Fledglings and Family
‘Black and blue’ was just a figure of speech, Xander was realizing. In actuality, the body was capable of producing many more rich and stunning colors. It was a marvel, really, that human skin had this ability. And wasn ’t it odd that he had never noticed it before? Of all the cuts, scrapes and bruises that he had sustained over the years, he had never really taken the time to admire how the physical body dealt with such abuse.
For example, a hard punch to the shoulder will almost instantly create a soft reddish funny shaped circle on the skin. Over a fairly short amount of time, the redness will darken until it is a deep purple. That, presumably, is when the bruise is at it’s peak - when blood has rushed to the injured spot to begin the healing. And it’s when the healing starts that the rainbow really takes shape. Beginning with the outside of the misshaped circle, the purple will morph into dark blue which then fades to a lighter softer blue as the bruise shrinks in size. As the circle becomes smaller and smaller, the inside colors will shift from dark purple to black to a lighter purple and then eventually to a very dark green like that of the ocean on the horizon just before a storm.
This pattern stays mostly consistent no matter where on the body the bruise is. The shoulder, the stomach, the eye, the chin, the thigh. And the amazing thing was, itdidn ’t matter how many bruises the body sustained, the colors were the same shades of light and dark in each spot. That seems to be a lot of blood going to a lot of different places as once.
Xander decided to be more proactive. Observing the colors was interesting, sure, but a little experiment was in order. How would the colors change when there was less blood available to do the healing?
He spent the next few days draining blood from Cordy a little at a time. Then he would hit in different places and watch carefully the complete cycle of the bruise, while periodically finding another place to punch, and the color cycle would start again there. It was like at the circus when those clowns would attempt to keep several plates spinning on the tops of poles at the same time. The colors on Cordelia’s body were moving and shifting in that same way. Until eventually Xander become dizzy. All the colors were merging together like one of those tacky pieces of 3-D art in which, if you stared hard enough, an image would appear in the middle of it. Xander looked intently at Cordy’s body to see if a 3-D picture would emerge from swirls of red and purple and blue and black and green. Nothing ever did, though.
Xander sat naked in a comfy chair at the foot of the bed, one leg flung over the side arm. His eyes wandered across Cordelia’s body with wonder and awe. He had untied her a few hours ago, the fight having been broken from her after only a couple of days. Now she just lay there. Her breathing was shallow and slow. She was unconscious at the moment. And a thing of beauty.
Cordy had always been beautiful. He remembered first noticing it in the sixth grade. As bitchy and snotty as she was, she was always beautiful. Now - she was stunning. A nude canvas with splashes of brilliant color in varying degrees of brightness and dullness. Colors that had not been trapped in a tin can, but colors that came entirely from nature itself. Colors that did not exist on that canvas until Xander put them there. A patchwork of living, breathing color that Xander created, controlled, and could destroy in just a moment. She was beyond beauty. She was art.
He found himself breathing heavily and remembered that his sire told him that the need to bring air into his lungs was a habit that he would forget eventually. But the heavy breathing had little to do with an habitual need, and more to do with the fact that all his borrowed blood had rushed to his groin, and he was stroking himself in long slow pulls as his creation began to stir on the bed in front of him.
His canvas began to twitch slightly as she roused from stillness. Xander moved gracefully from the chair to the bed and grasped the newly unchained ankles. At his touch, Cordy stilled again instantly. Xander moved his hands up her legs and his need grew more intense as he watched his pale fingers glide smoothly over the broad palette of hues and swells. He explored her entire body with his hands before he started again at the bottom with his tongue. The heat coming from her was as various as the colors. Each color produced a different degree of heat. When he reached that beautiful face, he pressed his body heavily against hers and allowed the heat rising from her to consume every inch of his own body that touched her.
With a knee, Xander spread her thighs apart and in one quick thrust he entered her and was proud of the way she managed to stay completely still. He had taken her dozens of times by now and this was the first time he was able to do it without any resistance from her at all. He began moving inside her and whispered the kindest words he could think of to encourage her continued cooperation.
“That’s my girl. You’re so beautiful. You like me now, right? You’re more beautiful than ever. You like me cause I made you more beautiful. You’re mine, baby. I made you. You’re my girl. You like me.”
Xander’s thrusts became more desperate, he stopped talking, and he spilled his wet dead coldness into her.
Spike sat in the garden and listened to the breeze move the leaves and jasmine flowers. It was a harsh contrast to what he was hearing going on in Xander’s room inside. Hedidn’t admit it when Xander first brought him here, but he really did enjoy the garden in the courtyard.
This place had been their sanctuary shortly after Xander's demon had awoken. The boy had told Spike that he knew of a place that the Slayer had never been, and it was a bit more civilized than the factory. Spike was reluctant to leave at first. The factory had held the memories of Dru, and he still enjoyed thinking of her in the early mornings before sleep overtook him. But the need to start his new family in fresh surroundings was a bit stronger than his need to preserve Dru's memory, so Spike allowed the move to the abandoned mansion on Crawford Street and enjoyed the solitude of the jasmine-filled gardens.
Xander took to the hunt quickly. After only a few days, it was as natural to him as the breathing he no longer needed. They went out together every night shortly after sundown. But while Spike liked to stay out most of the night and wander the streets, enjoying the warm California nights and stillness ofSunnydale, Xander would call it quits early and go back to the mansion to be with his precious masterpiece.
It really was getting on Spike’s nerves. It was all Xander bloody talked about. Cordy this and Cordy that. Worse than when he was alive. He spoke of how beautiful she was becoming. More gorgeous every day. Pretty colors and new complete submission. Talked about how sweet her blood tasted and his growing desire to keep her around for as long as possible. He would offer his creation over to Spike every night and while he had taken her a couple of times in the beginning, Spike lost interest when she had stopped fighting.
He could hear Xander inside now. Fucking her again, and talking to her like she wanted it. It was an odd thing. Spike didn't understand this obsession Xander had with the girl. At first, he had encouraged the need to hit and hurt and rape and drink, but after she stopped responding, he failed to see what was holdingXander's interest. Spike was hoping he’d kill her soon. Maybe then they could spend more time together like they had before they had visited the library.
Not since the very early days with Angelus did Spike have a playmate that he could hunt with and laugh with and just plain wander the streets with, frightening and eating the locals. But with the girl in the house, most of Xander's attentions were elsewhere and Spike was having a hard time refocusing them.
Hearing the bed creaks get faster and Xander's babbling get quieter, Spike knew the boy was almost done, so he made his way into the house and upstairs to have a talk with him.
Spike stood in the doorway of the room and watched his childe. Xander was pressed on top of the girl, his teeth buried deep into her neck, drinking deep and slow.
The girl’s face was turned toward Spike. Her eyes were wide and unfocused. Her face was wet with silent tears. Her breathing was soft and shallow. Her heartbeat was slow and erratic. And, yes, she was beautiful.
He suddenly knew what Xander saw in her. It was perhaps similar to what Spike saw in Xander. She was a creation. She started out as a free-spirited cheerleader, and Xander had turned her into an object. A thing. Much like the demon that Spike had brought out in his childe.
He still didn’t, however, understand, or wish to understand, the complacency. The satisfaction and desire to have a meal just lay there. It reminded him too much of Angelus, and Spike knew this was something that he would have to break from Xander. He just couldn’t figure out the right thing to say or do to make that happen.
Xander finally pulled his teeth out of the girl’s neck. Her body didn’t react. Back in his human guise, he turned his head and pressed his cheek into hers with his eyes closed tight. Looking more like a sated cat than anything else, he rested there for a few minutes, stroking his hand over the welts and bruises of her arm.
Spike finally disturbed the entirely too peaceful scene, “You done?”
Xander opened his eyes and smiled at his sire. “How long have you been there?”
“We need to work on your observation skills.”
“My observation skills are just fine, Holmes. This Watson was just feeling safe and comfortable in his own home. Isn’t that allowed?”
“You didn’t answer my question.”
Xander jumped up off the girl and the bed in one sexy fluid motion and started bouncing in front of Spike. “Gee, sorry. What was the question?”
“No longer a question. More of a statement, now. You’re done, Tigger.”
Xander slowed his bouncing and tilted his head at Spike. Spike nodded toward the bed. “And so is she.”
Xander turned to look and discovered that Cordelia’s breathing and heart had stopped. Xander shrugged, “Bummer.” Facing Spike again, Xander added, “Who do you wanna paint, now?”