Keep it in the Family


Part Sixteen

Spike reminded Giles of a lion protecting his pride, or more precisely a lioness – stalking up and down the room, scowling at the 'danger' that was too close for comfort. The looks he was throwing at Willow were dark and threatening, and for a moment Giles wished that Buffy had stayed.

But she had left in tears, unable to stay around after she discovered all of the things that Willow had done, all of the spells she had cast on Buffy over the years. Many of them were meant to be of assistance – a spell to protect her heart after Angel left which had the unfortunate effect of hardening it so much that it was a struggle to let anyone in. Perhaps that explained why her relationship with Riley had stuttered, why he had felt that she didn't let him in. It definitely explained her antagonistic attitude towards Angel. Perhaps done with the best of intentions but it hadn't allowed her to heal from the pain, and knowing that the cleansing ritual could well mean she would have to deal with all of that in one fell swoop was intimidating. Other spells were not so easily forgiven – memory spells when she and Willow had argued, spells that blurred decisions she had made until she was looking back over the years and wondering about every single step she had taken.

The discovery that the hot chocolate that Willow had made for her contained a 'control' spell that would have effectively made her Willow's slave had sent her over the edge into tears. Willow had tried to justify it by saying that Buffy was making rash decisions, believing in the Initiative and preparing to leave the Hellmouth when their actions regarding Xander had proven them to be unworthy of trust. But it was too late, especially as they hadn't known about the Xander situation when she had prepared the spell, and her continued lies and twisting of facts was enough to make Buffy walk away, exclaiming that she didn't recognise her friend anymore and wasn't sure if she would return while Willow was around.

Angel had gone to sleep at last, the decision made that as soon as nightfall came the three vampires would be returning to LA. Spike and Xander had come downstairs cautiously, Xander avoiding looking at Willow as he took a seat on the sofa, accepting the mug of human blood gratefully from Giles. Unable to go outside for a cigarette, Spike was even more fractious and it didn't bode well for the coming conversation that he was so riled up already.

“Xander – I – I'm so sorry.”

“Are you Will? What are you sorry for in particular? The make up spells, using me as a guinea pig? Or the repelling spells that turned me into a demon magnet? Oh I know, how about the big one – you know the one I mean don't you Willow?” Xander's voice was low and almost trembling with anger, and he held himself stiffly.

“It wasn't like that!! Why won't anyone believe me – I didn't mean any harm, I truly didn't.” Tears were streaming down Willow's face, her eyes large and imploring.

“If you didn't mean any harm, how come you didn't ask permission?” She was stymied momentarily, not expecting Xander to fire back so quickly. Perhaps not expecting Xander to remain angry.

“Some of them were so small, it seemed silly – I knew you wouldn't mind.” Her eyes flicked to Spike as he made a grunting noise in response, then she looked down at her lap. “And a few of them – I knew you didn't want anyone knowing what it was like at home. I did it to protect you from your parents, I couldn't stand the way they treated you.”

“So what's your excuse for the spell that dragged me away from Jesse Will? I'd love to hear how you justify that one – what excuse you could possibly come up with that explains that one away.”

“I – you would have left me behind! It wasn't fair – I didn't want to be pushed out!” She swiped angrily at the tears on her face.

“Giles – is the truth spell still in effect?” Giles nodded. “Willow are you really sorry?” Willow flinched, looking down at her fingers as they twisted in her lap. “No, I didn't think so. You can't answer because you can't lie and you don't want to admit it out loud. The only thing you're sorry about is getting caught isn't it?”

“YES! It's not fair – I was only doing it to keep us together. You all make it sound as though I was some kind of big bad, when all I was doing was keeping us together like a proper family. If I hadn't done it, you would have gone away a long time ago – don't bother denying it. Do you think I didn't know about you and Cordelia, about your plans to try again away from here? I'm not stupid Xander – you can't keep secrets from me. I didn't want you to go so I did what I had to do to make you stay. And I really don't see what's wrong about that – it was for the best. Cordelia wasn't the right person for you.”

“You didn't have the right! You took my choices away, made me a – a slave or drone, only able to do something if you permitted it! That makes you worse than some of our villains of the week – they were demons, what's your excuse?!”

“I'm your best friend!! Does that mean nothing to you? Or because you've got Angel and Spike you don't need me anymore? Is that it – finally found a demon lover who'll stick with you because one's so pathetically chipped he can barely survive without us to take pity on him, and the other's emotionally stunted?!”

At the insult to his Sire and his lover, Xander could no longer hold back on his natural urges, surging to his feet and vamping out. He hissed at her, fighting the urge to attack – to rend the prey that was insulting his line. A blond blur leapt in front of him, shoving him backwards into a corner of the room. Enraged, Xander fought back, using fangs and claws to fight against being captured and confined again.

Stepping in quickly, Giles pulled Willow to her feet and dragged her into the kitchen, out of range of the two fighting vampires.

“Xander. XANDER!!! Pet, it's me – calm down yeah, calm down!” Fighting off the younger vampire whilst trying not to hurt him was severely hampering Spike, and he struggled to keep Xander confined to a small space where he couldn't cause damage that he would potentially regret. Xander was blinded by fear and rage, unable to hear what Spike was saying, or accept that he was in no danger. His demon was convinced Willow represented a threat and wanted to follow its instincts and kill her before she could do more harm.

“DOWN!” Xander dropped like a stone, cowering away from Sire's angry voice. Angel crossed the room quickly, taking Xander into his arms and leading him to the sofa. “Not cross with you Childe, it's alright.” With Spike on one side and Angel on the other, both stroking and soothing him, Xander slowly calmed down and came back to himself. He was still unable to claim back his human face, he hid his face in Angel's shoulder, holding tightly to Spike's hand so he wouldn't go anywhere. He could vaguely hear Willow crying in the background, Giles apologising to Angel and Spike for things getting out of hand.

Shoving Willow into a corner of the kitchen, Giles risked coming back out and into the lounge. Taking a seat opposite the three vampires, he waited for their attention. His heart broke as he realised Xander was speaking through gut-wrenching tears.

“How could she do this to me? How can she not understand what she's done? What is it about me that people think they can do whatever they like, treat me how they like and it doesn't matter – that I don't matter?”

“Xander, no, that is just so wrong. I'm not making excuses for her actions as they were completely inexcusable. However, she has allowed herself to use her natural magical talents and been tempted towards the darker arts. It's seductive – I fell prey to it myself when I was younger – and at such a young age she wasn't prepared to deal with it. I swear to you, I am taking her to the Coven in San Francisco. They have agreed to bind her powers until such time as they believe she can take a more responsible attitude towards magic – she won't come after you or interfere again.”

Blinking through his tears, Xander looked over at Giles and nodded. He knew once and for all that he had lost his childhood friend, that he didn't want any part of the person Willow had become. But at least he knew she wouldn't be able to do anything further to him or his lovers. It hurt – so much – but it was the most he could ask for.

“Thank you Giles, I really do appreciate it. And I hope you'll understand that it's nothing personal, but I would really just like to go home now.”

“Ya wanna go to your flat here?” Pulling back, suddenly insecure, Spike asked the question that was on both his and Angel's lips.

“What?! No, I mean LA dumbass. Did the fixing of the chip kill off some braincells or something?” Smiling through his tears, Xander leaned over and bumped his forehead against Spike's. “My home is with you two – remember, you were going to convince me every day of the next decade?”

Smirking at the reminder, Spike nodded. “Yeah and I'm a man of my word. Right, Watcher, we're gonna go upstairs, get some rest and then we're out of here. Don't think my boy wants to hang around.” Giles nodded, sad that things had gone this way but understanding.

Rising to his feet, Xander walked over to Giles who got up from his chair. Saying “I know it's not very British, but you're just gonna have to deal G-Man” through a smile, Xander pulled Giles into a tight hug.

“I have asked you numerous times not to call me that,” Giles replied, holding Xander just as tightly and hiding the tears in his eyes by ducking his head. “I never thought I would say this to a vampire, but I love you and am so proud of the man you have become.”

“Love you too G-m – Giles.” Pulling away gently, returning to his human face as he relaxed, Xander smiled sadly. “I'm only going to LA you know – only takes a few hours by car right?”

Giles nodded and slowly let go. He watched with sad eyes as the three vampires went back upstairs, taking off his glasses and polishing them as he considered what should happen next. Sighing, he walked into the kitchen to speak to Willow. But she was gone.

Part Seventeen

They didn't understand, none of them did. She had done it for them – to keep them all together, and in return what did she get? Giles casting a truth spell on her and forcing her to reveal things that she had promised never to tell; Buffy saying that she didn't think they could be friends anymore, and worst of all – Xander. Xander had wanted to kill her – she had seen it clear on his vampire face. He wanted to bite into her and drain her of all blood. There was no way her childhood friend was still in there – her Xander would never have threatened her with such violence, it just would never have happened. And the persons responsible? Spike and Angel. They hadn't just turned Xander into a vampire, they had turned him against her. And for that they should pay. Running quickly through the early evening, she made it in plenty of time to get the power she needed and return before they could leave. As usual, the doorway called to her and she slipped in easily. Fortunately there was no-one waiting which meant she could be seen straight away – it was all coming together nicely.

He sniffed the air and realised who it was, smiling as he moved towards the door. The timing was most fortuitous – this would be their last transaction. Shame she wouldn't be leaving but it had been a most profitable arrangement while it lasted – loaning her the more obvious powers whilst slowly siphoning off her real strength and talent had made him drunk on many an occasion. And now was the time for the last spell to click into place, the spell that would cut the cords to the darkest powers within her soul and gift them to him. Really, people should read the small print before agreeing to things but if she was naοve enough to think that she could get something for nothing, that was her look out.

Opening the door, he held it wide as he smiled at her. “Welcome back Ms Rosenberg.” Smiling through tears, Willow half-ran towards him, for the comfort of his arms and the power he could give her.

“Oh Rack, it's been awful.”

“There there my dear, Rack will make it all go away.”


Buffy sniffed and buried her head in Giles' shoulder as he threw the ashes from the urn into the ocean, closely followed by the roses they had chosen to float after them. It had been an extremely difficult few weeks – finding Willow's body using the magical tag that Giles had placed on her had been horrific. Her corpse was mummified, all fluids sucked from it, and Giles had explained that in taking her magical essence her killer had basically sucked her dry. It did explain much of her recent behaviour but unfortunately it meant that her early actions had been all her own.

They had been forced to arrange her funeral quickly – Giles had said that there were too many uses for a dark witch's remains to risk leaving it to her parents to make arrangements. The Rosenberg's had continued their blindness, willingly leaving the arrangements to Giles for the funeral of their only daughter. It would seem that even in death her spell on them held effect.

Wrapping his arm around Buffy and pulling her close, he dropped a kiss on her forehead. They had become closer in the last few weeks than he had ever imagined. Her magical cleansing at the centre in Los Angeles had unearthed much, and he had been privileged to help her work her way through much of it. The fact that part of what emerged were fledging feelings for her Watcher that Willow had ruthlessly repressed had shocked both of them, but they were taking the chance now it was just the two of them to see where things would go. Giles had got over his concerns about the age gap – compared to Angel he was practically a teenager – and his knowledge and understanding of her unique position meant that there was no need for either of them to hide. Giles had no idea what the future held, but if it contained even a fraction of the happiness that Xander had deservedly found he would consider himself a very lucky man.


The feel of Angel as he pushed himself in deep made Xander moan, the sound rumbling through his chest as he shifted his face restlessly on the pillow. There were no words to describe how he was feeling, knees on the bed, ass in the air with only a pillow to muffle his cries: the sparks behind his eyes each time Angel brushed against his prostate, the harsh hands holding his hips in place , leaving bruises as he pumped himself in and out of Xander. Pushing his hips back in encouragement, Xander cried out as Spike shuffled down the bed in front of him, taking his leaking cock into his mouth and sucking strongly. Too many sensations at once, bombarding his system so that he could barely think – pushing back into the feel of Angel pressing deep and hard, forward into the wet, tight tunnel of Spike in front – he was going mad with the pleasure.

Tossing his head back, he tilted it to one side, silently encouraging Angel to sink his fangs into his turning scar and sip the rich taste of Childe's blood. The pop of skin bursting under the points, the slice as those razor sharp teeth pressed in, and then glorious suction making him light-headed. Balancing carefully on one arm, he reached down and grasped Spike's head, thrusting his hips forward so that he was fucking that pouting pink mouth. A scream was yanked from him as Spike rolled his eyes up to look directly into his gaze, then changed into his vampiric guise and slid his fangs into the base of his cock. It was enough, more than enough, to roll his eyes back in his head, the rhythm of his hips stuttering brokenly as the wave of pleasure broke over him and he screamed out loud again and again.

Speedily, Spike moved out from under him and Xander collapsed on the bed, legs still spread to allow Angel to pump himself to completion, moaning in Xander's ear as he came. They lay tangled together, catching their breath in silence until they heard:

“OI!! Wharrabout me ya selfish bastards?!” Looking over, they saw Spike leaning against the headboard, leaking hard cock held in his hand as he slowly moved it up and down. Carefully Angel slipped free from Xander and yanked Spike down the bed towards them, ignoring the thud of his head hitting the headboard although Xander couldn't hold back a giggle at the continuing complaints coming from Spike. “Ya coulda given me fuckin' concussion – have a care will ya? Despite your thoughts to the contrary, I have a delicate - ”



It was without doubt the strangest family portrait he had ever done. Okay, so he was fresh out of art school but still.

The father figure was extremely handsome – tall, dark and big, very protective of the other two. It was obvious how much he loved them – his eyes softened when he watched them, but when he looked straight at Jez, the eyes were no longer soft. They were piercing like eagle's eyes – searching for weakness. He looked like he could torture you with a smile on his face but something about him said he'd been there, done that. His name suited him – when he looked at his lovers there was something angelic about the smile that curved his beautiful mouth. The rest of the time, he looked like some dark avenging angel and Jez would hate to be the one at the wrong end of his wrath.

The blond one scared him slightly, even while he was drawn to him. Something about the lean muscular body, the amazing cheekbones that had taken him an age to only almost get right, and those burning blue eyes. There were times when those eyes seemed to glow golden, and he looked like he would eat you alive. Of course, you'd be begging and saying yes please the whole time he was eating you, but Jez wouldn't want to meet him on a dark night in LA.

He admitted to a soft spot for the youngest one. Shaggy haired with a blinding smile, but sometimes the hazel eyes looked so sad. The other two smothered him with affection – kisses, hugs, tickles – and his laughter rang out through many a session while they posed for him. Judging by the fact that some of the pillows from the first session had been replaced, he got the feeling they had enjoyed themselves on those pillows after he left, and he admitted to a pang of jealousy. Not to join in – they were so close there wasn't room for anyone else. But to even witness it – the three of them together. Yeah, that would feed a few fantasies and no mistake.

They loved the finished portrait fortunately and the payment had been generous in the extreme. He also thought they might have something to do with the patronage award he had just received – he had never even heard of The Rosenberg Arts and Crafts sponsorship but it was going to make a huge difference to his life. He had a showing scheduled at a local gallery already, and the owner had let slip that these three had 'arranged' things for other artists. Yes, he had been most fortunate and he was grateful. Packing up his gear, Jez took one last look at the room they had converted into a giant bedroom – the bed alone could sleep five people with room to spare. If the walls could talk, they would make a fortune. And his work was taking pride of place on this bedroom wall. He would do them, and whoever Rosenberg was, proud.

The End

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