Through the Eyes of a Child


Part Nine

Sundown found the Scoobies and the AI team together at the Magic Box. There were books scattered everywhere. Giles and Wesley were arguing quietly over some obscure phrase in some little known demon dialect. Willow was in her usual place, pulling up information from her computer. Angel and Spike were working their way through a pile of musty books, mostly written in strange demon languages. Cordy was sitting with them, pretending to be doing the same. Buffy and Gunn had taken one look at the pile of books and headed into the training room. The quiet of the studying was broken by the sounds of something being hit and grunts from whichever one was on the receiving end, probably Gunn. Tara and Dawn had Xander on the floor, playing Go Fish with him, trying to keep him occupied so the others could research. His ever-present firetruck was by his side. Every so often Xander would glance up and look at Cordy then quickly put his head back down. When she noticed what he was doing, she would wiggle her finger at him every time he looked up, he would smile shyly and look back down. Willow closed the cover of her laptop.

“Bored now.” Willow dragged out the words.

Cordelia shrieked, Angel dropped his book on the floor and Giles cup of tea rattled against the saucer and spilled. Both men just stared at Willow. “WILLOW, that wasn’t even funny. Are you trying to scare me to death?”

Buffy and Gunn came running from the training room, armed and looking for whoever was attacking. “Where is it?” Buffy asked, her eyes darting back and forth looking for the enemy. Gunn was at her side, battle-axe up and ready.

“Well..ehhh..Willow scared me!”

“Oh yeah, Wills is just so scary, Cordy. Did she brandish her laptop at you?”

“No, she said she was ‘bored now’.” Cordy explained.

“Wills, that is so not funny, somebody might have tried to stake you.” Gunn was looking between the two women with a look of total confusion. Willow was giggling until Xander stalked over to Buffy with his fists resting on his hips, looking like a little gunslinger ready to draw down

“Whos gonna staked my Willow? Nobody hurts my Willow.” Xander was scowling, looking from person to person, trying to figure out who to be mad at.

“Xander honey, it was just a joke, no one is going to stake me, promise.”

Gunn finally couldn’t stand it anymore, “Would someone please tell me what the hell is going on?”

“Wouldn’t mind knowing that myself.” Spike joined in.

“It started when Cordelia got jealous..”

“Buffy, I was so not jealous. I mean, what was there to be jealous of?”

“You were so jealous. How else did Anyanka get her claws…” Giles clearing his throat stopped Buffy in mid sentence. He cast his eyes over to Xander and for once, Buffy actually got the point. Tara stood up and stretched.

“Little guy, why don’t I take you across the street for a treat. I need to get out of here for a little while. Ice cream?”

“Hey, what about me? I like ice cream”

“You can come too, Dawnie. Well, Xan, ice cream?”

“Yep…chocolate? Spike, can I go with my Glinda?” Xander picked up the firetruck and went to stand next to Tara and Dawn.

“Yeah, go on sprout. Mind your manners. Glinda…”

“I know Spike. Don’t worry, I’ll take good care of him.”

“Ready, Glinda.” Xander took Tara’s hand and head for the door. He looked back over his shoulder and grinned, “You can all growed up talk now.” The three went out the door as the rest of the people sat in silence for a minute, then erupted in laughter.

“Anyway, Cordy made this wish thingie, that I never came to Sunnydale. Well, Anyanka was right there waiting for her to do it. Buffy and Sunnydale becomes Vamp Central. Xander and Willow were both vamps, favorites of the Master. The one I was supposed to be here to defeat.” Buffy stuck her tongue out at Cordy.

“Oh, very mature Slayer. Glad my Xan isn’t here to see that. Would like to ‘ve seen my boy as a vamp though. Bet he was effin gorgeous. But how did you all get to see vamp Willow?” Willow became red faced as Giles, Buffy and Angel laughed.

“I’m afraid it was another of Willow’s less successful spells. After Anyanka became human she lied to Willow and told her she was trying to find a treasured family heirloom. The heirloom was actually her power source. She convinced Willow to seek the amulet with a spell. Well, the spell went wrong and evil Willow arrived in our Sunnydale. She was…was quite…”

“Yeah she was, Giles. She was hot, very hot and really evil in this uber evil, all leather, thinks she’s Angelus kind of way. Her big thing was saying ‘Bored now.’ I swear she must have had the attention span of a gnat.” Cordy cast very mischievous eyes at Willow. “She was also on the very gay side, even goosed herself.”

“CORDELIA!! I don’t think they needed to know that.” Willow’s face was now as red has her hair.

“Well, it could have been worse, she could have been calling you ‘puppy’.“ Cordy smirked at Angel,

Angel hit the table with his head, several times, “Couldn’t help yourself could you? Just had to say that.” Spike was on the floor roaring with laughter. Every once in awhile he would stop, point at Angel say 'puppy' and start roaring again.

“Gunn, I suggest you forget you ever heard this story. Cordy, you and Wesley forget as well, please.” Angel was pleading.

“Angel man, there is no way I am forgetting this, ever,” he snorted, 'puppy'.”

“Okay, that was fun but we need to get to trying to fix my Xan-pet. There has to be something.” Everyone started grabbing books and Willow returned to her computer.

Out on the street:

“Xander, don’t you let go of my hand. No wandering off this time, okay?”

“I’ll be good, I promise.” Tara held the hand that didn’t hold the firetruck and headed across the street.

“Is that where we get ice cream? I wan’ chocolate and chocolate syrup and chocolate sprinkly things and…and whip-did cream stuff. A biiiggg bowl.” Xander through one arm out wide to show how big a bowl he wanted. Tara and Dawn both giggled.

“Do you think we should do that to Spike? Remember the Ding Dong nightmare?” Dawn had an evil look on her face.

Tara looked just as evil, “Why not. Aren’t we supposed to make things up to Xander?” Both girls grinned at the thought of what tonight would be like for Spike.

Xander’s eyes were huge as he looked at all the pictures of ice cream treats on the shop walls. Ice cream was something he didn’t get very often. “Can…can I get ..” He didn’t finish and put his head down. “Sorry, not ‘apposed to ask for things. It’s rude and I gets in trouble for it. I jus’ wanna a little banilla one.”

“Screw that…”

“DAWN Summers!”

“Well, it’s not right and I don’t like it. If he wants Death by Chocolate, he gets it, and I’ll even pay. And if Spike doesn’t like it, then…”

“Dawn Summers don’t you dare say that again.” Tara couldn’t act too angry, she agreed with Dawn. Xander was watching the two and trying to cover his mouth so they couldn’t hear his giggles. “So you think that’s funny, huh Xander?”

“Yep, can we gets ice cream now?”

“Yep” Tara answered copying Xander, “What do you want, little man?” The young girl behind the counter had been watching the interaction and couldn’t quite figure out what was wrong. She knew Xander as a good customer and something was off. He was acting funny and carrying a toy firetruck. She caught Tara’s eye and pointed to her head. Tara nodded then left Dawn and Xander debating ice cream flavors and went over to her.

“What’s wrong with Xander? He’s a regular in here and we really like him.”

“He had an accident awhile back and has a brain injury. He thinks he’s a little boy so could you, you know, kind of play along?” The girl’s eyes teared up but she nodded yes.

“Okay, what would everyone like.”

Tara answered, “I want a single of Berry Blend sorbet, Dawn wants two scoops of Caramel Fantasy in a waffle cone and the Xan-man wants two scoops of Triple Chocolate with hot fudge and whipped cream.”

Xander whispered in Tara’s ear, “Oh yes, I forgot. He wants chocolate sprinkles too.”

“That’s sound about right for him, but…only two?”

“Two’s plenty, we’re trying to limit his chocolate consumption a little.”

The girl laughed, “I can understand that. I’ve seen him after an all chocolate Monster Sundae. It’s not pretty.”

Tara carried her and Xander’s ice cream to a table and Dawn followed, steadily licking on hers. After setting his firetruck on the floor, Xander began shoveling it in like he was really afraid it would disappear. “Hey, little man, slow down. No one’s going to touch it. I promise.”

“immsst goomm.” Both girls watched him enjoy the treat. He already had chocolate all over his mouth. It took so little to make him happy. They both enjoyed watching him. When he was finally finished Tara had to ask the counter girl to wet a napkin for her.

“Xander, you are a big mess, a big chocolate mess.”

“Better clean up good then. Beasties ‘ll eat me alllll up. Spike says they like little boys ‘cause they’re fulled up with candy.”

“Well, I’m sure Spike would know what the beasties like since he knows most of them.”

“My spike knows the beasties?” Xander gasped.

“Sure, he plays poker with them.” It suddenly struck Dawn that maybe that was something Xander really didn’t need to know. Thank heaven she hadn’t said kitten poker. “Well, I think we should forget about that one.” They headed out the door to return to the Magic Box. Xander was walking right in front of the girls. They all turned when they heard a ‘meow’ come from the alley. Before they could stop him, Xander had taken off.

“XANDER HARRIS you get right back here. You know better than to…” Tara quit yelling when she saw what was in the alley. Four very large, horned demons were running toward them. One grabbed Xander and wrapped his arms around him. Two went for Tara and one after Dawn. Xander was screaming loudly. Tara yelled for Dawn to run then dropped to her knees and started to chant. You could feel the power gathering in the air. Before she could finish one of the creatures hit her over the head. Dawn was doing her best to fight back. She didn’t spend all her time watching Buffy train for nothing. She dropped the first demon with a hard, sharp kick to the groin. But the other two were just too much for her. One picked her up and threw her into a wall. She was still conscious and trying to get up as she watched the demons carry Xander down the alley. He had quit making noise and that really scared her. She had to get to the shop; she had to get to Spike.

No one looked up when the door opened, they knew it was almost time for the three to return. Spike and Angel both caught the scent of blood in the air at the same time and jumped up.

“Spike…help…Xan..please…” Spike had the girl in her arms before she could fall.

“DAWNIE!! Let me through. Spike what’s wrong with Dawnie?” Buffy was in panic, kill something mode. Looking around for the enemy.

“Oh Goddess, where’s Tara?”

“You gits just get yourselves back. Give the Niblet some air.” Spike sat on the floor and held Dawn in his lap. “Okay Bit, what happened.”

“In the alley, go now. Hurry, they took Xander and hit Tara in the head, demons, big ones. By the ice cream place, HURRY!” As Cordy sat down with Dawn, Giles began pulling weapons out of the closet and tossing them into waiting hands.

Cordy was crying quietly, “I’ll take care of Dawn, you go get my Xander, NOW!”

Spike and Angel were in the alley helping Tara up before the others could get there. The witch was very unsteady on her feet.

Spike began checking out the alley for signs of Xander when he came across the firetruck, lying where Xander had been grabbed. Spike hit his knees and howled. The others in the alley got chills up their spines from the sound. Buffy and Angel went over and knelt by Spike, trying to comfort the hysterical vampire.

“Sire…my Xan-pet, they took my mate.” Bloody pink tears were streaming down his face. “What am I going to do? Sire?”

Angel wrapped his arms around Spike and helped him up. “We’ll find him, childe. We will tear every part of this city to pieces until we do. We’ll find your mate, calm down, Wil. You can’t help if you can’t concentrate. You’re our best help in finding him. You can sense and smell him better than I can. You marked him.” He walked Spike, still clutching the toy; back over to the where the witches were standing.

“Spp..sp..spike, I’m so sorry. We tr..tried to stop them. were w..waiting for us to pass by. Th…the…they were just to b..big.” Willow put her arm around Tara to support her.

“”Shhh, Glinda I’m sure you did your best. Now how many, what kind and which way?”

“There were four of them, b…big, really big, greenish, short fur and t..two curling horns. They were waiting for us and went straight for Xander. W…we heard a kitten and he t..t..took off before I c..could him.” Tara gave into her emotions and was sobbing on Willow’s shoulder.”

“Vorklash demons, muscle for hire. They’ll do anything for a price.” Angel had run into their kind before. “We spread out and start from here, three groups. One group goes with me; one goes with Spike and one with Buffy. These guys are strong and work together. Watch out for the horns. Remember, we have to try and take one alive. If Xander isn’t with them, it could be our only way to find him. Willow you need to get Tara back to the Magic Box and check her out. Let’s go.” The moved off in three different directions. Spike and Angel kept sniffing the air trying to catch the scent that was unique to Xander.

While the hunt for Xander was getting organized, the demons had headed for the sewers. They had been told not the hurt the humans and had tried their best not to. They had especially been told what would happen to them if they hurt the dark male. They had no doubt that the person who hired them would carry through with the threats made against them. The man was struggling against them and it was hard to hold him and not hurt the puny human. At least he had quit making so much noise. After almost an hour in the sewer, they climbed out by an old abandoned house. This is where they had been told to bring the man. They carried him through the door to where their employer was waiting for them. They sat the man down in front of their employer and backed up.

“Hello, my Dark Kitten.”

Part Ten

“Hello my Dark Kitten.” Drusilla walked over to the shaking boy and cupped his chin. She brought his head up until he was looking her in the eyes. “I’ve come to help my Spikie’s boy.” Drusilla began sniffing the air around Xander. “I smell Daddy on you. Is my Daddy here too, Kitten?”

Xander’s eyes became huge and round like an anime character as he whispered, “You know my Spike?”

“Yes, Kitten, he was my Spikie before he was yours.”

“Ar…are you ‘silla? my Spike and Angel-peaches told me ‘bout you.” No matter how many times Angel had tried to explain about his name, Xan still insisted on Angel-peaches. Spike, of course, thought it was hysterical and refused to correct him.

“Yes, my pretty boy, I’m Drusilla. The stars told me I must come help Spikie’s little Kitten. My Spike loves you. Do you love my Spike, pretty Kitten?”

“’course i do. He takes care of me and ‘tects me from the beasties.” Drusilla laughed, delighted with the pretty Kitten that was her Spike’s mate. “Spike told me you was his sister and your daddy's Angel-peaches…why did you send the beasties for me? They hurted Glinda and Dawnie. th…they hitted Glinda in the head an..and throwed Dawnie at the wall.” Xander had begun to cry again. “I wannnt my Spike. Take me back to my Spike.”

Drusilla ran one cold finger down the crying boy's face, “Don’t cry Kitten, I’m going to take you back to Spike…must do the magic first. Miss Edith tells me that I have to do it. Must make the pretty boy well again for my Spike. Everything has to be turned back around and rightside up, back to the way it was. You, my beautiful Kitten have a destiny, the stars are singing of what you and my Spike will do and what I must do to help. I have to make you all shiny again.”

Xander just stared at the vampire not really sure what she had just said. He didn’t understand any of it. He didn’t like this place, it was cold and dirty. He wanted to go home to Spike. “I need to go home now. I’m not ‘apposed to be out in the dark and Spike is pro’lly lookin’ for me. Will you take me home? I wanna go home, please.”

“I’ll take you home to Spike later, Kitten. We have magic to do together; Auntie Dru will make it all better. First we have a tea party, with my pretty dollies. Do you like my dollies? My daddy gave me this dolly and Spikie gave me the pretty one with the little spike in its head. Aren’t they pretty? Miss Edith is in the other room, she can’t come to the tea party, because she’s being punished right now. Do you want some tea?” Dru had sat Xander down at a small table and was pouring something from a teapot into a cup. “Here Kitten, drink it all up, then you can have cakes. We have to wait to do the magic; the one the stars named isn’t here yet. When he gets here Miss Edith and I will fix you all up.”

“Uuhh, Auntie Dru, I can’t drink this, it’s blood, little boys don’t drink blood.” This lady was scaring Xander, he couldn’t understand what she was talking about. He just wanted to go home but he wasn’t sure where that was, Spike would find him. He just needed to be good and stay here and his Spike would come get him, he just knew it. “Auntie Dru, ca..can I lay down please? I’m kinda tired now.”

“Of course, pretty one. You rest until the magic doer gets here.” The vampire started to dance in circles, “Must do the magic, must return, repeat, redo. The wicked one will be here soon to fix Dark Kitten all better. He’ll make you all shiny and new again, Kitten. You sleep now, Auntie Dru and Miss Edith will watch for the magic man.” Xander lay down on the dusty, moth eaten sofa and dozed off.

The sun was just breaking over the horizon when the hunters returned to The Magic Box. They had found nothing, no sign of the demons or the boy, but they had to stop so the vampires could get in before the sun came up. Cordy and the LA contingent had gone back to the motel for some sleep, Angel had chosen to stay with Spike. His childe seemed lost and he wanted to be there for him. Spike was sitting on the floor with his back against the wall cradling Xander’s toy fire truck in his arms. Angel knew he was trying to put up a brave front, but his Wil could not hide the hurt from him. He went over and sat on the floor next to Spike and pulled him up against his chest, rocking him gently.

“We’ll find him, William. He’s still alive and we won’t rest until we find him.”

Buffy came over and stood in front of the pair. “What do you mean ‘he’s still alive’? How can you know that?”

“Buffy, Spike would know. If anything hurts Xander, Spike will know as soon as it happens. Spike, you have to tell them, they have to know everything.” Angel was still holding his childe, not wanting to lose the closeness that had been missing for so many decades.

“Whelp didn’t want this lot to know yet. He wanted to wait; it was just private like, for me and him. It’s not right, not fair, we were supposed to have forever together. He was gonna help the scoobies for another year then we were going to travel. He wanted to go to England to see the places I knew as a human. Hell, Peaches, he even wanted to come see you and get to know you better. Said you was family and needed to know about us. Family’s important to Xan, it’s what he did with you lot. He made you his family cause his is so fucked up, not that you lot are much better sometimes. You ignore him, use him when it’s convenient for you, when you need muscle or flippin’ bait. My Xan’s always there for you, Slayer.” Spike closed his eyes and rested his head against Angel’s chest.

“You Xander? As in a couple? When..I mean don’t want to know long? Is that why you’ve been taking care of him? Giles? You knew?”
Buffy wasn’t sure what to ask or what to believe. Xander had always been the goofy, sweet friend that had a crush on her. Now he was gay and with Spike? She looked at Spike and this time could see the devastation on his face, he loved Xander. It was obvious if you just looked.

Giles nervously removed his glasses and began to rub the lenses, “Yes, Buffy, I knew about Xander and Spike. I found out entirely by accident, I..well..le..let’s just say I walked in on them one evening when they were supposed to be helping clean up the training room.”

Spike snorted. “Got a surprise that night didn’t you, Rupert? Don’t know who was more shocked or who turned brighter red, you or my Xan-pet.” Spike paused remembering that night and the position Giles found them in; pants down to their knees with Xander bent over the vault Buffy practiced on. God, he got hard every time he went into that damn room now. “This isn’t just a quick fuck ‘em and leave ‘em. He’s my mate, Buffy. It’s forever with us and if he never gets better, I’ll still be here taking care of him.”

Buffy sat on the floor next to Angel and Spike, reached over and took hold Spike’s hand, “You really love him, don’t you?”

“Couldn’t help but love him.” Spike started to laugh. “Whelp wouldn’t allow anything else. Stalked me he did, I found out later he had been at it for weeks. He finally got tired of waiting for me to get a clue and showed up at my crypt. One minute I’m laying there asleep, next minute I’m on the floor with a wiggling Xan-pet on top o’me. That was the first time we were together. After, well, you know, won’t say it or Slayer’ll get her ‘ewww’ face on, afterwards he told me the Vampire Union should take away my membership card, because he’d been following me and I hadn’t noticed. Peaches, you should have seen his face when I told him that he’d belonged to me for the last four years, that he just didn’t know it.”

“Xander belongs to you?” Dawn had come over and joined the group on the floor.

“Well yeah, was given him, wasn’t I? It was the first time I came to Sunnyhell, don’t you remember, Slayer? Peaches was trying to trick me so they could get away, he pretended to be Angelus and offered me the boy.”

“But that was just a trick, he wasn’t serious.” Buffy remembered that night well.

“Don’t matter, to a vampire a gift from your sire is a very serious thing. Why do you think Xan-pet’s survived so many attacks? At first it was just word of mouth, it was passed along that he belonged to a master and now well, they smell my claim on him and know it would be their death if they touched him.”

“I’VE GOT IT!! I think I have the general area pinpointed.” Willow and Tara were leaning over a map of Sunnydale and Willow was holding a small pendulum over it. Giles rushed over to the table to check what she was doing.

“Willow, how do you know that it is pinpointing Xander? It could be anyone.”

“Weeelll, it’s..I..I kinda put a location spell on him a long time ago and it’s still working so that’s of the good, right? I mean, we can find him this way and at least know where to start looking. Buffy can start looking now and Spike and Angel can go tonight. It was just a little spell, Giles, so none of us could be held in Sunnydale and not be found. I only did it to help and look, it’s helping.”

“Willow, breathe. If I understand what you just said, you cast a location charm on Xander..”

“On all of you, well, except for Angel and Spike because, you know, it works from your life force and hey, vampire there, no life force. I just wanted to help.”

Giles had removed his glasses and was cleaning the lenses, stalling for time as he tried to figure out what to say to the young witch. “Willow, it is all well and good that you wanted to help, but you should have mentioned this before now. Did you ever consider talking to me about the spell first and possibly asking permission before you cast the charm? You know how Xander feels about magic. From now on, at least ask before you cast. Now let’s see if we can tell where in Sunnydale he is being held.” The whole group was gathered around the table staring at the map.

“I know that area, there’s several abandoned houses. Shit, I know where he’s at. There’s this big, old house right in the middle of that block, me and Dru looked at it once. It was before we moved into that warehouse. It’s got a sewer access in the cellar, that’s probably how they disappeared so fast, the bleedin’ sewers. We have to go, now, before they move again.” Grabbing the weapons from where they had laid them when they come in, the group headed for the back door.

“Dawn, I want you and Tara to stay here with Willow. If the others call or show up, let them know what’s going on.” Buffy ordered.

“Buffy, I’m going too..”

“No, you’re not, Dawnie. You and Tara were hurt last night and I want you to stay here and stay safe. Please, just once, no arguing, okay? I would make anyone that was hurt stay behind, not just you. Do you hear Tara arguing about it? You two won’t be at your best and we don’t know what we’ll run into.” Dawn grabbed Buffy and hugged her.

“Just bring him back, okay?”

“Promise.” Buffy headed to the back door, the vampires had already run to the sewer access and were at the bottom waiting for the rest.

“God, I hate these damn tunnels, they stink really bad and they're hell on my shoes.”

“Tell you what, Slayer, we get my Xan-pet back and I’ll buy you a pair of proper galoshes for wearing down here.”

“That’s nice, Spike but isn’t galosh that red stew stuff with paprika in it.”

Spike, Angel and Giles were laughing, “That’s goulash, Slayer. Galoshes are rubber boots that you put over your shoes.”

“Well, they sound alike, how was I supposed to know?” Giles just rolled his eyes.

Using Willow’s map to guide them, they made their way through the tunnels heading for the other side of Sunnydale. After walking for what seemed like hours, Spike began counting exits.

“This one opens up in the cellar and no windows so we won’t have to worry about the sun. Angel and me’ll be able to see the best so you two stay behind us. You better hold on to each other, if I remember it right, this cellar has no light of any kind. Wincing at the noise the door made, Spike carefully eased the door open and looked around the room before leaving the tunnel. He didn’t want to run into any surprises. It was completely dark in the damp, musty room; there was no light at all, just a deep stygian darkness. They could hear something moving around on the floor above them and were walking very carefully towards the steps. The two humans finally had to grab hold of the vampire’s arms and be led across the room. Without some form of light, they were totally blind. As they got closer to the stairs, they could hear the faint sound of voices from upstairs. The vampires started growling and stopped so quickly that Giles ran into Angel. Angel and Spike were sniffing the air, trying to figure out what had their senses going crazy, causing them to vamp out..

“Fuck, it’s Dru. Dru’s got my boy. I swear that if she’s hurt him, she’s dust. Oh God what if she’s turned him? Peaches, you’ll have to do it, I can’t, I won’t.”

“What in the hell are you talking about, Spike? What will Angel have to do?” Buffy did not like the way this conversation was going.

“The last time Dru tried making a childe, I had to put the poor bugger down. He was a raving lunatic. My princess on her worst day wasn’t as crazy as that poor sod. If..if she’s turned my Xan, we can’t let him leave here. And before you ask Red, no, the soul restoration spell won’t help. There’s something in Dru’s blood that makes the turning go wrong.”

“Wil, calm down. We don’t know why she’s here or why she took Xander. Let’s just go..” Angel was interrupted by a blood-curdling scream coming from upstairs. The vampires tore up the stairs leaving the humans to stumble their way up. The scene they rushed into was like something out of a nightmare. Drusilla was holding Xander by the arm, leading him towards a large demon, it was another Graz’elktheus demon just like the one that had attacked Xander in the cemetery over a month ago. Xander was screaming with fear and calling for Spike. The boy was fighting and trying to pull away from the vampire. Before Angel or Spike could move, the demon pulled back his arm and with one quick movement clawed down the center of Xander’s chest reopening the original wound.

“NO!!! XANDER..” Spike flew across the room, pushing Drusilla out of the way and catching Xander before he could hit the floor. He sat on the floor and pulled the boy into his lap, rocking him and howling, a high pitched keening noise that raised goosebumps on the skin and made the hairs on the back of their necks stand up. Angel had Drusilla by the arm keeping her from moving.

“Daddy, you're hurting my arm.” Drusilla was pouting.

“Why did you do it Dru? Why did you hurt Xander? Jealous because of Spike?” Angel was violently shaking his childe.

“Didn’t hurt, only helped the Kitten. The stars sang to me that I must do the magic and save Dark Kitten for my Spike. Miss Edith told me I had to get the magic Demon and make Kitten all shiny new again. Spikie, Kitten will be all better now. We did the magic and now he’ll be new again. Will he be my little brother, Spike?”

While the Angel tried to make sense of what Dru was saying, Buffy had gone into slayer mode and gotten rid of the demon. Unfortunately, it stunk even worse in an enclosed space. “Shit, I forgot it was a slimer. The sewer would smell better than this mess. Guys, we may want to get out of here while we can still breathe, it’s getting kinda rank.”

Spike picked up Xander and was heading for the open cellar door when Drusilla grabbed his arm, but she let go quickly when he went into game face and hissed at her.

“Daddy, please tell Spikie I was a good girl, I only did what Miss Edith said I must. I was good and didn’t even taste the Kitten. Spike mustn’t be mad at me, I had to do it, I had to make my Kitten all better.” Drusilla began to weep as Angel pulled her towards the door.

They made their way back to the sewer entrance, Buffy holding Dru while Angel helped Spike get Xander down into the sewer. “I’m taking Xan home. There’s an entrance in the basement, s’why he got that apartment. You lot go on to the shop and get the others. Angel, I don’t want Dru there, I don’t care what you do with her just keep her away from my mate.”

Buffy handed Dru off to Angel and went to stand next to Spike. “I’ll go with you and help. You can’t get Xan up out of here alone, Spike. Come on let’s get him home and clean that wound up.”

“Thanks, Sla…Buffy.” Spike took off quickly and Buffy had to run to catch up with him. The rest headed for the tunnel that would lead back to The Magic Box. It was a long tense walk to the opening behind the store with the heavy silence only broken by the sound of Drusilla’s occasional weeping. Giles went up first to open the back door so the two vampires could run straight in, it was in the shade but still daylight. As they walked in, the three girls who had been waiting ran up to them, all talking at once, but it was Willow who first noticed the extra vampire.

“Dru..Drusilla? Where did she come from? Angel, why are you hanging on to Dru? Where’s Xan…” Before she could say another word, the front door flew open and the rest of the Angel Investigations team came in.

“ANGEL, what in the hell is your insano-childe doing here? And where in the hell is my Xander? I thought you were going to get him and again I ask ‘what in the hell is Drusilla doing here?’” Cordelia was working herself up to a full-blown fit when Drusilla broke away from Angel and flew over to Willow, grabbing her around the waist and hugging her.

“Please, Little Tree, please tell daddy I had to do the magic. I had to make the Kitten all better for Spike. The stars were screaming at me that I must do it. I had to get the magic demon here to help my Dark Kitten be all better.” Willow didn’t quite know what else to do so she started patting Dru on the back trying to calm her. “I was a good girl, Little Tree, I didn’t taste at all and he smelled so sweet, but Miss Edith said I mustn’t taste Kitten because he belongs to Spike now. Kitten is my new brother, I would never hurt him.”

“Angel? What did Dru do? And where’s Xander?” Willow was nervous having Dru so close but knew Angel could stop her from doing anything and the vampire seemed quieter standing by her and Tara.

“She’s the one who had him kidnapped and when we got there, another demon like the first clawed Xander across the same spot and Xander just collapsed. Spike and Buffy took him back to his apartment and we came here to gather everyone up and head over there. It turns out there is basement access into Xander’s building. Now, Dru…princess, why did you kidnap Xander? You need to tell daddy all about why you did it.”

“Told you. Had to do the magic to make it better for Spike and Kitten.” Drusilla almost looked sane and lucid at that moment.

“, do that maybe means it? Sh..she was trying to Xander? I thi..think she’s se..serious about it. H..her aura never ch..chan..changes.” Tara could see that Drusilla’s aura never changed as she explained. It stayed a pure blood red, shot through with threads of the finest silver, Drusilla, as insane as she was, was truly a seer. “Sh..she’s really a s..seer. Her aura is ri..ribboned with si..silver.”

“Angel, Tara knows what she’s talking about, she can see auras and knows how to read them. It’s her gift.”

“S..he’s like Cordelia, only instead of blue for human, C..Cordelia’s is b…blue and but it’s sh..shot through with s..s..silver. That m..means s..seer. Drus..s..silla’s is dark red with s..silver.”

“Well, that makes sense, I’m not totally human anymore. To live through those killer brain attacks, I had to be made part demon. Not a word out of you Willow.” Cordy pointed her finger at the redheaded witch.

“I wasn’t going to say a thing about suspecting that all along, but are you sure they did it recently? I mean I always suspected…”


“That’s not what the guys that dated you said.” Willow ducked behind a giggling Drusilla.

“We need to head to Xander’s. I’ll take Dru through the sewers and meet you there.” Angel offered his arm to his childe and escorted her back to the door, put a blanket over them, and ran with her to the sewer opening.

Spike was going out of his mind. It had been over twenty-four hours since the demon had clawed his Xan-pet and he still hadn’t woken up. The group in the living room was driving him crazy, he just wanted to be alone with his mate. He heard the television come on and the talk of ordering food..okay that was it, enough. Spike stomped into the living room.

“Alright you lot..OUT! Get your stuff together and go home, now. You’re bloody well driving me crazy.”

“Spike..” Buffy stammered.

“Childe..I’m..” Angel stared speaking.

“Don’t want to hear it. Scoobies go home. Angel take your bunch to the hotel and take Dru with you. I want to be alone with Xan, I want quiet and you lot don’t know the meaning of the word. I have everybody’s phone numbers and if anything happens, I’ll call, immediately. Now, GET. OUT.” Spike was standing at the door holding it open, obviously not going to give them a chance to argue. After Spike ‘helped’ everyone out the door, he headed back to the bedroom. Xander lay in the middle of the bed, perfectly still and if Spike hadn’t been a vampire, he would have thought he wasn’t breathing.

Spike kissed his mate on the forehead and went to the kitchen to heat some blood, he was going to eat, shower, and then go to bed. He was so tired; he was about to drop. He was running on auto-pilot as he finished his blood, stripped off in the hallway and got in the shower. His mate had to wake up, he had to be better, and nothing else would be acceptable. “I can’t even bring him over, shit, he could still think he’s six.” Spike stood under the pounding shower and cried out his frustration and pain, bloody red tears mixing with the water. He wanted his Xan-pet back, he missed his humor and that wide, crooked smile that made him want to throw the boy down and fuck him through the floor. He finished up and headed to the bedroom and lay down next to Xander. “Pet, I’m here, I just need you to come back to me, I miss you.” The vampire curled next to the human letting his warmth soak into him and soothe his anguish until he fell into a deep sleep.

It was totally dark in the apartment, but he didn’t need to light to get to the kitchen for a drink. Maybe some hot chocolate with little marshmallows, that would be good and it might help him get back to sleep. He poured milk into a pan to start heating while he got the rest of the stuff out of the cabinet. He would always think of Joyce when he did this, this was always her solution to feeling down. He was just reaching for the bag of marshmallows when the kitchen light was turned on.

“Pet, what did I tell you about being in the kitchen alone.” As Spike spoke, Xander jerked up and the bag went flying out of his hand.

“AARGHH! Are you trying to give me a freaking heart attack??? What do you mean ‘being in the kitchen alone’? Have you lost your mind? Spike?”

“Xan-pet?” Spike asked in a whisper.

“Yeah, that would be me.” Spike ran over to the brunette and grabbed him in a crushing hug, kissing him on every bit of flesh he could reach. “Spike, breathing getting to be a problem here.” Spike loosened his hold on his mate but kept running his hands over him as if he needed the reassurance that it really was his mate. “Spike, what in the hell is going on? You’re acting really weird.”

“She did it, she really did it. My princess really knew what she was doing. What’s the last thing you remember, pet?”

“Uhh, fighting some big demon thingie in the cemetery. Why?” Xander was looking very confused.

“That was over a month ago. You got wounded and the mojo did something to your brain. thought you were a child.”

“A child?”

“Come here, pet.” Spike turned to other lights on and led the confused man into the living room and motioned to all the toys scattered around the room.

“I was a child..and you took care of me?”

“Of course I did, wouldn’t let anyone else. You’re my mate, my love. I would take care of you forever.” Spike couldn’t stand it any longer and grabbed Xan in another crushing hug. “Gods, I missed you, Xan, have to have you, have to have you now. Please, pet need to be inside of you, need to feel you, thought I’d never be able to do it again, thought I’d lost you.” Xander grabbed a double handful of soft blonde hair and pulled the vampire to him and attacked the cool mouth. He could feel that his mate didn’t need gentle, he needed it fast and hard, confirming that his lover was with him again. Spike put one leg behind Xander’s and gently swept his legs out from under him, turning their bodies so the human came down on top of him.

“We need something..need lube. You stay right there, don’t you move blondie.” Xander ran to the kitchen and got the small bottle of olive oil. He didn’t have time to look for lube, Spike needed him now. “You just lay there and watch me. This is for you, love you Spike, love you forever.”

The brunette ripped his boxers off and then pulled Spike’s down his legs and off. He knelt down by the vampire, leaning over and gently kissing him as he took the cap off the oil and poured some on his fingers. He reached down and rubbed it between his ass cheeks, breaching his opening with one finger, not stopping till it was all the way in. Spike was watching him intently; his eyes changing between blue and gold, while his love began preparing his body just for him. Xander threw his head back and moaned as he added a second finger. He started using them to fuck his own ass, working the slick oil in as far as he could. Spike began panting as he watched his beautiful mate add a third finger, using them to stretch the tight little rosette.

“Xan..please, can’t wait..need you now.” He gasped when Xander poured some of the oil over his hard cock and slowly lowered himself onto the rigid length, pausing for a moment to let his body adjust, then lifting himself almost off Spike’s cock and slamming back down. “Gods, pet..more.” Spike grabbed Xander’s hips and began to lift him almost off, then pulling him back down while he thrust his hips upward, impaling his love on his cock. He was reveling in the feeling of being in Xander’s moist, hot sheath again. “Can’t stop, pet, going to cum, feels too good.” He grabbed Xander’s hard, weeping length and started to squeeze and pull the hard cock in the same rhythm Xander was using to fuck him. He wanted them to cum together, needed this reaffirmation of their love. “With me, love, cum with me. Together, always together, love you Xan, love you forever.” He pulled Xander down on him one last time and thrust up, filling the grasping channel with his cold cum. When Xander felt Spike’s cock spasming in completion deep in his ass, he screamed as his hot cum shot out onto Spike’s stomach. He collapsed on top of Spike, panting and trying to catch his breath. It was ten minutes before either could move

“God, Spike that was..that was incredible. Uh, Spike, why are there Transformers staring at me? I don’t own any..hey, these are my old Transformers and there’s my Hot Wheels. These are my old toys. Where’d they come from?”

“Red. She knew how those wankers you call parents were so she kept them. She said you left them at her house to play with so no one would take them from you. She’s been saving them for you.”

“She’s had them all this time? For me?” Xan’s eyes were glassy with unshed tears.

“Of course she did, git. They love you, Xan. Red brought all these over, Slayer and Bit bought you the Legos and had as much fun as you did putting the things together, Glinda bought those games. She said that all little kids needed Candy Land and some silly thing with little cherries. Of course, Rupes is responsible for the books, proper British classics like Winnie the Pooh naturally.”

“Naturally and the fire truck? Where did it come from?”

“Me. When I heard what the bastard of a father did with yours, I sent slayer out to get you a new one. You never deserved to be treated like that, pet. It don’t matter what excuse the bastard used, you never deserved it.”

“ parents? I..I talked about them? I never talked about them to anyone before. I didn’t want anyone to know.” He was having a problem catching his breath.

“Xan-pet, easy. Take a breath luv. Xander, I didn’t say to breathe like a bloody racehorse, slow it down a bit. Don’t want to have to put a paper bag over your face. Yeah, you told us about everything. It was all we could do to keep Slayer from paying them a visit, not that I wouldn’t have gone with her. We all know, and we all still love you.”

Xander had tears streaming down his face; “I never wanted anyone to know what they were like. And they don’t think I’m bad?”

Spike pulled his boy tightly to him. “Of course they don’t think you're bad, pet. They all love you. Hell, even Peaches told you a bedtime story.”

“ANGEL!! Deadboy’s here an..and..a bedtime story?? Oh shit, do I really want to know anymore?”

“Probably not, even though you would have loved the look on his face every time you called him Angel-peaches. We need to get cleaned up so I can call the lot of them. I promised them I would do it if anything changed.”

After a quick shower, Spike got on the phone and called everyone involved and told them they needed to get to the apartment right away, but not telling them why.

“You are evil, my love.”

“You just figuring that out, pet?” Spike posed Xander by the bedroom door so that he would be the first thing they all saw as they came in the door. He was holding his fire truck to his chest like he would never turn it loose, wearing the sweats and t-shirt the group knew he slept in.

“Here they come, pet and it’s all of them. Oh, did I mention that the cheerleader was with them?” Xander hit Spike upside the head then nodded to him to let them in. “Here we go, Xan.”

Spike waited till they knocked then slowly opened the door. They first thing they saw was Xander, standing there holding his firetruck.

“Hi Angel-peaches. Are you going to tell me another story?” The entire group groaned, it hadn’t worked, Xander still thought he was six. Drusilla began to laugh at the upset looks on everyone else’s faces. “Come on Deadboy, how about it?”

“Sure I’ll rea..Dead...deadboy? Harris, that was not funny.”

“Yes, it was, Angel.” Buffy laughed as she ran to grab Xander. “My Xander shaped friend is back.” Willow pushed Buffy out of her way so she could get the next hug.

That seemed to release the rest of the group and they all rushed up to Xander, laughing and touching him. They had to make sure he was all right and really better. Xander had finally been hugged by and shaken hands with all but one of the large group. He walked slowly over to the last person and gently pulled her into a powerful hug.

“Thank you, ‘Auntie Dru’. Thank you for bringing me back to Spike.” Xander rested his cheek against the top of the vampire’s head and just held her. He owed everything to her. She had brought him back to Spike, back to his forever love and his forever friends.

The End

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