Xander considered the carving, feeling the hard wood of the gnarled root with his thumb as he tried to plan where to carve the swirls of the dress. Spike's hand reached down and played with a curl, and Xander had to smile. Yep, big, bad master of the hellmouth, and he'd spent two days on the phone to Thailand tracking down a source of old-growth teak. Xander decided where to carve and turned the piece before choosing a chisel. The teak was hard and unforgiving and took forever to shape under his hand, but it wasn't like he had a lot of other time commitments.
"My lord," a minion cringed forward. "Drokken have attacked at the wharf; they killed Carlos and David."
"Who?" Spike continued his steady petting, and didn't even bother looking up from the magazine he was flipping through.
"Two of your minions, my lord. The Drokken killed them. They're feeding."
"Oi, no one feeds 'round here without my say-so, do they?"
Xander glanced up at the fierce tone in Spike's voice, and the various minions and floppy-eared attendants shrank back, all offering some variation on 'not a chance in hell.'
"Someone find out if we have weapons from Pylea or Rukstabar." At Spike's words, a small red-haired minion dashed out of the room, nearly colliding with Dalton who was just coming in.
"Lord Spike," she said respectfully, but where other vampires would come into the room cringing and bowing and occasionally still turning to dust for not being respectful enough, Dalton merely lowered her gaze and tilted her head toward her sire.
"Looks like you and I are going to have a little fun tomorrow," Spike said as he threw the magazine down to the floor.
"Fucking Drokken think they can hunt in my territory. I figure we're going to teach them a little different. Do we still have any of those Hellions I was keepin' around to torture?"
"No, sire. You killed the last of them a few days ago."
"Bloody hell. I was plannin' on letting one earn his freedom just so it'd get out about me taking out the whole gang."
"Willie has told many people the story," Dalton said, and Spike nodded at that. "I do not wish to interrupt, but Master Angel from L.A. wishes to speak with you, my lord."
Xander damn near sent the chisel into his thumb at that bit of news. Angel. Oh yeah, this was so not good. Spike had been sprawled over the recliner that passed as his throne, but now he sat up.
"Peaches is here?" he asked casually, but his hand on Xander's head stilled.
"Well, show him in, and find a seat for him." Most of the remaining minions scattered from the room. "Just not too comfortable," Spike shouted after them.
Xander carefully put his chisel down, and let his fingers rub the raw edge of the new cuts as he watched Angel walk in. By keeping his head down, he could hide behind a curtain of hair and watch the way he often watched the court while pretending to plan one of his carvings. Angel glanced his way before his gaze settled on Spike.
"William," he said slowly, his tone nowhere near respectful. The minion who had appeared in the doorway with a hard kitchen-style chair stopped, his eyes wide.
"Go on then, he can't sit in the chair if you stand there holding it, wanker," Spike growled. The minion quickly came in and put the chair down. Then he turned and just about ran for the door, but he didn't run faster than the edge of Dalton's sword, which neatly took off his head at the doorway, leaving dust to settle to the ground.
"Ta," Spike smiled at Dalton. She put her sword away and took her place standing next to the door. Last time Dalton and Angel had been in the same room, Dalton had cowered away from the broody one, but now she stood impassively, watching him until Angel finally sat in the chair. Xander suspected his own pillows on the ground were a whole lot more comfortable than the straight backed, wooden chair, but then Spike liked him more than Angel.
"Right, what brings you 'round here? L.A. run out of hair-gel?" Spike leaned back and threw a leg over the arm of his chair again. Putting the expensive Bangkok wood behind the chair where the carving wouldn't get ruined in case the two vampires decided to beat the shit out of each other, Xander leaned against his master's chair and just silently watched.
"You took over the hellmouth," Angel eventually answered.
"You came all the way down here to point that out, did you?"
"No, I came to ask what the hell you think you're doing."
"Acting like a real vamp, not some souled up excuse for one."
"By taking over a hellmouth?"
"Oi, look Peaches, you're here as a guest. If you're plannin' on challenging me, then let's get on with it. Otherwise, you're bein' more than a little impolite."
Angel sighed. "I don't want to fight you, Spike."
"Right then, there's nothing more to discuss."
"Yes, there is," Angel growled as he leaned forward.
"Pet, gettin' bored here, so go on, do your thing," Spike ordered with a tug on a curl.
Xander blinked up in surprise. Do his thing? His thing? In front of Angel? Oh yeah, that wasn't going to be awkward, not at all. For a blank second, Xander stared up, his whole brain on strike at the passing thought of doing his thing for Angel. Nope, badness lay that way, badness where Angel intentionally let Angelus come creeping forward, and Angelus and his thing were definitely not thinging together.
"Pet," Spike rumbled, and that tone sent Xander scrambling up before the last of his brain cells could leave the picket line.
"Xander, you don’t have to…" Angel started to say.
"He bloody well does. He's my pet, isn't he?" Spike immediately cut him off.
"He's a human being."
"Exactly. In case you've forgotten, wanker, humans rate somewhere below vamps in court."
"Don't think I won't stake you," Angel warned darkly. Xander moved fast to stop the coming fight the only way he knew how. Pulling the t-shirt off as fast as he could, he tossed it to the side and faced his master. Imagining some slow song with lots of long trumpet notes, he started undulating his hips, arching his back as he brought his hand up to play with the gold ring threaded through one nipple.
Xander ignored Angel's voice as he allowed his eyes to slowly close, the heat from his nipple sending threads of need and want and hunger through him, erasing all his other feelings. Tugging harder on the ring, Xander hissed with pleasure and pain as he arched his back and started rocking from side to side.
The low sound of a slow piano made him pause for a second, but when he turned, Dalton was standing near the radio and a horn now joined the piano. Letting himself sink into the slow beat, Xander rolled his hips and let his fingers skim over his stomach down to the waist of his sweatpants.
"Xander, I know you don't want to do this," Angel said, but his voice was a long way away, and Xander focused on Spike's yellow eyes as he slipped a thumb under the waistband and slowly, teasingly slid backwards away from the hungry gaze.
"Spike, just call this off. This isn't why I came." Angel's voice had as much effect on Spike as it did on Xander. His yellow eyes didn't even flicker to the older vampire as Xander slowly started easing the pants down. The music shifted into something with a stronger beat, and Xander now moved his feet in time with the soft drums. The pants slid over his cock, the cotton stroking the exposed bits between the leather harness Spike had added that morning.
Throwing his head back, Xander gasped through the sensation, indulging in rubbing the sensitive shaft with the soft cotton several times before he finally pushed the waistband to his thighs. Rather than just shove the pants off, Xander raised his arm and started dancing: slow and sway and rhythm and sex. When Spike leaned forward, Xander danced a retreat, always teasing and promising what he kept just out of reach. If Spike wanted him, he was going to have to come and get him.
Xander flexed his stomach, watching his own cock struggle to harden within the leather straps that contained it. Slowly, he turned so that Spike had a view of his back, still dancing to the soft beat. The piano player skimmed over the keys, the notes going lower and lower, and Xander sank gracefully lower with him, bending and swaying until finally the pants yielded to gravity and slipped to the floor.
With his tail free, Xander stepped out of the pants and started turning, his hips circling and his tail switching from side to side. The curls slid across the back of his legs sending shivers through his body. Xander surrendered to the sensual beat, sliding his hands over his hips, up to touch a nipple, down to brush the hot flesh trapped within the leather, around to his back where stray hairs from his tail tickled the backs of his fingers. Xander brought a hand up to his mouth and let fingers brush over his lips before he swung around to peek at Spike through nearly closed eyes.
The vampire watched with gold eyes, and Xander let his fingers wander to his mark, to the shoulder that had a constellation of scars, each point a tidy proof that a vampire had cared about him enough to feed and stop without killing. He could feel the scar-dots like Braille etched into his skin and Xander trembled with a sudden need to be tackled and taken.
He ducked his head and watched his master as he slowly danced closer, tempting his master with every small step. Xander turned again, arching his neck to the side to show his marks even as he twisted with the music. And yep, that was Angel watching him with yellow eyes. A little part of Xander babbled in fear, but his master had said to do his thing for Angel.
Casting a longing look over his shoulder, Xander slowly danced away from his master. He could see Spike's fingers sunk into the leather of the chair so deeply that they were so going to need a new chair, but Spike just watched. Taking that as permission, Xander focused on Angel, watching the older vampire physically jerk when Xander tugged on his own nipple and hissed. Angel shook his head like an oversized dog trying to dry off, and his demonic features faded, leaving only Angel who now looked both broody and worried.
Xander smiled as he danced closer. "Master says to do my thing for you. Which thing do you think he wants me to do?" Xander whispered, knowing that vamp hearing would catch every syllable. Angel swallowed.
The music shifted to something more upbeat, and Xander danced faster, a light sweat now cooling him as let his physical needs rule his hands. He reached down and stroked his bare balls, trembling as he spread his feet without breaking the rhythm of the dance. His tail twitched up higher, the ends of the curls whipping around his cock, teasing it with just enough sensation to make it struggle against its restraints.
"Xander," Angel strangled the word, and Xander danced closer.
"Yes, Master Angel?" he asked sweetly. One of the wooden arms of the chair cracked under Angel's grip.
"Right then, got some business." Spike's voice broke the mood, and Dalton immediately turned the music off. Xander went to return to his cushions, but Spike held out a hand to stop him where he was, standing in front of Angel. "Angel, I'll let you pet-sit, but if you fuck him, you will beg for death before I'm through."
Angel might have had something to say to that, but by the time he actually opened his mouth, Spike and Dalton were gone. Xander was left standing nude in front of Angel, and the older vamp couldn't do anything except blink. Xander smiled. Funny, he used to be the one who couldn't sort out his thoughts around Angel. The guy would show up, and Xander would suddenly feel like the loser, the Zeppo, the idiot who couldn't even catch Buffy's eye. Shoe was on the other foot now, well, except for the part where Xander didn't wear shoes.
"So, Deadboy, how have you been?" Xander asked. Suddenly, being naked in front of Angel felt pretty darn empowering. Angel's eyes focused on a spot on the wall behind Xander and way above his head.
"Xander, maybe you should get dressed."
Xander shrugged. "I got ordered to undress and I haven't heard any new orders, so I'm fine like this."
"Xander, I'm telling you to get dressed."
"Funny, I'm telling you 'no'," Xander countered. Angel gave a dramatic sigh and his gaze dropped down to Xander's eyes before Angel immediately focused on that spot on the wall again.
"So," Xander asked, "why the roadtrip to Sunnydale? I mean, couldn't you have come when Buffy needed you instead of waiting until now?" Xander knew he was poking a sore spot, but he didn't expect Angel to leap up from the chair in full game-face. The chair slid backwards and then tipped over with a clatter. A single minion stuck his head in and then immediately disappeared.
"And where were you? You picked Spike over your friends," Angel snarled.
"I was with Dawn--Dalton and Spike's minions and I were all with Dawn while Spike fought a hellgod with Buffy." Xander didn't back down, and for a second, he thought Angel was going to grab him or eviscerate him or something. Instead he just backed up with a look of alarm, his demon features vanishing.
"And now Spike has claimed the hellmouth," Angel said quietly. "Convenient."
"Is that what you think?" Xander asked.
"That's what Willow thinks." Angel's answer shocked Xander into silence. He stared at Angel and then glanced toward the door, wondering whether that random minion had been close enough to hear.
"Don't say that," Xander whispered. "Don't even suggest that Willow is undermining Spike."
"Why, don't you trust Spike?"
"Yeah, I trust him to keep this hellmouth safe, which means anyone who opposes him is going to end up hanging from his private torture chamber until Spike feels merciful enough to put them out of their misery," Xander pointed out. "But you know that. You know what it takes to control a territory, which is why you never did. Angelus didn't have the balls to claim something this big."
Angel growled, but Xander refused to back down. Yeah, Angel had the strength and the clothes, and probably the weapons, but Xander had the bitter truth.
"Watch your mouth, boy."
"You aren't my master, so you don't get to tell me what to watch. What are you doing here, Angel? It's too late for you to help anyone, and the hellmouth hasn't been this peaceful since Buffy came, so I'm thinking you have to have some reason for just showing up." Xander turned around and walked the length of the room to his own nest of pillows sitting next to Spike's chair. Dropping down into them, he pulled out his carving and started running his fingers over the cool wood.
"I came to help you, you and Willow and Tara."
"We don't need help."
"Do all of you agree with that?" Angel stepped forward, and Xander looked up from his carving.
"I know it. I think Tara knows it. She knows that Spike is happier beating up on demons than humans. She knows he's feeding at least some of the time on the humans he took from the two suck houses. They're in heaven. They have two master vampires who will feed off them and pet them and leave them chained up in nice big rooms with comfy beds and televisions and fresh food. You're welcome to try and save them, but I doubt they'll go," Xander shrugged.
"And the other vampires, the minions, do they leave their victims alive? The Xander Harris I know would have done anything to stop a vampire from killing a human being."
Xander thought about that for a second. "There are fewer vampires on the hellmouth now than ever before. And the high school and grade school and the Bronze are no-hunt zones, so if the minions want a crowd to pick from, they have to go to the gambling places or whorehouses down by the docks."
"So, if the vampires kill people you don't approve of, you're okay with that?" Angel demanded as he stepped so close that Xander had to look up at him.
"No, I'm not okay with it, but I've done everything in my power to save people, and right now, the hellmouth is safer than it ever was when you were here, so I'm calling that pretty good."
"Xander," Angel sighed the word, making it perfectly clear what he thought of that logic.
"Nope, not listening. You just came here because you-know-who said something stupid to you."
"She's concerned. Buffy's gone, Giles is back in England, and no one is doing anything about Spike."
"Lots of someones have tried to do something about Spike. Demons who, if they had taken over the hellmouth, would have killed lots and lots of people have tried to do something about Spike. They all lost," Xander pointed out. And it was true. Buffy had just slayed, but Spike had to prove a point. Since he wasn't showing everyone the size of his knackers by trying to harness the hellmouth or open it, he was making his point through creative torture of any demon who challenged him. Gross to the extreme, but from a demon point of view, it made perfect sense, and sometimes Xander worried that the demon point of view really did make a lot more sense to him these days than Willow.
"So, you're going to help a demon rule the hellmouth?" Angel's voice was flat.
"Who would you nominate? Willow?" Xander looked up, waiting for an answer.
Angel nodded. "If she could develop enough control over her magic to defend the hellmouth, she would be a good choice."
Xander snorted. "You've been gone too long, Deadboy."
"And you've lost all perspective," Angel snapped.
"Did you ask her what she tried to do to Buffy?" Xander pushed himself up and stepped into Angel's personal space, his anger threatening to boil over. "Did she tell you how Spike stopped her in the middle of a ceremony to bring Buffy back? She slaughtered a fawn, and let me tell you, the Willow I know would not have killed Bambi. But this Willow, she was big with the slaughter."
"She thinks she can bring Buffy back?" Angel's voice was small, and the spark of hope in his eyes almost made Xander ill.
"Damn it," he poked his finger in Angel's chest. "You are a moron. You're no better than Willow. Did you even think about where Buffy is now?"
"Did I… what?"
"Spike hired some shaman guy. Buffy's in heaven. She's up there finally at peace, and Willow wants to drag her back down here just because she doesn't want things to change, and now you're on that bandwagon. Hey, who cares if we rip Buffy out of her eternal reward, let's just drag her back down here so we don't have to move on with life."
"Xander," Angel held his hands up defensively, and Xander poked him harder in the chest with a closed fist.
"Fuck you, Angel. You walked away. Giles walked away. Hell, before..." Xander choked for a second before continuing in a voice slightly above a whisper. "Buffy and Willow had already walked away from more than one thing. Life's change, and everyone was all ready to move on and now, now that you guys don't have things the way you want them, now you want to undo time. It doesn't work like that." Xander followed Angel who had retreated a step and took another poke at his chest. "You want to come here and tell us what we can't do, but you aren't going to be around when things fall apart. You fucking walked, and now you don't get to come in here and tell us what to do."
"I'm trying to help," Angel said as he backed off another step. Xander followed and made this poke a little harder than the others.
"You're trying to do something to get over the guilt of walking away from her, of failing her. Spike stood next to her when she died and you were off somewhere playing detective, and now you want to come in here and…"
"You don't know anything, boy," Angel interrupted.
"Oh is this where you go Angelusy? Are you going to make me agree with you or break a bone or two?"
"Why does everyone think I've lost my soul every time I get angry?" Angel rolled his eyes. "No, I'm not going to let Angelus out, but you're playing with fire here. It's one thing to do this with Spike, but you're the pet in a court now. Do you have any idea what that means?"
"Yep," Xander said with confidence.
"Stuff a sock in it Angel. Look, I'll give you the Cliff's Notes version: Spike is keeping this place pretty darn safe, Willow's freaking me out more than Spike ever will, Buffy is dead and she deserves to stay dead, and I'm not going anywhere."
"And what if Spike gets dusted? Have you considered that he is not invincible?" Angel demanded.
"Things happen all the time. I could get hit by lightening, but I don't plan on it and I'm not worrying about it. Spike's tougher than one hellmouth. And if something did happen, I do understand a court. Dalton could take me for a pet, hand me over to the minions, or add me to the stable of humans from the suck house. Okay, the minions option is on my list of things to avoid, but options A and C are still better than where I was before I met Spike. So really, feel free to take your over-gelled, stick-up-your-ass self and leave." Xander gave Angel one more solid thump on the chest for good measure.
For several minutes, Angel looked at him, dark eyes searching for something. "Tell Spike I had to get back to L.A."
Angel turned and in a swirl of trench coat, he was out the door. Xander could feel his heart still pounding, adrenaline and anger made his fists curl even though there wasn't anyone left to hit.
"Bloody hell, now that was the sexiest dance you've ever done for me," a familiar voice came from the shadows of a door hidden within a recess on the far side of the room.
"Master? But I thought you had business?" Xander looked over in confusion.
"Did. I wanted to see my ponce of a sire get his arse handed to him by my pet. Ya did perfect. Punching him was a mite unexpected, but I appreciated it," Spike stepped forward, a smirk in place as he held out his hand in a familiar gesture. Xander moved to his side, leaning into Spike as a strong arm slipped around his waist. "Don't rightly want to kill Peaches, but he needed to know the score here."
"Wait, Willow," Xander could feel panic crawling up his stomach.
"Calm down, pet. I've always known the witch was schemin' behind my back. We can't be a proper court without some politics behind the scenes. You'll just have to distract me from my righteous anger." Spike walked them both back to the chair with the nest of pillows next to it.
"Distract you? Are you really that distractible?"
"No, I'm really not, so you're going to have to work hard if you want to keep me too busy to worry about the witch and her plots."
"Spike," Xander said seriously as he let Spike pull him down on his lap.
"No, pet." Spike's fingers rested on Xander's lips. "Don't you go getting all serious on me because that's no way to distract your master."
Xander ducked his head and paused for a second, letting go of the anger and the fear and accepting that Spike would do what he had to. But by pleasing Spike, Xander could certainly tilt the scales. Xander slowly smiled and looked up at Spike through his lashes. Spike's hand moved to rest on Xander's thighs.
"Master is too tense," Xander murmured as he opened one button on the dark blue shirt. Leaning down, he kissed the new skin that appeared. Slowly, he unbuttoned and kissed every inch, and the whole time, Spike grew harder while keeping his hands steady on Xander's thighs.
"Thought you were going to distract me," Spike challenged him, but his voice came out breathy and his eyes were yellow. Xander pushed the silk away from the smooth skin and bent down to take a nipple in his mouth. He sucked, feeling Spike's body tense under him. After several seconds, Xander nipped the pebbled flesh nearly hard enough to break skin. Spike bucked and cursed.
Smiling at his victory, Xander moved to the other nipple while his fingers worked on Spike's jeans. When he finally got them open, Spike's cock pushed eagerly out of them. Xander repeated the bite to Spike's left nipple before trailing kisses down over his stomach.
One more bite over Spike's hip, and Xander was on his knees in front of Spike's chair on level with his cock. Xander licked a trail up the underside and then breathed softly on it as he smelled the musk that was such a familiar scent.
"Bloody hell, get on with it," Spike said, his fingers dug deeply into the chair. Xander ignored him as he repeated the gentle move on first one ball and then the other. The slow torture would break Spike far faster than anything else. Xander took just the head of the twitching cock in his mouth and used his tongue to explore every fold and crease of the foreskin. He could feel it tighten in his mouth, and he hummed his appreciation.
Xander had planned to sink onto Spike's cock after that, to press his nose to the tightly curled hair between Spike's legs. Instead he found himself sprawled stomach down on his pillows, Spike's body covering his and pinning him to the ground as he pulled out the plug Xander always wore.
Without any further prep, Spike slammed in, making Xander arch his back and struggle up to his knees. Spike pulled out, and this time when he slammed forward, Xander pushed back, his eyes nearly rolling back in his head at the feeling of being filled and the tightness around his cock. Xander started humping the air, his half-filled cock dangling uselessly as he moved in time with Spike.
Spike's fingers dug bruises into Xander's hips, controlling the movement until Spike drove in and started coming. Heat seared Xander's shoulder as Spike fed again, and the sensations from the two ends sent Xander crashing helplessly into his mountain of pillows. Spike held him down and Xander twitched, his hands fisting pillows. Spike pulled his fangs out and licked the small wounds closed.
"I think that might distract me," Spike muttered as he remained laying on Xander's back.
"I'm distracted," Xander agreed. Spike laughed and gave Xander's hip a slap as he pulled out. The emptiness made Xander wiggle and the plug was back, not filling him, but at least he didn't feel hollow.
"I might even be distracted enough to let someone come tonight," Spike said casually.
"Master," Xander breathed hopefully, "I did punch Angel."
"Several times, as I recall," Spike agreed. "Get your arse into the bedroom, and let's see what we can do about that problem you've had for the last week."
Xander didn't even wait for Spike to get up. He scrambled out of the nest of pillows which were now scattered across the floor and nearly tripped over his teak carving as he darted for the bedroom he shared with Spike. Behind him, Spike laughed as he followed.
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