Damned With You


by
Amejisuto



Part Eleven

“Okay, so how do we work this? And I swear to god, Angel, if you tell me to just lie down and think of England or to assume the position, Spike and I are going with Plan B and dusting you.”

Spike snorted and took off his duster, throwing it over the armchair Angel had in his bedroom. “Come on, pet, would think you’d have a fondness for England after being with me.”

Xander sat down on the bed and started bouncing while Angel crossed the room to pour himself a drink. This would never do. Vampire or not, Spike really didn’t want Xander being so nervous he was hurt. And the way Angel was acting, he wasn’t sure if the elder vampire could even get it up. If Angel was going to take Xander and give him the protection of the clan, they were all going to have to relax.

“Right, then. We’ll need that booze passed around, Peaches, if we’re going to do this at all. Maybe if we’re all pissed to the gills we’ll be able to do this without Xander having a panic attack and you brooding through the climax.”

“I can always do this without you, William. Tradition says I have to take Xander; his Sire isn’t needed.” Angel had remained near the small bar in front of the windows of the suite they were in, and his eyes were hooded. Maybe they’d be going with Plan B after all.

“Sod off, Angelus! If you think I’m letting you get within arm's reach of my Childe without me being there you’ve got rocks in your head! Always have thought I’ve heard something rattling around in that empty cavern of yours.”

Before he could say or do anything else, Angel was across the room and had him thrown against the wall. Spike could feel the hard grip of the older vampire’s fingers wrapped around his neck.

“You know what, Spike? It’s within my rights as Master to take you, your Childe and anything else of yours I damn well please.”

Spike could hear the fury in Angel’s voice and snarled wordlessly at him, his human face falling to reveal his true one. “Fuck you and the horse you rode in on, Angelus! If you hurt one hair on Xan’s head they’ll be vacuuming you out of the fucking carpet for weeks!”

He raised his arm and then brought his elbow down on Angel’s forearms as hard as he could. He heard a slight crack before falling to the ground. A broken arm served the bastard right for being such a git.

Angel swore loudly but before he could attack again a pewter candlestick attached to Xander’s arm hit him on the side of the head and the bigger man went down. His Childe looked over at him, a large grin on his face. “That was fun! I’ve always wanted to do that!”

Spike had to chuckle. “At one point or other everyone wants to hit Peaches, even if they do fawn all over him. Wonder what in the hell crawled up his arse? He was pissy last night but not more than usual, but he was nearly enraged when we showed up today.”

Xander bit his lip. “Do we even want to wait around and find out? Maybe we should just try this without the whole sex thing? ‘Cause I hate to tell you, despite being gay and a demon the thought of doing it with Angel just isn’t a good one for me.”

Spike leered at Xander. “Tell the truth now, Xan. I overheard Red tell the Slayer that the first time you saw Tall, Dark and Poofy here you thought he was handsome.”

Xander snorted. “Well, that was before he opened his mouth.”

He couldn’t help it; he laughed. “He does come off better when he's being the silent, mysterious type, doesn’t he? Come on, pet, he’s gonna wake up after a bit. What do you want to do?”

If Xander said right then that he wanted to leave, they would. Hell, by that point Spike was sick of Angel’s attitude and ready to stake him anyway, and if that’s what Xander wanted, well, that was what Xander was going to get.

His Childe shifted from foot to foot. “I don’t know. There’s something wrong, like he's wound up tighter than normal. Why don’t we just leave him alone for a bit and hope he chills out?"

Spike nodded. “Whatever you want, pet. Sounds good to me, and we can always stake him later if we want.”

He walked over and picked up his duster, slinging it over an arm instead of putting it on. Xander came to him and they embraced for a moment before they left the room and made their way down the stairs.

“You know, it’s weird, but I haven’t heard anything from the LA gang since Willow came back from telling them that Buffy died. Oh, I know they found out that Buffy’s back because she went and visited with Angel somewhere or other. But I have no idea what Cordelia’s doing.”

Spike just shrugged. “'S not like they know what’s going on in Sunnydale either, luv. From what Red said, the two Watchers didn’t even confer on Glory and if we ever needed back-up it was with her. Besides, I got the feeling from what Angel said that he’s trying to hide us like the crazy uncle your family kept locked up in the attic.”

Xander laughed. “You forget, in my family they kept the only sane one locked in the basement. Hellmouth logic, you gotta love it.”

Spike growled. He was more than glad that after Anya broke up with Xander his family had pretty much refused to talk to him. It saved him from having to rip their arms off and let rats nibble at the stumps.

Xander stepped in front of him suddenly and kissed him on the nose, making Spike blink. That was one of the things he loved about his boy. He could be growling up a storm and Xander wouldn’t blink twice. Even when he’d been human, he'd never flinched when it came to kissing or loving a snarling demon.

Xander laughed. “You’re so cute when you’re being all over protective! Come on, let’s find Angel’s favorite couch and make stains on it.”

A half hour later found them both in a better mood, with Spike lying on Xander’s chest. The couch had survived without any permanent damage due to the fact that they had been more intent on kissing and groping and foreplay than anything else.

“You’re still here?” Angel’s voice came from the stairwell and they both looked up. He had that stupid kicked puppy look on his face and his hair was mussed. Spike was torn between pointing and laughing and actually worrying about the big dumb ox. Angel just wasn’t acting normally.

“No, we’re a mirage. Don’t be such a moron, Angel.” Spike could feel Xander nuzzling his hair and grinned at the perplexed expression on his Sire’s face. He sat up and pulled Xander with him.

“Look, something is making you even surlier than usual, Peaches. I don’t think you’re going to be able to get it up until you get whatever it is off your chest. So make with the act of confession, we’ll fuck like bunnies and then leave.”

Angel sighed, but where Spike had expected a fight he merely walked behind the lobby desk and grabbed two bottles of whiskey. “This is going to take a lot of alcohol.”





Part Twelve

Angel sighed, but where Spike had expected a fight he merely walked behind the lobby desk and grabbed two bottles of whiskey. “This is going to take a lot of alcohol.”

*****
“Okay, so let me get this straight. You went extra special broody last year and boffed Darla after the evil lawyers brought her back and had Dru re-vamp her. Somehow she got knocked up and gave up her unlife for the baby while half of the West Coast’s bad guys tried to capture or kill you and the baby. Despite all of this, Cordy went on vacation and two of your little helpers were wrapped up in their own love story so no one noticed that you were going slightly nuts except for Wesley. Knowing Watchers like I do, he probably didn’t eat anything more than toast for days while researching and didn’t sleep so by the time he found this prophecy he was probably on the edge of dehydration and malnutrition.”

Spike had to grin. When Xander wanted to he could really cut through the bullshit.

“So Wes was convinced you were about to make your own kid a snack pack so he tried to get the baby away from you to protect him, ended up betrayed with his throat cut while the kid was sucked to a hell dimension. Now, thanks to some sort of wormhole or rift, the kid came back and he’s older but he hates you and is running loose in the streets of LA and since you tried to kill your Watcher and you can’t find the kid you're worried sick. Have I got it?”

Spike watched in amusement as Angel saluted Xander with his glass, took a drink and then threw it against the opposite wall. He was definitely smashed. They were in Angel’s office and there was evidence of his Sire’s temper tantrums all over the place.

“Have you even tried to talk to the Watcher? Or maybe just finding the brat and dragging him back to your hotel here by the hair?”

Angel snarled at him. “Why should I? They both made their decisions and now they have to live with it.”

Spike rolled his eyes. “Nice way to relate to people there, Peaches. You sure you don’t want to beat on your chest while you’re at it?”

Beside him Xander snickered. “I’m surprised he hasn’t tried to drag Cordelia into his lair by her hair yet. He must be more scared of her than he is of Wes.”

“Yeah, as if you weren’t scared of her when you dated the chit.” Spike poked Xander in the side and was rewarded with a dirty look. They were both sharing a chair across from Angel. The man himself was leaning back in his chair and over the course of the past ten minutes had started sliding further down, ever so slowly. The first two bottle of liquor were long gone, and Angel had wandered around the office and what had to be the Watcher’s library when he was there and found two more.

Xander and Spike had only had about half a bottle’s worth. Angel had steadily drunk the rest.

“Spike, you forget that under that cheerleader attitude is a Queen Bitch. Anyone with half a brain is scared of Cordelia, which goes to prove that Gramps here is at the very least half witted.”

Angel growled at that but didn’t say anything. He’d stopped responding to their barbs about a bottle and a half ago, which was disturbing in itself. If Spike were to be totally honest with himself, he was…worried about the big idiot. Who was sliding further down into the big leather chair so that in a few minutes he’d be a vampire shaped puddle on the floor.

“Why do you two have to pick on me all the time? Everyone picks on me; Cordy even left me for Groo. Vampires have feelings too, you know.”

Xander’s jaw dropped before he closed it and made a strangled sort of sound. Spike himself was torn between amusement and, surprisingly enough, worry. Xander tugged at his sleeve until they moved to the other side of the office.

“Sire, what are we going to do? Angel has totally lost it. I don’t think I’ve ever heard him like this. He's worse than you were when you went on that bender when Dru left. We can’t just leave him there. Shit, I don’t think I could stake him right now, and that’s saying something.”

Spike sighed and pulled Xander close to him, enjoying the scent and feel of his Childe. “First we’re going to get Mr. Personality poured into bed. It’s too early in the morning to find any of my old contacts in LA but I can make a few calls from here and find some things out. We’ll see.”

“So we’re going to stay and help?”

Spike sighed. This went against every instinct he had. “Yeah, pet, think we’d better. After all, the bloody git is family.”

“Part of me is cringing, but yeah, we have to help. This isn’t good. I don’t know what we’re going to do. This whole thing with Wes is weird. I mean, if I had a kid and there was a chance I was going to eat him, I’d want someone to take him away. I don’t blame him for that, and it’s not just Angel’s fault but all of his people. They’re going to have to do some major ass kissing.”

They both made their way back to the desk and found that Angel had managed to pass out. “Have to find his kid and get him them to talk, or lock them in a room together. Maybe we’ll get lucky and they’ll kill each other.” He grabbed Angel under his arms and Xander moved to get his feet. “Why the hell do I suddenly feel like I’m up for a spot on the bloody Jerry Springer Show?”

Xander laughed. “You know what’s really funny? For once, we’re not the ones in trouble and we’re not the weird ones!”

“Right. You just keep on telling yourself that, luv. Never mind that you’re a vampire with a soul and a Star Trek obsession. Now come on, let’s get Peaches to bed. I swear to god, carrying his leaden arse is like carrying 85 kilos of mashed potatoes.”

They made their way around the lobby and up the stairs before Xander said anything else. “Spike? Do vampires get fat?”

******

“Xander! What are you doing here! Is everything all right with Buffy?” Cordelia’s voice echoed in the lobby and Spike took two steps backwards into Angel’s office. As Xander had said just hours before, anyone with half a brain was scared of the chit and the last time he’d seen the girl he’d been shoving pokers into Angel’s side and she'd had a crossbow aimed at him.

Besides, as much as Xander was his Childe he wanted to treat his boy as an equal. It wasn’t cowardly to hide behind your partner.

“Wow. Cordy, you look…great. You cut your hair. And you’re all different.” Spike could hear his Childe inhale and knew he was doing that odd scenting thing. He wondered about that. Xander had told him he’d been possessed by a hyena spirit when he was younger but he didn’t think that was it. After all, Xander might laugh but he didn’t whoop like a madman.

“Oh, that. I had to be turned into a half demon to deal with the visions the PTB send me. Let me tell you, that was weird. What’s up?”

“Family reunion time, Cordy. We came to see Angel and found him being extra special maudlin last night.”

“We? Is Spike with you? I swear to god, Angel needs to pay me more for this job or start paying for me to get therapy. The thought of anyone doing anything with Spike makes me all…crawly.”

Spike chose that moment to step out of the office and threw an arm around his Childe’s shoulders. “You’re just jealous, luv. It’s okay, we understand. The thought of two such handsome blokes snogging each other does strange things to a bird sometimes.”

Xander laughed and wrapped his arm around Spike’s waist. “My nose tells me the thought of us making out does something to her, alright.”

They both leered at the young woman and Spike watched in amusement as she stuttered and blushed. “Stop that! It’s…weird. Besides, how do you know, Xander?”

Xander ducked his head. “I just can since I was turned. It’s weird, but I’m starting to get used to it.”

“WHAT?! Turned? Xander Harris, are you telling me you’re a vampire?”

“What, didn’t DangerMouse tell you guys? That’s why we came to visit. He’s my Great-Grandsire now.”

“Oh my god! I am so going to kick Angel’s ass for this!”





Part Thirteen

“Tell me again why those two freaks are staying here? And why we’re not dusting them, just on principle?”

“Gunn, we’ve gone over this. Angel’s being an asshole with this whole Connor and Holtz thing and needs his ass kicked. No matter how many faults Spike has, and believe me there are a lot, he loves to torment Angel most of all.”

Spike stood in the back of the lobby and listened. He wasn’t sure whether he should be proud that the cheerleader recognized his nature or be insulted. For once he was actually trying to help Angelus and be on the up and up and everyone doubted his motives.

Then again, the last time the chit saw him he’d been shoving hot pokers in Angel’s side, and if not for the fact he was pissed about losing the Gem of Amara at the time he would have had more fun with it, added his own personal touch.

He grinned to himself. Hopefully Peaches had made a big enough arse of himself that he could get permission from Cordelia to do it again. Then again, maybe he’d just do it and deal with the consequences later.

He felt a sharp pain in his backside and realized his Childe had managed to sneak up on him. “You know, people who eavesdrop never hear good things about themselves.”

Spike snorted. “Luv, these humans wouldn’t like me if I was the bloody Queen. Charlie boy there is just dying to stake me; it’s only your ex-girlfriend that’s stopping him.”

“Yeah, right, like he could take you. Me, maybe. I’m still new to all this vamp strength, surrendering to my demon and inner Jackie Chan stuff, but you? Not going to happen. Now, what the hell are we going to do? These people are more dysfunctional than we are, and fuck, if that’s not saying something.”

“Hell if I know, pet.” Spike stuck his hands in the pockets of his jeans and watched as Angel’s humans bickered back and forth.

“Umm, you remember pulling all that divide and conquer crap when you were working for Adam. Why don’t we just do the opposite?”

He shook his head. “I don’t think that would help, Xander. It’s sad, but it’s a hell of a lot easier to hurt with just a few words. It’s more difficult trying to get these gits together.”

Xander gave him one of those damned looks he was so good at. The kind guaranteed to make him want to make everything better for his love. He sighed. “Might as well give it a try, then.”

Xander grinned and Spike knew the little shit was manipulating him on purpose. He was rather proud of his boy; Xander was better at manipulating him than Drusilla ever was. Then again, it probably helped that he didn’t care that he was being manipulated for once. “Pest.”

“Idiot. Come on. The sooner we get things fixed here, the sooner we can go back home and annoy Buffy.”

“Oh, we’re going to be annoying the Slayer when we get back to the 'Dale, are we? I didn’t know that, should have mentioned it before, you git.”

Xander laughed. “Yeah, well, I think if we just stand there and do nothing she’ll still be annoyed so we might as well be prepared to cuddle and have as many PDA’s as possible just to bug the crap out of her. Hopefully, by the third time she’s caught us while out on patrol she’ll realize that you’re more interested in getting in my pants than taking over the Hellmouth and trying to rule the world.”

Spike snorted. He wouldn’t want to rule the world anyway; it would be bloody annoying. “Sounds like a plan, luv. Now let’s go.”

They had been talking too quietly for human ears to hear in the back of the lobby but they deliberately made noise as they came into the center of the room. Xander was getting much better at walking without making a sound but now wasn’t the time, considering Gunn was still wanting to stake them.

“Hey, guys, is Angel up yet?” Spike let Xander take the lead. He was much better at supporting people and getting fractured groups to come together; after all, he’d been doing it for years with the Scoobies. He was much better at the breaking up bits.

“No. Did you and Spike have to get him so drunk? Here I thought the Irish could hold their liquor.” Cordelia was behind the lobby desk, leaning against it and flipping through the pages of a magazine.

Spike snorted. “Not him, ducks. Bloody poof has always been a lightweight when it came to drinking. It was his downfall long before he met Darla in that alley. He's probably awake, though, and brooding a bit more. Being all embarrassed and guilty and pissed that Xan and I are still here.”

“Yeah, you know how well me and DangerMouse get along. It’s hardly a surprise he’s hiding to see if we go home.” Xander had paused and cocked his head and Spike listened as well. If anything would get Angel into an awake and roaring state it would be that comment. But there was nothing.

The small slip of a girl attached to Gunn’s side was ducking her head and smiling. “Y’all call Angel DangerMouse?”

Xander grinned and bounced in place. “Well, it used to be Deadboy from me, but with me being dead now I had to change it. Spike’s collected a number of nicknames for Angel though: Peaches, Poof…”

“Don’t forget Git and Broodboy, luv.”

The girl giggled and Spike smiled at her. She sort of reminded him of Red, Tara and Dawn all rolled into one slip of a girl with glasses and a Texan accent. “Hi! I’m Fred, pleased to meet y’all.”

She made a move as if to shake hands but Gunn stopped her. It was annoying in a way but Spike respected the big man, he was protecting his lover from what he perceived as a threat. Hell, he’d done the same with Xander. If only he could get the man to stop glaring at him.

“Hi! I’m Xander and this is Spike. Don’t worry, we’re cool.” Cordelia snorted at that but Xander just ignored her. “I mean, we’re not gonna try to snack on you or anything, I have a soul and Spike, well, Spike’s different.”

“I thought you had some kind of computer chip in your head keeping you from making a buffet out of the general populace, Bleach Boy.”

He opened his mouth to snarl at the cheerleader but Xander covered it. “It fizzled out a couple of months ago. Don’t worry, though. If he goes on a killing spree Dawn will scream at him and no one wants that. You know how loud she can get.”

Spike growled from underneath Xander’s palm but, with the exception of Gunn, everyone ignored him. It was a good thing he had a healthy self-image or else he would have been hurt that the two human girls weren’t running in terror.

“Whatever.” In fact, Cordelia was less than impressed. He’d have to do something terrible to her before they went back to Sunnydale.

“Yeah, well, the both of you can keep your fangs on the other side of the room. Don’t like it when Angel gets all primal so I sure as hell don’t like you. You come near me or my girl and I'll have no problems turning the both of you into dust bunnies, soul or no soul.”

“Charles!” Fred stepped away from her beau and rolled her eyes. “Never mind him, he’s being over protective. I’m sure you’re not gonna rip out my throat and drink me like a beer, right?”

Xander was laughing too hard to answer, and even Spike had to smile. “Don’t worry, ducks. Even if I was hungry, you’re such a bit of a girl it wouldn’t even be an aperitif. Besides, I’ve learned that it’s the shy, quiet ones that are the hardest to take out.”

She smiled hugely and then fell silent. Spike had the feeling that normally she was as bad as Xander with the babbling and he could smell both Fred’s and Gunn’s nervousness.

“So…any ideas on where Connor is? Favorite places to crash, shelters for runaways, things like that?”

“Nah, man, we’ve been checking all those kinda places out and we’ve got nothing. Angel just wants to wait for the kid to come back but me and Fred have been looking. Even called in a few favors but there’s no sign of him. Right now Lorne is taking Groo around town getting him used to LA and they’re gonna try to find him too.”

Spike looked at Xander before turning back to Gunn. “What about Watcherboy? Have your people asked him?”

It was like the room’s temperature dropped twenty degrees. Cordelia even stopped flipping pages in her book and Fred lost her bounce. Gunn looked at the other two before answering.

“We haven’t talked to him, we don’t want to talk to him, and we don’t need him. End of fucking story.”

Spike snarled. “You know, I realize the git made a mistake but I would think getting his sodding throat cut was more than enough penance. For hell’s sake, he was trying to keep the nipper safe from Angelus!”

“Angel would have never hurt Connor, not in a million years.” Gunn sounded so sure it was almost sickening.

“Cordy, did you slip and hit your head or something? Because if Angel lost his soul, unlike Spike here he’d be more than happy than snack on anyone or anything.” Xander had edged closer to him, seeking comfort from his Sire in the face of all the anger that was being focused on them.

“You lot have never read the Watcher’s Chronicles, have you? Know where Angelus found Dru? She was taking her vows to become a nun and was a postulant with an order that took care of orphans. Darla and Angelus did their best to drive her insane. That included killing her entire family, all the nuns and all the children, right down to a newborn that had been left on the doorstep earlier that day. He used to say he liked them young, tasted sweeter. Now, you be tired and irrational and find a prophecy that says the Father will eat the Son and see what you fucking well do.”

He turned around and tugged Xander along behind him. “You lot stay here and keep the status quo with your thumbs up your arses. We're going to find the Watcher.”





Part Fourteen

“Is this it? Can we try that jumping off buildings thing?”

Spike just had to grin as he pulled his enthusiastic Childe closer. They’d left the Hyperion without getting Watcherboy’s address and the man was unlisted. They had had to visit a few bars to find Wesley. At the third one they’d finally gotten lucky.

Of course they’d run into trouble at that one, Xander’s odd sort of luck making problems for them again. This time it was five guys beating on one scrawny little kid who had obviously decided to pimp himself out for some reason or another. Spike had no problem with hooking when it was done right; it was the world’s oldest profession, after all.

Still, Xander hated to see it, hated it even worse when it was a kid and before you knew it the two of them had five guys chasing after them into a dark alley where fists could fly and humans wouldn’t notice if the two men attacking them had brown, blue or golden eyes.

Oh, they had left them alive; Xander still hadn’t crossed the line yet. But there were sirens and police and they had ended up running along the rooftops. At first Spike had only meant to do it for a block or two, then it would be safe. But Xander had the most wonderful, happy, goofy expression on his face and they had ended up playing on the buildings and running across town.

It was hard to believe that just a week ago he was worried that his Childe was going to wake up insane. Not only was Xander right in the head -- well, as right at the little git ever was-- but he was…relaxing.

In the past Xander had always held part of himself back. He tried to get along and soothe people’s feelings. That was still there to a certain extent but only because, even as a vampire, Xander was a natural peacemaker.

Now, the only person’s opinion he really cared about was Spike’s. Oh, he worried about his friends, but most of them were okay about his new…eating habits. It was almost as if now that he was undead he worried less. After all, why worry about the little stuff you’re not going to remember in thirty or forty years?

He shook his head to clear his thoughts and peered down the side of the semi-posh apartment building. “Yep, this is the Watcher’s place. Let’s go around back to where the building doesn’t face any traffic and we can jump down there.”

“And it’s just like jumping one or two storeys, right? I won’t break anything?”

Spike grinned at Xander as he lead him to the side of the building where the back alley full of shadows was located. “Unless you panic like a scared little schoolgirl you’ll be fine, luv. Now if you panic, you’ll fall flat on your arse and from fifteen storeys up that will even hurt a vampire.”

Xander grinned. “You’ll kiss my ass and make it better if that happens, right?”

“Suppose I might, if you ask nicely, pet.” They grinned and then stepped onto the parapet and jumped.

The first time Xander had done this it had only been about a ten-foot drop. At first Xander had been scared but he had trusted Spike. Now he was actually enjoying jumping off buildings and testing his new “vamp powers”.

But if the little shit suggested tights and a cape again, Spike was going to shove him off the next bloody roof.

They both landed on their feet in the alley. “Cool!! That is, like, so much fun! One year when I was eight, Jesse and me were playing on the roof of the porch and he fell off and broke his leg. We got in so much trouble and Willow didn’t talk to us for a week! This is so much better!”

There was a fleeting look of sadness that always came when Xander mentioned his old friend. Spike never said anything about it, though; he understood the guilt. Although it was sort of ironic that his Childe had killed his best mate for being a vampire and now he was one. Then again, Darla had turned the poor git and made him a minion and Spike wouldn’t wish that fate on anyone, much less his lover’s best friend. Minions were just…cannon fodder.

Not precious to their creators, not like his Childe.

“Come on, luv, we can jump off a few more buildings later on. If you’re a good Childe we can even try shoving Peaches out the window when we get back.”

“Really? You mean it?” Xander’s voice had a teasing quality to it, and he was batting his eyes. Spike pulled him closer and took a kiss from him, pressing their lips together and just taking. Xander tasted different than when he was human, more darkness and blood now but there would always be that hint of chocolate.

They finally broke apart, and Spike could see the gold highlights in Xander’s eyes and it made him want. For the first time in years he had a lover and a partner that was equal to him in strength. Even when she was well he had been careful of Drusilla. But Xander was someone who would fight with him and fuck him, and keep up with Spike on so many levels it was frightening.

“Really, pet. I’ll lure the big wanker in front of the window and you can shove him. Just make sure he doesn’t take you with him. And if he does, make sure you land on his lard arse.”

Xander laughed. “I meant the playing on the rooftops bit, not the maiming Angel bit.” He paused. “But we can do that too if you want.”

They made their way into the apartment building laughing. There was a call box set up so that visitors supposedly needed someone to ring them in but Xander smiled and chatted with a pair of ladies leaving for the evening while holding open the door and he and Spike were able to slip right in.

On the way up in the elevator Spike pulled Xander close. “You know more about this Watcher than I do, pet. What do we say?”

“I dunno. I mean, from what I can tell Wesley’s changed a lot. Back in High School he made Giles look relaxed, you know? Prim and proper and the snooty kind of English guy. But not royal snooty, more like serving royalty snooty, if you get what I mean.”

Spike snorted. “Know the type, pet. Used to be the highest position fought over in politics was who would get to wipe Henry VIII’s arse. Never mind the fact that all you were doing was wiping up someone else’s shit, everyone wanted to be that important.”

Xander’s nose squinched up. “Ewwww! That is so gross!! I could go another century without hearing anything like that, Spike, really. But you get what I mean. But if he’s changed as much as Cordy has, I really have no idea.”

The Watcher had changed. In fact, he’d changed a lot. Spike had expected someone in glasses with a tweed suit and nancy-boy attitude. But the man who opened the door had beard stubble, jeans and an oxford shirt on. The collar wasn’t buttoned and he could see the redness of a fresh wound that was only just healing across his throat and winced. That had to have hurt like a bitch.

“Good lord! Xander! And…Spike?”

“Hey, Wes! We were just in the neighborhood and…”

Wesley gave them both a glare and Xander shrugged. “Okay, so we're here, Angel was a giant ass and we came to swap stories. Maybe we can start a hate club. Make some “I Hate Brood Boy” buttons or bumper stickers or something. Can we go somewhere and talk?”

Spike had to laugh at the approach but he tried to keep it quiet. Apparently he didn’t keep it quiet enough, though, since Wesley gave him an irritated glance. The human didn’t say anything; he just stepped back from the door and Spike prodded Xander in the back just a little.

“Yeah, I’m kinda in the same boat as Spike now, Wes, not going in anywhere without an invite. You want to go somewhere public, though?”

Wesley raised one eyebrow and looked at Xander. “And why should I believe you won’t kill me?”

The man’s voice was rough and Spike knew now why he hadn’t said much before. It must still hurt like a bitch to talk.

“I have a soul. Really!” Wesley had given Xander yet another look and he was defending himself. “I wanted one from the beginning so my demon is used to it already. You can ask Tara. She’s Willow’s ex but she’s really great with the magicks. I’m not all depressing and everything like Angel and I’m not going to snap if I get sex. Promise.”

Again they were both on the receiving end of a pointed glare before Wesley turned to Spike. “What assurance can you give me that you are harmless?”

“M’not bloody harmless, still a vampire here. But if I go about killing needlessly, that one,” he pointed at Xander, “will start withholding sex and I’m not gonna let that happen. We just want to talk about what a complete wanker Peaches is, really.”

He looked at them both again before nodding. “There’s a coffee shop two blocks to the south. I’ll meet you there in fifteen minutes.”

Spike turned to Xander and his lover nodded in agreement and they made their way back downstairs after Wesley closed the door.

“I figure he’s calling Glinda or someone in Sunnydale to make sure we’re on the level.”

“You know, we really need to get Tara to make me up a certificate or something so it proves to people in the know I have a soul. I’m getting sick and tired of explaining things.”

Spike chuckled at that. “S’not like she’s gonna have anything like that on hand. Besides, what do you expect, something like that piece of paper that came with your Babylon 5 collector plate crap?”

Xander bounced at that and Spike knew he should have kept his mouth shut. “Ooh! That would be too cool! Maybe Dawnie could make me up something like that on the computer with Tara’s help and I can get it shrunk down to wallet size or something.”

“Xander, I love you with every part of my unbeating heart but you are such a fucking geek it’s not even funny.”





Part Fifteen

“I can’t believe it. Well, I can believe Angel can be that big of an asshole, but, damn, I would have thought once Cordy got back in town she would have smacked him on the back of the head or something and got those two lone brain cells working. It’s just…not fair.”

Spike growled and bit back his words. Of course it wasn’t bloody well fair! Not that he really liked Wesley the Watcher; it was the principle of the thing. Angelus was acting feral near his child. There was a prophecy that said he’d eat the little nipper. Yeah, looking back on things, Percy should have talked to his friends and not have trusted that Justine bint any further than the human could throw her, but he could understand what the man had been thinking.

Before seeing this version of the Watcher he’d been prepared to see a man that, from Xander’s description, would remind him a bit too much of William the Bloody Poet. Shy, with a stutter, glasses and a suit. With an added bit of pompous attitude thrown in perhaps.

But the mental image he had of Wesley was nothing like the real thing. Yeah, the man was quiet but then again he’d nearly had his windpipe sawed through. It sounded like it hurt like hell to talk. And who the fuck was he going to talk to? The walls? That Lilah bint that was stalking him? All of his friends had abandoned him.

“Thank you for your sympathy, Xander, but I did fail Angel. He is well within his rights to be furious with me.”

Spike snorted. “I think you all had your heads up your collective arses, each and every one of you. It’s a good thing all you’ve been facing are evil lawyers with a grudge and a demon or two; if there was an apocalypse we’d be up to our ears in toads and locusts. As it is, they’re all just sitting back and enjoying the show, getting stiffies from watching you and Batvamp’s team angst about like fucking fairies.”

Wesley made a strangled noise that seemed to get caught in his throat and Xander winced. “Spike!” He just rolled his eyes and shrugged at his Childe. Yes, he could have put it in a nicer way but what did they want? He was evil.

“Sorry, Wes, but he is right. You need to get out, do something worthwhile with your life. You have a second chance now; you could have died. I’ve been told that it’s a precious thing. I’m certainly enjoying my second chance and you should too, instead of moping around in your apartment with your books.”

“I assure you, Xander, that research is not the only thing I occupy my time with. Despite my…regretful parting of the ways with Angel and his company, I still have contacts in the demon world. I’ve been thinking of offering my services to those in need. As much as Angel tries to help people, this is rather a large city and there is more than enough business for both of us. I’ve also taken to designing weapons but without…well, I no longer have the resources to help build them.”

Spike couldn’t contain the eye roll as he watched Xander’s eyes light up. Xander loved to build things, to tinker. He always had a project going. Since his death he hadn’t been that interested, though, and Spike had assumed that it was one of the human things his Childe was putting aside.

Now that zeal for making things was lighting up his eyes again, and Spike had to chuckle as he watched his boy and the Watcher conferring over ideas and drawing diagrams on one of the napkins on the table.

Still, it would be interesting to see what the two of them could come up with. The Watcher was smart and Xander was talented, and Spike was always interested in new weapons.

A plan started to form. Wesley needed something to do and Xander, being the soft hearted git that he was, wanted to help. Xander liked helping people and Spike liked helping Xander because he usually got great sex out of it. Giles and Anya were flying back to the Mother Country, leaving Tara in charge of the Magic Box once again. Red still couldn’t be trusted to work there, and the Slayer, well, she was just hopeless.

Xander had been helping Tara out, going by after work to give her an hour or so free and closing up once or twice a week. Still, Glinda had it pretty hard, running a business and going to school. If she had someone who knew magic to help out…

“Hate to bust up your talk of weapons, mates, but I only want Xander getting a stiffy for me, not some collapsible sword doohickey you two are thinking about. S’not like you can do anything here. Watcher Jr. will just have to come back to Sunnydale with us since he needs a job and our Watcher is busy having orgasms with your ex in jolly ol’ England.”

Wesley’s mouth dropped open just a bit but Xander bounced in his chair. “That’s a great idea, Spike!! Tara could use the help and I bet she’d like Wesley!” Xander grinned at Spike and gave a wink and Spike had to bite the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing. Xander thought Tara would be good with Wesley?

Well, considering her relationship with Red had ended because the little chit liked to play around with her mind, maybe Wesley would be good for the girl. Although any bouts of sex would probably be rather quiet; neither she nor the Watcher was exactly vocal.

Then again, it was always the quiet ones who went wild, wasn’t it?

Spike grinned and leaned over and licked Xander’s ear. “Mmmm, good idea, pet. We’ll call Glinda in the morning, give her Percy’s phone number and let them bore each other to death talking about herbs and protection magicks or whatever. Won’t be too long and they’ll be doing spells together.”

Both he and Xander laughed as Wesley spluttered. He may not have known the running joke Xander had about the witches and spells but he certainly understood the tone of voice Spike had used.

“Now see here! I just can’t up and leave! Besides, I highly doubt Buffy would appreciate having me back in Sunnydale, and this Tara person doesn’t even know me!”

Xander just waved his hand in a dismissive gesture at Wesley. “You can leave if you really want to; sorry to be a prick, but it’s not like you have anything left for you here. As for Buffy, well, if she doesn’t want to use a guy of your abilities she can do her own damn research. We were assholes the last time you were in town but we’re all different now, you got rid of the stick up your ass, and, well, I’m dead. And Tara will like you, don’t worry. It’s your second chance; you’d be an idiot not to take it.”

Spike sat back and grinned at Xander in pride. Before his turning his love had started growing into a more confident man. Now he was growing into someone who could be serious or playful or anything else he wanted to be. Xander really was making the most of his second chance.

Now if only Percy would do the same. Not that Spike really cared one way or other but whatever made Xander happy, ultimately made Spike happy.

And he was looking forward to being made happy two or three times at the very least later on.


~*~*~*~*~


“Wait for a moment, Xan.” Spike kept his voice low as they reached the rooftop next to the Hyperion. They’d left Percy at the coffee shop a few hours before to do a small patrol around that area of the city just to see what trouble they could find.

What they found was a group of collage kids attempting to sacrifice someone’s little sister for power. Even Xander had been tempted to eat them. You’d think if they could get into UCLA they’d be too smart to do stupid shit like that but they were all taking law courses and Spike had found out they were all trying to get summer internships at Wolfram & Hart.

Xander had bitched for an hour. There was evil, and then there was evil. Even Spike would draw the line at killing a little girl over a job. Especially since it was an unpaid job at that.

To get him to shut up Spike had taken his Childe to the Walk of Fame, which almost instantly cheered Xander up. In fact his mood got so much better Spike had been dragged into an alcove near Gene Roddenberry’s star on Hollywood Blvd. His Childe had laughed about Spike being the first and only one to go “Where no man has gone before” and then had dropped to his knees and proceeded to blow Spike’s dick and his mind.

Now they were on their way back to the motel, to hopefully bother Angel more. Xander was going to ask the older vampire to help him train just so he could get a chance to perhaps knock some sense into his thick skull while Spike heckled.

But just when they reached their destination Spike noticed something. In the shadows there was a slight figure trying to watch the people inside the hotel.

“Sire? Think that’s Connor?”

Spike snorted. “I bloody well hope so, otherwise there’s another androgynous teen stalking Angel. What say we introduce ourselves, eh, luv? After all, the boy is family.”




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