Old Blood


5 The Bastard

“Bloody fucking hell.” Spike was late. Very late. He’d said he’d be at the watcher’s for today’s meeting, but he’d gotten caught up in the poker game and completely lost track of time. He was almost an hour late, and Xander was not going to be best pleased. He didn’t mind the thought of a pissed off Xander when they were in bed. Well, if they ever made it to an actual bed, that was. That kind of anger just made the sex even hotter – and it was bloody hot already.

What had Spike upset was that he had let Xander down. With the old Xander that wouldn’t have mattered as much – that boy was used to disappointment, although he honestly wouldn’t have gone out of his way to do so, even then. He'd kind of grown used to the berk, and he'd started to enjoy their time together, playing pool or just sitting around watching movies on the tube. It hadn't been torture at all. When you spent most of your time alone, any time spent in agreeable company was a relief. Not that he needed comfort, or any such thing.

Disappointing Sadistic Bastard Xander, as he’d come to think of him, was different. Xander had told him he trusted Spike at his back, and Spike had said he’d be there. He got the idea that Xander suspected there would be trouble tonight, and Spike had left him to deal with it alone. He’d let Xander down, and now he’d have to pay the piper.

If he were extremely lucky, nothing would have happened, and he’d show up in time to spend an hour or two baiting the slayer before they divided up for patrol. He doubted that he was that lucky, however. Xander turning into a sadistic bastard was the best thing that had happened to Spike since the chip, it wasn’t likely his luck would hold. No, chances were this would be very bad, indeed. As much as he approved of the idea of a little punishment for some random misbehavior, he had no interest in any true disciplinary action, and he suspected that being a sadistic bastard and all, Xander was definitely capable of it.

Speak of the devil. As Spike turned the corner onto the watcher’s street, he saw Xander, walking in his direction, away from the meeting that should have just been winding up to a rousing hour or two of research/coffee klatch/giggling schoolchild fun and games. He looked furious. Spike hesitated, swallowing nervously, but then kept walking, meeting Xander half-way. When they got close, he stopped, expecting Xander to do the same, but Xander kept going, so Spike turned and followed, catching up after a few steps. He took a breath to say something, unsure of what exactly, but feeling the need in any event. It didn’t matter what he might have said, though; he didn’t get the chance to speak.

“I don’t want to hear a word from you. Not one word.”

Xander’s voice was low; the calm of tightly restrained fury, and Spike shut his jaw with a snap, nodding once to show his understanding. They walked quietly for some time, Spike following Xander one step behind and to his right, watching Xander carefully. He stared straight ahead, not paying attention to anything around him. The way his jaw was clenched, his hands in white-knuckled fists at his sides spoke of a rage too powerful to express.

Spike had expected angry words, but this silence seethed with recriminations, and he had no choice but to accept them unchallenged. Not that he had any sort of legitimate excuse for his behavior. He had fucked up royally, and his gut roiled with concern over how this could affect their partnership, for despite the fact that he was willing to take a back seat to Xander’s leadership, he still considered this a partnership, one he didn’t want to end.

He shouldn’t care. He was a vampire, damn it, it was in his very nature to not give a fuck. If Xander wasn’t pleased with his behavior, then he could take a flying leap for all Spike cared. He knew that wasn’t true, though. He wanted this, whatever the fuck it was. He craved the sort of relationship he’d begun to develop with Xander – both of them. So he kept silent, hoping beyond hope that he hadn’t damaged this relationship beyond repair.

By the time they reached Xander’s basement, Spike was so jittery with nerves that he kept his hands in his pockets, to stop them from shaking. He followed Xander down the steps, still in silence, then stood inside the door, arms crossed over his chest, biting his tongue to stop from talking. He knew Xander was expecting him to be remorseful for his actions, but his behavior was just making Spike belligerent, and that could only lead to more trouble, so he did his best to keep it hidden.

Xander went directly to the still-pulled out bed, stripping off the blanket and top sheet before coming to stand directly in front of Spike, his eyes blazing angrily.

“You let me down tonight, Spike.”

Spike forced himself to drop his eyes. “I know.”

“Give me one reason that I should trust you ever again.” Spike looked back up, surprised that he was being offered a chance to explain. “Think carefully before you speak. What you say may mean the difference between going our separate ways, or my offering you a second chance.”

Spike took a deep breath to steady himself. He had to make a reasoned argument, and his mind was suddenly blank. He closed his eyes, remembering back to his years as a fledge, and focused on the times he’d stepped over the bounds, trying to regain that perspective – to locate that part inside of him that knew what Angelus had needed to hear before he’d be forgiven.

Unfortunately, his belligerence was making it hard to fall into the mindless acceptance he’d felt with Angelus. He was a hundred years older now, and a master in his own right. He’d fought hard to earn the respect he deserved, and despite his distress at the chance of losing what he’d found here, he was having a hard time balancing the needs of the present moment with his pride. Finally, he found what he was looking for, focused his eyes on the floor, and began to speak.

“I made a mistake tonight. I’m aware of that, but I know that what you’re asking for is not an excuse, so I won’t offer you one. I failed you, and I understand your anger, but I won’t promise to never do it again. I don’t make promises lightly, and I won’t make one that I know I can’t keep. I’m not perfect. I’m impatient and short-tempered, and I make mistakes, such as the one I made tonight. It could happen again, and you should be aware of that. What I can promise you is that I will do my best to never let you down again.”

The silence that followed that speech was deafening. He wanted to look up, to see what Xander was doing, what he was thinking, but he didn’t want to take that chance. He clung to the hope that the sound of Xander’s heartbeat was indicative of his mood, because it was steady and strong, and seemed to be slowing.

“Clothes off, face down on the bed, arms and legs spread out as far as they’ll go.”

Spike took the chance to look up for a brief glance as he stepped over to the bed, but Xander’s face was a careful blank. He was still here, and that was a good sign.

When Xander pulled out the cuffs, he wasn’t all that surprised. He’d spent a fair amount of time in this basement while the whelp was at work, waiting for the sun to go down; he’d had plenty of time to snoop. The box with the sex toys wasn’t out in the open, but it hadn’t been very well hidden from prying eyes. It smelled of Anya and Xander and sex, so of course Spike had to look inside. It made sense to him that Anya would be the adventurous kind; after all, she’d been a demon for over a thousand years. He had no doubt that most of the toys were hers. What surprised him was that she hadn’t taken them all with her when she left. The cuffs were distinctly masculine, so maybe she thought Xander would have more use for them than she would.

He tugged on the restraints surreptitiously. He could break them, if he put his mind to it, but he had a feeling that wouldn’t go over well, so he’d try his best not to. If they continued with this relationship, if this wasn’t a final farewell fuck, he’d have to see what he could do about coming up with some vampire-proof chains. You never knew when they might come in handy.

After securing Spike’s second ankle, Xander stood there above him, quietly, taking deep breaths, his heart rate calming even more as the moments slid by. Spike was tempted to lift his head to see what Xander was doing, but while he was in Sadistic Bastard mode, he felt it safer to avoid angering him further than he already had. Finally Xander spoke. As totally unprepared as he was to hear Xander speak them, it took Spike a moment to recognize the words as Latin.

“Silentii clausus totus sanus.”

Spike only realized that he’d been breathing along with Xander’s slow, steady breaths when the air in the room grew too thick to pull into his lungs. His ears popped a mere second later with the force of the return to normal, and a wave of magic pulsed through the room, a chill breeze stirring the fine hairs on his arms and legs, the feeling of a knife’s edge against the nape of his neck there and gone again in an instant.

The faint background noises Spike had been hearing subconsciously disappeared in that moment – the thready sound of the upstairs TV, two hearts that had been beating an unsynchronized tattoo in the back of his mind silenced, leaving him straining to pick up the sounds again. When the hell had Xander Harris learned to cast a muffling spell? He shivered. No one would hear a thing that happened down here, now. They were truly alone.

Xander tugged on his belt, the leather sliding out of the cloth in a whispered rush. Then he folded it in half and snapped it, and Spike shivered, wrapping his hands around the chains holding the cuffs to the bed, his body tensing in anticipation. This was going to hurt.

He was right.

He lost track of time early on, but some moments were clear and remarkably vivid in his mind: the first strike - sharp and burning across his shoulders; the taste of blood as he bit through his lip trying to hold back any sound; the shock of the tangy scent of his blood the first time the belt wrapped around his thigh, the edge breaking the skin in a flash of white pain; Xander’s fingers running along the edge of one welt, his voice low in Spike’s ear as he promised him he wouldn’t think less of Spike for letting his screams out.

It seemed to go on forever, steady and relentless, until finally he broke down and sobbed into the mattress, pouring out all the horror and frustrations of the last year; Dru’s abandonment, the chip, the shame of being made to rely on his enemies for food and shelter, his horror at being helpless in the face of mere humans, the scorn and belittlement of the slayer and watcher, all of it pouring out of him until he felt empty of it all, a mere husk.

He wasn’t aware of Xander removing the cuffs from his wrists, but he must have, because he found himself in warm, human arms as Xander held him, wiping his face with tissues to rid him of his tears. He wondered if this was the Bumbling Boy or the Sadistic Bastard holding him, but he was afraid to ask, and break the peaceful silence between them.

Finally, Xander moved, laying Spike back on the bed and replacing the cuffs, and Spike figured he had his answer. He heard the slide of clothing as Xander undressed, and then he knelt on the bed and bent over, running his tongue over one particularly sensitive welt. Spike gasped, arching his back, unsure if he was trying to arch into the sensation or away from it – the mix of pain and pleasure was so intense. Xander chuckled above him and did it again, covering Spike’s back and thighs with his tongue, laving each and every welt he’d made, as if he were an animal cleaning Spike’s wounds. Spike arched and writhed, moaning and gasping at the sensations, his cock pulsing in time with Xander’s rising heartbeat.

By the time he’d worked his way between Spike’s thighs and tucked a pillow under his hips, Spike felt as if he was on fire. Borrowed heat from the welts and the warmth from Xander’s body made his muscles clench as he fought to control himself and not come all over the bed like a naughty school boy the moment Xander touched his tongue to Spike’s arsehole. It was close, but he managed, panting into the mattress with every thrust of that stiff tongue.

He remembered his lesson from the crypt, and started pleading, hoping that Xander would take pity on his situation and fuck him now! It took some time, and some inventive cursing, but finally, finally Xander lubed his cock and slid into Spike, up to the hilt, and struck up a fast and heavy pace – no teasing this time, just pounding fiercely into him, as relentlessly as he’d wielded his belt. The salt from Xander’s sweat stung Spike’s wounds, but that only heightened his fervor and he tightened his grip on the mattress, pushing back against Xander’s thrusts, his need to come overpowering all others, his gasping cries strangled as he strained against the cuffs.

Suddenly, the scent of Xander’s blood filled the room, his bleeding forearm thrust into Spike’s face. He latched onto the wound, and Spike’s world narrowed down to the pounding of Xander’s cock in his ass, the thunder of his heartbeat in his ears and the flavor of his blood, rich with lust and heavy with magic and the hint of old blood. When Xander bit the nape of his neck, he shouted against the cut flesh, refusing to give up Xander’s blood, even as he orgasmed, holding on to his human façade for as long as he could, before tearing his mouth away for fear of biting into Xander’s arm and ruining the moment with a splitting headache.

Finally he relaxed back into his human face and rode out the last moments of Xander’s orgasm sucking on the wound, until Xander collapsed on top of him. Reluctantly Spike bit his lip, using the coagulant in his own blood to stop the flow of Xander’s, licking his arm clean as Xander’s gasps finally slowed and calmed. Xander slid to the side, grabbing the sheet and blanket off the floor to pull over them, an arm and one heavy leg holding Spike in place.

Spike laughed at the ownership implicit in the weight holding him down. As if he could go anywhere with the cuffs still on him. At least the chances were good that this meant he was forgiven. He doubted Xander would offer his blood to Spike if he wasn’t. He was almost sorry to feel the human blood rushing through him healing the wounds on his back. I would have been nice to have a reminder of the night tomorrow when Xander was likely to be his normal self again, but he’d take what he could get, and these memories would have to last him until next time.

6 The Boy Blunder

Spike opened bleary eyes as the scent of chocolate and milk reminded him he wasn’t in his own bed. He’d drifted in and out a good portion of the night; after all, he wasn’t used to sleeping when it was dark out. But trapped under Xander’s sleeping form, it was difficult to care. He’d reveled in the sensations of being held down, warm and secure and comfortable. He’d thought hard about what was happening to them, the strange ceremony that had started the whole thing, the mixing of their blood and come and the knowledge of the spell taking place around them.

Xander was at least somewhat aware of what was happening to him. What had Spike worried was where they were headed. He liked the boy, and he liked the bastard, and he had no idea if he could have both, or if he was doomed to be stuck with one or the other. If they were mutually exclusive, which would be left in the end?

The mattress jolted as Xander climbed onto the fold-out bed and sat down, leaning against the couch back and picking up his bowl of chocolate breakfast cereal before grabbing the remote and clicking the TV onto something loud and obnoxiously cartoonish. Spike sighed and rolled over, leaning on one elbow as what was obviously the Boy Blunder grinned at him nervously.

“Hey, Spike.” He shoved a spoonful of cereal in his mouth, then spoke around it as he chewed. “There’s blood in the fridge, and the microwave is working for now – go figure – so you don’t have to heat it up on the hot plate.”

“This is the middle of my night, you know.” Spike stretched, grinning unrepentantly as Xander stared glassy-eyed when the sheet rode low over his hips revealing the trail of light brown hair below his navel.

Xander shook his head, to break himself out of his daze. “Right. But it’s my bedroom, and I get to decide how late we sleep, so shut up or go sleep in the bathtub.”

Spike shuddered. “Never again.” He scratched at the crusty flakes sticking to his pubic hair – funny how the guy on bottom always ended up in the wet spot. “I may need a shower, though.” He threw the sheet back and clambered out of the bed, heading for the refrigerator starkers. “After breakfast, of course.”

Xander swallowed heavily behind him and Spike sauntered away, laughing to himself. Xander would have to get used to having a nude man in his apartment if they were going to continue to fuck.

Later in the shower, Spike pondered the strangeness that was his life. He was having some of the best sex he’d had in years, he was drinking human blood again, and he had a psychotic for a lover. He laughed. Come to think of it, that sounded like his life before Drusilla left him. But this time the blood came from a blood bank’s rejects, and was supplied because The Bastard had plans that involved having him at full strength, not half starved and malnourished by slaughterhouse leavings.

Xander had apologized for the fact that he’d never noticed that Spike wasn’t eating right. It had taken The Bastard to bring it home to him that a vampire couldn’t live on meager rations of pig’s blood and still expect to maintain his strength. It had never occurred to Xander that perhaps the watcher had no interest in having a vampire at full strength around his precious slayer and her Scoobies, even if he was leashed by a chip. He’d asked how much blood Spike needed, and how often he needed to feed, and Spike was touched by Xander’s sincerity.

It was a relief to discover that Xander, not The Bastard, knew how to cast a muffling spell. Spike hated mojo, and besides, he had a feeling that The Bastard was dangerous enough as was, without the added abilities of a witch or sorcerer. Willow had taught the spell to Xander right after he and Anya had started dating. Anya turned out to be quite a screamer, and Xander had been afraid of getting in trouble over having a girl in his apartment. Spike didn’t think that would actually be a problem, as long as he paid his father extra rent – the greedy pig would do anything for money, if he was willing to charge his own son the extortionate price he expected for this musty dump of a basement.

As they’d talked, Spike discovered that Xander remembered most of what had happened last night, but he admitted that he felt like he’d watched it from afar, as if someone else was using his body, and he were a passenger. It had been the boy that had held him as he cried, but by the time the cuffs went back on, the bastard had been back in charge. Spike had laughed at that, letting Xander know that as long as he was around, The Bastard would always be in charge.

“How can you put up with that?” Xander bit his lip, his eyes troubled.

“With what?”

“The way he pushes you around like that.”

Spike wondered if Xander realized that he was talking about himself in the third person. He wasn’t sure if he should ask – it was hard enough getting the whelp to talk about what was happening, he was afraid of making him even more self conscious about it.

“He beat the shit out of you last night, Spike, and you sound as if you admire him for it. Why don’t you hate him?” Xander sounded upset, as if he was afraid that Spike might associate him with what The Bastard was capable of.

“He had a right to be angry with me last night. I fucked up. From what you said, they all but put you under a microscope and dissected you, and while you seem to do well handling them when you’re yourself, when you’re The Bastard, you don’t have the ability or patience to handle the slayer and Rupert, let alone Red and her massive guilt trips.”

Xander nodded. “Yeah, he was totally out of his depths last night.” He hesitated before continuing. “He really could have used your help.”

“Why do you think he didn’t let you take care of them? After all, you could have handled their suspicions with no trouble.” Somehow, it seemed wrong to talk about him like this – as if they were telling tales behind The Bastard’s back, but it was the only way Spike could get any idea of what was going on. There was no way The Bastard was going to tell him anything. He’d already proved that.

Xander looked guilty, as if he were betraying a trust. “I spent all day Friday trying to decide if I should break down and tell them everything, Spike. He couldn’t take the chance that I’d blurt out the truth. If I tell them, they’ll kill him.”

The thought brought a chill. “You really think so?” He didn’t want to lose any part of Xander – he liked him just the way he was, even if he was as multiple personality as Angelus Mark II. “What do you mean, kill him?” He braced himself; he was going to have to bring up the subject, now. “The way you talk about him as someone apart from you – do you really think of him as a separate entity?”

“I don’t know.” Xander got up, pacing around the room, as if he couldn’t stay still a second more. “Every time I think about it, I end up with a headache, and my hands start shaking. He’s part of me, but he’s not me, and I don’t know how to explain it any better than that.”

After that exchange, Xander had refused to talk about it anymore. He’d asked questions though, and Spike had tried to explain as best he could the difference between domination and being a bully, how Angelus had been able to demand Spike’s respect, despite his viciousness, and how the demon inside Spike could accept a demanding master and still keep his own pride. He wasn’t sure he was completely successful in his explanations, but Xander seemed more content with their roles afterwards, and that had, in turn, made the rest of their time together easier.

Xander had definitely been the boy this afternoon, playing video games and watching scifi and arguing over the remote. In the early evening, though, the phone had rung, and Xander had agreed to meet the slayer and Red for a night at the Bronze. They promised that Giles would not be there, that there would be no interrogation, and as Spike had known would happen from the beginning, Xander bowed to the power of Willow’s persuasion. Before he’d left, though, he asked Spike if he’d be there when Xander got back.

“Do you want me to be here?” Spike asked hesitantly, unsure of his welcome.

“Um, yeah. That would be nice.” The blush was a nice touch. “I mean, if you need to go, that’s okay, too. But if you want to come back, you could stay here – for the weekend. If you want to, that is.”

Spike held back his grin with difficulty. “All right, Butch. I think I can handle that.”

Xander’s blinding smile was all the answer he got, but it was all he needed. Spike concentrated on that smile as he stroked his cock, the warm steam of the shower giving him the illusion of Xander’s warmth. The boy’s smile was almost as potent as The Bastard’s lopsided smirk.