A World of Their Own
Trisha rolled her eyes as the car passed the 'Welcome to Sunnydale' sign. She was not looking forward to living in this town. From what she had been told, the witches who worked for the previous slayer were still in control of the town. She would have to rectify that immediately; she was the slayer and the town was now hers.
As her watcher drove her through town, he pointed out the highlights. The school - where the hellmouth itself sat waiting to be opened, the Magic Box - where reportedly the witches both worked, Willy's bar - the best place to get information if you had the balls to go in there, and the numerous cemeteries. There were a lot of cemeteries for such a small town.
"This place feels evil, it's almost like it's in the air itself." Trisha shuddered and rolled up her window. John - her watcher, silently agreed. He wasn't any happier with this assignment than she was. He hated leaving London, and to end up here, in the States... well, it wasn't pleasant. The only thing that made this situation tolerable was Trisha herself. She had proven the theory that slayers had certain... appetites that needed to be fulfilled.
John remembered the events of the last few days; he was surprised he could stand, he was so worn out. He wondered if all slayers were as rough during sex as his Trisha was. If so, he could see why the previous one had taken a vampire for a lover - strength and stamina. He still found the thought disgusting, but at least now he could see the why of it.
"Trisha, this is the hellmouth, of course it feels evil. Why do you think the demons are drawn to this place? They can feel the power, the evil, the same way you can." John pulled the car into the driveway of the house that they would share. The council had made all the arrangements ahead of time, purchasing a home in Sunnydale and leasing an old karate school for the slayer to train in.
Inside the house they found the boxes that contained their personal belongings, as well as the books and other items that the council had sent. John sighed and began the tedious job of unpacking. After the energy he had expended the past few days he really just wanted to lay down and rest. He knew, however, that that wasn't in the cards. They needed to get the house set up and then start Trisha on a training and patrol schedule.
Willow stood at the front door of the apartment. After packing up Buffy's house, the girls had moved into Xander's apartment and taken over the lease. It was either that or move all his stuff into storage and let the apartment go. Seeing as they needed a place to live, and with the shop doing as well as it was, they could afford to live off-campus, so it made sense.
"Tara, hurry up. We need to get going if we're going to make the movie after patrol." Willow checked her watch again and wondered what was keeping her girlfriend.
"Hang on sweetie, I'm almost done." Tara finished pulling on her boot and stood up. She smoothed out her skirt and grabbed her bag. She wanted to look nice for Willow tonight; it was the first date they had been on in a long time. Sure they were going on patrol first but at least they were doing something couply afterward. Tara missed having fun with her lover; Willow had been so down since Xander disappeared.
Tara met Willow at the door and they headed out together. The nights in Sunnydale were never safe, but at least no one had noticed yet that the slayer was gone. If it weren't for the Buffybot, things would be a lot worse.
The girls stopped by the shop to get the bot before they headed out to patrol the closest cemetery. Willow still had a hard time looking at the bot; it reminded her all too well of what she had lost. At least Dawn didn't have to see this; it would have been beyond cruel.
The bot toyed with the stake in her hand. "That's Spike's crypt, he's hot and I love him." She nodded her head and then smiled at her companions. Willow frowned and Tara smiled at her lover.
"I thought I had gotten rid of all the Spike worship." Tara put her arm around her girlfriend. "Don't worry, you'll get it eventually." Willow kissed Tara and smiled at her. "Thanks."
The bot continued to walk on ahead. She stopped and turned back to the two girls. "Where is my Spikey anyway? I mean, I know you don't really like him, but you should see him naked. I mean, really."
Willow groaned and Tara knew that there would be hours of Willow tinkering around with the bot's programs in the future. Well, at least it would keep her mind off Xander. "Come on sweetie, let's just get this over with and go to the movie, okay?"
Willow nodded and they continued further into the graveyard. They heard a noise up ahead and rushed over to check it out. What they saw stopped them all in their tracks; even the bot looked confused.
"Willow, is that..." Tara motioned toward the girl who was fighting a vampire. Willow nodded and continued to watch. "I think so, I mean that man sure looks like Giles did back in high school. What with the tweed and the notebook and all."
The bot watched the fight and then commented. "She's a good fighter; maybe she would help us fight the demons." She started toward the fight and Willow pulled her back. "Not yet. Let her finish first then we'll introduce ourselves."
Willow was furious. She couldn't believe the way the new slayer had treated them. After everything they had done for this town. "Grrrr, how dare she! That snot-nosed little brat!" Willow slammed the apartment door behind her and Tara sighed. She wasn't happy about it either, but she was even more disappointed that their night out had been ruined. They never even made it to the movie.
"She's young; give her time to settle in here, I'm sure she'll come around." Tara wasn't so sure about that, but she wanted to get Willow relaxed and in a better mood. "After all, she has spent the last three months with the council listening to their side of things. It's no wonder she's acting that way."
Willow knew that Tara had a point but she was still angry. The fact that she had accused her of trying to control the hellmouth and become the new master of Sunnydale by using a replica of the dead slayer to keep the demons in line really pissed her off.
"She had no right to say that to me! I would never use Buffy that way. I wouldn't, I miss her so much." Tara was across the room and pulling her lover into her arms as fast as she could.
"Shh, I know love. I miss her too. I miss all of them. But you can't let her bring you to this. We have to be strong if we're going to save Xander and Spike." Tara continued to hold Willow as she led her to the sofa to sit down. "We'll give her a few weeks to get used to things here and then we'll try again, okay? In the meantime it gives us a break from the slaying, and we can search harder for a spell."
Willow snuggled into Tara's embrace and then lifted her face up for a kiss. Tara was happy to oblige her. "Thank you. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have you here. I've lost so much, my friends, my family. I love you, Tara."
"I love you too, come on let's go to bed." The young ladies made their way across the apartment to the bedroom.
True to their word, the two witches left the new slayer alone for the next three weeks to get used to the town. It hadn't helped her disposition any. Trisha was still rude, aggressive and unwilling to believe anything that didn't come from her watcher's mouth.
John, who had the same training as Giles did, was a self-righteous prig. He knew that magic users were not all bad, that wiccans were peaceful and in no way a threat to the hellmouth. He knew a lot of other things about vampires and demons as well. Things that he wasn't sharing with his slayer, like the fact that Angel had a soul and worked as a champion for the Powers That Be.
Every time Willow tried to talk to Trisha about how she had helped Buffy, the other girl would start in on how Buffy was corrupted, sleeping with demons and cavorting with witches. How everyone she touched was tainted by her, sucked into her darkness. That even the boy - Xander - Willow assumed, had fallen prey and begun dating a vengeance demon. That he was likely sacrificed to Glorificus by his demon mate and the vampire.
Willow had had enough. She knew that wasn't true, that Anya had been devastated when Xander had gone. That it was all just an accident, that Spike had nothing to do with it. She told the girl that as well. That Spike had loved Buffy, and Dawn as well. That he would have sacrificed himself for either of them. That Xander felt the same way.
Trisha wasn't having any of it. As far as she was concerned, her watcher was right. Buffy had been corrupted by these witches; Mr. Giles as well. That they had likely bespelled her to act against her nature, bedding vampires and turning control of the town over to witches and demons.
Willow had finally snapped. She turned around and walked away from the smirking young girl and her watcher. Tara shook her head sadly and went to follow, but not before telling them that if they didn't open their eyes and take a good look at the shades of grey in between all the black and white they wouldn't survive this town, not for long. Then she hurried to catch up to her lover.
"Bloody hell, Xander! Would you just stop for the night and come to bed?" Spike glared at his lover from the doorway of their home. Xander had been working on building a sauna for the past week. He decided it would be a good project to keep himself busy. Spike wasn't complaining about the work, but he preferred to have company when he went to bed.
"Alright. Just let me wash up and I'll be in." Xander smiled as he walked down the hill to the river to wash up. He knew Spike hated to sleep alone now that they were together. The first thing Xander had done after they finally made love was start building a bigger bed for them to share. It had taken him almost a week to do it, and Spike had spent every night that week lying practically on top of him in his small bunk.
At the water's edge, Xander looked longingly back at the tub and wished he had time for a hot bath instead of a quick wash in the cool river water. It was the one thing he really missed about his former life, indoor plumbing.
Things here were good, though. Better than he had ever thought possible. He had a home - one he had built himself - food and water, recreation, no demons to worry about other than the one in his bed, and Spike.
That was the biggest shock of all. Once he'd given himself over to this new life, he had become happy. He was in love, more in love than he had ever thought possible. More in love than he had been with Anya. That fact had hurt when he first realised it, but then he let it go. He hoped that wherever Anya was, whatever she was doing, she was as happy as he was. The fact that he wasn't jealous by the thought of her moving on with her life, marrying someone else and having a family made him realise that they would never have made it together.
Xander hadn't admitted to Spike that he was in love with him. He didn't know if he ever would. There was a chance that Spike didn't feel the same way. Sure, he cared about Xander, certainly there was some love involved, but perhaps not the depth of emotion that Xander felt for Spike, or what Spike had felt for Buffy. That was the thought that held him back.
Xander knew without a doubt that if they woke up tomorrow back in Sunnydale, surrounded by their friends and family, he would still love Spike, still be in love with Spike, and not even Anya could change the way he felt. He wasn't so sure about Spike. What if they did get home? Would he want to forget about what they had together and go back to following Buffy around trying to win her affections? Could Xander take the heartache that would cause him?
These were the reasons why he hoped they were never found. He missed Willow like crazy, and he felt bad for feeling this way but he didn't want to go back to Sunnydale; as far as he was concerned he was home.
Spike waited impatiently for Xander to return. It wasn't so much the fact that he hated sleeping alone - which he did - when he could be wrapped around the warm body of his lover instead, it was that he wanted to talk to Xander tonight.
Pacing back and forth in front of the fireplace, Spike ran his fingers through his long, wavy blonde hair. It still felt strange; he hadn't worn his hair long in almost a century. He was used to the feel of well-gelled locks, not the loose curls he wore now. Although Xander's hair had grown long, as well. Spike liked the look on him; it made him look sexy as hell.
He remembered the way it fell into the boy's eyes the night they first made love. The way the sweat from his body dampened it and made it cling to his skin. He felt himself harden with the memory of finally being inside of his sweet boy, of feeling his boy's muscles spasm around his shaft. He could almost hear the sweet sounds of his pleas for 'faster' and 'harder' and 'more'. Spike was sure he'd never had anyone respond to him as openly as Xander had done that night. He had been so surprised by the amount of pleasure he was experiencing from the act, as if he expected to not enjoy it.
By the time Xander got back, Spike wasn't sure if he wanted to talk to Xander about what was bothering him or shag him senseless. In a perfect world, he could do both. He grinned at the thought, because if this wasn't a perfect world he didn't know what was.
Xander gasped as he suddenly found his arms full of amorous vampire. He almost fell back under the assault but managed to right himself and keep from falling as the blonde in his arms attacked his throat with lips and tongue. Xander chuckled and squeezed Spike to him tightly. "Miss me, Barney? I wasn't gone that long, you know."
"Want you luv, want to touch you, taste you, hear you scream for me." Spike kissed Xander with a passion not known to many. Xander could do nothing less than respond in kind. They barely made it to the bedroom, falling onto the bed in a tangle of limbs, hands gripping and caressing silky skin, lips mashed together.
Spike rolled Xander beneath him and ground their erections together. He was pleased by Xander's enthusiastic response. Always so expressive, his lovely boy was. Spike was desperate to be inside of him, to feel him surrounding him with heat and passion. He loved this boy, his boy, like no one else. He wasn't sure what the fates had in mind by stranding them here in this place alone together, but he wasn't about to complain. Not when it had led him to where he was now.
Where he was now, was lying on top of his lovely boy, his hard, leaking shaft just inches from his mouth. Spike nuzzled into the crisp dark hair in front of him, breathing in the scent of his lover, smelling the need and the desperation from the man underneath him. He was just as desperate himself to taste the boy, to feel his hard length as he sucked it into his mouth. To taste the flavour that was uniquely Xander.
Xander arched off the bed as Spike finally, finally took him into his mouth. He was so hard and needy he knew he wasn't going to last long, not that he cared. He was always ready for more with Spike. He was amazed by his own stamina when they made love. He had never had such a short recovery time in his life. There was just something about Spike that made him hard, made him desperate to touch and be touched. Something that he knew deep in his heart was love.
Spike stilled as Xander spilled his essence into his waiting mouth. He savoured the taste of his lover in his mouth before swallowing it down. He lovingly licked up every last trace of his seed until the boy was hard and eager once more. Then and only then did Spike begin to stretch and prepare Xander to take his cock.
The aloe vera plant was the closest thing to lube they had, and would soon need to be replaced. Spike broke off a section and squeezed the gel-like substance onto his fingers. Xander moaned and writhed beneath him as first one and then two fingers breached him. "God, Spike. More, please more. Now, please."
Three fingers and Spike was already in game-face, he was so far gone. At least this version of his demon face didn't scare the boy. Although he wasn't so sure that by this point his old face would have scared him either. Xander knew what he was, he wasn't fooling himself. Spike removed his fingers to the protestations of the writhing man beneath him. He quickly arranged them so that Xander's legs were over his shoulders and his cock was poised at his entrance.
"You ready, luv?" The answer was nothing more than a needy whine, but it was enough to tell Spike that he was not alone in his desperation. That Xander was right there with him, hanging on to sanity by a mere thread. As Spike slowly pushed his way into his lover, he was rewarded with an animalistic snarl from the man. "Faster, Spike! Fuck me already!"
Spike sank his balls deeply into Xander and began to piston in and out of him hard and fast. If Xander wanted to be fucked hard, by God that's what he'd get. One hand on the mattress holding him up and the other fisting Xander's cock roughly. Spike came with a snarl and lunged for Xander's neck.
He didn't bite. He had never bitten Xander in all the time they had been together. But the urge to do so was getting harder and harder to ignore. He wanted to claim Xander as his own, to sink his fangs deeply into his flesh and drink his passion-laced blood. He buried his face in Xander's neck and breathed in deeply; he could smell the blood just below the surface, the adrenaline and the scent of Xander's seed.
Spike pulled carefully out of Xander and lowered his legs to the mattress before rolling them both on their sides. He kissed his boy until he was breathless and then reluctantly pulled away. He didn't get far before Xander's hand shot out and caught his wrist, tugging him back into bed. "Spike? What's wrong?"
Spike sighed and snuggled back into Xander's arms. "Nothing luv. M'fine, really." He could tell Xander wasn't buying it but he really didn't want to talk about it. There was no way Xander felt the same way as he did. He knew that this was just an inevitable occurrence as far as the boy was concerned. Sure he liked him, but there was no way he could love him, not Spike, not a vampire. If they weren't stranded here, there was no way Xander would even consider being with him.
"Bullshit. I'm not buying it, Spike, something is rattling around in that sun-bleached head of yours and I want to know what it is. Or are you gonna start acting like Angel and go all cryptic on me? 'Cause I got to tell you, the broody thing? So not a turn-on." Xander shifted until he was sitting up against the wall, Spike reclining against his chest.
"Just thinking about stuff, luv. That's all. It's nothing to worry about. Don't you ever just think about stuff?" Spike didn't turn his head to look at Xander so he missed the pained expression that drifted across his face. "Not while I'm fucking you, I don't." Xander hurriedly got out of bed and grabbed his pants - what was left of them anyway. He looked back at Spike and froze.
Spike looked so dejected, head hung low, his hands over his face. He looked like someone who had lost his best friend, or his only friend. Xander sighed and went back to him. "Spike, this isn't working."
And there it was. The sentence Spike had been waiting for since this crazy affair of theirs had started. He knew someday Xander would put an end to this, but he hadn't expected it to be this soon. He was trying so hard not to break down in tears, not to beg for him to give them another chance, that he almost missed the next sentence Xander spoke.
"I wish you would tell me what's the matter so I can try and fix it. I don't want to lose what we have." Xander ran his fingers through his hair and tried to figure out how they had gone from screaming in ecstasy to not speaking in a matter of minutes. He thought that being in a relationship with another man would have eliminated these emotional stresses. Men were supposed to be easy to figure out, but apparently not Spike.
"How do you feel about me, Xander?" The question, spoken so quietly and with such pain, had Xander back on the bed and pulling the unresisting vampire back into his arms. This was a question that he had been dreading. If he answered honestly, he could end up losing Spike, and if he lied he could end up losing Spike. It really depended on how Spike felt about him.
"How honest do you want me to be here, Spike? Do you want me to tell you the way I really feel, that I think - no, that I know I'm in love with you? That I've never loved anyone as much as I do you? That it's going to tear my guts out when you tell you me you don't feel the same way? Is that what you want to hear, 'cause if you want the truth, that's what I'll tell you."
Anything else Xander might have been about to say was stopped abruptly as a cool, hungry mouth latched onto his. He was pulled into a fierce grip and his mouth was plundered possessively. He finally had to fight his way free to draw in much-needed oxygen. That was when he noticed that Spike was staring at him, golden eyes looking at him with such emotion that it made his chest tighten. "I love you too, Xander. I love you too."
And then they were kissing again, and this time it was slow and sweet, about love and acceptance, heart and home. And when Spike entered Xander this time, it was with a purpose, with a goal in mind other than mutual pleasure. He was going to claim him, finally make him his.
"Gonna claim you Xander, make you mine." Xander shuddered under the onslaught of feeling. He was overjoyed, ecstatic that Spike loved him as well, that he wasn't going to lose what they had found together. When he felt the sharp prick of fangs at his throat he turned his head and sighed in bliss. "God, Spike. Love you, love you so much."
Willow looked up from her textbook when she heard her lover squeal. It wasn't something that Tara did very often, usually being quite soft-spoken and quiet. "Tara?"
"I found something! A spell to see them, to see Xander and Spike! It - it won't help us get them back, but we would at least know if they're okay." Tara was practically bouncing she was so excited. After six months of running into dead ends and growing increasingly worried and frustrated this was like a gift from the Goddess herself.
Willow rushed over to where Tara was sitting and took the book from her hands. She read and reread the spell before smiling so widely that her face hurt. "Oh my Goddess, Tara. I'll be able to see if they're okay. We need to do this now, as soon as we can." Willow put down the book and ran for the bedroom, Tara right behind her.
"Honey, we need to order some of those ingredients. We don't keep them in stock at the store." Willow turned around and faced her girlfriend as she continued to hop on one foot while putting on her jeans. "I know that, but we can special order them tonight and they'll get here that much faster."
Willow’s enthusiasm was catchy and soon Tara was flying around the room as well trying to get changed as quickly as possible so they could head out.
The drive over to the Magic Box was filled with enthusiastic conversation. Willow was so excited by the idea of finally knowing that Xander was okay, Tara had to drive.
After e-mailing the rush order to their suppliers, the two girls were headed back to their - well Xander's - car when they were approached by a tall, pale-skinned, floppy-eared demon. As the girls automatically clasped hands and began to draw power for a spell the demon stepped back and held up his hands in a gesture of surrender.
"Oh, hey. I don't want any trouble. I - I'm a friend of Spike's." Tara and Willow looked at each other and then at the demon. Willow gestured for him to continue but they didn't let go of the other’s hand. "I know that Spike used to help the slayer and the rest of you, and well... I was hoping you could tell me what happened to him? See, we usually play poker once or twice a week and he hasn't shown up for the longest time..."
The demon actually looked sort of sad, Willow couldn't help but feel bad for him. She was missing her friend too. "Um, well... Do you know what was going on about six months ago?" The demon nodded and Willow continued. "Well, Spike sort of... got sucked into a portal. With Xander. We've been looking for a way to bring them home."
"Oh, okay. Well um, I'm Clem by the way. If there's anything I can do, you know, let me know. Spike's a bit rough around the edges but he's my friend. If I can help I will." Willow looked at the demon and then smiled. "Thank you Clem. I'll let you know." As Clem walked away, Willow and Tara were just about to go to the car when Trisha and John showed up.
The slayer grimaced in distaste at the two girls. "I knew I was right not to trust you. Standing out here in the street making conversation with demons. Disgusting." She actually turned up her nose at the two flabbergasted girls. Her watcher merely smirked and made a mental note to get all the available information on these two that the council could dig up. He knew that the demon he had just seen was basically harmless, but he still didn't trust the two witches.
Come along Trisha, if we hurry you might just catch up with the demon before it gets away." John turned his back and headed off in the direction that Clem had taken. Trisha took a second to sneer at the girls before joining him.
Willow turned to her girlfriend, a look of utter bewilderment on her face. "What do we do? I mean, he's a demon right? But he seemed... nice. We can't just let her kill him, can we?" Tara shook her head. She knew that not all demons were bad, and this one had seemed pretty friendly, harmless even. "No we can't."
Clem stopped dead in his tracks as he felt the presence of the slayer. He had never met Buffy, but from what Spike had told him, she was pretty fair. He raised his hands in defence and turned around, hoping to talk her out of slaying him like he had with the two witches a few minutes earlier. Unfortunately for him, it wasn't Buffy standing behind him.
Clem groaned internally at him misfortune. He knew the other slayer - Faith - was insane. She wouldn't care if he sprouted wings and a halo; she would still kill him. He was so screwed. He tried his most charming smile and waved one of his floppy hands at her. "Hey, you must be Faith huh? Nice to meet you."
Willow and Tara caught up just as Trisha was about to attack. They grasped hands and before Trisha knew what was happening, the demon in front of her disappeared. She spun around angrily and glared at Willow and Tara. "See? I knew you were both evil, saving demons. I don't know what kind of spell you put on the last slayer, but it won't work on me. You just stay the hell away from me!"
Before Willow got a chance to respond, the girl had grabbed her watcher and they both high-tailed it out of sight. Willow sighed in frustration and headed back toward the car. Tara sympathised, she knew how much Willow wanted to help protect Sunnydale; she felt she owed it to Buffy, to Giles, to Xander and Spike. "Um, sweetie? Where exactly did you send Clem?"
Clem opened his eyes and looked around. He was surprised to find himself in Spike's crypt, the last thing he remembered was the crazy slayer coming after him and then Spike's witch friends showing up. "Cool. I don't think Spike would mind me staying here, keeping an eye on the place for him." Clem grinned and looked over at the comfy chair and TV set up in the corner. "Oh yeah, this is going to work out just fine."
It took several days before the two frustrated young witches finally had all the ingredients necessary for the spell. They were the longest days of their lives. Willow was not a very patient person when it came to things like this.
They set the spell up inside the back room of the magic box. They needed a personal item of both Xander and Spike. For Xander they had chosen one of his loud tropical print shirts, and for Spike, they had raided his crypt and with some help from Clem, finally decided on an old Sex Pistols cassette tape.
The items were placed inside a large crystal bowl, covered with an assortment of herbs and some rather nasty-smelling liquid - Tara hoped Xander wouldn't want the shirt back, she was sure the smell would never come out. As for the tape? Well, they had planned to just buy Spike a copy on CD if he complained.
Willow placed a large round mirror on the floor and held the bowl above it as she began to chant. Tara joined in a few seconds later and then there was a bright flash. Both girls gasped as they looked at the scene reflected in the mirror.
It was Xander, Willow was sure of it. He looked happy, smiling and laughing at some blonde that she couldn't see very well. Tara reached out and put her arm around Willow to steady her as they watched Xander lean in and kiss the mysterious blonde.
"Wow. Um, who do you suppose that is? And where is Spike, shouldn't we be able to see Spike as well?" Willow looked at Tara questioningly. Tara gasped and felt her knees weaken as she watched the picture rotate as if on wheels. It came around to the side and then it was Xander who she couldn't see and the mysterious blonde became very visible. Willow gasped as well. "Spike?"
It didn't make sense. Xander and Spike? Spike and Xander? No matter how she twisted it around in her head it didn't make any sense to Willow. She had known Xander since they were children; he had never given her any reason to suspect he liked other guys. And Spike? Spike was the self-proclaimed God’s gift to women; he had never tweaked her gaydar either.
"Xander and Spike?" Tara spoke out loud what Willow was trying to deny she had seen with her own eyes. "Wow, I mean, I know he came through for us all in the end but don't they hate each other?" Willow could only nod her head as she watched her best friend grab Spike's hand and drag him toward a small log cabin. Spike didn't seem all that reluctant to go.
"They do. They did, anyway. How... Why..." Tara squeezed Willow’s hand and nodded sympathetically, then something about the whole situation sunk in. "Oh my Goddess, sweetie, Spike is in the sun." Willow looked as if someone had just smacked her upside the head with a brick.
"He is. He's in the sun, like Angel told me about when he was in Pylea. Wow, he must be so happy." The scene in the mirror changed to one of the inside of the cabin, the girls blushed as they realised what was starting to happen. Willow reluctantly ended the spell before things got too steamy. There were some things she was not ready to see, and Xander and Spike getting groiny was one of them.
Tara helped Willow clean up the spell and then pulled her into her arms. She rocked slowly back and forth as Willow cried silent tears. "Hey, at least we know he's alright, they're alright." Willow nodded against Tara's chest, Xander was alive - he was alive and safe. Alive, safe and from the looks of things happy. It was a balm to her soul. She still wasn't giving up on finding a way to bring them home, but at least now she knew he wasn't in some horrible demon dimension.
"God, it is good to be home!" Xander flung himself down on the bed and groaned as Spike settled himself on top of him. He wrapped his arms around his lover and sighed in contentment.
"Well, if I remember correctly, it was your idea to go away in the first place. 'Let's go explore, Spike. See what else is out there, Spike.' I was perfectly happy right here." Spike buried his face in Xander's neck and began sucking lightly on the salty tasting skin. He really hadn't minded the impromptu trip; he just enjoyed giving Xander a hard time about things. Speaking of which...
"Spiiiike, you have got to be kidding me. I'm exhausted." Xander whined as he felt Spike grind into him. One thing was certain, no matter how tired he might be, his body always responded to Spike's attempts to seduce him. He felt the vampire chuckle against his neck, right before he felt twin pricks of pleasure/pain. For some reason, having Spike bite him always got him hot.
"Not that exhausted, luv. Come on, we'll shag and then you can take a nap while I heat up the bath, okay?" That would practically guarantee him acquiescence. Xander had done nothing the past month but bitch about how he missed the tub. He knew his boy would do anything for a hot bath. "Just lie back and let me take care of everything."
Just laying back and letting Spike do all the work sounded like something Xander could do. As he felt Spike's hands begin stroking his skin he moaned in approval, oh yeah this was definitely a good idea. Sleep could wait - at least for a little while.
Spike smiled as he felt Xander surrender to his touch. He was always so open, so responsive. He could see now, why Anya had fallen for this man. A demon - whether she was without her power or not, she was at heart, still a demon - who had spent over a thousand years dishing out punishment and torture to millions of men, had fallen in love with this puppy-eyed mortal. Spike didn't understand it, not until he found himself in the position of having Xander's love and attention.
Now, now he understood what had changed Anya's opinion. Xander wasn't just a good guy, he was more than that. He loved completely, gave everything he had to the one he loved and more. There was nothing about Spike that Xander didn't accept. Not his demon, not his blood lust, not his history of viciousness. He accepted that that's who Spike was, who he had been in the past. He also accepted Spike the way he was now, without all the fronts and bravado. He could be himself - the bookish, soft-spoken man he once was, as well as the Big Bad Master Vampire he had become.
Spike was brought back from his thoughts by a particularly unmanly squeal from his lover. While Spike's mind had been occupied, his hands had been moving on autopilot. He grinned and began to pay attention once again to making Xander squirm; it was his favourite pastime after all.
Spike knew all the right places to touch, where to lick, suck, nibble and stroke to reduce Xander to a mass of needy whimpering flesh beneath his skillful hands. Not that Xander ever complained, especially when he did that thing with his tongue.
Xander lay flat on his back, his feet planted on the blonde's shoulders as Spike took his time stretching and relaxing his guardian ring with his tongue. He was sure he could cum just from this sensation alone, and would if Spike didn't have one hand wrapped firmly around his swollen cock, preventing his orgasm.
"Spiiiike, please." The vampire relented on his torture, and moved into position. He claimed Xander's lips as he slowly sheathed himself inside the hot body of his lovely boy. No matter how many times he had done this, it always felt like the first time. Xander was warm and real and alive around him, holding him, pulling him close, closer than he ever thought possible. Spike was forever ruined for others of his kind; he would never be able to tolerate a cold body ever again.
Spike moved slowly within Xander, wanting to draw this out, make it last forever. He couldn't, it wasn't possible, not with the boy moaning his name and thrusting up toward him on every stroke. Difficult to hold back as his teeth elongated and his blue eyes bled to yellow. Impossible to prolong the moment when Xander tilted his head back and offered his throat with a breathy "Fuck, yesss. Do it."
Spike whistled as he made his way toward the river to fill the tub for Xander's bath. If someone had told him five years ago that he'd get sucked into another dimension with the slayer's donut boy and would end up arse over tit in love with him, he would have laughed in his or her face. Now though, he couldn't be happier about it.
It was hard to believe that they had been here for almost five years. It was even harder to believe that the last three and a half they had been lovers. In over a century of bloodshed and violence, Spike had never been as content as he had been these last five years. It was as if he had finally found what he had been looking for since the night he clawed his way out of the grave. Home.
As he filled the large tub and built up a fire around it to heat the water, Spike reminisced about his past. He had thought himself happy and in love when he was with Dru. After Angelus had been souled and had run off, Darla hadn't stuck around for long. Soon it was just the two of them, they spilled blood across the continent together, eventually heading to the States when Spike heard that the latest Slayer lived there.
Dru had still been strong then, crazy yeah but still strong. Spike remembered how they had celebrated the death of his second slayer; blood had flowed like wine. They had spent hours carving into each other's bodies, and revelling in the pain. They were good times, but then Dru had wanted to go home, back to Europe.
After Prague, everything fell apart. Sunnydale had been nothing but a curse for him. He'd gotten injured so badly he spent months in a wheelchair; his insane Grandsire made a reappearance and took his princess away from him. He made a deal with the slayer, of all people, to get Dru and get safe passage out of town, and after all of that Dru had left him for a bloody Chaos demon. He should have left it there, but no, he had to come back to Sunnydale and then kidnap Red and Xander.
Love spells, magic rings, hot poker torture and military experiments. That's what his life in Sunnydale amounted to. He had been so lost after escaping the Initiative; he had fallen in love with his mortal enemy. Buffy - even the sound of her name would have had him swooning at one point. Pathetic tosser that he was. It never would have worked, she would never see him as anything other than a demon; the best he could hope for would be friendship, anything more than that and he'd merely be a substitute for the vampire she couldn't have. It would have been enough for him then, but not now.
Nope, now he knew what it was to truly be loved by someone. Someone who he loved in return, and wasn't that a kick in the head? He was in love with a human, a male human, a friend of his former object of affection. On the up shot though, they were good together. There was no pressure on them here, no demon/human issues, no pressure from well-meaning friends, no threats of bloody violence from interfering, souled-up, nancy boy Grandsires with a guilt complex a mile wide, and no labels about sexual orientation to embarrass either one of them. Since when did who you shag have anything to do with your masculinity?
Xander closed his eyes as Spike kissed him and slipped out of bed. He was tired, more so after the sex then he had been before. He knew, however, that sleep would not come easy; he had things on his mind, things that were both troublesome and exciting at the same time. They had been here for five years, and as far as he could tell he hadn't aged a bit.
Sure he looked different, he had lost weight, gained muscle and his hair was a lot longer. But his face hadn't changed; not really. There was no sign of grey in his hair, he didn't feel the strain of five years of hard labour, and despite all of that he just had this... gut feeling. One thing he knew for sure after growing up in Sunnydale, it was to trust your gut.
He listened to Spike whistle as he strolled away from the house; it brought a smile to his lips. Only Spike would whistle along to the Ramones. Of course now that he'd heard it, Xander found himself humming along now as well. Not a bad idea that, being sedated. It was the only way he was going to get to sleep before Spike came back to tell him his bath was ready.
Xander wondered if Spike had noticed anything about his not ageing. And if so, why he hadn't said anything. Was it because he thought it might scare Xander to know he wasn't getting any older, that he could possibly be immortal in this world? Or was it that Spike simply hadn't noticed? Being an immortal creature himself, it might have slipped his notice.
Xander relaxed back against Spike's chest. It was a bit of a squeeze, getting them both into the tub, but well worth the effort. The water felt wonderful, and having Spike to use as a cushion was definitely a bonus. Xander sighed in contentment as Spike began to work the muscles of his neck and shoulders. "Mmm, that feels good."
Spike chuckled and kissed Xander's neck. "Next time you get to be the cushion, and I get the massage." Xander nodded his agreement; he never passed up an opportunity to touch Spike's smooth silky skin. Tanned and toned was not a look he would have ever pictured on the vampire, but it worked for him; he looked like a bronze God, whereas before, Xander would have described him as a marble statue brought to life.
"Hey Spike, serious question. Have you noticed anything... strange about me?" Xander tensed slightly as he waited to hear whether Spike had noticed or not. He was pretty sure his gut feeling was right, but he would feel better having it confirmed. Spike continued to rub his skin, but Xander could tell it was just a mechanical action now, his mind was obviously pondering Xander's question.
"Strange how, luv?" Spike was beginning to worry, if Xander was sick, he should have been able to tell. In fact the only time he had smelled off at all had been after that fall from the treetops he'd taken. Xander hadn't been hurt or sick since. He smelled exactly the same as he had since they'd gotten here, well except that he always smelled faintly of Spike himself now, as well.
"Strange as in we've been here for about five years now, and I don't feel any older. Am I getting older Spike? 'Cause I don't think I am." Xander felt Spike's hands drop from his shoulders and then arms tightened around his chest. He gently pried them loose and turned as much as he could in the tub to look at Spike.
"I'm right aren't I, Spike? I'm not getting any older." Xander could see the realisation in the vampire's crystal blue eyes. Spike honestly hadn't realised Xander wasn't ageing. Xander didn't know whether to laugh or cry. On the one hand, he no longer had to worry about growing old and dying, therefore leaving Spike all alone here, but on the other hand, he was now looking at eternity. Eternity with Spike, here, alone. What was the down side again?
Spike was having similar thoughts himself. Eternity. With Xander. He was overwhelmed with happiness. This was the one thing he had tried not to think about, the day Xander left him, when he would be alone here with nothing but a lifetime's worth of memories to keep him company and drive him insane.
"Forever." It was whispered, barely audible, but Xander heard the awe in the voice. He looked into Spike's eyes and saw joy. He barely managed a breath before Spike's mouth was upon his, sealing them together with bruising force. "Mine, forever mine." Spike growled against Xander's lips before claiming them again.
"Forever." A whispered promise, but one Xander was more than happy to make and one he had every intention of keeping. He barely had time to register Spike lifting him out of the water before he was being carried back to the house, being kissed the entire way.
The Magic Box was closed for the night. Three people - well, two witches and one demon sat around reading through the newest batch of spell books Willow had ordered. They were all searching for a way to locate Xander and Spike so they could bring them home.
Clem had become a good friend to the witches; he had a lot of contacts in the demon community and was able to get books and scrolls that otherwise would have been impossible. Willow still couldn't understand how such a gentle being as Clem could be friends with such a brash vampire as Spike. Then again, she never understood how Xander had dated Cordelia, either.
"Hey, I think I found something." Clem held up his book and Willow came around the table to look at it. She read the passage several times, her Sumerian being a bit rusty, but she was pretty sure that with this spell they could open a portal to Xander and Spike.
"I think you're right. Oh my God! If this works, we can bring Xander home!" Willow was smiling so hard it looked like her face would split. Tara looked over the book and frowned when she came to one of the spell ingredients. This might work, but it wasn't going to be easy getting what they needed.
"Sweetie? You do realise we need the blood of the slayer for this to work, right?" Tara chewed her bottom lip as she watched her lover's face harden. Sweet Willow had just been replaced with determined Willow. She wouldn't want to be Trisha when faced with this version of her usually sweet girlfriend.
"I know. And one way or another, I'll get it." Clem looked up from his chair at Willow and was awed by the power and fierce determination he could sense in her. This was not a girl to mess with; he was glad they were friends. He could understand why Spike had allied himself with these humans; they were fiercely loyal to those they considered friends.
"Um, not to sound like a bad guy here, but I could probably get some of my poker buddies to help out on that front. You know, rough her up a bit, make her bleed." Even for a demon, Clem sounded apologetic for making the suggestion. Willow just couldn't understand how a demon got to be as sweet as Clem.
"Thanks, but we'll handle that part ourselves. I'm actually looking forward to it." And there was scary Willow. Tara wondered how many of her girlfriend's alter-egos were going to make an appearance tonight.
"Er, okay. I need to get shuffling off, now. Meeting a couple of Vergishtas for a game of gin later." Clem smiled and stood up. Tara walked him to the door and smiled at him. She knew the real reason Clem was leaving. Willow was scary when she got like this.
"Thanks again for all your help. We'll be sure to let you know when we have everything ready. I assume you want to be here to see Spike when we do the spell?" Tara was watching Clem with a hint of a smile on her face. She was pretty sure the floppy-skinned demon's interest in Spike was more than just a passing acquaintance. It was sort of sad really, seeing as how Spike and Xander were together. She liked Clem and didn't want to see him get hurt.
"Oh, yeah. That'd be good. Maybe I'll see you before that, though. You never know." Clem hugged Tara tentatively and smiled when she hugged back. She was such a sweet girl.
After locking up again, Tara went back to Willow; she wanted to make sure her lover didn't do anything she'd regret later. And killing or even maiming Trisha was something that - eventually - she would regret.
"Why don't we go home. We found the spell and there's no way we can get everything we need tonight, so let's get some rest, okay?" Tara gently pried Willow away from the books and led her to a chair; she then quickly straightened up the shop so it would be presentable for business the next day.
Once they were in the car and on their way home, Willow suddenly squeaked in delight, almost causing Tara to run off the road. "Ooops. Sorry, sweetie. I just remembered the letter Dawn wrote. She said that Faith wanted to make things up to me, that she's trying to redeem herself. If she helps me bring Xander and Spike home I'll forgive her for anything."
"But isn't she in L.A.? In prison?" Tara worried her bottom lip with her teeth as she saw a spark flare in her lover's eyes.
"Yeah, but that's nothing I can't get around." Willow smiled as she thought of several spells she could cast to break Faith out of prison, or even better, break herself in so she could get the blood she needed and then get out. Yes that was definitely a better idea.
Faith was surprised when she got the call to come to the visiting room. The only one who ever visited her was Angel, and then one time B's kid sister had shown up. The kid had balls, that was for sure. She was even more surprised to find her ex-watcher on the other side of the glass.
Faith sat down and looked pensively at Wesley before picking up the telephone receiver. "Wes. Long-time-no-see. What brings you to my dark little corner of the world?"
Wesley looked at Faith, trying to decide whether he was right in coming here. In the end, he didn't have much choice. It was this or take his chances. "Angel, or perhaps Angelus."
Faith looked shocked. She hadn't expected to hear that. "Angelus? You sure?" She watched as Wes pulled off the classic Giles manoeuvre, rubbing the lenses of his glasses, cleaning away imaginary dirt.
"No, I'm not. But I don't want to take any chances. Darla is back, and she's with child. Angel's child. If she gives birth... " Wesley cut off his own words; he didn't want to finish his thought. Faith did it for him.
"You think seeing his kid will make him perfectly happy. What do you want from me, Wes? You want me to kill Angelus if he shows up? Or you want me to off the mother, keep the kid from being born?" And there was the rub. She knew that he had no idea what to do, and was looking for an easy out. "I won't do it, Wes. I've changed. Whether you want to believe that or not, I won't kill Angel's unborn kid. Wouldn't be right."
"That's not what I'm asking. At least not yet. We don't even know what the child will be; it could be good or evil, a great champion for the powers that be or the bearer of eternal darkness. The point is I need someone I can trust to keep everything from falling apart until we know. I need you Faith. Angel needs you." Wesley knew he was playing an unfair game. Using Angel to get Faith to see things his way.
"Alright. You win. But I won't kill him, either of them, unless I have to. Angel didn't give up on me; I won't give up on him either. You have a plan to get me out?" Faith quirked an eyebrow at Wesley as he smiled at her. It was a truly wicked smile. Something that up until this moment she hadn't thought him capable of. Seemed like the world was changing while she was locked away.
Wes chanted a few soft words and the glass between them faded away into nothing, Faith didn't waste any time crossing over the non-existent barrier to his side. A few more words and everyone around them was still, completely unmoving.
"Hurry, this won't last for more than a few minutes." Wesley grabbed Faith's hand and began quickly pulling her down the hallway and out of the building. Once they were outside they sprinted toward his motorcycle and rode off.
Faith was impressed. This Wesley was confident and sure of himself. A long way from the man she had first met in Sunnydale and then tortured in L.A. If she had known he could turn out like this, she might have gone a little easier on him back then, maybe steered him around the curves herself.
Willow was not happy. She had driven all the way to L.A. only to learn that Faith had somehow escaped the day before. She was tempted to just drive back to Sunnydale and hunt down Trisha for a pint or two, but her conscience got the better of her, so here she was on her way to Angel Investigations to tell them in person about Faith.
Imagine her surprise when she walked into the old hotel to find Wesley, Angel, Cordelia, Gunn, Fred and Faith in the lobby. Not to mention the very pregnant woman standing at the foot of the stairs - the very pregnant woman who looked like Angel's sire, Darla.
"What the hell is going on here?" Willow wasn't taking any chances, with both Faith and Darla in the same room. She pulled a lot of power to herself and was ready for just about anything.
"Ooooh, check out wicca chicka. Red's come into her own." Faith gave Willow a quick once-over and grinned her approval. This was not the shy little girl she knew from before.
"Faith. Angel? Explanations please?" Willow wasn't sure what was going on here, but she didn't have the warm fuzzies about it. Faith may have changed, she was willing to let that go, but that didn't explain the fact that the pregnant woman had just gone into game face.
"Willow, good to see you. Follow me, we'll talk in my office." Angel didn't even look to see if she followed. He simply walked away, confidant in his assumption that she would.
"So, let me get this straight. Darla is back, she's pregnant - by you - and Wesley broke Faith out of prison. Why exactly did he do that?" Willow was now pacing the floor of the small office. She didn't like the implications of this one bit. Vampires were not supposed to have children. This couldn't possibly be good.
"I'm not sure. I think he's under the impression that I'll turn into Angelus again. You and I both know that isn't going to happen. I'll never be that naive again, I know what would happen if I were ever truly happy again. I can't be." Angel sighed and wished he could get up and pace, as well - the office just wasn't big enough.
"Okay. I get that. But I'm still having trouble with the whole undead pregnancy issue. I mean how is that even possible? Um, no offence, but your sperm are dead. Even if Darla were alive this shouldn't be possible. Not even with magic. I know, I looked." Willow smiled a bit sheepishly at that admission. "Buffy was worried after, you know? 'Cause you guys weren't safe and all."
Angel smiled. He had always wanted that with Buffy. A chance to be Mr. and Mrs. Normal American. A home in the suburbs, a regular 9 to 5 job, a couple of kids running around the house. It was his dream, one that would never be fulfilled. "Why don't you tell me why you're here in L.A.?"
Willow filled him in on everything that had happened since they'd last spoken. How she had finally found a way to open a portal to bring Spike and Xander back home, but that she needed the blood of a slayer to do it. Angel listened intently, especially when she got to the part about Spike being in the sun, and that he and Xander were together.
"Ask Faith, she just might surprise you. She has changed, Willow; she's not the same girl you knew." Angel got up and left the office, Willow followed close behind.
As they entered the lobby, Darla cried out in agony and dropped to her knees. Angel ran to her side, as did Cordelia and Faith. The baby was coming. Willow watched as Angel picked Darla up and carried her to his room. She was curious, but not enough to follow. Wesley and Cordelia went after Angel, and Willow slowly approached Faith. "So, Dawn tells me she came to see you."
Faith smiled at that. "Yeah, kid's got a pair. She reminds me of B." Faith grinned as Willow nodded. "She's a good kid; I told her not to come there, though. It's no place for a kid like her to be. Gives the other inmates ideas, ideas that I have to beat out of their heads. So, what's the real reason you're here?" Never one to beat around the bush.
"You want forgiveness? I want something from you in return. You do this, we're squared away. Clean slate." Willow waited to see if Faith would ask or if she would have to tell her straight out. After a few minutes' silence, Faith finally asked what she needed to do.
"Bleed for me." At Faith's shocked expression, Willow explained about the spell and why she needed the blood. She told Faith about the new slayer and her watcher. How they were going to be dead inside of a year at the rate they were going, and how if she really had changed, she could do a lot of good in Sunnydale right now.
Their conversation was brought to a screeching halt as Wesley came down the stairs - ashes on his hands and a stricken look on his face. He addressed the room with a shaky voice. "It's a boy, and he's completely human. Darla is dust. She... she staked herself to save the child." Faith reached for him and drew him to a chair to sit before he collapsed.
Willow drove home as fast as safety would allow. She had Faith's blood in a cooler on the front seat beside her and was looking forward to finally seeing Xander again. She missed him so badly. She could hardly believe he'd been gone almost a whole year.
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