Giles threw the paper upon the table with a sigh. "Another one, this time in the park on the north side of town!"
Xander pulled the paper to him as he put his drink down. "Gross!"
"Well yes, quite. The local authorities are attributing it to wild animals, perhaps even wolves." Giles said as he walked around the table to his seat.
"But you don´t think so." Xander said, still looking at the paper. His free hand reached out and found the box of donuts on the table. He unerringly found the jelly donut of his choice and bit into it, all without ever looking away from the paper.
"I´m not sure what to think. Considering the activity around the Hellmouth since Buffy died I think it is unlikely." Giles sipped at his tea with a sigh. With a small clatter, he set the cup back onto the saucer. He removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes.
Willow frowned. "I miss Dawnie."
"I´m sure she is fine with her father. At least one can hope." Giles matched her frown. Putting his glasses back on, he blinked tiredly.
"Well, what kind of demon would," Tara gestured at the paper, her face tinged green, "eat people like that?"
"In that manner? Well, actually the list is a lot smaller than one would think. For instance, vampires usually keep their prey relatively intact...unless...playing with them." He glanced at the grinning vampire leaning against the counter.
"Ah, the good old days!" Spike´s eyes twinkled in the dimmed light, betraying the image that he had not been paying attention.
Giles cast an annoyed look back before turning back to the others. "But even then, there isn´t much in the way of...shredding. They just aren´t...equipped for that type of damage. Though I have little doubt one could if they chose to. Werewolves could..."
"Oz is in Nevada, I got a post card from him!" Willow said hurriedly.
Giles smiled gently. "Oz has learned much in the last few years. In fact, I wish he were here. If it is a werewolf, he could help us track it."
Giles took in a deep breath. "I really couldn´t say what could have done this without further study."
"Maybe Fangless could, you know, check out the scene?" Xander gestured at the vampire that was now flipping idly through a magazine.
"OR! Fangless could just bugger off to home and leave you lot to deal with it yourself!" Spike stood up and grabbed his long black duster that had been lying beside him on the counter.
"OR! Xander could apologize for calling you Fangless, again, and we can all try being civil!" Giles sipped some more tea. "Really Xander, I have no idea why you are acting so, persnickety today."
"Persnickety, Giles? Only you would use the word persnickety in a sentence!" Xander rolled his eyes.
Willow wrinkled her nose, "Just ignore him, Giles. He´s in a mood. He gets like that once in a while. Spike, you should ignore him too."
Xander rolled his eyes again. "I am SO sorry that you are fangless Spike!"
Giles peered at Xander over the rims of his glasses. "That wasn´t what I meant Xander and I do believe you know it!"
Xander´s eyes rolled for a third time in as many minutes. "Sorry...Spike."
"Will that do for your, delicate, sensibilities?" Giles asked dryly as Spike glared at Xander.
Spike stared at Xander for a minute longer. "I suppose. And I suppose I could have a look–see. S´not like I´ve got anything better to do at the moment."
Spike edged around the table. "Dark enough now...Want to come along?"
"Xander, go with him if you would, please. There have been a rash of muggings lately and it wouldn´t do for him to fall prey." Giles said without turning. "Not that I think they would do serious damage of course, but they have tended to shy away from groups of any sort."
Xander stood up. "No problem. Come on!"
Xander threw the front door open with enough force to crack the wood.
"You ARE in a bit of a mood!" Spike muttered as he followed.
"You don´t know the half of it!" Xander said darkly.
The trip to the park was made in relative silence, broken only by the sound of crickets and the quieter noise of their steps upon the pavement. Spike pulled his duster closer to his body despite the warmth of the evening while Xander began to unbutton the top of his shirt. The tip of Spike´s cigarette glowed in the dark, growing brighter as he inhaled, then dimming again. The stars in the sky twinkled down upon them peeking around clouds while a haze haloed the moon.
"Could be rain soon." Spike commented quietly.
As they got closer, the sounds of scurrying in the under brush became more distinct. Snuffling and snorting, followed by a sound of surprise and retreat. The leaves around them shook and rustled before stilling.
"What the hell are those?" Xander asked.
"Scavengers. No threat. They smell blood, looking for a quick meal." Spike ducked under a strip of bright yellow tape. "Blood is about all you can smell though."
"Nothing else?" Xander asked as he watched Spike wander around the crime scene. Chalk marks stood out in stark relief to the dark ground. Black spots decorated the area in a pattern that reminded him of those abstract paintings that Willow had dragged him to see when they were still in high school. He felt his stomach turn a little as the intelligent part of his brain informed him that it was dried blood.
Spike drew in an unnecessary breath. "I think it may have been too long, mate. All I smell is blood for the most part. I smell you of course, your cologne leaves much to be desired, and I smell something vague, animalistic. I don´t know what it is exactly; could be one of the scavengers that have come sniffing around. I don´t think it is our killer though. Actually looks like an animal DID do this."
"How do you know?"
"Don´t KNOW exactly, but there is a lot of scratching around here." Spike pointed to the ground. "Like something digging at the meat with its front claws or something...and I can see where the police have marked things off. Looks like this poor git was run down, like wolves do."
"Could it have been a werewolf?" Xander crossed his arms and began to bite on his thumbnail.
"Don´t think so. They tear people up but rarely actually eat them. This thing made a meal. See that white over there near that bush? That is bone, and it has been bitten into, crushed actually. Powerful jaws. Surprised they missed that bit." Spike commented as he pulled the fragment out from under the bush. He lifted it to his nose. "Bloody hell, can´t smell ANYTHING over your cologne!"
"Willow? Do you have any idea what could be wrong with Xander?" Giles asked as he closed the book in front of him. He stood up and placed it back on the shelf before pulling down several more books.
"I think he´s just under a lot of pressure." Willow said with a sigh. "It´s hard, you know. He hasn´t been out on his own for long. Not really. And he just has all this...STUFF on his mind!"
Tara nodded absently. "He´s been off kilter all week. Kind of snappish."
"He gets like that, you know, when he´s stressed." Willow said. "He is very stressed right now."
"What exactly is he stressing about? Perhaps we could help?" Giles asked as he pulled out another book and opened it.
Willow bit her lip and looked around the room. The blinds had been pulled and the ´Closed´ sign hung in the door. The florescent ´Open´ sign was long since turned off and the cash register had been covered. Things that normally lay on the counter to tempt customers had been put away and the accounting books were neatly lined up on the far wall. "Where is Anya?"
Giles raised his eyebrows. "She left earlier, she had to run some errands to prepare for the wedding."
Willow nodded with a grimace. "That is part of what he is stressing about."
Giles snapped the book shut without even glancing in it as he sat down and folded his hands on top. "Please explain!"
"He suddenly has all these bills and stuff. You know, he had rent from his parents before, but now he has power bills and water bills and garbage bills and all sorts of NEW bills that he is responsible for. He told me the other night that he didn´t realize how much his parents actually paid for before! And he makes good money but, he put her name on his checking account and Anya has been using the credit cards and she spends so much..."
Giles took his glasses off and wiped them. "I´m starting to get the picture."
"There is MORE! He proposed yes, but he wanted sort of a...longer...engagement." Willow said weakly. She looked almost apologetic.
"Ah, Anya on the other hand..." Giles sighed. He rubbed his jaw slowly.
"Yeah, and she has also been discussing...babies." Willow winced. "I don´t think Xander is ready for that kind of talk yet."
Giles stared in disbelief. "I don´t think many men ARE! I mean, he would make a WONDERFUL father I´m sure! But as you said, he is not ready yet, and if he is starting to have financial problems..."
Willow nodded. "And Anya doesn´t want a small, cheap occasion...she wants the full, bells and whistles tah–dah!"
Giles rubbed his head. "Oh dear. In MY youth I would have already left skid marks. I would have run so fast, so far by now!"
Willow shrugged. "So I think he´s just kinda...edging toward his bi–annual flirt with mental breakdown." She managed a weak grin.
Giles tilted his head a little. "I think perhaps we should watch carefully...instead of flirting with it, he might actually manage to dive straight into one."
"Xander? Nah! You know him! He gets close but then he laughs it right off!" Willow smiled. "He´ll bounce back! Just like always!"
Xander sat in the dark looking at the paper in his hand. He could barely see the numbers as light spilled in from the other room, but no matter. They wouldn´t add up correctly in the light any better than they did the near dark. Anya stood in the doorway. "Xander?"
Xander crumpled the paper up and threw it onto the table as Anya flipped on the switch. Xander glared at the piece of paper in front of him.
"Xander, what is wrong?" Anya asked as she stepped into the room. "Are you okay?"
Xander leaned forward with his head in his hands shaking his head.
"Aw, Xander! I´m sorry. I´ll fix it, Giles pays me tomorrow..." She wrapped her arms around him.
"It isn´t enough. I already figured it...it isn´t enough!" He growled. His hand swiped forward, the crumpled paper flew across the room and bounced benignly on the floor.
Anya straightened up. "Look, it is NO reason to get upset!"
"No," Xander began to laugh. "NO? No? No reason to get upset?"
Anya backed up as he started to laugh hysterically.
"No reason to get upset?" Xander stood up suddenly, heedless of his chair flying backward. "No reason to get upset!"
He nodded. "I guess I can see it from your point of view. No big deal. Xander pays the bills, you get pretty things. Yeah, I get that."
Anya reached out for him but he pulled back with a hiss.
"Anya, you are driving me to bankruptcy! I can´t afford that!" He shouted. He gestured helplessly from his bankbook still lying on the table to the room in general. "I can´t afford this place AND your lifestyle!"
Anya flinched. "I´m sorry! But I´ll help pay! We are in this together you know! Your bills are my bills!"
"Of course MY bills are YOUR bills...YOU are the one MAKING THEM!" He roared reaching out and pushing everything else off the desk.
Anya narrowed her eyes. "Oh! Don´t you DARE talk to me like that!"
"Like what!" He continued to yell, waving his hands wildly. "Like someone trying to RUIN ME!"
"LIKE THAT!" She screamed back. "I´m not trying to ruin you! Yeah, I over spent this month..."
"AGAIN!" He picked up the chair lying on the floor and tossed it at the wall breaking a hole into it.
Anya flinched and backed up a step. Xander groaned as he looked at the hole, muttering. "Something else to pay for."
"If you are going to be like this, I´ll just leave!" Anya turned away.
"Oh NO you won´t!" He grabbed her arm and pulled her back into the room.
"Or what? You are going to hit me!" Anya screeched. She raised her hand and slapped him across the face. He let go reflexively and held his cheek. Bright red bloomed across his face leaving a perfect imprint of her hand. And behind his eyes the world flickered out of view.
Anya pulled back and sneered. "Go on! Go on! Hit me! Will it make you feel better?"
He stared at her in shock before he shook his head.
"No." He whispered, still looking at her.
"Go ahead! I bet it would feel real good! HIT ME!" She screamed as she shoved him suddenly.
He allowed himself to be pushed backward and continued to hold his face and stare. "No."
The sound was hollow as he said it again. "No."
She took a deep breath. "I´m going now. Why don´t you just...go get drunk like you have been! Might as well start being dysfunctional NOW!"
Xander shook his head again. "I haven´t been drinking."
She scoffed. "Yeah right. Then where were you last night? Or for that matter, every night this WEEK? Hmmm? You weren´t HERE! I checked! And according to Thomas at the Bronze, you were seen there last night!"
Xander shook his head yet again. "I don´t know what you are talk..."
"Don´t fucking lie to me XANDER! He saw you there! What? You cheating on me or something? Is that it? Is that the real problem here?" Anya shoved him again and he limply fell against the wall.
"No." Xander mumbled.
"Look, Xander WHATEVER! Until you figure out what you want out of...US...I´m out of here! I don´t need this crap...Oprah said so!" Anya turned and slammed the door behind her. A picture on the wall shattered, glass scattered across the floor.
Xander slowly slid down the wall still holding his cheek. "I don´t know where..."
He shook his head slowly and inside he was seeing somewhere else. Another time. A time he didn´t want to remember.
"You FUCKING BITCH!" His father yelled as he slammed his mother into the wall. "It´s YOUR fault he´s here!"
Xander´s head snapped back as the slap stung his cheek.
Xander shook his head and cleared away the memory. He smiled as he stood up. "Thought the fucking bitch would NEVER leave! I think it is time for her to leave...permanently."
Xander laughed as he grabbed his wallet and keys. "Time to have some fun!"
She sneered as she looked from side to side. No one was worthy of her attention, not for food and not for a quick mate. The music pounded around her as she moved through the crowd. Searching for...someone. Faces she found familiar she avoided. Even when they waved her over she would favor them with a false grin and a tiny shake of her head. She saw the bitch. She turned her back as the other woman called out to her. Weak. Unworthy of a truly powerful pack, and definitely not her type. She could not understand why the Other would want her. She knew that turning her back would be the best way to draw her out. Make her chase.
She suppressed a growl as the creature she could only think of as the Bitch tracked her down and tried to confront her.
"XANDER! How dare you ignore me?" Anya yelled above the music.
"What do you want?"
"I think we should talk...about what happened! I´m sorry!" Anya shouted. "Let´s go somewhere quiet!"
Feral eyes studied Anya. "Perhaps that would be good."
Blood. Blood everywhere! Xander blinked hard as he tried to wake himself. The Park? He was covered in blood. What happened? He pulled himself into a sitting position. What happened? He held his hand up to his face; sticky partially dried blood covered his fingertips. Xander looked around him frantically. Anya?
"Oh, God, NO! ANYA!"
Hours later, Giles gripped Xander´s shoulder tightly. "Did they say anything else?"
Xander shook his head numbly. "No, they just said that I must have been knocked out as the wolves attacked Anya or something and that something must have scared them off."
He dropped his head into his hands and swallowed a sob. "I don´t REMEMBER anything!"
Giles squeezed Xander´s shoulder again. "It is understandable. Traumatic experiences...sometimes the mind closes itself off to hide from the pain."
Xander laid his head completely down on the table as his shoulder began to shake with every silent sob.
"Spike?" Giles turned to the vampire.
Spike shook his head. "Sorry. I really am, I liked her! But nope, nothing! Just that faint animalistic scent from before. I still can´t trace it!"
Giles sighed heavily. "Don´t worry Xander, we will find whatever did this!"
"I, I, I need to go home for a while." Xander swallowed hard as he lifted his head. His eyes were already red and puffy looking. "I need time..."
"Of course!" Giles nodded.
"Maybe I should, go with him. See him to his door?" Spike said suddenly.
"Perhaps you should!" Giles agreed readily.
Spike drove. He was a little surprised that Xander had allowed him to. Even with the waves of misery that came off of Xander he had anticipated a little argument about him driving.
"We WILL find it, you know?" Spike said. He cast a side–glance at the human that was huddled against the door.
Xander didn´t say anything, just nodded.
"It won´t get away with it." Spike nodded himself. Spike was at a loss; he had never had to comfort mourning humans before. Not really. In days gone by, he had caused the mourning. And he was certain that Xander wouldn´t appreciate the type of comfort that he had always given Dru. But he did smile to himself as he imagined it. He could see his hand in Xander´s hair, stroking the silky waves. He glanced in the rearview mirror then turned the corner as he then thought of how good it would feel to run his teeth over that smooth soft skin at the hollow of Xander´s throat...
"Spike? Are you purring?"
Spike sat up straight and nearly pulled them into the opposite lane before he got himself back under control.
"Purring? I don´t purr!" Spike cleared his throat.
"I distinctly heard purring Spike." Xander narrowed his eyes.
"No. Maybe something is wrong with your engine. Should have that looked at." Spike cleared his throat again and suddenly wished he hadn´t run out of cigarettes.
"Riiiiiight." Xander said with a nod. "No purring."
Spike made a study of the road in front of him. He refused to look over at the other man, even though he could feel the stare. He could feel Xander staring at him intently and suddenly he found his other senses tuning into him. Heard the slow steady heartbeat and the slow steady breathing. At least he had calmed down apparently.
Xander smiled at the intent look on Spike´s face.
Idiot! Killing her? Could you have been so dumb? Now the Other is sad! And his energy is down! Meaning that MY energy is DOWN!
A growl seemed to echo in the still night.
STUPID STUPID STUPID! He didn´t need protection from her! They argued! It is normal! The slap was forgivable!
In the distance a long manic Ooooo WHUP sound came in short bursts. Punctuated by growls.
Don´t get aggressive with me. You can´t harm me! And now I´m left to pick up the pieces. As usual! This one has interest already. He WAS purring...
Xander walked slowly to his apartment with Spike walking close behind. As he got to the door, he turned and looked down at Spike. "I really appreciate you bringing me home, I don´t think I could have driven. Thank you!"
Spike blinked up at Xander rapidly. "Uh, er...no problem!"
"It is getting close to dawn, isn´t it? Perhaps you should stay? The couch is a lot more comfortable than the one that used to be in the basement..."
"Umm..." Spike searched his numb brain for something to say. It was rare that anyone thanked him for anything and he wasn´t used to responding in kind.
"Please stay! It is the least I can do." Xander opened the door and held it. "You are welcome in my home."
Spike opened and closed his mouth a couple of times.
"I have satellite television."
"Thank you, I accept your gracious invitation!" Spike ducked into the apartment missing the leering smile on Xander´s face.
As Spike settled down on the couch, Xander handed him the controls to the box and television. His fingers lingered on Spike´s for a second longer than necessary. Xander smiled at him sadly. "If you need anything, just ask."
Xander lowered his head a picture of perfect misery. Spike nodded. "I´ll do that, you just get some rest."
Xander nodded and walked dejectedly toward his room, smiling when he was turned away from the vampire. Xander could smell the arousal from clear across the room, but in a sad voice he said. "I will, see you tonight?"
"Yes..." Spike answered quietly.
Xander shut the door to his room and softly laughed. "He is so easy! And Angeleus thought WE had a white knight complex?"
Xander removed his heavy work boots and stretched. "Don´t worry, I´ll take care of everything."
Spike flipped through the menu guide. "All these bloody channels and not a bleedin´ thing on!"
He sighed as he settled on BBC America. Saffy was just to the part where she was helping Patsy with the ´tit´ test when he felt his eyes getting heavy. He took in an unnecessary breath as he felt them start to close. Exhaling slowly, he drifted off completely.
Saffy had removed Patsy´s bra and had leaned in to take the sagging breast into her mouth. Spike leaned against the wall and cheered. "Go for it Saf! Do you some bloody good!"
Patsy smirked at him as Saf laved her eagerly. "Little chit is good for something, ay?"
Spike nodded in agreement. "Got a fag, Pats?"
"My coat pocket next to you!" Patsy grinned as Saffy went lower and started to unzip her pants. Spike turned and saw the jacket. He hadn´t noticed the dresser there before. He shrugged as he pulled the pack out. When he turned back only Patsy stood there.
"What happened to the little chit?" Spike asked.
"She had to leave." Patsy smirked as she made her way to him slowly. She wrapped an arm around his waist. "If I told you that you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?"
"Wrong episode Pats." Spike murmured pulling back a little.
"No big." She dipped her head forward and nuzzled his neck.
He tried to back away. "No offense, but I didn´t mind watching but you just don´t get Little Spike´s attention."
He turned away to try and find the door handle.
"Would this be better?" He heard a younger voice inquire.
"Yes, my dear man! I heard that you had great affection for me. I´m so sorry I never returned it. Please allow me to make it up to you," the young lady said very properly, despite her startlingly lack of attire. Not even a pair of bloody bloomers!
"Um, I don´t think..." Spike turned away and tried to grasp the door handle.
"Or would this be better?"
He turned back and Saffy was standing before him, naked to the waist and smiling. "Er, not really, like them a little older actually." He pulled hard on the door, cursing beneath his non–existent breath when it would not open.
She pouted and bent forward at the waist and flipped her suddenly floppy hair up as she stood back up straight. Dark eyes stared at him under dark hair. She smiled and walked forward. "Did you miss me Spikey?"
"Dru?" He reached forward as she wrapped her arms around him.
"I missed you SO much Spikey!" She pet his hair lovingly. "I should NEVER have left you! Can you EVER forgive me?"
Spike touched her face gently then felt himself backing up. "No, this isn´t right. Something is off here!"
Drusilla pouted. "Not enough off if you ask me!"
She began to pull at his clothes.
"Your accent, the way you speak! It isn´t right! You AREN´T Drusilla!" Spike pulled away and ducked under her outstretched arms.
"Of course I am silly!" She tsked at him.
He shook his head.
"I´m anyone you want me to be!" She moved toward him slowly, like an animal trainer with a wild creature. She shook her head and blonde hair fell to her shoulders.
"If you want, if it makes you happy!" She smiled.
"So are you, hasn´t slowed you down any!" She laughed.
"Are you a ghost?" He asked in a whisper.
"No, do you want me to be?" She asked turning translucent. "I am whatever your heart desires!"
He sat down on what had started out as Saffy´s bed but had now turned into his mat in his crypt. He looked around confused. "Where are we?"
"Home. Where you feel safe." She stroked his face gently, once more solid. "Let me love you Spike!"
He shook his head. "I don´t know what you are..."
"I am whatever you want. Whatever makes you happy. Whatever makes you feel good!" She reached out and stroked him through his jeans.
"Buffy, or whoever you are..." He started as he grabbed her hand pushing it away.
She smiled at him, "Does this form not please you? How about this one?"
Her face morphed and he found himself looking up into dark eyes once more. Short hair and a dark smile. "Glad to see me?"
"Angel? Or Angeleus?" Spike squeaked as the man in front of him grabbed his crotch. The well–defined abs, the strong muscular arms, everything that Spike could remember, all for the taking.
Angel smiled mysteriously. "That´s for me to know and you to...find...out!"
Angel pushed him down upon the bed that was suddenly softer than it should have been. "You´ve been a bad boy, Spike!"
Ripping off Spike´s shirt he cast it aside as he straddled Spike´s chest. "Very bad!"
Spike grasped Angel´s hips. "You are crushing me!"
Angel captured Spike´s lips in a searing kiss. Spike growled as he tried to push Angel off. "GET OFF!"
Angel chuckled, "Don´t mind if I do!"
He rubbed up against Spike eliciting a moan from deep in side Spike´s throat. "No, get off of me!" Spike managed to roll out from under the other vampire.
"Who do you want Spike?" Angel asked reaching for him. "You have to be sure. You have to choose!"
Spike turned away toward the door. "Look I don´t know what you are but..."
"But..." The voice changed again and Spike was forced to look back.
Xander stood in front of Spike, completely clothed looking as he had before leaving Spike to his television. The young man walked slowly toward him. "But?"
"Are you real?" Spike asked.
Xander nodded. "I´m as real as you want me to be. But you have to choose. Do you want me?"
Spike shook his head. "No."
"I think you are lying." Xander said as he stroked Spike´s jaw with a finger. Spike leaned unconsciously into the touch. "I know you are lying. You want me, even if you don´t admit it."
Spike shook his head again as Xander smiled. "Does it matter really? This is a dream. Only a dream. You can take what you want here!"
Spike looked at Xander carefully as Xander pulled him closer. "You rejected the others outright, refused their touch. Everyone you´ve ever shown the slightest interest. You haven´t refused mine."
Xander bent forward and carefully kissed Spike. "You´re very beautiful."
Spike fell into the kiss wrapping his arms tightly around Xander´s neck. He pulled up suddenly. "This is just a dream?"
"Just a dream, baby." Xander murmured as he leaned back in. With a free hand he began to slowly unbutton Spike´s pants. "Just a dream, and I´m gonna make you feel real good!"
Xander nibbled his way down Spike´s throat teasing the skin with his teeth.
Spike gasped for breath. "Help! I feel like I´m being strangled."
Xander smiled against the cool skin. "Shhh, it is okay! You don´t have to breathe!"
Spike struggled against Xander. "Too much pressure."
Xander continued making hushing noises as he stroked Spike´s hair and held him tightly around the waist. "Is that better?"
Spike began to calm down. "What is happening?"
"Nothing that will hurt you." Xander licked the soft skin under Spike´s ear. "Better now?"
"Still feel like someone´s got me around the throat." Spike´s voice quavered. "I don´t like this!"
"Don´t be scared."
"I´m NOT scared!" Spike growled, his eyes flickered to a startling yellow. Fangs descended and his face became ridged. But he still couldn´t move from Xander´s grasp.
Xander smiled. "You will be okay, I won´t hurt you. I won´t let you be hurt! Well, not unless you want to be."
Spike struggled harder in his grasp.
"Don´t fight me, baby!" Xander pushed him against a wall. Spike tried to twist to look behind him but found himself unable to move. The bed had disappeared.
"This is a dream." Spike told himself. "Then I should be able to control it!"
Xander shook his head. "No, it don´t work that way here, or maybe it does and this is what you really want."
Spike tried to push Xander away only to find that his hands were shackled to the wall. Xander kissed him gently on the head. "It will be fine!"
"What is wrong with my throat? What is on my chest?" Spike looked down and could not see anything, and just where had his shirt gone again?
"It doesn´t matter." Xander mumbled as he brushed his lips against Spike´s. "It doesn´t matter at all."
Spike felt his eyes begin to close as Xander pushed against him driving his tongue deeper into his mouth. The warmth invaded him, warmed him from the inside out. He moaned as Xander began to rub against him in an intoxicating rhythm. Xander´s fingers raked down Spike´s ribs eliciting a sharp breath.
Xander stepped back. "Angel was wrong. You´ve been a very GOOD boy! And you deserve a reward!"
Spike blinked as the lights first went out then came back, dimmer than before. "A very good boy!" Xander said again.
The knife in Xander´s hand glittered in the half–light. He twisted it from side to side letting the vampire see the blade. "Beautiful, isn´t it?"
"Very sharp." Xander brought it to Spike´s face letting him see the edge. His voice was even and measured. Calm, as though he were discussing the most boring topic in the world. "It can cut with surgical precision."
Spike looked away from the knife into Xander´s eyes. "What are you going to do?"
Xander kissed him on the forehead once more. "Watch, little vampire."
Xander stood before Spike completely naked. When had that happened? Oh, a dream, that´s right! Spike thought madly as Xander brought the knife to bear on his arm.
"Blood is so much more than it seems." Xander said in the same tone. "It is life and death. It is oath and promise. It is binding. It binds you to me and I to you."
Carefully, with just the point of the dagger, he traced his veins. "For me to lose too much means my death but for you it means your life. I become a part of you, I become more in that moment."
With a flick of his wrist, a small bead of blood welled up. "You and I become one!"
Spike watched mesmerized as the small drop of blood dripped along Xander´s skin. Xander held his wrist up and allowed it to flow, twisting and turning, as the small drop became a brilliant line against his skin. "A small sip of your blood to the dying and they are granted eternity but it is through mine that you are allowed to keep that eternity."
Xander traced the crimson line with the tip of the blade. "It´s warm. It is like silk, it smells like forever!"
Spike felt his fangs descend as Xander came closer, holding his bleeding wrist up just out of reach. "You would feed from me, kill me and in that single moment, love me, if for no other reason than I granted you life for that one moment."
Xander pulled away leaving Spike growling in frustration. "But would you appreciate me after?"
"Does any vampire appreciate his victims?" Xander asked. "I think not. The moment is gone too soon!"
Xander brought the knife to his neck. "The knife is so sharp Spike, it barely needs to be pressed to split my flesh. The pain is sharp and clear and feels so good!"
Spike swallowed hard as Xander ran the knife down his chest leaving a small trail of blood behind it. "I sometimes wonder what it would be like to be turned. But then I would have to give up this... I couldn´t give it to you anymore. I often wonder if I could even BE turned, to tell the truth."
Spike pulled against his restraints hard, rattling the chains above him, growling as he strained. Xander came closer, still just out of reach. "It smells good, doesn´t it? It would feel so good, wouldn´t it? To feel it slide over your tongue? To bite me and drain me?"
Spike groaned in frustration.
"But you can´t bite! That little bit of wire in your head makes it impossible." Xander smirked. "Mores the pity!"
The wounds upon Xander´s body bleed freely pooling at his feet. "But you could love me, sip from what I have offered. Take joy in it and allow me to love you. You want someone to love you Spike."
Spike froze in place as Xander finally touched him. "You crave it almost as much as blood."
Xander´s soft voice spoke into Spike´s ear. "You want warmth, you want life, you want ME!"
Spike leaned into the other man as suddenly his hands were free and Xander was wrapping himself around him. He felt the slick blood smear against his skin and he greedily lapped at it. Xander gasped and moaned as Spike forced his tongue into the thin slit left by the blade. "Oh yeah!"
Spike ignored the tightening in his chest and the pressure on his throat as Xander´s hand wandered down and grasped his erection tightly pumping it in time with his licking of his tongue. Xander felt the smooth skin as he pulled at the hard length. Felt the foreskin move under his fingers, natural on an unnatural being. Spike began to move, thrusting into Xander´s hand faster and faster, frantically digging into the shallow cuts trying to capture every drop, his golden eyes dull and lust filled. Xander used his free hand to hold Spike´s head tightly against his collarbone as he tipped his head to the side. Xander pushed against the sharp fangs until he could feel the sharp tingle that seemed to hum. His eyes became half lidded as he rubbed himself against, Spike feeling his own erection dig into Spike. "Come on, baby, take from me, as I take from you!"
Spike growled low in his throat as he felt a new gush of blood flow over his tongue. He grabbed Xander´s hair in his fist and pulled the boy´s head back farther while his other hand held Xander tightly at the waist. Xander tightened his hold on the straining cock, pumping faster as Spike´s teeth grazed his skin, beginning to rake it, widening the cut. Xander suddenly yanked Spike away from the cut and kissed him deeply, heedless of the sharp fangs, impaling his tongue on them swirling his blood around the vampire´s cold mouth. Moaning as he pressed Spike back up against the wall, digging his fingers into the pale flesh under him. Spike kissed him frantically trying to drain him simply from the kiss alone as he thrust into Xander´s hand. He came abruptly with a start as he suddenly felt the intrusion inside him and realized that Xander had moved his hand from his hip to his backside. As the spurts died down, Xander pressed him even tighter against him rubbing Spike´s cum between them. Cum and blood mixed together in a heady combination. Xander picked Spike up easily and laid him upon the bed. Saffron´s bed, as Spike blinked at the room. He was back where he had started only alone. He closed his eyes and fell away from himself to continue his sleep, dreamlessly.
On the couch Xander removed his hands from Spike´s throat and stood up from where he had been straddling Spike´s chest. His clothes felt uncomfortable and tight but he smiled as he leaned down to pick up the remote controls that had fallen to the floor. He turned the television off with a push of a button and smiled in the near darkness. His eyes glowed softly, illuminating the vampire. They crackled with energy and he blinked rapidly to dissipate the glow for fear of waking the other creature.
Xander bent at the waist and kissed the vampire on the forehead. "Thanks babe! I needed that!"
Spike turned over in his sleep and Xander chuckled to himself as he returned to the bedroom. "Vampires are so easy."
Xander bounced out of his bedroom just after sunset, still buttoning his shirt. "WAKE UP SPIKE!"
Spike squeaked as he rolled off the couch with a thump. Xander rushed to his side and helped him sit up. "Spike! Are you okay?"
Spike opened his eyes blearily. "Okay? Don´t think so, mate." He blinked several times before settling on leaving them closed. He slumped forward, unknowingly laying his head upon Xander´s shoulder. Xander patted him gently before stroking his face.
"Hey! Wake up!" Xander shook him. "What is wrong with you?"
"Don´t know." Spike said vaguely as Xander tried to help him stand. Spike leaned into Xander heavily, knowing well that if not for the other man he would have fallen to the floor again. "So tired!"
"Well we´ve GOT to GO! We need to go find this thing! KILL it!" Xander said bouncing from foot to foot. Every inch of him seemed to vibrate as he tried to straighten Spike´s clothing with one hand and hold him up with the other.
Spike wrapped an arm around Xander´s shoulder. "Wish I had your energy!"
"Come on! Maybe Giles will have coffee there. Do vampires drink coffee?" Xander babbled as he helped Spike out the door. "Pep you right up! Give you a little caffeine...Oo I know, we can buy you an energy drink on the way, ginseng and caffeine, or we could get you that stuff that has like cactus juice mixed in it and stuff or whatever it is called..."
"I think you´ve had enough for both of us." Spike said as Xander stuffed him into the car.
"Oops sorry about your head."
"What are you talking about? I haven´t had anything to drink tonight! I just got up!" Xander patted Spike´s shoulder as he began to buckle him in. Spike rubbed his head ruefully.
"Come on, come on!" Xander yelled at the stoplight. He tapped his fingers against the steering wheel.
Spike roused himself out of another catnap. "It´ll change, give it a moment. Stop being so impatient!"
"Not impatient...COME ON YOU STUPID LIGHT!" Xander bounced in his seat, consequently bouncing Spike.
Spike laid his head on the seat looking at the man beside him. Xander looked back and gave him a sad smile. "I just want to..."
"Do right by her?" Spike finished softly. "Yeah, I know."
"Yeah, the last thing I remember, the last real thing was me and her fighting. Over bills, so stupid." Xander sighed.
Spike moved his hand closer to Xander, still unable to really find the energy to lift it. "It´s not your fault, mate. We´ll find it and don´t fret about the fight. She knew you loved her. Everyone fights sometimes."
Xander sighed again. "I know, doesn´t make it better though."
"I know." Spike agreed staring at Xander´s profile. His dream came back in full force. Stunning him as he remembered every detail, he shifted as his pants became suddenly uncomfortable.
Giles sat down as Xander half dragged Spike into the door. One arm wrapped tightly around Spike´s shoulders, allowing Spike´s head to lie on Xander´s shoulder, the other grasped Spike´s waist.
"Goodness! What is wrong with him?" Giles asked as Xander carefully levered Spike into a chair.
"I´m not sure. He says he feels drained, tired. I don´t know what happened. I mean last night he was fine and when we got up this evening he was like this!" Xander pulled out a coffee cup and went to the machine.
"Oh?" Giles asked.
Spike laid his head upon the table and let his eyes close.
"Uh, he´ll go to sleep again! He´s been doing that all the way here." Xander said. "Should we let him do that?"
Giles peered closely and narrowed his eyes. "I don´t see the harm. It isn´t as though he has a concussion. At least, I believe it should be safe..."
"Maybe, maybe he´s just tired." Willow said. "Sometimes, you just wake up in the morning, or, or whatever and you just are all...ugh...need more sleep? I mean we all have days like that...maybe he just..."
Xander frowned. "I don´t know, I don´t think vampires are like that. They´re more like, ugh, I´m awake lets bite something!"
"As fascinating as the sleep habits of the domesticated vampire may be, I do believe we have more pressing concerns?" Giles lifted the paper from that morning. On the front page was the crime scene from where Anya had been killed.
"There have been no more attacks since last night. So we can assume that it had..." Giles looked quickly at Xander then cleared his throat. "It had finished for the night."
Xander rubbed his eyes and grimaced. "You mean, that it was full for the night, right?"
"Er, quite." Giles cleared his throat again before reaching out and squeezing Xander´s shoulder. Xander reached up and grasped the hand, giving it a squeeze before releasing it.
"We have made some progress today though...Willow?"
Willow shifted the papers in front of her around until she found the one she wanted. She stood up and was just about to speak when...
Spike started suddenly and sat up. "I shan´t again, Mother!"
"Okaaaaay? Awake now are we?" Xander asked the blinking Spike.
Spike jerked a few times as he nearly fell forward before he began to shake his head rapidly.
"I´m awake!" He said loudly.
"Feeling better?" Willow asked in concern, sitting back down.
"I feel like someone ran over me, then ran over me again just to be sure they got me the first time." Spike mumbled as he rubbed at his face.
Willow patted Spike on the shoulder. "Would you like some coffee? Blood? Coffee mixed with blood?"
Xander grimaced. "That is disgusting!"
"This from the man that puts pickles in his spaghetti?" Willow leveled a look at Xander.
Xander ducked his head. "Hey! Spike! Howza about some blood with your coffee?"
Spike gave his head a hard shake. "I´m awake, I´m awake."
"Who are ya telling? Us or yourself?" Xander asked as he reached out and grabbed Spike´s shoulder. Spike started and pulled away looking down at his hands. "You okay?"
"Uh, um, yeah, yeah fine." Spike nervously laughed and looked away.
Xander pulled back. "If I didn´t know better, I would say you are blushing."
"Don´t be ridiculous...er...Coffee? Blood? Sounds good." Spike stumbled as he got to his feet and dashed to the coffeemaker.
"We were just discussing..." Giles scowled.
"It is okay Giles." Xander frowned. "Anya is dead, she was attacked and killed and...partially...eaten. I know that. We can´t keep avoiding the words. She´s gone. And we have to find what did it!"
"Quite!" Giles nodded in approval.
Spike swayed on his feet for a second before he jerked himself awake again. "WHY am I so tired?"
Spike lightly smacked his face a few times and sipped the strange brew.
Giles looked up and asked, "Did anything abnormal happen last night?"
Spike shook his head. "No, watched a little telly then went to sleep that is about all."
Tara chewed on her lip. "Did you dream anything weird? Sometimes dreams tell us things."
Spike grew paler and turned away. "Nothing special."
"Oh," Willow frowned. "Did you feel anything weird?"
Spike tipped the mug in his up and took a gulp. "Er, I felt like someone was choking me, and trying to crush my chest..." Spike cleared his throat before tipping the mug up again.
Willow pursed her lips. "Well if you had had a wild sex dream I would say a succubus had paid you a little visit."
Spike choked and began to cough. "What?"
"You know, Incubi and Succubae. They are like these sex demons. Kinda cool as far as demons go." Willow blushed. "Um, they feed off sexual energy."
Spike blinked. "I´ve heard of them, just never really thought much of them. Kind of suspected they didn´t exist. Just you know, hard up monks with active imaginations."
"Oh, they exist." Tara said.
Xander smirked. "Yeah, the ONE type of demon I wanted to meet as a teenager...and I got passed by!"
Willow giggled. "Silly! They drain you. They seduce you in your dreams. Some books actually consider them a type of vampire!"
"Yeah, but what a way to GO!" Xander shook his head.
Giles gave a small smile. "Indeed. Actually there has been some suggestions that Incubi and Succubae are actually genderless, that they are merely so named based on the gender they appear to the dreamer."
"Shape shifters?" Spike asked sitting back down.
Giles shrugged. "Not that it has any bearing on the matter at hand but no one is quite sure. No one is sure what the shape or form an incubus or a succubus takes in its natural state. No one has ever seen one that hasn´t taken on the shape of the dreamer´s fantasy!"
"So how do you know if you´ve been attacked by one of these things, and not just having a wet dream?"
Willow smirked. "The whole choking and being drained thing gives it away. Is there something you aren´t telling us?"
Everyone at the table giggled.
"Ooo Spike! Tell us about your new girlfriend!" Xander taunted.
Spike growled. "I think... we are here to discuss YOURS!"
Xander´s face fell abruptly and Spike felt something in his gut twist, something off. Xander nodded. "Yeah, you´re right. Giles."
Giles glared at Spike as he shuffled the papers in front of him around. "Yes, well. Willow and Tara did turn up some interesting discoveries today."
Willow stood up and cleared her throat. "Well, we found that this isn´t really the first time that attacks like this have happened around here. There have been similar ´wild dog´ attacks for the last four and a half years, off and on. The first time I found records of it, well, actually it was Principal Flutie, but we know what that was about." Willow rolled her eyes as Xander sank down further into his chair.
"But the first attack that was not...well you know...was during the time that Buffy left Sunnydale after Angel went to hell."
Xander sat up straighter. "Why didn´t we notice then?"
Willow shrugged. "We were swamped, still learning the whole slayage thing...it slipped through the cracks."
Willow continued. "The next time is a few months later and they really just come and go off and on."
Tara looked up and gave Willow a small smile. "We think that it is nomadic maybe."
"Hmm, yes sounds like it!" Giles said. "We know that it runs its prey down much like wolves do but that there is only one as opposed to a pack. We can guess that it is big and powerful. I honestly don´t think it is a natural predator."
"What exactly ate your principal?" Spike asked.
Xander slipped back down into his chair while Giles suddenly found his teacup fascinating.
"I don´t really remember much about that time. But I didn´t do it! I was busy trying to rape Buffy... apparently!"
Spike gaped at Xander. "WHAT?"
Xander dropped his head down onto his crossed arms. "I really really don´t want to get into this!"
Willow reached over and patted Xander on the shoulder. "He was possessed by a hyena spirit thing. Him and a few other kids, and well, they ate a pig together, but Xander DID NOT eat the principal, although his pack did. He was trying to molest Buffy."
What shocked Spike the most was that Willow sounded satisfied.
Spike felt his brain start to shut down. "Okay, let me get this straight, Harris here? He ate the pig, but not the principal? And he tried to...with Buffy?"
Willow nodded. "Yes, but Buffy stopped him."
"Got your arse whomped?" Spike asked.
"Whomped good." Xander nodded.
"Been there done that!" Spike rolled his eyes.
Xander shrugged. "Well, we know it isn´t the pack. We all went back to normal afterwards. I´ve kept track of them and they all lead pretty normal lives."
Giles looked up sharply. "You´ve kept in contact?"
Xander´s eyes took on a dark look. "They...we...shared something. They were my pack."
Xander stood up and stretched. "I need to go to the little boys room."
As the door closed behind him Spike quietly asked. "Could it have been a hyena person?"
Willow shook her head. "While the attacks are identical, no more hyenas were ever brought into Sunnydale after that. Lack of interest was listed as the reason, I personally think the reason is really because the evil zookeeper got eaten by them..."
As Xander stared into the mirror, no reflection stared back. His lips were set in a grim line. "They are too close!" he said to the air.
Inside a growl rumbled softly.
"It´s your fault!" He growled back.
"Now isn´t the time to fight. HE is back and safe. We can take care of this." The voice that spoke inside said softly. "But we can´t mess up anymore. We´ve come too far. If you go out there, step carefully. The other vampire is off balance and he will try to make you off balance too."
"You let me worry about that. You just take care of the Other. I´ll try to lead them to the ´right´ conclusions." Xander´s lips twisted into a grin.
"Be careful. There are too many pitfalls."
Xander washed his hands in silence.
Xander sat down quietly. "So are we patrolling tonight? Look for this thing?"
Giles shook his head. "I would like for Spike to go to Willy´s, see if he´s heard anything."
Xander picked up the pencil in front of him and rolled it between his fingers. "Makes sense. See if any new nasty has taken up residence. You know I remember something...in the bathroom just now. It had claws. Sharp! And fur...lots of fur."
Giles grabbed a pencil and began to write. "Really? Anything else?"
Xander shook his head. "Not really. I got knocked backwards, I hit the tree. It was dark whatever it was. You could hardly see it."
Giles nodded. "Yes, yes, that will narrow the search down immensely. PLEASE, if you remember anything else, be sure to let me know!"
Xander nodded still rolling the pencil between his fingers quietly. Something pricked the edges of his conscious, like a soft probe. He looked up, Spike was staring him directly in the eye. Xander forced himself to look down and away. Until he felt it again, like a soft touch, brushing against him. Caressing him gently. He began to squirm in his chair.
"Well, if there is nothing else, I think I should go home." Xander pushed the chair back as he stood.
"Yeah, I should get to Willy´s now." Spike also stood following Xander out.
Xander could feel Spike behind him as he walked briskly down the sidewalk.
"Wait up a moment!" Spike called out.
Xander stopped in his tracks; carefully he studied the sidewalk in front of him. Various cracks branched off from a bigger break, the end result, a complex pattern in which he could find no meaning.
"What?" Xander asked quietly.
"Just wanted to talk to you a second." Spike stepped in front of him. "Wanted to say, you know, sorry for what I said. Shouldn´t have went for the metaphorical throat if you know what I mean?"
Xander nodded still studying the crack in front of him. "No problem."
He flinched as the hand thrust in front of him.
"Well, when I was a lad, you shook hands." Spike kept his hand out.
Gingerly Xander took the hand into his own.
"Your hands are pretty cold, mate. About the same temp as mine. Not normal, that is." Spike´s tone was conversational but hinted of darker things. "Might want to see to that."
Xander took his hand back. "I´m just cold is all."
"Huh, yeah, its what? Seventy–five degrees out tonight?" Spike asked.
"I´m cold blooded I guess." Xander thrust his hands into his pocket. "Look, I really need to get to my car, its down the street. I´m tired and I want to go home."
"Sure thing, mate. I need to just pop off to Willy´s my own self." Spike nodded with a glint in his eye. "Get some rest."
Xander nodded again and walked quickly without looking back.
Slowly, Spike turned around and headed in the opposite direction, smiling.
Normal, not normal.
Xander heard it echo in his head. His father yelling it, "You aren´t normal! ACT normal!"
He could still feel the sting, both physical and emotional, as his parents condemned every action he made. "Xander, you have to act normal! If you don´t, people may question, they may try to find the answers!" His mother´s voice said. The voice quavered slightly as she spoke and dread filled her eyes. "Whatever you did to daddy last night, never do it again!"
Why couldn´t they understand? He wanted to be normal, but he didn´t know how!
"This is for your own good, Alexander! We have to teach you to be normal!" His father growled at him as he grabbed him.
He remembered listening to his parents at night.
"Where did he come from? What is he?" His father was crying. It scared him when his father cried. "I don´t know, I don´t know. Maybe he´s a–a–a–a mutant or something...like on one of those movies?" His mother said.
"I don´t think so. I don´t think he´s ours, he don´t even look anything like...anyone...in our family...at all!"
Spike whistled to himself as he rounded the corner of Willy´s. He smirked as he caught sight of the door and hauled himself through. "Willy! Just the toad I was looking for!"
Spike grabbed Willy by the back of the collar as the man tried to duck around and under him. "Aw, now is that anyway for you to be?"
Willy sighed apparently giving up. "What do you want Spike?"
"Got just a few questions is all." Spike let go of him and sat down at a stool. "Any new demons in town? Likes to eat at the park?"
"You mean those ´mysterious´ deaths recently huh?" Willy grabbed a bottle and poured Spike a drink. "Heard about the ex–demon chick. That´s too bad, she was a real looker."
Spike picked up the drink and looked at it appraisingly. The amber liquid caught the light and he smiled. "Yep, those ´mysterious´ deaths. Know anything?"
"Not really, ain´t any of the locals, haven´t heard about any thing coming into town either. Heard a rumor that it was humanoid though, maybe even a vampire with a mean streak." Willy nodded. "Nothing concrete."
"That´s fine." Spike tapped out a cigarette.
"So you won´t bust up my bar?" Willy asked hopefully.
"Don´t know, got another question." Spike asked lighting the cigarette and taking a drag.
"Xander, the slayer´s mascot...who turned him?"
"Oz?" Xander said. "Oz is coming here?"
Giles smiled. "Yes, he is coming straight away! He is more than eager to lend a hand in apprehending the creature that did this terrible thing."
"So you found him?" Xander asked.
"Yes, it wasn´t too hard. He was still in the same town that his postcard came from." Giles said. "He´ll be around in a few more hours."
"Ah." Xander said sitting down. "Well that is good! He can track this thing down real quick!"
The chimes over the door tinkled musically.
"Spike! Any luck?" Giles asked.
"Nope! Shook down every snitch I know of. No one knows anything!" Spike said carefully looking at Xander.
Xander sat down quietly. "That´s okay, Oz is coming, and he´s a werewolf. We think he may be able to track it."
Spike sat down next to Xander. "Oh."
Spike drummed his fingers on his leg. "You know, mate? I´ve been thinking! Maybe it would do you a spot of good to get away from here for a while! You know, take a break!"
"Away from the shop?" Xander asked.
"No, away from the Hellmouth. Take a break. Might do you some good. A vacation! Let Oz and the others look for this thing. Give you some time to reflect and regroup."
"Hmm, Spike may be onto something Xander." Giles said carefully. "You´ve been through so much and a break MIGHT well do you some good!"
"Where would I go?" Xander asked.
"I know some places." Spike whispered. "Quiet, nice, away from here. Away from werewolves, other vamps, and things that otherwise go bump in the night."
Xander tilted his head to the side. "I suppose it might be a good idea."
Spike stood up, "It is an excellent idea, and we should leave now!"
Giles gaped, "NOW? I didn´t think you were talking about right this second!"
Spike nodded, "No time like the present and all that rot!"
Xander stood up. "I should pack."
"No need!" Spike ushered him out. Spike waved at Giles as he closed the door behind him, still herding Xander in front of him gently. "We don´t have to go far, not tonight but we should get going now."
"Come on...got the car right here, in you go!"
"Spike? What´s with the bum rush?" Xander asked as he turned the key.
"Got to get you out of here before fur face gets here!" Spike muttered. "Unless you WANT them to know that you killed your bird!"
"I´ve never had a bird, had a cat once..."
"Your bloody fiancée, you git!"
Xander felt his heart drop to his stomach. "What are you talking about?"
"The fact that YOU are the one that´s been going around the parks making a snack out of the local population! Also figure you are the mugger. Trying to make up the money she spent?" Spike snorted. "No wonder I couldn´t get the scent. You were standing RIGHT THERE!"
"I don´t know what you are talking about, I haven´t killed anyone! And I don´t STEAL!" Xander yelled. "You are WAY off there, buddy! WAY OFF! I would NEVER kill Anya or anyone else!"
"Save it, you little git. I figured it out last night!" Spike was thrown forward as the car lurched to a stop.
"Figured out what exactly?" Xander rubbed at his temples. "I don´t know what you are talking about! I don´t remember anything about the night Anya was killed!"
"Not what you said last night! You said fur and claws!" Spike smirked. "Thought you were going to throw them off the track did you? Didn´t figure on Oz coming back to town did you?"
Xander shook his head, "I don´t remember, I didn´t say I remembered anything! I, I went home last night, I, didn´t feel good after you brought up Anya. I went home!"
"No you didn´t. You sat right there and we discussed the hyena´s and stuff." Spike looked at him incredulously. "I was THERE!"
Xander shook his head. "No, I went home, I don´t know what you are talking about!"
Xander pulled against the sudden pressure on his arm. "LET GO!"
"Not until you tell me what your game is!" Spike´s eyes glowed yellow as fangs descended.
Xander suddenly stopped struggling and smiled. "No game Spike. But you will let go."
"Don´t count on it..."
Spike grunted at he felt the glass break against his head. He shook himself as he looked up at bared fangs in front of him. "Is this what you wanted to know?" Xander growled.
"Already figured that out, mate!" Spike smirked.
A soft rumbling filled the car as Xander sneered at Spike. "What do you want?"
"Nothing. Just thought I´d lend you a hand. Healthy young vamp such as yourself should be allowed to have some good, dirty fun! Should have been more careful though!" Spike waved a finger at him. "Where´s your sire? Got himself staked?"
"Don´t have a sire, don´t need one!" Xander mocked.
"Don´t need one huh?" Spike grinned. "Oh now, who´s a cocky boy?"
"Got to say you have knackers boy, talk about a wolf in sheep´s clothing!" Spike laughed. "I am a little surprised I didn´t pick up on it sooner though, how long have you been vamped?"
"Longer than you know." Xander smirked.
"Got to get you out of here though, wouldn´t do to ruin your spot of fun with a stake through the heart." Spike brushed the glass off of his coat. "What say we get out of here?"
"Sounds good to me." Xander threw the car into gear and peeled away from the curb. "Sounds good to me!"
Inside, a low chuckle rumbled. I think we should keep him.
Of course you think so! Wouldn´t be so bad though. Might be fun.
The growl that answered them was merely an annoyance.
Oh shut up, you don´t want anyone! Two hours is a commitment to you!
How is the Other?
Hid, well hid. Confused. Things are changing. It might be time to withdraw him. He is no longer needed.
I´m fond of him.
As am I. But he was created for one purpose, to protect us from...
I still don´t want him to go.
You all exist by my will. You all exist as protection. You are an extension of me. And if necessary, I will reabsorb you all.
"Oz are you sure?" Willow asked, so pale she seemed to glow. "I mean... that can´t be right!"
Oz nodded sadly. "´Fraid so."
Giles gaped. "I–I–don´t know what to say! I mean, Xander?"
"Could he be possessed again?" Tara asked. "Like you were talking about before?"
"YES! That has to be it! I mean, Xander! He, he, wouldn´t DO this! He isn´t like that! He´s so normal and everything. I mean... he isn´t crazy!" Willow babbled. "I´ve known him for so long and he isn´t violent!"
"Be that as it may we must find him and stop him before he harms anyone else. Then we can help bring him back to normal!" Giles said. "Now, Spike wanted Xander to rest, get away from it all...does anyone have any ideas as to where that could be?"
They all looked at one another before shrugging.
Giles sighed. "I was afraid of that."
Tara rubbed her arms. "You don´t think Spike could be in danger do you?"
Willow shook her head. "Nah, he´s...Spike!"
"Xander is human, Spike...chip." Tara said.
Willow gasped. "I didn´t think about that."
"Perhaps a scrying spell is in order?" Giles grabbed a jar off of the shelf. He flinched as he heard a crash behind him. He turned just in time to see papers flying to the floor as Willow pushed things off the table. "Willow?"
"I´ll clean it later! AFTER we save Spike and Xander!"
Xander smiled as he threw his duffle bag on the small couch as Spike turned on a lamp on the table. "Nice. How long have you had the place?"
He glanced at the blacked out windows of the small cabin and nodded. The entertainment center belied the rustic appearance of the small hide–away. He gently fingered the CD selection noting the various titles. Spike opened the refrigerator under the bar and took out a small container of blood.
Spike shrugged. "Had it when I first came to Sunnyhell."
"Why do you live in a crypt then?"
"A man has to keep his reputation! Besides, if you lot knew I had means..." Spike shrugged. He broke out in a grin. "What do you think?"
"I think its great! Nice, cozy...secluded." Xander´s voice purred as he pulled Spike to him.
Spike´s chest reverberated in response to the sound coming from Xander. The light in his eyes contradicting his words, "I don´t remember saying I was a part of the deal, pet?"
"I don´t remember asking." Xander said as he pushed at Spike´s coat then pulling it off in one quick movement.
"Aggressive little thing, aren´t you?" Spike wrapped his arm around Xander´s waist.
"Nothing little about me." Xander growled as fangs descended. He snapped them once before he attacked Spike´s throat licking and nipping his way across the collarbone, tasting the flesh and finding it good.
Spike gasped as he felt the tip of one sharp fang slice through the soft skin. Xander flicked his tongue over the small cut tasting the rich blood. "Getting a bit ahead of yourself!" Spike tried to pull away only to find himself firmly held.
"I don´t think so!" Xander´s eyes glowed in the half–light of the single lamp. He growled low in his throat as he slowly moved them both across the room. "Does this place have a bed?" Xander hissed.
Spike began to struggle against the grip on him. "Let me go, wanker!"
"I don´t think so." Xander murmured bracing one arm around Spike´s waist and grabbing the back of Spike´s head. He caught the mouth with his own, prying it open with an insistent tongue. Xander felt Spike´s fangs descend and cut through, piercing his tongue. He smiled against Spike´s mouth and chuckled just before biting Spike´s lip. He kissed Spike again deeply, smearing their blood between them. Slowly Spike relaxed in Xander´s grip.
Xander pulled back, stroking the blond hair of the other man as he purred softly. "Let go, you have nothing to worry about. No one to judge you. It is only you and me, us, and we have all agree to you."
Spike blinked slowly. "Us? Who exactly is US?"
Xander pulled him close again and kissed him softly on the temple. "We are...us. We are Xander."
Spike tried to pull back again. "Okay, what is going on?"
Xander licked his lips slowly. "We aren´t sure what we really are. A changeling perhaps. Exchanged for the real Xander at his birth maybe? We are no longer sure."
Spike stopped struggling and stared at Xander before breaking into a smile. "Oh! You´re BARMY! THAT I can handle! Got loads of experience with that!"
Xander pushed him gently to the couch before kneeling in front of him. "We were strange. Even as a small child, a baby actually. It angered and frightened the Harris family. The father was distanced from us and the mother loved us but was still scared. It created a wall between the husband and wife. They sensed something was wrong. We did things that weren´t normal. We would invade their dreams; drain them, almost to the point of death. We didn´t mean to, we couldn´t control it! And then the father would get angry. He knew it was us. He would beat us... tell us to stop. He wanted us to be normal! So we tried. Xander was created to be normal. We became Xander. We hid within him and he protected us all. The father was content and left us alone. But his marriage was already unhappy and he fought constantly with the mother."
Xander slowly rubbed Spike´s legs as he spoke, his voice becoming hypnotic. "We would have completed our lives as Xander Harris, normal, average guy. But then the slayer came to town, and we were dragged back into that which was NOT normal. And Xander, average guy, couldn´t deal with it all the time. The original us became aware again. He created a new version to deal, based on the hyena spirit. It could protect us from that which would hurt us physically. It would come out in fights, mostly. But it was impulsive."
Spike bit his lip lightly. "It killed Anya? That faint animalistic scent?"
"We take on the aspect of whatever personality is in charge." Xander grinned. "She, did not like Anya, considered her weak! And she has never been one for commitment."
"She?" Spike breathed.
"She. When Xander was taken over by the hyena spirit he was taken over by the Alpha. The females lead hyena packs. The only female the hyena personality had ever considered mating with was the slayer, because she was the only female strong enough to consider. Weaker females are, culled."
"So when Anya struck Xander..." Xander continued.
"The hyena in you decided it was time for the bint to die." Spike nodded.
Xander laughed. "Now you get it!"
"The next to be born was me. Being around all you vamps all the time...it was only natural that eventually I would take on certain...traits. I dealt with the less than pleasant thoughts. The evil, naughty thoughts." Xander grasped Spike´s leg hard bruising them.
"Truth is the original, that allows us to be, is a bit of a vampire. We have looked around, we think we are Incubi." Xander rubbed the denim under his fingers. "We feed off sexual energy. We discovered it years ago, we made Willow want us, and we invaded her dreams, took her energy and in the end almost ruined her relationship with Oz, doomed as it already was."
"Well, yeah wondered about the whole, Oz and you thing...considering she is gay." Spike placed a hand over Xander´s. "So? You say all of you want me?"
Xander nodded. "Yeah, well except the hyena. She is a bit of a love´em and leave´em type. But don´t worry, the rest of us want to keep you."
Spike swallowed. "Keep me?"
Xander nodded again and smiled. "Keep you, love you, and adore you. Make you scream!"
Xander wrapped his arms around Spike´s waist, pressing his head against his chest. "Hunt with you, bring you pain, bring you pleasure, bring you victims, kill for you, and then bathe in their blood! Then lick it off of you slowly until you cum..."
Spike moaned as Xander teased him through his shirt. Teasing the taunt nipple with sharp teeth.
"Oh you do know how to sweet talk, don´t you, pet?" Spike panted.
"I know how to do lots of things!" Xander sniggered. "And we want to show you...ALL!"
"I have a feeling being with you is going be like being with a harem!" Spike laughed.
"Well it certainly won´t be dull." Xander pushed Spike backward onto the couch.
"You´re a wicked thing, aren´t you?" Spike pulled off his shirt. "Just do me a favor, luv? No talking to the stars!"
"No problem, I just talk to my selves."
The candles flickered in the near silence. Willow held the string tightly between her fingers, suspending an oval mirror over the water. The soft cadence of the foreign tongue she spoke was a comfort to those sitting beside her. Slowly she dipped the mirror into the water. As she removed the mirror quickly it began to glow. Holding the mirror over the map she looked deeply into the reflection as the glow began to disappear. Finally only one tiny area glowed within the depths of the mirror. Willow compared the mirror version to the real version and picked out the area with her finger. "There, they are there!"
Giles marked the map. "Its in the woods. We will have some difficulty finding it."
Willow grabbed the map and pulled Tara after her. "We have to hurry. Spike could be in danger, and Xander needs help."
Oz pulled on his jacket. "Maybe I can pick up their trail."
Xander held Spike´s wrists in one hand as he reached down to grab the stiff erection, pumping it slowly as Xander scraped his fangs across Spike´s neck. "Make you mine!"
Spike squirmed under Xander thrusting into the cruel hand that promised so much but just wasn´t enough. "Please!" Spike gasped.
"Please what?" Xander asked licking the crimson beads of blood that fell like tears from the tiny cuts.
"Please..." Spike pushed himself against Xander´s naked body.
Xander released his wrists and the weeping cock and grabbed Spike to his chest, lifting him off the bed and into his lap. Reaching up he wrapped his fingers into Spike´s hair and pulled his head back even as the other hand found its way around Spike´s waist. Sparks appeared behind Spike´s eyes as Xander buried sharp fangs into the tender flesh of his throat, drinking deeply. Warmth spread throughout his body, shocks of pleasure flooding him as shivers wracked his frame. His eyes felt weighted, heavy, and began to close as he felt the room begin to spin, only for them to fly open as he felt the sharp sting of scratches down his back.
Xander pulled back and grinned, red staining his lips, turning them glossy before capturing Spike´s in a bruising kiss. Feverishly he explored the mouth under his, mapping out every part, stroking the other´s fangs before cutting his own tongue purposely. Sharing blood between them. Xander´s own hardness rubbed against the bare skin of Spike, straining for more.
Breathing hard Xander forced himself to back away from Spike for a moment. Swallowing hard, he pushed the blond vampire´s shoulders onto the bed before lowering himself down to Spike´s solid member. Capturing some of the saltiness upon his tongue, he swirled it around the purple head. His tongue teased the slit, dipping in and out, flicking the crown with quick licks as one hand cupped the heavy balls. The other teasing the opening to Spike´s body, the room that had been spinning for Spike began to tilt. Spike reached out and grabbed Xander´s shoulders.
Xander lifted and turned his head kissing one of the hands on his shoulders. Spike blinked bleary eyes at Xander. "What is happening?"
Xander smiled, "No worries, babe. Told you, I don´t feed like a normal vamp. Just lay back and relax!"
Dropping his head again, he swallowed the straining flesh in one smooth move as Spike cried out.
Hands rubbed and kneaded the muscular shoulders, as Spike unconsciously began to purr. Xander chuckled as he felt and listened. Spike began to buck under him, thrusting into Xander´s mouth. Xander grabbed the pale hips tightly into his hands leaving blossoming bruises on the flesh, sending Spike over the edge. Xander pulled away and watched the spurts with a smile. "That´s a good boy, Spike!"
Spike panted hard. "Can´t breathe!"
Xander shook his head. "You don´t have to. You´re body is trying to trick you. It remembers the feeling... that is all. Ignore it. It can´t hurt you!"
Xander crawled up Spike´s body and nuzzled the long neck. "Babe, you are the best of all worlds. I can feed from you all I want and I won´t kill you! I can keep you!"
Spike fought to bring his body back under control. "You´re the Incubus, aren´t you?"
"First and foremost! I give the others their power. I can be whatever I want to be, I let them be what they are!" Xander brought Spike into a deep kiss ending all of Spike´s struggles.
Xander reached down and smeared the slick cum with his fingertips before reaching further down to the puckered hole. "Just relax. Remember, you don´t have to breathe, you aren´t being choked!"
"It should be right HERE!" Willow yelled.
Beams of light cut the darkness as they waved their flashlights around. Birds took flight as the light fell on them. Small animals ran for cover.
Oz made a noncommittal grunt as he leaned against a fallen tree.
"Apparently, we seem to be lost." Giles said lightly taking the map from Willow´s fingers. He turned the map around and looked at it with his flashlight. He consulted the sky several times as well as looking at the trail signs.
Tara rubbed at her arms briskly. "Willow? Did you remember to take in to account the mirror´s reflection?"
Willow spun around and stared at Tara before grabbing her head. "ARRRRGHHHHHH!"
Giles looked over his glasses. "I´ll take that as a decided...No..."
Willow ripped the map from Giles hands and folded it over. She then took a safety pin from her clothes and poked the map through the old mark. Opening it once more she compared. "There, we need to go there!"
Oz glanced at the map and moved his light. "There is the trail we need to take."
"I just hope they are all right!" Willow muttered as she jogged to the trail, followed by the others.
Spike collapsed onto the bed, asleep before he even hit the pillow. Xander gave him a quick peck on the forehead. "Aw, wore out my little vampire. That will NEVER do, I need to keep you healthy and strong! I´ll go get you...breakfast!"
Spike muttered something in his sleep. Xander smiled and kissed his head again. "Oh, you are the cutest evil vampire I´ve ever MET! A true nummy treat!"
Xander found his clothes quickly pulling them on as he walked to the door. "Stay right there! I´ll serve you breakfast in bed! Now, I KNOW I saw someone camping nearby...!"
Tara sat down on a tree stump rubbing her ankle. "Willow, maybe if you calmed down, and thought about it, you could focus better!"
Oz prowled around the edge of the clearing quietly. "There was someone here recently. I don´t know who, but Xander was here at some point. But I can´t be sure if he was just crossing the path or if he was here with someone..."
Giles studied the map carefully. "I think if we just follow this ravine here...we will...wait, you say Xander was here?"
Willow bounced up from where she had been leaning against a tree. "Could you follow it?"
"I think so, we could try. I don´t think we could get MORE lost than we already are." Oz said, beginning to move.
"Wait, I´m so tired, Can´t we please wait her for a second?" Tara pleaded.
"Indeed, we are all tired. We´ll just wait, a moment." Giles said sitting down.
"I´m quite positive we´ve seen this tree before." Giles said.
"No, we haven´t!" said Willow.
"No, I´m quite sure, we´ve seen this tree before." Giles knocked on the tree. "Yes, quite sure!"
"NO! We HAVEN´T!" Willow yelled.
Giles opened his mouth and Tara touched his arm, she shook her head quietly.
Oz and Tara shared a look between them and sighed. "Perhaps we should try that direction?" Oz said pointing to his left.
"No! We need to go right! The map says to go RIGHT! WE ARE GOING RIGHT!"
"What´s this?" Spike blinked as he opened his eyes. He was weary to the bone but the feeling was pleasant. He felt content and a little curious as he eyed the struggling man tied with a rope that Xander was dragging into the room.
"Breakfast in bed!" Xander said throwing the bound man across the bed as Spike quickly moved his legs. "He was camping nearby, you need your strength for tonight."
"Tonight?" Spike asked casually watching the stranger struggle on the bed. The man grunted and groaned as he fought to get away, scratches covered his face and his clothes were ripped in many places.
"We have to leave. We can´t stay. The others know, they are near here, so we all need to leave. We want you to come with us Spike." Xander said leaning down and kissing him softly. "Please?"
Xander took Spike´s hand in his own, stroking it with his fingers. "Be with us?"
The tied human attempted to roll off the bed; Xander grabbed him before punching him hard enough to snap his head back. The man slumped forward unconscious.
Xander took Spike´s hand again and held it to his face. "Let me take care of you?"
Kissing the hand, Xander stood up. He pulled ´breakfast´ up onto the bed and tilted the man´s head back. "It won´t hurt, if he´s already dead!" Xander twisted the man´s head until it snapped. Spike grinned as he held his arms out for his present.
Giles sat down with a huff as they stopped. "I think we are walking in circles!"
"That is IMPOSSIBLE!" Willow said. "We can´t be!"
"We are!" Tara said pulling Willow close. "We are, baby! I don´t know how, but we´ve been walking in circles all night!"
Oz nodded as he sat down. "I smell Xander´s scent, but it is like, all over and I can´t figure out the trail!"
Willow collapsed to the ground, tears in her eyes. "I don´t understand!"
Giles stood up and pulled her by the hand. "We´ll just keep trying!"
Xander arranged the man neatly on the bed as Spike watched nearby. Spike lit a cigarette and smoked it as Xander looked back at him and asked. "Ready?"
"Yeah, I´ll miss this place." Spike sighed looking around him.
"Do you have everything you want?" Xander asked picking up the jugs of gasoline.
"Yeah, all in the car. Ready to go! Where to first, luv?" Spike asked smiling.
"Oh, how about you pick!" Xander grinned spilling the gasoline all over the room.
"I know this perfect little place in England that all of you would simply LOVE!" Spike said walking out of the room.
"Wait out in the car! I´ll be right there!" Xander called out.
In seconds a small explosion rocked the house and Spike could hear the roar of flames. Xander ran to the car and climbed in. "Now, that was a rush!"
Spike wrapped an arm around Xander´s shoulders as he turned the steering wheel with the other. "Where did those friends of yours go? I thought you said they were nearby?"
Xander smiled. "They were...I never said they were awake."
Willow sat up slowly; blinking the sleep from her eyes she heard the crackle of flames. "Xander?"
The others sat up and followed as Willow ran ahead. "XANDER!"
Oz and Tara held her back as the small cabin fiercely burned, black smoke rolled into the cold night sky. "NO! If he´s in there it is too late!"
Tara held Willow tightly in her arms as Giles swallowed hard. "I don´t understand..."
"I just don´t understand." Giles said again.
Oz shook his head slowly. "I don´t think we are meant to."
The roar of flames covered Willow´s crying as rain began to fall quietly.
And on a quiet highway two beings laughed as they sped onto their new lives.
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