Xander jerked awake in excruciating pain. He was hanging on the wall and from the pain in his hands, Xander had a sneaking suspicion just how he was hanging there. He didn’t look though, fearing that seeing his hands impaled would be even worse than just imagining.
He was still with the Kor’Chuk clan though. They were still frozen in the same place. Xander was relieved that Halfrek hadn’t just killed them. He was even more relieved that she’d fallen for his line about the hotel. He really hadn’t wanted Angel and Spike to see him there in whatever condition Halfrek decided to leave him.
Hopefully, whatever she had planned would be done and over soon, before they even realized that he was in trouble. And maybe, if he was lucky, the Kor’Chuk’s could clean up what was left of him so that none of them had to see him that way.
Halfrek had conjured herself up a cozy chair and was sitting and reading. She looked so calm and peaceful. It was terrifying. She looked up at him, as if she could feel his gaze on her, and she didn’t look calm and peaceful anymore.
“Finally. I thought you were going to be unconscious forever. Humans are so pathetically frail and I think you’re the most pathetic of the bunch.” Halfrek stalked over to him and dragged her sharp nails down his chest. He jerked against the pain and the agony in his hands from the movement nearly caused him to pass out again. She hissed and backed away.
Xander was sure his death was inevitable but he decided to stall for a little more time. He wanted to know - needed to know - exactly what she’d done to him. “So, Hallie, what exactly did this big plan of yours entail? And why Angel and Spike? I’m not really sure why you dragged them into this mess.”
She looked at him like he was stupid. It was starting to really piss him off. “Do you really not get it? I didn’t involve Angel and Spike. It was the damn Powers. My original plan was for you to be the love monkey for a group of demons. Oh, how they would have tortured you. It would have taken years for you to die. But I fixed it so you would love them, no matter what they did to you.”
“Then the Powers sent that stupid vision to Angel. They let him see it in living color. Did he ever tell you that? He saw your torture at their hands moment by moment and he sent Spike after you. He couldn’t even be bothered to come save you himself. And if that wasn’t enough interference, that bumbling fool of a childe of his got herself captured by another master vampire. She was spouting off about you and Angel and how you were his power. Then he decided to get involved and start his own plot.
“I wanted to shut her up but it really worked out to my benefit. By the time you were saved, the spell was in place. And two Champions were like putty in my hands. They were so clueless about it all. They just fawned all over you! You! It was perfect. Then they claimed you. I nearly squealed with glee.”
“But you had to go and try to ruin everything. Your damn witch friend messed with my spell and nearly undid all the work I’d put into my plan. But you, you are so pathetic you wouldn’t even stay and fight for them. I watched you while you roamed around. I loved watching you waste away to nothing.”
“Oh, but then, it just got more interesting. Angel’s little darling daughter tried to cast another spell on you. She wasn’t quite strong enough though. But the wolf felt it. Did you ever wonder why he was suddenly so eager to be by your side after all those years? Of course, you didn’t. I keep forgetting what an idiot you are.”
Xander felt his resolve fading. He had been right all along. It was all the spell. And Oz was affected as well. Now he was claimed and there was nothing they could do to change it. Once he was gone, they’d still have Oz. From what she’d said, only Oz’s feelings for him were manufactured. Whatever Oz felt for Spike must be the real deal.
Halfrek slapped him across the face when she realized she no longer held his attention. “Drifting away, are you? Well I can’t let that happen. Let’s see, what can we do to keep you focused? I know.” She pulled back and slammed her fist into his crotch. The pain caused him to reflexively try to double over which caused a sharp pull on his pinned hands.
He cried out in agony and she smiled. “There. Now I think I have your attention again. I really want you to know everything that’s going to happen to you. It makes me feel very vindicated, you know. After Anya wished to die because you made her feel so guilty for doing what she was made to, I wanted nothing more than to torture you for days. No, make that weeks. But I didn’t get the chance. Remember why?”
Xander nodded. “D’Hoffran killed you.”
“Oh, please. Like he’d really kill me. But he made Anya think he had. His favorite lesson. ‘Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain.’ I don’t think Anya ever truly appreciated that again after you. All she could see was the pain for so long. You ruined her. And then you let her die in that godforsaken Hellmouth.”
He didn’t argue with her. He couldn’t explain how much Anya had changed, especially since she was right. Anya hadn’t been the same since he’d treated her so poorly. At the time, it had seemed like the thing to do. Now of course, he knew better.
“You aren’t focusing again.” Halfrek reared back and let him see the punch coming. Another burst of pain and the blackness overtook him once more.
The van was still speeding along towards the Kor’Chuk clan when Angel and Spike stiffened. Oz feared the worst. Spike screamed in either rage or pain, Oz couldn’t really tell. Angel didn’t make a sound. He turned to look at Oz. “She’s got him.”
“How do you know?” Oz wasn’t sure he wanted the answer but, at the same time, he needed to know.
Angel looked as if he might avoid the question but then he decided to answer. “He’s been blocking out our connection. I thought he was sleeping. Something just happened though and he couldn’t keep the block in place. Spike and I both felt his fear and his pain.”
Oz leaned forward again. “Is he…?”
“I don’t think so. I think he’s unconscious. I’d know if it were something else.” Spike nodded his agreement to Angel’s words. “He’s still alive. We’ll get there in time.”
Oz wasn’t so sure.
It seemed like hours later when they were finally pulling to a stop. Angel laid Drusilla gently on the seat and then he climbed out after Spike and Oz. They used the hidden entrance into the demon clan’s home and they all stilled for a moment at the sight of all the Kor’Chuk’s standing frozen.
They moved on, all tuned into the scent of Xander. Spike flashed to his true face and Oz partially shifted. The smell of Xander’s blood and fear was nearly overwhelming to their senses and their control was not at its best.
Angel moved without hesitation towards the room the Kor’Chuk’s had prepared for Xander. He burst through the door expecting the worst and his fears were not far from reality. Xander was hanging on the wall, daggers through his hands. He was beaten and bloody.
Halfrek turned when they entered. “Oh, goody. You made it. I don’t think he’s going to last much longer. It’s amazing really, how quickly humans lose blood.” She turned and swiped Xander again with the dagger in her hand and the newest cut dripped blood down his stomach and legs.
Angel stepped forward. “Enough. You’ve had your vengeance. Leave him now.”
She laughed and Spike stepped forward. “Cecily, come on. He doesn’t deserve this. You know it as well as I do. Anya’s death wasn’t any more his fault than it was mine. We all let her go in there at the end. It’s what she wanted. She died saving a human. She was okay with that.”
“Please, do you really expect me to believe that she was happy to die as a sniveling human protecting another sniveling human? I know better. She was just trying to make it up to him, to make him see her as something other than what she was. And now she’s dead, and I’m going to make sure he pays.” She turned to stab Xander again but Angel moved quickly to stop her. “I’m not allowed to kill you, vampire. But don’t think that I can’t cause you and yours significant pain.”
Angel squeezed her wrist tighter. “And don’t think I wont do everything I can to stop you.”
While Angel had Halfrek distracted, Oz and Spike moved quickly over to Xander. They jerked the daggers from his hands and lowered him to the floor. Spike bit into his wrist, slicing the vein as deeply as he could, and pressed the wound to Xander’s mouth. Oz worked his throat, trying to force the blood down quickly.
Halfrek turned and screamed when she saw them tending to Xander. A flick of her hand and Oz went flying across the room, landing solidly against the wall. He didn’t get up. Then she turned to Spike. He waited for a similar fate but, when he didn’t go flying through the air, he thought he might provide a better distraction than Angel could.
Spike pulled his wrist from Xander’s mouth and stood. “Cecily, I don’t know you anymore. Did I ever know the real you? You’re still as beautiful as ever, and now, demon to demon, I think you’re more wonderful than ever.”
Angel released her wrist and moved slowly over to Oz. The wolf was stirring and Angel helped him quietly to his feet.
“I’m not beneath you anymore, am I? After all this time? You did kill all the people at that party, didn’t you? Did you do it for me? When I found out what you were, I’d hoped that you did that for me. I imagined that somehow William and his bloody awful poetry had reached you.”
She smiled at him. “Oh, William. You were such a silly man back then. And look what you became! It’s thrilling. And the railroad spikes? Inspired. Truly. I’m so glad I decided not to kill you myself. Of course, the wish I granted was to kill everyone there which did include you. But you did die that night, didn’t you? I made sure of it. The wish was granted.”
Spike stepped closer to her and Angel and Oz slid closer to Xander. “Who made the wish, pet? Was it me? I don’t remember wishing such a thing. Would never have wished you dead, I know that much.”
Halfrek raised her hand to caress his cheek. “No silly. It was your mother. I was the vengeance demon for wronged children. Your mother wished for you, you see. She wished to make you stronger and for all those people who scorned you to regret it. So I made them regret it. Told every last one of them why they were going to die. Of course, the problem was you scorned yourself that night too. But then, my loophole. She’d wished for you to be stronger. Two birds, you see? You were killed but became stronger.”
“That was bloody brilliant. Poor Mum. I had no idea she had it in her.” Spike smiled and turned his cheek into Halfrek’s hand.
Angel and Oz helped Xander up. He was coming to and when his eyes blinked open to see Spike and Halfrek, he knew his opportunity had come. He forced his foot into the rapidly growing pool of blood beneath him and traced the symbols he needed. Then he muttered the incantation under his breath. Moments later, D’Hoffryn appeared.
Halfrek stomped her foot in frustration when she saw him. “Damn it. Why are you here? This was just getting good.”
D’Hoffryn frowned at her. “Hallie, dear, you know that taking vengeance for yourself is strictly forbidden.”
“But I’m not…”
“Yes, Halfrek, you are. Anya was not here to make this wish.” A quick twist of the demon’s hand and she slammed into the wall where Xander had been hanging. Another movement and the daggers she’d impaled Xander with pierced the flesh of her hands.
D’Hoffryn turned to Angel. He gave the vampire a slight bow. “I apologize, Champion. The Powers have just let me know the extent of her dealings with you. I will have her destroyed.” Halfrek screamed at his announcement and everyone present turned to snarl and growl at her. She settled after a moment and with a wave of D’Hoffryn’s hand she disappeared with a scream and a flash.
Angel nodded. As much as he wanted to exact his own vengeance, he was sure that the leader of the vengeance demons would be very thorough in his punishments before he destroyed her. Besides, he had to take care of Xander now.
“Wait!” Xander called out to the demon who turned to look at him. He was having trouble standing, supported now by Spike and Oz. But he straightened as best he could to face the demon.
“Oh, I suppose you want me to heal you. I can manage that.”
“No.” D’Hoffryn froze and looked at Xander with confusion. “I want you to make sure we’re still not under the influence of her spells. I need to know it’s over.”
D’Hoffryn looked at Xander for a moment. “Are you sure that’s what you want?” At Xander’s nod, he closed his eyes. Moments later they felt the spell lifted off of them for good. The Kor’Chuk demons regained their mobility and rushed towards them. Angel held up his hand and they stopped mere feet from the demon.
D’Hoffryn looked back at Angel for a moment before he disappeared. It was finally over. Xander smiled at them all briefly before his eyes fluttered back into his head and he lost his battle with consciousness again.
50 - Epilogue
It took Xander months to recover. His body, still weakened by the starvation and separation from Spike and Angel, wasn’t able to cope with the additional strain of Halfrek’s torture. Moment’s after D’Hoffryn had disappeared, Xander had collapsed.
He was unconscious for nearly a week. Angel and Spike were frantic. Oz wasn’t as cool and calm as normal. They all wondered if it had all just been too much. Funnily enough, it was Drusilla who convinced them that ‘the kitty’ would come back to them after his rest and after a week of near constant blood from Angel and Spike, he started coming around.
Drusilla had skipped merrily down the hall that evening and when she jumped into Angel’s arms, he wasn’t quite sure what to think. She’d laughed happily though and said the kitty wanted to play and asked him if he would get her a ball to throw for him.
Angel sat her down quickly and rushed to Xander’s room. Brown eyes were open and looking straight at the door when he came in. Although he looked anxious, Angel didn’t pause. He scooped Xander up and planted the sweetest kiss he could muster right on his lips.
Xander had pulled back after a moment and smiled. “Hello to you, too.”
Now, he always greeted Angel with those words. Angel growled and pretended to be annoyed by it. But they all knew he loved every minute of it.
Spike and Oz had come in moments later. They both curled up on the bed next to Xander and nothing and no one could force them to move. After days of their hovering, Xander finally broke his silence on the subject of Halfrek and asked some very pointed questions. He wanted there to be no doubt in his mind that they really wanted him. Xander wasn’t interested in guilt from Angel or forced devotion from Spike.
Angel grabbed Xander’s face and looked him straight in the eyes. “I love you, Xander. No spells, no curses, just me.” Xander’s look of relief was smothered by the hug he gave Angel. Then he turned to Spike.
“Spike? You know you can be with Oz now. I’ll understand.”
Spike looked like he’d swallowed his tongue and Oz looked extremely guilty. Spike looked back and forth between them before speaking. “I don’t want to choose, pet, but if you need me to, I’d choose you.” When he spoke the words, Spike reached out to touch Oz. Xander noticed the movement and realized there was more there than just lust.
“You don’t have to pick me, Spike. I have Angel. You can be with Oz if that’s what you want.” Xander felt his heart break a little but thought it would be for the best.
Oz, however, disagreed. “No way, Xander. You’re stuck with us. All of us. So you’re just going to have to deal with it. Now, move over. I want to snuggle.”
And that was that. They talked about it some more, Xander’s insecurities railing at the most obscure moments, but after a while, he settled into the routine. All three of his lovers were careful to prove themselves to him, each in their own way.
Angel didn’t sleep with Oz. Well, he slept with him because they all insisted on sharing Xander’s sick bed. But he didn’t sleep with him. Angel insisted that he was going to wait until Xander was ready. Xander wasn’t sure what the fuss was about but, deep down, he appreciated it.
Spike, on the other hand, shared every touch, kiss, and every other gritty detail with Xander. He and Oz were quite the pair and the two found the most unique places to go at it. Spike loved telling Xander about it, making sure that Xander knew that he’d saved a few special spots just for him when he was feeling better.
Oz spent time with Xander daily. He didn’t make any promises on what he would or wouldn’t do. He simply waited for Xander to realize that his feelings were there and were real and weren’t going anywhere.
After a while, Xander did. And as a bonus he was able to tease Oz unmercifully about his sex life with Spike. Xander didn’t think he’d ever seen a person blush so red as Oz the first time Xander described to him in detail his last intimate encounter with Spike. Once he got over the embarrassment though, they were able to joke and laugh about vampires and their needs.
So now, months later and Xander was ready to return to all areas of his life with all three of his lovers. He’d been pretty sneaky getting what he wanted. The Kor’Chuk’s were still around and were more committed to him than ever. It was kind of strange having three vicious demon warriors at your beck and call. And being Xander, he’d talked to them about it. All three had agreed that guarding him was the most exciting assignment they would ever receive and hoped they’d be able to stay with him for a good long while.
He’d decided to prove their dedication by getting them to agree to help him with his plan to seduce his lovers. If he’d learned anything from Willow and Buffy, it was how to use his puppy eyes to his advantage. They’d caved in minutes.
As they’d all been sleeping in Xander’s room, Xander was able to do some fixing up of Angel’s room without any of them realizing what he was up to. The minions helped as well and, on the day the deliveries were scheduled, they helped get Angel, Spike and Oz out of the hotel.
By the time they got back, Angel’s bedroom had been transformed. The Kor’Chuk’s helped Xander make sure everything was just the way he wanted it before helping him settle in. When Angel and company returned, they rushed up to check on Xander, as usual. He wondered how long it would take before they stopped doing that. Of course, the fact that he wasn’t in his room probably scared years off their lives so he doubted it would be anytime soon.
Angel’s roar could be heard throughout the hotel but no one came running. Then he heard Xander’s voice. He followed the sound with Spike and Oz close behind. At his bedroom door, he paused and Spike moved around him to push the door open.
And there he was, lying on a bed built for, well, four. Candles were burning and rose petals were scattered. Angel, Spike, and Oz all stood frozen in the doorway. Until Xander stood up and they saw that he was naked. Then they all rushed him.
Xander was covered by hands and mouths and bodies before he even saw them move. But it was just what he wanted. All of them, here with him. It was all he could wish for. And as they shared each other’s bodies that night, another new order was formed. This one was stronger than ever.
|Feed the Author|
|Home||Categories||New Stories||Non Spander|