Spike and Xander exchanged a quick look before following Angel up the stairs. They didn't know what exactly was going on inside the old hotel, but they knew that it was nothing good, not judging from the inhuman wail they had just heard.
The scene that awaited them upstairs was enough to send Spike back into his own mind for protection. Xander barely caught him as he collapsed in on himself.
Spike, or what resembled Spike, was staring wide-eyed at nothing, screaming, and rocking back and forth. It was the straightjacket that really threw Xander for a loop. He wanted to know what the hell was wrong with him, what Angel had done to him. But his first priority was the vampire in his arms.
Angel whipped his head around as Spike's wails increased in volume and he began to thrash about in his restraints. Xander saw the golden eyes, the feral expression - directed at him - and knew that this was not Angel's doing. Angel was trying to help Spike; the restraints were likely for Spike's own good.
"Leave. Now. You're making him worse."
"Okay, I'm gone - we're gone."
Xander lifted Spike into his arms and began walking away. He didn't want to be the cause of that Spike's distress, and he had other things to deal with right now. He was at the bottom of the stairs when Angel reached out and put a hand on his shoulder to stop him.
"I'm sorry. He doesn't react well to humans. Especially men. Can we meet later? There's a coffee shop around the corner, about an hour?"
"Okay. If I'm not there, wait for me. Spike needs me right now."
"What happened to him?"
"Long story. Later, eh?"
Xander managed to get Spike and the motorbike outside. He went back in for their bags and then carefully drove them to the closest hotel. He was nowhere near as good on the bike as Spike was, but he managed fairly well for a guy with only two lessons and a practically comatose vampire strapped to his back.
The hotel was not one of the nicest places he'd ever stayed in but the bedding was clean and there were no mildew monsters in the bathroom, so it would do.
Xander led Spike inside and laid him gently on the bed. He then drew a hot bath before coming back and clinically undressing his lover and carrying him into the bathroom. Xander lowered them both into the water and held Spike to his chest, gently wetting him down and beginning to wash him.
About halfway through, Spike began to come around again. He started at first, then realised that Xander was with him. He closed his eyes and tried to ignore the sudden barrage of images his mind was spitting at him. He didn't want to relive this; he wasn't strong enough to go through it again. Not yet anyway.
Spike turned his head more and burrowed into Xander's chest. He felt strong arms wrap around him, gentle kisses were pressed into his hair and soothing sounds were whispered into his ear. He felt safe here, only here, only with Xander.
Xander felt Spike begin to shudder before the first icy tears hit his warm skin. Spike was crying. Xander had no idea what to do for him; he could only continue to hold him, to offer comfort and soft words of assurance.
A pitiful whisper of his name. It made his chest constrict. He hated hearing Spike so hurt, so broken. He once again hated leaving Riley Finn in one piece. If he could go back, he would tear him apart with his bare hands.
"I'm here, love. I'll always be here."
Xander's arms tightened as Spike began to cry in earnest. Harsh, broken sounds followed by a high keening wail that spoke volumes about his state of mind. Seeing the other Spike, the way he looked, must have brought all Spike's repressed memories to the fore.
Eventually the sobbing tapered off, the water turned cool, and they had no choice but to abandon their safe-haven in the bathtub. Xander dried them both and once again scooped Spike into his arms. He tucked him into the bed and kissed him gently.
"I'm going out for a bit. I told Angel I'd meet him to talk, you should stay here and rest. I won't be long."
Xander got dressed under the watchful eye of his lover. Once he was finished dressing he sat down on the bed beside Spike again and kissed him.
"I'll be at the coffee shop around the corner from Angel's hotel. It's not far from here. I'll stay if you need me."
Spike gave him a gentle smile.
"S'okay luv, you go talk to Angel. I could use the time alone. Sort my head out."
Xander nodded and headed for the door. He picked up his jacket and was just stepping out the door when Spike called out to him.
So hesitant, so unsure.
"You are coming back? Right?"
Xander was back inside and had Spike in his arms in an instant. He held him tightly and felt his eyes fill with unshed tears. That Spike felt he needed to ask that, it broke his heart.
"Of course I am. Spike, I'm always going to come back to you. I... I love you."
Xander felt the body in his arms sag with relief so he said it again.
"I love you, Spike. I'll always come back."
Arms like steel bands crushed him to the vampire's chest. The tears spilled freely down his cheeks and a soft voice replied in kind.
"I love you too, Xander, I love you too."
Well, luv. You've just left to meet the ponce, and can I say how bloody difficult it was to send you away after you told me you loved me? Honestly, if I didn't need the time to get my head on straight, you'd be in this bed with me instead of this stupid bloody book.
Christ I love you. You always seem to know what I want, what I need. Tonight, I needed to hear that you loved me, that I was worth being loved. You gave me that, a sense of worth. I hate being weak, being needy, but I feel safe with you, safe enough to cry in your arms and not feel ashamed for having done it. Only felt that way one other time in my life, and that was before I was turned, and I was just a child then.
Never trusted anyone since I was turned, I couldn't. Demons just aren't a trustworthy lot. Look at my Sires; Angelus fucked off on me, and Dru kept lifting her skirts for anything with or without a pulse - horns and slime only made it more enticing. Never knew a human I wanted to trust, not until you.
Seeing that other me tonight, fuck. I lost it, went inside myself to escape. He's me; about four months maybe after you found me. He's what I would be if not for you. I can see it in his eyes, smell it in his scent. He reeks of them, Finn, and his boys. I'm surprised Angel can't smell it, maybe he can.
I don't want to think about the past, remember the pain, the humiliation and feeling of hopelessness. I may be a soulless demon, luv, but those humans could give the devil himself lessons in torture. I wonder why Angel hasn't put the poor bugger down? He should. Death would be a release, I know, I craved it myself and I wasn't near as bad off as he is. Poof better hope I don't get a minute alone with him, I will stake him. He wants it; it's all he wants now. Just an end to the pain.
I'm afraid to close my eyes, I can feel them in my head, they want to hurt me, break me, use me up and leave me torn and bleeding. It was a game to them, you know. It was never about training me, like he said to you. Undead houseboys, yeah, right.
You know they skinned me once? Peeled me like a fucking apple. I screamed, I'll admit. Wouldn't you? One long strip from shoulder to wrist, both sides. Then my legs, ankle to thigh. They laughed while they did it; couple of 'em even jerked off onto my skinless chest and back once it was all finished. I could still smell them, under my skin when it grew back. I had to cut it off again myself to wash away the filth. Wasn't easy, I couldn't reach my back, I ended up pouring holy water on it to burn the skin away.
Shouldn't have told you that. Too much for you to have to bear. You'll think I'm crazy, barmy as Dru. Might be - for all I know, I am sitting in Angel's hotel, wearing a straightjacket and hallucinating that this is all real.
Oh. Fuck. Shouldn't have even let myself think that. Shit, Xander. Come back. I need to see you, need to know I'm not crazy. You can take me, fuck me, anything, just let me know you're real. I can't do this if you're not real.
What if I'm still in Sunnyhell? Tied down somewhere with that bastard Finn rearranging my innards? Wouldn't be a first, carve me open, take something out, put it back in wrong. Just to see if it would fix itself. 'Course, only way to know for sure was to cut me open again in a day or two.
What the hell did I ever do to deserve this? Yeah, I killed people, I'm a vampire, damn it. They were my food. I didn't torture them, didn't shred them into tiny little pieces just for fun. I was never this cruel, this heartless. And I'm a soulless monster. What does that say for the soul-having community at large? When a monster shows more compassion than they do?
Xander, come home. Back to the hotel, back to me. Please. Oh God, please. I want you. I need you so badly. Too scared to go find you, don't know this place yet, he could be out there, waiting for me. Need you, love, need you so bloody bad.
I can feel the hopelessness welling up inside me again. I've been lost for so long, love. So long that I can hardly believe I'm not anymore. I'm not, right? This is real? You. And me. You and me? Oh fuck, Xander, hurry back, hurry love. I need you. Scared, so bloody scared without you.
Xander sat impatiently waiting for Angel to show up. He wanted to go back to Spike, hold him in his arms and just be with him. This was nuts. He was sitting in a coffee shop waiting for Deadboy when his lover was alone in a strange place. Xander laid a bill down on the table and got up to leave.
Angel caught Xander just as he was going out the door. He offered to walk him back to his hotel, they could talk on the way. Xander nodded and headed out into the night.
"So, what's the deal with Spike? Who the hell did that to him?"
"I don't know. You brought him to me and... well, I guess it wasn't you, he was Xander - but a vampire. He was Spike's childe. He died in the lobby of the hotel. An arrow; the man who shot him died just after firing it."
"Okay, so vamp-me brings Spike to you, bites the big one in your hotel lobby and you have no idea who made Spike nuts?"
"Basically. He was like that when his childe carried him in."
"Have you asked him?"
"Of course! He just... he doesn't speak. He screams, he cries, and he wails. He doesn't speak. He's tried to kill himself, he's clawed himself bloody; I had to restrain him to keep him from harming himself."
Xander really didn't want to know this; he didn't want to see what his Spike could have been. He knew, deep in his soul, he knew it was Riley. Who else could it have been?
"Angel, the man that killed my vamp-self. What did he look like? Anything in particular you can remember?"
"He was about your age, maybe a few years older. He was Caucasian, short hair - brush cut actually, other than that no."
Xander shook his head. It didn't sound like Riley, but it certainly fit the profile of a soldier.
"When's the last time you talked to Buffy? Do you know anything about the Initiative?"
"I know that Spike was captured, they chipped him and then he escaped. Buffy was sure that Xander had come for him and they had left together. Why?"
"Because, if I'm right, and I know I am. Riley Finn, Buffy's boyfriend, is responsible for Spike. He had my Spike before I rescued him, well we rescued him. The Angel from his world helped me get him out of Sunnydale and away from Riley."
Xander could feel the shock and anger pouring off of Angel in waves. He was glad he wasn't Riley Finn about now. It would serve the bastard right, let him meet Angelus one-on-one. Only thing was, Xander wanted a piece of him for himself. If he couldn't kill the bastard that had hurt his lover, then the next best thing would have to do.
"When you find him, don't kill him right away. I don't know how long Spike and I have in this reality but I want a piece of that bastard. You come and get me once he's secure."
"No, Angel. Please, don't deny me my revenge. I need this... Spike needs this. Please."
"Alright. Just, what the hell did they do to my childe?"
"Everything you can imagine, and then a few things you couldn't. And Angel? I've met Angelus, so I know what you can imagine."
Angel's demon came to the fore, and Xander knew he was dealing with Angelus now. He stood his ground and looked the demon straight in the eye.
"I will allow you revenge, but his death belongs to me."
Angel's face smoothed out and they nodded to one another in understanding. Xander reached his door and turned back to the dark-haired vampire.
"Angel? Make sure Spike knows that he's safe, that you won't let Riley or the Initiative near him again."
"I will. Thank you, Xander."
Angel turned and headed back to his hotel. He had a lot to do before leaving for Sunnydale. By the end of the night, Riley Finn would be his. He was even looking forward to this. No one messed with his family.
Xander watched Angel walk away; he was looking forward to getting a little payback for Spike, a little justice, a little vengeance. And thanks to his countless hours listening to Anya rattle on about her demon days, he knew a lot more about how to hurt a man without killing him then he had ever wanted to. Until now, now he would put that knowledge to use.
Spike heard the key in the lock and opened his eyes; he trained his sights on the door, willing Xander to walk in and save him from his own traitorous thoughts. He needed to hold him, touch him, taste him. He had to know this was real, not some imaginary fantasy he had cooked up inside his own mind.
The doorknob turned and Spike tensed. He was coiled like a panther, waiting to strike. If it were anyone but his Xander, he was ready to flee. But if it was Xander, then he was ready to pounce, to feel him in his arms, to kiss him, to touch him, to take him.
"Hey, Spike. You awa..."
Xander's words were lost under the onslaught of about one hundred and forty pounds of vampire barrelling at his chest. He fell to the floor with an oomph, before his mouth was taken in a possessive kiss.
Spike's hands were everywhere, pulling at his clothes, tearing the fabric in his haste. Xander gave himself over completely to the whims of his very determined lover and let him shred his coverings until they were skin to skin.
Moaned into his neck.
"My Xander. Love you; love you, sweet boy. My boy."
Kisses were peppered along his throat up to his ear. Xander groaned as Spike sucked the soft lobe into his mouth and bit down on it gently. He pulled Spike's face to his own and kissed him deeply.
"Love you too, Spike. Always."
The bed was only a few feet away but it was a few feet too many, Spike refused to give up possession of his lover's body even for the seconds it would take to get up and stumble across the room. With desperation and determination, he flipped Xander onto his belly and then pulled him up to his knees.
"Spike, what are you... ahhh!"
Spike pulled Xander's cheeks apart and began loosening him with his tongue. He had no patience or desire to dig through their stuff to find the lube. Besides, Xander seemed to be enjoying this now anyway - at least by the sounds he was making.
"God, Spike. Holy fuck, never knew. Never knew it felt like this. Shit, more please, please, please."
Spike reached around Xander and shoved three of his fingers into the babbling human's mouth. Once they were good and wet he replaced his tongue with his fingers and began scissoring them apart. He spat into his other hand and liberally coated his shaft. Once he was certain that Xander was ready, he pulled his fingers out and flipped Xander onto his back again before slamming inside him.
"Wanted to see you love, watch you as I make love to you. My Xander, mine."
"Yours, Spike. All yours. Love you."
Spike sealed their mouths together and poured everything he had into that kiss. He used his entire body to make Xander understand the depths of his feelings for him, the overwhelming need and devotion he felt for him. He wanted Xander to know that he loved him more than anything, or anyone. That his was a love for the ages, forever to him meant forever.
"Love you Xander, forever. Forever, mine. My boy."
"Yes, Gods yes. Yours Spike, always yours."
And then they were cumming, together in love, always in love.
Part Forty-ThreeIt was with a sickening delight that Angel returned to his hotel and his childe. He had had to tranquilize Spike before leaving; the younger vampire's mental state was just too far gone to leave him conscious and alone. But now that his business was in order - that being one Riley Finn who was currently trussed up like a turkey in the trunk of his Plymouth - he wanted to see his childe, be there when the drug wore off and he opened his eyes. He wanted to see if there was any recognition when he told him who he had, and what he planned to do to him.
Angel parked the car in the underground parking and turned off the ignition. He slowly walked to the back of the car, enjoying the scent of fear he could detect even through the layer of metal that separated him from his prey. He would not bring this filth inside his home, but he wasn't taking any chances that he would suffocate down here in the car's trunk. No, that would be too easy. Not a fitting punishment for a man who had broken one of the strongest beings Angel had ever known. No, if Angel had his way, it would take weeks, months even, for the bastard to die.
Riley was unceremoniously dragged out of the car and flung into the far corner of the garage. Angel approached him slowly, relishing the look of fear and utter horror on his face. Oh yeah, he could feel his demon's glee and welcomed it as his own. This snivelling human had dared touch what was his, had raped and defiled him in the most horrendous fashion. He recognised the man's scent all over his childe now that he was familiar with its source.
The first of the chains that Angel had left there in preparation was looped around Riley’s legs and then secured with a heavy iron lock. The next set fastened his arms behind his back. A third set was used to immobilize his torso. He was then gagged. The blindfold came last - but not until after he had seen the true face of the man who now held him prisoner. That face and the whisper of a single word in his ear had him wetting his trousers in fear.
That was all Angel said. It was all he needed to say. Riley now knew why he had been abducted, and what he had been abducted by. He was at the non-existent mercy of this hostile over acts that he had performed on another. All his years of study had shown that vampires held no loyalty to one another, no filial associations. He just assumed that he would never be made to pay for his actions, that he would never be caught. Boy was he wrong.
Angel whistled as he took the elevator up to his floor. He stopped by his room to shower and change clothes before checking in on his childe. He didn't want to go in there smelling of the man who had tortured Spike. Once he was free of Finn's scent he made his way quickly down the hall to Spike's room.
The blonde was still out. The drugs seemed to help him to get much-needed rest, but Angel hated to have to administer them. He knew how much Spike hated not being in control so he only used them when the situation was desperate. And tonight it had been. Xander and the other Spike showing up had sent Spike into a blind panic. There hadn't been a human in the hotel for weeks now, not since he'd sent his friends away in favour of looking after his childe.
They thought he was nuts, but they could never understand the bond that the vampires shared. Theirs was a chosen bond. Dru had turned William, but William had chosen Angelus to be his sire and mentor. Their exchange of blood and fealty had been voluntary on both sides. Not something to be taken lightly. Angel had betrayed that bond when his soul was returned; he would not betray it now.
The cool, soothing motions of Angel’s fingers cording through his hair brought Spike out of his stupor. His eyes were still vacant, but they were open now. Angel took a deep calming breath and then lay down on the bed beside Spike so that they were facing one another.
"I know Wil. I know what has happened to you, what was done. I will avenge you."
There was no sign that Spike had heard or understood anything Angel said. The older vampire closed his eyes - not wanting the younger man to see his pain reflected in them. He took a risk, said out loud the one thing that might possibly gain him a reaction.
Spike's eyes widened and he began to tremble, then he wailed. A long broken sound that seemed to go on and on. Angel wept with him, for him. He held the shaking form to his chest and tried to make it better. He spoke of how he had gone to Sunnydale and captured the hapless soldier. Of how he had beaten him bloody and trussed him up before tossing him in the trunk. How even now he was chained up blind and mute in the underground park, and how come sunset, he was going to bring Spike down to watch his torture.
The wailing quieted and the form in his arms grew still. Angel wasn't sure if it was because Spike had shut down again or if he had taken comfort from his vow of revenge. He was afraid to look and see, so he didn't. He scratched a sharp nail into the flesh of his throat and pulled Spike's unresisting head toward the wound. He hoped his blood would help to heal him, but he'd been feeding him as often as his body would allow and so far it hadn't done a thing.
As he felt Spike suckling at the wound he began a low rumbling purr in his chest. It was one of the only things he knew without a doubt calmed his childe. Only a sire's purr could induce this level of tranquility in a childe. It was something Spike loved to hear and feel, something Angelus had learned long ago.
The sun is up and you’re still here. I guess I'm not crazy then eh, luv? Still wish that I wasn't so fucking broken though. You leave me alone for an hour and I lose my mind.
You look like an angel when you sleep. All soft and pure, innocent-like. I wonder how you could possibly love me, how you could see anything of worth in this broken vessel. But you do, you do and it amazes me. I can feel your love like a tangible thing, like I can reach out and touch it. It makes me want to shout out to the world that I, William the Bloody, am the luckiest demon to ever walk God's green earth because I am loved by the purest soul I've ever known.
I wish I could tell you how much I love you, Xander. I just don't have the words. For a former poet, that's pretty lame isn't it? Then again, I never claimed to be a good poet, now did I? Since I don't have the words, I'll have to prove mself by my actions. That, I've always been good at. I'll show you love, with every touch, with every kiss, that I love you. That you are the only thing in this world - the next world, or the next thousand worlds we visit that matters. You, Xander, are my everything.
Christ! I sound like a soppy git. I just read over what I wrote, and while I can't say it isn't true, it isn't exactly flattering to the old image now is it? Then again, I don't exactly have an image anymore do I? I look like William, who looked just like any other poor sod off the street. Fuck, I want to kiss you. I look at you, all warm and alive, your mouth is slack in sleep and if I lean in I can feel your breath on my face. I want to press my lips to yours, have that sweet mouth open under mine and invite me in. I want to feel your tongue as it tangles with my own, twisting around inside my mouth. I want to tangle my hands into your hair and pull you impossibly closer as I deepen our kiss, hear you moan into my mouth, feel it vibrate through my entire being.
Damn you can kiss, luv. I ever tell you that? I don't know who you practised on, but I'm torn between wanting to tear out their throat for ever having been touched by you in that fashion and thanking them for giving you the experience. You're the only person who's ever made me hard from just a kiss, Xander. The only one who ever kissed me like I mattered.
I'm giving you two minutes, luv. Two minutes to wake up on your own. After that it's 'all bets are off' and I kiss you whether you're awake or not. I'm going out of my mind just sitting here and watching you, hearing you, and not touching you, tasting you. I need you, Xander; I need to be in your arms. I need to be in your heart, your mind, your body and soul. I need you to wake up before I go completely insane!
Spike quietly closed his book and slid it back into his coat before dropping the coat onto the floor. He leaned over Xander and gently pressed his mouth against that of his lover’s. It was just the barest of kisses, a mere brushing of lips. He waited to see if it was enough to wake his sleeping beauty. He snorted quietly at the look of outrage he could picture on his lover's face if he ever called him that to his face.
"Xander, wake up love. I need you."
Spike whispered softly in Xander's ear and smiled when the man under him struggled to comply with his wishes and one eye opened blearily. Spike swooped in and kissed him again, not much more of a kiss than the last one. Short, sweet and enough to get the other eye to open.
"Spike? You okay?"
"Am now, pet."
Spike leaned in and kissed Xander again; this time he took his time to really feel the soft, warm lips beneath his. He trailed the tip of his tongue along the slightly protruding lower lip and then delved inside when his lover's lips parted beneath his.
Xander moaned into the kiss. This was unexpected but not necessarily a bad way to wake up. Spike's kisses were always good, but this one was so full of feeling that Xander thought he might just burst from the intensity of it.
The vampire broke away to allow his human lover to breathe. He trailed soft, wet kisses up the column of his throat to his ear and then began tracing the shell with his tongue.
"Mmm, love you too, Spike. Oh God! Do that again?"
Spike chuckled and gently nibbled on Xander's earlobe as requested. There was nothing he wouldn't do for this man, no price he wouldn't pay. If Xander asked him to take a stake through the chest, he'd do it without blinking an eye. Of course he knew that his lover would never ask that of him, but the sentiment was true nonetheless.
"Want you love. Can I?"
"Yes, please. Anything, everything."
"Anything love? You trust me that much?"
"Yes. I love you, I trust you. Touch me? Please?"
Spike kissed Xander hard. He knew what he wanted, what he needed. He just wasn't sure he could do it. He reached for the lube on the bedside table and with trembling fingers he flipped open the lid and squeezed some out onto his fingers. He stroked those fingers over his opening and then slowly pushed one inside.
Xander opened his eyes and started in alarm. Surely Spike couldn't mean to do this. Not when he had been so hurt by this in the past. It didn't make sense. Did he feel like he had to? That Xander expected it?
"Spike, no. Not that; you don't have to."
Spike pressed another finger inside himself and smiled at his lover's concern.
"Yes, I do. I won't let what happened control the rest of my life; I need to do this, Xan. Will you let me?"
"Are you sure?"
"Then yes. What do I need to do?"
"Just lay back and let me have control. I need to have control this time."
"Okay, whatever you need. I love you."
"Thank you, Xander. I love you too."
Spike finished preparing himself and slicked Xander's cock as well. He shuffled forward on his knees until he was in position and slowly lowered himself onto his lover's thick manhood. He watched as Xander's eyes dilated with pleasure and he trembled under the force he was exerting to keep still. Spike appreciated the effort.
"Keep your eyes open, love. I need to see you watching me. Need to see the love in your eyes."
Xander nodded and tried to convey his feelings for his lover in a look. Spike must have understood because he smiled so brightly it could have lit up the room.
"So beautiful. Can I touch you?"
A question asked with a small amount of trepidation.
Spike nodded his permission and Xander placed one hand gently on his hip. Spike took a deep breath and began to move. The hand on his hip tightened and Xander shook beneath him. Spike rose up and lowered himself again and again, angling himself for the perfect position. When he found it, he cried out Xander's name and began to move faster. He moved the warm hand from his hip and placed it around his swollen flesh and groaned at the heat.
Xander caught on to Spike's rhythm quickly and stroked the vampire's cock in time to his up-and-down movements. He was so close to cumming but he was determined to hold back, to see Spike's pleasure before taking his own.
Spike closed his eyes briefly and when they opened again the blue had been replaced by yellow; ridges began to form on his brow and his teeth grew longer and sharper. Xander was fascinated by the look of pure unadulterated love that was shown on the demon's face. He knew that he would never see this face again without picturing it the way it looked right now. Full of love and looking straight at him.
"Spike, fuck! So fucking gorgeous."
"Xander, love you."
And then Spike was cumming. His head thrown back, eyes wide and unseeing. His muscles rippling and tightening around Xander's cock almost painfully, his cum shooting up over Xander's fist to land on his chest and his face. Xander licked a few stray droplets off his lips and then lost himself to his own release.
Shuddering and spent, they curled up together, Spike's head on Xander's chest, his heartbeat pounding in his ear. It was perfect. He had never felt as complete as he did now. Xander's love had washed away the foulness that had been implanted in his body. He finally felt clean again.
It was the ringing of the phone that woke him. Such a foreign sound to him after all this time. After all, who would possibly be calling him, no one knew he was here... except Angel.
That thought spurred him out of bed and he reached for the phone on the on the table in the corner. He scrubbed his face as he cradled the receiver between his ear and shoulder.
"I have him. Be here at sundown."
"In a fashion."
"Possibly. Don't really know who I am these days, does it really matter? You want revenge and I'm offering it to you."
"Right. We'll be there. Thank you."
"No, thank you, Xander. Without you I would never have known who hurt my childe, I wouldn't have known who to exact payment from."
"We'll call it even then. See you soon."
Xander hung up the phone and turned around to see clear blue eyes watching him intently. He hadn't had a chance to tell Spike about his little chat with Angel/us last night; now was looking like a good time though.
"Guess you want to know what that's all about, huh?"
"Would be nice, yeah."
The next several minutes were spent replaying his conversation from the night before, adding in what the vampire had just told him over the phone.
"Bloody hell, the ole sire's really coming through on this one, ain't he?"
"Oh yeah. Had a nice little face-to-face with Angelus last night, and I'm not sure who the hell I was just on the phone with. Either way, doesn't matter. That bastard is going to pay."
"I want to watch. I understand if you can't deal with it, but I need to see what Angelus does to him; I need to hear his screams."
Xander nodded his understanding. This was why he had asked for a chance at revenge in the first place. It was the closest thing he could get to the man who had hurt his lover. But there was no way he was staying away.
"I'm going. I need to be there too. If for no other reason, than because you might need me, but I want vengeance on that bastard and Angel has given me permission to take it. You tell me what you want, I'll do it."
Spike could hardly believe what he was hearing. Xander was going to make Riley pay - for him. The fact that it wasn't the same Riley Finn that had done those things to him didn't make a difference to him. They were all the same, just made by different choices in their lives.
"No, pet. I can't let you do this. Not for me."
"What? What do you mean you can't let me? I'm going to, I need to, Spike. I want to. I look at that other Spike and I see what you could have been. I hate him, I want to fucking destroy him. If there was a way to go back, I'd rip that bastard who touched you to pieces with my bare hands."
Spike revelled in the absolute anger and rage pouring off his lover, knowing it was all for him, that Xander was this angry because he loved him so much. So much that he was willing to repay in kind what had happened to him. He wanted to take the higher ground on this - tell Xander not to tarnish his soul for him, but he wanted so badly to see his lover bloody that useless piece of shit. He wanted to see Finn broken and bleeding, hurting because he decreed it. He knew what he wanted to ask from his lover, but it might be too much to ask from him.
"Xander, I know what I want. What I want you to do to him - for me."
"Anything. Well, I can't kill him, Angel said he wanted that privilege."
"S'okay, not what I wanted you to do anyway. I want his balls luv, I want to watch as you make him eat them."
Spike had vamped out as he said this, his remembered pain and humiliation showing clearly even on his demonic visage. Xander had to force down the bile that rose in his throat. He knew full well that his lover’s request was deeply personal - that he had likely been forced to commit just such an act himself. It only made him want to do it that much more.
The next couple of hours were spent quietly comforting one another with soft kisses and whispered words of love and acceptance. Xander didn't ask about Spike's time in Sunnydale, and Spike didn't offer any explanations either. Eventually it was close to sundown and they headed out to the Hyperion. Both more than ready to do this.
Angel met them in the lobby and directed them to go down to the garage. He told them he would join them shortly, that he needed to get Spike first. Xander nodded his understanding and led his very subdued lover into the elevator. He knew that Spike was trying to be brave for him, not wanting to let the fear of seeing Riley again show on his face.
When the elevator stopped, they got off. Before Spike could get any further into the parking garage Xander pulled him close and kissed him.
"Remember, this is about making you feel better. If you don't want this, we leave."
"I know, and I do want this. I'm just a bit... apprehensive? I mean I know Angelus - Angel - whatever, has him restrained. I just can't help the reaction."
Xander gave him a reassuring squeeze.
"I understand, but remember you're not alone in this. I'm here."
"I know luv, and it means everything to me that you are."
Hand in hand the two walked into the darkened underground car park. They followed the sounds of harsh breathing and pitiful whimpering noises until they found the bound and helpless form of Riley Finn. Not far away was a table, on it were a varied assortment of instruments - most of which Xander didn't recognise, but by the look on Spike's face - the vampire did.
Spike lit the fire on the small hibachi and placed an assortment of knives and other sharp things into the flames to heat. Xander watched as his lover moved around the table, touching the various items, his eyes darting between them and the man they would soon be used on.
Riley was still blindfolded and gagged. He knew he was no longer alone, but he had no idea who or what was with him. He wanted to see who was there, but at the same time knew that it was probably better that he didn't. He'd much rather face his death blindly than to look into the face of the monster who had taken him, and see the pleasure in his eyes.
Moments later, Angel arrived pushing a wheelchair-bound Spike in front of him. Both Xander and the brunette Spike took in the situation with a mixture of shock and horror. Angel was quick to alleviate their fears.
"He can walk, he's not physically damaged. He just doesn't."
That didn't really help to help to make either man feel better. The feeling only got worse as Spike began to moan and cringe back into his chair, his eyes clenched shut tightly. Angel crouched in front of him and spoke softly.
"Will, it's okay. We talked about this remember? That's Xander, not your childe but his human double. The other one is you, a different version of you. They're from a different reality. Do you remember?"
All three waited to see what would happen next. Angel smiled as Spike opened his eyes and looked at him.
"That's right, Will. You do remember now, don't you? I brought you here to watch as I avenge your humiliation at the hands of that human. He cannot hurt you, not now, and not ever again. You will witness his death at my hands. Do you understand that?"
A blink and then Spike closed his eyes for several seconds before opening them and darting a quick look at Xander and then at the dark-haired version of himself before finally glancing at the bound man on the floor and whimpering in fear.
Angel turned Spike’s attention back to him and gently stroked his fingers through his childe’s hair. After several minutes of this, Spike stopped whimpering and Angel stood.
"Xander, would you help me?"
"Uh, sure. With what?"
Angel smiled a truly scary smile and hoisted Riley to his feet before pointing to a set of rings in the concrete wall. Xander got the idea and quickly helped to fasten Riley to the wall.
"Alright, Xander. You have my permission; take your revenge."
Xander swallowed hard and then looked at his lover. Spike was still trying to be brave, but Xander could see him slipping back into himself. Being this close to the man who had almost destroyed him - Xander couldn't imagine what this was doing to his lover.
Xander picked up a sharp knife from the table and under the watchful eyes of the three vampires, cut away Riley's clothing - leaving him naked, gagged and blindfolded. He looked to Angel for permission before removing the blindfold. He wanted Spike to see the fear in Riley's eyes as he took in what was about to happen to him.
Riley refused to open his eyes. It pissed Xander off, so he slapped him - hard - across the face. When that didn't work, Xander simply pried his eyelids open and then watched in satisfaction as Riley saw both Spikes and Angel - in game face - watching.
"Keep them open, Farmboy. Otherwise I'll cut them out."
Riley shook with fear but did as instructed. He watched as this human - and he was sure that this man was human - walked calmly toward one of the vampires and kissed him before lifting a knife from the flames and coming back toward him. He screamed behind his gag as a warm hand grasped his testicles and pulled them harshly away from his body before the other hand brought the red-hot blade to his skin.
The smell of burnt flesh was thick in the air; the bound and helpless man thrashed in agony against his restraints, his eyes rolling back in his head as he passed out from the pain.
Xander turned around and saw the approving look Angel gave him and smiled. He apparently met Angelus' approval. The fact that this pleased him should have scared the living hell out of him, but in this circumstance it seemed fitting.
"Got something I can put these in?"
Angel handed him a small dish and Xander put the soldier’s bloody testicles into it. He then turned to his lover and looked at him, waiting for his response. Spike stepped up to him and kissed him softly before licking the soldier’s blood from his hand.
"I can taste his pain, luv. It's in the blood. Thank you."
"Anything for you, Spike. I only wish you could do this for yourself."
"Me too luv, me too."
They were both startled when Angel cleared his throat loudly. With sheepish smiles they stepped back from each other and turned to look at him.
"Might I ask what you're planning on doing with those?"
Angel indicated the small dish on the table. Xander grinned.
"Thought I'd give our little captive breakfast when he wakes up."
The glint in Angel’s eyes could only be described as scary. It made Xander very glad that Angel's soul was still there, even if he wasn't using it at this moment.
"Then by all means, wake him up."
Xander nodded and stepped away from Spike. He took a deep breath, reminded himself that Riley had done this, and far worse to his lover and the broken version of Spike, then he hauled his arm back and slapped the man soundly across the face.
Bleary hazel eyes opened and then widened in remembrance. Angel stepped forward and silently handed Xander the small dish where Riley’s dismembered flesh sat in a pool of blood.
"Feeling hungry, Agent Finn? I bet Angelus hasn't fed you since you've been here, has he?"
Xander didn't wait for an answer, he simply showed Riley what he had in the dish before yanking the gag out of his mouth and forcing the man’s severed testicles into his own mouth.
"Chow down, soldier! You don't swallow, I'll find something else to cut off."
Xander held a blade to Riley's penis and watched with satisfaction as tears rolled down his cheeks. Nevertheless, he swallowed his own testicles. Great gagging sounds followed but somehow he managed to keep them down.
Spike was enjoying the hell out of this. Watching that piece of shit get tortured was doing a lot of good for his fragile sanity. It didn't hurt any that seeing his boy go all alpha was turning him on something fierce. Blood and torture - two sure-fire ways to make a demon hard.
Xander was almost disappointed that Riley didn't refuse; he wanted to cause the man so much more pain than he already had. He paused, looked at Spike, then looked at the instruments on the table and smiled. There was one more thing he wanted. For him, this time. He had done what Spike had asked; now it was time to do something for himself.
Xander winked at his lover before picking up a pair of pliers and walking slowly back toward his victim. He made sure Riley saw what he had in his hand before turning to Angel.
"Would you hold his mouth open for me?"
Angel smiled and came forward. He wrenched the human’s mouth open and watched with anticipation as Xander grasped one of Riley's teeth with the pliers - and pulled.
It came out with a few hard tugs, a lot of blood, and a high-pitched scream. Xander dropped the tooth into the dish he had previously kept the soldier’s balls in and moved on to the next tooth.
While all this was going on, Spike noticed that his blonde counterpart had begun to show signs of coherence again. He slowly approached him so as not to frighten him and spoke to him in a low voice.
"You see that? That's my Xander. Still human yeah, but look at him. Bloody magnificent isn't he? I bet yours was a thing of beauty too, eh? I met a vampire Xander once; he was Dru's childe, a real piece of work, Master of the hellmouth and everything. I think your Xander would have liked this - seeing his human self torture that piece of shit. Looks good on him. Wish I could do him myself, though. Bet you do too, huh?"
Another tooth extracted, and more screams filled the air. Riley choked on the blood that filled his mouth; he coughed and spat it from his mouth. Some landed on Xander's face and Xander shuddered as Angel leaned toward him and licked it off.
"His blood tastes good on you."
Angel smirked as Xander simply touched his face where the vampire had licked him and opened his mouth without sound.
"Anything else you want to do, Xander? Or can the real pain begin now?"
Xander shook his head.
"I'm good. Spike?"
"We done? Can Angel play now?"
"Sure thing luv. C'mere."
Xander went to his lover who had stepped away from the other Spike - not wanting his human lover’s presence to bother him. He smiled as Spike licked away the few drops of Riley’s blood that Angel had missed.
"Sire's right, you do taste good."
Xander didn't know how to answer that, so he didn't. He stood behind Spike and wrapped his arms around him as they watched Angel walk in slow circles around the table of torture implements. He would pick something up, look at it, look at Riley while he considered it and then discard it for something else.
Spike whispered into his lover’s ear.
"This is part of the fun, yeah? He gets off on this. The suspense, the not knowing what's gonna happen. If you were a vamp, you'd be able to sense it - the way Finn's pulse climbs every time the poof chooses a new toy. The almost relief when he sets it back down. Then there's the shear terror that'll follow when Angelus finally picks something and heads toward him. If I were to bite him at that moment, his blood would be so full of fear and anguish... it'd be like the best kinda drug, the biggest high you can get. Watch, see what happens."
Xander did watch. He watched as Angel finally chose what looked like a policeman's nightstick, only it was covered in these sharp little points of metal. He watched in abstract fascination as the vampire grinned maliciously and then thrust it unrepentantly into the soldier’s unprepared ass.
Riley howled; Xander shuddered at the sound. He didn't feel any sympathy for the soldier. Why should he? He knew that this was nothing compared to what he had done to Spike. Speaking of which, Xander glanced over at the blonde version of his lover.
Spike was watching, his blue eyes fixed on the scene in front of him. Xander hoped that this would help to heal some of the damage, that the blonde could be brought back from wherever it was his mind had retreated to. He hated to see him like that, knowing that he was the only reason his Spike wasn't in this very same shape. It made him realise that whatever Angel did to Finn, it wouldn't be enough. Not enough to make up for destroying a creature as strong and beautiful as Spike.
Xander knew there was more to the vampire than just a demon, if that were the case, he would never have fallen in love with him. Hell, even before any of this had happened, Xander knew that Spike was different. Angel had a soul; it was the reason he acted like a man instead of a monster. Spike didn't have that, and yet he still put his life on the line for Dawn, for Buffy, for all of them at some point. It was that difference that made Xander start to look at him as something other than a thing to be destroyed or pitied.
When Xander came out of his thoughts, he saw that Angel had continued his assault on the helpless soldier. Riley now had alligator clips attached to his nipples. Wires were attached to the clips, and attached to the wires was a heavy-duty battery with a power switch. As soon as the vampire flipped the switch, Riley began to convulse as the electricity ran through him.
Once the body stopped twitching, Angel looked at it in disgust. He slapped Riley's slack face and waited. Nothing. He tried again but there was still no response. Not happy, but willing to wait, Angel walked back to his childe and crouched down in front of him.
Spike shifted his gaze from the man on the wall to the vampire in front of him. His eyes looked clearer than they had since he had first been brought to the hotel.
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