Pairing: Spike/Xander
Rating: NC17 easily!!!!!!!!
Feedback: Mys has decided that she actually likes FB, so… constructive crit is fine, just be prepared for Mys to defend/explain her choices, and try not to do any permanent damage, k.
Disclaimer: Just playing with the pretty kittens. Unfortunately, they are not mine, but I will gladly groom and bathe them before sending them back home to Daddy (aka Joss/Mutant Enemy/et al).
Warnings/Squicks: NON-CON- lots of non-con some implied some more graphic, ABUSE- both physical and mental!
Summary: Xander’s nightmares have piqued the curiosity of our favourite insanely jealous and protective peroxide vamp… the story he uncovers is disturbing, even to a Childe of Angelus.

AN1: READ THE WARNINGS!
AN2: If you missed it this is NOT one of Mys’ schmoopfests! There is NON-CON and ABUSE and angst and lots (she hopes) of comfort to make up for all the icky stuff.
AN3: This is Mys’ first attempt at anything touching on subjects this dark, so she hopes she did okay, and recognizes that this may not have worked as well as she could have hoped. …so be gentle, ’k.
AN4: Sections beginning with ********* with text in italics indicate the past; *** indicate flashback.

A huge immeasurable thank you with matching hugs and chocolate for my precious [info]bmblbee, who convinced Mys to buy this bunny a hutch, pre-read the fic and told me it didn’t suck. HUGS BEE





Comfort of Fiends


by
Cobalt Mystic



1 With Fiends Like These



“Oi, Whelp!? You in there?”

Groaning, Xander pulled his pillow over his head. “Go away, Spike!”

“’ey, not very nice way to treat the bloke bringin’ ya coffee and doughnuts.”

Lifting the edge of his pillow, he peered out at the vamp making himself at home in his basement. “Okay,” the groggy mortal sat up, “I give. Why is the big nasty not-so-evil chipped vampire bringing me pastry goodness and the fuel of the gods? Is it April already? Or just another apocalypse?”

“Neither, ya git,” Spike snapped as he pushed a styrofoam cup into the young man’s hand.

Greedily, Xander gulped the hot bitter liquid.

“Chits are worried ‘bout you.”

“Really?” Xander looked questioningly at the vamp.

“Yeah.”

It always amazed Xander how the blonde could fit so much meaning into one little word. In this case, he was pretty sure ‘yeah’ meant ‘no, not really, but try to prove it and see how far it gets you’ but with more British-isms. “Doubt that. Wills would be here if they were that worried.”

Spike inclined his head conceding the point, “Yeah, well, don’t exactly know how else to take it when the whole lot of ‘em clam up like they did.”

Xander’s eyes widened, “I’m impressed, Spike. Not many could strike my girls speechless. What did you do?”

“Asked who Jesse was.”

Vampiric speed and reflexes were all that saved Xander from a trip to the hospital and at least second degree burns. Quietly, with a frightening chill in his voice, Xander asked, “Where’d you hear that name?” Please don’t say it. Please don’t say it. Please. Don’t. Say. It.

Every bit as quietly but with a surprising warmth, the vamp answered, “You.” Then as if aiming to reassert his ‘Big Bad’ status, “Dream about the bloke often enough, figured it’d be worth finding out who your boyfriend was.”

Suddenly, Spike found himself on the floor, a stake at his throat. Trying his best to chuckle mockingly, “Shit, Harris, all this time helping the Slayer and ya can’t remember where to stake a vampire.”

Snarling, Xander replied, “You assume I want to dust your sorry fangless ass, maybe I just want to hurt you and watch you bleed.”

“Xander,” Spike was awestruck, whether that was good or bad he wasn’t certain, but he did know the vehemence and hatred in the boy’s eyes and tone sent chills through his undead body. Part of his brain wondered if this was the Xander Harris that'd faced down Angelus years ago.

As suddenly as the mortal had been on him, he was gone. Striding towards the bathroom, Xander didn’t look back as he called, “I want you gone by the time I’m done.”


~*~*~*~*~


Spike stalked through the tunnels beneath Sunnydale, daring anyone or anything to cross his path. He was a Master Vampire, and he was pissed! The whelp was his to torment and the mere thought of anyone else having that power over the boy caused his demon to rage. And where did the boy get off- kicking him out, attacking him? The boy was his and he had every right to know who caused his boy so many restless and conflictingly scented nights.
Well, Spike was resourceful, even when he was human he had a talent for finding information and this wouldn’t be any different. He just needed to figure out where to start.


~*~*~*~*~


Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck! Xander wanted to kick himself… and Spike. Why did he have to start with the nightmares again? Why’d the Bleached Menace have to hear? Gods, he wasn’t up to going through this again.

Then there was the anger- he hated that part of himself; it looked too much like his father. He could only hope Spike wouldn’t bring it up- yeah, right.

Resisting the urge to pound his head into the shower tiles, he instead rubbed his forehead against the cool pseudo-porcelain and let the freezing water sluice over him, the chill both comforting and refreshing.

*********


“Christ Xan. What did he do to you this time?”

“Oh you know, same ol’ same ol’.” The battered boy winced as he sat down.

“He didn’t?”

“Huh? Oh, nah not this time, just nailed me good against the coffee table.”

“Good. ‘cause that sweet ass in mine.”

Xander cringed at the other boy’s words, but at least Jesse took care of him- after a fashion. That’s what he told himself anyway. Jesse didn’t beat him senseless, split him open, and fuck him raw. Jesse helped tend his wounds, kept his secret, and used lube and stretched him (a little) before fucking him. Jesse also claimed he loved him.

“Strip.”

Jesse’s tone was commanding, rather than caring. Still, Xander did as he was told, then lay on his bruised back across Jesse’s bed.

In the frighteningly methodical way he always did, Jesse would examine, poke and prod every cut and bruise on his friend’s body. The boy seemed to get some dark sadistic pleasure from Xander’s wounds. Task completed he’d then kiss his injured companion hard and possessively before quickly preparing him and taking him only slightly less roughly than his father would have.

This time was no different.

As Jesse pounded into him, Xander did his best to block out the words tumbling from the boy’s mouth. He focused on feeling- feeling anything but his bruises and the emptiness inside. Unfortunately, that always brought him back to how this all started…

*** School had just begun, days were still long and southern California hot, and teenage boys would sneak out to meet each other and make the most of their stolen time.

Xander was supposed to meet Jesse by the old tree house that evening, but he never arrived.

An hour passed before Jesse gave in and decided to go check on his friend.

The light in Xander’s room was on and the window was cracked open. With skill that came with years of experience the lanky boy scaled the old birch outside Xander’s window. What he saw sent shivers through him.

It was no secret to the boy that Xander’s father was abusive, even Xander wasn’t that clumsy, but he’d never suspected this. Jesse watched enthralled as Tony Harris savagely violated his own son.

Blood flowed in intricate trails over Xander’s back and down between his legs. The sight both horrified and aroused the young man in the tree. He ached with desire to be the one penetrating the dark boy he claimed as his best friend, to have that power.

Once the elder Harris ‘finished’ and left his son’s room, Jesse made his move, scrambling through the window to the abused boy on the floor. Jesse unceremoniously ripped a sheet off the bed, wrapping it around his friend and cradling Xander to him.

Xander flinched violently at Jesse’s touch, thinking his father had returned, but he stilled quickly at the feel of a hand, much slimmer than his father’s, combing his hair and the quietly murmured, “Xan, it’s me. It’s Jesse. He’s gone, Xan, he’s gone.”

Silent tears trickled down Xander’s face and into Jesse’s shirt as the boy either succumbed to exhaustion or, more likely, passed out.

---

Xander awoke with a start the following morning. He was in his bed with an arm around his waist and a warm body pressed to his back. Not how he was used to waking up after one of his father’s beatings.

Then a familiar voice said, “Hey, you’re awake.”

“Jesse?”

“Shh, you were expecting the bogey-man?”

The boy chuckled, “Ow…”

The painful sound reminded them both of exactly why Jesse was sharing Xander’s bed.

“How long?”

Xander shook his head against the pillow, willing the question away.

When his friend didn’t answer, Jesse took a harder approach, his tone commanding an answer, “How long?”

Sheepishly, as if the mere thought of the words would earn him another beating, Xander answered, “Since Mom went to her sister’s last Summer.”

“Christ Xan, why didn’t you come to me or Willow?”

“God Jesse, you won’t tell Willow, will you? You know how she gets when she can’t fix something.”

Petting the boy in his arms, Jesse tried to reassure him, “Calm down Xan, I won’t tell her. I promise. Right now, you need to rest. We’ll talk about this later.”

Slowly, he relaxed into his friend’s warmth and the knowledge that, for the moment at least, he wasn’t alone. Just before he drifted to sleep, he muttered, “Thanks Jesse.”***

*********

Pacing, Spike decided, was an activity best left to expectant fathers and areas larger than a crypt- or larger than his crypt. After hours of futilely chasing sleep, the vampire surrendered to his need to pace and (he growled as the thought escaped his addled brain) brood.

How was he going to find this Jesse person, ‘specially with the chits playing mum? Not like he could ask good ol’ Rupert either. And he wasn’t desperate enough to risk the Great Poof’s involvement even if the cheerleader knew something.

Hmph, cheerleaders, the vamp snickered, stupid bints posing for the camera, barely ‘nough blood in their anorexic bodies for an appetizer. That’s when it hit him- pictures, yearbooks. This Jesse was someone from his boy’s past, which meant high school most likely since the chits knew him, and his boy was bound to have a couple of those blasted mementos around somewhere.

A plan began to present itself- nice and simple. He’d wait for the Whelp to be off making a fool of himself at whatever half-arsed minimum wage job he was working, sneak into the basement and snoop. It was something he’d done countless times since his forced co-habitation with the boy; only difference now was he had something specific to look for.

A mischievous evil grin settled on his lips, a matching glint sparkled in his eyes. This plan was cheering Spike up quite nicely.


~*~*~*~*~


Hidden deep in the shadows, concealed from the glow of nearby streetlights and the invasive headlights of the occasional passing car, Spike waited for the young mortal to leave. He stifled a growl when the boy emerged wearing the humiliating uniform of the week, and watched as he climbed into his monstrosity of a car and drove off. When this little puzzle was sussed, he’d have to see about pushing the Whelp towards a decent job. But right now, he had a man to find.

Spike slipped easily into the basement, nostrils flaring at the heady scent of his boy- his anger, fear, lust, and the underlying ever-present sweet scent of purity that enticed his demon so.

With the knowledge of previous scavenges, Spike quickly locate the books. Carefully, with a reverence he’d deny vehemently if ever questioned, the vamp tucked the books securely in his duster and slipped back out into the night.





2 Fiends and Enemies

Xander stumbled through his shift, his mind was more distant than usual after the morning’s Fangless encounter. Damn-it, it shouldn’t bother him so much- just because he and the Bleached Wonder were developing a bit less of a hatred for each other and maybe it was nice to have another guy around who was more of an outcast/fifth wheel than he was, but that didn’t mean they were friends or that he cared about hurting the vamp’s feelings.

It wasn’t Spike’s fault he'd hit on a sensitive subject- not that he thought for a moment the snarky blonde wouldn’t use it against him if he had known- or that Xander was having the nightmares again. It probably wasn’t even the vamp’s fault that he’d overheard enough to pick Jesse’s name out of Xander’s sleep induced mutterings.

Xander felt bad, guilty even, he shouldn’t have reacted the way he had- letting his emotions get the better of him. By the end of his shift, Xander reached the conclusion that, while he didn’t feel guilty enough to hunt down the Not-So-Evil-Undead and apologize, he could afford to make sure he had some decent blood on hand and be a little more civil the next time he saw the vamp- providing said vamp didn’t bring up the incident or Jesse.

*********


“Hey, how’re my two best buds this fine October morning?” Xander practically bounced up to Willow and Jesse.

His exuberance coupled with his flashy, baggy clothes always put Willow in mind of Gummi Bears and that image never failed to produce a giggle. “Hey, Xan! Feeling better I take it?”

“You bet, besides I missed you guys.”

“Hmm, more likely you missed cheerleading practice,” the lanky boy joked.

“Well…,” Xander shrugged his shoulders and gave a mischievous smirk.

“Oh, you two, I would tell you to stop being hormonal, but I doubt it would do any good.” The redhead gathered her books and stood, “Have fun ogling, I’m going to class.”

The girl received two salutes and “Yes, Ma’am!”s as she wandered away from the boys.

“So,” Jesse plopped down on the bench next to his friend, “you really okay?”

“Yeah, Xan-man’s made of rubber- he always bounces back.” The boy offered an entirely too honest and world-weary smile.

“You should’ve called me. I would’ve come, you know that.”

“Jesse…” This was the first time since waking up with his best-friend in his bed that Xander’s father had had a go at him.

“No, Xan. I’m serious, you shouldn’t be alone after… that!”

“Jesse, he didn’t…”

“I don’t care. Obviously, I do; what I meant was it doesn’t matter how bad or how far.” He gripped his best-friend’s shoulder, “If you’re not gonna do something about it before, you’re at least going to come to me after. You understand me?”

Xander gave a half-hearted smile, “Yeah, Jesse. I get ya.”

“Good! Now, which way did the Cordettes go?”

------

It was a few weeks later when Jesse snatched up the ringing phone to hear his best-friend’s hoarse and broken voice, “Jesse… need you.”

“Hang on Xan, I’m coming.”

Once again the slim boy climbed the old tree be Xander’s window. Peering inside, he could just make out the shape of the boy curled into a ball on the floor. Quickly, Jesse went to his friend’s side, helping him onto the bed before locking and blocking the bedroom door. The lanky teen then returned to his beaten friend, stripped down to his boxers, and climbed into bed with him.
As he slowly began to calm, Xander pushed closer into Jesse’s welcoming embrace, chanting, “You came. You came. You came,” over and over as if he thought the boy would vanish if he didn’t maintain the mantra.

---

Within a few short months, Jesse had established the cycle Mr. Harris followed, and the two boys quickly fell into a routine based on that. If his father laid into him during the day or outside his ‘cycle’, Xander would either call or make his way to Jesse. At night, Jesse would wait in the old birch, watching the ‘activities’ going on in Xander’s bedroom. Sometimes nothing would happen, save for some terrifying shouting and threats. Sometimes, Xander would have a few new bruises to conceal. And sometimes as Tony Harris pounded into his son, the boy watched, wishing he was in place of the elder Harris. Stripping his dribbling shaft roughly in time to the large man’s grunts, imagining it was him taking Xander- owning him.
Afterwards, Jesse would climb through Xander’s window to hold and comfort him.

It was during one of these ‘comfort sessions’ that their lips first touched. Neither boy had intended for it to happen, nor had they intended for the heated clash of tongues, lips, and teeth that followed to occur. Never-the-less, it did happen, giving each boy what they craved- for one, compassion; the other, power.

Jesse was on cloud nine- he’d kissed Xander, and Xander’d kissed him! More importantly, Jesse now knew he could get what he wanted. The lanky boy smiled almost manically chuckling to himself as he made his way home- it was not a warming sight.

*********

After leaving the Whelp’s wretched excuse for a home, Spike acquired himself a fresh bottle of JD and returned to his crypt to settle in for a fun filled night of reading the boy’s high school yearbooks. The vampire shuddered- he just hoped one bottle would be enough.

---

The first book he looked through was the most recent, and incredibly disturbing; mainly because it proved to him that Harmony was actually more intelligent and tolerable as a demon than when she was alive. Spike couldn’t help but be amazed she’d lasted as long as she had on the Hellmouth. The blonde vamp downed half the bottle of Jack just to dull those memories.

As he flipped through the next book, the Scoobies’ Junior year, he was surprised by how vivid and fresh his own emotions were from those months.

Angelus returning, more psychotic and cruel than he’d ever been.

His Dark Princess, happy and healthier than she’d been in decades, dancing around her Sire all gleeful and giddy, her pale skin marred by Daddy’s wounds and her own sweet blood.

That blasted chair, never again, he’d rather be staked or greet the sun one final time then be a prisoner in his own body again. He still had nightmares about that, only now there were white rooms and white coats and cold hard cages added to the mix.

Angrily, Spike gulped the remaining liquor before hurling the bottle against the nearest wall. “T’ hells with this,” he announced to the air. “’m still the Big Bad, Master Vampire, two Slayers under m’ belt, don’t need to be pussy-footing ‘round ‘s if I need permission. Wanna know ‘bout the bastard and the Whelp’s gonna bloody well tell me!”
The blonde grabbed his duster and stormed out of the crypt, determined to get some answers from his boy.


~*~*~*~*~


Spike strode purposefully towards the boy’s house, revising and dismissing ways the scene could play out. One of the few scenarios the vamp hadn’t considered was being hit by the scent of the boy’s fear and sorrow the moment he was in sight of the Harris homestead. The flash of anger at someone or something, other than him, scaring his boy that badly shocked the vampire. Instantly, Spike was at the boy’s window, peering into the dark depths of the basement.

His boy sat on that horrid sofa bed, a small photo in his hands and a stake laying next to him. Spike strained to hear what the boy was saying, his confusion and anger ratcheting with the hodgepodge of words he could make out.

“So sorry, Jesse, so sorry, but she… you… it wasn’t because of… you were still my friend… still my friend…,” the boy sobbed, hiccupping, and fighting for breath. “It wasn’t ‘cause of… it WASN’T! You were my friend, you… it wasn’t right, none of it was.” Slowly the boy cried himself out and fell into a highly troubled sleep.

The moment he was certain Xander was asleep, Spike quickly let himself inside and bee lined it for the boy. He unceremoniously snatched up the photo to see exactly who had this effect on his boy. If he hadn’t been so angry, Big Bad status aside, he would have smiled at the picture. It had obviously been taken outside of The Bronze; a tall, lean, dark-haired boy whose face and body screamed ‘awkward teenager’ stood in the centre, his arms flung around Red on one side and Xander on the other. Spike was amazed, he couldn’t remember when he’d seen either Scooby so completely carefree and happy. The vampire felt a sharp stabbing pain in his chest- this was his boy. How dare someone else make him that happy or cause him this much pain. Involuntarily, Spike hissed through demon fangs, the sound just loud enough to disturb the mortal’s sleep.

Whimpering, “No Jesse… please… I promise he didn’t. Promise… would tell you.”

The vampire crept to the boy’s side. The question of whether or not to risk waking the young man was dismissed with barely a thought- a thought that ran along the lines of ‘mine, protect, mine, hurt, mine!’ Adopting the voice he used when comforting Dru, the vamp carded his fingers through his boy’s hair and cooed, “It’s okay, luv, calm down. That’s it, Xan, everything’s gonna be alright. Now, what is it you’d tell me?”

The boy squirmed, obviously upset at the question, but eventually he spoke, “If he fucked me,” he keened.

Spike saw red. His demon saw red. And the urge to dismember the bastard that dared touch Xander that way was strong enough to set off the chip, but his fury was so deep and pure that the normally debilitating pain was barely a blip on his internal radar. In fact, for once the pain seemed to serve as a focus, showing the vamp what had to be done.

First and foremost was getting his boy out of here. That meant getting Xander a decent job and convincing him he could and deserved to have his own place. Then he’d see about disembowelling the waste of flesh his dark human had misfortune enough to call a father. Spike’d lived with the boy, he didn’t need the ‘who’ spelt out for him. He’d heard the rages and seen the bruises Xander passed off as patrol injuries. Yes, chip or no, that human was going to pay.

Spike stayed at the young man’s side until he seemed to reach a fairly peaceful sleep. A lesser demon might’ve been shocked by how much it seemed Spike cared for the boy and by how easily his mind accepted the knowledge, but this was Spike and after over a century with Drusilla, sudden emotional revelations were a drop in the hat- processed and dealt with as simply and easily as breathing was by the living. Besides, he might not have gotten all his answers, but he'd got a lot- and some new questions he didn’t even know he'd had.





3 A Fiend in Need

“Gods damn-it all Xander, as improbable as it may seem, you can talk to me.” The vamp was going insane, his boy was obviously upset, but he wouldn’t talk. Since the night Spike had discovered exactly how bad things got at the Harris house, he’d set about befriending the boy and getting him the hell away from that place and those people. So far things were going well, Xander was enjoying his new job, construction work suited him, and he was settling nicely into his new apartment. Now if the boy would just open up a bit, but no, he was stubbornly silent. In a last ditch attempt to get a reaction from his boy, “’sides, not like I ‘aven’t sussed most of it myself.”

The young mortal snorted, “Yeah, and what is it you think you know, Spike? What? That my parents are alcoholics, that good ol’ Dad has a tendency to get wasted and take his frustration out on me? Well, newsflash Bleach for Brains, it’s old news and it’s not like I’m the only kid from a rotten home.” The mortal was raging and pacing, his emotions clamouring closer to the surface.

In a soft, heartfelt whisper the vamp replied, “You left out the bit where he rapes you.”

Xander spun on his heels to face the vampire, his rage evident and tears threatening to spill down his face. He was ready to lay into the vampire, defenceless or not, some lines shouldn’t be crossed, but the look on the blonde’s face, in his eyes stopped him. Pure, honest concern, and caring shone from those ice blue eyes. Almost more astonishing was the complete lack of pity. His voice, shaky and scared, asked, “How?”

“’m not stupid, Xan, knew ‘bout the beatings for a while. As for the other,” Spike’s eyes flashed fiery amber and he involuntarily snarled, “you told me.”

Xander’s eyes widened in terror, “I didn’t. I’d never,” the young man insisted.

Spike reached out a sculpted, black lacquered hand towards the human he’d been growing increasingly attached to. “Xander. You were dreaming, thought you were talkin’ to that Jesse fellow.” The vampire squeezed the boy’s shoulder reassuringly.

“Hmmm, Jesse.”

Suddenly, much to Spike’s dismay, the boy began laughing hysterically, he sounded as if he was coming unhinged. “Xander, mate? Xan? Oi, human, you’re scaring the demon, mate. Think you need to calm down.”

“That so, Spike. That what you really think?” Xander’s words were garbled and interspersed with frightening laughter. “Tell me, then, oh Fanged One, what if I told you that the only two people who knew about Mr. Harris’ exploits with his son, both turned out to be vamps and both were,” his hysteria seemed to be passing, or at least slowing, as he stared hard into Spike’s too blue eyes, “were my best-friends.” Xander barked a laugh, and his voice turned hard, “You should stay away from me Spike; I dusted the last vamp I cared about.”


~*~*~*~*~


That handful of words triggered a cascade of puzzle pieces falling into place, or at least falling into the general vicinity. The girls’ reaction- if the boy had been turned, no wonder Red and the Slayer were so closed lipped. Xander’s anger- to stake your best-friend that would be like him staking his Princess.

As if it was the most natural thing in the world, Spike pulled the unresisting human into a tight, protective embrace. “No wonder you’re such a shit to me and Peaches.” A small smile touched his lips when he heard Xander’s half-hearted chortle. Slowly, the vampire moved them to the couch, then eased his boy into a comfortable position as he held him and let him cry himself to sleep.


~*~*~*~*~


Xander squirmed and moaned in his sleep, startling the blonde watching over him.

Not for the first time in recent months the young man had dozed off on ‘his end’ of the couch while watching the week’s offering of gratuitous explosions, excessive gunfire, and questionable, yet copious, amounts of blood with the vampire. It was a ritual that had been set in stone when Xander woke after his breakdown to find himself sprawled on one end of the sofa, a blanket draped over him, and Spike in a matching pose on the other end. There was no hateful or degrading snark. No recrimination for the previous night’s events. Just two guys, two friends sharing pizza, soda, booze, and bad flicks.

Another moan came from the dark form, this one more desperate and pleading then its predecessor. Yet again, the vampire fought with himself over the distressed human.

Xander had made it clear that Spike was to stay as far away from the topics of Jesse and the boy’s nightmares as possible. And while Spike despised his boy’s pain, and the demon raged at being forbidden to protect his boy, Spike understood Xander’s need to maintain some vestige of control and he knew his boy would come to him when he was ready. He just hoped he’d be ready sooner rather than later, for both their sakes.

A whimper followed by a cry of pain tore at Spike’s gut, as Xander’s nightmare seemed to ratchet into a higher gear. He hoped it would pass quickly, the vamp didn’t think he could watch Xander in such torment very long without intervening. More whimpers and a plaintively murmured, “No,” and Spike no longer cared. Within seconds, the dark haired mortal was propped against the vampire’s firm chest with Spike’s arms wrapped protectively around him. Spike murmured and cooed, comforting the boy, once again thankful for the years of experience tending to his Dark Princess. The boy’s heart rate and breathing began to steady almost instantly, and sooner than Spike would’ve imagined Xander was again peacefully asleep.

*********


“Oh god, babe,” panting, “yeah, so good. Jesus, Xan, …ungh… oh yeah, no fucking wonder. Always amazes me! …uhhh… no wonder...”

Xander knew better than to talk or respond other then pushing back against the body pounding into his. Doing so would only make the lies that much more blatant and he needed them. Needed to be able to pretend, to imagine tenderness, caring- anything other than revulsion at himself.

It had begun so differently. It had begun with hope and comfort. It had begun with an accidental kiss eight months ago. For months before that first not-so-innocent meeting of lips, Xander had taken comfort and refuge in Jesse’s arms. His mere presence a better salve than any conventional medicine. Even after the kiss, when the comfort expanded to include sensual kisses and wandering caresses, Jesse remained a remarkable balm.

Then things changed.


***Xander awoke terrified. His body still ached from last night’s beating and now he felt an all too familiar pressure against his ass.

A hand came around to pet his bare chest and abdomen, “Shh, relax Xan. It’s me. It’s Jesse, not him.”

The boy’s heart rate slowed a notch at the familiar voice and it’s equally familiar words.

Jesse rocked against him, “Oh babe. You make me crazy. Want you so bad, Xan. God let me in. Let me in. Gotta know. Let me in.”

Xander stifled a whimper as his best-friend entered him. After everything Jesse had done for him it didn’t feel right to say no, even if he’d had the chance.

“Xan, babe. So amazing, so tight- like a velvet vice! No wonder he keeps coming back. God! Incredible!” The disturbing litany continued on as he thrust into the boy, only ceasing when he finally came.

As Jesse emptied into Xander’s body, he stripped the boy’s cock, mercilessly wringing an orgasm from the teen.***

*********

The change in breathing and pulse alerted Spike to his boy’s waking. He had two choices; he could move the mortal back to his original position- alone on the far end of the couch, or he could bare the boy’s ire. As far as the vampire was concerned the choice was simple, this farce had gone on long enough. Gently, he tightened his hold on the slowly waking young man, taking the opportunity to nuzzle into Xander’s soft curls. Whatever had been plaguing the young man would be dealt with today.

The boy’s heart rate suddenly shot upwards and the bitter scent of terror began rolling off of him.

“’s okay Xan, promise. You’re safe; can wake up now. It’s safe, Xan, safe.”

Bleary eyed, Xander looked up into concerned crystal blue eyes, sleepily, “Jesse used to tell me that.”

Unimpressed, “Did he?”

“Mm-hmm, but he never looked at me like that,” he inclined his head towards the vamp. “Not even after he…”

Spike stiffened, what had this Jesse done to his boy? Running long pale fingers through Xander’s hair, he tenderly asked, “After he what, pet?”

“Nothing,” he shook his head. “Spike?”

“Mmm,” the sound seemed more of a warm rolling purr that a ‘spoken’ response.

“Thank you… but,” the boy hesitated, “why?”

The undead blonde thought carefully before he answered, “Maybe ‘cause you don’t need to be going through this alone. Maybe ‘cause you remind me of someone from another life. Maybe ‘cause you need someone to care.” The vamp drew an unneeded breath before continuing, “Maybe I need someone to care for. Or could jus’ be that I like you despite myself, that you’re my friend, and I don’t like to see the people I care about in pain.” Spike stopped, tilted his head as he considered his own words, then added, “’less pain is what they want, but don’t think we’re there yet. Right, pet?”

Xander snorted a sad laugh, “No, so not there we aren’t even in the same solar system.”

They sat quietly for several minutes, Xander protectively tucked against Spike’s chest, while the vampire continued to pet and run his fingers through the mortal’s shaggy chocolate locks.

“That first time… he said I shouldn’t have been surprised. That it was the next natural progression of our relationship. Haha,” Xander barked, “next natural progression!?!”

Spike tightened his arms around the young man, offering what meagre solace he could from such fresh, painful memories.

“Thought he cared. When he found out about what my dad did…,” the young man shuddered, “He even said he loved me.” Xander’s breath hitched as emotions he’d pent up for far too long tried to overwhelm him.

“’s okay Xander, let it out, pet. ‘m right here; not goin’ anywhere.”

Xander allowed himself to get momentarily lost in the coddling and mothering of the blonde vampire. He knew he was in serious danger of losing his heart to the ‘Evil Undead’, if he hadn’t already, but he couldn’t find it in himself to care. It felt too good to be able to tell someone, too good to have that someone protect and comfort him… too good to be held in Spike’s arms. As ever seemed to happen with Xander, his mouth bypassed his brain as he began to tell the vampire about the last time. “It was the week before school started, Dad was in one of his ‘moods’- I could tell it was gonna be a bad one, so I called Jesse.” Xander clutched at Spike’s shirt reassuring himself that he wasn’t alone. “I don’t know when he got there, if it was before Dad started, but I remember… I remember praying, begging whatever powers there were to let him show up soon. I knew if Jesse saw, he’d find a way to stop it- I believed that, Spike. I had to. Anyway,” the dark youth rubbed his brow against the cool flesh of Spike’s collarbone, “my dad was ‘busy’ and I looked out the window hoping Jesse’d be there.” His breath caught and he made a little gasping/coughing sound before he continued. “He was.” Xander jerked his head up, warm, watery, bloodshot eyes seeking cool blue pools of solace, “He was there. Watching. More than watching. He was… gods, Spike…”

The vampire took Xander’s face in his hands, gently rubbing away tears and forcing the young mortal to focus on him, “Shh, shh, ‘m here, luv and ‘is not. Neither of them are. Jus’ you an’ me. Spike and Xander.” Then he kissed the human’s forehead and tucked his head into the crook of his neck as he rocked slowly, emitting a low soothing purr.

*********


From his perch in the tree outside Xander’s bedroom, Jesse watched the now familiar scene play out in front of him.

A backhand to the normally smiling face, followed by a punch to the ribs- the crack could be heard even through the closed window. The boy curled into a foetal position as the blows and kicks rained down. When the blows ceased, the elder Harris grabbed his son by the waistband, yanking him to his hands and knees.

The young man in the tree was already hard, his erection pressing almost painfully against his jeans.

Gracelessly, Tony Harris ripped Xander’s pants and boxers off of him, then set to work releasing his own cock.

Outside, Jesse followed suit, grunting his pleasure as Xander’s father rammed into his son’s unprepared ass. Jesse’s hand easily followed the rhythm of the older man’s thrusts. He was so caught up in the actions and sensations that, at first, he didn’t notice the eyes watching him. When he did notice, he locked his eyes with Xander’s revelling in the fear and betrayal he saw there.

Within moments, both of Xander’s violators came.

Weak, beaten, and crushed the dark boy passed out.

---

Xander woke up in his bed, cleaned and bandaged with Jesse wrapped possessively around him.

As he tried to wriggle free, Jesse tightened his hold on the boy and spoke, “Do you have any idea how hot that was?”

The abused boy stilled.

“The look in your eyes when you saw me- exquisite.” The lanky teen rolled them so that he was atop his life-long friend. “Gonna fuck you so good, Xan. So good you won’t even remember that bastard ever touching you.” He kissed Xander hard and violently.

---

Within the week, Jesse was dead and his vampire-self dusted.




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