New Order


Part Nineteen

Spike was still smiling into Xander’s back at his Sire’s words. He was pleased to know that Angel felt so strongly about him, and about the whelp. Not that he would ever ask his Sire for words. He wasn’t some prissy girl wanting roses and chocolate. But they were nice to hear just the same.

Angel continued to hold Xander and started to brood - er, reflect, on his words. Should he say more to convince the man of his importance? He wanted nothing more than to take him right back upstairs again and demonstrate the strength of his feelings. But he knew that with Xander feeling that he was just a body, more sex wouldn’t be the answer. Damn. He was getting hard just thinking of taking the man back upstairs.

He pulled away to look at Xander again, shifting himself slightly to ease his growing erection. Xander felt the movement and chuckled. “I know you’re wanting to march me right back upstairs, Angel. This has all happened so fast and I just don’t trust anything I’m feeling anymore. But I do trust you. And Spike. And I’ll try to stop freaking out long enough to see where this takes us. But you guys have to let me freak out sometimes, too, without going all ferocious. Freaking out is kind of what I do best, so you’ll have to get used to it.”

Spike started to chuckle behind the man and lifted his head. “He’s right, Sire. The whelp here tends to have his own freak-out session. It’s sort of how he handles change. Should have seen him when they first put me down in his basement. This one’s nothing compared to the freak-out he had then.”

Xander cringed at the memory of chaining his lover so many years ago. “Spike, I know I’ve apologized for all that…”

Spike interrupted him. “No pet, you did what you had to do then. Wouldn’t be where we are now without all that rot in the past. I wouldn’t change a thing. Well, except that now I’d have you chain me up naked and have your wicked way with me.”

Angel smiled as Xander blushed. “You know Xan, we have some chains upstairs. I’d be more than happy to show you where they are.” Both vampires felt a surge of lust at the thought, but laughed as Xander’s blush deepened. They were both so tempting. He was sure he would end up learning a lot of new ways to chain Spike up before too much time passed. He looked forward to the challenge.

The tension in the room lifted and all three continued to loosely embrace each other. Spike eventually pulled away. “Sire, I know we have some business to deal with. Why don’t we introduce the whelp to our operations? He’s got a fair hand for these things. Could learn enough to start helping us out.”

Angel moved away and gestured towards the chairs across from his desk. As they began discussing strategy for ongoing issues and the daily running of their growing clan, Xander realized the extent of what they had created in the year since Angel defeated - well, whoever it was he defeated. Xander was unsure of the details and figured he’d probably zoned out during what he was sure had been a lengthy discussion in a meeting with Giles. At the time, details of Angel’s existence hadn’t seemed important. Now he wished he'd paid more attention.

Angel and Spike occasionally asked his opinion on something but mainly he just sat back and listened as they planned. It was fascinating to watch them at work. They finished each others thoughts and seemed to have a language all of their own consisting of grunts and growls. Funnily enough, he seemed to understand them as well.

When Angel turned the discussion to hotel security, he noticed an immediate tension in both vampires. Not knowing what had caused the change of mood, he asked if there were recent problems or threats against the hotel.

Neither vampire looked at him. They just stared at each other for a long moment before turning to face him. Spike finally answered. “No pet, there haven’t been any problems lately. It’s just that we’ve more to protect now.”

Xander wasn’t sure if he should be pleased or insulted at the words. Both vampires seemed to think his presence would cause the need for increased security. His insecurities threatened to surface again but he fought them back.

“Look guys, you don’t need to change anything on my account. Well, actually, you may need to talk to the front door guys because I just bulldozed my way right back in here when I came back from the airport. Of course, they knew I had just left so that probably had a lot to do with it.” Xander finished with a rush, hoping not to get any of the guards in trouble. He knew that vampire punishments could be severe and didn’t want to cause any because of his quickly spoken words.

This time Angel answered. “They were following orders Xander. I told everyone here that you were welcome at anytime. But we still need to make sure you’re protected. Like it or not, you're a human in a hotel full of vampires and other demons and as it’s well documented that you seem to draw demons to you, both Spike and I feel that some added security would be wise.”

Spike looked at Angel thoughtfully. “What about the Kor’Chucks? They’re fierce. Known to be tough as nails and loyal. We’ve just signed the treaty with them but if we did some sort of rotation with them and some of the higher-level minions, we could have a good balance there.”

Angel nodded his agreement. “The Kor’Chucks are ferocious, and this would be a way to set some groundwork with them for later. Placing someone so important to us with them, shows that we trust them. That will prove useful later. Good Spike. Set it up.”

Before they could move on, Angel’s face twisted with a grimace of pain. Spike realized his Sire was having another vision and moved to his side. In moments it was over and Spike was relieved that all the visions wouldn’t be as intense as the one with Xander. Xander looked worried. It wasn’t often that he saw Angel look like he was in pain and he wasn’t sure what to do. Spike quickly moved to the other vampire’s side and after a moment, Xander moved to do the same. He placed a comforting hand on Angel’s shoulder and waited to find out what exactly was going on.

Angel looked up at both his lovers surrounding him and reached to touch them both. Looking at Spike, he described the vision. “Looks like a group of idiots is planning to sacrifice some kids down by the park. We need to go quickly if we’re going to stop them.”

Angel and Spike both moved towards the weapons cabinet, leaving a confused Xander standing by Angel’s desk. Both vampires stopped when they realized that they would need to decide what to do with Xander.

Xander decided for them. “You guys go. I’ll wait here in the office for you to get back. Then one of you is going to explain to me what this is all about.”

Part Twenty

Xander stared around the office wondering what exactly he was supposed to do while the vampires were on their mission. He poked around the desk for a few minutes but didn’t really feel like he should read any of the paperwork scattered there. Maybe once he knew more about the operation he would be able to contribute more.

He moved over to the weapons cabinet and admired the collection held there. Angel knew his weapons and kept them in beautiful condition. The cabinet needed some work though and Xander realized his carpentry skills could be useful around here. It was an old hotel after all. He was sure he could find a project or thirty to keep him busy while the vampires were doing their thing.

Of course that didn’t help him figure out what to do today. He needed to ask Angel about getting some tools. Actually, he really needed to figure out how he was going to get his stuff from England to here. Clothing was becoming a real issue. Not that he minded wearing Angel’s clothes. They were somehow comforting, but really not his style. And if he sent for his things, it would be a signal to his friends that he wasn’t planning on coming back anytime soon.

Well, he had some money put aside from the odd jobs he held and Giles paid him a small salary for his work with his new Watcher’s Council. He could access his money and maybe buy some clothes and tools online.

He moved to the computer and surfed around for a while, and ordered a few outfits online. He looked at the tools but preferred holding the items in his hands, testing them out a bit before he bought them. Well, he was sure there was a hardware store around somewhere. He’d have to make a trip.

Xander quickly became bored with the computer and decided to explore around the office some more. He found Angel’s books and glanced through the titles. Most of them weren’t in English so he couldn’t really even see what they were about. He assumed they were for research and suppressed a shudder. He still hated to research and only did it when there was no one, and he meant no one, else able to do the job.

He found some more interesting reading near the bottom of the shelf and pulled several books from the shelf to flip through. He didn’t really read very much but enjoyed a good thriller as much as the next guy. Angel’s reading didn’t tend to come from the best seller section, though, so he put the books back and moved on.

A leather bound book near the end of the row caught his attention and he pulled it out. Nothing was on the cover so he flipped the book open and gasped. It was a journal. And not just anyone’s journal. It was Cordelia’s.

Xander wanted to just shove the book back in place and pretend he’d never touched it. But knowing about his former girlfriend and her life here with Angel was too tempting. He wanted to learn about her life when she worked with his new lover. Had she felt the same feelings around him? The confusion and anxiety and intense loyalty were nearly overwhelming to Xander and when he added in the passion and security, he just didn’t know what to feel.

As he settled into Angel’s desk chair with the journal, he hoped that Cordelia’s words might shed some light on things. He was quickly caught up in the pages, laughing as he could almost hear her voice in the words there. Reading about how she’d bumped into Angel at a party, about the mysterious Doyle and his visions, and about the team they built together and the work they accomplished.

Xander laughed as he read of Cordelia’s search for an apartment and knew that Angel had probably freaked when she tried to move in with him. He could just imagine her with a mountain of designer luggage piled at her feet, moving into the vampire’s space and taking over.

When he read the story of “Phantom Dennis” he was intrigued. Only Cordelia could inspire such devotion from a ghost. He continued reading for a few minutes, learning of Doyle’s death and the transfer of the visions to Cordelia. Of Wesley’s rogue demon-hunter days before joining the team, and of more memorable cases.

After several hours, Xander realized that he was exhausted. The past few days were wearing on him and when he looked at the clock he realized it was after midnight. He figured he might have to change his schedule to accommodate his night prowling lovers but for now, he would go on to bed.

Xander snuggled into the sheets, smelling his lovers in their pillows before tucking them tightly up against his body and falling asleep.

Angel and Spike returned near dawn, exhausted but successful. They moved to the office, expecting to find Xander there. After a moment of panic they realized that the human had probably tired and headed up to their room. This was confirmed by a minion and after passing out a few orders for the next day, they headed upstairs to join him.

They both paused at the door to drink in the sight of Xander asleep in their bed. He was so beautiful that they wanted nothing more than to snuggle up to his warmth. But as they were both covered in varying degrees of demon blood, both turned towards the shower.

Once clean, Angel and Spike slipped into the bed on either side of Xander. They gently pulled their pillows from around him and quickly settled into the vacated spots. Lulled by his warmth, they both drifted to sleep.

Xander woke the next morning in his new favorite position, the center of a Angel-Spike sandwich. He reveled for a moment in the feel of his lovers’ bodies around him. He gently touched each of them, reassuring himself that they were okay and uninjured from the night’s fight. Realizing they were both fine, he tried to figure out a way to get himself out of bed and into the bathroom without waking the pair.

Eventually replacing himself with pillows and tucking their arms around each other, Xander was able to squirm himself out of bed and proceeded to shower and dress for the day. Eager to do some shopping for tools and some additional clothing, he decided to head out for a while. On impulse, he searched through Angel’s address book on the desk and grabbed Cordelia’s old address.

He paused before leaving the security of the hotel. The minion at the door requested that he not leave without Angel or Spike, but he just brushed the vampire aside and gestured to the sunlight. He figured he was perfectly safe as long as he was home before dark.

The minion was concerned but hadn’t received any orders to keep the human in the hotel so he let him pass. Xander didn’t notice as one of the Kor’Chuk demons followed him quietly from the hotel.

He grabbed a taxi at the end of the block and asked to be taken to the nearest hardware store. Once there, he spent a couple hours poking through tools and picking out a few things to do some basic carpentry at the hotel. Loading his purchases into another cab, he directed the driver to a superstore so he could pick up a few more necessities. The driver agreed to wait as Xander went in and bought a couple changes of clothes and some toiletries.

Hurrying back to the cab, Xander took a quick glance at the time. It was just after two. He could still check out Cordelia’s old apartment and make it back to the hotel well before sundown.

He had the cab drop him at the complex and unloaded his packages. He wasn’t really sure how long he was going to be but didn’t want to pay for the cab to sit and wait. He could always get another later.

And then he headed towards the apartment.

Part Twenty-One

Angel and Spike woke mid afternoon and were a little disappointed that Xander wasn’t still tucked between them. Both vampires had woken earlier when the human was wiggling around, trying to get out, but neither stirred as he showered and left the room. They both knew that he wouldn’t go far.

After a quick shower themselves, they dressed for the day and headed to the office to seek out their lover. Both intended to drag him back upstairs for another mind blowing session of sex.

Angel stopped abruptly in the doorway when he realized that Xander wasn’t in the office. Spike wasn’t prepared for his Sire to stop so suddenly and plowed into Angel’s back. Glancing around the body in front of him, Spike was surprised that Xander wasn’t there. Figuring he must be exploring around the hotel somewhere, Spike turned to the guard at the door and asked where they could find him.

Neither vampire was pleased to hear that Xander wasn’t in the hotel. That in fact, he’d left that morning and was not back yet. Growling with rage, both vampires glanced at the sun shining out of the door and were furious that they couldn’t immediately go out to find Xander and drag him back.

The minion cleared his throat, trying to get his master’s attention. After dropping to his knee at a pointed look from Spike, the minion spoke. “Master, the Kor’Chuk demon followed as you requested. The human is not out alone but insisted that he leave for a while. I tried to stop him but did not have any orders to keep him here against his will.”

Angel was slightly relieved to hear that the demon on guard was watching over Xander. He and Spike both realized that they had not ordered Xander to stay at the hotel or ordered the minions to keep him inside. They glanced again at the sun and estimated the amount of time they had to wait before going out to search.

Xander meanwhile had piled all of his purchases outside of the door to Cordelia’s former apartment and realized the foolishness of his mission. He’d shown up here without thinking that someone else may live here now and hesitated before knocking on the door. He wasn’t sure how he could explain that he’d come to visit the ghost that lived here and used to watch out for his now deceased ex-girlfriend.

Deciding to gamble and make up a story as he went, Xander knocked on the door. No one answered. On a whim, he tried the handle. Nope, it was locked. Xander was wishing he kept the cab and decided to say a quick farewell outside the door before heading back to the hotel and Angel and Spike.

He leaned his forehead against the wood and whispered. “Hi, Phantom Dennis. You don’t know me. My name’s Xander and I was a friend of Cordelia’s. I don’t really know why I’m here but…”

Xander stopped speaking as the locks clicked and the door to the apartment swung open. There wasn’t anyone on the other side.

Hoping that Phantom Dennis was feeling like a chat, he gathered up as many bags as he could carry and entered the door. His remaining bags floated in behind him and the door shut and locked.

Xander looked around the room. It really was a great place and he could see touches of Cordelia everywhere. He realized with a shock that Cordelia literally was everywhere - well, her things, actually. It looked as if the apartment were held waiting for her return. Her pictures were on the tables and other knickknacks that spoke of her style were scattered about.

Xander sat down on the sofa and felt the flutter of the ghost around him. He heard movement in the next room and was startled when a glass of ice water floated its way into his hand.

“Thanks, Dennis. I’ve been shopping and didn’t even realize how thirsty I was.” He took a large drink of water and settled down to chat.

“I don’t really know why I’m here. I read about you in Cordelia’s journal last night. I know, I shouldn’t have read it; but I miss her sometimes. No one could put you in your place quite like our Queen C.”

“It’s weird knowing she’s not around. Angel told us she died and I just couldn’t believe it. She was always so strong. She could talk her way out of just about anything.”

Xander laughed to himself when he remembered some of his favorite Cordelia moments. The time passed quickly as he told some of them to Dennis. Dennis, in return, floated some pictures and photo albums over to him and he looked through the memories of his high school days with a sentimental rush.

He was so caught up in the past that he didn’t realize how quickly the time had passed. It wasn’t until Dennis turned on a lamp that he realized it was getting dark. With that thought, he realized that he was going to be in big trouble.

He started for the door but Dennis slammed it shut before he could step through. Realizing from Cordelia’s journal that this was Dennis letting him know it wasn’t safe to go out, he turned back towards the room. He asked aloud what he should do and was surprised when the phone left its cradle and moved into his hand.

“Right. Be smart. Call them and let them know where I’m at and that I’m okay. Well as okay as I can be as there's apparently some reason why I shouldn’t leave.”

As he started to dial he realized that he didn’t even know the number. Dennis floated the phone book to him and flipped to a page in the back. Xander looked puzzled at the page until he saw the advertisement for “Angel Investigations”.

He smiled into the air and said a “Thank you” to Phantom Dennis before dialing the phone. It was answered after the first ring by an angry sounding Angel.

Xander hesitated before speaking but felt a nudge from Dennis and proceeded. “Angel? It’s Xan. Um. I’m fine but I’m over at Cordelia’s old apartment and, uh, well apparently Phantom Dennis doesn’t think I should leave just yet, so could you and Spike maybe come over here and get me?”

Angel nearly yelled into the phone but held back when he realized that Xander was fine. He could save the yelling for when he was holding the man in his arms, assured that he was safe.

After telling Xander that they were on their way, Angel and Spike left the hotel in a rush. Phantom Dennis knew when danger was around and had protected Cordelia on several occasions. They just hoped that between the ghost and the Kor’Chuk, Xander would be safe until they arrived.

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