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BETA'D BY: LOAFERSGLORYBOSS (aka James)






Sold


by
Willie J




Buffy: That's okay. I'm not much into running.
Ethan: Aren't we manly?
Buffy: One of us is.



Part One



Xander nervously adjusted his tie in the mirror, for what it seemed like the hundredth time, wondering what had possess him to get involved in another one of Anya’s crazy money making schemes for the Magic Box.

 

Oh yeah right...Buffy and Willow, curse his weak nature.  He could have easily have resisted Anya’s, and even Willow and Buffy’s pleas, but not the dreaded puppy dog eyes that all three turned on him.  If it hadn't been for the three of them begging for him to do this auction for ‘the children’ he mimicked Buffy’s voice nastily, you wouldna have caught him in a monkey suit for all the money in the world and especially as the one of the ‘Pet’s being auctioned off.  He snorted disgustedly.   Whatever happened to these things being called a Bachelor Auction, huh? Sure it was kinda old-fashioned but hell, it stood for something:  single men all over the world getting lucky and a damn good meal!

 

He eyed himself in the mirror….heyyyyy, he did look kinda good in this outfit though and he practiced his best, sexiest look in the mirror.  Heheheheh, you da man! he snickered, winking and pointing a finger at his mirrored self.  Slowly his eyes turned serious and his face grave in the mirror.

 

He frowned, looking down at the floor in the room reserved for the Pets, barely aware of the other single men milling behind him. 

 

This stalemate with him, Anya and Buffy had gone on long enough and it was time for some serious talking to be done.  Determined to talk to Buffy and Anya, he decided to practice what he was gonna say first.

 

And striking a pose in the mirror, he silently went over his speech...

 

“Look Anya, I know I broke your heart when I called off the wedding like that,” he would start off saying,  “But that don't mean you have to do the nasty  with Spike, I mean what the hell were you thinking?!”

 

“I know Xander and you're absolutely right,” imaginary Anya whispered brokenly as he stood looking sternly down at her contritely bowed head before turning to Buffy.

 

“And you, Buffy, you slept with Spike, of all people!  Couldn't ya find a nice safe, human murderer to sleep with, say like Jeffrey Donner or even Ted Bundy,” he was stern as imaginary Buffy lowered her head, remorsefully.

 

“I know, Xander.  I don't know what came over me.  But without your superior manly counsel to guide me, I was lost….lost in my despair,” Buffy lifted her head, eyes awash with tears as she gazed at his towering figure of masculinity.

 

“How can we make things up to you,” both Anya and Buffy cried passionately, throwing themselves at his feet and gazing up at him with adoring eyes.

 

“What a fool I've been all these years,” Buffy cried, looking at him with dewy eyes.  “All this time I've been searching for the perfect man, the best lover and you've been right here before me.” 

 

“Take me now, Xander,” Buffy screamed, ripping off her shirt.

 

“No! Take me,” Anya screamed, ripping off her clothes.

 

“He's mine, you hussy,” naked Buffy yelled pulling at naked Anya’s hair, their bodies suddenly glistening with oil.

 

“No, he's mine,” Anya cried passionately and shoved at Buffy as they fell to the floor writhing slowly in their fight for his affection.

 

“No, he's mine,” shouted a naked Willow as she entered the fight.

 

“No, mine,” cried a naked Tara, shoving at the naked Buffy.

 

A naked Dawn tried to jump in, but he frowned with carefully averted eyes and she disappeared with a little squeak,  No jailbait allowed!

 

“Ladies, ladies,” Xander said suavely to the writhing pile of female flesh, “There's enough of the Xan-man for all you lovely lades.”

 

He frowned in puzzlement as they ignored him, passionate moans rising from the writhing females.

 

“Ladies, ah..it's not that I don't mind the show, but..uhm….Buffy…Anya…hello, I'm over here.  Remember me, the one you were fighting over….,” he trailed off as they ignored him.

 

He sighed forlornly, dammit even in my fantasies, I can't win!  And he stared into the mirror with a lost look in his eyes, hardly aware of the whispering going on behind him.

 

“I heard that he's never been to a Fiestea before,” said a rather effeminate looking male to another.

 

“I heard that it was a female human that brought him in,” tittered the other to his friend.

 

“Boy, will he be in for a surprise, if this is his first auction,” snickered another.

 

“I think he's cute,” sighed another looking at Xander.

 

“You think everyone is cute,” snorted another in disgust.

 

“I just hope that DeVo doesn't show up,” said another worriedly.

 

And there was a sudden silence in the room before they all shuddered in dread.

 

Damn Anya anyway, why the hell couldn't she have stayed or somebody stayed with him?  It was their big idea for me to be here, the least  someone could have done was stay with me,  Xander’s thought indignantly. 

 

Meanwhile back at the Summers’ residence, Buffy, Willow and Tara were getting ready for the auction.

 

“You think this looks okay with this skirt,” Buffy said running into Willow and Tara’s bedroom.

 

“Oh, you're looking particularly hot,” Willow teased, laughing at the red flush climbing Buffy’s face.  “Any particular reason?” She raised and lowered her eyebrows lasciviously.

 

“Oh, shut up,” Buffy grumbled with a smile.  “Since we're going to that auction, I thought I would just buy me a mannnnn,” she said with a lofty smile that she struggled to maintain in the face of Willow and Tara’s shrieks of laughter. 

 

Dawn stopped in open doorway with an angry look in her eyes, “Well, I don't think it was fair for all of you to gang up on Xander.  He really didn't want to do this but all four of you ‘persuaded’ him that this was a good idea.  I hope he gets bought by someone really nice and he leaves all of you,” she yelled spitefully at the suddenly paling faces.

 

“I'm going over to Janice and spend the weekend with her,” she said huffily at their guilty faces. With a toss of her head, she left the three women and they heard the door slam shut.

 

“Despite the teen angst, she's right,” Buffy sighed glumly, “We did push Xander into this.  I just wanted to do something nice for him, to get that accusing look off his face once he found out that I had slept with Spike.”

 

Willow sat heavily on the bed, “Yeah and I just wanted him to meet someone new so he wouldn't have that miserable look in his eyes anymore.  Ever since he called the wedding off and saw Anya doing the nasty with Spike, he’s been so lost and lonely.  Maybe I should have talked to him more or something.”

 

“Lets face it, we really suck at being his friends,” Buffy muttered disgustedly.

 

Tara looked at the two downcast faces, “Then why don't you buy him?  That will go a long way to showing him that you care and are sorry for hiding the truth about Spike from you.”

 

Buffy and Willow perked up immediately before they sagged in defeat, “I only got about $200,so if he cost more than that I'm in deep shit.”

 

“Yeah, and I only have about $500 myself,” Willow grumbled.

 

“Maybe Anya will help you and if not I have some money saved up for a rainy day and it looks like it's really coming down outside,” Tara said gently, thinking Willow will just never know about that emerald teardrop necklace she was going to buy her.

 

Buffy smiled at the gentle blonde,” Thanks Tara, but let me talk to Anya first.  Maybe she's feeling as guilty as we are and will want to help.”  She cocked her head to the side, “Well speak of the devil, or in her case, former vengeance demon.”

 

They rushed downstairs and explained how they felt, that they had pushed Xander into doing something he really didn't want and they wanted to buy him at the auction.

 

Anya listened with an unusually thoughtful look on her face, “I know and it's something that's been worrying me all day.  Do you know that I almost gave a customer an extra quarter with his change,” she asked indignantly.

 

She looked around the blank faces and sighed, why do I even bother, they’re idiots and will  never learn the value of money.

 

“Anyway, I came over here early to ask you the same.  I have about $1,000 cash to buy him,” Anya said looking at their slowly brightening faces.

 

“Wohooo,” Buffy yelled, “I got $200, Wills got $500 and with your $1,000 I think we'll have enough.”

 

Anya looked gladden, “I heard that the men don't usually get bought for more than, maybe, $1,000 so, I’ll get to keep most of my money,” she smiled happily.

 

“What did I say,” she asked bewilderedly, looking from one grim face to the other.

 

Buffy just sighed and shook her head, tactless thy name is Anya.

 

She glanced at the clock 5:30 pm and shrieked at the time, “We have to finish getting dressed, the auction starts at 7 pm.”

 

With equal cries of alarm, Tara, Willow rushed upstairs after Buffy, telling Anya to watch TV or something.

 

Fifteen minutes later, the door opened and Spike stalked in.

 

And both he and Anya froze at the sight of each other.

 

“Anya,” Spike gave her a cautious nod, no telling what the crazy bint might decide to do.

 

“Spike,” Anya coldly greeted him.  You evil, scum sucking bastard, she finished calling him silently.

 

There was an uncomfortable silence between them before Spike, his head tilting listening to the excited voices coming from upstairs.

 

“Going somewhere,” he asked, gesturing casually at her rather dressy outfit.

 

“Yes we are,” Anya looked at him haughtily.  Despite not wanting anything to do with him after their tryst, it hurt that he kept avoiding her like she had some sort of disease.

 

“We're going to an auction and we are going to buy men to use for our sexual pleasure,” she announced in a superior tone, her nose in the air.  Take that, you evil Avoiding-Me-Like-The-Plague bastard.

 

Spike looked at her thoughtful, “Iz that right…an auction, eh?  The only auction I heard about is the Fiestea Auction.”

 

Anya froze,uh oh!  “What did you just say,” she demanded stalking towards him.

 

“The Fiestea Auction, you know, the one held every five years for demons,” he said impatiently, his ears tuned to Buffy’s excited voice so he was startled at Anya’s shout.

 

 “BUFFY!”

 

After a lot of yelling and screaming, they settled down to plan.  Anya was still stammering that she thought the ‘e’ in Fiestea was a typo and holding an ice pack to the puffy eye that Willow gave her.

 

Buffy, of course, wanted to go with a fine time-honored tradition: swinging and killing every demon in sight. 

 

“Afterall, it’s been working for hundreds of years,” she said looking modestly away.

 

Spike and Anya exchanged glances, before Anya gently explained the situation and what would happen if she did that, leaving Buffy white faced and shaken.

 

“Do we have enough money then to buy Xander,” Willow asked Spike anxiously.  If anything happened to Xander she would never forgive herself.

 

Spike looked down and away from her hopeful eyes, “Pet, the minimum bid starts at $100,000,” he said gently.

 

“Where are we gonna get that kinda money,” Willow cried, her eyes growing dangerously black.

 

“Red, calm down!  You go in there blasting magic and they'll show you what real magic is for,” Spike said sharply.

 

“Now, you silly bints have done enough, so shut the hell up and let me bloody well think,” he said irritably, jumping up and pacing angrily.  Well aware that three pairs of eyes watched his every move anxiously.  Feels kinda nice to have the silly girls shuttin’ up for once, a flicker of amusement on his carefully averted face.

 

Now who has that kind of money stashed…he came to an abrupt halt in his pacing.

 

Sparing a quick glance at Buffy’s suddenly hopeful face he turned his back as he dialed a well familiar number.

 

“Yeah, it's me, Spike.  Put Peaches on the phone willya luv…….yes now you daft  bint, put the bloody wanker on the phone……don’t give me none o’your lip!  Now put my bloody Sire on the bleeding phone, woman!”  He roared.

 

Behind his back the girls’ exchanged dismayed looks. Angel would never willingly help them rescue Xander.  The long-standing hatred between the two was now reaching almost legendary proportions.

 

Cordy gave the phone one brief glare before banging the receiver repeatedly on her desk, wishing it was Spike’s head in her hands.

 

“ANGEL!” she screamed into the phone, smiling nastily at the lurid curses spewing at the other end.  Gotcha!  she smirked.

 

“Cordy, is there a reason why you won't use the intercom,” Angel asked wearily from his office doorway.

 

“Did you hear me,” and at Angel's hesitant nod, “Then what the hell do I need an intercom for,” she questioned with a raised brow.

 

Wesley came out of his office, saying quietly to Angel, “I suggest you give up and save yourself the added aggravation of banging your head against the wall, trust me on this.”

 

Angel glanced at him, so that’s what that banging noise was, he had often wondered. 

 

He turned back to Cordy, “What is it? “  Please let it be a solo case, he desperately needed to get away from the office for a while and have some fun.

 

“It's your idiot childe Spike,” Cordy smiled maliciously at the phone.  She couldn't wait for Angel to pick up the phone and rip Spike a new asshole.  And I will not listen on the other extension, she thought virtuously, watching as the flashing light went solid.    Must…resist…

blinking….light……must….resist….blinking…..light, she chanted silently, watching the hypnotic alluring red light, her hand trembling on the receiver.

 

“Spike, what the hell do you want,” Angel growled into the phone.

 

Spike was livid!  “That stupid Beauty Queen dropout, didya see what she did?  Didya?   I gonna pay a couple of demons to rip out the daft bitch’s tongue, you just wait,” he yelled, his face shifting to demon form.

 

Angel held the phone from his ear as Spike's ranting went on, “Spike!  Spike!  SPIKE!” he roared into the phone and there was abrupt silence at the other end.  Wesley poked his head around the door, looking at him worriedly and Angel waved him away.

 

“What. Do. You. Want,” he said through gritted teeth.

 

“Uhm, Sire it's the boy,” Spike said a little hesitantly.  Angel was the only one with the kind of cash that could pull this off.

 

“Boy?  Oh, you mean Xander,” Angel sighed, “What's he done now?”

 

“The boy's up for auction at the Fiestea tonight,” Spike said in a rush.

 

There was silence from at the other end.

 

“Peaches?…….uhm, Angel?……Sire,” Spike said as the silence continued at the other end.

 

“I'm sorry, for a minute I thought you just said that Xander was being auctioned at the Fiestea,” Angel said with extreme politeness.

 

“I did,” and Spike held the phone from his ear at the roar of laughter from Angel.

 

“Okay, so now tell me why you’re calling me,” Angel asked after getting his laughter under control, “And how did that foolish boy get himself mixed up in the Fiestea.” He could just imagine the look of wide eyed panic on Xander’s face and for a brief moment felt a stab of pity for the mortal, before he shook it off.

 

“Apparently,” Spike glared at the girls, “the ex-demon bint thought the sign said Fiesta.  The other silly girls convince the pup that it was a good idea, you know, like get out and meet some new people,” Spike said sarcastically looking at the guilty faces of Anya, Willow and Buffy.  He heard a sigh from the other end.

 

“Again, what do you want from me then, money to buy Xander,” Angel asked running a hand over his face.

 

“You'll give us the money?” Spike was startled, he thought it would take longer to convince Peaches.

 

 “Sure, I’ll give you the money.  I'll be there as soon as I can,” Angel said, wearily hanging up the phone.  Only Xander could manage to get himself in such predicaments.

 

He stood up and stretched before casually sauntering out of his office, heading for the kitchen to get something to eat.

 

Cordy looked up as he left his office, “So what was all the laughter about,” she wanted to know.

 

Wesley came out of his office, curious also.

 

Angel started chuckling again, “Oh, somehow Xander managed to get himself involved in the Fiestea auction as a Pet,” he said continuing down the hall to the kitchen.

 

Wesley froze in alarm and made several choking sounds, causing Cordy to look at him with concern.

 

“Wes, Wes you okay,” she asked urgently, darting around her desk to his side.

 

“Yes, but I can't believe Angel's rather cavalier attitude to the danger that young Mr. Harris has somehow placed himself in,” Wesley said hoarsely, his eyes wide in alarm.

 

Cordy looked at him, starting to feel a little twitchy at the look on Wes’ face.

 

“It's just an auction, right?   Like the Bachelor auctions they have all the time, right?”  Her voice got progressively louder.

 

“No, the Fiestea auction is strictly for demons and no humans are ever allowed except those being auctioned off,” Wesley said grimly and jumped at Cordy’s shout.

 

“Angel, you better get your dead ass in the car and fetch Xander, NOW!”

 

Angel, in the kitchen was just about to take a sip when Cordy yelled.  He jumped and blood splashed down his new black pants.

 

“Did you hear me, Angel?!” Cordy demanded, appearing in the doorway.  Her expression was one of total fury.

 

“Yes, Cordy, I heard you--I think all of L.A. heard you,” Angel said dryly, trying to mop up the spilled blood.

 

“Then what are you still doing here?  Get your ass in the car and save Xander,” Cordy insisted.

 

“I'm only going to Sunnydale to give Spike the money and that's all,” Angel said calmly.  “As long as I get there before the auction ends Xander’ll be fine.”

 

Just then Wesley appeared in the doorway, a troubled look on his face.

 

“Angel, that was Spike.  He said to tell you DeVo is in town for the auction,” Wesley swallowed hard, he had heard tales about DeVo and his unnatural appetite for young human males…..especially ones with dark hair.

 

Angel went instantly still, only the gold burning in his eyes gave testimony to his true emotions.

 

Then he became a blur of speed as he raced up the stairs  to his room and sprinted back down to his car.

 

Cordy and Wes mouths dropped open in shock. 

 

Cordy brushed back her hair that was disturbed by Angel's rush.  While they were used to Angel doing a lot of incredible things, they never realized that he could literally move that fast!

 

They heard the front desk phone ring and rushed to answer it, before Cordy won the brief tussle and shouted ‘Hello’ into the phone, Wesley rubbing lightly at his sore ribs as he shamelessly eavesdropped.  

 

Cordy listened intently before hanging up and rapidly dialing another number, holding up a hand sharply as Wes tried to find out who had called.

 

“Buffy? Yeah, it's Cordy, put Spike on the phone willya…….Spike, Angel's on his way and said for you to call him on his cell,” she gave him the number making sure that he had it right before hanging up and sitting down wearily, looking up at  Wes’ worried face.

 

All they could do now was pray and hope that whatever Angel and Spike did worked.

 

Angel fumbled for his cellphone one-handed when it rang.

 

"Spike? Look, this is how we're gonna play this.  We go in separately and hopefully bid against each other for Xander.  As long as you remember to glare menacingly at me, I think DeVo may be happy to let me buy Xander.  After all, you’re the one he blames for all his troubles," Angel gave a brief unamused laugh.

 

Spike gave a look at the suddenly hopeful faces, "Yeah, we'll do it your way.  We just gotta make sure DeVo don't suspect anything until we get Xander off the grounds of the Fiestea."

 

"It can work if we just keep, Buffy and Willow out of this.  You know how they feel about humans attending," Angel said, giving a swift look at his speedometer, hmm, I think we can go a bit faster than 80, and the car leaped forward with an angry growl.

 

"So, which one of us gets to keep the boy," Spike said in a very quiet voice, turning his back on the girls' watchful faces.

 

"Well, if the plan doesn't work, I can take him back with me for a while," Angel sighed, brooding on how even in Sunnydale, Xander could annoy him. 

 

"You know what a badass DeVo thinks he is, he'll still try to come after Xander especially if you have him.  He might just think twice about coming after me," Angel continued, his eyes flashing gold.  "You just make sure you don’t buy anything there.  Are we in agreement on this," he demanded.

 

"Sure, it's your play," Spike said curtly.  He wasn't gonna have a problem glaring at the poof, he was already getting tired of Angel's sanctimonious attitude, just by talking on the phone with him!  "I'll see you at the Fiestea, alright?" and he hung up the phone after Angel agreed.

 

"Okay, here's the plan, me and the poofer gonna bid on the bo...on Xander competitively, like….and one of us will get the whelp," he neatly avoided telling them that Angel would take Xander back with him for safekeeping if he thought there was any danger.

 

If Xander remained in Sunnydale, DeVo would probably figure out a way to snatch the boy and by the time him and the White Hats figured out where the boy was, Xander would probably be in lil'l Xander pieces.  'Course that wasn't to say that Angel wouldn’t hurt the boy either if Xander annoyed him too much, he smirked.

 

"Okay, let me get my things and we can leave," Buffy said taking a step and halting at Spike's iron hold on her arm.

 

"Whoa there missy!  There's no 'we' in this…..just me and Peaches is gonna get the boy," Spike snapped out.  "No human's are allowed and if you try to sneak in you'll wind up on the auction block, Slayer or not," he ended curtly, glaring at them.

 

S'all their fault the stupid boy got himself in this mess.  Now HE’S gotta go play pretendlike with the poof.  He glared angrily at Buffy, satisfied as she dropped her eyes guiltily.  The things I do for love, he thought looking at Buffy.

 

"But can we....," Willow started to say.

 

"NO means fuckin' ‘NO’!" Spike said rudely before storming out of the house and letting the door slam behind him.

 

Buffy looked at the closed door and hearing the motorcycle roar off, her face firmed in determination. 

 

"Willow, grab your things, we're going anyway," she said angrily.

 

"Buffy, while I am at times astounded by your sheer inability to see reason but this time HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND?!" Anya screamed.

 

 "You have absolutely no clue about the Fiestea and you'll wind up getting everyone killed, including Xander.  Either wait here for Xander or go by yourself!"  With that she stormed out of the house, slamming the door behind her.

 

"Buffy, I agree with Anya.  We really should just wait here until Spike returns with Xander," Willow said uneasily.

 

"I wasn't planning of going in, I was just gonna wait out in the parking lot.  I won't be IN the place, d’uh," Buffy asked in exasperation.   She couldn't wait for them to return with Xander, it just wasn't in her nature to patiently sit while others did the work for her.  Besides, she thought with a little guilty pleasure, Angel was going to be there.

 

Willow's eyes had narrowed, easily reading the look in Buffy's eyes, "You just want to see Angel," she gasped angrily.

 

"I do NOT!" Buffy yelled, "I just want to make sure that Xander's okay, is all."

 

Willow simply glared at her, "I'll go, but Buffy Summers if you do anything to endanger Xander I'll kick your ass!"

 

Buffy looked at one of her oldest friends, she knew Willow was dead serious, "Willow, I'm NOT, I repeat NOT going there to hurt Xander or to ogle Angel.  I just want to make sure he's okay and be back up if they need it, okay," she said gently, like Willow could really hurt her anyhow, she snorted silently to herself.

 

Willow didn't bother to reply to her, instead asking Tara if she wanted to go.  Relieved when Tara shook her head, she and Buffy left for the Fiestea.

 

 

Boy, was this stuff good, Xander thought peering at his glass.  Whatever they put in this, they need to bottle it…they'll make a fortune. 

 

He was vaguely aware of his fellow bachelors whispering behind his back, but they were good guys, he thought stoutly.  Even though some of them looked a little swishy they were still good guys, he thought emotionally, the best damn bunch of guys in the world.  Maybe some sweet little old woman would buy them cause they reminded ‘em of their precious little girls, and he giggled helplessly, toppling over on the couch.

 

"...just how much did you give him," was the fierce whisper.

 

"...I only gave him enough to relax him," was the angry whispered retort.

 

"....well, did you check to make sure he had something to eat then," was the somewhat mollified reply.

 

"...of course I did! I stood right there and watched him eat," came the indignant whisper.

 

The seven men straighten up and looked at the giggling young man, "What the hell are we going to do," one of them moaned softly.

 

"We didn't give him much, so all we have to do is make sure that he doesn't go out until he at least a little bit more sober," said another one, watching Xander doubtfully.

 

"Yeah, he's a cutie and I would like to see him go to somebody that'll treat him nice," said a gentle looking blond, drifting over to the inebriated Xander and stroking his head gently.

 

The door opened smoothly and all the men straightened to attention, presenting their most alluring smiles at the guard.  He was the one they had to convince to change the order of presenting them.  And by the time they were finished with him, he was ready to do anything for them, except let them go of course.  Letting a Pet escape really wouldn't look good on his tombstone.

 

Spike found the Fiestea grounds easily.  Well, well, well it seems as if they are providing parking this time, he thought driving between the pillars marking the entrance. 

 

The event always appearing in some out of the way place on the outskirts of a town, with human guards on the outside guarding the place to avoid suspicion from the general population. 

 

Spike sauntered casually into the Fiestea hall, he knew he looked his best…black, skintight jeans, a blue silk T-shirt that clung tightly to his frame.  He was, now how do the kiddies put it…..FOINE! 

 

And a smirk crossed his face as he heard the whispered comments trailing in his wake....

 

...who is that....

 

...is he an owner....

 

…those marvelous cheekbones, those pouty lips….

 

...my god, I wouldn't mind being a Pet if I could be owned by him...

 

 

With lazy, arrogance in his every move, he paraded around the ballroom.  Reveling in this rare opportunity to simply cut loose and simply be, without those silly kids around.  Teasing his new found admirers to a state of secret frenzied lust, subtly showing all his dominance, he was the favorite Childe of Angelus and was a Master Vampire in his own right. 

 

His body posture roaring ‘I am Spike, of the line Aurielius; I fear neither man nor demon’ while secretly checking the guards' locations, the exits, the magical defenses any thing that would hinder them, well him actually, from getting away in a hurry.

 

He grabbed a brochure from a table, a wineglass of blood from a passing waiter and settled into a chair.  He made sure his face showed absolutely no expression as he found himself gazing at a picture of Xander Harris and the price!  Silently whistling at the starting bid they placed on the boy.

 

Calmly, he crossed his long legs as a silver chime rang through the room and various demons and demi-humans found seats.  A flicker of movement to his left caught his eye and he looked over, making sure his expression revealed nothing but boredom.  Fuckin' a,  DeVo's here!  Peaches better hurry his ass up and get here.  With that, Spike settled in for the long wait, his face a cold mask of indifference.

 

 

Angel drove immediately to the mansion.  Despite Buffy telling him to stay out of Sunnydale, he came back every now and then, just to keep an eye on things.  He snorted, like he was really gonna listen to her.  Striding into the bedroom and throwing off his clothes along the way.  He knew there would be only one thing that everyone at the Fiestea respected, one thing that DeVo respected: Power and Sex.  

 

It was a game that Angelus had played at for centuries....but one that he, as Angel had perfected with the cementing of his soul over the last seven months.  This was a side of him that he kept carefully hidden from Cordy, Gunn and Wesley.  He had no doubt that if Cordy saw him like this she would be very, very sorry as she swept his ashes into a coffee cup fearing the return of Angelus.  He just needed to ease them into accepting the new him.  The very much improved him.

 

He dragged a large trunk out of the closet and opened it, inspecting the contents thoroughly and a dark seductive smile crossed his face...yesssss those will do nicely.

 

First he removed a pair of soft black leather pants, that fitted like a second skin.  He pulled them on, making sure that the bulge in front showed to the best obvious advantage.  Next came the mid-calf leather black boots with a slight heel.  Now, the thin white silk shirt, fastened only with a bloodred ruby at the neck holding it closed, and with slightly billowing, tightly cuffed sleeves.

 

With a careful sweep of a comb through his hair, he knew he was almost ready. 

 

And removing a long leather duster from the closet, he slid it on.....

 

....now he was ready.

 

 

Spike didn't allow his uneasiness to show on any part of his face or body.  He continued to sip idly at the blood in his wineglass, exchanging casual greeting with demons and demi-humans.  Not once did he let on that he knew DeVo was trying to burn a hole in his face with a cold glare.

 

Only by a faint imperceptive flicker of his icy blue eyes did his excitement show as they finally brought the boy out.

 

 

 

He had a feeling that a little something extra was put in that drink they gave him.  He felt like he had way too many beers, Xander thought

 

Peeking out at the crowd a time or two, Xander kept feeling that there was something really strange about the crowd.    What it was, he couldn't quite put his finger on it but that 'something' was making his spider sense tingle, he giggled softly….I'm Spiderman. 

 

He could vaguely make out some of what the auctioneer was saying but the man spoke so fast that it was nearly impossible.  He smiled when he heard the gentle blond guy was sold for $300 bucks.  Go dude! he gave a mental cheer, blinking as a man came up to collect the little dude.  Must be the woman's brother or something, he shrugged.  He took a couple of deep breaths, trying to calm himself. 

 

Finally it was his turn to strut for the ladies and I know that there'll be plenty of ‘em wanting some of this Xandergoodness, he thought with a little chuckle.

 

Xander sauntered out from behind the curtain just like he saw the others do.  Pouting because he couldn’t wiggle his hips like they did. 

 

Half the crowd let out a breathy moan at the sight of his pouty lips.

 

He was slowly coming down off his high from whatever was in that drink they gave him. 

 

Standing on the stage, his eyes half-shut from the glare he tried to imagine what type of woman was gonna buy him.  Maybe she'll be a supermodel, he thought hopefully then a slow smile crossed his face at the thought of a supermodel here in Sunnydale.  Yeah like that'll ever happen.

 

Spike looked at Xander on the stage.  Whoa, didn't know the boy could clean up so good, feeling a hungry stirring in his pants.  His eyes narrowed as he took in the slumberous look in the pup’s eyes and then the slow, Fuck-me smile that crossed the boy's face. 

 

He slid a look at DeVo and saw the voracious look of hungry desire on the vampire's face.  Shit!  He saw the bastard raise a hand and the bidding began racing like wildfire.

 

"$150," came the first bid and Xander's eyes widen at how high they started bidding on him.  Wohoo, maybe I'll beat out that other dude that got 'bought' for $790.

 

"$175."

 

“$200."

 

"200, doihear220yestothegentlebeingohIhave250tothegentlandnowIhave300," the auctioneer cried out cheerfully.  He nodded at a raised paddle, and began his spiel, "andIhave300can

Iget320yesindeedtothegentlandIhave350canIget360forthisyoungfinespecimenohyessir380

andtoyousiryes390canIget...."

 

Xander tuned the man's voice out, he could barely understand him anyhow.  Maybe a blonde will buy me, no wait maybe a fiery redhead..grrr, and he practiced his sexiest smile to his fantasy woman.

 

The bidding immediately jumped to $450.

 

Maybe she'll be shy, hey I can be shy too and he modestly lowered his eyes giving a shy peek under his lids.

 

The bidding jumped to $650 and stalled, with no one wanting to go higher than DeVo.

 

What was wrong with the damn boy, Spike was aghast.  Did he want to get bought is that why he was acting like....like a very practiced something, but very well practiced.

 

He had had enough, time to remind them these simpering fools of the line of Aurielius.

 

"$800," he raised his voice slightly above the crowd, shocking the crowd as they turned to look at him.  He gave them all a cold, arrogant look.  He was the favorite Childe of Angelus and he feared nothing.

 

 

Xander lifted his head puzzledly, hey that sounded like Spike, wonder if the girls were here and he tried to look beyond the lights of the stage.

 

Spike saw the evil look DeVo gave him and returned the look with his nastiest smirk.

 

And the bidding kept creeping higher and higher, until at last Spike stopped bidding, his eyes widening in shock.  He saw Angel leaning against the wall beyond DeVo.  What the hell happened to Peaches?  He regarded the Fuck-me outfit that Angel was….Aw crikey! Tensing, he feared the return of Angelus.

 

DeVo gave Spike a triumphant look as the auctioneer was calling 'going once, going twice…'

 

$1.5," called a cool voice behind him and he whirled in shock.

 

"You," he breathe at the sight of Angel.

 

"In the flesh," and Angel gave him a cool, mocking glance, then looked across the room allowing let a flash of hatred to cross his face at the sight of Spike.  He ignored the guard helping Xander from the stage.  He knew that it was just taking Xander to the holding room with the other ‘Pets’ that were purchased.

 

 

DeVo took a half second to decide what to do, before yielding the right to the boy to Angelus or whatever he was calling himself now.  No matter he still won, at least Spike didn't get the boy and he smirked at the rage on Spike's face at the sight of his sire.

 

 

"SOLD!" the auctioneer cried out.

 

And the crowd went wild. 

 

This had been the most fun they had had in centuries, there was no way the Fiestea would be able to top this show.

 

DeVo eyed the seductive picture Angelus made leaning against the wall.  He had heard rumors floating around that Angelus had been cursed with a soul and was now calling himself Angel.  He licked his lips as he ran his eyes over the painted on leather pants, lingering on the prominent bulge in the front before drifting up to the open white shirt.  His body stirring hungrily to life. 

 

Afterall, it was Angelus that started his addiction with dark hair males.

 

He had thought to top Angelus ages ago, considering that he was the older by at least a hundred years, yet that stupid blockhead ignored his every challenge, refusing to confront him.  Finally he decided to simply take Spike thinking Angelus was weak.  To his surprise and shock it was he that had been thrown to the floor….his body bucking under Angelus’.  Dominated. 

 

He was the one writhing in a mix of pleasure pain, screaming again and again as Angelus brought him to his peak and backed off.  By the time Angelus was through with him, he was a writhing creature beggin’ to be fucked again.  Kissing his boots, anything to get Angelus to fuck him.

 

And then Angelus began pounding on him with his fists, cracking ribs, his jaw, his leg until he was one mass of pain.  It had taken him a little over a year to recover.  Of course, he had to kill all his childer and minions that had watched the show but what the hell, he could always make himself some more.

 

He still hadn’t learned his lesson and he went after the last remaining witness to his humiliation: Spike.  He had heard the two were fighting like cats and dogs and he was sure Angelus wouldn’t mind him killing Spike.  Afterall, he would be saving Angelus the trouble of doing it himself.

 

And the son-of-a-demonbitch wasn’t even grateful, he thought indignantly.  You try to do someone a favor and what did they do….they spit in your eye or in Angelus case, they string you up and shove hot pokers in for days before letting you crawl away.  

 

That was NOT how you showed your appreciation, a young girl or boy were acceptable forms of silently showing your thanks for taking care of a difficult problem childe. Why, back when I was turned, we had PROPER vampires then, ones that knew how to show gratitude but this younger generation….he shook his head sorrowfully.  He blamed the Sires.

 

Every time he encountered Angelus, the other would find a way to utterly dominate him, making him the bottomboy.  No matter how he tried to fight Angelus, his cravings for the other, he always wound up doing whatever Angelus told him to do no matter how shameful or ridiculous it was.  

 

Angelus was definitely in his black book, underlined. Twice.  And highlighted.

 

He eyed Angel speculatively, but now this…this creature had a soul making him less than a vampire.  Eyeing the erotic vision with a sneer, perhaps now he would get his chance to dominate the great Angelus.  Of course it may not really be Angelus but hell, nobody would have to know but him, Spike and Angel.  And he would take care of Spike…later seeing that there was no Angelus to protect the little twit.

 

Angel carefully kept his composure as he watched the indecision play across DeVo’ face.  He really wanted to laugh remembering some of the things Angelus made DeVo perform for his viewing pleasure.  He saw by the narrowing of DeVo’s eyes that the fool was going actually going to try to dominate him in front of everyone.

 

The patrons were watching the display eagerly.  Some, adopting human customs, had sent  out for popcorn, hoping the show wasn’t over before their minions returned.  Hastily, they rearranged their seats to the best advantage with some patrons standing on chairs in the back. 

 

And a couple of enterprising demons started taking bets.

 

DeVo strolled with haughty pride to a stop in front of Angel, standing with cold arrogance before the other.  Supreme self-confidence, literally oozing from him.

 

The crowd started whispering and money changed hands, the odds had shifted in DeVo’s favor. 

 

A sneer on his lips as he started from Angel’s feet, trailing his eyes contemptuously up the leather clad legs, the bared chest and finally meeting Angel’s eyes….his very amused eyes!  And maybe now was NOT the time to start trying to dominate Angel, he thought uneasily.

 

“I hear you have a soul now,” he threw out. 

 

The crowd oooohed at that remark and the odds increased in DeVo’s favor.

 

“Well, so did Hitler and  Jack the Ripper,” Angel said calmly, his eyes intent on Spike. 

 

“Aaaaaah,” the crowd sighed and the betting changed in favor of Angel.

 

As he brushed past DeVo, a little angel made him murmur to DeVo, “Do you still have that lovely blue dress and shoes from last time we met,” and glided closer to Spike. 

 

His lips twitched at the way DeVo’s mouth dropped open in shock.  The vampire looked like he might do the impossible and spontaneously turn into dust.

 

 

DeVo closed his eyes in shame…how in the hell did that fuckin’ bastard know that he still wore the dress?

 

Angel and Spike faced off and the crowd caught their breaths at the beauty of the two.  One cool and sensuous, but with a dangerous fire lurking just below the surface….the other, hot and simmering with passion.  They could just imagine the two locked in a tangle of arms, legs, grasping hands and not just fighting either.  The women licked their lips and the men adjusted themselves discretely.  The tension between the males was almost a visible, stroking over the crowd.

 

Angel could see the amusement glittering in Spike’s eyes and wanted to laugh himself.  It seemed like old times.

 

“The boy belongs to me,” Spike growled and tried not to laugh at his cheesy line.

 

“I outbid you, so he belongs to me,” Angel said smoothly, gliding forward until he was a breath away from Spike.  He fought desperately to stop himself from laughing at the overly dramatic way Spike was talking.

 

Stop trying to make me laugh, Spike wanted to scream at Angel, as it was he could hardly control himself, “How much will you take for him,” he snarled, his lip lifting before he could control it.

 

Angel’s lips twitched in return, “What will you give me,” he purred, circling Spike.

 

Oh, so Peaches thought he could be more dramatic than me, “I’ll give you anything, but I want the boy!” Ha! Top that you bloody twit, Spike thought in triumphant.

 

“You want the boy,” Angel purred, coming back around Spike.  He had just thought of a great line.

 

“I want the boy,” Spike growled, what the hell was the guv’nor was thinking, he didn’t like the look in his eyes.

 

“Do you really want the boy?”  Angel looked at him with no expression, his eyes hooded.

 

“Yes, I want the boy!” Spike shouted, was Peaches goin’ deaf or something?

 

Angel allowed a cold smirk to slip across his face, “You can’t handle the boy,” and his laughter to be heard throughout the hall.

 

And the crowd roared their approval at his stinging answer.  This was well worth the $10,000 entrance fee they paid.

 

Spike stood there, a stunned look on his face, when did the poof start watching the telly?

 

The crowd booed loudly as two demon guards trotted up, one on either side of the duo. 

 

With an air of self-importance, one sneered, “We don’t allow no fighting among the owners, sir,” his lip curling in condescension as he regarding Angel’s clothes.

 

Angel’s eyes flickered to the right at his guard and Spike gave an imperceptible nod of his head….

 

“Whatever,” Angel said and punched his guard at the same time Spike punched his. 

 

And the crowd cheered enthusiatically as the two vampires leaped at each other.

 

Angel threw a solid right hook at Spike’s jaw, just narrowly missing him.  Spike threw himself at Angel and they crashed to the floor.

 

“Hey, where did you get those pants?” he whispered as he wrapped his hands around Angel’s throat.

 

Angel flipped them over in a stunning display of strength, “I’ll give you the name later,” he whispered and punched Spike in the ribs, lifting him off of him.

 

They ignored the hooting from the crowd.

 

Whirling to his feet, he paused and leaped at Spike, lifting him over his head and slamming him down on the floor.

 

“Hey, you just tore my shirt,” Spike gritted out as Angel straddled him and began to layer blows around his head.

 

“Sorry, I’ll buy you a new one,” Angel whispered, “Hey, is that silk?”

 

Spike bucked hard under Angel’s body, sending Angel flying through the air to crash into the wall.  He jumped up and closed in, “Yeah and you better.”

 

Angel braced his back against the wall and in a lightening movement, drew his feet up and kicked Spike in the stomach.

 

Several guards ran through the crowd to stop the fight.  One rather, delicate looking female demon plunged her hand into one of the human guards’ chest and pulled out his heart, seating herself and enjoying her tasty fresh treat.  Watching and cheering on her favorite, or which ever happened to be showing the most skin.

 

A frail, elderly demon stuck out his cane tripping a couple of guards unable to stop in time, wheezing with laughter at the sight of their tangled arms and legs.  Heheheh, this is the most fun I've had in centuries.

 

Angel and Spike closed in and continued to pound on each other, each blow calculated to avoid any lasting effect. Various slashes appeared on their torso, carefully staged to appear much worse than they really were.  They had to make this look good for their admiring screaming audience.

 

“Enough,” cried a deep powerful voice, causing the crowd to restlessly mutter…..‘Spoilsport’ being the least offensive of the epitaphs yelled at him.

 

Cort, the ½ owner of the Fiestea ignored the grumbling of the crowd as he stalked to the battling duo with his partner, D’na pacing him with cool elegance.

 

“What is the meaning of this unseemly behavior?  You know the rules, OWNERS are not allowed to fight on the premises,” he snapped, absolutely enraged.  He didn’t care if they were the most beau…ti..ful, his mind stumbled to a halt as the two vampires turned and simply LOOKED at him.  Down boy, down!  He ordered his libido sternly, you already got a couple of pets waiting eagerly at home for you.  But these wouldn’t be pets, came the sly thought.  He shivered in response.

 

“Did you say Owners,” Angel purred as he strolled closer to the papipitating proprietor, his eyes gleaming.

 

“Y…ye..yes,” Cort stammered before recovering himself, “Owners.  It clearly states that any fighting between Owners on the premises may result in their purchase Pet, or Pets, as the case may be, may be declared null and void and returned to the block. And the Owners will forfeit 15% of the purchase price, payable strictly to me,”  he said smugly, he had thought up that one 50 years ago after a couple of owners had nearly torn down his place.

 

“Owners,” Angel murmured again, a slight smile on his face.

 

The crowd began whispering among themselves, nudging each other in the ribs, having caught on to what Angel intended to do.

 

“Yes, Owners! O.W.N.E.R.S. Owners,” Cort said rudely, backing away quickly at the sudden glitter in the vampires eyes, he could recall Angelus’ reputation with extraordinary ease.

 

D’na slanted a cool look at his partner, “Cort what the vampire is implying is that HE is an owner, however the other has not made a purchase.  So, your rule is void.

 

Angel smiled at the chagrin on the demon’s face.

 

Shit!  A quarter of a million dollars down the drain, Cort moaned.  He was definitely going to modify the rules to make it NO FIGHTING ON THE PREMISES, SUBJECT TO 15% FINES or something.

 

DeVo’s eyes were beginning to narrow in suspicion, there was something about that fight that just seemed…off for some reason, but he would figure it out.  And if Spike and Angel were trying to pull one over on him, his lips lifted in a twisted parody of a smile, well he had something planned.  He just needed to make sure of things before they left the grounds of the Fiestea.

 

“Take your pet and get the hell away from here,” Cort snapped and turned away angrily, stomping through the crowd.

 

Angel regarded D’na with cool eyes and lifted a brow to the demon.  D’na merely presented his usual remote face, but with cold amusement glinting in his eyes before turning away and gliding after Cort. 

 

He knew that had it been D’na confronting him, it may have been a different story. D’na was way smarter that Cort could ever hope to be and it had taken him years to understand their crazy partnership.  Finally realizing D’na just didn’t give a damn about the Fiestea, it was all just one big fuckin' game to him.

 

 

Angel turned away and went to ‘claim’ his Pet with an inward sigh.  Please just let nothing go wrong, I really don't want Xander in L.A.  There's no telling what he'll do, probably find a way to piss off the N'daks demon clan, Angel grumbled to himself, then we'll all die and won't that just make Xander’s day.

 

After transferring the money, Angel strolled to the area where they were going to bring Xander out, calmly ignoring the admiring eyes.  He only responded once when his ass was pinched, whirling around his face shifting in gameface, ready to tear the fucker's head off.  Smirking at the squeal of alarm, before the little demon ran away.  And with a cool glare at the suddenly downturned eyes, he turned away, feeling their eyes immediately snapped back up and lock onto him.

 

Angel's eyes widen as they brought Xander out of the holding room, what in the hell..

 

He had a hard time struggling to compose his face as the guards desperately tried to control the boy's weaving and staggering body.  First he would stagger to the left, hesitate and sway back as the guards jumped to catch him. 

 

Blinking, wide innocent eyes as the guards slammed into each other and he would be off lurching in another direction as the guards scrambled to keep up with his reeling figure, knowing that they didn't dare mar his body by grabbing at him too roughly.  The best that they could do was corral his body between theirs, but the boy was like water, slipping easily away from them.  Why in the name of Seven Hells did they have to pick this pet to escort out?  He was sitting so quietly among the chattering other little pets, they thought it would be a real easy job.  Get the pet, take him outside and presto! They were done.  They got paid by the number that they escorted to their new owners and this was their first one! 

 

One of Xander’s guards glared angrily as another pair of guards smugly escorted their third pet out to his new owner. S'not fair...I hate those friggin’ bastards!

 

Another guard whimpered in distressed, if the pet got hurt while still on the Fiestea grounds they were so much dead meat.  Just one tiny little bruise, one little scrap knee and they wouldn’t even have time to phone home.

 

 

Spike started snickering as he watched the spectacle as the increasingly desperate guards tried time and time again to corner the reeling figure of the boy, all without touching him.  They almost looked like they were trying to dance with him, but didn't know the moves.

 

He abruptly stiffen as Xander caught sight of him and a blinding smile lit the boy's face...oh buggerit, he groaned, as the boy made his weaving way over to him, thankfully intercepted by Angel with a firm grip on the boy's arm.

 

 

"Spike, Spike, Spikie the Spike," Xander chanted, weaving from side to side.  He frowned absently, trying to remember what he wanted to say to...um Spike.

 

DeVo had trailed them outside, watching.  His eyes narrowed as he saw the imperceptible stiffening of Angel's shoulders and hurriedly he gestured a servant over, whispering to him to fetch D'na immediately, he knew he couldn't rely on that idiot Cort to enforce the laws of the Fiestea.

 

 

And with carefully feigned nonchalance he made his way over to the weaving figure of the Pet and Angel, who regarded him with cool eyes.  Oh no, you don't, Angel, I think I finally figured out your little plan, he chortled.

 

 

Angel stiffened slightly at the gleam in DeVo's eyes as he held on to Xander's reeling figure easily.  Shit! He looked narrowly at Xander, seeing the dilated eyes...what the hell did they give the boy 'cause I know liquor is not allowed to Pets.

 

DeVo eyes glittered, he saw D'Na coming up slightly behind Angel, "So, that's a mighty fine Pet you got there," gesturing to the weaving figure.

 

Angel merely raised a brow, wondering what  the hell was DeVo planning.  But not by a flicker did he betrayed his uneasiness.

 

Spike eyes had narrowed, what silly game was the git trying to pull?

 

 

DeVo saw D'na was in position and he raised his voice slightly, "So, is the Pet a gift to someone or do you plan to keep him for yourself?"  And affected extreme disinterest, glancing around at the milling crowd of patron and Pets.  Excellent, the more the merrier, he chortled silently almost rubbing his hands in glee.  But he didn't ‘cause he was in public and that would be bad.  One must obey Rule #4580 of Evil....'Never gloat in public, it ruins the whole effect and plan'.

 

 

Angel pulled Xander a little closer as the boy seem ready to tip over and as he opened his mouth, Xander spoke....loudly.

 

"Hey Spike, is Buffy here, cause I really wanna go home now, I don't feel so well, and I don't wanna have Deadboy driving me," Xander complained rubbing at his stomach and giving what he thought was the evil-eye-of-death to Angel.

 

 

Spike groaned as hundreds of eyes turned first on him, then Angel and then finally at the cross-eyed boy.

 

 

"Buffy," DeVo murmured...loudly.  "That wouldn't happen to be the Vampire Slayer would it?"  Revenge! He crowed silently, sternly controlling his body's inclination to do a victory dance.

 

The crowd started muttering at that.

 

 

Xander wobbly leaned forward, peering at the man, and only Angel's desperate catch prevented him from tumbling to the ground.  He straightened hurriedly with a gasp that nearly overbalanced him, as the man's eyes flashed gold. 

 

"Ah ha! I knew it," he cried out triumphantly, "I knew something was wrong with you besides your evil beady little eyes.  You're a vampire!"  He crowed and looking around, "Oooooh and there's bunches and bunches of demons here.  Just you wait until Buf..umpf," and his mouth was quickly covered by Angel's hand.

 

 

"Please, do release the Pet's mouth, I am most interested in hearing what he has to say," came a cool voice behind Angel, and he quickly whirled around easily shifting Xander in his hold.

 

Gah!  Xander felt his head begin to spin with that quick movement.  What the hell was wrong with him?!

 

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Pet mine to do with as I please and what I please is to keep my hand over his mouth," Angel replied calmly, his eyes cool as he gazed at D'na.

 

D'na remained silent for several minutes thinking and DeVo jumped in furiously, "They know the fucking Slayer," he yelled.  "I say, the Pet should be returned to the block and these two staked....immediately!"  Glancing around trying to gather support, but unfortunately too many of the demons remembered the fight in the hall. 

 

And many of them recalled just what Angelus could do when he got mildly upset and while they weren't exactly certain, they kinda thought that actually TRYING to kill him would make him more than a tad upset.

 

Weak idiots, DeVo sneered at them before turning around and jumping back in alarm at the cold expression in D'na's eyes.

 

"Did I indicate, in some way currently unknown to me, that I require your help," D'na asked frostily.  "Beside, Angelus or Angel is quite correct, since he purchased the Pet it is his to do as he please."

 

"But...but..but, it's a trick, I tell you.  He bought the Pet under false pretenses," DeVo stammered out. 

 

D'na arched an icy brow, before turning to Angel who immediately tensed, "Angelus or Angel did you buy the Pet under false pretenses?" he demanded.

 

"Yeah, like he's gonna admit the truth," DeVo grumbled.

 

"If I hear one more word, one sound from your mouth, I will save him the trouble and stake you myself," D'na hissed at him, his eyes glittering with cold fire.

 

DeVo swallowed and nodded.

 

 

Spike walked up to DeVo, regarding him thoughtfully for a half-second before firmly kicking him in the balls.

 

PAIN!

 

Concentrated, intense agony flared through DeVo and he dropped to his knees clutching at his afflicted groin.  His eyes watering in anguish, he opened his mouth to scream and saw D'na's cold eyes resting on him, a stake tapping meaningfully in his hand.

 

And he simply curled into a ball of agony, trying not to make a sound.

 

Satisfied DeVo would not be disturbing his conversation, D'na turned back to Angel, "Angelus or Angel did you purchase this Pet under false pretenses?" he again demanded.

 

"No, I did not," Angel replied strongly, he desperately wanted to wash his hand off since Xander kept licking at his palm.

 

"And you did purchased this Pet for your exclusive use and no one else's is that correct?" D'na again demanded, tapping the stake in his hand.  He really liked watching others squirm, he had a feeling that DeVo was telling the truth and he had figured out a way to foil any little plan Angel and Spike were making.

 

"My use only," Angel could feel himself getting angry, why was D'na asking all of these stupid questions?  He just wanted to dump Xander on Buffy and get the hell out of Sunnydale.

 

D'na head tilted, perhaps he had been mistaken....he caught a glimpse of the parking lot and his eyes narrowed, a low growl came from his throat.  If there was nothing he hated more, it was pushy humans! 

 

Angel heard D'na growl, looked in the same direction and nearly snarled as well....dammit what the fuck are they doing here.

 

"My last question and final question, do you plan on Claiming your Pet for your exclusive use," D'na inquired frostily slipping that question in.

 

"I do," Angel said absently he was going to give Buffy a piece of his mind as soon as soon  he handed Xand.....wait a minute, his eyes narrowed as he reviewed what he had just said.  His eyes flashed to the first smile he had ever seen on D'na face and a cold shiver went down his spine or maybe it was a hot shiver, but it was definitely a shiver.

 

"And by the Laws of the Fiestea, I invoke your Claim to one Xander Harris," D'na spoke solemnly, his lips twitching at the horror that briefly flickered across Angel's face.

 

"What exactly does that mean," Angel said suspiciously, his body tensing despite himself.

 

"It means that you will have three days to begin Claiming him before I arrive or you forfeit both your lives," and with that D'na started to walked away.

 

"Hold up a minute," Angel said, trying not to sound desperate.  He felt the boy swaying in his grasp and removed his hand, quickly sliding an arm around Xander's waist and pulling the boy closer.  He shivered involuntarily as the boy buried his hot face in his neck.

 

Xander heard voices around him and sorta figured they were talking about him but keeping himself from spewing his guts all over himself and Deadboy was kinda requiring all sorts of  attention.  Oooooh, he whimpered before feeling blessed coolness on his hot face.

 

"What if I don't want to keep him," he heard Deadboy say to somebody and he pulled his head up with a gasp, looking at Deadboy.

 

"You don't want me," he heard himself say piteously and felt tears on the brink of falling from his eyes.  He frantically begged, oh please oh please oh please don’t let me cry, not in front of Deadboy. 

 

For some reason, it just felt like that was the last straw and it hurt like hell that even Deadboy didn't want him around.  And somewhere in the back of his addled mind he knew that being around Deadboy was....like ewwww.  But right now, Deadboy just another person in a long line of people that didn’t want him around….and it just hurt.

 

"Well, I don't like you anyway!  You're just a big, poofy head meanie.  I'm gonna sit right here and wait for Buffy and Willow," and to his horror he felt tears start rolling down his face.  Aw geeze, not tears?!  Cruelly he added, “And your hair is ugly!”

 

Angel felt Xander's wiggle out of his grasp and sink to the ground tears spilling from his eyes.  Oh shit!

 

He looked down at the boy in horror before swiftly crouching down, whispering frantically for Xander to get up, they had to get off the grounds...now. 

 

Xander stubbornly shook his head and turned away.  Nah uhn, he wasn't going nowhere with Deadboy!  And he stuck his tongue out at Angel, tears still dripping from his eyes.

 

D'na looked curiously at the antics between the Pet and Angel with wondering eyes, this is proving to be very interesting.

 

Suddenly a three huge female demon swept out of the crowd and began attackng Angel with oversize bags, "Look at you, you made the poor little Pet cry, you evil wicked vampire!" and Xander was absolutely delighted! 

 

His tears drying and forgotten, a wobbly smile appeared on his face at the muffled 'Ow's!' 'Stop it' 'Now cut that out' ‘Not the hair’ coming from Angel trying to dodge the furiously swinging bags of the demoness’.

 

"Hit 'em again! He's a bad vampire, he doesn’t deserve to be dead," he spitefully cheered the nice demons on.  He turned his attention to Spike who had crouched down next to him.

 

"Pet, you've got to pull yourself together.  We've got to get out of here, quick," Spike softly urgently.  "Yes, I know Peaches is a silly wanker, but you have to get up," he urged desperately, snickering slightly as a demoness walloped Angel again, messing up his hair.  Serves him right, he thought self-righteously, that’s what he gets for being such a sodding wanker.

 

He glanced down and was taken aback at the squinty look the boy was giving him.  Uh oh, he thought.

 

“Hit him too, he slept with my fiancee,” Xander yelled pointing wrathfully at Spike who fell backwards in alarm.  “I cried for days,” he whined pathetically, turning huge tragic eyes on the female demons, “And he slept with the Slayer and so did Angel, too,” he added with sly, inebriated cunning.  Chortling to himself at the fear that flashed in Spike’s eyes, he had to cover his mouth over his giggles.

 

At that, there were horrified gasps from the three flailing demons, before two of them descended on Spike like the wrath of Satan.

 

“You….you….human!,” shouted one of the females, whaling on Spike who was trying desperately to scramble away. 

 

“ ’Ere now, ain’t no call to get nasty,” Spike protested, ducking under the barrage of blows, “Watch the face, ya great si…,” oh crap!  With a vast inhalation of sheer indignation, the females really began pounding on him.

 

DeVo, recovering from the blow to his privates slowly stood, “See what did I tell you?  They’ve sided with the enemy,” he yelled triumphantly still hunched over.  Smirking as the demons beat on both Angel and Spike

 

“DeVo,” D’na said quietly, tapping his stake in his hand.

 

“What,” DeVo snapped, oh hit him again, he cheered silently, to the enraged demoness'.  Abruptly, his eyes grew wide with horror and he squeaked.

 

“What did I tell you about talking,” D’na asked and shoved his stake into DeVo’s chest.

 

Angel took this opportunity with everyone distracted  to grab Xander, throw the boy over his  shoulder and flee. 

 

It took the crowd of demons a couple of minutes to realize that it wasn’t just Spike that was also yelling and with howls of fury they charged after the fleeing Angelus, each demon being especially careful not to get to far ahead of the crowd, no one wanted to be the one in front if Angelus should turn around. 

 

Feeling no guilt at leaving Spike behind because at a time like this, he thought grimly, it’s every demon for himself as he raced to his car.  Putting on a burst of speed, he reached his car a mere 12 feet from the howling mob, and tossing the screaming boy into the car he jumped in as well.  Hastily starting the car, he peeled out of the parking lot, punching a couple of over-enthusiastic demons who hadn’t realized that they were now in FRONT of the crowd. 

 

And hauling the screaming, yelling  boy back down into the car as the car roared off.

 

Xander was in a state of total panic.  Adrenaline was helping to kick some of the effect of the drugs he had been given.  He had finally gotten a glimpse of what Deadboy had on and his eyes immediately sent a message to his spinal column, pressing the button clearly labeled Primal Terror: Run Away Fast.

 

Angelus!  And screaming, he fought desperately to escape.  He didn't want to die, and where the hell was Buffy?!  If he got for real killed by Angelus, he was so gonna make her life hell! 

 

"BUFFY!" he kept screaming, beating at the iron arm pressing him back into the seat.

 

 

D’na watched as the Fiestea degenerated into a brawling mob, cold amusement glinting in his eyes. Oh, I do love my job, he thought with a smirk and walked away.  I wonder if Angel has figured out what I’ve done to him by invoking his Claim on the Pet, he mused.  No matter, I’ll simply call him to let him know that he simply can’t get rid of his Pet without paying the price.

 

And a slow, evil laugh bubbled from him before he started coughing and choking.  Now I remember why I don’t like to laugh, he thought before sweeping back into the Fiestea hall.

 

 

Buffy and Willow waited just inside the entrance of the gate of the Fiestea.  Admiring the luxurious cars  parked around them in between worrying about Xander.  They had a clear view of the second entrance to the Fiestea and Buffy thought she saw Xander, Spike and Angel but she decided that it couldn’t be them especially since she saw a couple of huge demons beating on one of the figures, then start beating on the other, while the third was just sitting on the ground.

 

“What’s taking them so freakin’ long,” Buffy groused as she paced anxiously back and forth.  “They should have been out a long time ago, we saw a whole bunch of,” she hesitated before continuing doubtfully, “People leaving already…..and where the hell is all that noise coming from? “  She whirled around looking for the source.

 

Willow stood up on her car’s hood gingerly.   Looking at the entrance she could see a dark figure running diagonally across the parking lot, “They sound like their having a fight up there,” she reported, “and it looks like there’s a mob after somebody.”  She hopped down and looked at Buffy, both thinking the same thing.  They scrambled hastily into the car.

 

Willow gripped the steering wheel in a white-knuckled grip already nervous enough at being here.  She could hear a car approaching rapidly and she didn’t dare try to take off, fearing a collision.

 

And the car zoomed past them.  Screaming.

 

Buffy and Willow sat thoughtfully in the car, “Uhm, Buffy, did that look like Xander to you,” Willow asked calmly, staring straight ahead.

 

“Yep,” Buffy replied without turning her head.

 

“Screaming?”

 

“Uh huh.”

 

“Screaming your name?”

 

"Yep."

 

There was silence in the car as the roaring mob got closer.

 

“Maybe it was my imagination, but did that look like Angelus driving,” Buffy said in a calm voice of one who didn't want to start screaming.

 

“Well, I really didn’t want to mention it considering that the last time he showed up he was all "I'm gonna destroy the world' and stuff.  But hey, maybe he’s changed…people do it all the time,” Willow said brightly.

 

“True,” was Buffy’s thoughtful reply, “But he’s a demon and not a ‘people'.”

 

“Well, I was hoping that you would kinda overlook that part,” Willow said glumly, and they screamed as the passenger back door was wrenched open and a figure dived in.

 

“Drive, you daft bint,” Spike yelled, glancing frantically over his shoulder. Livid bruises covered his face.

 

Startled, Willow‘s foot came down heavily on the gas throwing Spike violently backwards in the rearseat.

 

Willow screamed as the car shot forward, almost clipping a demon that had foolishly raced ahead of the mob.  Still screaming she jerked the car to the left, tossing a groaning Spike painfully into the door window.

 

Buffy screamed, seeing a car door open and a very fat demon leveraged its ponderous bulk heavily from its car. 

 

And it, glancing up at the sound of screams, moved surprisingly fast as it dived back into its car just inches before Willow's fishtailing car ripped the door off.  

 

"Sorry," she yelled out the window to the demon and then screamed, jerking the car to the right just missing another demon, slamming Spike headfirst into the other door.

 

Grimly, her lips pressed in a thin line of determination, she fought for mastery of the dangerously out-of-control car.

 

“Will you stop screaming Buffy, you’re making me nervous,” Willow finally yelled, trying to gain traction on the slippery gravel as the car was heading straight for one of the twin thick pillars guarding the entrance with demons dived frantically out of her way.

 

One demon in particular performed an awesome display of athleticism, dazzling considering that it looked as if it would take a heavy-duty crane to lift it about two inches off the ground.

 

Buffy had her feet pressed firmly on the floor and a deathgrip on the dashboard, her eyes wide as the pillar loomed closer.

 

“I’m not screaming,” she shouted over the high pitched scream, and releasing her deathgrip, she reached back and punched Spike in the nose.

 

Blessed silence filled the car as Willow finally brought it under her white-knuckled control, just narrowly missing the pillar as they raced away, leaving a clearly shaken mob in the distance.

 

 

Xander kept screaming, frantically beating at Angelus trying to get free.

 

"Xander, it me!  XANDER IT'S ME!" Angel roared over the sound of the engine as they speed down the highway.  He didn't dare remove his arm, fearing that the boy would try to jump out of the car.  And at the speed he was going, that would not be the best idea.  He knew the boy was terrified, he could feel Xander’s racing heartbeat.

 

Xander continued to beat helplessly at Angelus' arm.  "Ha, you can't fool me, Angelus," he shouted, "I know evil and you're evil. You're wearing leather and you were acting all smooth and...and smoothlike EVIL.  This is kidnapping, I'm tellin' you."

 

Angel rolled his eyes, "Look you idiot, you were in serious trouble at the Fiestea and I got you out, I would think you would show a little gratitude."  He was seriously pissed off!  And after all the trouble he went through to save the stupid boy.

 

"Ha, now I know you're Angelus, cause Angel would never rescue me," Xander said triumphantly, "You only want to take me someplace and torture me," he added trying to pry Angelus' arm from his chest.

 

"Xander," Angel said with strained patience, "I will say this for the last time.  I AM ANGEL and if you say one more word, so help me I will smack you."

 

Xander gave up his futile attempts to remove Angelus' arm.  Oooooh, am so gonna haunt Buffy when I'm dead, he thought wrathfully, crossing his arms over Angel's arm with a huff of annoyance.  Once I'm dead, she'll definitely be sorry she didn't rescue me.  I'll haunt them all.  He glared angrily at Angelus' profile before staring determinedly ahead in chilly silence.  Coldly resolve not to open his mouth, not even when Angelus ripped him open with a dull knife, or branded him with a hot poker, or..or stuck long pointy things in him....nope, not one sound was gonna pass his lips, not even a squeak, not even a scream of pain....

 

"So, where are you taking me," he asked casually as if being kidnapped was an every day occurance for him.

 

Angel glanced at him curiously, before looking away, "Well the plan was originally that once I 'bought' you, I would drop you back at Buffy's and get back to L.A. before sunrise.”   He paused before asking, “If I let you go, do you promise not to try to jump out of the car.”

 

"Nope," Xander replied calmly, "Because you're evil and I don't make promises to evil demons."

 

Angel groaned, "Xander, I told you I'm not Angelus."

 

"And I don't believe you," Xander said equably. "You just want me to lower my guard so that when you get me to some isolated place and start torturing me with dull rusty knives, hot pokers and other sharp pointy things so it’ll be much more funner to you knowing you tricked me."

 

Angel blinked, "Okay, I see that you've given this some thought.  So what will it take to convince you that I'm not Angelus," he asked politely, his lips twitching.

 

"I donno," Xander admitted, he was starting to feel sleepy from the aftereffects of the drug and couldn't help but yawn, "I just know it would take something awfully big to make me believe you're Angel."  His words coming out a little garbled as he yawned again, his lids dropping before he forced them back up.

 

Angel glanced at Xander and saw the way the boy fought desperately against sleep.  "Why don't you close your eyes for a bit, it'll be a while before we get to L.A." he said softly and smiled at the refusal he could see in the boy's sleepy eyes.

 

"No, gotta stay awake," Xander mumbled, his head nodding before he jerked his head up  looking at Angel in fear.

 

Angel saw the look flash on the boy's face and knew why he was resisting going to sleep, "Tell you what, how about I promise to wake you up before I kill you," he suggested with a tiny smile.

 

"Promise," Xander asked in a sleepy voice as his eyes closed and his head nodded into his chest as he tumbled gently into sleep.

 

"I promise," Angel said softly, removing his arm and feeling Xander's warm weight fall against his shoulder, fast asleep.  He lifted his arm and pulled the boy closer to him, settling him more comfortable against his chest and frowning as he felt the unnatural heat rising from Xander.

 

And the car suddenly surged forward with an angry growl as he speed down the highway.





Part Two



Buffy: Yeah. We can comfort each other.
Xander: Well, would lap dancing enter into that scenario at all? 'Cause I find that very comforting.
Buffy: Play your cards right...
Xander: Okay, uh... You do know that I'm Xander, right?



Cordy and Wes jumped to their feet as Angel entered with Xander cradled in his arms.

"Cordy, call Buffy and let her know that I have Xander with me," he ordered calmly as he swiftly mounted the stairs.

"Wes, I need you to see if one of the Fiestea owners will speak with you, if they will, please ask them what was given to Xander."

"Hold up," Cordy cried out as Angel reached the top of the stairs. Her eyes roved over his outfit, "Not that I don't think you look absolutely da bomb, but," her eyes narrowed suspiciously, "Are you evil?"

Angel sighed, "Why does everyone think I'm evil?"

"Well, maybe it's because of the leather pants and the sexy I'm-Gonna-Fuck-You-Into-Next-Week look you got going," Cordy replied sharply, before quickly taking a step back, "Not that that is a bad thing, ya know," she said hastily, "Right Wes?"

"Uhm, yes of course," Wes said hastily, "It's just that, uhm, we don't often see you wearing leather and," he gestured expressively at Angel's open shirt, "And and...rather less clothes like that frequently," he breathed a sigh of relief at the amused look on the Angel's face, then stiffened abruptly recalling Angelus often found humor in the strangest things, like torturing people. He started gingerly easing for the door.

"I can see where you might get that impression," Angel sighed, not really wanting to tell his little secret. He knew he had better or everybody'll get stake happy on him. " Look, I got permanently resouled a few months back making me a little bit of Angelus and a whole lot of me."

"Permanently?!" both Cordy and Wesley gasped.

"Yeah, you remember that clan of demons a while back? The one that had the kidnapped children? Well as a thank you for getting their children back they offered to permanently cement my soul," was the simple explanation.

And suddenly Cordy's face glowed with malicious enthusiasm, "Does Buffy know and if not, can I, oh I don't know, just casually drop it into a conversation with her," she asked brightly.

Wes turned away, his shoulders beginning to shake.

Angel sighed, "No, you may not. I will tell her myself," he snapped.

"Okay, can I be there when you tell, then," was her second question asked quickly.

At that, Wesley totally lost it in howls of laughter.

Cordy punched him in the shoulder and stalked off muttering about 'dumb stupid men, I never get to have any friggin' fun!'.

Angel just shook his head and walked to his room. No matter how aggravation she caused, his unlife wouldn't be the same without her 'Panic, chaos, confusion
...my work here is done' attitude. Some days he didn't know whether to kill her or just stand back in awe at her unmitigated gall.

He lay Xander gently on his bed and pressed a hand to the boy's forehead, wincing at the blistering heat roiling off the fitfully sleeping boy. Wringing out the cold water from a washcloth he had grabbed from the bathroom shelf, Angel quickly made his way back to the ailing, feverish Xander, wiping the cold cloth gently over red flushed cheeks as he tried to ease the restlessly twisting body.

There came a knock on his door and calling out 'Enter' he continued to wipe the boy down. He didn't dare try to give him any medicine not knowing what the boy had in his system.

He looked up as Wes approached the bed, "What did they say," he asked quietly, continuing his slow easy motions.

"Apparently they gave him something called Zortan and it's supposed to be considered harmless to humans," Wes said quietly, regarding the restless movements of young Mr. Harris whenever Angel stopped.

Angel sighed in frustration, "Well, take it from me, it won't be the first time that they fucked shit up," he said savagely causing Xander to feebly rouse and try to move away. With a soft exclamation, Angel pulled him back, easily disregarding the weak blows until Xander was no longer restless under his stroking hand.
"Well what ever's wrong with him we need to do something to bring his fever down," Wesley said indicating the obviously sick Xander.

"Ya think?!" Angel said mockingly and closed his eyes at the look of offended dignity on Wesley's face.

"Look, I'm sorry....it's just been an extremely hellish night and I don't think it can get much worse unless we were in Hell itself," Angel said trying to suppress his angry frustration.

Just then Cordy came into the room and reported, "Buffy and Willow said that they were coming to stake you and get Xander."

"And I stand corrected." Angel closed his eyes, the last thing in the world he needed right now was to be fighting with Buffy and Willow making sure that they didn't succeed in killing him and making sure they didn't get hurt in the fight. He reviewed that in his mind...fuck them! He was more interested in staying dustfree.

"But I managed to convince them to stay home and that Xander was in good hands," Cordy said happily. I'm such a bad girl, she smirked, she just loved watching Angel squirm!

"And you couldn't have mention that to me first," Angel looked at her hard. One of these days and POW! right in the kisser.

"But the important thing is that I told you, right," Cordy gave him her most winning smile, watching him grind his teeth with secret glee.

Wesley put a comforting hand on Angel's shoulder, "Think Angel...if you kill her, she'll just find a way to come back and haunt us! Think of the rest of us, Gunn, Fred, me...think of the children!"

Angel opened his mouth to respond and..."Children?!" he turned to Wes in confusion.

Wesley blushed and mumbled, "Sorry that just slipped out."

Angel looked down at the restless boy, "So what are we gonna do," he asked quietly.

Cordy had darted into the bathroom and returned with a cooler cloth that Angel took gratefully. He began to gently wash Xander down as Cordy knelt and started unbuttoning Xander's jacket and shirt, easing them off. She stood back up and backed away from the bed.

All this sickness was making her feel queasy.

"Do about what," Wesley looked confused.

"About Xander," Angel said with a little note of impatience as he smoothed the cloth down Xander's chest.

Wesley blinked and looked at Xander, then at Angel, "Is he bleeding," he asked busily.

Angel looked at him, startled, "No, of course not!"

"A demon?"

"No!"

Cordy looked back and forth between the two men, what the hell was Wesley talking about?

"How about under a curse?"

"NO!" Angel whispered furiously.

"Possessed?"

Angel just glared at him.

"Well, then I'm out of options. Besides, you brought him home and he's your Pet," he said smugly.

Uh oh, Cordy swiftly realized what Angel wanted them to do and started backing away slowly.

"What?! You're not gonna help," Angel looked aghast.

"Of course I will help," Wesley said, looking affronted. "I'll make sure to have Gunn and Cordy bring you plenty of water and blood," and he darted out of the door in a surprisingly burst of speed that almost rivaled Angel's.

I KNEW IT! Angel thought in triumph, I always suspected Wesley had demon blood in him.

"Freeze Cordy!" he ordered, without even looking at her.

"Look Angel, despite these big boobs, I am not in the least maternal or like caring for sick people, Florence Mockingbird I am not," Cordy said firmly, her hand on the doorknob.

"Nightingale," Angel said through clenched teeth.

"Nightingale...Nightingale?! What the hell are you talking about now? For God's sakes, Angel don't change the subject! I'm sorry but sick people make me sick, I don't know why but I start getting queasy and dizzy."

Angel wanted to say that she was already dizzy but knew there would be a stake in her hand soon after.

"But I *am* a champion getter," she said proudly, "You tell me to get something and I am so THERE! You couldn't find someone to be a better getter than me," she said brightly, smoothly opening the door. "I'll go get you that water," and darted away.

"Cowards," Angel snarled softly before looking down at the flushed boy. "Well, looks like it's just you and me, boyo."

He was startled to see Xander's eyes flicker open and dazed eyes appear.

"Heheheh, I tricked him! I slept right through Angelus killing me," Xander whispered hoarsely.

Angel couldn't help but to laugh, "I didn't kill you and I'm not Angelus," he snickered.

"Angelus must have hit me with a two by four or something the way my head is pounding," Xander grumbled, his eyes closing in pleasure as he felt a blissful coolness caress his chest, well that was another myth about not feeling any pain in heaven.

They must be measuring me for my wings, he thought smugly. HA! In your face, Buffy Summers, *I'm* getting wings!

"Xander, what did they give you back at the auction," Angel whispered quietly, his eyes intent.

"Donno, some orange drink and a funny tasting chocolate," Xander shrugged and cried out as that movement jarred his aching head.

He yelled louder as he was ruthlessly seized and began to complain loudly. Somebody was going to be in BIG trouble once he found out where the head Angel Boss was, BIG trouble. He absolutely refused to believe he could possible be in Hell.

Angel carried Xander into the bathroom and knelt down with him over the toilet.

"Xander, listen to me....you have to throw up! The orange drink and the chocolate together becomes poison," Angel said urgently.

"LIAR! Chocolate is always good," Xander eyes widen at the Angel looking person blaspheming about chocolate.

He whimpered, "I'm in Hell! I'm a bad person and I don't even remember being bad," he wailed softly. He clutched desperately at the man, "Tell me the truth, Mister, how bad was I?! I can handle it," his lips quivered before he collapsed against the man's shirt.

"Oh for God's sakes! Xander, you're not in Hell and you're not a bad person," Angel patted Xander's back when the boy sagged against him crying. God the things I do! He had to get Xander to throw up before the poison really entered his system. He tried to figure out a way to get the boy to throw up.

A sly cunning light entered his eyes.

"Xander," he whispered softly, "Willow said that Spike put blood in the candy," and the reaction was immediate.

Xander felt his eyes bugging out, BLOOD?! In chocolate?! Is there no end to Spike's evil? He felt the bile at the back of his throat at the thought of the blood laced chocolate and twisted, emptying the contents of his stomach. Every time he thought of blood in chocolate he heaved into the toilet until he was retching dryly into the toilet.

Angel closed the lid and flushed the toilet. He frowned at the boy's clammy skin and swiftly began to unfasten Xander's pants ignoring the boy's futile attempts to stop him. Quickly pulling off Xander's shoes and socks, he pushed the pants down and stood up with Xander, allowing the pants to slide off.

"Come on, we have to get you into the shower," Angel said, pulling the protesting boy to the shower.

"But I d'wanna take a shower, I wanna take a bath," Xander whined, dragging his feet and abruptly sitting down, with a smug smile on his face. Ha, I won! He smirked. Nope, nope, nope not gonna take a shower and you can't make me, he stuck his tongue out at the man.

Angel sighed and quickly peeled off his clothes and scooping the whiny boy up in to his arms and stepping into the shower.

Xander gasped as he was lifted to his feet and then felt needles of ice raining down on his fiery back.

"C..co..cold," he stuttered out, shuddering. Then looked up in confusion at the man holding him. He frowned, "Do I know you?" the man seemed familiar somehow.

Oh fuck! Angel frowned, if he was lucky, the boy.s memory was just a side-effect of the fever. He adjusted the water to a more comfortable level for the boy pressing against him, and a uncomfortable stirring began between his legs at the heavy-lidded look on Xander's face. He swallowed harshly.

"Yeah, you know me, now let's get you out of here and into bed okay," Angel spoke gently to the confused boy.

"K," Xander smiled blindingly at the nice man.

Angel tried to help Xander out of the tub, but Xander kept slapping his hands away, so he stood back and watched as the boy tried to manuever a foot over the tub wall. He tried to help again, seeing as how the boy was having trouble getting his foot that high. He wanted desperately to get the boy covered, that loosing swaying cock was starting to have a serious affect on him.

"I can do it by myself," Xander whined, frowned as the man tried to help him again. Concentrating, he lifted his foot and again the stupid tub got higher. The man reached for him again, "No, I said I can do it," he shrank back against the wall away from the man, tugging his arm free.

"I can do it," he whined. He sidled closer the edge and carefully NOT watching the evil bathtub, he quickly lifted his foot over the edge and stepped away before it had time to change.

"HA! I showed it, didn't I," he tried to turned and almost fell back into the bathtub. The man grabbed him quickly and tried to pull him away.

Xander turned around and tried to kick the bathtub, "Oh ho, you trying to kill me now?! Take that you evil thing! I'm gonna get me a pick ax and chopped you up into little bits.....you ain't gonna be taking me down! Let go of me, I'm gonna teach this thing not to mess with me! It don't know know who it's fuckin' with!"

Angel sighed as he pulled the struggling Xander away from the innocent backtub, why me? Haven't I suffered enough?


Apparently not, he thought some time later as he got up for the tenth time, changing the sweat soaked sheets, trying desperately to bring Xander's fever down. Feeding him crushed ice and constantly wiping him down.

He had learned his lesson of not feeding Xander after the boy threw up all over him and he had given up on keeping clothes on the boy, considering that he would just have to pull them off within an hour or two after Xander had sweat through them.

It took almost two days for him to bring Xander's fever down and for the boy to rest comfortable. Between Cordy and Gunn changing the sheets, fetching water, ice, blood and cleaning up the place; and with Wesley and Fred fielding calls, handling his caseload they made it through Xander's fever.

And with a sigh of exhaustion to even his vampiric strength, Angel stripped and crawled into bed with the now restlessly, sleeping boy.


Xander woke slowly lying on his side, trying to catalog all his aches and pains. What in the hell happened to me, he wondered. Last thing I remember was the Auction....and somebody bought me?

Nightmarish images flickered through his mind of Angelus, Spike, a bunch of demons and he shuddered. Thank God that just was a nightmare, he gasped and then slowly smiled as he became aware of an arm draped over his waist, lightly clasping his stomach, feeling a body in the bed with him.

Well, well, well, so I did get lucky last night, he thought with a lascivious inward smile. He reached under the covers and stroked the back of the hand with a gentle touch.

I hope it was good for her as it apparently was for me, he thought fondly. Considering just how much I ache right now, man we must have torn the house down. I'm still naked and still at her house. Score! he crowed triumphantly.

He frowned, damn but her hand was big. Aw shit, did some fat girl buy me? Oh well, even if she is big and fat, she obviously knows a thing or two about sex, he thought stoutly, hey even fat girls need some loving.

I ain't never been this achy even after Anya wore me out. Besides, who am I to complain, any sex is good sex, considering I ain't had none since I called off the wedding.

He trailed his hand absently up the arm, frowning a the size and hairiness....he froze and pulled back the sheet hesitantly, his heart stopping at the sight of a man's arm draped over his waist.

It was cold. He listened intently, he couldn't hear any breathing. Oh god, I had the best sex of my life with a guy and killed him!

His heart began to race as he tried to move...he nearly had a heart attack when the arm twitched and pulled him close.

Oh God, not only did he have sex with a guy, but a vampire guy!

He tried frantically to pluck the heavy arm off of him, only to feel it tighten ever more pulling him back to the guy's chest. He froze in terror feeling something that he absolutely refused to identify, poking him in the back.

"Xander, for God's sake please just go back to sleep," he heard a voice say huskily in his ear.

Oh sweet mother of God, HE SLEPT WITH ANGELUS?! Remembering the nightmare images, he began to whimper softly, shaking with terror. He had turned into a Buffy!

Angel could feel the boy shaking, obviously having another nightmare, "Xander, what's wrong now?" He was getting too used to these frequent waking moments with Xander.

Would it kill the boy to freakin. let him get some fuckin' rest?! He sighed, he really shouldn.t blame the boy, he was still obviously recovering.

He began purring, knowing the boy would fall asleep within minutes of him purring.

"Y...yo...you and me," he heard the boy squeak out, and his purr stuttered to a halt in amazement.

He sat up in a rush, rolling Xander over and peering down into the boy's wide eyes, seeing clarity for the first time in days.

Xander, seeing Angelus looming over him, did the only thing he could think of.

.he punched Angelus in the nose and started screaming at the top of his lungs!

Angel fell back on the bed, clutching his nose, moaning in pain. He could vaguely hear people running to his bedroom, but he was in too much pain to care.

Adrenaline giving him strength, Xander tried to scramble out of the bed, but landed on the floor with a thump with his legs still tangled in the sheets.

Angel grabbed at the sheets frantically to cover himself but the door was thrusted open..revealing both he and Xander in all their naked glory!

Xander twisted, saw a lot of feet and tried to frantically crawl under the. He had made it halfway under the bed amid a lot of shouting when he felt his ankle grabbed and he was dragged kicking and screaming from under the bed.

He kicked desperately at whatever had his ankle, rejoicing at the scream of pain from a vampire and scrambled frantically to get back under the bed. They weren.t gonna get him that.s for damn sure!

And with a quick slithery move, he made it under the bed. Peering out, he could make out a guy curled over on the floor in the traditional pose of .My God, he kicked me in the nads..

Hehehehe, he chortled and froze in alarm.

.Xander Harris, you get from under that bed, this minute,. Cordy shouted over Wesley.s moans of pain. .Angel, put some damn clothes on, nobody wants.
HAVE MERCY!. she stared, her mouth open in shock.

Angel glanced down and swiftly grabbed the sheet, covering himself up.

Cordy shook her head out of her glazed wonder, pinched Fred out of her daze and peered under the bed at her former boyfriend seeing his eyes fill with tears.

.Oh God, Cordy, not you! But don.t worry, Buffy.ll be here soon and she.ll stake his dead ass and she.ll be more than happy to stake you too!. Xander assured her tearfully, he wiped his eyes on his forearm.

.Oh, for God.s sakes,. Cordy muttered, and reaching into her shirt she pulled out a cross, .Look, dumbass, if I was a vampire would I be able to do this?!. She held the cross in her hand under the bed and smiled at the relief that appeared in Xander.s eyes.

Xander laughed shakily as he began crawling out, .Boy, you would not believe the weird dream I had! First I dreamed that I was in bed with some big fat girl which was okay in my book, then I dreamed that I was naked in bed with Psycho Angel!"

Angel reclined on the bed just as Xander's emerged from under the bed, "Hello lover," in a low, deep throbbing voice.

Xander jumped at that voice behind him, not a dream! Hesitantly, he turned slowly to face....Angelus? He peered closer, breathing almost a sigh of relief at the sight of Angel.

"Oh shit, man you scared the fuck out of me! I thought I was naked in bed with Angelus," Xander started laughing in relief, his laughter dying down at the silence in the room.

"Well, you were half right," Angel drawled, glancing meaningfully up and down at Xander.

Xander blinked, looked down and quickly scrambled to cover himself, blushing a bright red, stumbling slightly as his adrenaline rush wore off.

"Uhm, well, not that this hasn't been fun, but I'm so outta here," he said faintly and passed out.

Angel started to dive across the bed to catch the boy and halted abruptly, aware of Cordy and Fred's interested gaze on him as his sheet started coming undone. Wincing at the thud Xander made when he hit the floor and the disappointed, wistful looks on Cordy and Fred's faces.

Ignoring them, he carefully crawled across the bed and pulled Xander back into bed.

"Wes, call Buffy and let her know that Xander's okay now," he calmly ordered, arranging the boy in the bed.

"Yes, I'll get right on it," Wes whispered, trying to straighten up...slowly. He turned and hobbled out of the room, followed by sympathetic Gunn, Cordy and Fred.


It took another 12 hours of sleep for Xander to gain some of his strength back and stop feeling so tired.

Unfortunately, it was about this time that D'na arrived with 15 demon guards to check on Angel's Claim of the Pet.


Angel was upstairs getting dressed in the bathroom, idly listening to the boy's babble of words when Cordy's piercing shriek rent the air.

He ran out the bathroom, quickly yelling for Xander to get back into bed before darting out and down the stairs, coming to an abrupt halt at the sight of D'na standing calmly in the lobby surrounded by huge imposing guards.

What the hell is he doing here, was his panicky thought. Careful, Angel, be cool, calm and controlled. Remember who you are, one of the baddest vampires, the Scourge of Europe....

"Angel, will you please get down here and deal with this...this creature," Cordy snarled over her shoulder, waving a hand imperiously to D'na and the guards.

...And apparently, Cordelia Chase personal attack dog.

D'na looked curiously at the mouthy little human, "You're cold and rude, which I find very appealing in females...."

Cordy instantly smiled, captivated by the demon's words, why what a sweet demon he was and so obviously perceptive.

"...but unfortunately you are human," he ended coldly.

Cordy abruptly lost her smile and stared daggers into the him, her mouth opening to make a scathing reply just as Angel's frantic signals to Wesley finally got through.

Wesley blinked as he belatedly recognized the demon and became desperate to stop Cordy from saying anything. Which was the only reason why he temporally lost his mind....as he hauled off and punched Cordy in the jaw.

Wesley looked triumphant at finally shutting Cordy up.

Both Angel and Gunn looked at each other then at Wesley in awe and sad dismay as Cordy dropped to the floor unconscious.

"Damn, Wes! I didn't you had it in you," Gunn said slowly and shook his head sorrowfully. "Man, you been a good friend and I'll miss you." He grabbed Wesley in a tight hug, feeling his eyes sting with tears. Real men don't cry, he told himself sternly, before stepping back.

"I..I'm gonna miss you too, Wesley," Fred looked at him shyly before hugging the puzzled man and stepping back to Gunn's side.

"I'm sorry, but..but...but I'm not going anywhere," Wesley stuttered, blinking in confusion.

"Well, I suspect you will be when Cordy comes too," Angel said looking down at her the sprawled figure.

Wesley looked at his hand in horror and paled alarmingly. He turned terrified eyes to Angel, mutely imploring him for help.

Angel tried to resist looking, but in the end sighed.

"Gunn, you and Fred get Cordy upstairs and get her comfortable," Angel said with a growl of annoyance at the pathetically grateful look Wesley gave him.

Gunn and Fred exchanged uneasily looks, before Gunn asked, "Whadda we do if she wakes up? 'Cause I'm telling ya, man, I ain't taking the fall for Wes...I mean, you my boy and all, but I ain't goin' out like that," Gunn said, looking determined.

"Lie or run like hell," Angel said simply, turning away and motioning Wes to his side.

"Guess that's why you get paid the big bucks," Gunn said sardonically picking Cordy off the floor.

Angel turned, "Don't make me tell Cordy who ate her stash of Double Dutch Chocolate cookies."

"Look, I'm going okay?! Ain't no need to get nasty and all!" Gunn said with injured dignity, hastily running up the stairs.

Angel smirked before turning back to D'na who had been watching them with curious cool eyes.

"If you are quite finished?" he waited politely before continuing, "I'm here to see that you have Claimed your Pet, if not then I will take him back and he will be re-auctioned off."

Angel froze, his eyes widening slightly as he remembered D'na asking him whether he was going to Claim Xander or not.

"Angel, what's he talking about? Angel?!" Wesley looked at his frozen friend, he tried to shake Angel's arm lightly, recoiling at the horrified look Angel gave him before Angel blinked and the look vanished, replaced by an unreadable expression.

"Perhaps we should repair to my office," Angel spoke formally, gesturing D'na to his office.

"No," D'na said flatly, "This conversation will not take long. It is merely a Yes or No question. Did you Claim the Pet or did you not?"

Angel sighed in frustration, "It's not a simple answer. No I did not Claim him because he's been sick for three days! Apparently, he was give an orange drink and chocolate or at least what he assumed was chocolate," Angel gave D'na a meaningful look.

"That's impossible," D'na stated coolly, "Clearly he is human, so no one in their right mind would give a human Dolemen together with Zortan."

"Well, apparently somebody obviously wasn't in their right mind and did give him Dolemen," Angel said savagely.

D'na looked thoughtful before snapping his fingers and pointing. Suddenly appearing was a small misshapen demon, nervously twisting it's many hands.

"Male, dark hair, brown eyes and tall. Do you recall this creature," D'na stated frostily to the shivering figure, his eyes intent.

"Yes, Master D'na, Fir recalls this creature!" Fir nodded eagerly.

"Did you give this creature Dolemen to calm it down," D'na said in a curiously gentle voice.

"No?" Fir said tentatively, peering hopefully up at D'na. "Fir knows he is not supposed to give humans Dolemen." He hastily assured D'na, his heart racing in fear.

D'na cocked his head, "I see. But I don't remember saying that the Pet was human," his voice was achingly smooth with menace.

"But he was screaming and yelling and upsetting all my other Pets. He hit Fir! I only wanted to touch the pretty-pretty, I wasn't gonna hurt the blonde pretty, I just wanted to touch. He wouldn't let me touch the pretty-pretties. He was being BAD!" Fir wailed indignation, blubbering in terror.

"But you almost killed a Pet," D'na remarked in a final tone. His eyes flared.

Screams rent the lobby as the creature caught on fire, twisting and jerking in its death throes.

Upstairs, Xander sat up in bed in terror, shaking violently...

Gunn and Fred raced back to the top of the stairs, ready for anything....

Angel looked on with no expression on his face, holding a horrified Wes still with a solid grip of iron.

D'na snapped his fingers and the writhing creature disappeared.

"Good help is so hard to find these days," he sighed before turning to Angel.

"Clearly I am forced to give you additional time to claim your Pet. You have one week from tomorrow to Claim him or return him to me."

Angel's eyes flickered up the stairs to Gunn and Fred, silently warning them to go away. He turned back to D'na.

"He's still weak, give me five weeks to Claim him," Angel bargained. He figured that with four somebody was bound to come up with plan for him NOT to have to claim Xander.

Wes looked back and forth between the two demons, something about claiming was teasing at the back of his mind.

D'na shook his head, "Two weeks," he countered.

"Four weeks and as I said, he's still week and recovering from the poison," Angel said calmly. Okay, I'm sure we can find something within four weeks.

D'na tilted his head, "I'm getting the feeling that you are trying to stall and come up with a way not to claim your Pet. Perhaps I had better to see the Pet before I make a determination, yes?"

Angel almost hissed in rage, before turning and silently stalking up the stairs to his room, trailed by D'na and seven of the demons guards.

Xander jerked in alarm as Angel stalked in with a set tight look on his face, oh uh, somebody's got his panties in a bunch.

"Deadboy. Hey, I remember you!" He sat up looking at the silvery hair demon, "You were part of that dream...," he trailed off. He looked at Angel, "It wasn't a dream was it?"

"No," Angel said shortly, stepping aside as D'na strolled closer to the bed.

D'na looked closely at the young mortal, smelling the fading sickness of the boy.

"Very well, Angel, I will give you three weeks to complete your Claim of the mortal and that is my final offer," he said firmly as Angel was going to argue.

"Claim? What's this about a claim? Who's getting claimed? 'Cause I just want to go on the record here casting my vote with a firm HELL NO! Ain't nobody claiming me!" Xander said firmly, "Whatever it is, it don't sound like something I want to be a party to. Thanks but no thanks!"

D'na turned back to the young mortal, interested, "You are then saying you are rejecting the vampire's Claim," he asked carefully.

"Hell yeah!" Xander shouted glaring daggers at Angel.

"NO!" Angel yelled and glared at Xander, trying to get the idiot to shut up.

"Well, which will it be Angel? Yes or No? If No, then I will take the boy and hold him for the next Fiestea," D'na said calmly.

"What do you mean, auction block?" Xander said suspiciously, somehow he just knew this was all Angel's fault. He shot a venomous look at Angel.

"If the vampire does not Claim you within the next three weeks, you will be returned to me and held until the next Fiestea," D'na said with chilly patience.

"What?! I ain't no fuckin' slave or...or thing! I'm human! You got that? H.U.M.A.N. Human," Xander yelled, panting and starting to feel a little weak.

D'na ignored him, choosing to focus his attention on Angel.

Wesley felt the answer coming closer....

"Three weeks," Angel nodded his understanding, already plotting ways of avoiding Claiming Xander, he didn't care if it was only for five years. There had to be a way around the Claim.

"Oh and Angel, if in three weeks the Pet is not Claimed and you have found a way around the Claim, I will still come back here and kill every last one of the people currently residing in this place. Then I will find the Pet's family and friends and kill them as well. Do we understand each other," D'na lifted a cool brow to Angel set face.

"Perfectly," Angel growled, his eyes flashing with rage.

"What?! You're going to let him punk like that," Xander yelled at Angel.

D'na turned a looked at the boy, perhaps stronger measures were called for.

"Observe," he merely said, gesturing to the wall.

Xander turned his head to look, gasping slightly as Anya appeared walking down the stairs at Buffy's. Then the look of mute terror as she fell, tumbling before laying at the bottom, her leg at an impossible angle. He saw the look of silent horror on Buffy and Willow's face as they raced down the stairs to her.

"That didn't happen," Xander said, trying to convince himself as he shakily reached for the phone at the bedside and dialed Buffy's number.

"Hey, Dawn?" he started to say but was quickly cut off by Dawn.

"Xander, I'm sorry but I gotta go, Anya just fell down the stairs and broke her leg," Dawn said hurriedly and hung up.

Xander sat there with a blank look on his face at the dial tone, before slowly hanging up the phone.

"So how exactly does this Claimy thingie work," he said hesitantly, smiling at the nice demon guy.

"I shall leave it up to Angel to explain," D'na said smoothly, gathering his guards.

"Wes," Angel said without removing his attention from Xander, "Please escort D'na out."

Wes looked from Angel to Xander and nodded, politely gesturing D'na from the room.

"Remember, Angel three weeks," D'na said in parting.

Angel tilted his head, listening to their footsteps descend the stairs, the murmur of voices and the door shut.

"Deadboy, what the hell did you do," Xander said hoarsely.

"Me?! All I did was try to fuckin' help you," Angel said angrily, pacing back and forth.

"Help?! I sure don't want to be around when you don't help people," Xander snorted, "And what's up with the wardrobe anyway...sure you're not Angelus?" Xander squinted at him suspiciously.

Angel stopped pacing and looked at Xander sardonically, "Soul's permanent now boy." He sauntered closer to the bed, his eyes gleaming with a dark invitingness.

Xander looked at Deadboy nervously, uneasy about that look in Dea...Angel's eyes. He started scooting slowly across the bed away from the disturbing gleam in Dead...ah..Angel's eyes.

"Uhm, just to remind you of a couple of things," Xander said hastily, scooting faster across the bed as Angel knelt gracefully on the bed and started crawling to him.

"Not that I'm *implying* anything, you understand, but I just wanted to remind you that you are a MALE and I as well am a MALE," Xander laughed falsely as he scrambled out of the bed, backing slowly away from the predatory look in Deadboy's eyes.

"So, if you got you soul and all, I guess you can get your groove on with BUFFY.
Your soulmate. The one that you adore, remember," Xander squeaked out, pressed against the wall with Angel a bare foot from him.

"Shall I tell you about the Claim," Angel murmured backing away, noting the sigh of relief from the boy with a cool twist of his lips.

"Yes! Yes, tell me about the Claim, and then I can go home," Xander said hopefully taking a couple of steps away from the wall. This Deadboy was scaring the bejebbers out of him. Half soulboy and half evilboy. He didn't know how to react to him.

With a blur of speed that made Xander gasped in fright, Angel was pressing against him, pushing him back against the wall with his hands held above his head.

Whispering in his ear.

"By agreeing to Claim you, I own you now. You belong to me, everything that you own, belongs to me. You are mine to do as I see fit, as long as I don't kill you." He licked up the side of Xander's neck, inhaling the boy's scent, feeling his body stir hungrily.

"D..d..does this involves biting," Xander quavered out, he felt something growing pressing against his....he squeaked and began to babble, trying to ignore the way Angel was sniffing and licking at his neck.

"Cause if it involves biting, well hell, let's make with the biting cause we do want to keep you healthy and strong, and our friends AND your soulmate Buffy, the one that you adore, healthy and alive. Did I mention that Buffy considers me one of her closest friends? Yep, me and Buffy go back years and years, there's no better friend than good ole Buffy, she's a sweet girl and there's nothing she wouldn't do for her friends, absolutely nothing," he squeaked the last part out, shuddering as Angel began to rock against him. He tried to move his hands from the iron one, handed grip, above his head. Glaring furiously at the top of Angel's head, feeling Angel's cold tongue laving at his neck.

"Each demon has different ways of Claiming," he heard Angel whisper huskily, he shivered as the gust of breath across the wet spot on his neck.

When Angel looked up, he knew his eyes were a solid gold from the gasp and the increase of fear pouring off of Xander in waves.

"But for vampires, biting is only the last part of the Claim," he whispered into the boy's ear, before nibbling on a earlobe, smiling at the shudder that wracked through Xander's frame. Fear and the delicious scent of arousal.

"W...wha...what else is involved," Xander quivered out, already he could just about guess, but please let him be wrong, please....

"Sex," he heard Angel whispered against his neck. He squirmed desperately to get free, stopping abruptly at the answering response from Angel.

"Dammit, Angel, I am fuckin' so NOT gay! Let me go and stop playing mind games with me," Xander exploded, his face flushing with rage.

With a husky chuckle Angel, backed off and strolled away from the panting boy.

"What the fuck is your problem?! Just fuckin' bite me already so I can get back to Sunnydale." Xander snarled shakily, scrubbing at the wet spot on his neck.

"I'm afraid that you won't be going back to Sunnydale for a while and I wasn't lying about how vampires Claim someone," Angel said levelly and sprawled in his chair, looking at the flushed Xander broodingly.

"What?!" Xander looked horrified, pressing his ass abruptly back against the wall as if that was some protection.

Angel's mouth quirked wryly at the telling gesture.

"No way man! That part of me shall remain unexplored by anyone except my doctor and even he had better have a damn good reason for being back there!" Xander shouted angrily.

Angel sighed, "So you choose to allow your friends to die?" He remarked quietly.

At which Xander froze, remembering what the demon said. He looked at Angel uncertainly, "Would he really kill them," he whispered uneasily.

Angel sighed yet again, "The only thing that I know D'na cares about are the rules and regulation of the Fiestea. When it first started, the head of every major demon clan had to agree to abide by it's rule and humans were welcome attendees of the Fiestea. These rules are passed down to the rest of the demons within the clan and is ruthlessly enforced. And it has existed this way for thousands of years."

A dark look crossed Angel's face, "A long time ago, a bunch of humans thought they were smarter and tried to buck the rules. About fifty people were involved in the thief of a Pet from the Fiestea. D'na politely requested the return of the Pet and was laughed at by the people on the island, he killed fifteen of them before the Pet was returned broken and near death from the multiple rapes and beating she had endured. D'na destroyed every last person in Atlantis and then sank it beneath the ocean."

There was horrified silence from Xander.

"Everyone abides by the rules of the Fiestea," Angel said quietly, "No exceptions."

Xander sank despairingly to the floor, his head on his knees, starting at a slight touch on his shoulder.

"Xander, I promise that I won't hurt you," Angel whispered to the bent head, stroking the silken locks gently, pulling the boy into his arms.

"But I really don't wanna be gay," Xander nearly wailed out into Angel's chest, feeling tears prickling at his eyes.

"And you won't be," Angel smiled and tilted the boy's head up to gaze down into his wide eyes, "You won't be gay...you'll just be expanding your horizons."

Xander let out a watery chuckle and rolled his eyes, "Deadboy, even for you that was lame. With a line like that I have no idea how you got Buffy into bed."

Angel laughed, "Hey, give me a break. I've been out of practice this past week."

Xander snorted disgustedly at that, before a sober look crossed his face.

Xander looked at him somberly, "Angel I really don't want to do this, I don't want to have sex with you and I especially don't want to be gay either."

"Xander, I've already said that you won't be gay. And I assure you that you would probably be the last male that I would have sex with also," Angel said in exasperation.

Xander hid his hurt at Angel's statement, unaware of the sharp look the other cast him, "Then what would you call it, it not being gay?!"

"I call it saving your friends lives," Angel said flatly, before sinking down beside Xander.

"Xander, you've done a lot to keep your friends safe. Things that they don't even know about," he began but was interrupted by Xander's sarcastic remark.

"Oh yeah, name one of them," Xander snorted, folding his arms crossly.

Angel stared at the bed, "How about the lie that you told Buffy when she went to fight Angelus? You told her Willow said to 'kick his ass'."

Xander tried to scramble away, restrained by Angel's iron grip, "You know," he choked out.

"Yeah, I know," Angel sighed, "Something that Willow said made me think and I asked a few questions to both Buffy and Willow and from there it was easy to figure out that you lied, thinking that Buffy would either be killed by stalling or again not be able to kill Angelus."

Xander quivered, "You're not mad?" he asked tentatively, his eyes watchful and his body tense.

"At the time I was and thought of thousands of ways to kill you, but I started thinking, remembering everything Angelus did, how many opportunities Buffy had and how many times she spared him. Probably I would have done the same had I been in your shoes."

"Oh," was all Xander could think to say, but rallied, "But that's only one time and it don't count," he said sullenly.

"Why not? You said give you one time and I gave you one," Angel regarded the mutinous face and sighed softly, "Xander, you are an extremely brave and resourceful young man, hell you face me down to save Buffy's life! And had it not been for the fact that we were practically competing for Buffy's affections we probably would have been friends."

"Not in this lifetime," Xander snorted, but relented after a look from Angel, "Fine! Maybe, just maybe," he stressed, "If you would stop acting so, so so 'look at me, I'm the best looking guy on the face of the planet'. You get all the girls and leave none for the rest of us," he complained.

"Xander, you do realize that didn't make a bit of sense, right," Angel looked at him with twitching lips.

"I know, I know, I just choked," Xander admitted with a sigh. He looked down, "So how does this Claiming thing work? You gonna sedu..seduc...," he kept choking on the word.

"Seduce you? Now would that be fair," Angel mocked him gently, raising Xander's head to meet his eyes, seeing the fear and panic lurking beneath the brave front the boy was putting on.

"Tell you what, why don't we start with something as simple as a kiss," he whispered, drawing closer to the boy and pulling them both to their knees.

" K," Xander quavered out, his eyes wide and fearful.

Xander had thought that Angel would press only a single close mouth kiss against his lips, to test the waters or to see just how bad he would freak out. So the brush of Angel's hand against his cheek made him jump and regard Angel intently. He swallowed hard at the way Angel's head was slightly tilted and the drowsy look look in his eyes. And the way Angel's fingertip trailed evocatively over the most sensitive folds of his ear, sending shivers through him and his heart to pounding.

Angel's fingers glided softly over Xander's face, putting his vast experience to use as he stroked his fingers over Xander's face. Knowing where the nerve points were, how long to stroke, where to caress the boy never knew what hit him as Angel watched color flushing the boy's cheeks and his eyes getting larger. His hand came to rest lightly on the boy's neck while the other supported Xander's cheek as he brought the boy up to his lips.

"Open your mouth," he whispered to the dazed boy, rotating his finger and thumb gently against Xander's frozen jaw muscles. "Open for me."

And his lips parted helplessly as soft, gentle kisses of slow languid pressure, beguiled his senses, enticing his submission to Angel's erotic pleasuring. Again and again he drank from the boy's willing mouth before he finally allowed Xander's lips to leave his silken bondage. He buried his face in the fragrant skin on the side of Xander's neck, gently suckling the skin there.

For Xander it was as if he had been thrust into a new dimension of sensation, briefly glimpsing what Angelus must have been like when he seduced his victims. He arched his neck further for Angel's delectation. Never had he been the recipient of a kiss like that---subtle, tempting beyond measure and spiked with voluptuous unearthly passion.

He came back to himself with a start at the caress on Angel's fingers on his bare arm.

"Stop it, you made your point," he said, slapping Angel's hand away, "With skills like that you could probably get a response from a freakin' stone," he said irritably.

Angel drew back with a smile, "Probably, but where's the fun in that?"

Gradually his smile faded, "So, Xander what's it gonna be?"

Xander stared stonily at his feet, "You already know what the answer is gonna be," he said angrily, trying to ignore the stirring in his cock.

"Yes, but without your cooperation, it won't work," Angel regarded the downcast head gently, "Rape was part of Angelus bag of tricks, not mine," he whispered softly.

He pressed a brief kiss on the boy's flushing cheek before drawing back and coming to his feet. He extended a hand to Xander and waited patiently for him to decide. Smiling inward as the boy looked up with a angry sigh before taking his hand, allowing himself to be pulled to his feet.

Xander squirmed under the slow look Angel gave him, he was not GAY! he whispered furiously to himself, sternly yelling at Xander Jr. to simmer down, now.

Angel hid a small smile, "Xander, if you fight me on this, you'll only wind up hurting yourself. I won't Claim an unwilling person."

He hated to crush that look of hope on the boy's face, "And D'na will know that you are still unClaimed," but Xander had to realize the seriousness of what was going on.

Xander drew in a ragged breath, "Can I have a few days b..be..before you Claim me," he asked shakily.

Angel stepped closer and drew the unwilling, shivering body to him. Rubbing the boy's quivering back gently, "I can give you four days," he whispered before stepping away.

"What about my job, my apartment," Xander said desperately.

Angel stoked his fingers gently down the boy's face, "Xander, your home is with me for the next five years. This hotel needs plenty of work down around here and if you don't want to work here, I have contacts all over the city. I won't guarantee you a job outside of the hotel, you will have to work for that because I believe you have too much pride for that. As for your apartment, you can kept it or let someone else sublet it. You won't be returning to it for a long while."

At those soft words, realization crash through Xander, he wasn't going anywhere for the next five years. Summoning his shaky courage, he essayed a brave smile, flushing at the warm approval in Angel eyes.

"Well, I got a couple days to get use to the idea of sl...slee...," Xander tried to choked out, blushing at the laughter in Angel's eyes.

"Don't stress yourself over this, my Pet," Angel smiled and left the room, leaving a very confused Xander musing over his Claiming.



Three day later they had a small party where things got a little interesting.

At Cordy's request, Gunn snorted who the hell was he kidding, damn girl ordered him! Him! The baddest sonavabitch this side of town, taking orders from a skinny-ass crazy White girl. I'm fuckin' original bad boy, I don't take orders from no damn girl, I don't take shit from nobody.

I'm only inviting the guys over 'cuz I *want* to, not cuz she done *ordered* me! He strode into the hotel, his head held high and proud.

"Gunn, did you remember to pick up my favorite ice cream from the store," Cordy asked without looking up from her keyboard.

"Yep, Mint Mocha Double Chocolate just like you wanted and I got you some of your favorite cookies, too. I even got some of those Twinkies and some Chocolate bars for Xander," he said. He ignored Wesley snickering and fake coughing spasms of 'asskisser'.

Cordy looked up and smiled brilliantly at the thoughtful gesture. "Gunn, you're just too good to me," she exclaimed jumping up and kissing his cheek.

Yeah, that's right, he thought glaring at the snickering Wes. You gonna get yours, man, you just wait and see. Why the hell did Wes think he was doing this shit anyway. You gotta get on Cordy's good side and she wont make your life hell. Even slow ass Angel already figured that one out.

It was kinda funny though that that skinny White kid that Angel had stashed upstairs just seemed to ignore Cordy's temper. Gunn shook his head, at first glance the boy looked like a total idiot but the dude got some balls if he could just blow off Cordy time and again, leaving *her* fuming is his dust. Boy, must got some sorta secret power and shit.

"Oh and I ran into Jay-T, Pauly and C-note, they gonna be around here around five, six with their girlies, give Xander a chance to met some new people," he added over his should as he went to put away the groceries.

"I hope they don't bring that skanky ho, Tina," Cordy yelled after him. "You know what a bitch she can be with that mouth of hers and I don't want Xander running back to his room."

Gunn paused in putting away the groceries as he grappled with the fact that Cordy of all people was dissing Tina! The only reason why those two didn't get along was because they had the exact same personalities. He shuddered remembering the last time the two got in a dissing match. Man and he thought Lota demons were vicious.

From that day he vowed to stay on her good side!

"Did you hear me," Cordy yelled to the kitchen.

Gunn started and resumed putting away the groceries, "Yeah and I told them to make sure she didn't show up."

Yeah he was the man, but his mama didn't raise no fool either.

As five o'clock rolled around, Gunn's friends arrive. Cordy managed to coax Xander from his room, actually she dragged him kicking and screaming from his room.

She glared murderously at Gunn who carefully avoided her eyes. That skanky slut Tina was here! She knew what the bitch wanted: Gunn. And there was no fuckin' way was she gonna let that tramp break up Fred and Gunn.

Her eyes narrowed furiously at the skintight outfit, the girl was wearing, she might as well be naked it was so tight and short, barely covering her big ass. Whore! She sneered, pulling the nervous and protesting Xander to where everyone was gathered.

"Cordy, really, I don't want to be downstairs. Beside I'm not dressed for a party," he gave a fake chuckle, dragging his feet.

"You are not hiding in your room any more. I got clear instructions from Willow on how to handle the care and feeding of a Xander. And anyway i told you an hour ago that people were coming over and to get changed. Besides," she took in his low riding gray sweat pant, wife beater T-shirt and bare feet, "You look perfectly fine. Now c'mon," and she dragged him over to the gyrating figures.

Quickly introducing everyone, snarling as she spoke Tina's name.

"Cordy, I'm surprised," Tina purred mockingly, "I know you must be hard up and desperate, but....," she waved a hand at the blushing White guy Cordy had an iron grip on. Her lips shaped into a malicious smile at the furious look that crossed Cordy's face.

At that, nasty insults traded back and forth

"Slut!"

"Whore!"

"Bitch!"

"Skank!"

"Tramp!"

"Two-dollar Whore!"

The dual of words were exchanged with poisonous smiles on their faces, before their ruffled feathers were smoothed down, the pecking order was established, and they settled into neutral corners.

Xander, having escaped was sitting by Fred, watching in fascination as the two high powered uber-bitches traded verbal blows. His money was on Cordy coming out ahead.

He finally turned his attention tot he forlorn looking Fred. He instinctively liked her, being drawn to her shyness so much like Willow back when they were kids. So he treated her like the treated Willow when she was down in the mouth.

"Hey, there pretty lady, you come here often," he asked with a leer, relieved to see her tentative smile before it vanished. He twisted to see why she looked upset and saw Tina rubbing up against Gunn who looked like he didn't know whether to run away screaming or continue dancing. Xander snorted if what Tina was doing could be called dancing.

His eyes narrowed as he looked at the desolate look on Fred's face and determinely he got up.

"Hey, it was Tina right," Xander said calmly in the pause between songs, "Mind dancing with me," he asked her with a little grin.

Tina whirled around and at the first sign of her distraction, Gunn made his escape.

Tina's eyes glittered coldly as she watched Gunn retreat swiftly away from her. Her mouth tightened as she glanced up at Xander and saw that he planned it, distracting her to let Gnn get away.

Her eyes narrowed fractionally and then she heard a song begin. Her eyes gleamed and her lips curved into a chilly smile. Oh yeah, she'll fix this stupid White boy and by the time she was done with him, he won't be able to walk straight.

"Sure, I'll dance with you," she purred, pressing against him, her body moving erotically to the song.

Xander's eyes had narrowed also, easily recognizing the look in Tina's eyes.

"Go rescue him," Cordy hissed at Gunn, trying to push him towards Tina and Xander. "That bitch'll eat him alive!"

Gunn looked down at her in disbelief, "You say that like it's a bad thing."

Cordy rolled her eyes, "Idiot! You know what I mean," and she smacked him upside the head.

"Cordy, not in front of my boys," Gunn whispered desperately, hunching his shoulders in anticipation of her next blow.




Finally the song went off and Xander followed after Tina with clenched teeth. Gunn gave him a sympathetic look and his cheeks burned with shame. Damn her anyway, he was just trying to help Fred out.

Another song came on and he stopped, listened....and a slow dark smile crossed his face, sending an uneasy shiver up the spines of everyone watching.

"Uh oh," Cordy said uneasily, "I don't think I'm liking the look on Xander face.

Xander took two rapid steps and grabbed Tina's arm, yanking her into his arms.

"What the fuck is your goddamn problem, you fuckin' dumbass," Tina shouted, bracing her other hand against his shoulder, her body pressed tight against him, straddling his leg.

"Uh oh, Tina gonna get medieval on your boy's ass," Jay-T shook his head sorrowfully, making sure he was far away as possible for the coming bloodshed.

Pauly sighed, "Damn, Cordy! I sure am sorry about your friend 'n all."

"Stop acting like he's gonna die," Cordy snapped turning on them.

Gunn said simply, "He will by the time Tina's finished with him."

"My turn," Xander whispered huskily and began to sing, writhing against her.

"How can I put this in a way so as not to offend or unnerve," he said in time with the song and he ground his hips hard into her, watching her eyes widen.

"But there's a rumor goin' all around that you ain't been gettin' served; They say that you ain't 'You know what' in, baby, who knows how long; It's hard for me to say what's right when all I wanna do is wrong," he whispered as he circled his hips against her, listening to her gasp.

"Get off..23 positions in a one night stand," he whispered, his lips a inch from hers, "Get off...I'll only call you after if you say I can," he ground his hips against hers. "Get off, let a woman be a woman and a man be a man," his hips pumped into hers before he stepped away, with his arms outstretched.

"Get off,,,If you want to, baby, here I am," he rolled his hips and raised a brow at her.

(The others stood frozen in shock, Wesley muttered "Oh My God!")

//I clocked the jizz from a friend of yours named Vanessa Bet//
//she said you told her a fantasy that got her all wet//
(he caressed his chest and slid his hand down to the front of his pants) //Something about a little box with a mirror and a tongue inside //
//what she told me then got me so hot, I knew that we could slide, ooh//
(he smiled wickedly, his expression one of dark seduction, his hips writhing to the music)

(Tina chuckled quietly, damn this White Boy can dance!)

(She glided to him and the watching people were witnessed to one of the most nastiest, raunchiest, erotic dance moves imaginable.)

//Get off..23 positions in a one night stand;//
//Get off, I'll only call you after if you say I can,//
//Get off, let a woman be a woman and a man be a man//
//Get off If you want two, baby, here I am//

(This time Tina stepped away, with her arms outstretched, her eyes saying 'Challenge met and accepted')

(They stepped forward and Xander whirled her around, her back to his front, their bodies grinding together in an erotic duet of movement....)

//Naw, little cutie, I ain't drinkin'//
//But scope this, I was just thinkin'//
//You plus me, what a ride...//

(And he licked up the side of cheek and his hips continuing to grind and circle against her ass....)

//If you was thinkin' the same, we could continue outside;//
//Lay your pretty body against a parkin' meter;//
//Strip your dress down like I was strippin' a Peter Paul's..Almond Joy;//
//Lemme show you, baby, I'm a talented boy....//

(He dropped to his knees, raising one leg with his foot flat against the floor and pumped his hips, while she twisted and undulated before him....)

(Cordy whimpered softly and leaned heavily against the counter, Angel watched with no expression other than the tightening of his had around his coffee cup.)

//Everybody grab a body//
//Pump it like you want somebody//
//Get off //
//So here we, so here we //

(And his hips beat out a rapid tattoo, dry humping the air before he swiftly climbed to his feet. Gunn wondered why the hell didn't they just go find a room.)

//So here we are, here we are in my paisley crib// (Xander gestured to the lobby)
//What cha want to eat //
//Ribs!// (her eyes dropped meaningfully to his crotch)
//Naw toy, I don't serve ribs//
//You better be happy that dress is still on//
//I heard the rip when you sat down//
//Honey, them hips is gone//
//But that's alright, I clock 'em that way//

(He stepped up to her as she whirled around, pulling her back into his crotch, both of them breathing hard)

//Remind me of somethin' James used to say//
//"I like 'em fat, I like 'em proud//
//You got to have a mother for me"//
//Now move your big ass 'round this way//
//So I can work on that zipper, baby//

(she ground her ass hard against his groin, as he dipped and pumped his hips against ass)

//Tonight you're a star and I'm the Big Dipper//
//Na, na, na, na ;na, na, na, na//

(Gunn looked around at the entranced faces of the drooling girls and, he blinked, Jay-T?! He gulped as Tina and Xander turned to them. Standing in profile to them, their hips writhing, moving in time with the hard driving beat; moving like they've been dancing together for years, undulating, writhing, twisting against each other. His eyes grew wide and entranced watching them, watching as their hips moved, circling their counterpart, chests stroking against each other)

(Wesley leaned and whispered to Angel, "I think those two need to be examined. I think they may have been possessed by snakes or lust demons...no human body can really move like that!" He stepped back slightly in alarm as Angel's coffee cup shattered.)

Xander undulated his chest against Tina's again, their eyes glittering with the challenge of dancing, of cutting loose. He danced back just as she danced forward, bodies moving in time with each other. It had been a long time since he had such a responsive partner. Another song came on and they began dancing again. Hot, sweaty bodies, moving to the pulsating beat of the music.

And finally after the fourth song came to an end, Xander stared at Tina, both breathing harshly before he slowly smiled, mischievously.

Tina started laughing and pulled Xander in a tight hug.

"Can't breathe," Xander rasped out.

"Alright you win, I ain't gonna mess with your friends and shit....you my boy. Anytime you want to come hang with me, give me a holla," she said releasing him. "Damn boy, I ain't seen moves like that since I stopped dancing at Ladies Night." She gave him a grin at his blush before turning and giving a quick blinding smile at the dumbstruck watchers, "Yo, Cordy you take care of my boy, here and I won't hafta come back and fuck you up."

And with a final hug to Xander, she left. Xander watched her go with a wistful look, he hadn't had that much fun in years! He jumped as he noticed Willow, Dawn and Spike standing in the doorway, their mouths hanging open in shock.

His smile quickly disappeared and he started backing away, wondering what the hell was wrong with them, he turned and jumped back in alarm at the sight of Gunn and the rest of them watching him, tongues hanging out.

"What?!" he looked at them panicky, his eyes seeking Angel's unreadable expression. Did he do something wrong?

Cordy closed her mouth, "Where in the hell did you learn to dance like that?!" she demanded hotly. "And why the hell didn't you ever dance like that with me," she added crossly with folded arms.

"And what did she mean by Ladies Night? You told me that you only washed dishes there!" Willow demanded hotly





Part Three



Giles: I cannot believe that you are fool enough to do something like this!
Xander: Oh, no, I'm twice the fool it takes to do something like this.



In Sunnydale, unaware of what was transpiring with Xander, Willow stood outside of Spike's crypt just about to knock when she heard him talking to someone and hesitated, not wanting to interrupt his conversation with whomever. She just wanted to find out what was going on with Xander, he had sounded so strange on the phone the other day. 

 

"Ya mean D'na was that serious about you and the pup?" she heard Spike exclaim.  'Pup'? Is he talking about Xander, she wondered, hesitant about knocking now. 

 

"Well, I hope he not gonna kill me, I don't even like the boy," Spike said indignantly, she could heard him pacing angrily. 

 

Who's getting killed? Nobody mentioned anything about the latest demon of the week, why was she always the last to find out these things, she thought angrily, why a demon could be sneaking up behind her right....she shuddered and quickly looked behind her, shaking in relief. Okay calm down Willow, she admonished herself. No need to start wiggin' your own self out. Besides Spike is more than happy to do it for you. 

 

"So, how long do you have to Claim Xander then," she could hear his angry pacing slow down, "How bad did the whelp freak out, eh?" 

 

Uh oh, Xander's wiggin out? This was so not good, she shivered. 

 

"Why is it my job to make sure these stupid people stay in Sunnydale," he yelled furiously.  Hmmpf, if Spike wants us to stay in Sunnydale, then it's a sure bet that this can't be good!

 

"Alright, alright already!" she heard him say hastily, "Ain't no need to resort to violence, is there?! How long the Claiming anyhow?" 

 

 

Who was getting claimed, what the hell was a claim, inquiring minds need to know! She was nearly dancing with impatience to find out what was going on.

 

"Five years, huh?" At that Spike started laughing, then stopped as Willow gasped involuntarily. "Hold on Peaches, I think I gotta meself a nosy little Red Hat 'anging around," he said sardonically into the phone, quickly reaching the door, just in time to see Willow darting away.


 Willow paced agitatedly in her room, wringing her hands, she didn't know what to do or think. Somehow they had gotten Xander in trouble....again. She moaned softly, it's all our fault that he's being claimed. Our fault! Oh Goddess, Xander's gonna be claimed and it our fault. Claimed! Xander's gonna be claimed! How absolutely awful to be claimed! Xander must be frantic by now. Sweet Goddess above! 

 

She stopped pacing, what the hell was 'claimed' anyhow. Maybe it was a good thing, she thought hopefully. Thank the Goddess Giles insisted that we keep some of the old books here, racing downstairs to the bookcase jumping over the fan blowing cool air in the living room. 

 

Freezing abruptly at the sight of Spike sitting on the couch talking casually to Tara, a toothpick sticking out of his mouth. She swallowed heavily as he turned icy blue eyes on her, cruel humor glinting in his eyes. 

 

"Oi, here's my Willow girl," he said with malicious enthusiasm. For some reason, despite her magic he loved teasing the witch. Loved watching her blushing confusion and sputtering nonsense every time she got mad. Of course, he weren't no fool, stopping well beyond the point where she would literally fry his balls off.  He was, oddly enough, very much attached to his balls, even though he weren't getting much use outta them lately, he stared coolly at a flushing Buffy who refused to meet his eyes.  His lips twitched, he knew she still had feelings for the Poof, but it ain't gonna do her a bit a good, especially when he Claimed the boy. Claimings didn't allow for too much extra baggage, at least not the kind that Buffy was wanting.

 

Claiming was worser than getting married, he thought with a shudder of horror, at least with marriage ya get to cheat n'all but not with a Claiming! Not for him, he was a love 'em n'leave 'em kinda guy. He frowned, though it seemed to be working the opposite, the birds were leaving him!  He turned his attention back to Willow, watching her with cool eyes wondering what she was gonna do with her little knowledge. He knew she wasn't gonna tell Buffy anything, preferring to get all her facts straight before blabbing. Beside, he thought smugly, she ain't gonna find anything in those books, he had already made sure of that when the books first came in the house. 

 

"So, Red, how's ya been doing? Hear any interesting news lately," he said, looking at her mockingly. 

 

Willow flushed, Bastard! she thought furiously, "Why as a matter of fact, I did hear some interesting news the other day," she purred out, her eyes glinting angrily, two can play this game.


Tara sat up slowly, her head twisting between her lover and Spike. Uh oh, something was wrong, it wasn't often that Willow got that look on her face.

Spike pushed himself off the couch, standing still his duster blowing slightly from the fan, his eyes narrowed and gleaming with menace.

Willow eased herself into a better position, her eyes narrowed and fierce. Her hands twitching at her side.

Dawn came in from the kitchen with a bag of popcorn and Tara darted off the couch, running to the girl and pulling her away to safety. Away from Willow and Spike.

Fascinated, Buffy dropped the tissue that she had just pulled, watching as it tumbled gracefully between the two warring figures. The silence grew as the atmosphere became charged with tension.

"Whatcha hear then, little girl," Spike growled, his hand spread slightly, tensing at his hips.

"Why I hear many things, Spike," Willow spat out, a glow sparking at her fingertips.

"Like what," Spike snarled, the toothpick twisting in his mouth, his nails lengthening to talons.

"I hear the weather's kinda nice in L.A.," she drawled, coolly watching as his eyes flickered. "I might wanna be taking me a little trip to L.A., see the sights, check on my ole buddy Xander, see how's he's getting 'long." Her eyes were narrowed to squints.

Tara squeaked when she saw the lightening dancing at Willow's fingertips and pulled Dawn down behind a overstuffed chair. Both of them peeking around on either side, this was too good to miss!

"Like I told you before, Xander's doing right fine where he is, no need to go bothering the poor boy, as sick as he is," Spike spoke through clenched teeth.

How dare this little slip of a girl challenge him?! Did she suddenly forget he was the original Big Bad?! Was she confusing him with Big Bird? Didn't they realize that while the chip stopped him from physically attacking humans, he could still hire a couple a demons to open up a can of whoop ass on them?!

"Maybe I'm wantin' to see for myself just how Xander is doing. Maybe I might even go up there tomorrow," Willow drawled out, her lightening intensifying, her hands spread out from her side, twitching at her hips.

Spike's eyes narrowed, "You calling me a liar, girlie," he growled out, his eyes glittering with fury.

Willow mouth tightened, "Liar is such an ugly word, true but still ugly," she mocked him.

"That's it, girl! You say what you gotta say and stop this nancy boy dancing about," Spike yelled.

"Why, Spike whatever do you mean," Willow arched a brow at him, calmly pulling a book from the shelf. Glancing quickly at it, damn it wasn't the one she wanted!

"Y...yo...you witch you!" Spike was so mad he couldn't think of what to say or do, all he could do was point a furious finger at her, wishing he had magic to send a lightening bolt at her.

Willow looked at him calmly as she sauntered away, "But of course I am. Something you might want to keep in mind is that we witches are known for cursing people."

And she disappeared up the stairs, leaving an uneasy silence behind. Spike glared angrily around the room before stalking out the door, slamming it furiously behind him.

"My, people do come and go," Dawn drawled out in silence left behind, ruining the moment by snickering behind her hand.

"Whew!" Buffy said looking at them, "I wonder what that was all about! I wasn't sure whether to grab some popcorn or hid with you guys."

Tara eyes were thoughtful, "I don't know but I'm sure we'll find out soon enough."

Buffy fluffed her hair absently, "I'm wondering if maybe Willow was right, maybe we should go to see Ang...I mean Xander," she flushed at the looks the two gave her. "What?! It was a slip of the tongue. Really it was!"

Dawn rolled her eyes, "Whatever!" and brushed past her flustered sister. "I don't know why you are still hung up on Angel. Y'all can't do *anything* fun and even if he did have his soul, I don't see why he wouldn't have moved on. I think it's pathetic that you're still strung out over him. I'm really starting to wonder about you, Buffy. If somebody handed you life, I bet you wouldn't even take it!" Dawn stomped up the stairs, leaving an embarrassed and angry Slayer fuming downstairs.

Tara regarded Buffy quietly, "Dawn may have been a little harsh but she's right you know. You're still caught up in your imaginary wonder of Angel.  Forbidden  affairs are thrilling for exactly that reason...but they rarely last once the taboo is gone. Take you and Spike for instance, it was thrilling because it was such a secret, but now that's it's out in the open and all your friends know, how do you feel now?" She regarded the silent Buffy for a minute.

"You know, what your problem is," she said quietly.

Buffy rolled her eyes, "No, but I'm sure you're gonna tell me anyway," she muttered.

Tara smiled briefly, "Yep! Your problem is that you like living on the wild side. Finding the forbidden Bad Boy and trying to change him. But Bad Boys rarely change unless they want to and Spike has changed a great deal because of his love for you, but now that he's changed, he not the Bad Boy you want anymore. And who's the most forbidden, the most taboo of them all: Angel, the one that you can't have. The one that with a moment of perfect happiness becomes the original Bad Boy himself, Angelus."

Buffy raised her head and stared stonily at Tara, "Look, I'm not saying that you're right but what gives you the right to say that about me?! Xander is one of my best friends, so of course I want to make sure he's okay. He may be clumsy and a little dumb at times, but dammit he's our friend and we want him back!"

"Buffy, both you and Willow constantly underestimate Xander," Tara shook her head.

"Whadya mean we underestimate Xander," Buffy narrowed her eyes.

"Buffy despite your great strength and ability, despite Willow's magic, Xander is the strongest one of you all," Tara said gently.

"Xander," Buffy scoffed.

"Xander," Tara agreed quietly, "How is it that Xander has survived living on the Hellmouth all these years with only a single broken arm to show for his years of service at your side. Now tell me, Buffy, how many times have you died?" Her eyes bored ruthlessly into Buffy's astonished gaze.

Buffy looked away in discomfort.

"You, more than Willow, constantly push him aside thinking to protect him for the evils of the night and you have no idea how much that hurts him. If I were him, I would perhaps start thinking that certain people may not want me around. And if Angel were to offer him a place to stay, maybe Xander might just take him up on the offer," Tara suggested quietly. "Something you might want to think about."

"But we do want him," Buffy protested, "It's just...just that..," she stammered to a halt, her eyes confused.

"You just want to protect him, I know," Tara nodded, "But you can't wrap him up in cotton wool and not expect him to fight to get out. He's not a child, Buffy! So stop treating him like one."

Buffy muttered, "Well, Angel would never offer him a place to stay anyway, he doesn't like Xander anyhow."

Tara raise her brow at her, "Buffy, Angel just paid $1.5 million dollars for Xander. I don't know about you but to me that doesn't sound to me like he dislikes Xander," she said dryly.

"A million dollars," Buffy husked out, her eyes wide in astonishment.

"$1.5 million," Tara corrected her.

"Holy bejebbers," Buffy staggered over to the couch to sit down. "Damn, but I didn't know Angel had that kinda cash!"

"Buffy, he's well over two hundred years old! Whaddya expect him to be, a pauper," Tara looked at the dazed Slayer.

"I know he couldn't have kids," Buffy looked up indignantly.

Tara raised a brow, "Pauper, not Papa, means poor, Buffy."

"Oh," Buffy blinked, "I knew that!" Angel was rich, she thought dreamily of all the cool outfits she could buy.

Tara rolled her eyes, "I'm going to bed," she muttered, recognizing the look in Buffy's eyes.

"Yeah, me too," Buffy said absently, still daydreaming.



Willow got up before Tara and quickly showered. She wanted to get to the Magic Box as soon as it opened.

Creeping down the stairs, she was puzzled to see Buffy sitting on the couch staring blankly into space, a line of drool having dried on her face.

And they think *I'm* weird, she shook her head and snuck out.

On her way to the store, she had to fend off various propositions from a number of men, mightily tempted to give them all what they wanted, Big Tits and a Tight Pussy. An evil glint in her eyes as she imagined their screams of horror as their dicks disappeared and their chests swelled into big boobies. Afterall, she thought self-righteously, she was only giving them what they wanted.

Anya arrived before she talked herself into giving the next man that approached EXACTLY what he wanted. She darted to the shelf that she wanted, quickly scanning to the books, looking for what she wanted. Almost ready to scream in frustration at not finding any mention of claiming.

She stared into the distance, barely listening to Anya's babble about why couldn't you squeeze a dime out of a stone it may be difficult but she didn't see why it couldn't be done.

"Hey Anya, what do you know about claiming," Willow smoothly inserted her question in a pause between Anya taking a much needed breath and her next spiel about money.

"Claiming? Claiming what? Claiming money? Because if it's about money, then I want to stake a claim to it too," Anya perked up, her eyes gleaming at the thought of more money, flushing at the look Willow gave her.

"Hey, you were the one that brought up claiming money," Anya said defensively, crossing her arms angrily.

Willow gave her a blank look, "What do you know about Vampires and claiming," she enunciated slowly.

"Ooooh, who's getting Claimed," Anya said happily eagerly coming around the counter and pulling up a chair, "Hey, why didn't I receive an invitation to the Claiming?"   She sulked, "Dammit, this business of being a human is taking away all my fun! There was a time when demons wouldn't dream of not sending me an invitation to a Claiming for fear of my wrath!" she nodded her head firmly, dreaming of the glorious days.

Willow looked at her, she definitely didn't want Anya involved in this.  Then her eyes glittered with malicious humor, maybe she needed to go straight to the source.

"Nevermind that, I need a couple of things from you," Willow said hastily, putting back all the books, telling Anya what she needed over her shoulder.

"Sure, but just because we're friends and you healed my leg doesn't mean that I'm gonna give you a discount. You'll pay the same as anyone else," Anya said firmly as she began ringing up Willow's purchases.

Willow regarded the total amount of her purchases coolly.

"Anya, you may have forgotten a few things," Willow said slowly, "But most of the Scoobies used to work in this store and funny enough," she uttered a fake laugh, "We can all read."

Anya gave a guilty start, "Oh, I'm sorry I must have transposed a couple of numbers by accident." She laughed hollowly, stupid human and their dumb ole schools!

"Yeah right," Willow remarked dryly.



Willow prepared everything later that evening and strolled over Spike's crypt, knocking politely like a good little girl, her mouth twisted at the thought.

Spike raised a brow at the sight of the witch outside his door and gestured her in mockingly.

"What can I do for ya," he said insolently, lounging in his chair.

"Well, you can start by telling me what the hell is a claim and what does it have to do with Xander or....," Willow stated calmly, her hands in her pockets.

"Or you'll do what?!" Spike laughed in her face, "You're one of the bloody White Hats, what the hell can you do to me?! " He surged furiously to his feet, his eyes a raging blue gratified as she stepped back in alarm.

"What the hell can you do to me, ya silly bint?! You with your fuzzy sweaters and big shirts?! Don't you know there's is NOTHING you can do to me that I ain't already experienced, ya soddin' fool! You come into my crypt demanding answers, thinking just because I got this chip in me head that I won't figure out a way to kill you?" he yelled furiously at the white-faced girl. Smirking at the fear coming off her.

"I'm the Big Bad, girlie and don't you forget it," he growled at her, "Not get the hell outta here!" he snorted his disgust, throwing himself into his chair.

His eyes narrowed angrily at seeing her still standing there, "I told you to GET OUT! Or do you have something else to say," he sneered.

Willow blinked, "As a matter of fact I do," and she withdrew her hand from her pocket.

Oh shit, Spike thought at the sight of the Orb in the witch's hand.

"Uhm, Willow," he said suavely, "Have I mention just how lovely I find that particular shade of blue on you." He carefully stood up, no need to frighten the crazy bint into using that thing, he shuddered in horror.

"Now why don't you just put that...th...thing away and we can discuss this like reasonable people. You know, woman to demon, like," he laughed, even to his ears it sounded fake.

Willow looked down at the Orb, "Oh I don't know Spike, I think I might like to keep this in my hands, you know, for insurance purposes. Now I think you were about to tell me what you know about Claiming." Her brow arched coolly, staring him down.

"Or what, you'll use that thing on me," Spike tried to bluster, "You're one of the White Hats, you can't do that!" And he started forward, confident that she wouldn't do it.

Willow's eyes widen in pretend innocence, "But Spike, I only want to help you! And giving you your soul back would make you just like Angel, all good and sweet, don't you think?" Her eyes were coolly mocking as he froze in horror.

Not like the Poofer! He's a bloody pillock, and he began to talk, explaining everything and telling her some things that she really, REALLY didn't need to hear about.

Her eyes were thoughtful, "So let me get this straight, if Angel doesn't physically Claim Xander, then we all die? But if he does Claim Xander, Xander has to stay with him for five years?"

"Yes, now put that bloody thing away, you're givin' me the willies w'it," Spike said pacing angrily, furiously smoking a cigarette.

"I'm not finished with you yet," Willow said calmly, "And Xander, how does he feel about this? He's not gay, you know," she added.

At this Spike looked at her sardonically, "Luv, you don't understand, it don't matter a bit whether he's gay or not, the bloody poofer is extremely skilled at the art of seduction," he raised his brows lasciviously.

"But what about his soul," Willow protested, "I don't see how that can be avoided."

"Pet," Spike sighed and sat down in his chair, "His soul's been permanently for the past few months, he ain't gonna lose it if he gets a leg over."

"Permanent," Willow squeaked, her eyes widening, "And Buffy doesn't know, huh?" Her eyes began to sparkle with wicked delight.

"Nope," Spike regarded her curiously, "I take it that this makes you happy?" he said cautiously.

"Well not exactly, but before I agree to leaving things alone, I need to talk to Xander to make sure he's okay with this," Willow said softly, "I don't want to lose him over this." Her eyes were indecisive.

"Pet, the boy is a lot braver than you think," Spike said quietly regarding his cigarette, "Beside, the poofer will make it good for him and the boy will want for nothing in his care. He will never be unfaithful, harm him or betray his trust for the next five years."

"You make it sound like a marriage," Willow said quietly, her eyes watchful.

"It's a lot more than marriage, Luv, next to blood it's the single most important thing that a Vampire seeks," Spike said, raising his eyes to Willow's.

"He won't hurt him," Willow said quietly, her eyes searching his icy blue eyes.

"No," Spike said softly, "And as long as he wears Angel's Claim, he will age like a vampire."

"I still need to talk to Xander," Willow insisted quietly.

Spike shrugged his shoulders, it made no difference to him, the boy wasn't gonna go anywhere, he handed Willow his cell phone and went outside to finish his smoke, keeping an absent ear on Willow's side of the conversation.

"Well, he seems to be okay with his decision," Willow said doubtfully, putting the Orb away and sighing, "Hopefully, it'll work out for the best," she said quietly staring into the distance.

"Long as Buffy don't go up there mucking things up," Spike muttered tersely, "C'mon I'll walk ya home."

They reached the Summers' residence and found the house in a uproar with Buffy insisting upon going to L.A. and retrieving Xander. Dawn, Tara and Anya were arguing fiercely with her.

Willow exchanged a look with Spike and jumped into the fray trying to convince Buffy to stay home, better wait to let Xander enjoy himself.

Buffy turned a hurt look on her, "I would have thought you of all people would want Xander back," she gasped out, her eyes wide in amazement.

"Buffy," Willow shot her a look, "We all know that the real reason you want to go to L.A. is to see Angel. Xander is apparently having a good time and making friends, so I say leave him alone!" Willow shouted, groaning as she saw the stubborn look in Buffy's eyes.

"I don't know why everybody thinks I still stuck on Angel," Buffy yelled, "I am going to L.A., with or without you. I, at least, give a damn about what's happening with Xander," and she walked up the stairs in offended dignity.

Willow looked at Spike in dismay, "This is so not good!"

Spike nodded his head in agreement. Somebody was gonna get hurt in this.


Grudgingly, Willow drove up to L.A. thankful at least that Tara elected to stay at home. She flicked a look at the coolly composed Buffy and silently snorted, yeah right, like you really are not going to see Angel!

"New hairdo, huh," she remarked to Buffy.

Buffy squirmed uneasily in her seat, "Yeah, I decided on a change," she said defiantly.

"Yeah and she bought some new clothes too," Dawn chimed in from the back seat.

"Dawn! Would you please hush," Buffy snapped.

"Don't see why I gotta be quiet," Dawn muttered audibly in the back seat. "Can we pull over now and get Spike outta the trunk? It's boring back here," she whined.

"Sure sweetie," Willow said, pulling over and popping the trunk, waiting until Spike got out of the trunk and silently into the back seat before taking off.

Willow had met his cold blue eyes before they left, seeing his eyes flicker to Buffy's new hairdo before meeting her eyes again, a look of pain flashing in his eyes before he climbed into the trunk. And she realized in that moment that he really did care about Buffy and he knew that Buffy didn't give a damn about him.

She was grateful for Dawn's mindless teenage chatter that broke the uneasy silence in the car.


Finally they arrived at the hotel and got out, hearing loud music coming from within. Exchanging curious looks with each other, they walked up to the door save Buffy who made a great pretense of having difficulty in getting out of the car, that even Dawn wasn't stupid enough to fall for.

Opening the door, they were witness to one of the most erotic sights imaginable. Willow had to rub her eyes, my God, was that really Xander, she thought in wonder. Her breath coming faster as she watched his hips, dip and roll with the sensuous beat of the music. His every movement drawing the eye irresistibly to his body, the way the sweat gleamed off of smooth muscles, the way the low riding pants, revealed long lean legs that were made to be wrapped around someone's waist, the way the that T-shirt clung to his chest, and my God what a chest!

She watched sweat bead on his neck, slide slowly down, down, disappeared into his T-shirt and wanted to follow that lucky drop of sweat....she shook herself rapidly. I'm Gay remember! she shouted to her libido. But by the way she was getting horny that her gayness was maybe debatable.

When did Xander become so...so...ummm Xander?

She glanced at Spike and nearly snickered, well it looks like Spike could easily bat for the other team, and I do mean that sincerely considering that log that's bulging between his legs.

Gratefully, the music came to an end and jealously she watched the girl hug Xander. And his smile to her that quickly disappeared when he saw them and he started backing away. Her eyes narrowed as she saw how he quickly sought Angel's eyes. Then widen at the broken cup and blood spilling pooling on the floor between Angel's feet.

And heard Cordy screech, "Where in the hell did you learn to dance like that?!" she demanded hotly. "And why the hell didn't you ever dance like that with me," she added crossly with folded arms.

"And what did she mean by Ladies Night? You told me that you only washed dishes there," Willow demanded hotly.

"Ooooh, Xander, I tink you got some 'splaining to do," Dawn snickered at the looks on everyone's faces. She got a good look at Angel and almost burst out laughing. If that look on his face was any indication, boy was Buffy gonna be pissed!

"Now I don't want anybody to get the wrong idea," Gunn said looking fiercely around the room, "But damn boy! Where d'ya learn to move like dat?!"

A few seconds later, Buffy choose that moment to saunter in with calculated nonchalance, knowing that she looked her best. She frowned, looking around at everyone looking at Xander. Blinking she regarded the panicky look on his face, and sighed, what did he do now? She just hoped that whatever he did, Angel didn't get too mad at him. But hey, maybe this would be her opportunity to charmed the socks off of Angel, 'cuz his pants definitely had to stay on! She smirked to herself.

Angel coolly reached over and grabbed a couple of tissues off the counter and wiped his hands, his eyes focused on the boy.

"Leave him alone," he ordered softly, stilling the voices, "You're making him think he's done something wrong." He smiled a little at the grateful look the boy shot him. "Nice moves by the way," he bowed slightly.

"Thank you kind sir," Xander smiled back, his eyes lowering shyly, unaware of the answering gleam in Angel's eyes.

Wes gasped softly, now remembering what a Claim meant to a vampire.

Angel slanted a cool look down at him, his eyes narrowing at the sudden knowledge in Wes' eyes, "Not a word," he growled softly his eyes flaring a mild yellow color.

"Mum's the word," Wes said quietly, "Does Mr. Harris know about it?"

"Of course, he does," Angel looked at him impatiently, "You think I'm stupid enough to Claim him without telling him?"

"This from the vampire that slept with a Slayer, knowing of a curse on his soul," Wes looked at him sardonically.

Angel looked embarrassed, "Well, that obviously was not one of my brighter ideas," he mumbled.

"NO! Really," Wes breathe, looking at him with wide-eyed amazement, his hand to his chest. "I would never have guessed!"

"Oh, cut it out," Angel muttered irritably, why did he have to work with a bunch of wise-asses?

Buffy cleared her throat, frowning when no one looked around. She cleared her throat again...louder unaware that she sound like a wounded cow.

"Oh, hi Buffy," Angel looked up casually, reaching out a hand and snagging Xander back to him since it looked like the boy was going to fall over in shock at the sight of Buffy.

"Don't hurt him, Angel," Buffy cried out, seeing him pulling Xander to him. Her eyes pleaded gently with him not to hurt her friend.

Cordy looked at her in disgust, "Oh for God sakes, Buffy! Give it a break! That look went out with Gone With The Wind," she shouted angrily. The nerve of that goody-two shoes coming up in here, thinking she could get Angel back. Her lips began curving in a dangerously malicious smile.

"Cordy, don't even start," Angel said sharply seeing the look on her face.

"What?!" her eyes widen in pretended innocence.

"Cordy," Angel said through clenched teeth, releasing Xander as the boy pressed against his hold.

"Fine," she pouted, "Nobody let's me have any fun around here! Xander's new and look at how much fun he's having!"

Angel gave her a cold glare, before turning to Buffy, "Now why on earth would you think I was going to hurt Xander?" He regarded her thoughtfully, and smelling the scent of fresh chemicals in her hair his eyes narrowed.

Buffy was flustered under the cool stares she was receiving from everyone, "Well, it's just...uhm...just...that..you and Xander...ah...never got along before," she stammered out.

"And that means that neither of us can change," Angel challenged her with a raised brow.

Buffy opened her mouth and closed it, seeing how everyone was watching her.

Angel watched her sweat before pulling grabbing more tissues and crouching down to clean Xander's feet, "You have blood on your feet."

Xander looked down at him and flushed, "Oh," bracing his hand on Angel's shoulder and trying to ignore the goggle-eyed look on Buffy's face.

Angel stood up, "Go upstairs and wash your feet, Pet," he said softly, watching the blush cover the boy's face and the wary eyes rise to his.

Xander nodded quickly and made his escape. Nope, he definitely did not want to be down stairs for a game of 20 questions. Especially, not when all the questions were gonna be aimed at him, he shuddered.

Buffy watched with raised brows as Xander fled up the stairs. Something was definitely up.

"Buffy, I didn't realize you were coming," Angel said smoothly, cutting a cold look at Spike who raised his hands defensively. "I thought we agreed to stay out of each other's territory," he added.

"We're just here to make sure Xander is okay," Buffy said defensively, crossing her arms, making sure her breasts swelled up over her low-cut top.

"Oh please, Buffy, you need to have something a little more than those bee stings you call breasts to make that move work," Cordy said in exasperation.

"Look, this is how it's done," she crossed her arms and sure enough every male eye was on her in fascination, waiting for her breasts to pop out.

Dawn looked at her curiously, "Like this, you mean," and crossed her arms giggling as the male attention switched to her.

"Exactly," Cordy nodded her approval, grandly ignoring the furious glare on Buffy's face.

Angel cleared his throat, dragging his eyes away from the two girls, hell he hadn't Claimed the boy yet, he could still look can't he?!

"Buffy, why are you here, I'm sure that you've been getting calls from Xander assuring you of his well being," Angel said smoothly gliding forward, his eyes glinting with cold ill temper.

Gunn, Fred and Cordy exchanged quick looks and started backing away, Mount Angel was about to blow.

Spike grabbed protesting Willow and Dawn and eased away, "Shut your gobber!" he hissed furiously, "Angel's gonna blow!"

Buffy simpered, mistaking the look for interest, "Well, I really wanted to see you," she breathe, sashaying forward, fingering his shirt and looking up at him with a coy look.

"And what about Xander," Angel said softly, his head cocking his head.

"Well, I have it on good authority that I'm constantly underestimating him, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak," she winked at him.

Angel shook his head, "You know, Buffy sometimes you amaze me with your total sense of abstraction."

Buffy tittered and smiled brilliantly, "Oh Angel, I think you're totally attractive too!"

Dawn blinked, "Okay, even I got that insult," she whispered to Spike, who nodded soberly, his eyes pained at seeing Buffy fawning all over the poofer.

Angel glanced up at the head of the stairs seeing Xander watching them with uncertain eyes before the boy quickly disappeared.

"Excuse me, Buffy, but I need to go," he said shortly, removing her hands, "Cordy could you please find them rooms to stay in," he said over his shoulder.

"Sure, I will," Cordy called after him cheerfully a broad smile on her face.

"Good rooms, Cordy!" came his shout as he disappeared down the hall.

"Damn him," Cordy seethed.

Angel tracked the boy quickly to their bedroom, perhaps it was time to move on to the next phase. He had a nasty feeling that Buffy would prove to be a serious distraction. Quietly he locked the door to make sure she didn't come in.

"Hey there," he said softly to the hunched figure staring out the window. Thoughtfully he regarded the miserable back that Xander presented to him, grateful that he had soundproofed his room several months ago.

"You know Buffy's gonna totally freak out, doncha," Xander said quietly, gazing out over the street.

Angel shrugged, "What Buffy does or doesn't do isn't my concern anymore so don't stress yourself out," he said trying not to smile.

"Look, dude, I think I have a right to be stressed out, especially when she comes gunning for me," Xander said hotly, spinning around, gasping at how close Angel was to him. Xander recoiled slightly at the look in Angel's eyes.

"Let me clarify something for you my Pet, as long as she leaves you alone, me and ole Buffy won't have to big of a problem, now will we," Angel purred softly, his eyes glowing with cold menace.

Xander was startled, "You'll fight Buffy over me," he squeaked out.

"No," Angel whispered drawing closer to Xander's tempting neck, "I'll kill her if she touches you," before snaking his head down and suckling the rapidly beating pulse. The moan from the boy going straight to his cock.

Xander looked at him, his heart racing as he saw a very intent look on Angel's face, before Angel buried his face in his neck.

"Ahhh, I thought we a...agreed to four days," Xander stammered, his eyes widening in alarm.

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but have you not been sleeping in my arms for the past three nights, which makes this the fourth day," Angel pulled back, looking at him with raised brows and hot golden eyes.

Xander flushed, "The only reason why I'm sleeping with you is because you said D'na could come back at anytime and he would be able to smell you on me," he muttered. "And most people would agreed that four days mean that something gonna happen on the fifth day," he insisted.

"True, but you seem to forget that I'm a demon, not a people," Angel smiled at the boy.

Angel looked at him with a decided gleam in his eyes that cause Xander's heart to start racing, with what he hoped was fear, it couldn't possibly be excitement could it?

Xander shuddered in panic, his breath coming out raggedly as Angel guided him to the bed.

Oh God, Angel's gonna be naked!

I'm gonna be naked...with him!

I'm gonna be sick.

There's no way I can do this, he thought shakily, sitting on the bed and scooting back at a motion from Angel. He lay stiffly, his hands clenched and his stomach churning as Angel slowly removed his own clothes before kneeling on the bed with him. He felt Angel's hands touching him, pulling off his T-shirt and sliding his pants off, feeling a violent tremor overtake his body.

He closed his eyes in terror, water seeping slowly from his tightly clenched eyes as he felt Angel recline on the bed beside him.

"Xander, it's okay. Shh, it's gonna be alright," he heard Angel say softly before pulling him into his arms and he stiffened in shock at the feel of someone's body against his....someone that was naked and a guy.

"Xander, please just trust me in this. I'm not gonna hurt you," he heard Angel plead softly, slowly rubbing gentle circles in his back.

Xander didn't know what to think or do, all he knew was that his friends would die if he and Angel didn't complete the Claiming.

Shuddering, he drew back and looked at Angel, "Okay, I'm ready," he said in a firm voice, determinedly looking everywhere but at Angel.

Angel didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Obviously the boy thought he was going to just slam him down on the bed and just fuck him.

He sighed, "There's a lot more to this than just a quick 'Wham, Bam and get the hell out of me'. I can show you things that will make your toes curl, your insides knot from pleasure," he whispered huskily. "Xander, do you trust me?"

Xander gave him a disbelieving stare, "Don't be silly, of course I don't trust you and there will be no toes curling or...or anything else. Just get on with it, okay!"

"Xander, stop it!"

Angel forcefully calmed himself, knowing that it was only fear that was driving Xander to snap at him, "Let's try a different question...do you trust me enough not to deliberately hurt you," Angel asked with slight smile. He should have known better than to asked that first question.

Xander looked away in thought and Angel waited patiently before Xander finally looked back, "I trust you enough not to want our friends to die, " he said quietly.

Angel smiled and stroked Xander's cheek in response. He leaned in to kiss him and was surprised when the boy drew back.

"Uh uh, no kissing on the lips during this...this..thisthis," Xander said firmly, his mind was set of this.

Angel blinked, "Okay, I know I'm gonna regret this but why no kissing?"

Xander shrugged uncomfortably, "Because it's kinda...I don't know, personal I guess, you might have bad breath from drinking blood, I DON'T KNOW."

"Xander, nevermind that we ARE about to have sex, I've kissed you at least once already, now you think kissing is too personal," Angel's voice rose in astonishment.

Xander frowned, "Look, I didn't say it made sense, it's...it's just how I feel, okay," he snapped trying to still his tremors.

"Okay," Angel eyes soften, he could see how on edge the boy was and he didn't want to have him in a total panic.

Xander took slow ragged breaths, trying to control his urge to run away, screaming into the night.

"So what now," he asked shakily, with a brave smile.

Angel looked at the wobbly smile on Xander's face and realized that the boy was desperately trying to be brave about the situation. He knew that he couldn't just force himself onto Xander or this would never work, not now or in the future. Xander had to want, had to need him...had to feel desire for him as well. He would worry about the details later but right now it was more important to wake Xander's needs.

Xander shuddered reflexively at the slow almost seductive smile that crossed Angel's face and tried to scoot further away, but stopped by Angel's grasp on his ankle. Pulling him back. Pulling him closer...to Angel. He whimpered softly as he felt an icy hand slide up his leg, tantalizingly close to his cock, hesitating teasingly before continuing and settling on his stomach.

Xander's eyes widen as he felt the first cool touch of Angel's mouth licking and caressing his way up his body, feeling a shameful pleasure unfurl deep within. He didn't want this, especially not with another guy, he protested to himself. He wasn't gay so all he should be feeling right now was pure disgust, but his body's shivering responses belied his convictions....silently screaming that whatever Angel was doing, it wanted him to keep doing it forever.

And he heard a harsh hungry moan coming from somewhere and it was with shock that he realized it came from him! No, this wasn't the way it was supposed to be! He wasn't supposed to response to Angel, he cried silently but his body was in command and it wanted Angel. He thought bitterly to himself, man was forever lead by his dick before he became lost in the pleasure of Angel's touch.

He gasped and arched, rubbing furiously against Angel with every sinful foray of Angel's hands and mouth, his hand coming up and gripping Angel's hair directing him to other lonely, neglected places on his body. Ragged moans coming from his mouth, feeling Angel's cool lips travel back down his chest with soft biting kisses and he arched desperately under the cool caresses

He shivered at the hoarse dark chuckle from Angel as he slowly mouthed a flat nipple, sucking the tender nubbin into a hard peak of pleasure and all Xander could do was moan, his hand gripped tightly in Angel's hair, arching into Angel's greedy mouth silently demanding more of his voracious sucking. Oh God.....
ohGodohGodohGod he babbled silently. As the sensations intensified and his head arched back as he abandoned everything, focusing only on the feeling of Angel's hands caressing him.

Finally! Angel exulted, hearing that ragged moan from the boy. He was well aware that Xander had been fighting his body's response and was still confused, but this was the only way if they wanted to save their friends.

He was so fucking hot and only Angel's cool touch could put out the burning fire raging in him. But he had absolutely no friggin' idea on how to get what he needed from Angel to put out the fire. Never been physically attracted to another guy, never wanted to have SEX with another guy or an erotic thought about a male.

"Touch me," came a soft whisper.

He was shaking as he obeyed that command and began to touch Angel uncertainly, feeling the hard muscular shoulders and back flexing under his trembling caress.

"Angel, I never..," he began to say, shying away in confusion as Angel raised his head and met his eyes. His eyes widen at the want, the desire reflecting back at him from Angel's eyes.

"Don't worry Xander, I have and I won't hurt you," Angel whispered huskily, surging up and placing a gentle kiss on Xander's cheek, feeling the helpless smile pull at the boy's face at his tender touch.

"See, no kissing...not unless you want to," he said hoarsely, smiling down at Xander.

Xander raised his head and pressed his lips to Angel's, opening his mouth over the cold lips. Moaning deeply as Angel invaded him mouth. Deep, hungry until finally he had to wrench his mouth away and breath. It was fine for Angel, he groused hazily, he didn't have to breath.

Angel trailed his hand between their bodies and grasped Xander's hard cock, stroking the boy to another level of desire.

A short, strangled yowl escaped his mouth as he felt one of Angel's hands trail between their writhing bodies and grasped him in a cold tight grip, stroking him firmly with an unsettling rhythm. Mouths. Lips. Tongue. Hands. Angel was everywhere, touching him, short circuiting his brain with sparks of pleasure. All he could do was arch helplessly into Angel's hard palm, driving more of himself deeper into the tight grip.

"Oh God, Angel please!" he heard himself beg and a muffled sob came from his throat as he twisted helplessly in the grip of intense enjoyment. He had never felt like this before! Not even in the midst of furious bouts of lovemaking with Anya.

Angel tighten his grip, smiling as he laved then suckled at the tender morsel of flesh still in his mouth, feeling Xander bucking his hips, driving his leaking cock deeper into his hand. My God, he thought as he feasted on the pouting nipples, Xander is so fucking tempting! He surged back up and pressed an open mouth kiss on the wet trembling lips. Burrowing deeper into the hot warmth, feeling at first the shy, then bolder caress of Xander's tongue against his.

Moaning into his boy's open mouth, he tightened his grip on the wet cock, his hand moving slightly faster before he began to lay a trail of stinging kisses down the twitching body. Shoving a hand under the pillows and removing the tube of lube before moving closer to his main objection. His tasty treat.

Xander stiffened slightly as he felt Angel moving down his chest, he could feel Angel's hard cock brushing at his thigh, leaving a trail of moisture in its wake. He trembled as he felt Angel shoulder his way between his legs and Angel's cheek touch his cock.

And a low choked scream erupted from him at the first icy wet caress of Angel's tongue and he could only moan as Angel took him deep into his mouth, he couldn't help but open his legs wider.....his mind shut down, packed it's bags and set up housekeeping in his cock.

SWEET MOTHER JESUS! was his only thought as felt contractions rippling around his cock. His mouth opened in a silent wail of pleasure and he arched mindlessly, thrusting helplessly.

Angel took the hard dripping organ deep, deeper still until finally his nose was pressed in the dark curls, his senses exploding with the intoxicating taste. Inhaling the scent of his Xander. Sweet. Musky. Sweaty. MINE! He growled around the hard flesh filling his mouth, his to play with, to squeeze, stroke, to drive his mate to the edge of pleasure and beyond. And swallowed again and again hearing the boy cry out above him.

"Oh....oh....ooooh," Xander panted hoarsely, he was nearly breathless with the incredible sensation of pleasure. It was unspeakable, indescribable, and heightened by the reality watching the unrelenting mouth on his cock, watching his body undulate into that wet, icy heat and how he arched mutely, begging for more.

Writhing shameless in Angel's hand, he never thought he would or could be like this with anyone, much less another male. He couldn't stop Angel, he didn't want to stop him, he just wanted.....

"Oh god, An...gelllll," he wailed, his body twisting under the expert caress of Angel's mouth.

He whimpered as he felt the sensations collide, implode and shoot up his spine like a rocket; and explode throughout his body.

And Angel rode the thrusting, squirming body as he felt Xander cum fill his mouth, keeping his lips tight on the spurting cock as he swallowed again and again.

A keening cry finally escaped Xander's lips, "No more...Angel....God no more....no...no----no more, please...." he felt mindless, floating in a sea of pleasure.

Angel didn't want to let go of his prize, but he heard the raw edge in Xander's voice, giving one last regretful lick to the tempting flesh before he kissed his way up to Xander's luscious lips.

Xander lay panting, his mind lost in the orgasmic rush of his release. His body was so limp and satiated that all he could do was grin helplessly up as Angel came over him.

Angel smiled at the enticing picture Xander made sprawled out on the bed and leaned down to kiss those tempting luscious lips, moaning at the wet heat within. He popped the cap off the lube and squeezed, feeling the greasy stuff covering his fingers. He rolled slightly, continuing to devour Xander's mouth with a thrilling possessiveness. HIS! He harshly grasped Xander's hair and pulled the eager lips from his.

"What do you want...who do you want?" he whispered fiercely against Xander's lips before attacking them with soft biting kisses that sent the boy's body bucking and undulating frantically under him.

He worked his lubed hand between the clenching cheeks of Xander's ass circling the tiny hole before pressing in slowly, keeping up his deep possessive kisses, keeping his boy nicely distracted as he breech the tiny hole.

Xander wrenched his mouth free from Angel's insatiable mouth with a wild cry as he felt a burning centering in his ass, spreading waves of pleasure. He cried out and rocked back as Angel touched something within him, a single shimmering pleasure point and wanted, needed something...feeling desire stirring again in him.

How many fingers did he feel now? Two, three...more...yes..oh God yes! More! He undulated frantically between the wet icy heat of Angel's mouth and the inescapable glide of fingers up his ass. He pumped his hips urgently, feeling something coming, feeling desire, feeling need spiraling out of his control, pressing against Angel to give him the best grip to deepen his enticing caresses.

Sobbing for breath as he thrust his ass back wanting Angel deeper and deeper in his ass, harder and harder he wanted Angel caressing that hot pleasure point. He couldn't stop himself, from wanting, from needing more of Angel's erotic kisses, his stroking fingers. He was so fuckin' close, just a little more....

"NO!" he screamed hoarsely in rage as Angel pulled his fingers slowly out and settled behind him, his breath rasping as he felt himself turned on his side and cradle in Angel's arms then he felt a smooth blunt....

"Oh God," he whispered, his eyes going wide at the intolerable push...opening him impossibly wide.

Angel held Xander's wrists in one hand, lifted the boy's leg in his other hand.... opening him wide and slid inside, thrusting heavily into blistering heat with a deep moan of joy. He pulled back slowly at a choked cry, feeling Xander's muscles clenching around him and thrust back in to the hairy root, settling Xander more firmly into his lap.

Xander slammed back on the huge cock nuzzling deep in his ass with a cry as Angel began to pound heavily deep in his ass, going deeper with every forceful hard thrust. All he could do was grip the sheets in one hand and, enjoy each and every hard driving lunge.

Shimmering excitement gripping him as he felt Angel elongating deep in his ass, arching his hungry ass back into Angel's lap, seeking something from Angel. His body gyrated wildly, rocking...pulling sensation after sensation from Angel's pounding thrust as Angel rammed deep into him. He was open and defenseless against Angel, ragged moans pouring from his throat in response to the fullness filling him time and again.

He drove into Xander's writhing body, his hips moving like a piston lunging deeply and deeper still in the lithe twisting body. He needed Xander to surrender to the passion now burning between them, and he could feel it as something seemed to change minutely in the soft open-mouth cries coming from Xander. He could feel the response that he had been waiting for and suddenly he knew that Xander had finally accepted him somewhere deep inside, and now belonged to him.

Just once more....yes...there...there...Xander could feel himself coming again and with a wild howl, his cock erupted and a gut wrenching orgasm ripped through his body, shattering, breaking his mind apart as he stepped off the edge, into a sea of bone-melting ecstasy.

And Xander collapsed, all sweaty and twitching muscles against Angel's chest as he slowly came back to earth. From a blissfully, hot drenching release to a bone-weary and lethargic body with Angel still in him....and still hard as a rock.

He gasped softly and tentatively wiggled his hands against Angel's grip, pulling his hands away as Angel released him. Feeling Angel's hands slide around him, idly playing with his quiescent cock, the wet hair surrounding his cock.

"You didn't come," he whispered, his hand dancing over the fingers caressing his stomach, shivering under the gentle touch caressing his cock as he blindly stared forward. He gasped softly as he felt Angel flex inside him and a shuddering moan took him unaware and he blushed.

Angel smiled, "How can you still be able to blush at a time like this," he asked and thrust heavily into the still tight sheath meaningfully. Chuckling at Xander's gasp.

"Please don't make fun of me," Xander begged softly, stiffening in reaction, "I...I..don't think I could stand you making fun of me at a time like this." He drew back his hand from the fingers he had been gently caressing.

Angel grabbed his hand and just held the shaking hand, "I'm sorry," he whispered, pressing a gentle kiss on Xander's neck, feeling how the boy had gone rigid with tension. He pressed another gentle kiss on a golden shoulder, "Please forgive me," he pressed a kiss on Xander's ear, whispering again, "I'm sorry." And finally as he felt the boy relax as he pressed another kissed on Xander's neck. Sucking softly at the flesh and feeling the involuntary shiver from Xander in response.

"You didn't answer my question," Xander whispered, twisting his head to look at Angel.

"Vampires have a lot of stamina," Angel said quietly, gently pulling on Xander's stiffening cock. "Sex and blood are needed for a Claim, but also what's needed is for the you to accept the my Claim. And I wasn't going to let myself go until you accepted me," he softly explained, pressing a kiss on passion swollen lips, feeling them open immediately and he devoured the sweetness within, swallowing Xander's ragged moan as he pumped his hips into the boy.

Pulling back, he looked down into Xander's passion glazed eyes, "But I already said that you can Claim me," Xander protested, gasping slightly under Angel's lazy movements.

"You said the words, but you have to feel it inside and until you did, I couldn't Claim you," Angel explained, continuing his lazy movements in his boy's flexing ass. "If you concentrate, you can feel it inside."

Xander gave him a doubtful look and tried to do that, but with Angel's movements become increasingly faster, it presented a distinct problem.

"Will you stop?! I'm trying to concentrate here and I can't do that with you do THAT," his eyes popped opened as he complained though his hips kept moving enticingly against Angel.

Angel gave him a flat look, "You want me to do WHAT?!" and he gave a hard thrust deep in tight heat.

And Xander let out a cry before gasping, "Ignore me, I'm an idiot."

Angel chuckled, even in the midst of making love, the boy couldn't stop with the wisecracks.

Angel slowly rolled them over and got to his knees, pulling Xander's hips into the cradle of his thighs and began to slide achingly slow into the hot, buttery interior.

Xander held his breath as Angel slowly slid back in, groaning at the thick fullness burrowing in him.

"Don't move, just let me...," he breathe out raggedly, loving the feel of Angel so deep within him. He canted his hips to take more of Angel, more of that thick hard cock...moaning as Angel sank in deeper.

"Move for me then," Angel rasped out, trembling...
shaking in his desire to ram himself home. He inhaled sharply as he felt a delicate rippling movements surrounding his cock and touched Xander's ass, seeing the minute shifting of muscles in the golden flesh. He closed his eyes as he felt his cock flex deep in Xander's tight hole. He couldn't stop his forward thrust and they both cried out.

And at the throaty sound of Xander's voice crying out in pleasure, he lost it. Moving like a piston in that tight, hot channel, pushing deeper into Xander with every thrust of his hips. Thick. Long. HARD.

With a hard driving rhythm...twisting, coming at an angle for maximum pleasure as he rutted deeply into his boy. Hearing Xander low keening cries of pleasure only spurring him to deeper, harder....
forceful efforts. Feeling his Pet thrusting eagerly back against him, ass wiggling, squirming, gyrating with every stroke of cock....he held on tight as he began plunging harder, deeper into Xander's rippling sheath, racing for completion, feeling the Claiming Ritual tightening around his aching cock, spurring him on...forcing him deeper into the tight, writhing ass.

He felt his face shifting, teeth lengthening for the Claiming Ritual and he pulled Xander up on his knees, sinking down on his ankles, both of them crying out as Xander sank down on his shaft, surging deeper into the boy. So fuckin' good! So tight!

And at the height of their orgasm, he sank his teeth into Xander, drinking deep and feeling the bond snap into place.

"MINE!" he growled.

"YOURS!" Xander screamed in return.

Xander screamed long and hard as he simultaneously felt himself coming and Angel's fangs piercing his neck.

Breathing raggedly, Xander sprawled face down on the bed, his muscles twitching in the aftermath of his pleasure.

Angel rested his hand on the sweat slick back, feeling the aftershocks of pleasure quivering through his Pet.

He was so beautiful in the aftermath of his pleasure that he couldn't resist taking his boy again. He was aroused again and huge with wanting to be encased in Xander's tight flexing sheath.

Slowly, he parted the beautiful cheeks and slid his aching flesh home, feeling the clenching, spasming muscle tightened around him with a almost fierce pressure.

He knew he wouldn't last too long in the tight constricting heat...one....two...three strokes and he came with a roar, screaming Xander's name. Hearing the boy screaming under him, gripping his cock, milking him of his cum was like falling into a river of pleasure, a long drenching sensation into a pool of pure ecstasy, as they came to a shuddering orgasm and he collapsed on Xander's back trying to gather his strength to roll off.

Ragged breath broke the heated silence of the room gradually settling as Angel pulled out of the boy's clenching ass, pressing as kiss on one golden cheek. MINE he thought in satisfaction. He ran his hand possessively over a flexing globe, all mine. He pulled the boy back to him and began to purr, feeling the limber body relaxing as sleep claimed them both.

Xander woke up the next morning, stiff and sore before belatedly remembering why he was stiff and so sore, thank God he was alone. He swallowed convulsively before getting out of bed and hobbling to the bathroom to take a necessary leak and a shower.

Bracing his arms against the back shower wall, he let the hot water ease the aches in his body as he blushingly remembered just how he got to be so achy.

Angel stepped into the room breakfast tray in hand, blinking at the sight of his empty bed before he hear the noise of the shower and smiled. Locking the door, and setting the tray in the chair, he stripped off his clothes and went to join his Pet.

Xander, his cock in his hand jerking off as he recalled details of last night, didn't notice Angel stepping into the shower behind him until the sudden cessation of the water against his back. Whirling around, he met Angel's decidedly amorous eyes, backing slowly away as Angel approached until he couldn't move. With wide eyes, he gazed in wonder as Angel dropped to his knees and began to lick his aching cock. Already aroused, he knew he wouldn't last very long and came with a scream, before sliding down into the tub with Angel's face still buried between his legs, licking and nuzzling at his balls.

"C'mon now let's get *you* something to eat," Angel chuckled hoarsely, pulling the blushing boy up with him, pressing a gentle kiss on the lush pouting lips.


And sure enough, Buffy accidentally initiated trouble when they went downstairs.

"I wonder what's keeping Ang..I mean Xander," Buffy said, trying to be casual as she struck a pose against the countertop. Short skirt, belly bared yep, ammunition all primed and ready to go, she smirked.

Willow cast a cool look at her and looked away, she had already figured out what had happened last night if the look on Angel's face this morning was any indication.

"Probably fucking Xander's brains out again," Cordy announced in a bored tone, flicking through her latest magazine. Looking up at the outraged gasp from Buffy she looked guilty, "Oops! I'm sorry, I forgot Dawn was here! Pretend you didn't hear that, okay," she looked sheepishly at the wide-eyed young girl.

"What did you say?! Angel's fucking Xander," Buffy yelled stridently, standing up straight.

"Hey lookit here missy, if I can't cuss in front of Dawn, then I'll be damned if you get t'cuss," Cordy said aggressively, her glaring at Buffy.

"Hold up, I'm with Boffy on this," Gunn exclaimed, looking at Cordy.

"That's Buffy," Buffy growled at him.

"Whatever," Gunn said.

"That goes double for me," Fred looked around, her eyes narrowing as she looked at Willow, Spike and Wes.

"They knew! They knew all the time what's going on," she shrieked.

Cordy rolled her eyes, "Look people, just because my hair is streaked with blonde does not make me as dumb as Blondie over there. 'Course I know what Angel's doing upstairs with Xander, that's what a Claim is all about anyway, right?"

"Hey, watch who ya calling a dumb blonde, ya silly wench," Spike growled, his eyes flaming a wild blue, the pheromones that those two upstairs were putting out was causing him some serious problems, especially since Buffy refused to sleep with him anymore.

Cordy gave him stone cold stare, "Lookit, Mister, if I was addressing you, I would have called you Perioxide Boy, but did I?! NO! So shut your friggin' mouth before I get medieval on your ass!" she ended with a shout.

"I have had enough of your flippin' mouth," he roared striding over to her, enraged, his hands clenching furiously.

"Oh yeah?!" Cordy sneered at him, taking a perverse delight in baiting Fangless, "Well you ain't heard nothing yet, let me give you a little sample of the whoop ass I'm about to place on your ass, Fangless!" and she began to roll up her sleeves meaningfully.

Spike growled, for this flippin' bint it'll be worth the pain! And without a second thought, he hauled off and punched her, surprised at the lack of pain, he punched her again, remembering that she was now half-demon.

Cordy staggered back, her eyes widening in shock before narrowing in fury.

And with a snarl of rage, they went kicking, scratching, punch happy on each other. Breaking the chairs, sending everyone scrambling for cover before Angel's roar stopped them in their tracks.

"WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!" he stormed down the stairs with Xander strolling behind him.

He grabbed them both by the collars and shook them roughly.

"What did I tell you about fighting in the hotel, Cordy," he growled softly, his eyes glittering with fury.

"Uhm...not to do it or take it outside," Cordy said in a small voice, shivering at the look on his face. Angel let her do a lot of things to him without complaining, but the one rule he was firm about was NO FIGHTING IN THE HOTEL. He released her and she stumbled gratefully back against Xander.

"And you, childe, fighting with Cordy. What did I tell you about that, hmmm," Angel purred stalking around the shivering Spike.

"Ah...not to ever do it or you'll make my life a living hell," Spike said quietly, hunching his shoulders and closing his eyes, waiting for the hard blow to come. When it didn't come, he opened one eye to see Xander stopping Angel from hitting him.

"Angel, you've terrified them enough. I'm quite sure that Cordy and Spike are sorry for fighting with each other and are willing to make up, right," Xander said over his shoulder, snickering at the way Spike and Cordy leapt at each other, wrapping their arms around each other, vowing undying oaths of friendship.

They gaze expectantly at Angel as he looked at the pleading look in Xander's eyes.

"Fine," he whispered to Xander, "Let this be your first wedding present," watching the blush climb the boy's. He hoped that Xander never lost the ability to blush.

Buffy came forward and laughed hollowly, "Uhm Angel, not that it's any of my business but Cordy here said that...ah...you and Xander...uhm...that is...that you were...,"

"What are you Porky the Pig," Dawn snapped. "Cordy said you and Xander were upstairs doing the humpty dance, there it's said!" Crossing her arms defiantly under Buffy's glare, giggling as the men's eyes turned fascinated to her.

Man, in about a year or so, me and these bad babies gonna rock! she looked down at her breasts with pride.

Angel turned a cool look on Buffy, "You're absolutely right. It is none of your business."

Buffy flushed in anger, "How come you're not Angelus if you and Xander were...," she choked to a stop.

"Because...," Angel began to say.

"His soul been permanent for months!" Cordy yelled, avidly watching the look on Buffy's face. She sighed, gratified at the look on Buffy's face. Probably the same look one of the Three Little Pigs had, she snickered to herself.

Oops! She covered her mouth guiltily as she met Angel's exasperated eyes, her eyes wickedly twinkling at the look of amusement in Xander's eyes before he turned away.

"You're no help," Angel muttered to his husband.

"You been permanently resouled for months and didn't even come to see me," Buffy shrieked, her mouth dropping open in shock.

The others took seats, oh this was starting to get interesting. Quiet wagers began to take place as they bet on how long it would take Buffy to try to stake Angel or try to get into his bed.

Gunn said quietly, "Put me down for $50, bedding my boy in two days."

Fred whispered, "I'm gonna go with $50 for staking him."

"Put me down for $50 for trying to stake Angel when he won't sleep with her," Cordy whispered.

Dawn whispered, "Well, all I got is $10 for trying to get into his bed tonight.

"You're too young to bet," Wesley whispered furiously.

"But not too young not to yell for Angel to come over here," Dawn said smugly.

"Ten dollars you said," Wes raised his brows.

Spike and Willow exchanged glances, "Put $100 down for us...going after Xander," Spike whispered.

Buffy looked at Angel with hurt in her eyes, "But I thought you loved me," she at last whispered.

Xander looked away, slipping from Angel gently restraining hand and darted upstairs. He couldn't stand it, he didn't want to hurt Buffy but he didn't want her to die either, but it hurt that it seem all she cared about was Angel.

He smiled, one good thing about Angel, he certainly knew how to give somebody hell. His head was cocked to the side listening to Angel's raised voice.

Angel watched him run upstairs before looking at Buffy, "Buffy, I need to tell you something and then I don't want to hear another word out of your mouth. Because of you and the rest of you idiots, and yes Willow I'm including you in this, your fuckin' stupidity once again put Xander in the midst of danger and trouble. The boy almost most died! Not once, but twice. If he had been purchased by anybody but me, he would be dead right now!" Angel spat out furiously.

"Not only that, one of the fuckin' demons gave Xander something that almost killed him! It took three goddamn days for him to recover. And then D'na comes along," here Angel stopped and clenched his hands into fists.

Buffy stepped back carefully, ooooh this is soo not good.

"D'na comes along and reminds me of the fact that I stated that I would Claim Xander. He also said that if Xander was not Claimed within the next three weeks we would all die, and I'm not just talking about me and Xander, I'm talking about every last one of us in this room."

Angel glared at Buffy and Willow hissing, "And he agreed, Buffy. Once again, the little friend, your little Zeppo leaps forward to save your fuckin' life. For once in your life Buffy, take off your fuckin' blinders and see what's in front of you! Xander, is not the helpless Zeppo you stupid girls think he is. Despite your magic and despite your Slayer ability, that boy upstairs has more courage in his little finger than the both of you put together! And if you ever get your fuckin' head out of your ass you would see the truth of what he is!"

Buffy and Willow's faces were as white as sheets as they tremble under the force of Angel's rage.

Angel's eyes were still furious, "Buffy, you made it very plain to everyone here that your primary motive in coming here was to get back with me and you hurt Xander because he knows that," Angel stated quietly before turning and running up the stairs to see to his Xander.

"Now don't you feel stupid," Cordy couldn't help but to say to Buffy.



"Xander," he said coaxingly to the hunched figure on the bed, "I have something to show you that I think you'll be very surprised to see."

"What? Buffy, Willow and Dawn getting back into the car and heading home," Xander said instantly perking up.

"Nope," Angel chuckled at the crestfallen look on the boy's, "C'mon, Pet."

"Stop calling me that," Xander snapped, getting off the bed, "Besides, your surprises have a nasty bite to them."

Angel smirked, "Not this one." He tugged the boy to the elevator, closing the door just as Buffy reached the top of the stairs.

"Close your eyes," he whispered to the boy as the elevator went up almost to the top of the hotel.

"Is it really necessary," Xander huffed out, but closing his eyes nevertheless.

"You'll see," Angel breathe into the boy's ear, feeling the responsive shiver with a smile.

The elevator dinged quietly in the silence and Angel said, "Open your eyes now."

Slowly Xander opened his eyes to sunlight!

Crying out, he instinctively moved to block the deadly sunlight from reaching Angel, not understanding the laughter he heard behind him as Angel wrapped an arm around his waist pulling him back to his body.

"It's a spell, my Pet. It's not real sunlight," Angel said quietly, touched by the boy's desire to protect him. He had not missed that instinctive reaction of the boy.

"Go on," he said pushing the boy forward into the beautiful surroundings.

"Well, how was I supposed to know," Xander groused looking around, gasping at the lushness every where he looked.

"Oh, my God,"

," he whispered looking around, inhaling the rich, earthly scents of the wonderful aroma that spiced the air.

"Sometimes, instead of money I accept, gifts in exchange for our services," Angel explained as he led the dazed boy around the parklike like setting. "One of our clients was a mage. And in exchange for our services, he created this for us," he waved a hand around.

Xander looked around at the blue sky above, the waterfall some distance away, the lush tropical plants, the shimmering pool of water surrounded by huge lush green plants.

"This place occupies about three floors of the hotel," he distantly heard Angel say as he was tugged forward stumbling as he kept trying to look at everything around him.

Angel smiled at the open mouth expression on the boy's face as he gently guided Xander to his...soon to be their favorite spot, a small hidden grotto that he claimed as his. Fortunately, Gunn, Fred, Wes and Cordy each had their own favorite places and thankfully never used his.

With gentle motions, he guided Xander to there. Smiling openly at the gasp from the boy.

"My God," Xander whispered looking around. He was beyond being surprised now, having left astonish waaaay behind.

"You like," Angel said quietly, settled back against a small hummock his eyes watchful.

"Oh, boy do I like," Xander exclaimed, kneeling down and splashing at the water. "Man what I wouldn't give to go swimming in this!"

"Go ahead, there's only the two of us and I promise I won't tell," Angel said quietly watching as the boy's head came up quickly.

Holding Angel's eyes, Xander slowly removed his T-shirt and tossing it aside before standing up and slowly wiggling out of the loose sweat pants he wore. Trying to stand proudly before Angel, before swiftly loosing his nerve and jumping into the water. You would have thought he would have gotten over his shyness by now, he thought unhappily.

He gasped at the silky smooth sensation of swimming naked in the water, he had no idea that something so mundane could be so...so.. sensual he slowly became lost in the pleasure of swimming naked. Distracted by the new sensation, he failed to hear the quiet splash as Angel joined him in the water.

Starting as he felt something glide softly over his thighs, over his stomach gasping at the sight of Angel's wet sleek head pushing up from the water in front of him.

"A...Ang...Angel," he stuttered out, his eyes rounding comically as Angel pulled him into a quick, soft kiss.

"And now that you know my name, how about getting out and eating," Angel whispered against the boy's wet lips, licking away the droplets of water. Smiling inwardly at the shaky moan the boy made.

"'Kay," was all Xander's dazed mind could come out with as he was tugged from the water.

Blinking he looked at the food spread on the blanket covering the mossy ground.

"Hey, where did the food and blanket come from," he said with deep suspicion totally forgetting that he was still wet and dripping from the water.

"Right here," Angel patted the hummock he had been reclining against before eyeing the beautiful picture Xander made against the leafy background, and he slowly licked his lips watching the water run down that delectable body.

"Oh," Xander said, he looked up catching the look on Angel's face and quickly settled in a crouching position. "Where are my clothes," he demanded, rearranging himself with casually frantic fingers. He blushed at the hot look that was on Angel's face.

"Xander, you have to get used to me sometimes," he said quietly, reining in his impulse to throw the boy to the ground and take what already belonged to him.

"Whaddya mean, I gotta get used to you? I'm used to you, really I am," Xander looked at him in panic.

"Come here," Angel said simply, sympathizing with the panic in the boy's eyes, but they needed to be closer than they were currently.

Xander looked around hoping maybe that a meteor would perhaps come crashing through the ceiling but, dammit where was an act of God when you needed one, people in the midWest was probably hogging them all.

His eyes, carefully averted from a very naked Angel, he crept closer and stopped figuring that was close enough, thank you very much!

"Xander," Angel tried to keep the amusement out of his voice, "Two inches is not quite what I had in mind. I need you right beside me," he said allowing his voice to drop to a sensual purr, seeing the shiver course through the boy in reaction.
Oh yeah, I still got it, he thought smugly.

Xander scuttled quickly to Angel's side, gasping as the coolness of the arm pressing against him. He swallowed a panicky yell as Angel grabbed him and resettled him between his spread thighs, stoking his arms soothingly, feeling himself slowly relaxing under the calming purr Angel made.

"There, isn't that better," Angel whispered in the boy's ear, smiling gently at the answering nod of the dark head against his chest, smiling in amusement as the boy oh so casually kept his legs bent and pressed together.

Stretching his arm out, he pulled the food closer and began to feed Xander small bites of food.

Bits of chicken, bite-size pieces of bread, grapes, cherries, slices of peaches until just about everything was consumed and Xander rested contentedly between his legs, willfully ignoring his growing hardness pressing against the boy's back.

"Full," Xander murmured while slowly licking at Angel's fingers, sucking the peach juice from the wet fingers, arching his neck as Angel nuzzled into the side of his throat, sucking the flesh in time with his suckling of Angel's fingers.

He shivered as Angel's remaining hand ghosted over his thighs, gently separating them and snaking his hand between, gliding across his hardening cock. He groaned around the fingers as Angel's left leg crossed his, restraining him gently and his other leg fell flat to the ground.

He moaned his encouragement as a cool palm began to stroke up and down his shaft, teasingly, maddening, echoing the timing of his suckling of Angel's fingers. He sucked faster, running his tongue caressingly over the cool fingers, feeling Angel hand stroke faster mimicking his tongue. His head moved faster, hungrily on the fingers and Angel pumped him harder. His eyes meeting Angel's with an unknowingly coy, slumberous look fueling the fire burning in Angel.

He pulled Angel's fingers back out and circled just the fingertips, whimpering as Angel's fingertips circled just the wet drooling head of his cock. His harsh breathing filled the near silent grotto as began to suckling on Angel's long fingers again, groaning as Angel began fisting him once again. His hips working in helpless pleasure he could feel Angel moving behind him, rubbing against his back. His eyes closed, as his balls tighten...feeling himself closer....just a little more...more...faster his mouth worked Angel's fingers, faster Angel moved his hand and suckled at his neck.

With a wild, choking cry he came, arching his cock into Angel caressing palm...fountaining over Angel's hand, feeling Angel's teeth pierce his neck and cool fluid bath his back and Angel's whispered growl, "Mine."

And with one final caressing lick, he released Angel's fingers from his mouth, watching, his eyes hungry as Angel brought his wet hand and began to lick his cum off, holding his eyes with a slumberous look of desire. He could still feel Angel's hard cock, pressing against his back.

He reached behind him, gazing steadily into Angel's eyes, to the cool fluid trickling down his back, trailing into his ass and came away with Angel's cum on his fingers. And Xander slowly began licking at his own fingers, a low greedy moan came from his throat as the taste exploded in mouth, on his taste buds as he sucked hungrily at his fingers searching for more.

Angel's eyes become hot molten gold and he gently urged Xander to his stomach, loving the way the boy was writhing against the blanket as his cold tongue licked the golden back clean, following the trail of his cum....

...Xander's eyes widen as he felt his asscheeks parted and cool tongue began probing delicately.

"God, Angel!" he gasped, wiggling and shimmying his hips, his body clenching as his leg was slid up, mewling under the onslaught of Angel voracious hunger, of that cool tongue burrowing in his hot ass!

Angel moaned hungrily into the fluttering hole, burying his tongue deeper into the writhing body, caressing the slick rippling insides with greedy abandon, loving the way his baby worked his hips lewdly for his pleasure, begging for more. And he was gonna get more!

Rearing abruptly, despite the moan of protest he sat up, pulling the hungry boy back with him between his legs, crouching on his knees with his ass writhing helplessly in the air.

Parting the flexing cheeks, he hungrily attacked the greedy little hole winking at him, probing the hot interior with long caressing strokes of his tongue. Faster, harder....deeper he dipped his tongue into the spasming hole listening to Xander's lusty groans of encouragement.

"Yes...God...yes! Oh God, Angel! So fuckin' good! Give it to me...yes...it's yours...all yours, Angel!" Xander could no more stop his hips from rocking back onto Angel tongue than he could stop breathing. All he could do was chant out encouragement, never wanting this pleasure to end. He moaned his distress as Angel stopped tonguing him and twisted him around, forcing his knees on either side of his now reclining body, bracing his hands on the wide shoulders.

Blinking he looked gazed Angel's blazing eyes, at the demonic image and felt no fear. For the first time, he took the initiative and leaned in for a long thorough kiss, trying to give back some of the pleasure that Angel gave him. He moaned into Angel's mouth as he felt hard fingers enter him, preparing him for the hard shaft he could feel twitching against his ass.

Harder...faster....deeper the fingers dove into him as he raised and lowered his ass on the hard probing fingers, a low wail coming from his throat as his nerve nodule was expertly caressed.

"Look at me," Angel whispered, to the flushed panting boy riding his fingers.

A low whining cry came from Xander as Angel slid in a third finger, slowly stroking deeper into his ass. His eyes shot to Angel helplessly, as the fingers rotated deeper within his sheath, and he couldn't help but to crave more, for Angel to go deeper....and with clenched teeth he sank down, sighing in something like satisfaction as Angel's fingers went all the way in.

Holding Angel's hooded eyes, he raised himself up and slowly sank back into the palm of Angel's hand, sighing in ecstasy at the incredible full sensation. Licking his lips, almost sobbing at how good it felt as Angel began to drive his fingers into him with almost harsh strokes, he linked his arms around Angel's neck and just held on. His hips shimmying helplessly on the hard fingers, no rhythm to the stroking over prostate, he had to work for it, writhing his hips desperately for Angel.

"You like that, my Pet," Angel whispered harshly, "You like my fingers deep in your pretty little ass, touching you, making you hard," he rammed his fingers deeper into to the sweet ass of his boy.

"God yes...I love it! Don't stop, please Angel don't stop! Just give it to me harder...yes like that....oh God...yes like that....yes....yes...oh God! Oh God, Angel...don't stop....," Xander screamed in pleasure, his head arched back as Angel finally took his aching cock in hand, jerking on it with hard strokes.

Xander darted forward and frantically began kissing Angel, his body hungry for more contact, more sensation...more pleasure and he wrenched his mouth from Angel and screamed as he came, riding Angel's fingers to a bone-breaking release before collapsing into Angel's lap, panting for breathe.

Feeling Angel's fingers slowly leave his spasming hole, his body was shifted
.....his eyes widening and he hissed as Angel slowly eased his thick cock into his still fluttering ass, both of them moaning at the sheer pleasure.

Angel rolled them over, making sure that he was still stuffed deep inside his baby, slinging the boy's legs over his braced arms before he began to fuck him as deep and as hard as he could staring down into the glittering hungry eyes.

Xander could help but to cry out as his body was rocked under Angel's pounding thrusts. Clenching his ass tightly around the invading shaft, he smiled at the deep groan coming from Angel and then gasped at the increasingly harder lunges from Angel.

"So fuckin' tight," Angel gritted out, "So good, boy! Sweet tight ass! All mine," he growled his eyes flaming.

"All yours, no one else's!" Xander gasped out, "YOURS!" he screamed, arching his hips. "Oh....oh....Angel....it belongs to you, only you!"

"MINE," Angel said low in his throat, a hungry growl behind the words as he stared deeply into Xander's eyes, keeping up his punishing pace within the sweetest, tightest ass he had ever been in.

Xander's eyes cleared momentarily from the lust induced daze Angel's hard driving hips were producing in him, softening as he looked up into savage golden eyes, "Yours," and his words were a soft vow as they came, gazing deeply into each other's eyes.

Slowly Xander's legs dropped from Angel's braced arms, inhaling harshly with wheezing sounds, as Angel rolled off of him.

"So, tell me, was it good for you," he wheezed out with a tired smile.

"God, Xander don't make me laugh," Angel said in a tired chuckle, "Where do you get the energy to make jokes is beyond me."

"Good clean living," Xander said with a weary modest smile, his eyes dropping sleepily, before forcing them up.

"Go to sleep, no one will disturb us here," Angel stroked his fingers gently down the boy's face, pulling him into his arms.

And with a tired sigh, Xander feel asleep cradled in Angel's arms.


As evening approached, Buffy, Willow and Dawn strolled back into the hotel.

Buffy glanced casually around, frowning when she didn't see Angel or Xander.

"Geeze, are they ever coming downstairs, I need to talk to Xander," Buffy griped angrily, flushing as she looked up seeing Angel at the top of the stairs looking down at her with an unreadable expression on his face.

"Xander is out shopping with Cordy, is there something that I can perhaps help you with," Angel said coolly, striding down the stairs dressed in black leather pants and a sheet black T-shirt.

Buffy's mouth dropped open in lustful shock, Spike gave her a disgusted look for being so obvious and discretely, hungrily gazed at Angel. Unlike Buffy he knew exactly how possessive Angel could be with whatever he consider his.

Fortunately Cordy called them on her cellphone with a vision that sent almost every one scrambling to deal with the menace, leaving Buffy, Dawn, and Wes alone in the hotel. Willow went along to see what kind of danger Xander would be facing in his new life with Angel and besides she was getting bored listening to Buffy yap about Angel and Xander. One more word and she was gonna turn Buffy into a Buffyrat.

Xander walked into the hotel loaded down with bags of clothing. Angel had sent him out with Cordy, which should be grounds for a divorce Xander fumed angrily. His feet hurt, his back hurt, his head was aching and did he forget to mention that his FEET HURT!

"C'mon on now Xander, it was so bad," Cordy wheedled, "Look at all the lovely things you bought."

Xander gave her look of offended dignity, "Cordy, men do NOT buy lovely things. We buy stuff, we buy things, we buy shit....of which NON are remotely considered *lovely*, ya got that," he said slowly.

"Fine!" Cordy snapped back, "Look at the shitload of stuff you got," she sneered.

Xander nodded approvingly, "Thaaat's better!" He looked around at the multitude of bags.

"Yep, got me a fine haul of *stuff*," he looked at Cordy sharply, frowning sternly at her snicker.

"Best part of all, you didn't have to pay for any of it," Cordy said happily.

Xander rolled his eyes and groused, "Yeah," boy when Angel wanted to put his foot down he could split the earth, Xander shivered remembering the fight this afternoon. Next time Angel offered him a credit card and told him to go spend money all he intended to do was say Yes Sir!, grab Cordy and hit the mall. He'll just make sure all the tags were still on and keep the receipts so he could return 'em. Heheheheh, make *me* spend money willya, he thought evilly.

"Why don't you take your things upstairs, looks like everyone gone either to bed or are still out," Cordy said looking around.

"Yeah, man, I can't wait to take a bath," Xander groaned wincing at sore muscles.

"Go on, when Angel comes in I'll tell him you're in the bed," Cordy leered at him, laughing softly at the blush that crossed his face.

"Hah hah, real funny," Xander muttered, turning to stomp up the stairs.

"Hey, Xander," Cordy called quietly, waiting until he turned around and hugging him, "You and Angel, you two look good together. Don't let anyone tell you anything different okay," she said softly before her face resumed it usual expression, "And if you ever tell anyone that I said something nice, I swear to God, I'll make Angelus look like a little pussy cat by the time I'm finished with you, got it."

Xander grinned and swiftly kissed her cheek, "Loud and clear, Queen C," and darted up the stairs with his bags, whistling happily.

Shoving the bags into a corner, he stripped off his clothes hurriedly and headed for the shower, arching under the blissful heat, nearly falling asleep on his feet.

He quickly dried off, cutting the light off he climbed into the bed with a sigh of relief and if Angel wanted him tonight, tough shit.

Quickly he fell asleep.

Quietly the bedroom door open and Buffy snuck in and saw the dark head resting on the pillow. Finally Angel was back and her chance to talk to him.

She padded over to the bed, eased herself under the covers and began to speak.

"Angel, I know that we got off to a rocky start yesterday and today, but I just want to let you know that I still love you. I think what you did for all of us, Cl...Cla...
Claiming," she was finally able to choke the word out, " Xander was a very noble gesture. I know that you probably didn't want to and I just want you to know that I forgive you. As a reward for your incredible noble gesture and especially since we don't have to worry about Angelus coming out," she tittered, "I want you to have me, because I know you must be confused right now about whether you're gay or not. But I just want to show you that you are all man," she purred huskily stroking his shoulder, frowning at the warmth she felt as he rolled away.

Xander frowned in his sleep, why in the was he dreaming that Buffy was in bed with him. He felt Angel touch his shoulder and rolled away.

"Angel, not tonight, too tired," he whined. His eyes popped open at a distinctively feminine gasp and he scrambled to sit up and switch on the light.

Angel and crew trooped in wearily, despite their high spirits. Willow was practically bouncing, Xander was gonna love it here! Maybe she might even convince Tara to move here too.

Cordy looked up to tell Angel that Xander had went to bed, when a piercing scream rent the hotel swiftly followed by a deeper bellow of shock.

"Xander," Angel shouted running up the stairs, with Willow right behind him her eyes black as night.

Bursting into his bedroom, freezing at the sight of a very naked Xander crouching in the corner trying to fend off an angry, skimpily dressed Buffy hitting him with a pillow.

Angel yelled, "What the hell are you doing in my bedroom?"

Buffy looked down furiously at Xander, "Yeah answer the man!" Tapping her foot irritably tempting to smack him again.

"I'm talking to you, Buffy!" Angel said through clenched teeth.

"Me?! He's the one in your bedroom and bed," she yelled back.

"He's supposed to be in my bed, where the hell do you think he's supposed to be, in a separate bedroom," Angel sneered at her, grabbing a robe and extending it to Xander.

"He's sleeping with you," Buffy squeaked, her eyes rounding in dumbstruck amazement.

"Of course he's sleeping with me, he is my husband for the next five years, you idiot. I don't hold with the old-fashioned views of spouses sleeping in separate bedroom, I'm a modern vampire," he said angrily.

"He's sleeping with you," Buffy repeated, her eyes almost bugging out of her head.

"Huh, and you say she's a Slayer, right?" Gunn remarked thoughtfully to Wes before shaking his head, "I kinda thought she would be smarter and maybe have less of a hearing problem."

"Too right," Wes shook his head sadly, "I fear she's not long for this world. Poor child obviously has a death wish."

"Goodnight Buffy," Angel said through gritted teeth, only Xander's hand restraining him from killing her. "I want you out of this hotel first thing tomorrow morning. And until you learn some manners, don't bother coming back or even calling here, do I make myself clear?" He snarled at her.

"B..bu...but Xander," was all she could say before Willow muttered and her mouth was gone and her body restrained against the wall.

"Sorry about that, Angel," Willow said quietly, her eyes sad, "But I think it'll be better if we leave now rather than wait till tomorrow, that is if Spike is going back with us," she looked inquiringly at the blonde vampire.

"Yeah, I think'll be for the best," Spike said quietly, gazing at the furiously struggling Slayer. He looked at Angel before inclining his head to Xander, "I'll be back, Grandpappa," he smirked at the look of horror on Xander face.

"C'mon kiddies let's get this show on the road. Willow, you grab the Slayer's clothes, Niblet, you grab your stuff and I'll grab the Slayer. Maybe, we'll come back one day," he hesitantly looked at Angel.

Xander gave Angel his most pleading look, he really didn't want to be without his friends, especially Willow.

Dawn gave Angel her most tragic desolate look, who would cheer her up and make her laugh.

Willow gave Angel the biggest puppy eyes, she didn't want to lose her Xander.

"Oh for God's sakes, stop with the puppy dog eyes," Angel snapped, holding his hand over his eyes, "Yes you can all come back, except Buffy." Holding his ears at the excited screams of joy as Willow, Dawn and Xander did their happy dance.

Xander jumped him kissing him frantically in gratitude, freezing as he remembered where they were before wrapping his arms around Angel's neck and diving in for a long thorough kiss.

Spike smiled briefly, tossing the wiggling body of Buffy over his shoulder and shutting the door, leaving the two lovers alone.





Epilogue



Giles: Is he . . . Will he rise again?
Buffy: Who?
Giles: The boy.
Buffy: No, he's just dead.
Giles: Can you be sure?
Buffy: To make you a vampire, they have to suck your blood. And then you have to suck their blood. It's like a whole big sucking thing. Mostly, they're just going to kill you.



Epilogue  Five years later....

Demons were busily setting up the chairs for the Fiestea as D'na looked on with a critical eye. Something looked out of place, he thought irritably glancing around. His eyes lit up as he saw a picture against the far wall slightly angled.

He started to cross to fix it when a servant ran up.

"Sir, you have two males waiting for you in your office," the creature bowed.

"And?" D'na looked coldly down at the shaking creature. Good help is just impossible to find these days!

The creature searched it's mind frantically, "One is human and one is a vampire," it blurted out.

"Ah." D'na nodded, has it really been five years?

Leaving the terrified creature collapsing to its knees in terrified relief, he swiftly strode to his office and to his two visitors.

Angel turned from looking out of the window, touching Xander gently on the arm.

"So, I had wondered who could possibly be seeking me. I take it that you have a reason for bringing your Pet to see me rather than just putting it up for auction," D'na said crossing the room and sitting behind his desk. He regarded the two males now sitting before him, allowing none of his intense satisfaction to show.

The Pet, Xander he must remember to call him that, had subtly matured into a beautiful man. He had heard of their exploits among the demon world, the deadly vampire and his equally ruthless companion, these two were swiftly becoming far more feared than any Slayer in history.

He watched as the two glanced at each other sharing an almost invisible conversation before Angel spoke.

"I don't want to put him on the block, I," he glanced at Xander, "Want to Claim him for as long as I live. I have no intention of letting him go....ever," he smiled and reached out a hand to Xander, who eagerly grasped it. He raised Xander's hand to his lips, pressing a soft kiss on the slender digits. Relishing the heat he could feel rising in his Mate.

"A full Claim, with a Mortal?! Surely you must be jesting," D'na said with feign mockery. He needed to be sure of their commitment to each other. "And what does your Pet have to say?" He saw the anger rise in the vampire before the Pe...Xander stopped him with a gentle touch.

"Why don't you ask me then, considering I'm sitting right here," Xander said levelly even though he wanted to smack that 'holier than thou' look off the demon's face. I mean really, demon...'holy' HA! That's a oxymoron if he ever heard one. He frowned running that back again.

"Very well then, Pet," D'na made sure he called Xander that and watched the anger flash in his dark eyes before it was ruthlessly controlled. Good, he's learning.

"My name is Alexander LaValle Harris, or Xander if you wish to be brief," Xander said coldly, "And yes, I do wish to be fully Claimed by Angel," his body was stiff with rage.

"Aren't you the one that sneered at the Slayer for sleeping with not one but two vampires and yet you now wish to be Claimed by one of the said vampires, curious," D'na said coolly, unmoved by the growing rage in either Angel or Xander's eyes.

"Whatever will your friends say," he mocked the boy.

"People change, grow and mature; I'd like to think that I've also matured. I've fought by his side for the last five years and I know him inside and out. He's good to me and to our friends. Taking care of us, looking after us and protecting us if necessary. Our friends are happy for us."

"Including your friend Buffy," D'na raised a brow.

"Especially Buffy," Xander smiled remembering the happiness in her eyes when she became Mrs. Robin Wood, he was her Best Man and Willow was her Maid of Honor.

"And the sex, I'm sure isn't bad," D'na said mildly, unsurprised when Angel erupted from his chair, with Xander jumping quickly in front of him pushing him back down.

Xander turned to face D'na, his face set, "Yes the sex is good, it's better than good, it's fucking fantastic," he hissed at D'na. "Do you want the fucking details, about how it feels when he's fucking my ass, or..." he stopped at the shout from Angel.

"Xander!"

Xander closed his eyes as a wave of embarrassment swept over him, "I apologize," he said with an averted face. "But I don't know what you want me, want us to say to convince you that I want to be Claimed by him in every way."

"Well, if you don't know then I'm afraid that the Claim can not be made. I specified five years and the five years will be up within the hour," D'na was seemingly unmoved by Xander's words, he despaired if these two knuckleheads would figure it out before the five year Claim ran it's course.

"Bu..but why," Xander nearly wailed, he felt Angel surround him with his love and pull him into his lap.

"Claimed or not, Xander, I won't lose you," Angel whispered, "I love you too damn much to let you go." He kissed the tears sparkling in Xander's eyes, feeling the soft sigh his boy gave as he relaxed in his comforting embrace.

"Same here, big guy, Claimed or not, I'm not going anywhere. I love you too damn much to walk away. Besides, who'll kept Spike from killing Cordy," he smiled through his tears. But he so wanted Angel to Claim him...he would give almost anything for that to happen.

"I'm sorry, I didn't hear what you said," D'na said politely, his hearts racing. Say it! Come on say it!

"What, that I love Xander," Angel asked puzzled, he glance down and saw similar confusion in Xander's eyes.

"And you also feel the same," D'na asked Xander, feigning extreme disinterest.

"Well, duh...of course I love him, why do you think I want to be Claimed by him," Xander said tiredly.

D'na sighed and gifted Angel with a smile, "That's all I wanted to hear." He reached into his desk drawer and withdrew a thick black leather collar, presenting it to a dazed Angel.

"You don't need me or anyone else to initiate the Claim. You were fully Claimed the day you told each other that you love one another. Now get out of my office and take your Mate home. I'm sure that you two have some celebrating to do."

"That's it?! I thought there would be a ceremony or something. Lights, sparkling stars...you know, earth moving and shit like that," Xander remarked in confusion.

Angel whispered in his ear.

Xander turned red and jumped up, pulling Angel quickly to his feet,"Goodbyethanksforeverything
don'tcalluswe'llcallyouokbyebye," and pushed a laughing Angel out the door.

"Hmpf, sex, sex, sex that's all these young people think of these days, it's a miracle that those two get anything done," D'na grumbled as he got up and walked to the wall...through the wall.

"Stop being such a grouch, D'na," said the female Oracle laughingly.

"I still don't know why you made me do this," D'na said irritably.

"Because you are the best Matchmaker," said the male Oracle soothingly. "Besides, we screwed up so badly with Angel that we feared he would not trust anything from us."

"Flattery will get you nowhere, even though you are telling the truth," D'na said arrogantly.

"We have a couple more assignments for you," said the male.

D'na rubbed his hands with glee, a cheerful smile now on his face. "Bring it on,"

Four images shimmered into view: Cordy, Willow, Wesley, and Spike.

"Okay, so I need to find mates for these four, huh," he said thoughtfully.

The images rearranged swiftly with Willow next to Wesley and.....

D'na shouted, "Dammit, I'm a Matchmaker, not a miracle worker!"

.....Spike with Cordy.





The End






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