Your browser isn't running scripts, so you might have trouble with the Drop-Down menu at top right hand corner of page. You can get it at http://www.java.com/en/download/windows_ie.jsp"

 

Pairing: Xander/Spike
Rating: Mature Audiences – for content and themes. Also species manipulation & dark themes.
Summary: see above
Warnings: M/M – if you don’t like boys together, don’t play here! Not BDSM but slavery of sorts
Disclaimer: Don’t own the characters nor make any money from stories etc, and bow down to their original creators Joss, et al., plus all the wonderful online writers who continue to give the Buffy/Angel verse characters life.

Acknowledgements: Salustra and petxnd whose far lighter and longer story far surpasses this
minor indulgence of Daisy



Loyal and Gentle


by
Josie_H



Part One

“What the??!!!”

It was not only Spike that knew there was something terribly wrong, Clarissa and the others instantly sensed and the attending medico – ready to treat the beloved pet of Master Spike, took immediate action, delivering an anesthetic as kindly as he could, given the level of upset. Julian held the pet’s head tight and a full knock out dose was swiftly delivered to Xander’s upper arm.

Xander woke some full two hours later disorientated, but strangely comfortable. He was face down in some sort of soft… bean bag that smelt oddly familiar! He tried to move his arms then legs, but both seemed… secured in some fashion, and some sort of soft latex gag prevented him from speaking but seemed to be delivering oxygen into his throat assisting his recovery.

“Master your pet seems to be on the improve.”

Xander recognized the demon language from something Giles had taught him, but could not quite identify the species. He jolted his whole body, hoping for some shift in status, but only succeeded in frustrating himself.

A cool hand stroked over his hair, apparently affectionately, and a low familiar voice spoke in soothing tones, “Hey Pet easy there… it’s been a long night… Jon here will check you over then we’ll get you some rest OK? You remember Jon?”

The hand continued the doting, and obviously concerned, caress all down his body… which was … apparently… nude!... while another set of hands began to systematically examine him and test him for reactions. Xander began to buck and groan and struggle in his tight bindings. He still could not really see the faces of his assailants and really had no idea where he was. It was all terribly wrong. One minute he’s standing near Spike's crypt and the next…

Mistress Clarissa was beside herself with worry! She had loved and trained Xander from so small – and now to see him in the safe jacket and in such distress – it was all too much.

Nevertheless she promised to return with his mother in five days’ time, if only that they would need to make a decision should inter-dimensional distemper be the issue. Clarissa never liked it, but knew that it was always good that her mothers and owners be present to say goodbye if the final injection was the only answer.

Jon, a young Galian demon turned cool grey eyes to Mistress and Master, “I think his system may be simply reacting to the transition Master. May I give him a stronger sedative, and perhaps a few multivitamins. He will need to be kept quiet for a few days. Can I suggest you remove the oxygen piece if you are going to keep him sedated – he would be better to breath on his own. But I would recommend keeping on the jacket in case he reacts badly as you reduce the dosage.”

“Oh…” Spike had never restrained his pet before.

Clarissa put a quiet hand on the distressed owner, her good friend’s, arm. “Keep the jacket on my dear – we always use them after some sort of major medical procedure, or if there has been trauma of some kind, keeps them calm and really is quite comfy for the precious loves.”

She stroked first Xander then her two pretty pets in turn as she stood to leave.

Spike turned to the medical team, he could see his pet beginning to struggle again, despite the comfortable full body bindings. They had to help him!

“Bloody hell!! Of course!! Whatever it takes!! Just … do it…!!” Spike’s game face fell away as the terrified eyes of his pet met his own and Xander felt the prick of a needle.

Xander wriggled a little more and registered the gag being removed but even before he could form words felt… really… rather comfortable… and relaxed… and then… black


<<<<<<<<<<<<< <<<<<<<<<<<


Spike had initially thought the Scoobie had just had a few too many when he fronted up nude in the upper story of Spike’s crypt. It only occurred to him later that he had fixed a padlock on the inside and the door was still locked. But a nude and unconscious Xander meant stakage from the Slayer if ignored, so Spike had hefted the (in retrospect) strangely light and lithe form down onto the bed to let him sleep it off.

At the time he figured another tiff with the soon to be missus… but when the lad started to whimper and beg, Spike knew there was something else going on. He thought it might be a seventies fetish spell given that the lad had literally begged for a beanbag (And he still owed Clem two kittens &/or a night of poker for the wonderfully kitch, fake-fur covered bag of polystyrene).

Clem had actually been a godsend, and his brother, Stan, a ‘human problems counselor’ had stopped by to help Spike cope with the rather (obviously) deranged Xander.

“It’s a typical reaction to repeated trauma, call it battle fatigue, shell shock whatever you like… but humans just aren’t cut out for the sleep loss and stress of fighting on a hellmouth… Amazing this didn’t happen earlier really”

Spike flicked his third cigarette in half an hour into the cool of the night and considered the doctor’s words… “So what? He’s a bloody war victim? There’s not a scratch on the blighter!...”

Stan, cut him off, “Strangely with humans, the ‘wounds’ are often cumulative and in some cases the effects are permanent. For now it seems, he at least feels safe with you.”

“Bloody well called me Master! You reckon that’s feelin’ safe??!!!”

“Well exactly. He sees you as his protector, the one responsible and controlling everything.”

“So what am I s’posed to do?”

“Well as long as he’s not violent or looks like doing something desperate, I’d suggest indulging him. He certainly seems happy enough… has he said much?” Stan leaned over and petted the half snoozing Xander and took particular note of Xander’s loving response as he leaned into a cooler hand as Spike followed suit.

“Just begged for this thing,” Spike indicated the bean bag with a measure of disgust, “And not to be clothed really… seems a little… over affectionate though… don’t you think.” Spike pulled his hand away with a timely jerk as Xander began to lick and nuzzle when the Master’s hand was left resting on his face. “Bloody Hell!!”

“I would strongly suggest that this human has had suppressed feelings for you for some time, given the level of affection he is displaying now. If it is too uncomfortable for you I would suggest medication or at worst a facility that caters for this sort of … disorder.”

“What, lock ‘im up?”

Xander had been listening though only offhandedly, more thrilled by Master allowing him to show affection – if only for a moment. Now he focused on Master. Surely Master would not send him away for retraining… not now! He’d done nothing wrong… he was Xander out of Gemma and Rolf… and he had done nothing wrong!

It took less than a second to decide. He launched off the bag and prostrated himself on the floor in front of Master palms up in a final plea, he would rather be sold on to a farm or back to Mistress than go through the humiliation of having to be retrained!

It was Stan who lifted him from the floor and pulled the now shaking form into a loose skinned hug, petting pretty brunette hair and cooing reassuringly before addressing Spike.

“He’s affectionate, compliant and seems to understand what is going on around him… and he definitely likes you!... So… give the boy some time. If he comes to his senses? Great! If not? You’ve got yourself a rather nice looking human pet!”

Stan stood, lifting Xander with him and delivered the boy into a rather unwilling Spike’s arms.

Xander tried to be calm, but was too worried, and when he smelt Master, simply gave in to instinct and… snuggled into the smell of leather, JD and… his master, Spike.

Spike thanked Stan with a nod and indicated the basket of moggies on the sarcophagus near the door. “There’s seven there… best I could do at short notice – but they are all tabbies!)
Stan grinned a pointed toothed smile, “More than enough! Sorry I couldn’t give you better news.”

He took the basket and departed and Spike, still holding an armful of apparently happy Xander, flipped open the cellphone ‘passed down’ from Dawn and made a call

“I need to talk to you Red, sommit’s up with the boy. And yeah… it’s urgent.”


<<<<<<<<<<<<< <<<<<<<<<<<


Xander drifted in and out of awareness for five days and surprisingly, really was comfortable in his bindings, if for no other reason than it eliminated any opportunity of escape and gave him no choice but to relax and sleep.

When he was aware he fancied he often felt a gentle cool hand combing through his hair and deep baritone voice soothing him.

On day four he came to with… whoever they were… lifting him into a warm bath. It wasn’t the bath so much as the finish of it that caused him to react. Two sets of hands washed his nether regions and with a glove covered hands intruded into the place that only twice had Anya’s toys ventured to go! He had bucked and struggled in his bound state so much that the fingers in his rear actually did some minor damage. A sharp jab in his rear was followed by the sickening feeling of falling as he registered their words, “We have to tell the Master.”

Xander had no idea how long he had been out for, but came to back on his beanbag, still bound but on his side, clean and dry and with a catheter in his arm. The mouthpiece was back.

There was obviously a small group of people behind him discussing his future.

Spike was desperate. His lovely pet… The medical team agreed that there was no sign of distemper, but there was definitely something amiss. Xander stared at Spike with a measure of anger and … well certainly there seemed none of the love and devotion that was always present – and his behavior in the grooming room was extremely worrying.

Xander could hear – and this time understand – Spike(!), or at least a version of Spike, and the female discussing options. He felt a body sit behind him on the beanbag and begin to stroke him with a familiar cool hand as the two spoke.

“Can’t tell you how much this means that you’re here Luv…”

“Oh my darling I wouldn’t dream of leaving you to deal with this alone… he was one of mine – and it is so upsetting to see this…”

Spike sniffed hard and put on a resolved face as he looked from Xander to Clarissa and back. “So what do you reckon… are there any other options – and don’t give me the put ‘im down one because… not goin’ ta happen, even if it takes tablets three times a day for thirty somethin’ years – not goin’ ta happen.”

Clarissa leveled a knowing look at Spike – for all his bluster he really was a complete softy at heart. His previous pet, one of her early white and chocolates, had been quite loopy, yet
Spike had persevered and loved her for close on twenty years. She had come to a tragic end when she escaped her lead and ran oblivious of her surroundings into oncoming traffic. Spike had been devastated for months afterwards… it was part of the reason he had asked Clarissa for a male this time. And little Xander had been perfect…

The mutual devotion was instant. She had left Spike for a little time with his prospective purchase… just to make sure, but by the time she returned, Xander had his head in Spike’s lap and the vampire was stroking a soft horse hair brush through the long brunette locks. In all her years of breeding, she had never seen such rapport on a first meeting, and was more than happy to sell Xander to her lovely friend.

It made the current situation even more distressing. But there were some pragmatic decisions to be made and only really a few options.

“My darling, I know this is going to be hard but we must consider the facts. He has been through a portal, he has been damaged in some way and forgotten all his training, plus seems quite violent.

"There really are only three options. We put him down, which I know you would never agree to, but darling you really may need to think of it if he does not improve. Look at the dear love…

"He doesn’t even recognize his own mother!” Xander blinked up at that, but simply saw two nude and heavily pregnant, very similar looking women. His mother had been pretty like that once but his stare of fear and confusion just emphasized Clarissa’s point.

“We can always geld him – which seems a shame given the pedigree, but at least would render him more docile and is so much better than keeping him on the medication – and I know you won’t mind his softer hair and slimmer lines afterwards.

“Or (and this is the most expensive option)… you engage a pet therapist and work to get his training back… Spike my dear, I really do care for the little love of yours but you are going to have to make some very hard decisions... Now… I personally would try the latter first.
Somewhere in that brain of his must be the affection and the loyalty you so love…”

Spike didn’t even hesitate, “Let’s do that then – give it two months ‘n if there’s no improvement then we’ll go the gelding option… never saw to breed from ‘im anyway.”

Clarissa beamed, “It’s settled then, I’ll contact Reginald tomorrow. And when you’re ready, bring him to one of the beginner classes – I’m sure he’ll start to remember from there.” The vampire patted her blonde friend’s arm, and was given a grateful kiss on the hand by Spike then, her two pregnant pets flanking her, was shown out by one of Spike’s staff.

Xander knew he was not in his own dimension – that was obvious – but now realized just how much trouble he was in… and with the gelded!?! Whatever this training was, he resolved to do it perfectly – at least until the others found him or he could figure out how to get home. He let another tear squeeze onto the pillow – What if he failed training and Willow and Buffy did find him in the future some time? There was no way he would be returning with them a eunuch?!!





Part Two

His training had always been easy, even joyful, and he and Mel, in fact all the children, delighted in the regular exercise and the opportunity to show Mistress just how good they could be. And she never missed the chance to reward good behavior or a new trick… and she knew all their most special rewards. For Xander it was always chocolate pieces, and Mistress seemed to have the knack of providing them just when he was feeling a little ‘low’.

Now… even his crayons were missing, but he could be patient… if only he understood why he was being punished! And it was the third evening without a run…

He really would have liked a run. He knew he could never keep up with Master’s full speed, but they normally ran together at least once a night, and rejoiced in that time together. Even if he hadn’t been perfect during the day, Master was always encouraging, and allowed him to ‘win’ on the uphills occasionally. He loved it when Master threw a soccer ball as they ran, it inevitably went hundreds of meters in front, and Master never failed to cheer as Xander scrambled ahead of the vampire to retrieve it…

But now, now Master would hardly look at him, and even refused to feed him, simply leaving the odd looking bread and cheese circle on the floor, even though he was sure he had done all the right things.

He was hungry but knew not to touch the lesson, with no permission it was yet another example of Master’s disappointment... and on the floor. Anyway, he was really too worried to be hungry, but he was so very thirsty and there were no water bottles, or even the regular drink fountain.

He had failed again when Master had asked him a whole series of questions about names of other pets… or poets… or priests… he no longer knew, and was so thirsty, tired and distressed that he finally accepted his failure, gave in and cuddled face first into the only thing left he understood, his bean bag.

Some hours later he registered being carried, but was too listless to even try to move. He hadn’t had anything to drink for close to three days and was beginning to pant. Glazed brown eyes raised to stare into unknown green.

Willow ushered a desperate Spike carrying beanbag and her old friend into the Rosenberg family home. “Goddess… Spike he’s hallucinating! How long since you gave him food or water?”

Spike looked frustrated… “S why I called you, ya silly bint. See for yourself! Even made him a bloody cup of tea – with milk and two! Fat lot of good that did – ‘s all there…” Spike had a plastic shopping bag full of bits and pieces, including a reused milk bottle filled with now cold tea.

Willow lifted the listless head of her (OK nude!) old friend into her lap but could not fault Spike on any of his points – there was non-vampire type food and beverages, and even the evidence of an unsuccessful clothing struggle in a second bag. “And just for the record… just for the record! I’ve tried every bloody thing I could think of to get ‘is kit on… And then Stan said… and now with the not eatin’ or drinkin’… C’mon Red gimme something!. I know the boy ‘n I ‘ave never been all pally and the like but… He’s not a bad bloke on a good day… and this… this is just…”

On the fifth lap of the lounge room, Willow grabbed the vampire’s hand and squeezed hard.

“It’s OK Spike… really… OK… You’ve done the right thing… but um… this isn’t our Xander.”

What? What do you mean it isn’t Xander?? Course it bloody is!! Seen the boy with au naturalle after work enough times when I was tied in that bloody… anyway… What the hell gives you that idea?”

Xander was now keening quietly into the lap of a woman he did not know, but she was soft and petted him like Mistress.

“Honey his aura is foreign, as in not from this dimension… Spike? When was the last time you saw Xander before he came to you… like… well like this?”

Spike did one more lap of the room muttering “Told meself it couldn’t get worse didn’t I but …” before turning with wide eyed realization, “Oh Bollocks! It’s worse innit!? Last Tuesday, Tuesday… patrolled went home then the next night… This.”

Willow simply reached for the bottle of now cold tea and began to gently ease it into Xander’s dry mouth, as Spike used her phone to call together their usual team.


<<<<<<<<<<<<< <<<<<<<<<<<


Reginald arrived the following morning. An incredibly tall, thin blue demon, he had a voice rather more squeaky than he would have preferred, he carried a cane and kerchief, and seemed to clear his throat rather more often than was necessary. Spike invited him in, as any gracious host might, then spent some time explaining the rather unique problem over piping hot tea. He had already instructed the staff to provide Master Reginald with anything he needed.

The man was rather pompous and seemed only ever to be half listening, but was a long time friend of Mistress Clarissa’s and Spike really did need ‘Regi’s’ advice. His darling Pet was still obviously suffering the ill effects of dimensional travel – according to staff, even expressing expletives as he was showered that morning, and requiring the lock lead to stop him struggling! The caring handlers had done their best and Spike thanked them sadly for their report.


<<<<<<<<<<<<< <<<<<<<<<<<


It had been utterly humiliating, Xander had never expected his daily ablutions to be dealt with by others, and certainly not whilst he was still bound, though now by shackles rather than the body suit.

As soon as a soft silicon fitting was placed on his penis, he panicked.

He struggled and swore at the owners of the hands that touched him in all the wrong places. But demon strength and restraints immobilized and gagged him. His collar(!) was attached directly to a clip on the wall and his ankles to the ground so he had no option but to lean forward and rest his forehead on a purpose built soft pad, then had what felt like a soft finger pushed into his rear. The handler pressed hard on his (he now realized) very full bladder and spoke words of encouragement, whilst his rear filled with an ever increasing gush of warm water. The effect was instant. All his struggles ceased and he simply began to pee, and cry, and be flushed.

By the time they moved him to the shower and he was again fastened short, he stood compliant, too ashamed to move as they attended their flighty charge with professional efficiency.

By the time he was returned to the bean bag cleaned, toileted, and minus the gag, he followed the handlers without argument and accepted the proffered drink bottle with genuine thanks. Hands that had so recently held him fast and forced him to submit to a cleansing, now stroked over his hair and congratulated him for taking a few sips of water, reassuring him with words he didn’t understand, but the sentiment understood.

As he lay on the beanbag, waiting for… whatever came next, he couldn’t help but reflect that at no time had the two… handlers, hurt him or punished him in any way. He vividly recalled the ‘gelding’ threat from the previous night, and resolved to behave more appropriately the following day.

By the time Reginald and Spike arrived, Xander was half snoozing face down on his bag again. They were both speaking English, so he listened as his leg restraints were removed and his hands bound tight into two soft suede pouches, then even his arm restraints disappeared. He still lay compliant, confused by the hand binding and worried regards what might ensue.

“Ahh I see he’s still comfortable on his place bag… well that’s a start… and you’re sure there’s no IDT distemper?”

“Not so’s we can tell. But if ‘es still not right... well like I said…” Spike’s voice was one of sadness and distress, but there was a slight chuckle from the other man as Xander jerked awake with alarm at the last statement and began a mantra in his own head. Gelded, be good or be gelded!

“Seems your pet still understands basic language... that’s wonderful – even if it’s only a few words we can work with that… I wonder would you mind instructing him. We’ll take it slowly. I assume he’s not been fed this morning?” As though on cue Xander’s stomach rumbled.

“Good! Good… Now let’s see just how well he recalls his basics… And remember you’ll need to be patient… Can you ask your Pet to move from his bag please?” Reginald stood back.

“Leave the bag, Pet.”

This was it for Xander, he was tempted to start yelling again, but knew that would result in a gag or drugs… or loss of… But still this was the start of a slippery slope… he did this and what next? Crawling around with the paper and slippers in his mouth!? He’d seen the pictures on the Net the day Anya decided she wanted to explore some ‘kinkier things for orgasms’! But the be good or be gelded thoughts came back and he knew that was no idle threat, still he hesitated.

When nothing happened Spike gave an apologetic smile and tried again, “Come on Xan, do it for me…. Leave the bag.”

Not quite sure how he was expected to do it or where he was to land, he simply scrambled backwards as best he was able, landing in a kneel on the floor.

“Excellent! Now... I know it’s only a small thing, but let’s start as we mean to proceed, give him your encouragement word, then a kindly stroke and a treat. And remember, no fussing unless he has worked exceptionally well, and even then, only at the end of the session.”

Spike was almost as bewildered as Xander – his stunning Pet had been delivered fully trained, the basics so ingrained, he had never even considered what education had gone into the impeccable behavior. His respect for Mistress Clarissa increased tenfold.

Still, if this meant getting his Pet back to normal, he was more than happy to comply.

Xander was now kneeling at the base of the bag with no particular position, nevertheless Spike squeezed his shoulder affectionately and gave a very low and loving, “Well done, Xan, well done,” before pushing one of what he knew to be his Pet's favorite cereal treats between surprised lips.

“Now order him onto the bag – this needs to be firm remember. By the end of this week he should know to attend his bag whenever told to do so, or of his own volition if unsure of what to do. And remember if you are using it for time out when being punished, there is to be no treats or distractions… Right… so let’s give him the order.”

“Xander, Onto your bag.”

This time Xander complied without hesitation and received another reward.

The process was repeated twice more before he was asked to stand, for which he got a reward whilst a lead was clipped to his collar, then was led into a room that looked like it had been set up as a sparring room. By the end of an hour of kneeling and standing, he was never so grateful for the matting on a floor, and by the end had all but forgotten his own nudity in front of two clothed vampires, being simply happy that his stomach was full of rather tasty snacks, and that he had learned that he could ask for things politely, after touching Master’s leg, then waiting for permission. He returned to his beanbag satisfied that at least he was one step farther from gelding.

He was toileted by handlers again, but this time did not struggle, then left to rest for a few hours before repeating the whole thing again in the afternoon – though with four new instructions for formal ‘show’ positions being added. It wasn’t rocket science!

That afternoon as he lay, this time bound only by the long lead attached to his collar, Xander found himself oddly pleased when Reginald expressed his pleasure at Xander’s progress, and even enjoyed Spike’s consequent quiet words and kind hand.

By the end of the fourth day of training he was considered ready for beginner classes and a ‘run on the lead’. If all went well, he might even have his hand bindings off by the end of the month... and wondered at himself being happy for that small mercy.

He was becoming accustomed to lying on the bag ,flipping the pages of other dimensional picture books with his suede clad fists, and really just accepted the morning cleaning regime with the various ablution devices, but each night, still sent prayers to the gods... to Buffy and Willow – and to the look-after-the-Xanman deity, assuming there was one.


<<<<<<<<<<<<< <<<<<<<<<<<


Pet!Xander luxuriated in a soft female lap that felt like… mother and mistress combined. A concerned cool hand seemed to touch him occasionally too.

He knew he’d been given some sort of sweet drink, but was alarmed when he blinked awake to find a catheter in his arm. Stan more than happy to assist again.

Xander heard worried voices as he dutifully drank from the squeeze bottle of water pushed between his lips, despite feeling decidedly full. He knew he had been feeling dry before but now, any more and he worried that he might not be able to hold on any longer and might… soil his new bean bag!

Master had always given him permission – seeming to know without his pet asking – and it was at least four times a day. But Master now, seemed to have forgotten, and he hadn’t even been led out by one of the new staff, and he didn’t know who he should ask… Instead of feeling too dry he now just desperately… wished for a bigger bladder.

Finally, the pretty red haired woman whose lap he had been happily resting on for a time, seemed to recognize his discomfort and held his hand, lifting him then gently.

She then led him to a room with an odd porcelain bowl. Whether at Mistresses or at his wonderful Master’s home, there had always been a fitted nozzle for his front in the past, and squatting spots for the girls (he always felt sorry for them having to do that), and both genders had always had personal deluxe jets for their back entrance… This whole thing just didn’t look right, but the woman seemed to expect him to add his fluids to the bowl, and at this point any permission to relieve himself was welcome(!), and he did note the flexible arm on the fitting in a shower room and suddenly understood.

He would now be expected to cleanse his rear during his general wash down. He hoped he would be allowed to do it himself, he had heard tales of some of the lesser pets being quite injured when careless staff did that sort of thing.

Willow saw the rather bewildered look and the genuine relief, then suddenly felt quite embarrassed. “Oh… Oh sweetie I am so sorry! I’ll leave you alone then you can… you know do your thing…”

But before she had finished Xander had already relieved an almost bursting bladder and forewent any form of etiquette to fall at her feet as she tried to leave the room. “Please thank Master… and Mistress… please will you tell him I am sorry… I know the rules have had to change… but Please?! He has always told me in the past… and now… Oh please! I will be good… dear Mistress… I am not a bad pet… But … but… Please tell Master… I’ll be good! Don’t let me go… not to retraining … please, Oh… please!!”

When Willow simply stood in stunned silence, Xander assumed the decision must already have been made, fell silent immediately and folded down into a position of full submission to await his fate.

He yearned to get clean before they sent him on to the retraining venue, but had no proper way of asking, so when a tentative touch indicated he should follow he lifted and trailed the witch back into the new sleeping room. She would not even touch his lead. He knew that somehow he was in complete disgrace. He should have realized, Master hadn’t touched him properly for days!

He took comfort that she at least lifted him and allowed him his beanbag, and Master seemed concerned, but still refused to make contact.

Then his world collapsed. Xander’s misery was complete. As he settled onto the bag, Master asked that the woman remove his collar… his pink collar… the one he had worn with such pride, the one only the prize pets were ever allowed to wear. It was too much. He wasn’t to be retrained – he was being sold… and sold as a slave not a pet!

He began to sob uncontrollably, and when the full meaning of it all sank in he found the bag was too much comfort. He knew that it would be taken next, the last thing before the cage, as he was no longer worthy of his pet bag… He couldn’t bear it, so decided to preempt its removal and scrambled backwards until on the polished floor of the lounge room. He almost made it across to the bookshelf before giving in to his own fear and grief. Curling into a ball, he began to sob uncontrollably.

Spike was entirely out of his depth, and even worse so, when Willow too began to cry at seeing the absolute distress of her childhood friend.

“Oh G#% Oh Spike!! What have I done!? … What have we done!?”

Bloody Hell!! Nothin’… Everythin’! Who the hell knows!” Spike swooped up the rather too light figure of Xander, and settled himself on Willow’s three seater lounge with Xander cuddled tightly against him.

Spike threw his mobile at Willow. “Just call the rest of ‘em and bloody well sort it at the shop. Noone deserves to be seen like this – whether ‘e’s Xander or no.”

Willow was torn… Xander was still crying hysterically and on the edge of hyperventilating but Spike waved her out. She swiftly arranged for Dawn, Buffy and Anya to meet her at the Magic Box, claiming urgency and need for supplies… Then she rang Giles in the UK and engaged the assistance of the coven. Inter-dimensional travel was not unheard of but apparently an exchange of individuals made no sense other than in a logic of the universe type way.


Spike had his lap full of human for a good half hour before the sobbing ceased and during that time had kept up a litany of comfort words and gentle petting, initially rather uncomfortably but as Xander slowly relaxed and the warm body melted against his own, the reassurance and kindness was delivered with no effort at all. When he felt a tentative arm move to wrap around his waist and another around his neck in an attempt to snuggle even further, he didn’t object, but rather, adjusted them both so he was almost lying flat with Xander on top of him. It felt rather nice really.

He listened to the human’s heart rate and breathing slow as the boy drifted off to sleep, and only moved a little once to snag his duster from its resting place on the coffee table and throw it over the both of them.

Xander woke to Master’s embrace and covered in Master’s coat and could still feel his collar, then he remembered and began to worry again, but Master simply tightened his grip and whispered to him that it was all going to be OK and that he should just relax and that he was loved and… he missed the rest as he sighed and fell into a deep sleep.

As she readied herself to leave for the Magic Box, Willow looked over at the now resting Xander and Spike. The vampire noted her hesitation at the door and gave her a slightly reassuring nod but said nothing. Willow excused herself from the house as she worried for her childhood friend. If this person had replaced her Xander… what torture must he be enduring!?





Part Three

On day five of his training, Xander woke late. The rest of the house seemed to have been up for hours.

He recognized that there was (yet again) the softest of baby blankets thrown over him as he slept on, and realized just how wonderfully relaxed he felt, which should have been all wrong – given that he was a human adult, with a tether attached to his collar, and tightly bound suede pouches on each hand.

Nevertheless, he resigned himself to stretching a little and snoozing on for a while comfortably, simply waiting (as he had learned was custom over the last few days) until he was collected by the handlers for his morning regime.

By the time they came, he was actually more than a little relieved… and shortly afterward... literally!

He had learned that the demons who attended his waking needs were named Del and Panna. They both seemed gentle and genuinely good natured souls, and on the previous morning, he had rather embarrassedly apologized for his behavior on the first training day.

He simply got a grunt and some words which may or may not have meant anything in English but the message was understood, and words mattered little when their actions spoke louder. The sponge was wielded a little more gently that morning, and for the first time they applied aromatic oil after he was dry. He stood silently and genuinely enjoyed the application of the scented fluid, and afterward Panna had patted him affectionately on the shoulder and walked with the lead loose – expecting him to follow… which he did.

It was a nice start, but indicative of a rollercoaster day of wonderful and awful!

In the early evening there was a beginner class at Mistress Clarissa’s - all manner of demons and ridiculous looking humans, doing all forms of demeaning things.

Spike’s clenched jaw told Xander that his 'Master' was enjoying it about as much as he. The almost complicit look and whispered, “I know you’re so much better than this… just… oh Pet, just remember the bloody lot and we’re done here. Promise!”

Xander learned as fast as he could, even running at heel, sitting and falling into a full down kneel with ease. He thought they were all done when the rather officious instructor pointed at Spike and his Pet and announced enthusiastically, “And we have two special members today – Master Spike and his Pet, Xander – and those of you who follow the breed will know... Xander is out of Rolf and Mistress Clarissa’s, Gemma… Care to do a lap and show us how it’s done properly, Master Spike?”

Spike squeezed his pet’s shoulder hard and whispered “C’mon Luv, done this a thousand times – what’s once more, ay? Waddya say? Once around the tan?”

The statement was so like a Spike of old comment that Xander didn’t even pause but simply stood and followed as Spike took off.

Xander ran as fast as he could behind the vampire as they circumnavigated the full half kilometer of the paddock. The lead was so loose in the beginning as to not be there, and in the end, dropped completely. Xander utterly forgot where he was, as did his utmost fastest sprint to try to beat Spike back to their ‘spot’!

Skidding to a halt a little painfully, and landing on his knees, Xander panted wildly and grinned up at Spike, who was laughing with delight and leaned down to kiss his wonderful, obviously recovering Pet on the temple.

The instructor was speaking again, but neither of them heard the end of the lecture, “… is the sign of excellent breeding and fine training. Another round of applause for Master Spike and PetXander.”

But the two were both caught in their own world, and now rather exhausted. The still kneeling Xander leaning contentedly against Spike’s leg as the class finished. And Spike carefully brushed the messy brunette locks from Xander’s face, then continued to stroke him as other class members and the instructor wandered up to express their appreciation for the performance.

That evening Xander slept easily and the following night, he went for his first long run with Spike.

Xander found the pace grueling and was frustrated as he realized that Spike was holding back considerably, but made a reasonable fist of it.

It became a regular activity, to the point where he was showered twice a day and after two weeks really began to enjoy the feeling of improved fitness. Classes were skipped and Reginald came back, Xander and Spike enjoying the private lessons and learning far more that way. And Xander started to feel that he might almost be safe from the neutering option, but there was still a month to go.


<<<<<<<<<<<<< <<<<<<<<<<<


The dear pet still had his collar.

Xander had been fussed over for days… by girl demons who all looked like humans!

There was one called Dawn who had been somehow manifested from a ball of other dimensional energy. There was one called Willow – who he liked the best and always made sure to pet or instruct, and compliment him whenever he was around. There was Anya who kept looking at him strangely but also seemed to understand his confusion. And then there was Buffy, who seemed nice enough, but kept giving him odd looks and asking what seemed like a thousand tricky questions which he had no way of answering. She even slapped him once when he stayed silent. Xander was very pleased when Master intervened.

Spike had caught the second swing mid air and spun Buffy to face him as Xander cringed on the floor, “C’mon Slayer! Pickin’ on small fry now? How’s about you take on a Master rather than the boy, then let’s see who gets slapped… [whispered] an we all know I can touch you!”

That person hadn't come back for days, and when she did, hadn't come near him - for which he was grateful.

Xander didn’t understand the whole dynamic with the Master and his friends but she really had hurt! It was all so confusing, but at least Master was being a little more attentive and must have decided against the retraining or selling options as he and his Master were now staying in the lovely Willow’s place.

He had also managed to stop thanking Master for not selling him – especially when the others were present, as it seemed to upset them all.

Xander now knew that he had to relieve himself – but always asked. And he had also learned that meals were no longer fed to him, but put on a table and he was expected to take it for himself – which was fine, except the silver things seemed to make it harder not easier to lift up food. He talked to Willow in a quiet moment, and they disappeared.

He knew he could ask for things and was now the happy owner of his own drink bottle, and the biggest set of crayons he’d ever seen (plus four books of pictures to color in!)

He now ran with Master every night - but it wasn’t quite like before. Master always seemed a little distracted, though gradually Master Spike seemed to tolerate his pet again.

Spike was actually enjoying this Xander “Mark II’, albeit he was a little clingy and needy – but a nice warm body wrapped around a cooler vampire one of a day was never to be sneezed at!

And in all honesty Spike didn’t mind the quiet times either. He had always been tactile, and enjoyed the feeling of his brunette charge leaning into a caring caress, or responding with a slightly excited shiver whenever ‘Master’ touched him kindly.

And the vampire was even coming to enjoy the constant companionship – because that is exactly what Xander offered. Quiet companionship and (apparently) unconditional love – the latter still unnerving Spike a little in its implications, but… he was moving toward reciprocating that too. Xander was ‘growing on him’. He liked being needed.

Willow also saw the changes in Spike more than Xander, and worried a little, they were still no closer to finding the solution to the switch. But if they did and if it happened, the 'real' Xander would break the caring vampire's heart for sure.


<<<<<<<<<<<<< <<<<<<<<<<<


On the last day of his third week with the new rules, Xander was asked to sit by a computer like the one Master had at his other home, and told to talk to a man who voice he didn’t remember, and whose face was a little obscure due to a bad line – but it looked like a handsome face so he assumed it was Rolf, as all the others kept referring to him as his… father figure.

The voice was cultured and kindly, and was just as he’d always imagined, but did ask some confusing questions, so (looking at Master the whole time) he consequently made sure he was extremely polite and remembered all his training, thanking Rolf for his fine pedigree and expressing his admiration for his father’s attributes and achievements.

Xander was very moved (and spent some time in Master’s lap afterwards being cuddled) when the male on the phone told him how he loved Xander like a son, and how proud he was of him. He wished Gemma and Mistress could have heard it too. He so wanted to tell Rolf about the others but apparently the line was cut off.

Xander resolved to color a special picture in their honor instead, and ask Master to send it to Rolf’s Master. After all, it was more than he could imagine that he would ever be given the chance to speak to the Sire of their line. He carefully colored a picture the following day and passed it reverently to Master, asking him politely if he could write to “To Rolf love Xander, Mel, Tinka and all the others out of Gemma and Lainie”.

And Spike finally understood.

This Xander could not read or write. All his reciting of poetry and numbers was… sheer memory! He was illiterate! And the coloring in, just a fluke talent, the letters on the bottom of any page, merely accurate mimicry. He almost cried at his own stupidity.

He had to talk to Willow – Retraining was pointless in so many areas… and Spike was quite enjoying the many signs of affection and the company of this innocent version of Xander… but for the poor boy not to have the privilege of good literature – or even bad!… Well Spike’s inner William just would not stand for it! This was one thing they really had to fix.

The following evening Dawn arrived with Willow and two full boxes of children’s books, plus a collection of rather tattered comics that apparently Xander had gifted Willow “On pain of death” to look after when he moved to the apartment.

The girls settled themselves and began to coach Xander with letters first and were terribly excited that he could write his own name but then discovered it was on the front of all the coloring books … and that he was simply a very good drawer! So he learned and a little like an intelligent sponge… seemed to learn very fast.

For the next three weeks Xander was patient, he knew these lessons were important, just like the lessons at Mistress’s establishment; and he knew Master wanted him to do well (he was always rewarded with a kiss – though the new rules seemed to mean no treats until the end of the day); but they were hard and tedious and he seemed to have to sit for a long time and had even begged to go to his bag twice in the last week – and he hadn’t done that for years – and he did so want to please Master!

But on the last night of his fourth week of lessons it was all worth it.

Master called him up onto his sleeping bed, as seemed to be the pattern these days. Often he even awoke in Master’s arms, though was still a little saddened that Master no longer seemed to allow the pleasant touching of old, nevertheless...

Spike was propped up, leaning against some pillows and as Xander dove into welcoming arms and began to settle, Spike pulled out a rather worn book of poetry… “Now’s the test pet … I read you one, then we do one together.”

At the word ‘test’, Xander had stiffened, but relaxed again when Master grinned and allowed him to push into the embrace just a little more.

And so they began, Xander very haltingly, and Spike helping all the way… it became a nightly pattern until, on his seventh week of reading, he managed five lines of the Henry Lawson – all by himself (and rejoiced as Master recited the rest then kissed him soundly!)

“But you, my friend true-hearted -
God keep our friendship green! -
You know how I was parted
From all I might have been.

But what avails the ache of
Remorse or weak regret?
We'll battle for the sake of
The men we might be yet!

We'll strive to keep in sight of
The brave, the true, and clean,
And triumph yet in spite of
The men we might have been.”

Henry Lawson


<<<<<<<<<<<<< <<<<<<<<<<<


It was the end of thirty days and Xander was lying on his beanbag whilst frustratedly trying to scratch an itch with a bound hand, when he realized. He actually (bound hand not withstanding) had begun to fall willingly into this life.

There were no responsibilities, no bills to pay, and clear rules with only one person to please… and he was pampered in every possible way and… loved! Apparently, so well that Master Spike had put much of his own business concerns on hold while his Pet recovered. It was unbelievable – Xander had only ever owned a hamster – and it had escaped only to be eaten by the neighbor’s dog.

Yet here he was, fitter than he had ever been, eating a healthy diet and had aught else to do in ‘down times’ than look at picture books and listen to Master. He had realized too that since so much was in languages he had no knowledge of or regarding things utterly out of his control, he seemed to speak far less, merely answering direct questions or asking for things he needed.

In the last three days however, between lessons and his run, he had been led (literally) to the study whilst Spike adjusted a beanbag, obviously matching the leather décor, next to his work table and he was invited to join him.

On the first day in the study, he was really not sure what was expected so was rather grateful for Spike’s trained “Onto your bag” instruction before Panna clipped his long lead to a purpose made hook on the table leg. On the second day his lead was left loose and on the third he followed Panna without any encouragement.

He had discovered he genuinely enjoyed lying on the beanbag whilst Master Spike worked at his computer and spoke on the phone. It was so much better than the boredom of kiddies books – though they were there too. Whenever the language was English, he enjoyed trying to guess the other side of the conversation and by the third day was genuinely enjoying the casual petting Spike so easily delivered when negotiating or just… because.

A week later, his hands were unbound with the first set of ablutions for the day and the pouches only returned before ‘lights out’. It was the first time he was allowed to cleanse himself - even agreeing to willingly flushing his own rear – which – given the specialist equipment, really wasn’t that bad… and he soon found that on a good day (he was rather embarrassed to admit) it felt almost …stimulating!

That day when he joined Master (and he really had started to think of him as that if only that it was all the staff ever said), Spike handed him a set of crayons and new coloring book – something he said was his alter-ego’s favorite pastime! It was, oddly, quite amusing after so many weeks of just listening or looking at pictures.

In their sixth week together, Xander was led into the study and stood dutifully behind the chair quite looking forward to a few hours’ rest before they started their training again – of late it had included some obstacle courses and a game with a soccer ball – that had started out as an easy lark but of late Spike had a habit of throwing the ball as hard as he could before they both sprinted to find it – his Master vampire of course having the slight advantage of night vision and infinitely faster sprint speed, still… Xander seemed to ‘be allowed’ to get the ball more than once in any given outing – and was always praised and rewarded (which he was coming to like more and more – particularly with the latest chocolate nibbles Spike had bought!)

So he waited for the instruction and watched the Master typing a business letter when he noticed an error in the text, and not one the computer seemed to have picked up. After several years of working in construction and reading tenders and building specifications, it was second nature to …. Before he even thought he leaned over Spike’s chair and pointed, “I think you mean principle –le, not principal –al there.”

A steel hard grasp grabbed his wrist and held him fast before Spike swiveled his chair and addressed him a little too calmly, “Do be so kind to tell Master… How long you’ve been able to read?!”

Xander felt a cold sweat begin and his balls rise rather alarmingly, the two months still wasn’t up.




Next



Index






Feed the Author

 Visit the Author's Live Journal

Home Categories New Stories Non Spander