Yellow Brick Road

Xander sat in the back of the dimly lit bar, watching the singer on stage as he played his guitar and crooned. So this was Angel's graduation test. The guy would have a career in music if he ever gave up his gig serving as one of the minions of evil.

"Can I get you anything, Sweetcheeks?" a green demon asked.

"Lemonade?" Xander asked. That seemed to amuse the guy who just chuckled and shook his head before heading back for the bar. Tonight was business, and Xander knew better than to have something to drink before business. Spike would string him up against the wall and take the whip to him in a not-so-nice way. Xander much preferred the nice sorts of torture over the punishments. The singer glanced over, and Xander gave him a bright smile. The guy dropped a note and then went back to his chord.

"Someone is getting some attention," the demon returned with Xander's lemonade and leaned against the wall so he sort of hovered over Xander. "Lindsey always did fall for the ones with soulful, brown eyes," he announced with a wink that shocked Xander. He wasn't used to guys flirting with him, not without having Spike cut them into little tiny pieces afterwards.

"Lindsey McDonald," Xander echoed. The green guy's... well, they weren't actually eyebrows... more like his eye ridge where the brow was missing... they went up. "And you would be Lorne."

Lorne tilted his head to the side. "I think I'd remember if Lindsey had brought a sweetpea like you in here before. Trust me, I'm not so old that I don't notice cute and young.

Xander laughed. "Maybe not so young and I'm not sure cute is really the right word." Xander tilted his head and the collar of his shirt shifted to show off his constellation of tiny pinprick teethmarks. "And if Lindsey had every tried to bring me anywhere as his sweetpea, Master Spike would have pulled all his guts out and strung them over the nearest light post, and if Lindsey was really lucky, he would have been dead before Spike did it."

"Ah, you're Master Spike's Xander from the Hellmouth." Lorne sat down. Funny, most people ran screaming the other way when they figured out who Xander was. "I have a regular celebrity in Caritas. So, what can I do for you today, darling?"

"Just watching the show." Xander took a drink of lemonade. The scar and the name was supposed to scare Lorne away, not invite him to take a seat, but then again, Xander had long ago given up hope that demons would ever approach anything close to actually logical logic. They sort of did their own thing, and you went along for the ride and hoped you didn't fall off.

"Is Master Spike interested in Lindsey?" There was a guarded interest in Lorne's voice now as he looked from Xander up to the stage where Lindsey was singing quietly about love and loss.

Yep, the big broodster was clearly an idiot because he had not mentioned Lindsey being friends with the bar owner, but unless Xander was misreading all the signals, they were. Great. If he got one scratch during some bar fight, Spike was going to put Angel back in chains and take the skin off his back with a bullwhip. Xander took another sip of lemonade. Actually, that might be worth it. That really might be worth it. Since submitting to Spike, Xander had become a lot more honest about himself and his own needs, and he definitely needed to see Angel beat up on a little more. The man had the interpersonal skills of a ferret, and any time someone tried to teach him to have better manners, he just did his equivalent of biting someone's finger and then peeing on the floor. He'd refused to go to the Master's lair for Buffy. He hadn't come back to Sunnydale when a hellgod was threatening to open a dimensional door, and he kicked his guys totally out when they tried to point out that he was a flat headed moron who had the moral compass of something really, really rusty and old. Yep, he had Angel-issues, and he was proud of it.

"Lindsey is a good man," Lorne continued when Xander didn't answer. "He has a lot of potential, and he has fears in there the sometimes make the boy a little on the unreliable side, but when he sings..." Lorne's eyes glazed over like a man in the middle of a really good orgasm.

"No offense, but you need to get out more if you get that excited about singing," Xander said, the words slipping out before he could stop and do a demon-safe check on them to avoid offending anyone. He really did have better manners when Spike was sitting next to him holding his leash.

Lorne just laughed and took a drink of something pink and strong enough that Xander could smell the alcohol in it. "Some days, I think I do," he agreed. He looked toward the stage where Lindsey was just finishing up. "Will you pass on a message for me?"

"To Master Spike?" Xander asked. Dumb question, but then Xander really wasn't used to demons talking to him at all.

Lorne just nodded. "Tell Master Spike that Lindsey has great potential. I'm well-known for my clairvoyant skills, and Lindsey..." Lorne looked up at the stage as Lindsey finished. The last note lingered, too sad to really encourage applause even if he was a great singer. "He's something special." Lorne stood up and put out a hand and rested it on Xander's shoulder, something that shocked Xander so much he temporarily lost the ability to even figure out what he should be because demons did not go touching him without permission. They just didn't. Lorne, however, left his hand there for a second. "He deserves more than to have someone use him and then throw him away, even if his soul is a little tattered around the edges." With that, Lorne raised his glass toward the stage and patted Xander's shoulder.

"Lindsey, you are as superb as ever. You simply must come here more often," he announced loudly over the crowd. Xander could see every demons' eye turn toward them. In the corner, Riley had gotten up from his seat and he looked about ready to call in the cavalry. At least Riley was backup and not Wesley; Wesley definitely would have called in the cavalry and the air force and one or two navel units by now. That man seriously needed to chill. Riley was just slowly making his way closer while still trying to look uninterested in the drama.

On stage, Lindsey smiled as the audience finally applauded. Lorne gestured toward Lindsey, calling him over to the table. Well, that solved Xander's first problem—how to make contact with Lindsey. The man gave the crowd a shy smile and a quick wave of his hand before he jumped off stage and made his way toward their table. He was cute. Cute and clearly evil if he was working for Wolfram and Hart. But then, Xander could blame that on Angel, too. Lindsey had come to Angel for help, and Angel had tried to save some kids but hadn't even bothered to try and keep Lindsey out of harm's way. It was like helping an alcoholic get sober and then dropping him off in front of a bar with twenty dollars and telling him to be good. Angel was an idiot.

"Hey." Lindsey gave him a little head nod that reminded Xander more of Oz than some evil corporate lawyer.

"Hey," Xander answered. This was way more awkward than he'd expected when he'd argued for the right to give this a try.

"Lindsey, this is Xander. Xander is very well connected with the Master of the Hellmouth up in Sunnydale. Xander, this is Lindsey McDonald, singer of songs that call to lost souls." Lorne gave Lindsey a special smile, and Xander wondered for a second just how far this friendship went.

"Xander, huh. Nice name." Lindsey turned a chair around and straddled it, leaning his guitar's neck against the table. "Could I get a beer?" he asked Lorne.

"Sure thing. One beer, coming up. On the house." Lorne let his hand rest on Lindsey's shoulder and he looked over at Xander with something like sadness. Yep, whatever these two had going on, it was killing Lorne to not tell Lindsey to run for the hills... or run for the evil lawfirm's evil bodyguards anyway. But it was pretty telling that he didn't warn Lindsey. Not even when he probably thought Xander was step one in some diabolical trap.

After a few seconds, just long enough to make Lindsey look up in confusion, Lorne pulled away and headed for the bar.

"So, you work for the Master up in Sunnydale?" Lindsey asked, and he gave a smile that made Xander wonder why evil always had to be so very pretty.

"Work for might be the wrong term," Xander said with a shrug, "but I'm definitely loyal to him. So, what I'm about to tell you, I am not going behind Master Spike's back. Trust me, you are not worth the special kind of guilt and pain that would entail. Lots of pain. Even more guilt." Xander couldn't even imagine going against Spike anymore. Oh, he could argue with Spike lots. Like when Spike suggested that letting Willow die in a collapsing prison dimension was a good idea... he'd done all kinds of arguing that time. But going behind Spike's back was not something he was ever going to try.

Lindsey's cute act vanished, and sharp eyes focused right in on Xander. It was like seeing the guy turn off one personality and turn on another, and Xander could definitely see the evil shining out now. Yep, Lindsey was ready to eviscerate him and offer up Xander's entrails to a hellgod for a little information. Of course, he didn't actually have the skills to eviscerate Xander. Way bigger demons had tried and they hadn't even come close enough to make Spike get off his butt and help. Xander was not exactly the sort easily eviscerated these days.

"Well?" Lindsey demanded.

"Oh, sorry. Woolgathering in the brain," Xander apologized. "I know about how you went to Angel for help, and obviously Master Spike does too since I pretty much don't find out about things until after Spike does."

Lindsey leaned back, holding on to the chair so that he looked like an extra in a western movie—all white smile and boyish charm. He sure did know how to do cocky. "Angel offered to help me out. Someone else made a better offer." Lindsey smiled to make it perfectly clear that he didn't need anyone's help. For a second, Xander wondered if he'd looked that cocky and that stupid back when he was still insisting that he didn't need anyone and that he wasn't terrified out of his mind and alone and going nowhere after high school ended. If he had, no wonder Spike had claimed him. And no wonder Wolfram and Hard had claimed Lindsey because all this cocky posturing was making him look pretty claimable.

"Master Spike doesn't like you wandering around. He seems to think that you're not good at picking a side and staying on it."

Lindsey's eyebrows went up. "So, is he trying to tell me to get out of town? Wolfram and Hart has never interfered with Hellmouth business, and we have a lot of respect for how Master Spike rules that town. He's an effective leader. But I can't understand why he would send you to give me some sort of warning."

Xander frowned. "Okay, first, getting compliments from your bosses is not exactly complimentary. And second, if this is coming off like a warning, I think I need to rephrase it." Yeah, just as soon as he could find a way to explain what was about to hit Lindsey like a ton of bricks. Some things were not exactly easy to put into words, and Xander was just now starting to think that Spike had been right about letting Lindsey figure this one out on his own. He looked over, and Riley was watching him with concern, clearly ready to jump into the conversation.

"So, this isn't a warning? Is this a really strange job offer? I mean, I hear good things about Master Spike's court, and I'm honored, but the life expectancy of a human in a vampire court is generally pretty short."

"Oh, it's definitely not a job offer," Xander said. "Okay. I'm really bungling this. Look, you know how sometimes you want to do the right thing, but the right thing is the hardest thing ever to do and so even when you know you're supposed to be doing it, you screw it up?"

Lindsey frowned without answering. Damn. Where was Lorne? This conversation would be a lot easier if Lindsey just had a beer or three.

Xander sighed and decided to just go with his strength—blurting. "Angel was talking to Master Spike about you. Master Spike told Angel to get you under control. He said that the second you came to Angel, you put yourself in the jurisdiction of a vampire court, and that humans don't get to choose to leave the court."

"Angel is discussing me with Master Spike?" Lindsey got a big grin on his face. "I guess I have him more worried than I thought. I just thought he was laying low and licking his wounds after getting his ass kicked by that magic user a couple of months back. Well, don't you worry about me. I can handle Angel," Lindsey said with a wink. Standing up, he grabbed his guitar and headed for the door. He didn't even notice the little smear of black tar-like gunk Xander had marked the instrument with. He just trotted toward the exit, all cocky and sure and totally about to get taken down about a hundred notches.

"Thanks for the offer, but it turns out, I have to go take care of some business," he told Lorne when he met him halfway to the door. Lorne was finally coming back with his beer, and when Lindsey hurried past, Xander wasn't sure Lindsey even noticed the stricken look on Lorne's face. Yeah, that was one demon who knew he was going to be a friend short tonight.

Riley dropped into the seat across from Xander and stole his lemonade. "How'd it go?"

Xander shrugged. "I warned him. At least when he gets broadsided by Angel channeling his big, dorky domhood, he won't be totally in the dark."

"Like we were?" Riley asked before taking a drink.

"Exactly," Xander nodded. "When life is about to completely upend your life, a little warning is nice. Just not so much warning that you have time to freak out and do exactly the wrong thing, but just enough to keep the heart-attack levels of panic manageable."

"You got him tagged?"

"Yep." Xander folded up the small handkerchief with the magical gunk and tucked it into a pocket. Riley nodded and took another drink.


Riley pushed the lemonade back in his direction and took a couple of pretzels out of the bowl in the center of the table.

"Do you think this is the right thing for Lindsey? Wesley's right that this is sort of like accomplice to kidnapping, which is feeling vaguely wrong."

Riley took another pretzel, but this time, he concentrated on breaking it at each of its little joints. He gave a little laugh. "You'd damn well better be willing to kidnap me if I ever slip the leash. Some of us... we just aren't good on our own." He stared out the door where Lindsey had just gone. If Spike's new dark mage knew his stuff, Lindsey had just stepped across a portal and landed in the middle of Spike's court.

"We really aren't," Xander agreed. "I kinda suck on my own."

"I got sucked on my own," Riley pointed out.

"But you're better now. I mean, it's easier being owned by someone than living like that, right?" Xander looked to Riley for some sort of confirmation.

Riley's easy smile faded and something sadder settled over him. "Yeah, it's better now. Sometimes I can go a whole day without wanting the drugs. Maybe the day will come that Lindsey can get through a day without craving the power and the evil."

"Or maybe he'll just get used to the idea that he can crave it, but Angel is never going to let him go wallowing in evil again."

Riley made a face like someone had forgotten to put sugar in the lemonade. He took another pretzel and started breaking it into tiny pieces, flicking the crusted salt bits off with his fingernail. "I just hope Angel can hold things together long enough to actually dominate Lindsey." Riley shook his head. "I would never want him to hold my leash."

Xander leaned back and looked around at the demon and humans gathered around the small tables. "I know. He is a giant dork. I could trick him out of a key to my cock cage in two days," Xander pointed out.

"I could get off his property and find drugs in one," Riley countered, poking a mangled pretzel toward Xander. Xander frowned at that. Yeah, Riley had made a bad choice, but unlike Lindsey, he'd fought like hell to not go back into it. When Spike said he was giving Riley the choice to walk out into the night or submit, Xander had pretty much expected Riley to walk out and find a nice suckhouse with a stash of Rapture. Riley had surprised him.

"Xander," Riley rested his chin on his hand, "are you ever sorry? For me, the drugs are a constant temptation, and face it, Lindsey is probably going to be safer and happier in the long run if Angel can just get a leash on him and hold it. But you never gave in to darkness. Buffy never understood that. She didn't get why you seemed to be just fine one day and taking off with Spike the next."

Xander fingered the lemonade glass, sliding his fingers across the cold surface as he thought about that one. Buffy and Willow were his bright and shining girls, but Buffy was gone, and Willow wasn't so bright or shiny now. She was more the cringing, clinging girl with a side of psychological damage. Sometimes he wondered what Buffy must be thinking of them as she looked down from heaven. "I wasn't that fine," Xander said softly. "I don't think I had been for a long time. There were just a lot of things that I don't think I told anyone about, and they left me feeling like I couldn't ever catch my balance. I just think Spike was the first one to really realize that."

Riley sat with him in silence for a time. "I'm sorry I never really noticed."

Xander shrugged. "I was already with Spike by the time I met you. I think that helped me keep the happy face on a little longer. We'd go home and play at domination and submission even though the chip meant it was never real, but even that show was enough to help me glue myself back together long enough to play the happy dork."

"You were never the dork." Riley brushed his hands off on his pants, scattering pretzel dust. "You were no different from Tara or Willow or even Giles and me—you were an ordinary person caught in extraordinary circumstances."

"And falling apart."

"And I followed you in the falling apart department. Actually, I think I managed to greatly surpass any falling apart you did on your own," Riley pointed out. "And Willow outdid both of us. Hell, she makes us look psychologically stable."

Xander bit his lip. "But she'll recover, right?"

That made Riley sigh, but Riley's slow answer felt more real than all Tara's stuttered declarations. It was like Willow would be okay if Tara just said she would be often enough and cheerfully enough. Riley was not that cheerful. "She was alone in the dark for a long time, Xander. Hostages who go through that take months or even years to recover, but they do... eventually. Willow will recover from the isolation. Whether or not she can recover from the realization that she committed cold-blooded murder really depends on how strong of a person she is."

"She'll recover," Xander whispered to himself.

"I hope so," Riley said just as quietly. "However, you and I have about five minutes to get out there or we are going to turn into pumpkins, and our babysitters are going to sit on us." Riley poked a thumb toward four vampires sitting in the corner drinking blood from tall glasses. One had celery stuck in it like a bloody Mary. Or maybe it was a bloody Mary. Xander found that vampires who hung around Spike too long tended to develop a very strange sense of humor.

"We could take them," Xander said, but he got up and double checked the silver bracelet around his wrist. The same black gunk he'd put on Lindsey's guitar was caught inside a little glass bubble so that it looked like onyx.

"Yep," Riley agreed, "but the two Master Vampires who would come after us would kick our asses so hard that we'd be limping when we were sixty."

Xander smiled. "It does feel nice to know that someone out there cares that much, right?"

Riley slung an arm over Xander's shoulder as they headed for the door. "It feels safe," he agreed. "As a psychology major, I should point out that you are confusing love with obsession, but as another slave owned by an obsessive vampire, I will admit that sometimes it's nice to feel safe."

"I just hope Angel has Lindsey under control because I do not want to have front row seats for that. I may understand that Lindsey needs an owner, and I totally understand that Angel needs practice taking care of humans because his human-tending skills suck, but I'm still not sold on this whole idea. It's like giving an abused dog to the kid down the street who always stuck crayons up his nose."

"He's a Master Vampire who had the drop on an unarmed human. I don't think the fight lasted this long," Riley said as they stepped out of the Caritas. The void ripped at them, howling black sucking at their clothes as time and space tore apart. Xander closed his eyes, his fists curling around Riley's jacket as he reminded himself that the spell had been tested over and over and over. And over more. Spike had become slightly on the paranoid obsessive side when it came to trusting his mages. Pinpricks of light gathered, making his eyelids glow red, and then Xander gasped as reality reformed around him.

"Well, shit. That is not ever going to take the place of commercial flying," Riley said softly. His hands were digging painfully into Xander's arm, and he slowly uncurled them. Putting an elbow in Riley's side, Xander poked his thumb toward the corner of the court. Lindsey was backed into it, swinging a sword from side to side to keep Angel at bay. "Idiot," Riley said so softly that Xander might have even imagined it. But with his face a perfectly calm mask of respect, Riley went to Dalton's side and lowered himself to his knees and leaned into her leg. Riley could call it whatever he wanted, but the way Dalton looked at him, Xander was pretty sure they were big with the love. Xander headed for Spike. Most of the time, when there was a fight, the room was crowded with spectators and Spike sat poised on the edge of his seat, giving the constant impression that he was about to jump into the middle of things. Now the room was empty and Spike was leaning all the way back, one boot resting on the seat of his chair.

"Bloody boring, pet. You may have to find some way to distract me from the great poof." Spike waved a hand toward the standoff in the corner.

Glancing over, Xander could see there was no real danger. Swinging his hips, he slowed down so that he could pull his first button loose. The neck of his shirt gaped, and Xander fingered his scar, groaning when his trapped cock pressed tightly against the cage. He wasn't surprised when Spike's eyes yellowed.

"Oi, finish this up. Don't have time for this rot," Spike yelled at Angel. His boot hit the ground as he slid forward in his chair, leaning his elbows on his knees and watching Xander strip with a predatory gaze. Riley might call it obsession, and Xander did understand that for demons, love always came with a little obsession—or in Spike's case, a lot of it. However, that didn't change the love that shone through. He pulled his second button free and pulled on the shirt so the white pattern of bitemarks was visible as the shirt fell from his shoulder. The third and fourth and fifth buttons gave, and Xander let the silk slither off his skin and fall to the ground in a pool.

Twisting his body sensually, Xander moved closer without coming close enough for Spike to touch him, not without leaving his chair. Instead, Xander teased, dancing just out of reach as he pulled his first weapon. He ran a finger along the flat of the blade, watching Spike's gaze flicker between the weapon and the dance. Xander had played rough before, throwing bladed weapons and trusting Spike to be fast enough to move out the way before he took a major injury. It inevitably led to a seriously hot spanking, getting tied face down on the bed and then getting taken over and over while Spike taught him his place. Spike did like playing teacher, and Xander was very good at being an incorrigible student. Who knew that talent was going to come in so handy? Holding the knife, Xander considered it.

"Lindsey, this is for your own good," Angel said in a petulant tone that didn't exactly scream with domination.

"Fuck you," Lindsey answered, and that was enough to break the mood. Spike sprang off his chair and stormed past Xander, all yellow eyes and ridges.

"He's a fucking human slave, Peaches. Do you need me to teach you how to put him in his place?" Spike snapped the words so viciously that the sword in Lindsey's hand wavered.

"Lindsey, this is your last chance," Angel warned darkly. Spike turned his back on both of them and rolled his eyes.

"Or what?" Lindsey asked with a lot more arrogance than a human in the middle of a vampire court had a right to use.

Obviously Lindsey was a little on the slow side because Xander totally saw the punch coming. Angel's fist struck out without warning, catching Lindsey in the cheek and sending him crashing back against the wall. The sword Lindsey was holding clattered to the ground and Angel shoved his body right up against Lindsey.

"About bloody time. It's a good thing you caught on faster, pet, or I would have killed you the same night I first took you," Spike said, holding a hand out for Xander.

"I was always pretty quick when it came to the not dying part of the program." Xander trotted across the room and took his place beside Spike, leaning into him. Now that he was closer, he could see the fear in Lindsey's face. Obviously he'd said something not good because Angel had his hand over Lindsey's mouth and was whispering something in his ear that was making the man wiggle and pound weakly against Angel's back. Yeah, like that would help. Lindsey definitely wasn't on the quick side when it came to submission. Despite all Lindsey's struggles, Angel pressed his whole body to Lindsey in order to free up his other hand so he could rip the neck of his shirt. Now Lindsey's shoulder was exposed, and his flailing became even more pronounced.

Shouting came from behind Angel's hand. "Bite me and you will learn something of pain, boy. Understand?" Angel demanded, but before Lindsey could do anything, Angel struck. This wasn't the soft, slow entry that left Xander trembling on the edge of orgasm every time. This was a hard and fast strike, and Xander flinched at the thought of how much that was going to hurt.

"Sir," a voice called, Xander barely glanced over to where Spike new mage was rushing in when a wave like black light washed over the room and a half a second later, the whole place boomed like a big jet had just flown over and missed by only about an inch.

"What the fuck?" Spike shoved Xander behind him.

"I am sorry, sir. I hurried over as soon as I recognized the problem." The man edged into the room, his gray head low in submission. "I accept full responsibility, but the spell in question was so subtly crafted that I did not discover it until it started to unravel."

"Bloody, fucking magic. What happened?" Spike snarled.

"A spell ended. While there may be repercussions, the blessings on this building will certainly hold against any magic," the mage hurried to say, his hands held out like he could hold off Spike's fury that way. Xander worked his fingers under the edge of Spike's shirt and found a bit of skin to stroke. "We are all safe," he emphasized.

"I assume this has something to do with my latest acquisition," Angel said. He looked over his shoulder, but he was still using his entire body to pin Lindsey, only now he seemed to be applying some pressure. Lindsey's expression looked a little more pained, but he had stopped trying to beat Angel off with his bare hands.

"Indeed. He had a slavery spell on him. A deep one—one that transcended even death and would have claimed his soul in servitude. However, by asserting your ownership, you had a prior claim and undid the magic binding him."

"Wait, he already sold himself as a slave?" Xander whispered into Spike's back, resting his weight against his Master.

"Bloody hell. For someone who's already a slave, you make a lot of fuss over a change of ownership," Spike told Lindsey. Turning to the side, he slipped an arm around Xander, and Xander let himself be captured and pulled close. The new mage started visibly breathing easier as soon as Spike's attention turned away from him.

"Who?" Angel took his hand away, but the yellow glare he was giving Lindsey wasn't exactly comforting.

"I... I didn't."

Weirdly, Xander actually believed him. He looked way too freaked out to be lying. With a shake of his head, Angel slipped back into his human face. "Dalton, would you send your boy over with the restraints?" Angel called. "I gave you a choice, and you picked the wrong path. You asked for help getting away from Wolfram and Hart and you manage to go from working for them to enslaved to them. Clearly we need to discuss your choices. But until you can make better ones, I'm taking them away."

Angel pulled Lindsey forward and yanked on the shirt hard enough to make the fabric rip. That looked cool when people on television did it, but Xander knew it was going to leave even more hellacious bruises on Lindsey in the morning. Fabric plus vampire strength plus human flesh just did not mix well. Okay, Xander had totally expected Angel to blow it. He expected self-flagellation and guilt and doubt. He expected Angel to be Angel. Clearly, whatever little heart to heart he and Spike had been having, Angel's head had actually come out of his ass because from the dazed look on Lindsey's face, he was finally starting to get it.

Riley appeared with the restraints in hand and he offered them to Angel, his head lowered in submission. "How can you help them?" Lindsey asked... accused even.

"Because this is what Spike did for me, and I know I'm grateful now that I've been out of the situation long enough to see how dangerous it was for both me and others," Riley answered without a trace of guilt. "You asked for help, Lindsey. You're getting it." Angel didn't comment as he took the restraints from Riley and turned Lindsey to face the wall before chaining his hands behind his back.

"Right then. You lot sort this, I have something else to sort," Spike said, his arm tightening around Xander's waist. Xander smiled and wiggled just enough to imitate an escape attempt. Spike growled low in his throat so that Xander felt the rumblings more than he heard them. His vampire had taught Angel to act like a real live vampire, and that deserved a little reward. Xander reached around and pulled out the knife he hadn't yet gotten around to taking off. Smiling invitingly, Xander shimmied as he transferred the knife from one hand to the other behind his back. Did Spike's eyebrow twitch? Xander thought he must have imagined it because Spike was giving him the same sexual look as before, just want with none of the darker edge to it... not yet.

Stretching sensuously, Xander hid the knife against his forearm and then tried to swing it around for a fast attack at Spike's back. Before Xander knew what was happening, he was being swung around by his knife arm. Riley went darting backwards and Xander still managed to accidentally kick him before landing face down on the floor. Xander hadn't even taken a breath before Spike's weight was pinning him down.

"Oh pet. Someone needs a good spanking and a reminder about who gets to play games and who is the little pet whose job it is to get played with," Spike warned darkly. Xander could feel shivers down his whole body as Spike grabbed his wrists and twisted them up behind his back. "Dalton, get the heavy manacles," Spike called. Xander rested his forehead against the cool tile. Oh god, it was going to be a long night, and Xander squirmed in happy anticipation. Yep, hopefully Lindsey would figure out that the first night of submission was a lot like getting hit by a brick, but after a while... it was more like you had followed the yellow brick road and gotten the answers to life.

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