From Out of Nowhere


by
Sukiblue



Part 4
Introduce Yourself

The floor beneath them vibrated and Xander closed his eyes and swayed from side to side.  Strong arms wrapped around him and he found himself being pulled towards a firm, hard body.   A cool mouth crushed over his expectant lips and Xander blew a long drawn out sigh into the heated kiss.  He clasped his hands tighter to the leather clad figure that held him, fearing that if he was to let go, even for a second, Spike would be pulled away from him by the pulsing crowd.

Spike released Xander’s lips and allowed him to breath. He watched, mesmerized and hypnotized, as Xander exhaled a shaky breath and lifted long black lashes to reveal dark eyes that glistened brightly beneath the flashing white lights of the club.  As their eyes locked, everything else faded into blackness.  Nothing else existed.  The crowd was gone and The Bronze was gone. All that remained was the music and them.

The music grew impossibly loud and the base thumped fast and heavy around them.  Spike dropped his hands to his lover’s hips, gripping them tightly and pulling Xander’s body flush with his own.  They began to grind their hips together in time with the throbbing base and they both felt themselves melting into one single existence.

Xander kept the rhythm steady, touching his lips gently to Spike’s neck and teasing him with tiny nips and licks. Spike returned the teasing by brushing his hardness over and over Xander’s aching cock, causing Xander to whimper desperately into his neck.

Spike felt his lover’s urgent need. Xander was as close as he was. He grasped Xander’s hair and gently tugged his lover’s head back to expose his beautiful tanned neck. Spike leant forward and placed his lips onto the soft, warm skin of Xander’s throat and he was careful to keep his human visage as his fangs dropped and sliced into his consort’s flesh.

The music pounded faster and the base boomed and kicked at the wooden dance floor. Spike and Xander swayed and ground together in a frantic and hypnotic rhythm, desperate to release before the music changed its racing tempo. Xander slid his arms down Spike’s body and crushed his hands over his buttocks, seeking to increase contact to their throbbing lengths.  The base thumped into its frenetic crescendo and the two lovers clung to each other and cried out their own thunderous climax.

The music changed to a slower, softer pace and they pulled slightly apart. Spike’s fangs receded and he watched intently as the bite marks on Xander’s throat slowly disappeared.

Xander looked around at the rapidly thinning crowd; no-one seemed to have noticed their impromptu grinding and biting session. This was one of the only up-sides to living on a Hellmouth. People only saw what thy wanted to see.  

Spike pulled him in for one last passionate kiss. “Mine, pet.”

“Mine, too.”


~*~*~*~*~


The lovers had returned from the bathroom after their quick clean up. They were now leaning against the bar and Spike was ordering them some drinks.  Xander turned around and came face to face with Willow. “Hey, Willow. I didn’t know you were here.”

Xander felt suddenly nervous and he hoped that his friend had not been here long enough to witness his and Spike’s special brand of dancing.

“We only just arrived.” Willow pointed to a table that was about ten feet away. “Would you like to join us?”

Xander glanced over to the table and spotted Tara and Buffy settling themselves and chatting excitedly. Xander’s curiosity kicked in and he looked hopefully at Spike.

Spike rolled his eyes at Xander’s expression. “Yeah, we’d love to join you, eh, Xan? You Girls want drinks?  I’m buying.”

Willow left her drinks order with Spike and went back to join the other two girls.

“You don’t mind, do you Spike?”

“Naaah, we got all night to be alone. And besides, I wanna get the gossip too.”

Xander smiled at his lover. “You’re turning into an old woman,” he accused.

“Yeah, well. At least I wasn’t born one,” Spike teased back.

Spike gathered the drinks onto a metal tray and carried them over to the table. He hung back and allowed Xander to walk in front so that he could admire his mate’s denim clad ass.  Very nice.

Spike felt extremely pleased with himself. Ignoring his lover’s vigorous protests, Spike had insisted on taking Xander on a much needed shopping trip. Xander was in desperate need of some new clothes and Spike had seen this as not only a chance to spoil his lover for a day, but also to get Xander into some clothes that would actually do himl some justice.  Out went the awful wild prints and baggy pants and in came rich dark colours and pants that were tight enough to show off Xander’s beautiful tight arse and his gorgeous long legs.

“Hey, guys. What’s up?”

Tara looked at Xander and smiled shyly. “Oh, hi, Xander. N-nothing’s up, nothing’s happening and no Buffy doesn’t have a date in five minutes.”

“Tara!”

Spike grinned as he handed out the drinks. “Slayeeeer, who’s the lucky guy?” he purred.

“No-one.”

“No-one?” Xander asked, amused. “So it’s just you? I know that these are desperate times, Buff, I mean, look who I ended up with, but dating yourself? Are things really that bad?”

Spike grinned over at his lover.

“I mean, that it's no-one you know.”

Spike and Xander looked to the witches for confirmation and Willow shrugged. “She won’t tell us either.”

Buffy looked nervously between her friends and the door. She was excited about the date, yes,  but Spike was making her nervous. She hadn’t expected him to be at The Bronze tonight. She sat up as she spotted her date entering the club. Oh, well here we go. Maybe Spike won’t recognise him. “Okay, guys. He’s here.  So keep out the way.” Buffy took her drink and stood. “I mean it, no interfering.” Buffy turned her back on her friends and weaved her way through the crowd.

The other Scoobies stood up and tried desperately to see the man she was heading for. As Buffy reached her target, Willow squealed. “There he is! Oooh, he’s handsome.”

Xander bobbed his head up and spotted Buffy’s date. “Um, yeah.  He’s okay.  Not really my type, though.”

“I should bloody well hope not.” Spike laughed and turned to get a good look for himself. When he spotted the man, his laugh abruptly stopped and it was replaced with a low, amgry growl.

Xander looked at Spike with a concerned gaze. “What’s wrong?”

Spike continued to stare.

“Spike? What is it?! Talk to me.”

Xander’s alarmed tone pulled Spike from his furious paralysis. He grabbed Xander’s arm and tugged him from the table. “We gotta go, pet. Now!”

Willow looked at Spike and Xander and when she spoke it was with obvious concern in her voice. “What’s going on?”

Spike continued to pull Xander. “Left the gas on, ducks.”

Willow was confused. “But you two don’t have gas!”

Spike growled again at the man in the distance. “Then I guess you had better ask the Slayer.”

Before Willow could question him again, Spike had nearly reached the side exit and was dragging his lover roughly through it.


~*~*~*~*~


“Spike, will you stand still for a minute and tell me what’s going on. Why did we have to leave The Bronze?”

Spike flicked his third cigarette into the sink and turned to face his mate. “Buffy’s date. I recognised him.”

“And?”

“He’s Initiative.”

“What? You’re kidding?”

“Not kidding, luv. Remember a few weeks ago when Buffy and I were tracking those bloody great wolf things?”

“Yeah?”

“Well, Buffy dragged some Initiative bloke out the bushes. He was sent to locate their experiment and report back...”

“I remember you saying about it.”

“Well it was ‘im. And don’t bloody ask me if I’m sure, ‘cos I’m positive.”

Xander sat down heavily onto one of the kitchen chairs. “Why? Why would she do it? She knows what those bastards did to you.” Xander’s expression turned to disgust as he thought about what Spike must have gone through at the hands of the Initiative.

Spike guessed what Xander was thinking. “Try not to think about that, luv. I’m more concerned with the here and now.”

Xander nodded quickly and rushed to join his lover at the sink. “We can’t let them find you. What if he recognises you? I mean, last time it was dark, if he sees you again...”

“Hey, take it easy, pet. We’ll go see Buffy tomorrow.  See if we can talk some sense into the bint.” Spike hugged his lover. “And pet, we both need to keep away from that guy. Don’t forget that you’re my consort now.  You’re rare, luv. The Initiative would probably find you more interesting than the likes of me.”

Xander looked up at his lover and sighed. Would life ever be normal?


~*~*~*~*~


Spike crashed through the door of The Magic Box and stood silently in the middle of the shop.

Buffy sat at the table with Willow and Tara.  The two witches had questioned Buffy about Spike’s strange behaviour and Buffy had come to the conclusion that Spike had recognised her date. “Now, Spike, before you start, just let me explain...”

Spike stalked forward. “Explain what, Buffy? Explain that you have put me at risk by tangling with soldier boy? Or do you just want to explain how you are willing to put Xander at risk for the sake of a good shag?”

“Just what has Xander got to do with this?”

“Use your brain for once, Slayer. Me vampire, Xander human, Xander vampire lover. I’m sure they would love a little chat with him, they could get some interesting insights, don’t you think?”

“God, I didn’t think of that. But anyway, that’s beside the point. I’m not going to put either of you at risk. Riley didn’t recognise you that night, so as long as you don’t wear a banner across your head saying I am a vampire, then I’m sure you’ll be fine.” Buffy’s voice hit a sarcastic tone and Spike growled at her.

“I’m not gonna tiptoe around your sodding nancy boyfriend!”

“He’s not my boyfriend!...Yet”

Xander stepped into the shop and glared at his mate. “Thanks for waiting.” He started to mumble “Damn vampire.  Never mind that I can’t keep up.”

Spike walked over to him. “Sorry, luv. I was a tad preoccupied.”

Xander immediately aimed his glare to Buffy instead of his lover. “What are you playing at, Buff? We’re supposed to be friends. Why would you do this to us?”

“God! Be reasonable, guys, please. I need a life too you know. It alright for you two, you’ve each other.  What have I got? I’ll tell you.  I’ve got nothing. Apparently, I’m not allowed a life. I just want to be normal. Do normal things.  I’m lonely, guys.  I want someone. I need someone. Ever since Angel went...”

Buffy’s breath hitched and the rest of her sentence came out as an unintelligible sob. Spike and Xander exchanged expressions that had gone from betrayed to sympathetic in one easy step.

“Oh, bloody hell, woman. Leave out the tears.  Makes us manly types quiver with fear,” he joked.

“We’re sorry, Buff.  We had no idea that you were feeling like this.”

Buffy sniffed, pulled out a tissue and blew her nose. Spike winced, the noise sounded like a foghorn to his sensitive vampire ears. “Look, Slayer.  I can’t say that I’m happy about this.  In fact, I’m still fucking livid. But if you really want this guy then just bloody go for it. But let me tell you this, if he comes anywhere near me or Xander then you’ll both regret it.”

Buffy wiped at her eyes with her sleeve.  “Thank you, Spike. Xander?”

Xander smiled sadly at her. He had felt what it was like to be lonely for most of his life. How could he deny her a chance of happiness? Anyway, knowing what Buffy was like, Riley would be old news in a couple of weeks.  Xander suspected that Buffy had not gotten over Angel. No-one else surely stood a chance. “Yeah, what Spike said.”

As Buffy was about to fling herself into the arms of one of her best friends, Giles entered from the basement and the room froze. Spike and Giles had not properly spoken to each other since the argument that had taken place a few weeks ago and no-one was quite sure how to behave around them, least of all Xander.

“Ah, Spike, Xander.”

“Giles,” Spike said through gritted teeth

“Hey, Giles.” Xander tried to smile at the Watcher but it faltered midway through and he settled instead for staring at his feet.

Spike felt anger bubbling away inside him. Ever since the fallout with Giles, Xander had begun to act strangely around him.  Spike was confused by Xander’s behaviour, but however Giles was causing it, it only served to fuel Spike's fury.

“S-so, do you guys want to join the meeting,” Tara asked, quietly.

Spike nodded and immediately sat down, but Xander hesitated and tried his best to meet the Giles’ eyes. “Is that okay Giles?”

“Oh, err, yes, of course Xander.  Please sit down.”

Xander approached the table and sat down next to Spike.  Giles, however, ignored the empty seats on either side of the lovers and chose instead to sit between Willow and Buffy. Spike glared.

“So, Wills, what evil will we be fighting in tonight’s episode,” Xander joked uneasily

“Um, Pixies.”

“Pixies,” Spike repeated in a tone that was dull and disbelieving.

“Well, they are probably not actual pixies. But just picture really small, disturbing little men.”

Xander smiled. “Hey, something I can handle for a change. I could crush a few disturbing little men, no problems.”

“I seriously doubt it, Xander. You would be very unwise to underestimate these creatures.  By all accounts they could be very dangerous. Perhaps you should do a little bit of the research before you…”

Giles stopped mid sentence and looked over to Spike. Spike was emitting one of his classic warning growls. “Problem, Spike?”

“I’m not having it, Watcher.”

“Not having what, Spike?”

“You, putting Xander down all the bloody time.”

“I was not putting him down.  I was simply trying to make the boy see that we can’t go rushing into things all...willy nilly.”

“He wasn’t exactly gonna immediately rush out and start hacking at short people with a garden rake! Have a little faith, Watcher.”

“I simply mean…”

“Just shut your fucking mouth for once.”

“I see, so now I can’t speak in my own establishment.”

“Not unless you’ve got sommit nice to say to Xander here. I suggest you apologise to him.”

“Apologise?! I have done nothing that needs apologising for!”

“You really are a closed minded bastard. You’ve been putting Xan down for years, and I’m not going to put up with it any bloody longer!”

Xander stood and bellowed louder than he ever had in his life. “THAT’S ENOUGH!! Please just stop it!  Why do you have to fight all the time?!”

“I’m only sticking up for ya, luv.”

“I know, Spike and don’t get me wrong, I love that you care so much. But I don’t want anyone to fall out, not over me. Let's just get on with the meeting,  Please

Spike saw the pleading in Xander’s eyes. He was upset and as usual he just wanted to brush his feelings under the carpet and carry on as normal.  

Spike glared at Giles one last time and then looked back at Xander. “No problem, pet.” He wasn’t going to upset Xander further by pushing things. “C’mon, then, Watcher.  Tell us what we’re dealing with.”

Giles stared irritably at Spike for a few moments before turning back to the others and clearing his throat. “I think that Pixies is not quite the right term for these creatures. They may be little, but they are quite deadly.”

“What do they look like?” Xander asked.

“Like little goblins,” Willow chirped. “You know that little Gollum guy from The Lord Of The Rings? Well, they kinda look like that, but with pointier teeth.”

“And just where have the little critters sprung from?” Buffy tried to keep her voice light and breezy. You could cut the tension in the room with a knife and Buffy was well aware that she hadn’t helped matters with her insistence on dating an Initiative soldier.

“That is what we need to find out. I would imagine that we would be looking for some kind of portal.  These lightly blighters are certainly not local. I have amassed some volumes referring to the sort of thing we are looking for...” Giles looked briefly at Spike: He almost had a message stamped across his forehead. Don’t leave Xander out.

“Xander, I wonder if you would care to browse through them? See if you can turn up something? We need to know exactly what…err...what…breed we are dealing with.”

“Um, okay, no probs.” Xander reached out his hands and snared the said volumes.

Spiked looked back at Giles and spared him a subtle nod. He was pleased that Giles had included his lover in the activities. But what pleased him even more, was that he had a feeling that Giles had done it for Xander and not because Spike would tear off his head and spit down his neck if he didn’t.  

“Right then, as long as you have Xander on the case, Tara and I will be off.”

“Not staying, Red?”

“No, sorry, Spike. It’s our anniversary and we have reservations.” Willow gathered her belongings and turned to whisper to Spike. “Try and get along with Giles. He doesn’t mean to hurt Xander.  Please believe that. And Xan really hates all the fighting.”

“Yeah, I know he does. I guess it must remind him of his parents.”

Willow abruptly dropped her gaze “Yeah…Tara! C’mon sweetie.  We’ll be late.”

Spike stared after the retreating witch. She knows something. “Willow...?”

“See you guys tomorrow. Bye.”  Willow half ran out the door, dragging a confused Tara with her.

Spike was suddenly aware that Buffy was talking to him. “Huh?”

“I said, do want to stick your nose in a book with Giles and Xan or do you want to go Pixie hunting?”

Spike didn’t need to think about it. “Pixie hunting will do just fine.” Spike leant down and kissed his consort. “Don’t mind, do you, luv?”

Xander looked up, incredulously. “God no! Please, go kill something.”

Spike stood back up “Think I’ll do just that, pet.” Xander had read his mind. Spike was still frustrated and angry and he needed to vent it, otherwise he’d stay up all night pacing, punching walls, and cleaning. (It was a closely guarded secret that Spike did housework when he was pissed off). He needed to let off a little steam, then have a good think about Xander. His boy was special, and Spike was determined to find a way to prove it and introduce the real Xander Harris to the world.


~*~*~*~*~


“A car park?”

“Well done, Spike. Your powers of observation grow by the day.”

“Ha, fucking ha. I mean, what makes you think we’re gonna find a Pixie in a car park?”

“Willow searched the police crime reports for this week and there has been an unusual amount of car vandalism, most of it in this car park. And as I’m sure you’re aware, Pixies are mischievous little critters.”

“Yeah, Slayer and so are teenagers.”

Buffy hauled herself up and sat on the bonnet of a car that had seen better days. “Don’t believe me then.  We’ll just wait and see.”

Spike huffed and pulled a fresh pack of cigarettes out of his pocket. He lit one and stared at Buffy. “I meant what I said earlier, Buffy. If that boyfriend of yours even looks at me or Xander twice, I’ll rip his fucking heart out.”

“With the chip? I don’t think so.  Look, there is no reason why Riley would look at you two twice anyway. Just don’t get all fangy around him.”  Spike failed to meet her gaze and she thought hard for several long moments. “Spike? Why have you gone into mega protective mode with Xander all of a sudden?”

“Give me a break, Slayer. I’ve always been protective. If you’d paid either of us an attention you would bloody well know that.”

“See!? There you go again! All big with the defensiveness. We all pay attention to you and Xander, and we all care about the both of you. But lately you’ve gone into protection overdrive. You jump down our throats every time one of us even so much as speaks to Xander.”

“Only ‘cos all you say is stuff that puts him down.”

“That’s not true, Spike...”

“Yeah, it is. You lot have got no faith in him...”

“Spike, I don’t want to argue, but let me just say this. Maybe Xander needs to have more faith in himself.  Maybe he needs to stand up for himself and maybe he just needs to...find himself?”

“Find himself? What kind of cheesy crap is that?”

“It’s the kind of cheesy crap that you need to pay attention to. Don’t wrap him up in cotton wool and hide him from the world. If you really want to help him, then teach him. Teach him to say something if he feels someone has put him down.  Teach him to say no if he doesn’t want to act as bait again. Teach him how to fight.  Teach him how to be the person that he really is. Teach...”

Spike laughed and held up his hands. “Alright, alright, I got it. Don’t know where to start, but I got it.”

Spike really did get it. He was being overly protective. Spike wondered where this fierce protectiveness had suddenly sprung from. Okay, so he had always been more than keen to keep Xander safe and defend him, but ever since the binding ritual Spike had been almost overwhelmed by feelings that he needed to protect his lover from everything, even Xander’s own shadow. Buffy was right, he wasn’t doing Xander any favours. Spike looked up at the stars and pondered about what he could do to really help him. Fighting? Yep, Spike could definitely show him a move or two. But what else?

Buffy read his mind and answered his question. “Maybe you could start by nudging Xan to do what he really wants to do?”

Spike raised an eyebrow. “Do?”

“Don’t be smutty. I mean a career. He has said on more than one occasion recently that he wants to do something that he would really enjoy and not some boring shop job.”

“Yeah, good one, Slayer. He's been talking about it, but he hasn’t actually done anything about it. Probably ‘cos he thinks that if he tried then he would probably only fail.”

“Exactly, and this is where you would step in. Encourage him, Spike.  Make him realise that he won’t fail.”

“I could do that.  Yeah, not a problem. I wonder what he could do.”

“That’s his choice.”

“I know that! I’m just trying to think what he’d be really good at, so I can nudge him in the right bloody direction.”

“Okay, I see your point. Let me think. Um, veterinarian?”

“Nah, can’t see him sticking his hand up a horse’s backside, can you?”

“Good point. Um, what about a doctor or a nurse?”

“More backsides, Slayer.”

“Okay, how about a writer? Or a journalist?”

Spike shook his head. “Nope, brat can’t spell properly to save his life.” Then it hit him. Xander did have a talent. He didn’t show it off and he probably didn’t even realise that it was a talent, but Spike had noticed it many times and It hadn’t struck him until this moment that Xander could make a career out of it. “You know what? I think Xan could be a great…Pixie.”

“Pixie? Okay, well, for a start he’s far too tall...”

“No, Slayer! Pixie! Behind you!”

Buffy hopped from the car and whirled around. “Where? Spike, WHERE?”

Spike lost sight of the tiny creature. “Err, err…there! Behind that Citroen!”

Buffy saw it and dived around the side of the car. The Pixie abruptly changed direction and skidded under a battered Cadillac. Spike interpreted the move and quickly squatted down on the other side of the vehicle. He ducked his head under the car, bared his fangs and roared, causing the Pixie to squeak in alarm and back up. As it emerged backwards from under the car, Buffy grabbed it by its collar and lifted it high into the air. “Hey there, little fella.  Watcha doing?”

The Pixie spoke with a chipmunk voice. “Eeek, let me down, human. Please, let me down. Eeeeeeeek!”

At the sound of the Pixie’s cries, two of its friends emerged to join it. “Human, please release our friend. We mean you no harm.  Do not hurt us, we beg of you.”

Spike circled around the little imps and stared at them with part suspicion and part curiosity.  These were strange creatures indeed. They stood about three foot high and had faces like trolls, ugly and wrinkled. They each wore brightly coloured clothes and tiny pointy hats.

“Auw, Spike.  They’re quite sweet.”

“Sweet wasn’t the word I was looking for.”

Buffy placed the tiny Pixie onto the ground. “Okay little guy, tell me what you and your friends are doing in Sunnydale and tell me where you came from.”

The Pixie that Buffy had addressed turned to its friends and pulled them into a miniature huddle. Buffy and Spike stared at each other with confusion while the three Pixies conferred in whispered voices. The first Pixie left the huddle and walked up to the Slayer.

Buffy smiled sweetly at the cute little man. “Well?”

The Pixie grinned back up at. “Blow me!”

All three Pixies blew raspberries.

“Oi, you little buggers!”

“Bye, bye, vampire.” The Pixies waved at Spike and sprang off across the tarmac.  

Buffy and Spike tried to keep up, but it was useless, the imps were way to fast. They darted and weaved through the parked vehicles, stopping only when they reached the far end of the car park.  They turned back towards the vampire and human that ran towards them and shouted. (Actually make that, squeaked) “Catch us if you can!” It was then that the three Pixies did something very strange indeed. With a loud ‘Ting!’ they exploded into three small balls of light and zipped back across the car park.

Spike whipped his head around and watched the Pixie balls disappear up into the sky. “Bollocks.”


~*~*~*~*~


“Anything?”

“Um, not too sure. There are a couple of things in those two books that might be helpful. I’ve marked the pages. But I don’t think there’s much more that we can do until we at least get a proper and accurate description of them.”

Giles nodded and glanced quickly at the pages that Xander had marked. He was impressed. Xander had found some very interesting information relating to small folk and portals. “Yes, very good, Xander. This will be most helpful. But I think you’re right, we need to know more about these creatures.  It could be any number of the ones described in these tomes.”

“Should we wait for Spike and Buffy to get back? Maybe they spotted them.”

“I think that’s exactly what we should do. But in the meantime, shall I make some tea?”

“Yeah, tea would be great.”

Giles shuffled into the kitchen and Xander began to doodle on his notepad. He had been all set a couple of weeks ago to ask Giles for a part time job, just until he figured out what he wanted to do with his life. But after Spike’s argument with him, Xander didn’t think that it was such a good idea.

Xander couldn’t blame Spike for being upset. Giles, after all, did nearly get him killed. But it didn’t change the fact that Xander wished that they could all just forget what had happened and go back to the way things were. Giles was nearly like a father to him and Xander loved him very much.  But sometimes he felt like Giles was looking down on him. He hated that. He hated that he always felt inferior to the others. Every time he started to feel more confident, he somehow felt like he was being knocked back down and he just couldn’t figure out why.

Giles appeared from the back and placed a mug of tea in front of him. “There you go. It’s PG Tips.  I get it imported from England.”

“Err, yeah. So does Spike.”

“Oh, does he? Yes, well, very good.”

Giles drummed his fingers on the table. He was lost for what to say. He knew he needed to clear the air, but he could feel Xander’s uneasiness hanging in the air. If he tried to talk seriously with him now, he would most probably bolt. “Weather has been clement, hasn’t it?”

“Clement? Is that a fruit?”

They both stared at each for a few seconds before erupting into great gusts of laughter.


~*~*~*~*~


“What’s all this, then?” Spike asked, eyeing the two giggling humans.  Giles and Xander had been laughing continuously for the past five minutes.

Xander stood and walked over to his lover, greeting him with a welcoming kiss. “Oh, we were just talking about the weather…and fruit, apparently.”

Spike was glad to see that Xander was happy. When Xander smiled it always lit up any room. And tonight the room was aglow with a million stars.

Giles coughed and straightened his jacket. “Any luck, Buffy?”

“Well, we saw them if that helps.”

“It might.  Tell us what you know.”

Buffy and Spike recounted their story and Xander quickly consulted one of the books. After finding what he was looking for, he turned the book around to show the others. “Is this them?”

“Yep, that’s them alright. Rude little buggers.”

Xander turned the book back to himself and picked out the relevant information. “Says here that they are called Trable Muckers. Oh and they are a type of Pixie! How about that! Usually found underground somewhere in the region of Southwest England, namely, Bristol.”

“How did they get here?” Buffy asked.

“It says that they often use portal travel. Particularly if they are on a quest.”

Giles thought hard. “Hmm, England, portal travel, quest.”

“Uh-huh, thanks for the recap, Watcher.”

Giles shot Spike a long suffering look. “The answer is obvious. Pixies are here from England and they have used a portal to travel to Sunnydale to complete a quest.”

“Ooookay, Giles that was a fine explanation. That’s a wrap them.”

“Buffy, I am simply thinking aloud, trying to sort the information so that I can work out what we…” Giles frowned at the whispering lovers. “Is it something that you would like to share with the rest of the group?”

Spike sat up straight. “Actually yeah, we would like to share. Go on, pet, tell ‘em what you just told me.”

“Um, it was nothing really.”

“Yeah it was, luv. Tell ‘em what you think.”

“Okay, well, it’s just a suggestion, but I was thinking that maybe we could try and spy on them. I mean, the books might not be able to tell us about the quest, even if there is one, and by the sounds of it, the Pixies weren’t exactly forthcoming with the info.”

“Yes, I do believe that would be the best course of action. I’ll call Willow and Tara in the morning. How about we all meet back here tomorrow, at say six o’clock?”

They all agreed and Spike led his lover out of The Magic Box and into the car. He felt very proud. Xander had played an important part in the research and had come up with the plan for the next day. This was how Spike needed to help Xander. He needed to give him the courage to speak up. His mate had a good sized brain and Spike was going to teach him how to trust it. Hello World, meet the real Xander Harris.


~*~*~*~*~


The Scoobies split up and followed the trail of destruction around Sunnydale. It wasn’t hard to track the mischievous little urchins. The town was bathed in smashed mail boxes, broken down shop fronts, garbage in the streets and plenty of other misdemeanours.

“My feet are starting to ache,” Willow complained.

Xander sympathised. “Yeah, mine too. What do you think, give it another hour?” Before Willow could reply, Xander spoke again, this time in a more hushed voice. “You hear that?”

Willow listened. “I can’t hear anything.”

“Listen, that chirping sound.”

“Um, sounds like a bird, maybe.”

“Or a chattering Pixie perhaps?”

Willow listened again. “You might be right.  Where is it coming from?”

“Down here I think. C’mon, move quietly.” Xander took Willow’s hand and led her into a small alleyway.  They crept silently towards the chattering noise and when Xander spotted the three little Trable Muckers, he quickly pulled them both behind the large dumpster that took up half of the alley.

“We are close, Sebastian. I can feel it.”

“Yes, I feel it too.  It will not be long.”

The third Pixie joined in the conversation. “There is a large place, outside of town.  I believe that is where we will find them.”

“Yes, Karl. I see them now. Most beautiful ovals. They will soon be ours.”

Xander and Willow looked at each other with confused faces as the Pixies began to chant.

“Bright as the rainbow, find them, we will.  
Shells of delight, for them we will kill.
The souls of the ovals, so precious and rare.
Return we will not, until we have what is fair.”

The pixies finished their mysterious chant. “Let us depart.  There is much fun to be had tonight before we claim our ovals tomorrow.”

“Yippeee!”

“Yippeee!”

The three little pixies scaled the wall and skipped across the roof of an electronics store until they were out of sight.

“Did you understand any of that?” Willow asked.

“Nope.  So much for my spying idea. Perhaps we should have just made a grab for them and dragged their skinny asses back to The Magic Shop.”

“Don’t be silly, Xand. I’m sure that what they said will make some kind of sense once we have had the chance to think about it. Perhaps Giles will know something about these ovals.”

“I guess. C’mon then, Wills.  Lets head back.”


~*~*~*~*~


“Ovals with souls?” Giles asked. “Very curious. And they will be looking for them at a large place outside of town? Hmm, even more curious. Well, if they are going to strike tomorrow then at least that gives us a little time.”

Spike growled and Giles sighed at him. “Spike? You have something to say?”

“Yeah, I bloody do. We’ve been tramping around all sodding evening and I for one need a break.  I wanna go for a drink.”

Buffy raised her hand. “Um, and I have a date.”

Spike and Buffy waited for Giles to chide them, and to say that they were surprised when he didn’t, was an understatement. “Yes, very good. Willow? Tara? Are you staying?”

“We are,” Tara replied.

“Then, I don’t see why the rest of you can’t cut loose for the evening. Although I’m afraid that I must insist on you all returning as early as possible tomorrow.”

“No problem, G-man. Me and Spike can come back in the morning.”

Willow gestured to herself, Tara and Buffy. “We have classes, but we’ll all swing by straight after.”

Spike stood and yanked Xander to his feet. “Right, we’re off, then. C’mon, Xan.  Drinks are a ‘waiting.”


~*~*~*~*~


“Mmmm.”

Spike pulled Xander close and placed soft, slow kisses up his neck. With restraint that he never knew he possessed Xander pushed him away. “I think we need more drinks.”

“In a minute. I want another kiss first.”

Spike dived towards him and Xander quickly ducked his head out of the way. “Spike! Thirsty!” he complained.

“Oh, bloody hell.  Alright, wait here.”

Spike went to get up and Xander pulled him roughly back down. “My round,” he grinned.

Xander weaved through the crowd towards the bar.  When he reached his target, he leant on it and waited for his turn to be served.

“I think they need more staff,” Said a voice next to him. “I’ve been waiting near enough ten minutes.”

Xander turned his head to look at the man that had spoken to him. He was a tall attractive man who looked maybe five years older than himself.

“Yeah, it gets busy in here sometimes,” Xander said. He turned back to face the bar.

“You come here often?” The man suddenly clutched at his own head. “I can’t believe I just said that.  How lame am I?!”

Xander lowered his eyes and blushed slightly. “Do you really want me to answer that?” he said, not unkindly.

“Perhaps not.” The man peered around him and tried to catch his gaze. When Xander looked up, the man spoke again and held out his hand. “I’m Graham, by the way.”

Xander glanced over in Spike's direction and hesitantly took Graham’s offered hand. “Xander.  And yes, I do come here often.”

Graham laughed. “Well, it’s good to meet you, Xander. I don’t suppose I could buy you a drink?”

Xander smiled apologetically “Um, sorry. I don’t think my boyfriend would be too chuffed with that.”

Graham nodded. “No problem.  But hey, can’t blame a guy for trying.”

Xander continued to blush. “No, I guess not.”

“Graham! Buddy! I didn’t expect to see you here tonight. I thought you were on duty?”

Graham turned to face his friend. “Nope. Got the night off.  I thought I would come down here and see what was kicking.”

The man’s eyes trailed over Xander’s body. “Kicking indeed. This your date, Graham?”

Xander blushed again and Graham spoke quickly. “No. Forrest, this is Xander. We were just talking.”

“Oh I see.  So he’s fair game then?”

Xander suddenly felt very nervous and his heart picked up the pace.

“I don’t think so, Forrest.  He’s here with his boyfriend.”

“That a fact? I don’t see no boyfriend. So, what’ya say then Xander? Wanna kick it with the Forrest?”

“No, I don’t.”

Xander turned to move quickly away but a long black arm snared him. “Aw, don’t leave Xander baby, the fun is just starting.”

Panic seized Xander and he twisted and struggled in Forrest’s grip. “Get off me!”

“C’mon, play with us…Hey!?”

Forrest was roughly pulled away  by his friend.

“That’s enough, Forrest. He’s not interested, leave him alone.”

“That’s exactly what I was about to say…but perhaps with a little more bad language and a tad more violence.”

Forrest spun around to face an angry looking blond man. “What’s it to you?”

“What’s it to me? That’s my boyfriend you’re bloody groping!”

Forrest held his hands up in a surrendering gesture. “Aw, man, sorry.  Didn’t know he was yours. But, hey, if you fancy sharing...”

Spike struggled to keep his cool. Inside, he was burning with fury and his instinct was to release his demon and tear out the bastard’s throat. The only thing that held him back was the thought that it was not really a good idea to slaughter someone in such a crowded place and particularly not with the Initiative crawling all over Sunnydale.

“I don’t share,” he said through gritted teeth. “Now I suggest that you step away from my boy before I do something that you will most definitely regret.”

Forrest laughed, briefly. “Yeah, alright, Billy Idol, whatever. Take your little fuck buddy, then. Go fuck him senseless and get the fuck out of my face...”

Spike’s temper was finally lost and he lunged, his face shifting, his eyes blazing gold and his teeth gnashing violently.

Forrest jumped back and Xander grabbed at his lover and hauled him back.

“Fuck, man.  You’re a vamp...”

It was Xander’s turn to lose his temper. Most of The Bronze had not noticed his lover’s sudden change in facial features and he was not going to let this egotistical bastard announce it to the whole club. He stepped in front of Spike and threw out a solid, hard punch, knocking Forrest to the floor.

“C’mon, let’s get out of here,” he said.

Spike growled and tried to surge forward, but Xander stood in front and effectively blocked his path to the man that was still lying on the floor. “No. I wanna go. Please.

Spike grabbed Xander’s arms. “Just tell me, he hurt you?”

“No,” Xander lied. Forrest had twisted his wrist and it hurt like hell. “People are starting to stare.  Let’s not draw anymore attention, yeah? If you still want to drink, then let’s go to Willy’s.”

Spike kept hold of one of Xander’s arms and drew him gently aside, getting a better view of the man that was struggling to get to his feet.  He spoke to the floored man in a voice that was frighteningly calm. “If I ever see your ugly mug anywhere near my lover again, I’ll fucking kill you.”

Spike backed up and the together they left The Bronze, leaving Forrest to nurse his gushing nose. “Call in, Graham. Tell ‘em we’ve got another hostile on the rampage.” Forrest stood and thought for a moment. A vampire with a human lover? That is interesting. I’m sure Dr Price will be real fascinated.


~*~*~*~*~


“Bloody hell, Xan,” Spike said as he tried to rub some life into Xander’s bruised wrist. “Why didn’t you just sodding admit that ponce hurt you?”

“Because I didn’t want you to commit murder in front of two hundred people.”

“Okay, while that’s a fair point, don’t lie to me again.”

“I won’t,” Xander lied.

They had not gone home, choosing instead to drop by at Willy’s.  Spike was still in an extremely agitated state and Xander was much happier that Spike could maybe take out his frustration on Willy’s furnishings, rather than their own.

Willy walked over to their table and placed two drinks in front of them. “Trouble, Spike?” he said.

“When is there ever not?”

“Well, perhaps I can help you.”

“Yeah? What do you know?” Spike asked sharply thinking that the bar owner was referring to the incident in The Bronze.

“I hear you’ve been Pixie fishing.”

“You know about the Pixies?” Xander asked in a surprised tone.

“I may know a little something…for the right price.”

Spike rolled his eyes and sighed. “I decide the price. Twenty bucks and a promise from me that if you’re fucking with us, I will pull off one or more of your limbs.”

Willy considered the offer. “I’ll take the twenty bucks upfront...please.”

Spike handed over the money. “Spill it.”

“The word is...”

“Hang on, who’s word?”

Willy tried to remember. “Fricky three eyes heard it from Herman the small. Fricky told Bubble and Bubble told Bernard the saint. Bernard then had a quiet word with that Tranlar demon that lives beneath MacDonald’s and the Tranlar told Stripy the tiger demon to tell me.”

Spike stared and shook his head. “Go on, what did he tell you?”

“Err, she actually. She told me that three little Pixies have travelled from England using a water portal. They are apparently searching for treasure.”

“What treasure?” Xander asked.

“No-one knows. But I do know where they'll be hunting for it.”

Spike sat up a little straighter “Where?”

“Tesco’s”

“Tesco’s” Spike repeated. “What and where the fuck is that?”

“It’s that mega supermarket out by the border.”

“Never bloody heard of it.”

“Oh, it’s new. Some English owned place apparently. They have a section for English imported goods.”

This interested Spike “Really? Do they sell English tea?” He turned to Xander. “’Cos that would make my life so much easier, not having to import it every bloody time. I wonder how much it is, though, cos I’m not gonna pay exorbitant bloody... ”

Xander frowned at his lover. “Focus, Spike. Never mind about the tea. Why would the Pixies be searching for treasure at a supermarket?”

Spike turned back to Willy. “Well? Answer his question.”

“That I can’t tell you. No idea.”

“That’s okay, Willy. For your services, I will not smash your face in. Now if that is all the information you have, clear off and give me and the boy here some peace.”

Willy walked away and spoke over his shoulder. “Thank you, Spike. No problem. It has been an honour to serve.”

Spike caught the sarcasm and considered removing just the one of Willy’s limbs for his cheek. But before he could act on it, he saw Xander out of the corner of his eye, rubbing at his wrist. “You okay, luv?”

“Sure.”

“Really? I don’t just mean your wrist.”

Xander knew what he meant. Forrest had scared him. The sensation of being held against his will had reminded him of his father. But that was not something he was ready to share, not yet. “I’m fine now. Now you’re here.” Xander didn’t just mean tonight.

“Yeah, I’m here. I’ll always be here.”


~*~*~*~*~


Xander sat on the sofa and switched on the T.V, while Spike immediately got on the phone to Giles to give him the information that he and Xander had acquired. While he was at it, Spike decided he would call his Sire.  It had been over a week since he had spoken to him and Spike was keen to keep communications with him frequent.

Xander channel hopped for several minutes before deciding that there was nothing decent on. He switched the T.V back off and reached out to the coffee table, snatching up a week old newspaper. He flicked through it and found the half done crossword puzzle that he had been working on for the last three days. “Five letter word, beginning with A. Religious, winged being…Angel!”

“Huh?”

“Oh, nothing.” Xander flapped the paper in the air. “Crossword”

“Oh.” Spike crossed the room and sat next to his lover.

“You get through to Giles?”

“Yup, told him what we found out.  I called Angel, too.”

“Great.  So what has the brooding one got to say for himself?” Xander asked with a cheeky grin.

“Dunno, he wasn’t in. No reply.” Spike motioned to the paper with his head. “Need help with that?”

“Nope. I’m determined to finish this one all by myself.”

“Whatever you say, pet.” Spike noticed the doodles that littered the edges of the paper. Xander really must have working on the crossword for a while. “They’re good, pet.”

Xander frowned at a particularly tricky question. “Huh? What’s good?”

Spike pointed to the doodles. “Them.”

“They're just scribbles.”

Spike pulled the paper from Xander’s fingers. “Yeah, but they’re bloody good scribbles.” It was Spike’s turn to frown. “Is that me…in a Dracula suit?”

Xander chuckled. “I think you would look quite sexy in a Dracula costume.”

The corners of Spike’s mouth twitched upwards as thoughts of a potentially kinky sex game flooded his brain.  He pushed the thoughts aside for now.  This moment was not for kink. “It’s really good.”

“What?”

Spike huffed with impatience. “The bloody drawing.  All the bloody drawings.  I’m trying to bloody well tell you that you are sodding good at drawing!”

“Okaay, there’s no need to get in tiz about it….and I’m not...”

“Yes, you are.  You got a real talent there, babe. You should use it.”

Xander looked down at his doodles. He had to admit they weren’t bad. Maybe he did have a small talent. “Use it how?”

“A career, pet. You’d make a great cartoonist.  Your drawings are just as good as the ones in those comics you’ve got lying about everywhere.”

“No-way.  I’m not nearly good enough.”

Here we go with the self doubt.  “I’ll prove it.” Spike picked up a Spiderman comic from the floor and laid it out on the coffee table. “Don’t move.” He stalked around the room, muttering under his breath. “Now where the bloody hell did I see that...Ahh!” Spike picked up the phone pad from the floor and waggled it at his lover. “We’re gonna have to chat about your housekeeping skills, pet.” Spike crossed the room, sat back beside Xander and thrust the notepad under his nose. “There. You tell me what the difference is.”

Xander stared at the picture of Spiderman that he had drawn and then glanced over at the comic that lay spread out on the coffee table. He smiled.  He could see exactly what Spike was trying to do. And maybe Spike was right.  Maybe he did have a talent. Drawing was something that he did quite a lot, but he never really thought about it as a career, at least not since he was a kid.

When he had been about eight or nine years old he had written his own little comic. He had spent weeks carefully drawing the made up cartoon figures. He had even stapled the pages together to make it look like a real comic. When his father had found it and ripped it apart in a drunken rage, he had been crushed. Nothing could have stopped the tears that fell, not even the beating that had followed.  He had cried solidly for two days.

Xander was pulled from his memories by a cool hand touching his own. “You okay, luv?”

“Yeah, I’m good”

“Okay, then.  I’m still waiting. What’s the difference?”

Xander smiled, wearily. He didn’t have to be psychic to realise that Spike was not going to let this go. That was probably a good thing.  Sometimes he felt that he needed a little push now and again. “There is a difference,” he said.

“Is there now? Enlighten me, whelp. ‘Cos I don’t bloody see it!”

“Mine’s better.”

Spike laughed. “Oh yeah, I do see that!”

“Look Spike I do enjoy drawing, and don’t bite my head off, but I really don’t think I’m quite good enough to be a proper cartoonist.”

Although it didn’t come naturally to him, Spike thought it was time for a spot of rationalisation. “Okay, well, perhaps that’s true now, but you could learn. And that’s where college comes in.  I bet there are loads of courses you could do.”

“I don’t know...”

“Hang on. Do you like drawing?”

“Yeah.”

“Would you like to do it for a living?”

Xander thought about it.  It would be cool. “Yeah.”

“Then you’re bloody well going to college.”

Almost out of habit, Xander tried to protest. Spike held up a hand that told him to shut up. “Zip it. Go to the college tomorrow and pick up a prospectus. We’ll look through it together, cos pet? You are gonna get the career you want even if it bloody kills me!”


~*~*~*~*~


Spike and Xander arrived at The Magic Shop at around ten in the morning. They would have been earlier but Spike had insisted that Xander go to the local University and pick up some details on the courses that they had to offer.

As they entered through the front of the shop, smoke poured off of the blanketed vampire and Xander desperately patted out the smouldering flames.

“Bloody hell! Fuck the car; I’m coming in through the sewers next time.”

Xander wrinkled his nose. “Well, don’t expect me to accompany you; I’m strictly a car man.”

“Hi, guys!”

“Hey, Buff. You’re early, what gives?”

“We thought we’d be bad and cut class.”

“Really? You mad cap gal! What next? Don’t tell me, um, you’re gonna go to the mall and not visit The Gap?”

Buffy chuckled a little too enthusiastically.

“Ok, Buffster, I haven’t got my be funny hat on today. What’s up?”

“Nothing, Xand, why would you think that?”

Xander waited silently for Buffy to confess.

“Riley’s here.”

Spike shoved his blanket onto the floor and stalked over to where Buffy stood. “What?”

“Huh?” Xander was confused and he turned to his lover for a hint.

“Riley. That Initiative bloke.”

“Oh my gods, Buffy! What are you thinking? What if he recognises Spike?”

“He won’t.”

“And just what makes you so sure, ducks?”

“Well, he didn’t recognise you before did he?”

“It was dark, you stupid bint!”

“I don’t want to be rude, Spike, but you are pretty distinctive looking.  Your hair for example is so bright that it could light up an entire city. If he didn’t recognise you then,  he won’t recognise you now. Just don’t vamp out.”

Spike shifted uncomfortably.  Buffy was probably right. “Where is he?” Spike asked, finally.

“In the training room. I assumed you would come in smoking through the front door, so I thought it was wise to keep Riley out the back.”

Spike only nodded.

“Where’s my two favourite witches?” Xander asked, having to manually add a positive tone to his voice.

“Out by Tesco’s. They’re keeping an eye out, they’ll phone if they see anything. So ‘til then, we all get to hang out.”

“Oh joy!” Spike said sarcastically.  He was not happy. If Riley did recognise him then he was going to be in for some serious trouble.  Plus, Spike was also not relishing the thought of being stuck in The Magic Box all day. There was plenty that he could be doing in the comfort of his own home.  An idea hit him.

“Clear the ponce out of the training room.”

“Why?” Buffy asked, indignantly.

“Cos I want to hit something. Would you rather it be lover boy? Cos that can be arranged.”

“No! Hang on. I’ll get Riley out.”

As Buffy walked away, Xander turned to talk to his lover. “Keep cool, Spike...”

“I’m all right. I just had an idea.”

Xander eyed him, suspiciously.

“You’ll see, pet.”

Buffy came out of the training room with Riley in tow. Spike was ready to walk straight past, but Xander stopped him. “You have to speak to him or it will look suspicious,” he whispered.

Spike huffed. Why was everybody right today except for him? “Yeah, alright.” He took his Xander’s hand and together they cautiously approached the soldier.

Riley held out his hand. “Hi, I’m Riley”

“I’m Xander, and this is Sp…Will.”

Riley shook hands with Xander, barely even looking at Spike. “Good to meet you both…”

Spike interrupted. “Whatever.” He turned to face Buffy. “Xan and me are gonna do some training.  We don’t want to be disturbed.  Tell Giles.” Spike led his lover away.

“Um, it was nice to meet you,” Xander called over his shoulder.

Riley looked at Buffy with a bemused expression and she attempted to explain. “Will is a little bit abrupt.  He doesn’t really adjust well to new people.”

“You don’t say…You know what?”

“What?”

“I think I recognise him from somewhere.”


~*~*~*~*~


Spike closed the training room door and turned around to see Xander heading for a bench. “Oh no you don’t!”

“What? I thought you wanted to hit something.  Why can’t I just sit?”

“Because, my love, I’m gonna teach you how to fight.”

“Um, really? Now? Can’t I just sit? I have a real talent for sitting. Perhaps I could show you some real good sitting positions?”

Spike smirked. “You can show me some of your positions later. But in the mean time, I wanna teach you some stuff.”

Xander whined. “Do I have to? I’m no good at this Technique stuff. You know me. I just hammer something until either it or I falls down.”

“I’m quite aware of that, pet. That’s why we’re in here.”

“No, we’re in here so that we don’t have to hang around that Riley guy.”

“Alright, I’ll give you that, but I have been thinking about this for a while.” Spike looked at Xander’s glum face and sighed. He tugged the boy into his arms. “I just want to keep you safe. But, luv? I ain’t always gonna be right by your side.  It’s impossible. It would make me feel better if I knew you could defend yourself properly. Your fighting style gives me nightmares, pet.”

“Hey! It’s not that bad!”

“Not that bad? The only time you win a fight is when luck is on your side, or like you say, when you just hammer something to death! But that shit don’t work on vampires, luv. They’re too quick.  They ain’t gonna sit around and wait for you to bludgeon them with a stick.”

“But I thought that vampires would leave me alone.  You said they would know that I was a consort.”

“Yeah, but they ain’t gonna leave you alone if you attack them. What if you need to help one of your little friends?”

Xander frowned.  He was irritated that Spike was suddenly making too much sense.

“Please, baby. Just let me show you a couple of really simple moves. Please. Do it for me?”

“Okay, okay, I give in, but you can’t use the ‘do it for me’ line again for a whole week!”

“You got yourself a deal there, pet.!”


~*~*~*~*~


“Ow! Do you have to do that so hard?!”

Spike was stood behind the Xander with his arms tightly wrapped around his waist. “And what is it that you expect the enemy to do, eh? Tickle you with feathers?” Spike suddenly gave himself inspiration. He loosened his iron grip and tickled Xander’s ribs instead.

“Hey! Cut that out!”

“Make me.”

Xander giggled. “Eeek! Sp-Spike! Stop...you know I hate...Spike!” In a move that was near enough instinctive, Xander threw his elbow backwards and slammed it into Spike’s face.

Spike immediately let go and staggered backwards, clutching at his bloody nose.

“Spike! Jesus! I’m so sorry!”

Spike waggled his nose slightly, checking for breakage.  Finding none, he smiled broadly. “And that is what you do when someone grabs you from behind. Well done, pet. I’m proud.”

Xander grabbed several tissues from a box sitting on the bench and wiped them over Spike’s blood soaked nose and face. “Yep, now I am a match for the infamous tickle monster.”

Spike laughed. “Ready for more? I could show you how to defend yourself from the deadly cookie monster?”

“Hm, cookies. Actually, I feel quite hungry, can we…?” Xander’s expression changed.

“Xan? Luv? You alright?” Spike grasped the tops of Xander’s arms. “Sweetheart, what’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” Xander’s eyes swept briefly over Spike’s face before he plastered his body over the his, and kissed him roughly.

Spike jumped. He hadn’t been expecting Xander to suddenly jump him. As a warm, needy tongue dived into his mouth and swished desperately around, Spike wondered what had caused his mate to suddenly become so overcome with passion. Still, he could wonder about that later. Right now he had a human to do.

Xander groaned into Spike’s mouth and with fumbling fingers he quickly unbuttoned Spike’s jeans.  He pulled out the long hard length and sank to his knees.  Spike gasped as he felt his lover take his him fully into to his mouth.  Xander sucked and swallowed at the small amounts of pre-cum that flowed from Spike’s shaft, but it wasn’t enough.  He needed to fully taste his lover.  He let Spike’s erection slip from his lips and he got to his feet.  Pulling Spike towards him, Xander began to lick at Spike’s lips and chin with long lavishing strokes, cleaning off every last drop of blood.

Spike groaned with disappointment when his length was released from the wet enclosure of his consort’s mouth.  Then he felt Xander’s tongue deliciously assaulting his face and he realised with delight that Xander was seeking to taste his blood.

Xander had tasted and drank Spike’s blood before, many times in fact, but this was different. He needed it, craved it.  He needed to taste and drink from his lover, his very own vampire, his Master.

Xander quickly pulled Spike’s T-shirt from his body and without hesitation, he lent in and bit down hard into Spike’s shoulder.

Spike grunted. “Fuck, Xan!” He reached down and pulled out Xander’s throbbing erection.  He pumped hard at the pulsing cock as Xander continued to drink while his body shook with approaching release.

Xander relinquished Spike shoulder and Spike watched hungrily as blood trickled slowly down Xander’s chin.  Xander grabbed Spike’s length, lent his head back and bared his neck. “Now,” he whispered. Spike complied. He stroked excitedly at Xander’s cock and he bit deeply in the soft warm flesh at Xander's neck, striking at him like a snake snatching at its prey. Xander gasped out a broken scream and the two lovers came together, spilling warm and cold seed over each other.


~*~*~*~*~


“What?”

“I said that I think I recognise him from somewhere.”

“Um...”

“Hang on...I’ve got it!”

“No, no, I’m sure you haven’t ...”

“Yes I have. Didn’t he used to work in that Pizza place, just down the street.”

“Will?”

No. Xander.”

Buffy let out a breath that she felt like she had been holding for at least an hour. She whispered to herself. “Xander.  You recognise Xander.” She shook her head.  Spike had been right all along.   This was really stupid.


~*~*~*~*~


Spike used some more of the tissues and quickly cleaned both of them up. Xander had collapsed to his knees and Spike had pulled him into an embrace and lent them both against the wall.

Ten minutes had passed and neither lover had spoken. Spike understood that Xander needed these few minutes to comprehend and accept what had just happened to him.  It was Xander that spoke first.

“Was that part of it?”

“How do you mean, pet?”

“The consort thing.  I remember you saying that I would need and crave your blood.”

“That’s right, luv. We’re bound to each other, so we crave each other.”

“It was a little scary, Spike. I wanted to taste your blood.  I needed it.  I had to have it.  I would have done anything.  Thank god there was no-one in the room, cos I really think I would have thrown myself at you, regardless.”

“That’s the bloodlust.  You will get used to it and you’ll be able to control it eventually…”

“Bloodlust? Is it like the bloodlust that you…”

Spike ran comforting fingers through Xander’s sable locks. “No, baby. It not the same. You will only crave my blood and, to a lesser extent, Angel’s too. For me, it’s about feeding, I need the blood to stay alive…or un-alive. For you and me together, it’s about bonding, keeping our connection strong.”

“So will I keep getting these urges? I mean, I know that I’ve bitten you loads of times before, but this felt so different. I don’t know what I would have done if I couldn’t have tasted you right there and then.”

“It’s like a drug, pet. You need it. But like I said, you will get used to the feelings, and you will be able to control it.”

Xander stayed silent.

“Pet? You ok?”

Xander smiled into Spike’s chest.  He was okay. He had Spike. As the vampire’s blood continued to pump through his veins, Xander’s head swam with overwhelming feelings of love, comfort, protection and belonging. It was literally as though he could feel the bond between them strengthening.  Xander trusted Spike completely, and if Spike said that things would be okay, then he would believe him

“Luv?! C’mon sweetheart, talk to me!”

Xander became aware that he was being lightly shaken and he slowly opened his eyes and stared dizzily into Spike’s concerned face. “Mmmm, sorry Spike. I’m okay. I was just basking in the glow.” Xander nuzzled back into Spike’s chest and closed his eyes again.

Spike engulfed Xander’s body with his arms and whispered into his ear. “Sorry, pet. Just worried…”

“Don’t worry. Fine.” Xander’s voice was drawn and sleepy. “Love you, Spike.”

“Love you, too, Xan.” Spike let his concern drift away and he too began to bask in the glow of their bond as it reinforced itself though their blood. “Mine.”

Xander was already asleep, but the bond spoke for him. Forever.


~*~*~*~*~


Bang, Bang!

“C’MON GUYS! WILLOW CALLED, IT’S TIME TO GO!”

Spike opened his eyes and shouted back. “COMING!”

“Huh? Wha…?”

“Slayer, pet. Time to move out.”

“Mmmm.”

“C’mon, luv. Wake up. We gotta go, those Pixies won’t slay themselves.”

“Mrgh, ‘kay. How long have we been sleeping?”

Spike squinted at his watch. “Bloody hell! It’s gone seven. We slept all sodding day!”

Xander stretched out on the training mat. “Well, if you will keep us up all night.” he joked.

Spike crawled over his lover and pinned him to the floor. “So, if we slept all day, then I guess it will be okay if I keep you up for another night.”

“I guess that would be okay.”

Spike lowered his head and captured Xander’s lips in a bruising kiss.

“Guys, are you...? Oh, um, sorry, we’ll be in the van.” Buffy made a hasty exit and the two lovers snickered.

“Time to go?” Xander asked with disappointment.

“Yeah, you run on ahead. I got something I need to do.” Spike got up and pulled up his consort to his feet.

Xander nodded and spoke with a hint of playful sarcasm in his voice. “Don’t be long, miss you already.”

“Whatever, brat. Clear off before I give you a good hiding.”

“That a promise?”

“Bugger off.”

Xander laughed, kissed his lover and trotted out of the training room and out of the shop.  Spike followed behind but stopped when he reached the phone behind the counter.  Huffing under his breath, he picked up the phone and dialled.


~*~*~*~*~


Spike sulked for the entire journey and Xander was puzzled as to why.  He had been fine when he had left him in the shop and Spike had only stayed behind for what could have been five minutes.  What had happened to upset him in that time was anyone’s guess.

They arrived at Tesco’s at seven thirty and Giles found a nice convenient disabled bay to park in. As they piled out the van, Xander was about to say something funny about parking tickets and wheel clamps when he suddenly became distracted.

Crowds of screaming people surged from the front of the supermarket.

“Good lord. Keep back everyone, we are liable to be crushed.”

The Scooby gang pressed themselves up against the side of the van. “Over there!” Buffy pointed to the side of the shop where Willow and Tara stood waving. “Let’s go!”

As they ran towards the gesturing witches, Xander turned to his lover. “Spike?”

“Yeah?”

“What kind of treasure would be in a supermarket?”

“Remember, pet, what is treasure to one man, can be seen as total crap to another. I think some philosophiser said sommit about it once.”

The gang arrived at the side of the huge building and Tara gestured for them to follow her and Willow.

“You know, Spike. I reckon that you’re cleverer than you look.”

“Err, pet? Was that an insult or a compliment?”

Xander pretended to think about it. “Um, I can’t decide.”

Spike smiled at his consort, his earlier frustration temporarily forgotten.

“Spike?”

“Yeah?”

“You okay? In the van...you seemed...you were…”

Spike slung his arm over Xander’s shoulders. “I’m alright, luv. You know me, just getting my knickers in a twist over nothing.”

“Hey! When you two have finished your grannies meeting, we’ve got work to do.”

Spike glared at Buffy, then realised that he hadn’t really been playing with the team since he had got in the van. Looking around, he only just took in his surroundings. It was a long dark corridor.  It looked like they were entering the shop through some sort of service entrance. It was only then that he realised that someone was missing.

“Oi, Slayer. Where’s soldier boy?”

“He had to go. They called him in to work half an hour ago, some emergency.”

Xander had a sickening feeling. Please don’t let it be the same emergency as ours.

If Spike was thinking the same thing, he didn’t show it. “What a fucking shame.” He looked to Willow. “Fill us in, Red.”

“I don’t know much, guys. Tara and I just saw them running about the car park about half an hour ago.  They were letting down tires, smashing wing mirrors and riding about in the shopping trolleys. They went into the shop about five minutes ago.”

Giles nodded. “Right, lets go and see what the little rotters are up to, find out what this so called treasure is.”

The gang stepped out into the main shop and Giles announced without surprise that they should split up and search the aisles. With even less surprise, Spike grabbed Xander and pulled him down an aisle. “We’ll start in fruit and veg,” he called over his shoulder.


~*~*~*~*~


“Bingo,” Spike whispered.

The three little Trable Muckers skipped happily down the confectionary aisle, singing something that easily have been a chipmunk hit single.

“We will find them, we will find them. Yes we will, yes we will. Find those little ovals, find those little ovals. Find them all, find them all.”

Spike stepped out into the middle of the aisle and walked confidently towards the singing Pixies.  The little men froze and quickly chatted to each other.

“What’s this?”

“Who’s this?”

“He comes to steal our treasure.”

“Then we must kill this monster.”

“Yes, Sebastian. Kill him we must, for he will...”

Spike held up his hands. “Hold tight boys, I’m not here for your treasure.”

“Then why have you come, monster?”

“I just came to do a spot of shopping with my mate, here.”  Spike waved at Xander to join him. The Pixies were extremely jumpy, and he didn’t think that if they accidentally stumbled on his crouching lover they would be particularly pleased.

“Mate?” One of the Pixies turned to another. “I wonder what he means by that. Are they friends who shop, or are they lovers who fuck and have run out of lube?”

“Oi!”

Xander placed a hand onto Spike’s arm. “Actually, we are nearly out.”

“Oh...remind me later, we’ll get some before we leave.” He turned back to the Pixies. “Look, we don’t want your bloody treasure, whatever it is. What we want, is for you to go back to where you came from.  You little buggers are causing a lot of trouble.”

“We like trouble. We make trouble, therefore we are!”

Spike growled. “I’m fast losing my patience, here.”

“So are we, monster. We want our treasure.  Only then will we return to our homeland.”

Xander spoke in a voice that was both kind and honest. “What is your treasure? Maybe we can help you to find it.”

“Why would you help us, human?”

“Um, because I am human. Err, we humans help our fellow creatures…”

The Trable Muckers burst into fits of giggles. “Tee, hee. What a bowl full of bollocks. Tee, hee!”

Xander looked sheepishly at his lover and shrugged. “You try.”

“Look, you little shit bags, we’ll come clean. With or without your treasure, we want you out of Sunnydale. You lot are causing a lot of damage to this town and therefore giving me an excruciating headache. So if it’s gets you out of my way quicker, so that I can go home and shag my boy here, then I will help you find your bloody treasure. And besides, there are other humans coming for you, and I doubt very much that they will be so lenient.”

Xander frowned slightly at his lover. He knows the Initiative are coming. Riley.

“The monster tells us the truth.”

“Yes, he wants to go home and shag his consort.”

“Oi! Hang on, how did you know that?”

“We know lots of things, monster.”

“Right, two things.  Firstly, I am not a monster, I’m a vampire.  Secondly, you keep your sodding mouths shut about him being my consort.”

“Oh hush, friends.  Vampire has a secret. Shhh!”

“Hey!” Cried Xander. “We are trying to help you, you know. So stop your damn babbling for just a minute and tell us about your treasure. Those human’s Spike was telling you about, they could be here any second and believe me when I tell you that none of us want to run into them. They are evil and they will lock you guys and him up just for not being human.”

The three Trable Muckers gasped.

“Holy mushrooms! We do not want to be locked up. Help us now and we will keep your secret.”

“Deal.  Tell us about your treasure.  What do you want?”

“We want the precious ovals.  We have scoured this food facility and we cannot find them.”

Xander squatted down level with the Pixies. “What kind of ovals? What do they look like?”

“They are all the colours of the rainbow.”

“And why do you think that this supermarket is where you will find them?”

“We have similar ovals in England and this is the type of place that contains them. But the most precious ovals of all, they cannot be found on our wonderful island…”

Another Trable Mucker quickly interrupted. “Or if we can, by a miracle of the gods, find them, they can only be purchased at hugely inflated prices! It’s just not fair!”

Xander looked up at Spike briefly and shot him a look that was heavily confused. “Okaaaay, I’m gonna take a wild jump here and guess that this is some sort of food product, that is hard to find in England. Spike, any idea’s?”

Spike looked down into the hopeful faces of the pixies. “Is it sweet or savoury?”

“Oh, sweet, so sweet. That peanut-butter taste, wrapped in its crispy shell.  So sweet.”

Xander jumped up. “Peanut- butter M&M’s! Is that it?!”

“Yes! Oh wise human, how clever you are!”

Spike moved quicker than concord, meticulously scanning the shelves. “Right, here we go. Xan, honey, go get a basket, there’s some at the end of aisle.” Spike scooped as many bags as he could and dumped them all in the basket that Xander had provided.

“Thank you, vampire and human. How can we ever thank you?”

Spike had a cunning plan. “You can thank me by setting up an exchange. I’ll send you peanut-butter M&M’s and in return you can send me PG-tips. Bloody decent tea costs a fortune to import!”

“We know how you feel, vampire.  It is done.  We will use our portal to deliver the goods. Wait to hear from us.”

“Are we ready to go?”

“Yes.  Home calls us”

“Yes. A yeast beverage down by the waterfront beckons us.”  The third Pixie waved his hand in the air and conjured the watery portal. “Goodbye. And thank you. Your kindness will never be forgotten.”

Two of the Trable Muckers jumped straight into the portal, but the third turned back to face the vampire and the human. “Beware, lovers. They come. Don’t worry though, run fast enough and you will be safe for now.” Before Spike or Xander could reply the Pixie spoke again. “There is another. He knows nothing of us.  He comes for you both. Beware and be safe. Seven hours and you will see.”

The Pixie jumped into the portal, and with a great crack and a terrific flash. It disappeared, leaving only the two lovers staring at one another.

“That was...surreal,” said Xander

“Yup, that’s life on the Hellmouth for you.”

A scuffle resounded behind them and Spike growled. “Fuck! Initiative!” He started to walk towards them, presumably to fight, but Xander stopped him.

“No! You heard what the Pixie said. We run.”

Spike growled again at the approaching footsteps. “Bollocks!” He grabbed Xander’s arm and raced them down the aisle. When they reached the back of the shop, they spotted the others coming out of the ice cream section. “Buffy! It’s done, they’re gone. We gotta go! The Initiative’s here.”

Buffy nodded. “You all go, get to the van. I’ll distract them.”

Spike did not hesitate. He dragged Xander back into the dim corridor and rushed them towards the service exit. The others except for Buffy followed behind.


~*~*~*~*~


“Buffy?”

The soldier motioned for the others to stay back.

“Hi, Riley. If you’re looking for the Elvish guys then you’re out of luck.”

“We are?”

“Oh yeah.  They jumped back through their swirly door thing and they are definitely not coming back.”

Riley nearly stamped his foot. “Damn!” He pulled out a radio from a holster on his belt. “Team Alpha five. Code eight, niner, foxtrot seven. We have mission abort.  Subjects have escaped.  Recommend case closure.”

A little voice radiated out of the radio, but Buffy couldn’t quite hear what it said. Whatever it was, Riley seemed satisfied. He turned to face his men.

“Mission aborted. Back to the vehicle, men.”

Buffy shrugged. “Sorry, Riley. I tried to keep hold of them, but...”

“No, don’t worry, Buffy.  It’s not your fault.”

Buffy smiled and nodded.

“Buffy? Would you like to have dinner with me tonight?”

Buffy thought about it. She wanted to keep seeing Riley. She could feel a strong connection between them and she wanted to see how things played out. But perhaps she needed to think about it some more. Riley was Initiative. Could she really risk her friend’s lives for the sake of what only might be love?

“Um, not tonight, I already have plans.  But another time, I’ll give you a call.”

“Sure, that would be great. Actually, I would like you to meet some friends of mine.”

Two other soldiers stepped forward.

“Hi, nice to meet you finally, Buffy.” The soldier kissed her hand in a manner that made Buffy feel like throwing up. “My name is Forrest and this here is Graham.”

“Well, it’s nice to meet you too, Forrest and...Graham?” Buffy looked over at the distracted soldier.

“Sorry about him,” said Forrest. “He met a guy at The Bronze the other night; he hasn’t been the same since. I think he’s in lurrrrv.”

“Can it, Forrest.”

“Sorry dude.”

“Listen, guys, as great as it was to meet you, I’ve got to go. My friends are waiting.”

Buffy said her goodbyes and walked away muttering under her breath. That had been too close.  Any one of the soldiers could have recognised Spike. They might not be so lucky next time.


~*~*~*~*~


The soldiers marched back across the car park and piled into their vehicle.

“That was a complete fucking waste of time.”

“Yeah, but at least we got to stretch our legs a bit.”

Riley flicked through a small note pad and quickly shoved it back into one of his pockets. “Well, I hope you’re prepared to stretch your legs some more, cos we got a back up mission.”

“Aw, don’t tell us, another seek and destroy?”

“Nope, seek and capture” Riley turned to face Graham and Forrest. “That vamp you two butted horns with at The Bronze? Price reckons that it might be our Hostile 17.”

“Why does that sound familiar?”

Riley answered. “He was the guinea pig for the electronic rehabilitation programme.  He escaped some time back.”

Forrest stared open mouthed. “Whoa dude, that was him?”

“Looks like it.  We have orders to search the area. Price is real keen to get Hostile 17 back into the programme, seems like he was the only success that they had with the chip.”

“Then let’s go get the fucker!” Forrest was beaming. Time to sort that mother fucker out.

Graham sat in silence and frowned.

“Graham, man,” Forrest slapped him on the back. “Cheer up. With the Hostile out the way, you’re free to make a move on his fuck-piece.”

Graham just continued to frown in silence. He found it hard to believe that a young man like Xander would be willingly associating himself with a Hostile. No, the vampire must have some sort of hold over him.  Graham made a silent promise to himself; he would do everything he could to capture the Hostile and free Xander from whatever torment he was in, however long it took.

Riley sat wearing a frown that was exactly the same as Graham’s.  The description of the Hostile bore an uncanny resemblance to that of Buffy’s friend, Will.  Riley doubted that a Slayer would be hanging out with a vampire, but still, he would talk with Buffy later and at least warn her that they were hunting a Hostile that looked like one of her friends.  Perhaps Buffy could get the man to keep off the streets until they caught their prey, it would save any unnecessary mistakes.


~*~*~*~*~


“So they just took the candy and left?”

“Yup.” Spike left out the part about the exchange deal.

The Scoobies had gone back to Spike and Xander’s house and they now sat on the couch and on the floor of the living room.

“There’s something else,” Spike said. “Just before they left, one of them said that someone was coming for me and Xan. He said that in seven hours, we would see. Told us to beware and be safe.”

Xander repositioned himself on the couch and drew his knees up.  Spike knew what he was thinking.

“Don’t think it, luv.”

“But what if it’s him?”

“No. It’s not. Angel hooked up that alarm. If Talzar breaks out of hell, we’ll know.”

“So, who is it? Can we call Angel?”

Spike wasn’t hurt that Xander felt that he needed Angel’s help. Spike felt like he needed him too. Angel was a walking wealth of knowledge and power.  If there was a crisis to be had, then best to have it when Angel was around.

Spike kissed the top of Xander’s head and briefly ran his fingers through his hair. “I’ll give him a call now.”


~*~*~*~*~


Spike wandered into the kitchen to make the call in private. Shit, he better bloody be in this time. Spike had become increasingly frustrated and concerned about his Sire. He had been calling Angel Investigations for a good couple of days, and he had not gotten a reply.  He’d left a couple of messages, rude ones admittedly, but no-one had got back to him.

Spike dialled the number and waited. After less than a minute, Cordelia answered.

“Evening, ducks.  Where the bloody hell is…? What’s happened?”


~*~*~*~*~


Xander looked tense and Willow decided that perhaps she could take her friend’s mind off things for a while.

“I’ve been doing some research about releasing Isis.”

Xander glanced at her suddenly interested.

Bull’s-eye.

“Yeah? Have you found anything?”

“Um, not really.” Willow looked at her feet and wished she had thought this through a little more. “Except that, all the texts I’ve looked at state that it can definitely be done. I just don’t know how yet.”

Xander gave his friend a small smile. “Well, that’s a good start. Keep up the good work.”

“I certainly will…Don’t worry about what the Trable Mucker said. Angel will know what to do. He can be here in just a couple of hours.”

Before Xander could to reply, Spike came back into the room with a face like thunder. Xander jumped up from the couch and rushed over to him.

“Spike? What is it?”

Spike addressed the whole room.

“It’s Angel. He’s missing.”




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