who still had the same fears.
And more than Angelus or any other monster Xander had faced down, he was afraid of losing his friends the most.
“Hell no, I’d rather be doing a half a million other things. Problem is, pet, we’ll have to face them some time and the longer we wait the worse it’ll get. Don’t want you to be the first vampire in history with panic attacks.”
Tara giggled and then ducked her head. “I—I don’t think that would be good. I mean, it’s not like breathing into a paper bag will help him now, is it?”
Spike chuckled and walked up behind Xander to give him a hug. “I can just see it now: Xander trying to breathe deep and forgetting he doesn’t need to and passing out anyway.”
“Haha, very funny. Come on. Let’s do this and afterwards Spike and I will take whoever is still talking to us for dinner at Mick’s.”
Spike grinned. “Onion rings might just make up for listening to the Slayer screech for a bit.”
Despite their laughter, though, Spike couldn’t help but wonder if the bell above the door as they entered the shop had a threatening tone to it.
He’d really been around Xander too long.
Five minutes. That’s all it took for tempers to flare and all Spike wanted to do was rip some of these self-centered idiots a new hole and take Xander home and fuck him senseless.
Of course, that would only make things worse. Xander had to be the one in control of whatever happened to his friends and all Spike could do was support him, no matter what. If Xander could get the screaming harpies to shut up and accept his decision, that was fine with him.
And if his Childe got fed up and tried to kick the Slayer’s ass? All the better, the way he was feeling right now.
“You know, I think we’re getting a bit off track. I, for one, am glad Xander isn’t dead. Well, not dead-dead. And he is happy; if anyone here knows a happy Xander it should be me. We were together for over two years.”
Xander grinned at his ex. “Thanks, An. I’m glad someone is happy to see me walking around.” The last was directed at Buffy and Willow.
Spike was watching the entire group. Anya acted happy to see Xander but on the whole was rather bored of the situation. Tara had retreated behind the curtain of hair and was trying to make herself invisible. Even the air around her seemed…vague. Given enough time, Spike was sure she could weave a spell around herself to make herself totally unnoticeable.
Dawn wasn’t there. Wouldn’t want the Slayer’s little sister hanging around two vampires. Never mind that both of them would lay down their lives for her and one of them had a soul.
Willow was sitting at the table, trying not to look at anyone. He took a whiff of her scent and she smelled angry and guilty all at once and Spike hope she hadn’t tried any mojo on either one of them. He’d really hate to gut her; it would bother Xander.
What amazed Spike was the Watcher. Either going back to the Mother Country or boinking Anyanka had done him some good. Gone were the dress slacks and tweed jackets. The older man was wearing a faded pair of jeans and a sweater and when the light caught him just right Spike could tell that contacts had replaced the glasses. Guess the ex-demon bint brought out the Ripper in the Watcher.
Buffy was the one doing most of the talking, as usual. She was saying how Xander should have never trusted Spike; how Spike put ideas in Xander’s head about how cool it was to be a vampire. He snorted. Considering she’d been the one chasing him right before he and Xander hooked up, that was more than a bit hypocritical.
“Buffy, I really don’t understand what made your panties bunch. I was going to be dead either way, this way I’m dead and can still pay you that twenty bucks I owe you. Seriously, what’s the problem?”
“You weren’t dead, Xander! That’s my problem. You were just…asleep and you could have woken up at any time and people come out of comas! But Spike didn’t give it a chance, he just left and came back and then turned you! I can’t believe that you’d let him do that, that you would want him to do that. It’s just…that’s not you, Xander.”
“And how the fuck would you know?” Spike looked at his Childe then. Xander was holding on to his temper by a thread. Even from across the room he could feel the effort his lover was making to keep from letting his demonic face be seen. “You know, I really thought that when we did the big intervention things would change. I thought, hell, I thought we’d go back to like it was in high school and we were best friends and in each other’s pockets. Stupid, huh? For a while I kept on rationalizing things to myself. How we pulled you out of heaven and that was our fault. That Willow was still having problems with her magicks. But you know what? I see it all differently now.”
Xander turned away from his friends and looked at Spike and smiled before he deliberately brought his true face forward. Spike could hear Anya’s small gasp but didn’t smell any fear from her. That was good, he figured. Tara didn’t do anything but smile, which was even better.
But when Xander turned, there were three heartbeats that sped up, and while the Watcher was still watching the two women were beginning to stink of fear.
“You know what, Buff? I have an even better sense of smell than my Sire. I don’t even think Spike realizes it yet. Might have something to do with the hyena possession, might be something to do with the demon I became. I can smell so much, even with my human face showing. I can smell the food from China Wok from here and that’s four blocks away. Each scent has a feel to it, it almost makes them two dimensional.”
Spike was shocked. He hadn’t realized that but it explained some things. Xander had never complained about his smoking as a human, but it had bothered his Childe to the point where he’d given them up. A muttered “Good Lord!” came from Giles and he looked amazed. Spike could see him visibly restraining himself from asking questions.
Xander took a step closer to Buffy, who was standing in the middle of the shop, and she took two steps back. He found himself grinning. If something happened the Slayer would never have a chance against his Childe.
“You know what I’ve been smelling on you all night, Buff? Both you and Willow? Jealousy. It’s not green, like the saying goes, but feels like an oil slick. You’re fucking jealous. You don’t give a shit that I died. Died! You’re just upset that Spike got over you. And Wills, I kinda bet you're more than a bit pissed that I asked Tara to make sure to give me back my soul. Sad to say, but after your misuse of magic I trust her more. You both read your letters; you know this is what I wanted. Now you’re going to have to accept it.”
Xander turned and came to stand in front of Spike and he opened his arms and embraced his Childe gladly. It had been hard keeping his mouth shut but he knew it was something Xander needed to do.
“See! This is what I’m talking about! Spike comes first and you forget about the rest of us. I thought you said you weren’t going to be in anyone’s thrall anymore!”
Spike let go of Xander, stepped in front of him and growled at Buffy, furious. “Listen here, you empty-headed little bint! Xander might be my Childe but I’ve never even tried to control him. It would be bloody impossible; his head is as thick as stone.” He heard Xander’s “Hey!” and felt his Childe thumping him on the arm but he ignored it. “Like Xan said, you’re just jealous that I jumped his bones instead of yours!”
“That is enough!!” Giles’s shout stopped all of the yelling that had started. He stood now in the center of the room and, by the set of his jaw, Spike could tell he was having a difficult time keeping his temper. Anya left where she was leaning to stand behind him, her hand on his arm, and Spike spared a thought that they looked good together like that.
“But, Giles…” This didn’t come from Buffy this time but Willow, and Spike could smell the salt from her tears.
“No, Willow. I have sat here and listened to you and Buffy for the past three days. I’ve listened to everything you’ve said and what you haven’t. It’s more than enough.” Giles sounded tired and Spike saw him make an aborted attempt to push up glasses that were no longer on his face.
He walked towards them and Spike found himself meeting his gaze. It was like the Watcher was looking to see if he really cared about Xander and for once Spike let his defenses fall just a bit. Giles nodded and then turned to Xander.
“I am so very glad to see you walking around. Rather shocked, though. It seems like it was just last week when Tara told me on one of our conference calls about you and Spike. I wasn’t aware that you had gotten so…attached so quickly. Still, that’s my own fault, I suppose. In the rush to distance myself from Buffy to give her room to grow into her life, I distanced myself from you and Willow as well.”
He embraced Xander and after a few moments of awkwardness Xander returned the hug. Spike was caught in-between growling at someone else touching what was his and laughter at the slightly shocked look on his lover’s face. About halfway through the embrace, Xander had replaced his human mask.
“Giles! You can’t mean that you’re okay with this! Xander is a vampire now and that’s just…wrong!”
Giles finally pulled away and faced Buffy. “It’s not wrong if this is what he wished, and after talking to Tara and both of you I feel sure that Spike did nothing more than follow Xander’s wishes. What is wrong is the fact that you and Willow are pushing him away with your attitude and if you aren’t careful you will lose Xander for real.”
“But…but we’ve already lost him. He’s not ours anymore. He belongs to Spike.”
Willow’s voice was so small and sad that Spike would have felt sorry for her if it wasn’t for all the shit she was putting his Xander through. Xander, however, rushed to kneel on the floor beside her.
“Damn it, Willow, don’t you get it? I was Spike’s before this happened. Being Spike’s Childe, being a vampire doesn’t mean I can’t be your friend, unless you make that impossible.”
She looked at him and then looked away but Spike could see her mask cracking. Xander gave her a quick hug and stood up.
“I went to my funeral tonight and was kinda surprised at who turned up and who didn’t. Not you guys, because you knew what was going on, but people from school I thought I didn’t matter to and guys from work and even a teacher or two. Rob, this older guy that kind of took me under his wing, he figured it out and came to talk to me. He used to be this big wig corporate dude that did an about face and became this everyday guy who worked with wood.”
“He told me why tonight. Seems he was in a real bad car wreck and died. Really died for, like, ten minutes. He didn’t tell me what happened, but he said that when he came back he knew that being here was a second chance and that he wasn’t going to waste it doing things he didn’t like or dealing with people that didn’t like him. He told me my life may not be that short now but that didn’t mean that I should take any crap from anyone.”
Spike laughed at that. “Knew I liked the looks of him. Sounds like something I’d say.”
Xander came up beside him and Spike ran a comforting hand down his back. The others might see Xander being all cool and collected but he could see the tension in Xander’s neck and could feel how anxious he was. His Childe was hurting but putting on a brave face.
“So this is it, my new life. I’m still Xander but I’m Spike’s Childe now and I’m happy. This is what I wanted. If you can handle that, well, that’s great. If you can’t, well then, you weren’t the friends I thought you were.”
Spike sat in the corner of the booth and grinned. Now this was more like it. Xander had finally relaxed after confronting his friends and was now nearly sitting in his lap. He and his ex were talking a mile a minute to each other, catching up. Tara and the Watcher were doing the same, talking about business and old musty books.
Red and the Slayer hadn’t come with them for dinner at Mick’s. Said they weren’t up to eating at a demon hang out. They had said that they would try to accept Xander; it would just take time. Xander had almost visibly flinched at that before reminding them that he had a hell of a lot more time than they did.
Personally, it didn’t matter to Spike what they did as long as Xander was okay. After downing a pitcher and a half of beer between the two of them and Giles and some onion rings, he was finally starting to calm down a bit. Plus, it wasn’t like they’d come after either one of them with a stake. As he’d pointed out to Xander on their way over to Mick’s, it just took a while for Buffy and Willow to understand things sometimes.
In the meantime, they were sitting in the corner at Mick’s and having good food and, more importantly, good beer. The place was dim and there weren’t that many customers of demon or human variety that night. No pool table, but there was a jukebox and Xander and Anya had fed the machine nearly five dollars in quarters. Thank god it was an old machine that actually got them music, more than three or four songs. It was good stuff too; no Sex Pistols, but Queen and Metallica at the very least.
“Rupert always likes it when I lick the back of his knees, which was very surprising.” Anya’s strident voice was clearly heard by all during a lull in the conversation and all eyes were suddenly on the blushing Watcher.
“Yes, thank you very much for sharing that with everyone, Anya.” The Watcher sounded irritated and Spike couldn’t help it, he started laughing. After a moment the others joined in, Tara shyly gigging behind a curtain of hair and Anya just grinning.
Best of all was his Xander, who gave a big booming laugh that seemed to echo even as he wriggled beside him. Spike was just thankful that Xander wasn’t attempting to go off and brood or go off the deep end of the pool. Whatever happened with his two friends in the future, Xander was going to be all right.
“That went okay, don’t you think, Spike?”
Spike had his arm around Xander’s waist and Xander had his around his shoulders and he was feeling pretty fucking good. “Could have been a hell of a lot worse, pet. No one got dusted or maimed and, while ordinarily that last bit would have been fun, I know that’s not what you want. Seeing the Watcher embarrassed was an added bit of fun too.”
Xander laughed. “Yeah, that was fun, wasn’t it? I used to hate it when Anya did it to me, but as long as it’s someone else on the receiving end of her candor it’s amusing as hell. For a second I thought that Giles was gonna squirt beer out of his nose.”
Spike chuckled with him and squeezed his arm tight. They were on one of the side streets of downtown Sunnydale and it was mostly deserted. He stopped and pulled Xander into a dark alley. “What do you think about being on the receiving end of some public intercourse?” He leaned forward and licked up the side of his Childe’s neck. “Feeling…up to it?”
Xander moaned and Spike felt his hips thrust to meet his own. They were both hard. “More than up to it, Sire. It’s something I’ve always kinda wanted to do but I was too nervous…before.” His Childe’s head tipped even more and Spike was able to lick and nibble on a long expanse of neck.
The next few minutes went by in a blur of lips and tongues and fangs. He didn’t even bother with unzipping, that’s not what this was about. This was foreplay, just seeing how far they could work each other up and waiting until the last second to do anything about it.
Xander was sniffing at the crook of his neck and Spike wondered what he was scenting. He had meant to ask Giles about that earlier but had gotten distracted. He himself was drowning in Xander’s scent; the smell of denim and sawdust that had followed him as a human remained but now there was earth and blood and an added richness. He shuddered and pulled Xander as close as possible.
Suddenly Xander stiffened in his arms and growled, the transformation from his human face to his true face smooth and effortless. Spike did the same and then caught a new scent on the wind. Humans.
“What do you smell, Xander? Tell me.”
His nose wrinkled even more as his Childe tried to put what he was sensing into words. “There’s at least three of them, all young males, and, I dunno, it kinda smells like used sweats from PE class with some crappy perfume dumped all over them. But there’s blood, too.”
Spike chuckled. “That sounds about right, some sort of aftershave. There’s a group of jocks from the High School moving towards us. Smells like they’ve been fighting or something.” It wasn’t his concern, really; he just wanted to get back to the bit where they were swallowing each other’s tongues whole.
But for some reason Xander was staring down at the tips of his shoes. Spike reached out and tipped his chin up and forced his Childe to look at him. “Xan?”
“Can we…I mean, if they’re like, mugging people or beating them up, can we hunt them, Sire? I’m hungry.”
Spike was more than a bit surprised. He hadn’t really expected this, he'd just expected that Xander would be content with bagged or Sire’s blood. Spike had never even considered that Xander might want to learn how to hunt.
Then there was the Slayer to think about. If she found them hunting, they would find themselves on the sharp end of a stake. Still, the thought of hunting with his Childe, showing him how to stalk his prey and how to subdue, how to seduce them was just so exciting. He was hard just thinking about it. And if they were careful, the Slayer would never have to know about it.
“Come on, pet. If those boys aren’t up to something wicked I can bet someone else is. We’ll find you an evil human for dinner.”
Spike grit his teeth and tightened his grip on the steering wheel. He loved Xander with all of his unbeating heart.
“Don't be afraid. Of the guy in shades, oh-no! It kinda scared you. 'Cause you got it made, with the guy in shades, oh-no!”
But if his Childe didn’t stop singing that bloody song he was going to hit the brakes and let Xander hit the fucking dashboard. He sighed. He knew he wouldn’t, even though it wouldn’t hurt him anymore. It was just…tempting. They were nearly to Los Angeles and he knew his Childe was nervous but that didn’t mean he had to be so fucking annoying.
“I say it to you now, I wear my sunglasses at night, I wear my sunglasses at night, I wear my sunglasses at night!”
“Xander!” His Childe stopped singing along with the radio and turned in the passenger seat. “Luv, let’s stop with the flashback to the 80’s, okay? As far as I’m concerned, the only thing decent to come out of that decade was a few punk groups, Chucky and you.”
Xander shrugged. “Sorry Spike, I’m just nervous. And I feel all, I dunno, hyper. Between the two, I think I could get out and run to LA.”
Spike chuckled. “That’s part of the problem with drinking my blood and having some fresh instead of the bagged crap. And I hate to tell you this, Xan, but you’ve always been hyper.”
“Oh, like you’re the poster boy for being calm and patient? I don’t think so.” Spike didn’t even try to answer that one; he'd admitted to himself a long time ago about his own flaws. Xander leaned forward to find something decent on the radio. They were nearing LA and he could see the sky brighten with the city lights.
Spike took pride in how well his Childe had done on the hunt the night before. Of course they had targeted muggers, but he’d had better control than some vamps twenty years dead. He figured it was the soul’s influence, not wanting to kill.
Spike looked down at the dashboard and swore. “Gonna need to stop and get petrol at the next stop, luv.”
Xander turned on a hard rock station and this time it was Ozzy who was blaring from the speakers. Much better. “Cool! I’ll run in and get us some munchies to snack on the rest of the way. You can’t have a road trip without chocolate!”
He couldn’t contain the groan that escaped his lips. “Bloody hell, Xander! You’re already bouncing, want to make it worse?”
Xander grinned. It was an expression that Spike was becoming familiar with. It was sort of a miniature evil grin and he just knew his Childe was up to something. “Well, we’ll be in LA soon, won’t we? And visiting Grandpa! I have to be on my best behavior, you said so, Daddy, and I take that to mean you want me to beat the hell out of Angel. That means I need a sugar rush! A red bull and a giant Mountain Dew should do it.”
Spike groaned as his cock twitched in the confines of his jeans. “Xander, love of my unlife and my only Childe, don’t call me that while I’m driving.” He tried to keep his voice even. “We’ll both survive the crash but I really don’t want to explain to Angelus that the reason we need to be picked up is because you were sucking me off while driving and I wrecked.”
Xander grinned that grin again and bounced in his seat. “There’s a rest area just a mile and a half away if you want…Daddy.”
“Gods, Childe, you’re going to be the end of me.”
“I am not!!”
Spike grinned. He loved teasing Xander. Of course, it helped that it usually led to mind blowing sex. Not that they didn’t have that in the car before getting their petrol. “Are too.”
“Not! Not! Not!” They stopped side by side at the entrance to the Hyperion. “Do we just go in?”
Spike raised his hand and felt to see if the invisible barrier would keep them from entering. He knew Peaches had humans living with him, but there wasn’t anything keeping them from going in. “Guess so, pet, and you are too.”
Xander made a strangled sort of noise and Spike’s grin just got bigger. He knew his Childe wasn’t really upset; Xander got quiet when pissed off, not louder. He hissed under his breath. “I am not a fucking human magnet, so just drop it, okay?”
Spike led the way into the lobby and hopped up and sat on what used to be the check-in desk. “Wonder where Peaches is; he knew we were coming. And you are too.”
“Spike!” Xander joined him but not before he smacked at him. Upstart Childe.
“Xander, you’ve got sodding bullet holes in your shirt. We were nearly mugged walking here and it was you who walked into that idiot robbing the convenience store when you went to buy snacks. In a hundred years that has never happened to me. Face it, you were a demon magnet when you were a human and now that you’re a demon, you’re a human magnet.”
“Am not! It was just…coincidence, that’s all.” Xander crossed his arms and pouted.
“Do I even want to know why you two are both sitting on the desk?” Spike turned to see Angel coming from a room behind them. He held up a hand. “No, don’t answer, I know I don’t want to know. I don’t want to know why Xander has bullet holes and I don’t want to know why you both smell of human blood. The less I know, the better off I am.”
Spike held up his hands. “S’not my fault. The boy still attracts trouble, despite the fact that he stopped breathing. Gits have tried to mug us three different times in the past two days. If we take a little…nip, well, it’s not like it hurts them. Used to do it yourself before you got all high and mighty with the hero stuff.”
Angel totally ignored him and looked at Xander. “I thought you had a soul.”
“I do, but look at this! I couldn’t let the clerk get shot, so I took the bullet instead. I have holes in my favorite shirt!!” He pulled at the shirt, one of his stupid Star Trek ones, “Everything I Need To Know I Learned from Star Trek: DS9”.
“Xan-luv, I hate to tell you this but if ever a shirt needed to be shot it’s that one.” He then quickly ducked the blow to the head that he knew was coming and laughed.
“Asshole. Just for that, Spike, you’re buying me another shirt when you take me to the next Star Trek convention.”
“Enough!!” They both turned their attention to where Mount Angelus was about to blow. “Why you two social rejects are even let out of the house I don’t know. I take it you stopped a robbery in progress but left the perpetrator alive for the police? Should I expect a few cops to be breaking down the door any minute now?”
Xander snickered. “Robbery in progress? Perpetrator? You’ve been watching reruns of Starsky and Hutch again, haven’t you, DangerMouse? Or is it Law and Order? Get your tights out of your ass, no one’s dead. Well, except for us.”
Angel spluttered and then took a deep breath. “I don’t want to know. Come on, let’s get this over with. I want to be able to look at Cordelia in the morning and I won’t be able to if you two idiots are still here.”
“What, that’s it? 'Let’s get this over with?' Fuck Angelus, you could at least buy us dinner first or ply us with drink. You must think we’re cheap or something.”
Another look from Angel had Spike closing his mouth as he followed the older vampire up the stairs. Xander followed and was singing under his breath, a sign that he was nervous. Spike listened closely and then had to bite the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing.
“He's The Best. He's The Greatest. He's The Greatest Secret Agent In The World! He's The Ace - He's Amazing... He's the Strongest... He's The Quickest.... He's The Best! DangerMouse! DangerMouse! DangerMouse!”
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