Demon’s Childe


by
Creed



Part Four

“I thought you said we were going to a cabin in the woods?” Xander asked as they walked into a building that was bigger than the house he’d grown up in.  “I don’t know many cabins with hot tubs.”

"You been in the wrong cabins then," Spike laughed as he set their things inside the door. "I like my creature comforts. Learned that from the great pouf himself."

Xander’s expression darkened a bit and his eyes tinged gold.  “I don’t like it when you mention him.”

"Makes you jealous, does it?" Spike said, amusement tingeing his voice. "No worries there, luv. He may be my Sire but he'll never be my Childe. Vampires have been known to stake each other over their Childer but not normally over their Sires. If I had to choose between you two right now, I'd choose you."

“Good,” Xander grumbled.  “You need someone to take care of you and I can’t see Mr. Buffy doing that.”

"Oh that was a good one, pet," Spike laughed. "And it's me that's taking care of you, at least for now. But it would be nice to have someone to look after me for a change. Dru always had to be looked after, and, like you said, Angelus was never one for coddling his Childer."

“You don’t coddle me,” Xander said, not realizing he was pouting.  He did think Spike needed taking care of.

"No, I don't, but I won't treat you the way Angelus treated us. Me and Dru, we were amusements to him. Something to pass the time with when he was bored. You won't ever have to fear me, Xander. I swear it."

“You can spoil me a little,” Xander said after a brief consideration.  “And I'll just try to keep up with you.”

"No problems there, mate. Now come on, let's unpack this lot. I'm hungry and I've got a Childe to feed." They quickly unpacked the things they'd brought, a combination of clothes and food and a few books Spike had wanted on hand. He knew there was still a chess set at the cabin so he wasn't worried about getting bored. Besides, he had a new Childe to raise. He doubted if they would have time to get bored.

Xander trailed after Spike carrying a cooler full of blood.  “Spike, do I want to know what the spray cheese is for?”

"Not really," Spike laughed. "Actually I like it on my Wheatabix. Of course, it might taste pretty good on certain parts of you, too."

“That's both interesting and disgusting at the same time,” Xander laughed.  “Do you still dip the Wheatabix in a mug full of blood?”  Xander remembered that from when they lived together.

"Sometimes. Prefer those little marshmallows really." He grabbed a packet of cold blood and led Xander into the bedroom. He hated the stuff cold but at least it was human. Sinking his fangs in deeply, he drank straight from the bag. He could feel the hunger his Childe was giving off and he meant to do something about it.

Xander licked his lips as he watched Spike gulp down the blood.  “I'll have a sip next time you have some.”  When he was human, the sight of marshmallows floating in blood made him want to puke, now it just appealed to his sweet tooth.

"No," Spike said, dropping the empty bag onto the floor. He knew he should get Xander used to the taste in case the time came the boy ever had to feed for himself but he didn't want to. He wanted his Childe dependent on him. He needed Xander to need him.

“Sire, I’m hungry,” Xander said in a low sultry voice. He knew calling Spike by his title would set him off.

Spike growled and grabbed Xander pulling him close. He kissed the younger man hard and fast then pushed Xander down to his knees. He held out his wrist, offering it to his Childe.

Xander didn't grab Spike's wrist, instead pulling it to his mouth reverently.  He kissed what would have been his Sire’s pulse point during life.  “Your blood… it tastes better than anything I've ever had…” He shifted into game face and looked up at Spike.  “Do you still love me when I look like this?  Like a demon?”

"I don't see the demon no matter what your face looks like," Spike said. "I only see Xander."

Keeping his eyes glued with Spike's, Xander bit into Spike’s wrist.  He kept the wounds small so that he was more nursing than gulping.

"Oh that's it, luv. Nice and slow so we can both enjoy it. Such a good Childe, you are," Spike cooed, his legs wavering slightly as Xander slowly nursed on his wrist.

Xander made a whimpering sound at the praise.  He was unused to praise and it fed the needy part of his soul.  What Xander didn't know was that being a fledgling was very much like being a real child.  The most powerful vampires had only been fed on the blood of their Sires.  The longer they fed exclusively from their Master and the more blood they ingested over time, the more powerful they became.  That’s why it was done so rarely.  Even the most beloved Childer were weaned rather quickly, only to taste their Master’s blood on rare occasions.  All of this was simply because Sires feared their Childer would become too powerful.

Spike, however, had no such fear. He wanted Xander to be strong, even stronger than him, in fact. And he wanted his Childe to associate food with his Sire alone. Xander had already expressed a reluctance to feed from humans. He would not stand by and watch his Childe become like Angelus, feeding from the blood of animals. If the choice were his, his Childe would never know the taste of anything other than his blood.

Xander was not sure how long he knelt there, slowly nursing at Spike’s wrist.  What he did notice was that the longer he took, the more erotic it became for both of them.  Even though he didn't need to, Spike’s breath still became heavier, tying him to his one time mortality.  Xander felt his cock harden in his pants and groaned around his Sire's wrist. He wanted Spike in a way he'd never wanted anyone before. He literally ached for his Sire's touch.

“I know you could make us cum from using that wicked, sweet mouth of yours,” Spike groaned.  “But do you want that, pet?”

"No," Xander admitted, pulling his mouth away from the proffered wrist reluctantly. He didn't want to use his mouth, at least not this time. He wanted more than that from his Sire. He wanted to be claimed.

“Tell me what you want,” Spike encouraged.  He knew what they both wanted, but he needed to hear Xander say it.

"Fuck me," Xander whispered, his breath ghosting across Spike's skin. "Make me yours forever."

“Would you like to be more than my favoured Childe… my only Childe?” Spike whispered back.  These words were brought forth by Xander asking for forever.

"I want to be everything to you," Xander said. He felt like things were spinning wildly out of control - moving entirely too fast - but he was powerless to stop any of it. Truth be told, he wasn't sure he wanted to.

Spike crouched down in front of the still kneeling Xander and grasped the younger man’s face in his hands.  “Forever…” Spike breathed.  “Forever means I want to make you my Consort.  I want to make you my everything.  You'll never taste the blood of another, never let anyone else touch you the way I do now.”

"Don't want anyone else to touch me," Xander confirmed. "Never want to feel anyone's hands on me but yours for the rest of my life. Whatever you want to do, do it."

“I don’t care what the flicks or books say…” Spike said, caressing Xander’s face.  “Nothin’ hocus pocus about it.  Just keep up what we’re doin’… what we are.”

"What we are." Xander paused. "Sire and Childe. Master Vampire and Consort. Lover and Beloved. That about cover it?"

“Cheech and Chong… the original odd couple,” Spike teased.  “Soul mates.  Yeah, that about covers it.”

Xander nodded then smiled up at his Sire. His eyes twinkled as he said the one thing he knew would push all of Spike's buttons. "Please, Master..."

“C’mon, luv,” Spike growled lightly.  “There’s a nice big four poster bed with our names on it.”

"Will you fuck me there, Master?" Xander kept on. "Please?"

Spike squeezed his eyes shut.  “If you keep beggin’ like that, we won’t make it to the bed.”

"Don't care," Xander chuckled. "I want to know you want me. You do want me, don't you, Master?"

“What I feel for you is beyond mere want.  I will not fuck you on the ground… this time,” Spike growled.  “Get your ass stripped and on that bed, before I have to punish you.”

Xander hesitated at the word punish. He'd seen Angelus' version of the word. He shuddered at the thought of Spike doing anything like that to him and scurried quickly to the bed.

Spike followed at leisurely pace, smirking the entire time.  He was tempted to light a cigarette, but Xander had been giving him the eyes and asking him to quit.  That didn't mean the Big Bad was going to give up his habit… or give into his Childe, no he was just… temporarily adjusting his behaviour.  “Buck naked!” Spike called out.  “It’s easier to punish you that way.”

"Sp-spike?" Xander queried, his hands stilling. He knew Spike was just joking with him, just playing around, but he couldn't help the nagging fear in the back of his mind. He didn't want his Master to feel the need to punish him. He never wanted Spike to have to hurt him. He just wished he knew how to put that into words without sounding like a complete dork.

“Oh yeah, you’d be surprised at all the kinds of nasty things I can do with my tongue to make you scream,” Spike chuckled evilly again.

"I won't make you punish me," Xander said suddenly, feeling an overwhelming need to say the words out loud. "Not ever. I can be good. Really, I can."

Spike wanted to smack himself when he saw the uncertainty tinged with apprehension on Xander’s face.  He’d forgotten what Xander’s background was for a moment with the new seemingly confident Childe around him.  But, Xander wasn't a normal fledging.  He still had a soul and all the insecurities to go with it.  “I wouldn't hurt you, baby,” Spike pledged.

Xander let out a relieved breath and began undressing once more. His erection had abated some but he knew it would come back. All Spike had to do was look at him and he'd be hard and wanting again.

“I’m gonna spoil and pamper you,” Spike promised as he peeled off his leather jacket.  “Only time I'll make you scream is when you cum.”

Xander blushed slightly under the praise and began removing his clothes faster. He would be good for his Sire. He'd make him proud and he'd be the best damn Consort there ever was.

Spike leaned up against the wall with his arms crossed and watched Xander undress.  He was wearing a new pair of jeans and a new t-shirt that they’d picked up on the way.  All of Xander’s old clothes were still back at his parent’s house and it wasn't a loss in Spike’s opinion.  “When we get back to Sunnyhell, we’re going shopping.  One word.  Leather.”

"I thought you already had leather pants," Xander said. He'd dropped the shirt and sat down on the bed to remove his shoes.

Spike actually snorted.  Xander was a pure joy.  Spike always loved someone who could keep him off balance, but Xander had that and the wits that Dru never did.  “No, picture you, Xan, in tight leather pants.”

"Why would I want to do that? I mean, you I could understand. All sexy and dangerous. But I'd just look... stupid."

“Xan, do you think I was always like this?”

"Um, no, I'm pretty sure you were a live guy once and I don't think they did the whole bleach thing back in 18-whatever-it-was," Xander replied.

“I was a nancy boy with curly hair who liked to write poetry,” Spike admitted.  He stripped his own black t-shirt off quickly.

"I bet you were beautiful back then," Xander mused. "I bet that's why they picked you. I mean, look at them, they were all so beautiful. You fit right in with them."

Spike was standing in front of Xander in seconds, grasping his face again so hard if he’d been mortal, it would have bruised.  “You’re fuckin’ beautiful!  You need to understand you can be anyone… anything... you want to be, as long as you're mine!”

"No one's ever called me beautiful before," Xander replied. "I don't care what I am, as long as it's something you like."

Spike started to kiss Xander’s face, his thumbs rubbing over his lover’s cheekbones.  “You’re perfect just the way you are.”

Xander surged upward and kissed his Sire brazenly. He felt the desire return to him in a flash, his penis filling and lengthening so fast it was almost painful. He wanted Spike to claim him, needed it like he needed blood to drink. This, as much as his Sire's blood, defined who he was now.

Spike backed Xander up until his knees hit the back of the bed and then pushed, following Xander down.  He settled on top of Xander, glad that the bed equalled out their heights.  He’d never admit it, but the height difference threw him a little.

"Take me, Master," Xander pleaded softly, no longer trying to tease his Sire but trying to convey all that he felt instead.

Spike roared, changed into game face.  Every instinct was telling him to claim his Child, his mate, now!  He fought the demon.  It might be rough, but he would never hurt Xander.  He wouldn't let his Childe’s first time be rape like his own had been.

Digging into the bedside table, Spike pulled out a mostly empty tube of lubricant. He didn't use it often but he was damn glad he had it now. "Pull your legs back, pet. Show me that sweet little hole of yours," he said as he squeezed some of the cold gel onto his fingers.

Xander did as he was instructed, but he had enough sense left to notice the half empty tube.  That meant Spike had been with someone else.  Part of him was jealous, while the other half was embarrassed by Spike’s crude words.  “You've fucked others here,” Xander accused in a whisper.

"Both fucked and been fucked," Spike said truthfully. "I'm a hundred years your senior, boy. I've been around a bit. But no more, Xander. You're it for me. You're my Consort and as long as you live there will never be anyone else. Not even my Sire."

“I’d rip their throats out,” Xander growled.  He may still have had his soul, but becoming a vampire lent itself to increased emotions, passions and violence.  He pulled his legs back farther and arched his back in an attempt to seduce Spike.

"Don't hurt yourself, pet," Spike cautioned. He slid his slicked fingers down to Xander's hole and pushed one inside. The boy was tight, virgin tight, and Spike groaned at the feel of him.

“I haven’t let a guy touch me like this,” Xander announced with a note of pride.

"Good," Spike said. "I'm glad I get to be the first. I'm sorry I can't give you the same thing but it's about a hundred years too late for that."

Xander thought he should have been more scared, but he wasn't.  Spike’s finger was in his ass and all he wanted was more.  Sure there was pain, but the promise of vampiric healing made it trivial.  “Less talk, more fucking.”

"Patience, pet," Spike grinned. "I want you to scream but from pleasure, not pain." He pulled his finger free and slid two inside in its place. Xander was still tight and Spike did the best he could to stretch his impatient Childe.

“Now,” Xander whined, unaware he added a little pout.

"Soon," Spike countered. "Put your legs down for a bit. I think I need to take the edge off first."

“You said you would fuck me,” Xander shot back.  “I need you to fuck me!”

"I will," Spike said patiently, "but when I say so. I won't have you torn and bloody. Not this first time. So be a good Childe and let your Sire love you right."

Xander set his legs back down on the bed.  “You’re not supposed to be this… controlled,” Xander said petulantly.  He forgot how old Spike was most of the time because he usually acted just as juvenile as Xander and he didn't look much older.

"Don't doubt how much you turn me on," Spike reassured him. "I'm just better at hiding it than you are." He slid down, grabbing Xander's erection as he did so. Without further words, he brought the boy's cock to his mouth and began to suck, intent on bringing his Childe off in the hopes of relaxing him.

“Spike!” Xander howled.  “No fair!”

Spike ignored his Childe's protest and continued sucking. He wasn't interested in drawing things out. He wanted to bring Xander off as quickly as possible, leaving him spent and lax for Spike's taking.

“Spike… Spike… I’m gonna c-cum…” Xander continued to moan as he was pulled closer to the edge.  He was even more responsive now that he’d been turned than before.

A few more swift strokes of his tongue and Xander was indeed cumming in his Sire's mouth. Spike drank him down, wishing he'd had the foresight to pull his mouth away so he could have used the boy's own seed to slick him. He decided to save that particular fantasy for another time and greedily drank his Childe down.

Xander continued to make some very unflattering noises, the most understandable of them being, “Gah!”  Spike had succeeded in sucking his brains out through his cock and apparently his bones too, he thought as he lay there boneless.

Spike sat back up, grinning widely. He could still taste his Childe in his mouth and it made his cock throb in anticipation of what was to come. He pushed Xander's legs up himself now, knowing the boy was in no fit state to hold himself ready. He slicked his cock with the last of the lube and then gently began to push.

Again Xander groaned something that could have been, “Gah,” or “God.”  Whatever it was, he was rather loud, but incoherent during sex.  All he knew was that he wanted to encourage Spike at what he was doing.

Ever so slowly, Spike slid inside. He could feel Xander's body gripping him tightly and it took all his control to hold back and not simply slam forward into that tight, cool body. Instead, he kept on slow and steady, knowing both of them would enjoy it more in the long run if he did.

What nearly broke what heart Spike had left was the way Xander looked up at him as he started to slowly pump into his lover’s body.  He was looking into eyes that were filled with adoration, trust and intelligence.  Xander’s hand had reached up and was grasping at the nape of his neck, rubbing the short hairs there rhythmically.

Spike leaned down and kissed his Consort, careful to keep his fangs in check. There would be plenty of time later for blood and pain, this time was meant for something more. As slowly as he moved within Xander's body, he explored his mouth. He could taste the want in his lover's kiss and it made him ache inside. Xander wanted so desperately to please him, to be good enough. Spike wished he had the words to make him understand that he already was.

“P-Please?” Xander managed to beg in the cracked voice of the mortal boy he had been.

Pulling back, Spike stared down into his mate's face. "This seals it," he said as he thrust into Xander a bit harder. "Together forever. No one will ever separate us. And if they try, they'll die."

“Master…” Xander breathed reverently, as he arched his back. He didn't have to say any more.  That single word said it all.

Spike growled and surged forward hard and fast wrenching a gasp from his Childe. He would have to talk to Xander about calling him that at a time like this. Rising back up, Spike lifted Xander's legs again and began to thrust in earnest. Xander's body had loosened up some and he no longer feared injuring his mate.

Xander groaned as Spike took him harder.  He wasn't sure what prompted him to do it, maybe instinct or latent knowledge, but at just the right moment, he exposed his neck to Spike in the ultimate form of submission in the vampire world.

Spike didn't hesitate. He swooped down and sank his fangs in deep. He faintly heard Xander scream as he did so but the blood rushing through his veins drowned out the sound. Nothing mattered at that moment except the body he was pounding into as Xander's sweet blood filled his mouth.

Xander woke up to the feeling of someone licking his neck.  The last thing he remembered was cumming at the same time Spike bit into his neck.  He remembered sharing the cycle of blood between them vaguely, but that was more a memory of overpowering emotions.

"Welcome back, luv," Spike whispered, staring down into dazed brown eyes.

“Gah,” Xander croaked.

"I take it you liked it," Spike laughed. "Wasn't too rough on you, was I?"

“Na huh,” Xander shook his head with a goofy smile.

"Good. Plenty of time later to explore the rough and tumble stuff," Spike said glibly. "Bet you're hungry now, though. You want another taste, pet?"

“Can I?” Xander asked, licking his lip.  “You remembered to eat more, right?  Cause you’re eating for two now.”

"I've brought along a good supply," Spike replied. He leaned down and turned his head, baring his neck to Xander the same way the boy had done to him just minutes before.

Xander had only ever fed from Spike’s wrist before.  “I might take too much…”

"I won't let you," Spike assured him. "Drink, Childe. I want to feel your mouth on my throat."

Xander shifted until he laid his mouth on Spike’s neck, directed by his Sire’s guiding hand in his hair.  He was still in game face and bit tentatively into the cool flesh.  He made the wounds just big enough so he was nursing on the blood, rather than gulping at it like Spike usually did.

"Yesssss..." Spike hissed. He was still buried inside his Childe and he felt his cock filling again as Xander nursed from his neck. This time he moved slow and steady, rocking back and forth, careful not to dislodge the vampire gently suckling at his neck.

Xander whimpered as he continued to nurse on Spike’s blood, but he was also drawn into the constant slide of flesh against flesh.  He wasn't sure how long they laid there like that.  It could have been minutes, but it felt like an eternity of long drawn out hours.  He took only a trickle so he could continue to feed as a long as possible as their orgasms came as a calm wave.

"Better stop now, pet," Spike said at last. He didn't want Xander to stop but he was starting to feel a bit peckish. If the lad kept it up he'd seriously weaken him and Spike didn't want that. They might be out in the middle of nowhere but trouble always had a way of finding them. Especially Xander.

Xander whimpered reluctantly and pulled away, but continued to nip and lick Spike’s neck.  “Tastes different,” he mumbled happily.

"Hm? What tastes different?" Spike asked as he slid reluctantly from his Childe's body.

“Your blood,” Xander explained.  “It tastes different after you cum.  Better.”

"Glad you like it. Yours always tastes like ambrosia to me." He lay down beside Xander and pulled the boy against him. "Every vampire tastes different, you know. Angelus, he tastes like some weird mix of spices."

Xander made an upset huffing noise at the mention of Angelus.  “I don’t owe anything to Peaches, do I?” Xander grumbled, unconsciously adopting Spike's nickname for Angel.

"Nothing he'll ever call you on," Spike hedged. "He's my Sire, luv. I owe him allegiance and so do you. Even when we're enemies I'd never stake him. He knows that. Besides, if the Slayer gives us too much trouble, we'll need someplace to run to. He won't like it, but he won't turn us away either."

“Still don’t like it,” Xander grumbled again.  “I don’t like the way he looks at you.  And explain to me again how he can be your Sire when Drusilla turned you.”

"Don't have to like it, pet. Just have to put up with it. As for Dru, she might have bitten me but it was Angelus' blood that brought me back. He whelped me, much like I'm doing for you. 'Cept he only did it for a few days. He knew Drusilla wasn't stable enough to Sire me herself so he did it for her."

Xander settled his head on top of Spike’s chest.  “I don’t think he'll like it that you chose me.”

"Might not, but that doesn't matter. The choice was mine to make. When he hears the why of it he'll think I did the right thing. But even if he doesn't, it doesn't matter. You're mine and nothing is ever going to change that."

“Good,” Xander echoed.  “So that means Mr. Broody is like my Grand Sire now?”

"Oh Peaches is just going to love that," Spike laughed. "Can't wait until we go visit him for a spell. He'll go stark raving mad trying to put up with the both of us."

“Are you saying I’m difficult?” Xander teased, reaching out and pinching Spike’s nipple.

"I'm saying you're a right handful with a wicked sense of humour. And if there's one thing Angel's definitely a bit short of, it's a sense of humour."

“In that case, maybe a little vacation to LA is in order then,” Xander said hesitantly.  Whether they got along or not, Angel was Spike’s only family that was semi-sane and alive.  “It’d be the first time anyone would actually want me to meet the in-laws.”

"Tell you what, once we get everything settled we'll go for a visit. You can see L.A. and I can catch up with me Sire. Sound good?"

“I’d think I’d like that,” Xander replied.  “I just wish… that my family…” Xander took a deep unneeded breath.  “Never mind.”

"Your family, your true family, will always love you. You've still got Red and that means Tara, too. Dawnie will always love you. The Watcher will come round. The only real worry is the Slayer. She can be a right bitch about some things. 'S why I want to call Angel first. Be best if he knows what's going on ahead of time. That way he can be ready to come down if we need him."

“Are you sure I’m not evil?” Xander mumbled the question half jokingly against Spike chest.  The things he wanted to do to Angel if he so much as touched Spike weren't nice at all.

"No more so than you were before, pet," Spike said cheekily. "Don't let my past with Angel get you riled up. It's over and done with."

“I can do evil,” Xander said, lifting his face up and exposing his fangs.  The effect was ruined by the smile threatening to take over his face.  The entire thing reminded Spike of a kitten hissing and spitting.

"Oh I don't doubt it," Spike humoured him. "But there's no need to where the broody one's concerned. Trust me, pet, he beats himself up over everything he did to me and Dru both. Besides, much as I hate to admit it, we might need the great pouf."

“Yeah, yeah,” Xander said, dismissing the topic.  In typical Xander fashion he was onto another subject.  “My spooky evil vampire face didn't seem to do what I wanted.  You said I had to walk the walk and talk the talk.  I’m scary, right Spike?”

"Not yet, I'm afraid. Sorry, pet, but it's the truth. You will be in time, though. A little practice and you'll have 'em all quaking at the sight of you."

Xander moved quickly and was soon straddling Spike’s waist, pinning Spike to the bed.  “I have a secret… wanna know my secret?”

"Is it a dirty secret?" Spike leered, enjoying the feel of his Childe atop him.

“Maybe… depends on how you look at it,” Xander said.  He leaned over and pinned Spike’s hands over his head.  Their faces were so very close when he whispered, “I know how to be bad, Spike.  I remember what it’s like to hunt.  I've been a hyena… a soldier… and you’re the one who told me I’m not… wasn't quite human.”

"Oh fuck," Spike gasped as Xander's eyes suddenly flickered gold. He felt a thrill of desire run through him at the predatory vibes his Childe was giving off. He would have cum in his pants if he hadn't already done it twice inside his Childe.

“I've killed things too,” Xander continued to whisper.  “Demons… Monsters… Vampires… almost every time I killed one, I thought about doing the same to my father… he killed me you know… it wasn't you.  I should care that you want to kill him, but I don’t.  This was the first time he’d laid a hand on me in years… and the only reason he was able to do it now was because he had his friends with him.  I wanted to kill him, Spike…”

"You'll have your vengeance. I swear it. If you want to kill him yourself, I can arrange it. Personally, I want him to suffer but that doesn't matter. If you simply want him dead I can have it arranged in a few days. Hell, when I tell him what happened my bloody Sire'll volunteer for the job."

“I don’t want him dead just yet,” Xander said.  “I want to know what I am.”

"Fair enough," Spike said. "But after we find out everything important, he dies. If you don't want to do it yourself, Angel will take care of it."

“I've been thinking…” Xander’s voice lowered, his eyes nearly glowing.  “I've been thinking we shouldn't kill him.”

"Why the fuck not?" Spike demanded. The demon in him howled for the blood of the thing that had dared to put its hands on his mate.

“Because I want him to see what I've become,” Xander purred. “I want him to see that I've become more powerful than him… that I can protect myself.  That I am with you and there’s nothing he can do about it.  I want him to live in torment for a while.”

"Alright," Spike acquiesced unhappily. "But not for too long. I want the bastard dead for what he did to you. Him and his little helpers."

“I want to show you off,” Xander continued.  “I might even let you dress me up in that leather you wanted for a trip to meet your new in-laws.”

"Wicked, pet. I like that. They'll be a few conditions. Won't take any chances on you getting hurt, but I do like your plan."

“Can we do it when we get back to Sunnydale?” Xander asked.

"Think we might ought to tell the Slayer and company first," Spike said. "Need to know one way or the other if she's friend or foe."

“Okay, after that.  Game plan… hang out here… fuck like bunnies for a few days… tell Buffy the good news and watch her head explode, then fuck with my parents heads.”

"Sounds like a plan to me. I'll break the news to me Sire from here. Think I'll have him meet us in Sunnyhell. I want him there when you see your folks... just in case."

“Maybe I should tell them I've become the new puppet whore to a legion full of vampires,” Xander mused with a snort.  “My mother would be jealous.”

"Don't you dare," Spike growled. "You're mine, pet. Mine and mine alone."

For all his noise, Spike was still pinned under Xander.  “Of course I am, but I think it’s time I show you you're mine, too.  Time to show you I’m worthy to be the consort of the Big Bad.”





Part Five


Xander paced. He couldn't help it. Spike had assured him that Angel wasn't going to try to stake anyone but Xander wasn't so sure. He knew there was a lot of hostility between the two vampires and he was scared for his Sire. He knew he couldn't take Angel in a fight, but he'd make the fucker stake him before he laid a hand on his Sire.

“Stop pacing, you'll wear a hole in your new boots,” Spike sighed.  “Peaches should be here soon and I want you to stay out of sight for a bit.”

"Why?" Xander challenged. "If he's not going to stake anyone then I shouldn't have to hide."

“I didn't exactly tell ‘im why he was comin’,” Spike admitted. “I just need a little time to smooth it over.”

"I don't like this," Xander said. "What if he doesn't believe you and decides to stake you? What then?"

“Two against one, mate,” Spike grinned evilly.  “I said you’d be in the shadows, not in Timbuktu.”

"I still don't like it," Xander said as the sound of a car approaching told them Angel had arrived. "But I trust you."

“That’s a good boy,” Spike said intentionally, to annoy Xander a bit.  He liked that they could still verbally spar.

"Gonna pat me on the head next?" Xander shot back. He was already moving into the shadows, far enough away that a distracted Angel wouldn't sense him.

“Nah, much rather pat you on the bum,” Spike chuckled darkly.

Xander bit off his reply as the door swung open and Angel strode in. He silently reached down and lifted the crossbow he'd hidden into his hands. He would be ready if the fucker tried anything.

“What am I doing here, William?” Angel demanded, his leather coat swirling behind him.  “This had better be important.”

“Nice to see you, too," Spike drawled. "Come in and close the door. We've got some things to discuss, you and I.”

“Make it quick.  The sooner you spill whatever mess you've gotten us into, the sooner I can get out of here.”

"Not a mess, really. Well, could be, but... Okay, just listen to what I've got to say before you get all bent out of shape." Spike paused, trying to decide the best way to proceed. He'd run various scenarios through his head but hadn't settled on one. Finally he decided to just start at the beginning and be done with it. Taking a deep breath, he began again. "Four nights ago Xander's father and a few of his cronies beat him to death."

“Is Buffy okay?” Angel demanded.

"The Slayer's fine," Spike snorted. "In fact, she don't even know yet. Only one that knows is Red and her witch. You see, they beat him and left him for dead. I found him and..."

“And what?  You need help getting rid of whatever killed the boy?”

"No, I need help breaking it to the slayer that one of her best chums is now my Childe." There, it was said. Now all he had to do was keep his Sire from freaking over it. "And before you start, he's still got his soul. Apparently that waste of space called his father is a demon of some sort."

“You made a Childe?” Angel roared, changing into game face. “How stupid are you?”

"I didn't have a choice!" Spike shouted back. "He was dying. He was bleeding to death in my arms. What else was I supposed to do? If it had been Buffy would you have let her die? Would you?"

“Don’t you dare connect what I had with Buffy with you,” Angel snarled.  “So you just turned the boy and turned him out on the world?”

"Hardly," Spike snorted, relieved that Angel was only snarling at him. That meant his Sire was willing to listen to him rather than jump to his own conclusions. "Told you he kept his soul, didn't I? He doesn't want to drink from humans. Doesn't want to hurt anybody. That's why he only drinks from me."

“Xander, get out here now,” Angel called out.  “I can smell you.  Let me take a look at you.”

Xander emerged from the shadows, crossbow still in hand. He kept it at his side, ready to defend his Sire if need be. Spike seemed relaxed though so Xander simply went along with it.

“So this is why you called me here?” Angel snapped, waving his hand at Xander.  “You got yourself a new toy and expect me to protect you from the wrath of the Slayer.”

"I'm not his toy, Deadboy," Xander said, unconsciously raising the weapon slightly. "Spike saved my life. He seemed to think you'd be able to help us explain it to our friends so that nobody gets hurt. Guess he was wrong."

“Put your weapon down and stay still,” Angel said as he walked over to Xander and stared at him, sniffing him openly.

At a nod from Spike Xander did as Angel told him. He lowered the weapon and stood rock still as the older vampire moved around him. He itched to move away, to defend himself from someone he'd always considered a threat but he knew better than that. Spike would not be pleased if his Childe behaved like a coward.

Angel scented Xander deeply and then sighed, “You made him your consort, too.”

"Damn right I did," Spike said proudly. "He's mine. All of him. And I didn't force it on him and it's not because I'm his bloody Sire. He wanted it, mate."

“All a pretty grand gesture so you wouldn't be alone,” Angel said.  “You always were my most needy Childe.”

"He did it for me," Xander said. "Because I asked him to. And you should talk. Like you wouldn't jump at the chance to be able to share your life with someone."

“If I share myself with someone, I lose my soul,” Angel said, turning away from Xander.  “Do you know what conditions are attached to yours?”

"No idea," Xander admitted. "I never lost it. Master says he thinks it's because I'm some sort of demon. All I know is the only person I still want to kill, other than my father, is you. Guess that means I kept my soul, huh?"

“You have your soul, I can tell,” Angel dismissed.  “And don’t call him Master.  Don’t you know anything, boy?”

"Why the fuck not?" Xander challenged.

“Do you want him to fuck you right here?  Or in front of your friends?” Angel snapped.

"He's got more self control than that," Xander shot back. "He's not you. He won't fuck me without my consent."

“You’re radiating fuck me vibes, fledging,” Angel laughed.  “There is no consent between Sire and Childe.  You'll always give in.”

"Look, are you going to help us or not?" Xander asked, growing impatient. "I don't want to fight Buffy, but I won't let her stake Spike."

Angel turned back to Spike, squeezing the bridge of his nose.  “You had to pick a difficult Childe, didn't you?”

"Told you, I didn't pick him, mate. If it was up to me I'd have made sure he lived a nice long normal life. But that didn't happen. Look, Angel, I know we've got some bad blood between us, but I need your help." Spike came over to stand in front of his Sire. Very slowly, he leaned his head to the side, exposing his neck.

Angel reached out and caressed the side of Spike’s neck with his fingers and licked his right fang.  “You were always my favourite Childe,” he whispered.

Xander went completely still as he watched his Sire bare his throat to Angel. He wanted to shout, wanted to grab Spike and shove him away but he was frozen in place. He wasn't sure if he could stand to watch his own Master being fed from but he understood instinctively that there was little he could do about it.

It had been forever since Angel had tasted blood other than animal.  And Spike was being so submissive… asking for help and bearing his neck.  He could have let Spike die over a century ago when Dru had nearly bled him to the point of no return, but he hadn't.  He’d fed the fledgling on his own blood, by default becoming his Sire.  Now it was nothing to move closer and slip his fangs oh so easily into the cool flesh for just a taste.

Spike sighed as he felt his Sire's fangs slipping almost gently into his neck. He was surprised when Angel only took a single mouthful of his blood before pulling back. He looked up, concerned that something was wrong, but saw only acceptance in the other man's eyes. Then the bigger man was tilting his own head to the side, baring his neck to his Childe in a way he hadn't done in a very, very long time.

Spike shivered with anticipation as he moved his head to Angel’s neck.  He licked at the vein, excited to taste the blood.  He punctured the skin, taking several big gulps.  He knew he shouldn't take too much as Angel wasn't into taking care of himself properly anymore.  The blood was more watered down than he remembered, but still rich and powerful, tinged with age in a way Xander’s wasn't.

Xander's eyes flashed gold at the sight of his Sire feeding from another. Still, he didn't move. If this was how it had to be for Angel to help them then he'd endure it. Bitter insecurity washed over him as he wondered if Spike might not want him now that Angel was there. He tried to push it away but years of being the most useless Scooby made that next to impossible.

Finally Spike pulled away, his eyes hooded slightly.  “Angelus…” he whispered.

"William..." Angel whispered back. He had missed having this connection with his most special of Childer. A long, low moan caught his attention and his eyes flashed to his Childe's Childe. Xander still stood where he had been, not moving an inch as the two vampires had drank from each other. He could smell the fear rolling off the boy in waves and his eyes turned amber.

“Go comfort your Childe,” Angel said, giving Spike a small push towards Xander.

Spike nodded, still a bit dazed by what had just happened. He'd been pretty sure Angel would help them, for the Slayer's sake if nothing else, but he'd never expected that. That, however, would have to wait for later. His Childe was in pain. He could feel it as he approached the boy. "Xander... pet... what is it?" he asked softly.

Xander shrank away from him.  He didn't speak, instead shaking his head in denial.  Spike had told him he was his world now.  His Sire had whispered of forever and love, now it was all in doubt.  His mind screamed that he hadn't been good enough.

"I know you're confused but what happened doesn't change anything," Spike told him as he moved in closer. "You are still my Childe, still my Consort. Angel will always be my Sire but that doesn't change anything between us."

“I can be better…” Xander whispered.  “Please, keep me…”  He did the only thing that came to mind.  He dropped to his knees and bared his neck to Spike.

"You couldn't possibly be better, pet. You're bloody perfect just the way you are. Oh, I'm keeping you, alright. You're mine now, Xander. That means forever. If you run, I'll follow you and drag you back. You're mine, pet. All mine."

“Why would you want me when your Sire wants you back?”

"He doesn't want me back that way," Spike said as he knelt down beside his Childe. "And even if he did, I'd still choose you. Angel's always going to be my Sire, I told you that. We might drink from one another now and again but he won't touch me any other way. I've taken a Consort now. He knows what that means. You're everything to me, Xander. Everything."

Xander lifted wounded eyes to look at Spike.  “Will he still let me feed from you?”

"He doesn't get a say in that," Spike said. "I'm his Childe, yes, but I'm a Master, too. The rules are a bit different. I obey him out of respect and loyalty. He would never tell me I couldn't feed my Childe. He might make a few suggestions, but that's all they'd be. Please, luv, nothing has changed, I swear it."

“Can I have some now?  Please… just a little bit?” Xander begged.  He’d come to associate Spike’s blood with comfort and security since he’d been turned.

Spike didn't reply. He knew actions would calm his Childe more than words ever could. Grabbing Xander by the arms, he pulled him forward and sank his fangs into the boy's neck. He didn't drink much, just as he hadn't with Angel. Instead, he pulled back then bared his own throat to his Childe.

Xander whimpered, nuzzling his face against Spike’s neck.  His fang’s barely slipped into the vein, letting just a trickle into his mouth.  When he wanted to be comforted, Spike would let him nurse slowly on his blood.

"That's it, pet," Spike crooned. "Take all you want."

Xander whimpered again.  It was more like necking with blood involved as the wound closed.  He wrapped his arms around Spike’s waist and clung to him.

"It's okay, I've got you," Spike continued trying to comfort his Childe. He was aware of Angel coming over to them and leaning close to Xander. He wanted to tell him to get away but held his tongue. When it came to handling Childer, Angel was one of the best. After all, he'd managed both Drusilla and himself.

Xander sensed Angel coming closer and clutched at Spike harder, his hands fisting into his leather jacket.  Xander’s head snapped up, literally baring his teeth and hissed, “Mine!”

"Easy," Angel said, holding up his hands placating. "No one's going to take him from you, especially me. You make my Childe happy. Anything that makes my Childe happy makes me happy as well."

“Mine…” Xander repeated, this time a little less vehemently.

"Yours, Childe," Angel said fondly. "Yours to defend. Yours to obey."

Xander kept licking and nuzzling Spike’s neck, watching Angel carefully.  “Grand-Sire?”

"Yes?" Angel smiled, his pride in Spike growing even more. His Childe had done well. It would have been a shame to lose this one. He had so much to offer.

“I could taste you…”

"In his blood?" Angel asked, a bit surprised. Normally new Childer weren't able to distinguish such things.

“Yes,” Xander nodded.  “Now I know you were always part of him.  Your taste… it's layered under Spike’s taste.”

"Just like mine's layered under yours," Spike said. "We're part of each other. No matter how much we might hate each other for a bit, we're still connected."

“I don’t want to let you go,” Xander said moodily.  He’d been fairly stable for a fledgling, only having a fraction of the normal mood swings or even violent outbursts.  “I don’t want to tell Buffy.  I don’t want to be handled by Angel.   I just want to run away.”

"If that's really what you want, we'll do it," Spike said. He didn't want to leave Sunnydale, but more importantly, he knew that Xander didn't really want to either. These people were his friends, his family. He didn't want to leave them no matter what he said right now. Still, Spike didn't think he could bring himself to make his Childe stay if he said he didn't want to.

“No, it’s not what I really want,” Xander said sullenly.  “I think I want you both to stop treating me like a baby.”

"Then stop acting like I'm trying to take away your favourite toy," Angel said, stepping back abruptly. It was time to break Xander out of this mood of his. They had work to do if they were going to keep the Slayer from staking anyone. "Your Sire has pledged himself to you. That should be more than enough."

“He’s my life,” Xander spat back.  “And sorry if it’s hard to believe that a man like him would pick me, but it is.  Okay, Grandpa?”

"What?" Spike frowned. "You think it's hard to believe I picked you? Xander... mate... in case you hadn't noticed I've been giving you the eye for a while now. I wouldn't have turned you, but that's just because I wanted you, not some demon wearing your skin. You get what I'm saying, luv?"

“We don’t know what’s wearing my skin,” Xander said, pushing away from Spike and hugging his own body.  “Maybe Angel knows, but I don’t.”

"Then we'll find out," Spike told him. "And just like Angel reclaiming me as his Childe, it won't make a bit of difference. So try to play nice with your Grandpa, okay?"

“Is he gonna bounce me on his knee and give me some candy?” Xander snorted, his eyes sparkling a little.

"How about if I put you over my knee and give you a paddling?" Angel shot back, trying hard not to grin. The image of Xander stretched over his lap as his "Grandpa" gave him a spanking was almost too much.

“Kinky, but I'll save that one for Spike.”

"That isn't what I meant," Angel said, blushing at the sudden mental image of a naked Xander spread across his lap for a spanking. Faster than the eye could see, he slid up next to his Grand-Childe and whispered hotly into his ear. "But it can be arranged."

Xander hissed again.  “I belong to my Master!”

"Sire... please..." Spike began but Angel cut him off.

"He's yours, William. I forfeit any Sire's rights, though he will still be under my protection," Angel assured him. He would never lay claim to Xander. It would do too much damage to both Sire and Childe if he dared try it. No, he would content himself with the fact that he had his own Childe back.





Part Six

Angel ended up spending the day in the warehouse with Spike and Xander.  He found out that Xander was a good match for his Childe after all.  He watched as Xander tempered Spike’s wild streak, but was still juvenile enough to sink down to Spike’s level.  All in all he was relieved when Willow and Tara arrived. He'd had about all of the Grandpa cracks he could stand. He was seriously reconsidering putting Xander over his knee and there was nothing sexual about it. While it was nice to see the boy had kept the majority of his more human traits, it was also incredibly aggravating.

“Hey Grandpa,” Xander called out.  “You need to stop hiding in the corner.”

"Spike, maybe you should explain to your Childe that just because I gave up Sire's rights does not mean I can't still turn him over my knee," Angel shot back. Enough was enough. If the boy wasn't smart enough to quit when he was ahead then he'd get a well deserved lesson or two in not irritating vampires two hundred years older than him.

“He’s toned it down for you, Peaches,” Spike laughed.  “This is how he acts when he kinda respects you.”

"He might want to work on that," Angel grumbled. A knock at the door kept him from saying anything else. All three vampires tensed then sensed that it was only Willow and her mate. Xander had called them first, wanting their support before Buffy and Giles arrived.

“I like ‘em cheeky,” Spike shrugged and walked over to the door to let their first “guests” in.  

"Um, hey, Spike," Willow said nervously as she pulled Tara inside. She started when she saw Angel but recovered quickly. "Oh, Angel. I didn't know you were gonna be here. Does, um, does Buffy know?"

“No, she doesn't know yet,” Angel shook his head.

"Oh, okay," Willow said. "Xander... how're you doing?" She saw her best friend standing over near the far wall. He was fidgeting nervously from foot to foot and Willow longed to simply pull him into a hug. Coming to a decision, she squeezed Tara's hand then dropped it and crossed the room to her friend.

Xander stood there stiffly until Willow pulled him into a bear hug and he loosened up.  “I missed you, Wills.”

"I missed you, too. I've been so worried. Are things going okay?" She held him as she spoke, trying to get used to this new version of him. He was colder and she couldn't feel his heart beating like she would have been able to when he was alive.

“Other than having Spike and Gramps each fussing over me?  Nah.  We’re just one big Vampiric Brady Bunch.”

"Gramps?" Willow giggled, shooting a sideways glance at Angel. "Well, I'm glad you're okay. I take it you're ready to let Buffy and Giles in on what's happened?"

“Ready?  Hell no, but there’s no turning back.”

Angel barked a laugh at the boy's choice of words. Shaking his head he led Tara into the living room and went to get something for everyone to drink. This would be easier if it appeared to merely be a social gathering. The last thing they needed was to get Buffy's Slayer instincts kicking in before the meeting even began.

“We can get you some more…” Willow lowered her voice.  “…human blood.  Especially, with three of you to feed now.”

"It's okay, Willow. You can say it out loud," Angel said. "I don't really plan on staying long, though. I just want to make sure things don't get out of hand. Buffy has a tendency to stake first and listen to reason later. I don't want to see my Childe dusted for trying to save her friend's life."

“They were only a few minutes behind us when we called,” Willow warned.  “We brought a hex that will incapacitate her for a bit if she gets too out of hand.”

"You'd do that?" Xander asked, stunned. He knew Willow and Tara were on his side but he didn't think they'd go so far as to try to hex the Slayer.

“I won’t let her hurt you,” Willow said seriously.

“Me either,” Tara echoed quietly.

"Thank you," Xander replied, then looked over at Tara. "Both of you. I don't think I could do this without you. Angel, look, I know I've been a bit of a prick but... thanks. You didn't have to stay and help us with this. I know how hard it is for you to be around Buffy. I just... thanks, Grandpa."

“Are you going to keep calling me that?” Angel sighed.

"Thought you'd prefer it to the Great Pouf," Xander grinned, the comment making Willow and Tara both giggle. That seemed to relax them all a bit and they had just managed to get settled on the various furniture when the knock came.

“You’re just as much of a handful as William,” Angel grumbled affectionately.  “And I wouldn't have it any other way.”

Xander took a deep breath, trying to calm himself as Angel went to answer the door this time. They had decided it would be best for Buffy to see him and get it over with before they told her. It would also serve to throw her slightly off balance, something that could be used in their favour if things went wonky.

“Angel?” Buffy was shocked to see her ex-lover here in Sunnydale and even more surprised to see him in Spike’s warehouse.

"Buffy. It's good to see you. Please, come in," Angel said cordially, holding the door open for the Slayer and her Watcher. "Giles, it was good of you to come. Thank you."

“You’re being polite,” Buffy said warningly.  “It can’t be good if you’re being polite.”

"Actually, what we have to tell you is both good and bad," Angel admitted. "Please, let's all sit down and then we can start at the beginning."

“What did Spike do now?” Buffy demanded.  She refused to sit down, instead planting her feet in a defensive stance.

"Spike didn't do anything wrong," Angel said in his Childe's defence. He bristled at the way the Slayer hurried to blame him. Just because his Childe was a demon didn't mean everything that went wrong in Sunnydale was his fault.

“We’re in Spike’s place, you’re here, and my Slayer senses are pinging,” Buffy shot back.

"That doesn't mean that whatever happened is Spike's doing," Angel argued. "Look, let's sit down and I'll start at the beginning. When I'm done you can ask all the questions you want, okay?"

Xander made the mistake of shifting uncomfortably in Buffy’s peripheral vision.  She didn't see her friend Xander, only sensed an unfamiliar vampire.  She pulled out a stake and backed away from Angel, heading towards Xander.

"Buffy, don't," Angel said, grabbing her arm. "Let me explain. It's not what you think."

“What’s hiding over there?” Buffy shouted.  “Something’s hinkey here.”

"Xander, I think you better come out where she can see you," Angel said, still holding her arm. If she tried to move on either his Childe or his Grand-Childe, he'd be ready.

Xander moved out of the shadows, but Spike was standing in front of him.  “That is not Xander!” Buffy hissed.

"Yes, it is," Spike said softly but firmly. "And the sooner you get over it the less traumatized you'll leave him. This isn't easy for him, you know. He's been scared to death to tell you. Now be a good bint and listen to the pouf while he explains what's happened."

“I’m going to give you five seconds to give me a reason not to stake that thing right now!” Buffy’s hand was flexing on the stake.

"Try to touch my Childe, Slayer, and I'll rip your heart out, chip be damned," Spike growled, his face morphing into its demon visage. He'd known this was a bad idea. He should have simply taken his Childe and gotten the hell away from the bloody Slayer. Angel would have taken them in and he would have kept his yap shut to boot.

“Five… four… three…” Buffy started to count down.

"He still has his soul," Willow said quickly as she and Tara readied their spell. She didn't want to use it against her friend but she wasn't going to sit there and watch Xander, or Spike for that matter, get hurt.

Buffy lowered her stake a little.  “Explain, like now!”

"I don't really have an explanation," Willow admitted. "But Xander didn't lose his soul when Spike turned him. He's still our Xander, Buffy. You have to believe me."

“Buffy, we need to hear them out,” Giles pleaded with his Slayer.

"Giles is right," Angel said, tightening his grip on her arm just enough to refocus her attention on him. "Now unless you plan on staking all three of us, I suggest you put the stake down and listen to what I have to say."

Buffy decided it was time to turn her rage on Angel.  “Since when do you take his side over mine?”

"How about since he saved your friend's life?" Angel shot back, his anger getting the better of him. "If Spike hadn't turned him, you'd be putting flowers on his grave right now. You should be thanking him for what he did, not threatening him. Especially when you know he can't do anything to defend himself against you."

“Whoa, back the truck up.  If Spike didn't kill Xander, then who did?” Buffy demanded.

"My father," Xander said softly. The memories were still painfully fresh. He could remember every blow, every kick, every hateful taunt they had hurled at him. "Him and a couple of his friends. They thought I was gay so they beat the crap out of me and dumped me in the alley behind my house. That's where Spike found me."

“Okay, that’s settled then,” Buffy switched her rage in an instant to the new target.  “When are we going to kill him?”

"You're not," Spike said. "Oh don't worry, Slayer. He will die. But it'll be when Xander's ready for him to and it'll be my way."

“So, let me get this straight,” Buffy said.  She flipped the stake in her hand and put it back into her pants.  “Xander’s dad tried to kill him, but Spike found him first and now his soul is somehow superglued to his body.”

"Apparently he never lost it," Angel explained, relaxing a bit now that there was no immediate danger of staking taking place. "Spike said his blood didn't taste entirely human. I'm thinking his father at least might be some sort of demon. Maybe his mother, too. We don't know yet."

“A demon?” Giles gasped.  He took his glasses off and ran his hands off through his hair.  “It would have to be a demon that could easily pass for human.”

"Like there aren't a lot of those," Willow said. "But now that we all know we can try to figure this out. I mean, it can't be that hard, right? And, the best thing is, Xander isn't dead."

“Undead,” Xander corrected.  “And don’t you think my parents would have told me if our family was demons?  Maybe I’m adopted?”

"Maybe your mother doesn't know," Angel offered. "In any event, we'll figure it out. I'll get my people in LA working on it, too. Don't worry, Childe, we'll get to the bottom of it then that waste of space you call a father will pay."

“I want to know that there’s no way I can lose my soul,” Xander said.  “I want everyone’s promise… that if something like that happens… that you'll…”

"Spell you so fast it'd make your head spin," Willow said vehemently. "If I can stick Angel's soul back in him I can damn sure stick yours back in, too. So don't you say a word about promising to stake you. You hear me, Xander Harris?"

“Okay,” Xander mumbled.  “So we’re okay about this then?  I’m still a Scooby?”

"Xander! Of course you are," Buffy said. "I mean, it's a little weird, you being a vampire and all now, but I'll deal. I'd rather have you a vampire than not have you at all."

“And… and you know Spike-and-I-are-together-right?” Xander added quickly.

"Together as in together?" Buffy frowned. She understood that Spike was his Sire, then realization dawned. She remembered all the vampire lore she'd read. She remembered all the things Master vampires tended to do to their Childer. She whirled on Spike, rage flashing in her eyes as her hand reached down for her stake.

“He kinda married me,” Xander said with a loud nervous laugh.

Buffy turned back to Xander, more confused than ever. "Look, Xander, we'll figure this out. But in the meantime, you don't have to stay here with him. We're grateful for what he did and all but that does not give him the right to... to use you. I know what goes on between vampires and their Childer."

“I’m not just his Childe, I’m his Consort,” Xander blurted out.

"Xander, get your things," Buffy commanded. "You're coming home with me. You can stay with me until we figure something out. You don't have to be Spike's Consort. He can't make you."

“He could make me,” Xander said, stepping closer to Spike.  He’d never been afraid of Buffy before, but now that he was a vampire, there was undeniable “sense” of her danger.  “But he hasn't.  I want to be his consort.”

"Buffy, he's telling the truth," Angel broke in. "Spike might be able to make him do things as his Childe, but a Consort isn't something that can be forced. Xander has to want it as much as Spike does. I know this is a lot for you to take in, but Spike isn't hurting Xander."

Spike’s arm had slipped around Xander’s waist now, pulling him closer.  “You’re a right bitch for even thinking that, Slayer.”

"Oh please, like you haven't ever forced one of your minions to service you," Buffy sniped.

“Xander ain’t a minion!” Spike growled.  He started to push Xander further away from the gathering.  “That’s it!  I want you all out of here.  Peaches, Witches, you’re welcome back, but not her.”

"Spike, calm down," Angel said, the authority in his voice clear to everyone. "Buffy's just trying to understand and she didn't say he was. She just pointed out the fact that you've never been too careful of how you handled your minions in the past. She doesn't want to see that happen to one of her best friends. I'd think you'd be happy the Slayer is so worried about him. It means she'll protect him if there ever comes a time when you can't."

“You remember what kind of insult it is to be called someone’s minion?” Spike challenged.  A minion was something disposable, a piece of property.  Xander was anything but that.

"I do, but she doesn't. To her, it's basically the same thing. She never meant to insult your Childe. She wouldn't do that to him."

Spike knew Angel was handling him again.  His Sire had been doing that since he’d claimed him from Dru.  Now he was falling into the bad… okay, maybe not so bad pattern of handling both him and Xander.  In the age old struggle between any parent and child, no matter how old Spike got, Angel would always think of him as his Childe.  “I still don’t want her around my Childe.  She wanted to take him away from me.”

"She only wanted to protect him," Angel countered. "Spike, come on, do you truly think I'd stand by and let her take your Childe from you?"

“No,” Spike mumbled.  The truth was he knew both he and Xander were vulnerable.  He couldn't defend himself against humans and Xander wasn't at full strength yet.  “What, you gonna stay and protect us?” He said it sarcastically, but really he wanted it.

"Actually, I thought you could come back to LA with me," Angel replied. "You'd have more privacy and I could help you teach him the things he needs to know." Angel hoped Spike wouldn't balk at the offer. As much as he needed to get back to LA he wasn't going to leave his Childe here alone. If the slayer took it in her head that Spike was a danger to Xander she'd stake him in a heartbeat. The very last thing he wanted was to have to kill Buffy over his Childe.

Now that idea had some merit.  It was never a good idea to hang around your childhood home after you’d been turned.  People you used to know noticed things and it was just bloody depressing.  “Maybe we'll come because you asked so nicely,” Spike said, trying to sound casual.  “But after we take care of a little business.”

"Spike, you can't hurt humans," Angel reminded him, a rather Angelus-like grin spreading over his face. "So you'll have to tell me exactly what you want done to them."

“Thanks, Gramps,” Xander echoed, still held behind Spike.




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