Rock Bottom

Creed and Echos Revenge

After traveling the world, there was still no place that was quite as odd as California.  Xander didn't get too many strange looks for his eye patch… instead, he had to readjust to empty stares from people who had long ago learned to look through anyone they did not know.  What made him laugh was the absurdity of being asked to lift his eye patch to prove it was really just covering a missing eye when he went through customs.  Only here would they suspect a man of smuggling drugs or weapons in an empty eye cavity.  Welcome back, Xander Harris.

Once he got to baggage claim, he turned on his phone to check for messages. Giles was the only one that could have realized he was gone, but, from the lack of messages, he was guessing that had not happened. After spending a frustrating month in Africa, unable to talk to the girls he was supposed to find, he had returned to England. Once there he had realized that not only did he not fit in, but no one wanted anything to do with him. Willow and Buffy were off doing their own thing and Giles was way too busy to spend time with him. The new Slayers and Watchers did not see any reason to have a half-blind, non-trained, non-super powered person around. Finally, he decided to look up some information on Angel's group and see if they would have a use for him, which was how he ended up in L.A. waiting for his luggage.

He collected his bags and managed to catch a taxi to the headquarters of Wolfram and Hart.   The building they pulled up to had none of the character of Angel's usual haunts.  The large, modern building was cold and a part of him wondered if what Giles had said about Angel selling out was true.

Stepping inside didn't do anything to lessen his apprehensions. The people rushing around the lobby looked like pissed off worker drones in business suits, and Xander was sure a few of them were vampires. Seeing Harmony sitting at the reception desk was definitely a surprise though, even if it did give Xander hope. He knew he could be more useful than Harmony.

"Um, hey, Harmony," he said as he got close to the desk. "Is Angel here?"

"The Bossman?  Sure he is," Harmony answered with a smile.  "Do you have an appointment?"

"Umm, no," Xander said with a bit of hesitation.  "Can't you just call him to tell him I'm here?"

"He's busy," Harmony said.  She emphasized her point by tapping Angel’s appointment book with her nail file.  "In a meeting with some sort of drippy demons."

"Well, by all means, I want to avoid drippy demons. I can wait," Xander said. "So, you work for Angel now… how's that going?"

"I worked here before the Bossman showed up, but it's better working for him. Sure, I have to put up with the no human blood thing, but after the first few weeks he's been killing a lot fewer employees than the old bosses."

"Right," Xander said and took a deep breath.  "I guess that's always a positive.  Can you fit me in after this meeting?"

Harmony looked down at the appointment book again.  "I don't know… Angel's a busy man.  Why don't you just tell me what you need and I'll pass on the message?"

"Um, no, I kinda flew over from England to see him. There's got to be some time in his schedule or maybe Wesley's, I guess?"

"You can try to see Wesley," Harmony agreed.  "But he's head of his own department, so he might not have time either."  She quickly scrawled a room number on the back of Angel's business card and handed it to Xander.  "He should be there now."

"Okay," Xander said as he headed up the staircase. He figured the room had to be on the second floor as it was room 209. He was so busy checking door numbers without looking like he was lost, that he didn't notice Spike until he was right next to him. "Spike, you're here."

"Oh, still see you're thick as I remember, Harris," Spike said with a smirk.  "Yeah, I'm here, genius."

"It's just that the write up I saw said that you were not here much after you de-ghosted," Xander said. "Not that the Council is spying or anything, but Andrew did a big write-up on his trip here."

"Andrew the spy," Spike said with a snicker. "Gotta admit he knew what he was doing though, unlike you who don't even rate an appointment or an escort."

Spike had expected Xander to throw back an insult in return, but instead the man winced slightly and looked down at the ground.  "I… I have to go in to see Wesley now."

"Yeah, cuz you and Watcher wannabe always got along from the way I heard it. Anyway, after the last muck up, you might wanna tell your people to send someone important if they want help from us," Spike said. "Have fun. I have to go get some special axe to kill some demons."

"Yeah… bye," Xander said quietly.  His grip tightened on his bag as he watched Spike saunter down the hallway.  He turned his attention back to door marked 209 and knocked.

"I'm busy," was Wesley's muffled reply.

"Wesley, I just need a few minutes," Xander said as he opened the door and poked his head in the door.

"Ah, Xander, I wasn’t informed that you were here," Wesley said, looking up from the papers he was studying. "What was it you needed? I’m in the middle of this translation and have to be done before nightfall."

"The Watchers didn't send me or anything, I just came to see if Angel needed any help," Xander started off.  "He was busy, so…"

"Yes, let me guess… Harmony told you to come up here," Wesley sighed and ran a hand through his hair.  "Lives depend upon the correct translation of this text.  It is very time sensitive."

"I get that things are busy, just give me a job to do," Xander's voice trailed off when Wesley's phone started ringing.

Wesley gave a slightly apologetic shrug and answered the phone and started discussing how many warlocks were going to be needed to stop the latest demon from rising. It was almost ten minutes before there was a break in his call and he could look up at Xander. "Xander, I'm sorry, but this really isn't a good time and Angel is the one that would have to hire you. See if Harmony can schedule an appointment for you. You can find your way back to the lobby?"

Xander had been standing in front of table full of antiquities while Wesley was on the phone.  It was amazing how such simple words could so easily drive home a point.  Los Angeles would not be a new start for him.  He was the same loser he had always been and that would follow him always.  Even Wesley looked through him like all of the others.  It was easy to slip one of the antiquities into his bag.

"Thanks, Wesley," Xander mumbled.  "But I think I'll be leaving…"

The person on the other end of the line had started talking again and Wesley gave Xander an absent wave as he walked out of the office.

Xander avoided Harmony's desk on the way out of the building and kept walking until he found a bench a few blocks away. "So, I’m here in L.A., no one noticed I left London and the people here don't need me," he muttered. He really did not want to go back to London. In fact he really could not get up the motivation to do much of anything.

He tried to think of some place that he wanted to go and ended up just staring at the passing traffic.  Twenty minutes went by and a bus stopped in front of him.  Without thinking about where it was going, Xander got onto the bus and stuffed five bucks into the fare machine.

"Hey, buddy," the bus driver growled.  "You saw the sign, right? That machine doesn't give change."

"Don't care," Xander told him.  "Where does this go?"

"The beach," the bus driver sighed and huffed "Freak" under his breath.

As the bus was rolling along, Xander checked his watch to make sure he had a few hours to sundown. Whatever he was going to do, he was going to be done before the sun went down. The first stop at the beach was too crowded, so he just sat on the bus as it pulled away. He knew he had put enough money in to sit through at least a few stops if he wanted to.

Finally, the bus pulled up at an almost deserted stop near an industrial pier and Xander got off and looked around. There were too many deserted buildings nearby for it to be safe after dark, but the stretch of beach looked okay.

He kept his bag with him as he wandered from the pier to the beach.  Finally, he settled down to sit on the sand and watched the setting sun.  It didn't stir any feelings in Xander because he felt like an empty shell.  He felt numb and worthless… a literal waste of space.  Xander reached into his brief case and pulled out the antiquity he had taken from Wesley's office.  It was like the dagger had been calling to him, even as he now ran his fingers over the runes carved into the handle.

He took a minute to check his phone one more time for messages, but no one had called looking for him. He decided against leaving a message for anyone. It was almost dark, and he was pretty sure it was low tide. With any luck he would be swept out to sea and there would not be any mess for them to take care of.

He held out the dagger and ran his thumb over the edge to check that it was sharp.  The blade easily sliced his flesh and blood collected on the edge, making Xander smile.  He had never cared for pain and this way it would be relatively quick.  Slicing his wrists was not an option, as there was always the chance of rescue.  No, he was going to do this the right way.

Plus, there was a certain amount of irony in the whole situation. He had spent way too many years helping kill vampires with a stake through the heart and now he was going to die with a dagger through the heart. He took one last look at the last sliver of the sun sinking over the horizon then shoved hard, hitting his heart before he could feel the pain. To his surprise, all he felt was a weird tingling as he slumped down on the sand, and a weird sensation that was almost like the blade was melting inside him.


A week later Wesley was called up to Angel's office as soon as he got in. Harmony had told him to go directly to Angel's office and he was annoyed that he had not even had a chance to check his messages. "Angel, what's going on?" he asked as he stepped into Angel's office, taking in an annoyed Spike who was playing with one of his railroad spikes.

"Morning, Watcher," Spike drawled when Angel did not say anything right away. "Poof here is all embarrassed that we're getting into a tizzy over some zebras. Seems something is killing them off at the zoo and one of our bigwig clients is annoyed because he sponsored them. So, drop everything and let’s save the helpless zebras." The last was obviously aimed at Angel and part of an ongoing argument from the way he winced.

"And that's why we try to keep you away from the clients," Wesley sighed.  "If one our clients want us to handle something as mundane as…"

"Zebra-cide?" Spike offered with a snort.

"…attacks on animals," Wesley continued.  "Then what pray tell, is the big deal?"

"The big deal is that we're supposed to be helping people. The Brooding Avenger here knows he shouldn't be wasting our time on zebras so he's embarrassed, but he's doing it anyways because he has to keep his clients happy," Spike grinned at Angel. "And I just like pointing out who the sellout in the room is."

"Who, or what, is attacking the zebras?" Wesley cut off any snide comment Spike was going to throw at Angel.  "As far as I'm aware, there are no demons or cults that have a specific appetite for… zebras."

"They don't know. Three have been killed in the last week, one every other day. The evidence points to animal attacks and knives at the same time. Plus whatever it is sneaks in and out at will," Angel said. He leafed through a file on his desk. "They think that whatever it is eats the heart and a decent amount of flesh there, raw."

"Mmm, perhaps a possessed human… or a demon who can take human form," Wesley said. "I can check with our international department to see if any demons have come in from Africa lately.  Someone will of course have to go down to check out the zoo."

"Poof and I can go tonight," Spike said. "Maybe we'll catch the bugger that's doing this, or get a nice drink of zebra blood. I was just going to try to find that Pal'thenk demon that's been killing a few hookers a night. This is definitely more important though, right Angel? The hookers don't pay us." Seeing the look on Angel's face, Spike was glad Angel had not given him a chance to report that the demon had been killed the previous night.

"I will kill the Pal'thenk demon," Angel said through gritted teeth.  "You can go spend some quality time with the animals since you're always so in tune with lower life forms.  And get your feet off of my desk…"

"Oh no, this is your project. I'm happy to come along and observe the great zebra hero in action though," Spike said with a grin. "Plus, I may have just killed that demon last night while you were in your quarterly meetings. So, we done here? Can I sleep before the great zebra adventure tonight?"

Angel leaned over and shoved Spike's feet off of his desk.  "Yes, we're done and no, you cannot go to sleep.  You can go fill out a report on the Pal'thenk demon with records.  Have fun with that."

Spike leaned over Angel's desk and opened a drawer to grab some forms. "Well, seeing as I don't have an office I'll just fill them out here."


Just after sunset, Spike was riding with Angel to the zoo. Something had happened during the day because Angel was pissed enough that Spike was not taunting him. He knew when he could get away with pushing and when it was better to just sit silently. He looked through the slim file Wesley had put together, that didn't really have any useful information. The zoo was shut down, supposedly for maintenance, and no one was going to be there all night… just him and Angel patrolling the zebra pens. Despite himself, Spike let out another snort at the thought.

Angel gave Spike a sideways glance as he pulled into the zoo's parking lot.  "I don't care how idiotic you think this case is, you will act in a professional manner," Angel said. "We don't know what's out there."

"It just kills zebras. Been plenty of humans here working before when it got dinner, so not guessing it's that much of a danger. Course, you'll piss it off most likely," Spike said as he got out of the car. It was safer to bait Angel when they were not trapped in the car anymore.

"If anything pisses it off, it'll be your smell," Angel said.  He opened the trunk and pulled out his favourite sword.  "Never assume that something isn't dangerous, you know better than that, Spike."

"It's been well over a hundred years since I’ve been a fledge," Spike groused. "Maybe I should make a childe of my own so I have someone to pass these nuggets of wisdom onto."

"And I'll always be responsible for you and your mistakes… William," Angel said and slammed the trunk shut.  He had intentionally used the name just to bother Spike.  "Too bad you won't stop acting like a fledge."

"Naw, I just remember that I'm still a vampire even though I have a soul. Let's not forget who beat who when we were chasing after that damn cup of Mountain Dew. Course we could forget about you getting all pissy and actually do what we came here for too."

Angel didn't bother to acknowledge Spike's last quip and instead took off for the zoo.  He easily bounded over the ten-foot high fence around the zoo and landed with his trench coat whirling around him.  "If you can't keep up, go home, Spike."

"Since it's just got dark we should do a circuit looking for any clues before we stake out the zebras," Spike said as he followed Angel. He had a feeling it was going to be a long night if the zebra killer didn't show up quickly.

Angel nodded in agreement and they started a progression around the manicured exhibits.  As they passed, the natural prey hid and the predators either paced by the bars or called out to them.  As they searched, a chorus of animal calls greeted them until they came to one enclosure in the African exhibit.

"Listen…" Angel hissed and held up his hand to stop Spike.

"I don't hear nothin'."

"That's the point.  It's too quiet in there," Angel said.  He leaned over and read the placard.  "Hyenas should make some noise."

"Maybe whatever it is has already shown up," Spike said. "Hyena's and zebras are both from Africa. It could be some demon predator that goes after both of them. Let's head over to the zebra pens."

Just as they were heading away from the Hyena enclosure, a shrill yipping laugh let loose.  "No animal made that," Angel told Spike and brought his sword up to a defensive position.

"We're going to have to go in there, aren't we?" Spike said with a sigh. "Ran into some of those when I was in Africa. They'll attack us before they figure out that we're dead." Spike hefted the axe he was carrying and followed Angel toward the hyena cage.

"They're predators," Angel told him. "Any that we kill, we'll pay for their replacement."

They jumped over the fence and the water moat, into the dark enclosure.  From the back, they heard another laugh and saw a flash of green eyes.

"Angel, is it just me or are there a bunch of hyenas lounging behind a human with green eyes?" At Angel's grunt of agreement, Spike scented the air again. “Smells familiar kinda though, don't it?"

"Yeah, it does," Angel said after he sniffed the air. "Just our luck. It's probably some demon we pissed off before.”

They were moving slowly forward, watching for any sign of movement from the demon or the hyenas, but they were still surprised when the hyenas leapt on them all at once. It was a quick fight, but with the hyenas acting in unison, Angel and Spike were disarmed and pinned down on the floor.

The shadowy figure in the back of the cage moved forward enough that the two vampires could get a better look at it, drawing a surprised gasp from each of them. "Xander, what's going on?" Angel started to ask.

Xander snarled at him and leaned down on all fours to sniff around Angel's head, ignoring any efforts at talking. With a disgusted snarl he moved over to Spike and repeated the sniffing, but this time was making satisfied noises.

Spike had given up talking until Xander's head moved to start sniffing his groin. "Um, Xander, don't think you want to be doing that. Oh, bloody hell," he added when Xander looked up with a very satisfied grin on his face. "Angel, don’t think there's much of Xander left in there.” He scrambled to his feet when Xander chuffed at the hyenas and the ones holding Spike moved to Angel.

"Spike, letting him beat you would be a bad idea," Angel yelled as he watched Xander drop into a fighting stance. "For both of us probably."

"Well, no shit Sherlock!" Spike growled as he kept his eyes on Xander.  "But it's still just the Whelp, how much trouble can he be?"

Despite his words, Spike was backing away as Xander approached. He could tell that the boy was not moving at all like he had when he was human, and he probably was not going to fight like it either. "You know if I win I'm going to have to fuck him, right, Angel?"

"And if he wins he'll fuck you, and maybe me. That's why I told you to win," Angel growled. "Stop running away from him."

"I'm not running," Spike huffed.  With that, he quickly cracked his knuckles and launched himself onto Xander.  When he won, it would be a quick brutal fuck, then they'd patch Xander up once he was back to normal and ship him back to the Scoobies. Xander forced Spike back, using brute strength to overpower him. Spike managed to wiggle out from under Xander and face him down again. "Bugger's stronger then he looks," Spike grunted out. "Good thing he don't have much training." He set about keeping Xander busy while tiring him out.

Xander kept up the all-out attack as Spike managed to just barely keep from being pinned. If he'd been a little slower, or Xander a little stronger, the brute force would have worked. As it was, Spike knew he'd be fine if he could avoid making mistakes while Xander wore himself out. When it looked like Xander was starting to calm down, Spike landed a sharp jab on Xander's face. The hyenas started to yip and move towards Spike, but stayed on Angel when Xander snarled at them.

"Give it up, whelp," Spike growled as they circled each other.  He could see the small trickle of blood running from Xander's mouth.

Xander snarled again and launched himself at Spike in a flurry of blows. He was breathing heavily, and Angel was pretty sure that it was Xander's last attempt to take Spike down.

They rolled around for a few more minutes, with Spike slowly getting the upper hand. "You're gonna lose," Spike said as he easily broke Xander's attempt to pin him. Xander's snarls did not change in intensity. Spike grinned over at Angel and used a move he knew the older vampire would recognize from long ago. It just took a few seconds and Xander was pinned, ineffectually struggling against Spike.

Xander's eyes continued to flash green and he hissed at Spike.  The young man might be taller, but there was something to be said for over a century of fighting dirty.  "Give up," Spike grunted.  "Give up and we can get that rot out of your head, pet."

"That's not going to work," Angel said. "The hyenas aren't moving until you make him submit and neither of us can take them on the way they're acting."

"Had to try one last time before I fucked him," Spike grunted and thumped Xander against the ground when he struggled too much.  "You just keep your eyes on those mongrels."

"Trust me, I'll be watching anything but you and Xander," Angel said. He did not look away though as Spike leaned in to bite Xander. The change was instantaneous. Xander stopped struggling, but did not stop growling.

Spike knew he had to press his advantage quickly and used one hand to push down Xander's pants.  During the time Xander had been living in the hyena habitat, he had shed his shirt and his dress pants were pretty much in tatters.  He could feel Xander's muscles tense and twitch under his touch.
"That's it, Xan," Spike said as he savored the last traces of Xander's blood. He managed to wiggle his pants down enough to free his cock without letting Xander up. "Now let's get you flipped over." He rolled Xander over while staying on top of him the whole time.

Xander's answer was a subsonic rumbling that sounded like a pleased purring to Spike. That sound and taste of human blood in his mouth made Spike even harder as he rubbed against Xander's ass. There was not much in the way of subtlety as Spike was just showing his dominance. A small cut on Xander's back provided all the lubricant that was needed as Spike started to push into Xander. As soon as Spike breached his body, Xander stopped moving around.

The encounter was quick and brutal.  The vampire shifted into game face just before he came and bit deep into Xander's shoulder.  Spike could smell that Xander came as the fangs sunk into his flesh and drew several mouthfuls of hot blood before he forced himself to pull away. Spike pulled back and wiping himself off with Xander's shredded pants, watching closely for any sudden moves. "So, pet, you talking to us now? Need you to get those beasties off Angel so we can get out of here."

Xander turned his head and smirked at Spike, followed by another rumbling purr.  He looked over at the hyenas guarding Angel, making short yips that drove them away.  When Spike went to move off,  Xander moved quickly and rolled Spike under him.  But now he was less than threatening as he started to nuzzle and nip at Spike's throat.

"Not now, pet, if you want to play when we get home that's fine, but Angel just gets one show," Spike said. He pushed them both up, but kept one hand wrapped around Xander's neck playing with the bite mark. "So, Angel. Think we can get him out to the car without anyone seeing him?"

Angel was holding his sword in front of him and watching the hyenas carefully.  "That depends on whether or not you can control him, doesn't it?" Angel said.  "And for god’s sake, give him your coat."

"Sodding poof telling me what to do," Spike groused as he draped his jacket over Xander. "I could tell Xander to have those hyenas pin you back down, you know."

"You could…" Angel said.  "And I could…"

Xander cut off Angel's threat with sharp growl and the one of the hyenas moved forward, baring her teeth.

"Okay, Xander, enough of that. The poof and I were just joking around so call off the pack and we'll get you back to Wolfram and Hart." As they started to move out of the cage, Spike looked back at Angel and added, "You know, maybe you should have made time to see him when he came by last week instead of pawning him off on Wesley."

"What, no one told me he’d come by to see me. Why was he coming to see me of all people?" Angel asked, pausing in mid-stride.

"He was looking for a job from what I heard, and what Harmony told me, he talked to the Watcher when he couldn't see you. Watcher gave him a barely polite brush off. Now from looking at him and smelling him, I'd guess this happened pretty fast after that."

"If he was in trouble we would have helped him even if he didn't work for us," Angel protested. "No one told me he was there and I would have talked to him if I had known."

"He was too depressed and weak smelling when he came by. Didn't know about this did he. In fact I bet someone did this to him, or he did it to himself after his last hope gave him the brush off," Spike snapped back, knowing it would send Angel into a fit of remorse and brooding.

"We'll fix him," Angel muttered.  He leaped out of the enclosure and looked back at Xander crouched at Spike's feet with a guilty scowl.

"C'mon, pet," Spike told Xander and followed after Angel.  He was impressed to see that Xander took the leap just as easily as the vampires had.

When they got to the car, Xander insisted on sitting in Spike's lap. Which resulted in Spike bitching and Angel smirking while he called the zoo director to let him know things were taken care of.

"So, how long do you think it's going to take to fix him?" Spike asked as Xander started to grope him in the front seat.

"Say all you want about me selling out, but Wolfram and Hart has extensive resources," Angel said.  He gripped the steering wheel tightly and looked sideways at the pair.  "I hope it will only be a matter of hours."

"Maybe after a good nights sleep," Spike said as Xander wiggled his ass into his cock and nipped at Spike's neck. He shot Angel a leering grin before pulling Xander's head to the side and running his tongue over the bite mark he'd left there.

Xander became bolder as the trip progressed and just as they pulled up to the parking garage, Angel complained, "He's worse than a bloody fledge.  And don’t forget, you're responsible for him, Spike."

"Don't worry. I can handle Xander Harris for a few days." Spike brought two fingers up in a rude gesture when Angel snorted. "I can always use some of the pointers that you spent years drilling into me, sometimes literally, those years after I was turned.”

Xander's reaction to Spike's taunting was to chuckle with a high-pitched hyena laugh that grated on Angel's nerves.  "Would you shut him up?" Angel snapped, peeling into his parking spot.  "I thought he was annoying enough as a human…"

Xander reached over and cuffed Angel on the side of the head with a growled, "Obey Spike." Taking Angel's silence as acquiescence, Xander returned to wiggling on Spike's lap.

"At least he knows who's in charge here," Spike said as he got them both out of the car. "Just make sure you obey me, and first thing is to get the two of us a nice room to spend the night in so we can start on the cure tomorrow all bright eyed and shit."

"You will not take advantage of someone under the influence of a demon," Angel said.  "If you're that bad off, why don't you go chase after Harmony?"

"Cause I'm not daft or desperate," Spike snorted.  "'Sides, it's not like he's drunk or anything.  He's still Xander."

"Fine, you've got a soul and know what you should do. Just remember, if he wants to stake you when he's cured, I'll hold you down for him if you've done anything to deserve it. Make sure you're both in my office at nine for a meeting with everyone." Angel started to walk away, then looked back. "And try to get him to stop growling at me before then."

Xander's answer was to growl at Angel's retreating form and snap his teeth.

Spike simply laughed and squeezed Xander's waist.  "Don't need to translate, do I?  Of course, if I wear him out, he won't have the energy to growl."

Xander immediately started ignoring Angel. His growl changed into a purr and he laid down on the hood of Angel's car before pulling Spike down on top of him. "Right here on the hood of Peaches' favorite car? I like the way you think, pet. Just have to make sure no one cleans up so he'll know what happened next time he comes out."

"Again," Xander growled, not pleased with even the smallest delay.  His hand quickly worked between their bodies and attacked Spike's zipper.  He felt vulnerable away from the pack and needed reassurance.

"Giving me a command, are you? I was hoping the first thing you said to me was 'Master' or something like that." Spike was busy pulling his clothes off without letting Xander go. He decided to let Xander keep wearing his coat since that was about all he had on and hood of the car was still pretty hot.

Xander made a snorting sound when Spike said 'Master' and then shook his head.  "Mate," he said, wiggling and pushing his cock up against Spike's thigh.

"Whatever you call it, as long as you know I'm the one in charge," Spike said. He reached into the pocket of his duster and pulled out some lube. It was nice not having to go through the foreplay he had gotten used to with the chip and then the soul. It just took a few seconds to get them both slicked up and ready.

He thrust into Xander with a loud moan.  The boy was tight, even after their last time.  It had been a long while since he had had a willing, warm body under him that wasn't going to hate him immediately afterwards.  The whimpers and appreciative growls that Xander were making were proof enough for now. Xander had his legs hooked around Spike and was pulling him in harder on each thrust. At the same time he was making a contented rumbling with each stroke that increased when Spike started to lean forward. Xander lifted his head up and to the side, obviously asking to be bitten without words.

The taste of blood was mixed with the ecstasy of biting living flesh and orgasm.  Xander was far from neglected and came with his own loud groans.  What nearly finished Spike was when Xander reached down to his pooled cum and then purposely wiped it on Angel's favourite car. "God, pet, if I'd known you had a streak like this in you I would’ve shagged you sooner. Should we see if we can sneak into Angel's office and repeat this with you bent over his desk?"

Xander's smile was enough to show that he understood and liked the idea.  "Later. Hungry now," Xander said.

Spike hesitated. He knew he was about to start playing with fire, maybe enough to get Angel to stake him, but he liked having someone. Liked having this Xander all to himself. A quick bite to his wrist and he was pressing it against Xander's mouth. "Few sips of this will keep you going until after we have fun in Angel's office. Might also make sure you stick around even if they find a way to fix you."


"Spike!" Angel hissed, bursting into the room that Spike had taken over now that he was back in the land of the living.  "My car… my fucking desk?"

Xander tensed up next to Spike at Angel's words, but remained silent like he had been instructed.

"You told me to get him to stop growling at you didn't you?" Spike asked with a smirk. "I told you I was gonna wear him out and it worked. I don't see why you're complaining."

"Oh, I don't know… now I have to burn a car that's worth more than your unlife and you left… evidence all over sensitive contracts on my desk," Angel said.  He had his arms crossed over his chest and scowled at them.  "I've come to take the boy down for some tests."

"Drama queen, you could have just told one of your stoolies to wash the damn thing." Spike had one hand twined in Xander's hair, tugging just enough to keep him quiet. "And I don't recommend you try to take my boy anywhere without me. He's liable to attack you regardless of what I say."

"I expect you to keep him in line," Angel demanded.  He picked Spike's jeans off the floor and tossed them at Spike.  "There's been some complications…"

"Don't like the sound of that…" Spike had moved only enough to grab a cigarette from his pack and light it.

"The clean up crew found an artifact in the hyena enclosure.  It's something you should have noticed him taking when he was here."

"How the fuck would I have noticed that? I saw him on his way in, not his way out," Spike got out of bed and stretched, making sure Angel got an eyeful. "You better get some clothes for my boy if you want us going anywhere, because if you think I'm parading him around here without clothes you're off your rocker."

"I'll have something delivered," Angel answered.  He narrowed his eyes at Spike's display, but he didn't look away.  "Take him down to Fred's workshop right away.  We have to clean up the mess the damn boy caused before it gets any worse."

That got a growl out of Xander, but he cut it off quick when Spike wrapped put his hand on Xander's shoulder. "I'm going to get back to wearing him out so tell your minions to leave the clothes outside the door."

"Spike," Angel said in a warning tone.  "I don't think you understand.  Look at his chest…"

"Oi, I've been looking at it all night… and who's the pervert now who's sizing up my boy?"

"The scar," Angel sighed.  "The one over his heart…"

Spike’s gaze drifted to the two-inch scar just over where Xander’s heart on his chest.  It was completely healed, but looked like it had been a close call. "The boy grew up on the Hellmouth. He's bound to have a few scars."

"We got his medical records faxed over from the continent," Angel told him and pointed at the faint white line about two inches long over Xander's heart.  "That wasn't there during his last check up.  And before you ask how, we took the liberty of comparing the security video from last night with his records.  It healed too fast and that wound should’ve killed him."

"Look, we're going down to have him all checked out when having the meeting so stop talking and let us shag. We'll be down there in twenty minutes, thirty if you want us to shower."

"Thirty minutes, then," Angel agreed, but he made a mental note to schedule the meeting in the lab in an hour because if Spike was anything like he remembered, he would not be done in thirty minutes.

It was forty-five minutes later when Spike sauntered into the main lab with Xander trailing behind him. One look around showed that Angel was the only one there. "Where's the rest of your gang?"

"They'll be here in a bit. I figured you'd be late and there was no reason for them to wait around. So, sit down and wait quietly without having sex until they get here," Angel said as he went back to going over the paperwork he had brought down.

Spike sat down and Xander proceeded to sit in his lap, starting to nip at Spike's neck.

"What did I just say?" Angel snapped.

"If your definition of sex soley means snogging, it's been too long, Peaches," Spike chuckled and turned his head to allow Xander better access.

Angel sighed and looked up at the ceiling. "No opening of buttons, zippers, snaps… no removing, ripping or shredding clothes… and definitely no breaking the skin."

Xander turned and scowled at Angel.  "Obey Spike, Peaches…"

"I don't care if you have a demon leeched onto your soul, boy," Angel said.  "You understand enough to get it that Spike works for me, not the other way round."

"I don't work for you, you poofer. I work with you because there needs to be someone around here who hasn't sold out to an evil law firm," Spike said.

"Angel smells wrong. Spike smells right. Obey Spike," was Xander's response.

"Do you even understand what's wrong with you?" Angel challenged.  "Other than letting Spike touch you…"

"Hey!" Spike huffed.

"Do you even comprehend what your actions resulted in?" Angel continued, ignoring Spike.

Xander grinned and burrowed back against Spike.

"I think he knows, Angel, and he seems to be pretty happy about it," Spike said smugly. "You're just jealous that he sniffed us both and decided that as the stronger one, I was the one he had to fight."

Angel straightened his back and crossed his arms over his chest.  "He just knew that I wouldn't fuck him."

Xander gave off a weird hyena laugh and licked up Spike's neck before whispering loud enough for Angel to hear, "Angel wants me."

Spike ran his hands down Xander's back and ended by squeezing his ass.  "He always had a thing for you…"

"This isn't about me," Angel said.  He had picked up a letter opener from the desk and was twirling it around in his hand.  "This is about the boy.  This is about what he did, which you don't seem to understand… It's also about what pushed him to that act."

"You pushed him to that act. You and his other white hat friends who never had any time for him. Surprised he didn’t crack before this with everyone being too busy for the useless boy with no special powers," Spike said. "So, you wanna get all broody, you call up Buffy, Willow and their Watcher. Talk about what you all did wrong and I'll stay right here."

"And what… you're perfect?"  Angel laughed.  "The Mediums were able to tell me what you said to him.  Telling him that Andrew boy was more capable than him?"

"Never said I was perfect, but I don't waste time worrying that I hurt his feelings. You will spend months worrying about it though and that's fun to watch. Now get back to your paperwork or something."

"Are we interrupting something?" Wesley asked from the door.  He looked from a tense Angel, over to where Xander was sprawled over Spike.

"We could hear the shouting down the hall," Fred added.  "People are talking."

"Just discussing things, Watcher. You can tell them no one has won the pool yet, Angelus isn’t on the loose." Spike pried Xander's head up so they could all see who was draped over him.

Wesley stammered a bit, before answering.  "I'm sure they'll be thrilled, Spike, and I'll be sure to tell them Angel hasn't bedded you… yet."

"Might wanna re-think what bedding bets you bring up, Watcher," Spike said with a pointed glance at Fred. "And you really want to avoid saying things that might piss Xander off. I might stop holding him back and then he'll rip your throat out."

"Shut up," Angel yelled. "We are not here to talk about some office bets. I'll deal with that later. We're here to reverse whatever happened to Xander."

"Ahh, yes, about that…" Wesley started.  "It's not as easy as I originally thought.  We've been researching the dagger and it's cursed."

"And not an everyday curse," Fred added.  "It is really is quite a masterpiece of black magic.  It was an artifact we apparently acquired in a hostile take over, and by hostile, I mean we killed a powerful warlock for it.  We’re not exactly sure what its original purpose was, other than it was used in sacrifices.  The recovery team found the dagger in the hyena enclosure and it’s been put safely into storage."

"Well, it's not like he's a menace right now," Spike said. The fact that Xander was ignoring them all while stoking Spike's jean clad cock was evident to them all. "We have plenty of time to work on this."

"The boy is not some puppy who followed you home," Wesley said.  "He's an ill young man who needs our help.  I think we should segregate him until we have this solved."

Xander moved so fast that even Spike was not able to grab him until after he had knocked Wesley over and pinned him down. Spike grabbed Xander's neck and squeezed the bite mark. "Get off the Watcher, pet. Hopefully he learned his lesson.”

"No cage," Xander growled, looking at Spike and then back at Wesley.

"No cage," Spike agreed and pulled Xander off of Wesley, even though the boy looked like he wanted to rip into the Watcher's throat like he was a zebra.  "Play nice."

"Yes, well, I didn't mean a cage so much as keeping him here while Spike went elsewhere," Wesley said as he picked himself up.

"Separating them won't work. Xander will get violent and it won't be his fault," Angel said with a sigh. "After their antics last night I'd already have separated them if it was feasible."

"I don't think you have to separate them," Fred commented, watching Xander rub against Spike.  "Xander seems perfectly happy to stay with Spike and he isn't any more dangerous than some of the other employees."

"The boy and I can go out together. Be better then saving people with bat vamp here," Spike said. "You just make sure everyone knows to leave him alone. Better tell them to leave me alone too or he might attack them."

"Xander…" Fred said.  She was tired of people talking about Xander and not to him.  "Is that what you want?"

"Spike's mine. All obey Spike," Xander said with a glare around the room. He made sure Angel was the last one he glared at so he could keep glaring.

"Look, the boy's getting more human like all the time. I'm sure if we just wait this out, it will be fine. Long as the poof keeps himself in line anyway," Spike said.

"Spike, get out," Angel growled.  "And keep your antics restricted to your rooms."

"We'll see," Spike said as he headed out of the room, Xander so close behind him they were almost pressed together. "Boy's like a wild animal, I can't keep him all cooped up, you know."

"Garage," Xander whispered just as the door closed behind them, and Spike was snickering at Angel's roar as he and Xander started running through the halls.

Back in the lab, everyone was staring at Angel who was in game face and roaring at the door.

"Angel, what's going on?" Wesley asked. He slipped one hand in his pocket for the ever present cross.

"He's always been the worst!" Angel roared.  "Never respected my property!"

"I don't understand…" Wesley shook his head, his hand still grasping the base of the cross.

"They defiled my favourite car!"

Surprisingly it was Fred who started giggling. “You're mad because they, well you know… in one of your cars? These are Wolfram and Hart cars, I'm sure there's been lots done in them."

"I don't want to think about that…" Angel groaned.  He pinched the bridge of his nose and made a pained facial expression.  "It was bad enough with just Spike, now he has an accomplice."

"We bear some responsibility for what happened to him," Wesley said. "As long as they are not hurting anyone, I suggest you give them some leeway. Xander would have fixated on someone, and as long as it's Spike we can keep him under observation. I don't think any of us want him fixating on us instead."

"And he deserves to be happy," Fred insisted.  "You shouldn't have a problem with that.  Unless you're… jealous?"

Angel groaned and shook his head.  "I am not jealous.  I'm pissed off… homicidal… take your pick, but I am not jealous."

"Be that as it may. It would be best if you don't further antagonize either of them. Spike's reaction to that is well known, and if Xander retains any of his personality, he will be the same," Wesley said. "All you're doing is encouraging both of them to get more inventive."

"They can't possibly do anything worse to piss me off than they've already done…"


Angel walked into his private rooms wanting nothing more than to relax, have a glass of blood and brood.  Those plans were quickly forgotten when he saw two pairs of jeans scattered on his living room floor.  The following loud moan was recognizable as coming from Spike… in his bedroom.

Angel was trying very hard to remember Wesley's advice as he stormed into his bedroom. What little control he had managed to find was lost with the scent of both Spike and Xander's blood heavy in the air.

Spike, sensing Angel standing there, smirked at Xander. "So, Peaches, what are you doing in our room?"

"About to kill you," Angel snapped.  He noticed that his expensive black silk sheets were not only messed up, but stained with blood and semen.  The smell would never come out.

Spike was quiet for a few seconds before roaring his completion and rolling over next to Xander. "Sometimes, I wish you'd get rid of that soul, you know," Spike said calmly. "Sure, you're a fucking bastard from hell, but at least you're not as uptight without the soul. And just remember that every time you threaten me, Xander here gets more inventive."

"You're fun to piss off," Xander agreed with a smile.  "Spike likes it.  What Spike wants, he gets."

Angel narrowed his eyes at Xander.  "He put you up to this…"

"Was all his idea. You know, if it was mine I'd be proud to take credit for it," Spike said as he got up and pulled Xander out of bed. He pushed Xander toward their clothes and looked back at Angel. "You just need to find someone to fuck. I'd suggest that Watcher of yours. We both know he wouldn't protest too much."

"I was thinking more about you," Angel snapped.  He changed into game face and started to stalk towards Spike.  "You seem to be begging for it and you more than begged for it in the past."

"I kicked your ass a few months ago, and that was without Xander here backing me up. We're both off limits for you, so don't even try that move," Spike said. "Now, since we seem to have been in the wrong suite, we'll find somewhere else to spend the night."

"Angel wants us…" Xander sing-songed.  Angel was still in game face and Xander flashed green eyes at him.  "You're not the alpha anymore…"

"That's it. Spike, get him out of here and into your own room now!" Angel snapped as he visibly restrained himself.

"Okay then, pet. Let's get out of here and let the Poof have his bed back," Spike said as he followed Xander's example and pulled on some clothes. He could tell they were pushing up against that line that would push Angel to actually try to hurt them. "We'll try to find our room next time."

"Maybe…" Xander added with a snicker and smiled at Angel, not in mockery, but in challenge.  He enjoyed the game they played with Angel and he knew on some level, the older vampire also enjoyed it.


Things settled into a routine over the next few weeks. Xander was slowly becoming more like himself with fewer hyena moments. That did not stop him and Spike from teasing Angel though, and they started to pull the others into the teasing. Angel put up with it because Spike and Xander were actually being quite useful, and everyone other than him was in a better mood.

Even the teasing had started to mellow just a little bit by the time Angel took Spike and Xander out to face a Kagbrth demon that had been terrorizing a local factory.

"Haven't faced one of these since the good old days, have we?" Spike asked Angel as they approached the warehouse. "Nasty little buggers as I recall."

"Yes," Angel agreed.  "They have a tendency to go after your knees first.  Last time we faced one, you almost ended up with the nick name Peg Leg instead of Spike."

"Yeah… yeah…" Spike snorted.  "But I still killed it, didn't I?"

"We killed it. You just happened to get the killing blow, and you were an insufferable prat about it for weeks," Angel said. "Let's move in. Triangle formation until we locate it, then you all know what to do."

They moved out with the two vampires in front and Xander taking the rear because Spike told him to take that position.  The little three foot, purple demon didn't look like much, but it lived up to its dangerous reputation.  The Kagbrth demon attacked Angel first, striking out to his right knee viciously. As small and fast as the demon was, it proved difficult for all three of them to coordinate an attack on it. While they stayed out of each other's way, the demon kept attacking and managed to toss Angel against a wall where he slumped down unconscious.

Xander used the demon's distraction to get a few blows in before it danced out of the way and went for Spike. The blows were being traded almost too fast to see, but the demon got in a good swipe across Spike's chest and slit him open. Before Xander could stop it, the demon jumped and Spike and smashed his head against the floor too. Xander did manage to pull it off before it could use it claws to separate Spike's head from his neck.

Angel woke back up just in time to see Xander, with glowing eyes and pronounced fangs, rending the demon to shreds with what looked to be claws. When Xander turned to glare at him, he felt a moment of fear before Xander turned away to move to Spike's side.

Angel watched as Xander used his claws to slice into his own wrist and then press the wound to Spike's mouth.  Even unconscious, Spike's vampire side took over and he started to nurse from Xander's wrist.  The entire time Xander was purring and nuzzling at Spike's blood caked hair. "Xander, we need to get him out of here," Angel started to say as he stumbled toward the two of them, his head still ringing.

As soon as he got close a snarling Xander grabbed him, pulled him over Spike, and pressed Angel's bleeding forearm against Spike's mouth. "Let me go!" Angel growled at Xander.  "No one feeds from me!" It didn't matter that Spike looked like he needed it right now, what mattered was this sense of violation.  At his protest Xander's eyes glowed green and he snapped his teeth at Angel.

"Feed my mate or I'll kill you," Xander snarled. His speech was thicker coming around the fangs, but still understandable. "You have blood."

"He's had enough," Angel snapped. "And he might be your mate, but he's my Childe."

Spike's colour had improved and Xander let Angel pull his wrist away.  "You are a terrible Sire."

"It's not your place to judge that. Now let’s get him back to the office," Angel said, swaying as he stood up.

"He is mine. You are mine, too, but not my mate." Xander picked Spike up carefully and waited for Angel to go in front of them.

The return trip to Wolfram and Hart was made in silence.  Spike didn't wake up until he was laid up in the bed he shared with Xander and Wesley pronounced that there was no damage that blood and sleep wouldn't cure.

"Fuck, feels like I got run over by a lorry," Spike groaned as he crept into consciousness.

Wesley started to move closer to Spike to examine him again only to be pushed back by a growling Xander. "Out!  All of you, bring my mate blood," Xander said while holding Spike flat on the bed with one hand on his chest.

"Xander…" Spike protested.  "I can get up and get my own blood, pet."

"No," Xander said simply. "You will obey me now." He ignored the snort of amusement that came from Angel as everyone else trickled out of room.

"Wha-" Spike sputtered.  "I thought we worked this all out in the zoo.  I fucked you, you obey me.  Got that?"

"You are weak. You'll obey me now," Xander said above the light rapping at the door. "Stay there while I get your blood."

Spike was just starting to notice the fangs and claw tipped fingers Xander was sporting. "Bloody hell, what happened while I was knocked out, pet. You got some new accessories."

"You had to be protected.  Hyena took control," Xander told him and then looked at his claws, splaying his fingers wide apart.  "These protect you."

"Appreciate the protection, pet, but I think I can handle myself now," Spike said, watching Xander closely.

Xander's eyes flashed green, but he didn't say anything as he reached out the door and snagged the cooler of blood. "I'll protect you from now on," Xander finally said as he handed Spike a mug of warm blood.

Spike made a disapproving grunt, but still took a deep sip from the mug.  The blood was too tempting to ignore.  "This negotiable?"  With Xander's scowl, he could tell the answer.  "I'll be mended up soon enough and then everything can go back to normal."

Xander started laughing the weird hyena laugh that Spike had not heard since the first week after they found him in that cage. "No negotiation. You can try to fight me when you're healed."

"I'll do that," Spike grunted.  Maybe it wouldn't be too bad to have the whelp waiting on him hand and foot for a few days.  It would be more like a vacation than an ordeal.  "Just promise me we won't let up on the Poof and you got a deal… for now."

Xander grinned and waited for Spike to finish the blood before taking it and putting it on the end table. Spike started to realize things were more serious then he had first thought when Xander looked him over and started to undress.

"Pet, I'm not sure this is a good idea."

"Mine to take," Xander said simply as he crawled into bed.

"Na uh," Spike said, shaking his head.  "Spike doesn't belong to nobody."

Xander was able to cover the short distance between them and soon had Spike pinned under him.  "Mine," he said with certainty.

Spike stopped protesting vocally and tried to push Xander off, but he could not budge the boy. After a few minutes of struggle he gave up. There was nothing he was going to be able to do to while he was still healing and the boy was this strong.

Xander made a contented purring sound when he felt Spike stop fighting him.  He started to nuzzle Spike's throat, nipping at the pale skin.  The demon was in charge now and even though it felt the need to protect Spike, it also delighted that now was time for a little payback. "Gonna make you scream," Xander promised with another sharp bite.

Spike moaned but managed to keep his voice steady even with the biting at his neck. "Can take me while I'm injured, but you're not going to make me scream, pet."

Xander grabbed both of Spike's hands in one of his own and pinned them above Spike's head. With a satisfied chuff, he bit into Spike's neck, drawing blood. From there he moved down to Spike's nipples.

"Shouldn't call me pet…" Xander growled and circled Spike's nipples with the tip of his fangs.  "I'm the master now." In the entire time that Xander had submitted to him, he had never called Spike 'master'.  The title was so wrapped up in his memories of Angel, that he couldn't help a slight shiver.

Xander let Spike think about that while he kept moving down Spike's body, bypassing his cock. When he finally got a moan out of Spike, he flipped him over and bit into Spike's ass, letting a trickle of blood start to flow for lube.

Spike buried his face into the pillow and groaned.  This was the same way he had taken Xander the first time and the little bastard was doing it on purpose.  The damned boy was making him enjoy the submission and he hissed when Xander entered him with a quick thrust. Xander spent the first few minutes varying his speed and angle to see what got the biggest reaction from Spike. Once he was sure he knew what he was doing, he started working on making Spike scream. He knew that they were just down the hall from Angel, and Angel needed to hear that Spike was his.

There was no torture like the most familiar kind.  Spike came with a shout when Xander fucked him at just the right angle and bit deeply into his neck again.  The pain was new, yet familiar at the same time.

Angel heard Spike scream from down the hall and grimaced.  Everyone for three floors would hear that.  Then the very same idea brought a smile to his face.  Yes, everyone for three floors would hear it and those who didn't would hear the rumours soon enough.  Angel was going to have fun giving Spike a taste of his own medicine.

Xander grinned at the scream and pulled out to flip Spike onto his back. "Didn't think I was done with you already, did you?" he asked with a grin at an exhausted Spike. This time as he pushed back in he took Spike's cock in one hand and started stroking.

"I only did it to annoy Peaches," Spike grumbled and bit his lip to keep from groaning.  The boy had talented hands and knew exactly how to work him.

"The longer you deny it, the longer this will go on. Even if the whole building gets to hear you scream in the morning," Xander said. "They all need to know you belong to me anyway."

"Yeah, next thing you'll be wanting to do is parade me around with a collar," Spike snorted.  The resulting gleam in Xander's eyes and way he squeezed Spike's cock showed that he didn't fully appreciate Spike's comment as sarcasm.

"You are above all them. Only below me," Xander said by way of answer before driving Spike to his second of what would be five screams that night.


Angel had been staking out the fridge where Spike's blood was stored for an hour now.  Spike had made himself absent most of today, but he had to eat eventually.  Angel was just sipping a mug of blood when Spike skulked in with Xander on his heels.

"So, how many mugs of blood have you choked down waiting for me?" Spike asked around Xander as he got himself some blood. He was still getting used to Xander putting himself between Spike and anything more dangerous than a kitten, but he was not trying to get around him anymore. Having Xander pin him in a corner and bite him for it in front of Gunn had been more embarrassing than the protective act.

"Two," Angel answered and without a beat added. "How many times has the boy fucked you since last night?"

Xander casually backhand Angel hard enough to throw him against the closest wall. "Enough times to let you know he belongs to me."

Angel stood up and licked the blood that trailed from his broken lip.  "Touché," Angel said with a smirk.  Normally he would have attacked Xander back, but the slightly embarrassed look on Spike's face was worth it.  "No arguments from me… you can keep him."

"Make sure everyone knows it. Everyone who I didn't show today," Xander said with a smirk. "I don't have time for all this so I'm letting you stay in charge of all of them."

"Thanks for the privilege," Angel snorted and then aimed his own smirk at Spike.  "And don't worry, I'll make sure everyone knows Spike belongs to you.  I was even thinking of including it in on our business cards."

"You're enjoying this far too much, you big poof. I could ask Xander to kill you for me," Spike said before growling at his drink. "Xan, you do know that I'd be enjoying your macho show with Angel if I was allowed out of your shadow."

Xander's answer was a commanding growl and he smacked Spike on the back of the head.

Angel laughed and it sounded a little strange coming from him.  "I think I like the boy more and more," Angel commented.  "And you call me a big poof, Spike?  All that poetry and now this, I'd be careful…"

Xander looked back and forth between the two vampires and snarled. "Cubs," he finally said with enough irritation in his voice to bring them both up short.

"Now, Xander," Spike said, emphasizing his name. "I'm not a bleedin’ cub."

At the same time Angel was saying, "Cub? I'm older then you, boy."

Wesley cleared his throat from the doorway. He had come by in time to hear the tail end of the conversation. "Actually, I've been studying Xander's possession for a while now and I believe the hyena spirit is far older than either of you."

"How old are you?" Spike turned and asked Xander.

"Over two thousand," Xander answered.

"Why in the hell didn't you say anything?" Spike demanded.

"You never asked," Xander pointed out.

"Be that as it may, I couldn't help overhearing your, erm, discussion, and thought I might be able to contribute." From the way Wesley was looking around the room, he was having trouble deciding if Spike or Angel was presenting a funnier picture.

"Oh yeah, and how's that Watcher?" Spike grumbled.

"You just want to get rid of me," Xander growled and flashed green eyes at Wesley.  "I will not recede or give up Spike.  I would like to see you try."

"I don't think now is a good time to contribute anything, Wesley," Angel sighed.  "Unless it's a cure."

"Oh no, not a cure…" Wesley answered with smirk.  "I just wanted to point out that you are both arguing rather a mute point with Xander.  To him… well, the Hyena spirit at least, you are cubs.  Mere infants, if you will."

"All your employees so helpful?" Spike asked Angel before taking a big gulp of his blood.

Angel looked like he was going to burst if he did not snap back at Spike or Wesley, but he visibly controlled himself and moved toward the door. "I'll leave you two alone. Wesley and I have a lengthy meeting to discuss ways in which he can be more helpful in the future." The word "helpful" was imbued with as much sarcasm as Angel could get into the word.

"I was just making an observation," Wesley pointed out in his defense.  He also bit his lip at Angel's tone, not from fear, but rather to keep from laughing.


Over the next few days, the whole firm learned that Xander liked to tease Spike and Angel, but he did not like anyone else doing it when Xander was not around. They also learned that Xander had very good hearing after several of them got chewed out or attacked.

Mindful of that, Spike had managed to leave Xander down in the lab with Fred and then sneak off to Angel's office. "He's driving me crazy," Spike said as he slumped down in the chair across from Angel. "It was fun at first but I had to sneak away just to get out of his sight enough to come see you alone."

Angel looked down at his watch and then glanced back at Spike.  "I give him ten minutes tops before he searches your ass down again."

"See, that's the problem," Spike sighed.  "He's not gettin' any better."

"Wes doesn't think there's anything we can do, but he is getting better. It's just a slow process," Angel said. "A few days ago you wouldn't have been able to get out of his sight no matter how much you tried."

"Guess so," Spike mumbled.  Out of habit, he almost put his feet onto Angel's desk, but at this exact moment, he didn't feel like pissing Angel off.  "He's just not the same boy that came here.  Now, I'm not sayin' I'm guilty or anything, but…"

"Maybe it's for the best," Angel cut him off.  "The man that came here was desperate enough to kill himself.  For whatever strange reason, you two seem happy enough together and the demon hasn't overwhelmed Xander's soul, just enhanced it."

"S'not enhanced, it just brought out parts of him that were always there but kept hidden because he was around people more powerful then him. Maybe I'll just ambush him and show him who’s in charge here." Spike had noticed Angel's growing smirk while he talked but didn't know why until Xander grabbed him and pulled him out of the chair. "Bloody hell, Angelus, could have told me he was sneaking up on me."

"Now where would be the fun in that?" Angel answered.  "I was almost positive he would leave you in one piece."

"We're going hunting," Xander growled to Angel. "What do you want killed."

Later that night, Spike checked the list Angel had made as they drove to their next target. Xander had been quiet all night, but a killing machine. "You're not still pissed that I went to talk to my Sire without you?" he asked Xander when the silence started to get to him.

"I don't like it when you're away from me," Xander answered back.  "Sometimes you act like you don't want to be my mate."

"Yeah, well trying to chain us together ain't gonna get me on your good side," Spike snapped back. "I'm not some fledge."

Xander's eyes flash green, as they did when he got emotional.  "That's right, you're not some fledge, you're my mate.  Mates want to be together."

"Not every minute of the bleeding night, and they trust each other too. I been putting up with you because, well because I had to. You're gonna get your ass kicked soon though if you don't stop hounding me."

Xander was across the short distance separating them in an instant and had Spike pinned up against the car door.  "I've been patient," he hissed.  "Now I think it's time I made you my true mate, then you won't question what we share."

Spike managed to push Xander off of him and get out of the car. "We're out here to kill some demons. You wanna fight after I'll be happy to oblige."

“I was more of the mind to fuck, then fight,” Xander said.  He climbed out of the car and slammed the door behind him.

Spike kept a close eye on Xander as they took out the last nest of demons on their list. The boy was obviously pissed off and burning more energy then he needed to kill things. Spike didn't say anything though. If they were going to fight things out afterward, he was not above letting Xander wear himself out. "So," he asked as they walked back to the car. "We gonna have this out now, whelp?"

Xander was not going to be cured, but Spike was happy about that, even if the boy was spooky sometimes.  Almost to prove his point, Xander turned and flashed a wild grin at Spike, fangs more than apparent as he laughed.  It was that damned hyena laughed that sent a shiver crawling up Spike’s spine.  When Xander finished laughing, he was breathing heavily and now sniffing the air with his head cocked. “You want to fight…” Xander said, the smile return. “But whether you want to win is another question.”

“Well, I’m not gonna play your bitch the rest of my undead life,” Spike snapped back.

“Mmm, never said you wanted me to win either,” Xander answered cryptically.

"Naw, I'll be happy beating you to a standstill and then fucking you. Getting tired of you thinking you get to be on top all the time." Spike stripped off his duster and tossed it in the car. "So, whelp, any last words?"

"Yeah, I'll settle for you under me at least half the time," Xander answered.  He also flexed his fingers, displaying his claws to Spike.  With that, he launched himself onto Spike with a loud growl.

Any thoughts of winning the fight fell by the wayside as the two of them fought. Spike could see the grin on Xander's face and knew he had a matching one as they tossed each other back and forth. More than a fight for dominance, they were having fun testing themselves for the first time without anything interfering. No recent possessions or almost deaths, just the two of them and a deserted parking lot on the outskirts of the city.

Xander was the first to bite, slipping his fangs into Spike's shoulder.  Spike was quick to mirror the action, but he took greater satisfaction in knowing his mark would stay longer on Xander's body. They continued to struggle for a while, even after biting, but finally they both stilled. "Well, pet, it looks like neither of us is going to win here so how do we decide who's going to be on top first?" Spike asked.

"Me, I'm older," Xander said as if that settled everything. "You are worthy though. For a while I was worried you would accept a place as my second and not fight to be my pack mate."

"Fine," Spike snorted. "Long as you stop telling me what to do, and bend over for me next."

"I won't stop telling you what to do," Xander laughed, with a hint of the hyena.  "But I promise I won't expect you to listen all the time."

Spike let Xander position him over the hood of the car. There was no finesse in the fucking. They both knew that this time was about re-establishing their places. Spike's pants were around his ankles and he could tell that Xander had not done any more than that either.

As soon as Xander had come, Spike reversed their positions, looking forward to his chance to fuck after playing bottom bitch for weeks. When he was done they pulled apart and cleaned up quickly.

Xander was still smiling as he got in the car. "You know, we have to remark all of Angel's building now that we are mated. The scents we left before are not right any more," he said. "And we should start with Angel's office."

The End

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