Fun and Games
As soon as they had reached
the lair, Xander felt Spike’s arms wrap around him, nimble fingers undoing
each button even as a mouth nibbled the claim mark. Xander let himself
lean back into the embrace and believe that he had found a place to belong.
“Trust me?” Spike asked even as the vampire stripped the shirt and began
work on the pants.
“Always,” Xander agreed as he felt himself moved toward the end of the bed.
Spike nipped his scar, and for one moment, he did actually forget Luther
and Gunn, of course he also forgot to breathe and lost all of 10th grade
there for a minute too, but it was a definite improvement over remembering.
He felt his jeans pulled down pulled down to his ankles, and then hands positioned
him on his knees at the end of the bed before disposing of the jeans all
“Stay,” Spike whispered and Xander knelt there, watching as Spike opened
the cabinet and retrieved the leather restraints. The vampire leapt
up on the bed and hooked the leather lead to the ceiling before dropping
the wrist cuffs so that they dangled slightly above his head. Xander
shivered as he realized what Spike planned. Spike knelt in front of
him, pulling up his hands and locking his wrists into the leather straps
before standing again and shortening the lead so that his hands were held
comfortably above his head. Xander could feel himself breathing harder
as he knelt with his feet off the bed and his knees supporting his weight
as he pulled at the restraints. Spike walked to the edge of the bed
and stepped down, just watching.
“Ya done yet?” Spike asked when he had finally decided that the straps weren’t
going to pull loose. Of course he could stand up and undo the fastenings
from the ceiling, but he doubted he’d have time before Spike stopped him.
So he simply waited, his arms flexing slightly against the leash. “Stay,”
Spike ordered again before leaving the room. Xander had just enough
time to worry about how stupid he looked when Spike reappeared carrying a
“Goin’ to make you forget,” Spike promised as he opened the box, but Xander
couldn’t see the contents. When Spike reappeared, he saw the black
fabric and his eyes went wide. He trusted Spike with his life; he trusted
Spike with his friends’ lives, but there was something primal in his brain
that railed against the thought of being blindfolded. Spike must have
heard his heart because a gentle hand ran down his side and around to his
“Goin’ to make you forget,” Spike repeated as he teased a nipple, and Xander
felt himself buck, humping the air and yes, he found himself right back to
the thought that he had to look like a fool. “Oi, you’re thinkin’ too
much.” The black fabric closed in over his eyes before he had a chance
to register a complaint.
“Hey, not so okay with the whole blindfold thing.”
“Do ya trust me?” asked that sexy, thick voice, and Xander had to answer
with a slightly breathy “yes.”
“Who do ya belong to, pet?” came next, and Xander could hardly believe himself
when he whispered, “you.”
“Time to let me make the pain go away,” Spike said, and Xander found himself
willing to agree to anything when a talented hand reached down and fondled
his balls, one at a time, even as a single slick finger slipped inside and
firmly pressed his happy button. Xander humped the air again, and this
time he didn’t care how foolish he looked. Spike’s fingers repeated
the maneuver three or four times before disappearing, and he had to fight
an urge to mewl in protest.
The next thing he felt was cool soft lengths of material rubbing over his
back. When the sensation moved to his chest, Xander could smell the
leather and feel the soft texture as strands slipped across his nipples.
He hadn’t yet figured it out when the material disappeared and suddenly his
back tingled and heated, and then it became abundantly clear what Spike held.
The whip fell again, the soft strands momentarily stinging before the sensation
reduced again to the same tingle and heat. Xander couldn’t resist thrusting
his hips into thin air as the third strike hit, this time warming his butt
and falling hard enough to leave him gasping. The fourth strike hit
the back of his thighs, and Xander swallowed a scream, trying to gain some
“Go on, then, pet. Let it out,” Spike said softly, but his tone belied
the strength of the fifth strike, a sensation something like coolness immediately
followed by warmth that engulfed his right side. A small sob slipped
out, but Xander found himself wishing he could beg for more even while feeling
foolish for enjoying such pain. He could hear Spike walk away, and
he bit his tongue to avoid the pleading words that struggled to come out
of his mouth.
“Pet, tell me what you need,” Spike voice appeared in his ear.
“I…” Words failed him as he found himself unable to say it.
“Ya want to let go?” Spike asked, and he could only nod. “It’s
okay to like it, pet.” Xander heard the words, but he couldn’t get
over the thought of what Gunn would say. He knew Gunn couldn’t be part of
his life any more, but the thought of the man’s disapproval wrung a small
sob from his throat. “Let go, pet,” Spike counseled, but he fought
to slow his breathing and bring his words back under control before he let
them fall out into the world. He heard Spike sigh and a cool hand traced
the pattern of heat on his back.
“Sometimes forget just how young ya are. Don’t really know how to let
go, do ya?” Xander didn’t answer, not really sure what qualified as
an answer and unable to judge Spike’s mood with the blindfold in place.
Suddenly lips met lips, and Xander opened to Spike’s exploration, but before
he could begin to truly enjoy the contact, Spike’s lips disappeared and something
cold and cylindrical slipped into his mouth, pulling his lips back and pinning
his tongue to beneath it’s cool, smooth surface. Xander tried to push
it out, but he could feel the strap lock behind his head. He tried
to curse, but his protests came out as moans and grunts without the use of
tongue or lips.
The soft leather of Spike’s whip now returned, the material teasing his cock.
For a moment, the whip stopped and he thrust against it, the leather strands
falling around his cock like gentle fingers, and he could feel his need mounting.
The whip moved, and before he had a chance to even stop thrusting toward
it, a blow fell on his calves. Xander screamed into the gag, free to
beg for more now that the intruding plastic distorted his words beyond meaning.
The warmth spread upwards, joining the now fading warm from his thighs, and
suddenly a flurry of strikes hit his back, the pain edging toward the unhappy
side before settling down into a definite happy sort of tingly pain.
And since when did pain have a happy side?
The answer was driven from his mind, along with everything else when the
strikes moved to the front. The first hit took him just under the rib
cage, and Xander screamed again when the fire encompassed the softer skin
of his stomach. The next two hits were softer, each taking in his chest
and a nipple. Xander now squirmed as he tried to push forward into
the contact. He babbled fiercely, but the bit in his mouth destroyed
the words, leaving him free to say whatever he wanted, no censure required.
When the whip strikes stopped, Xander complained into the gag, causing a
series of grunts which ended when strong arms circled him from behind and
a naked body slipped between the legs that stuck out past the end of the
bed, forcing his knees apart. The hands slipped down and pressed against
the inside of the thigh so that he spread even farther, until his inner thigh
muscles complained and his arms stretched tight above him.
A strong, slick finger slipped up into him, and he let his arms carry his
weight as he all but collapsed under the force of the desire building in
him. A second finger joined the first, and now the two fingers twisted
in unison, stretching him quickly enough to cause tremors of pain up his
back, but still definitely on the good end of that newly found scale.
Just as the third finger joined the other two, sharp fangs slipped into his
hip, bringing two points of fire. Helpless to do anything other than
scream nonsense and writhe, he screamed nonsense and writhed with everything
he had. Once Spike pulled out, he could feel the warm trail of a drop
of blood slither down his skin before a tongue pursued the refugee and then
laved the wound.
The fingers pulled out and in the next heartbeat, he felt Spike slide in,
arms around his waist pulling him back as the vampire stood behind him.
He felt the familiar sensation of stretching and pulling before he adjusted
to Spike’s size, and then each thrust came with the tingling of a fingernail
running over skin. His thigh, his chest his stomach, he never knew
where, he only knew that the pleasure of feeling Spike filling him, pushing
against his prostrate and possessing him would be countered with the tingling
pain of these scratches as he hung, helpless to do anything other than make
impotent fists as Spike pounded into him.
He could feel his whole body alive, every skin cell announcing its presence
and warmed by the stimulation, and he yelled, cursed, begged, whined, and
demanded in words that the bit broke and turned into animalistic grunts.
Spike sped up now, the scratches replaced by a bruising hard grip on his
hips, holding him in place as Spike thrust harder and harder. Finally,
a hand reached around and grasped Xander’s cock just below the head and all
Willing to do anything to continue this moment where nothing existed except
need and passion, Xander thrust forward and then pulled back. Of course,
in pulling back, he impaled himself on the hard, motionless cock behind him.
He again forced himself forward into the hand and then back onto the cock.
He sped up, slamming his body as hard as he could forward and then back until
he felt his muscles start trembling, announcing the beginnings of release,
and then he felt Spike take over again, hard strokes that pushed him into
Spike’s fist over and over until he felt Spike’s release just at the vampire
fiercely whispered “Mine” in his ear and plunged fangs into his claim mark,
triggering his own release as he felt his cock twitch in Spike hand several
times, the pleasure overwhelming everything as he hung limp.
He could feel Spike slip free of his body about the time he pulled out of
his neck. Xander had to admit that Spike had the power to rearrange
the world because Xander didn’t think he could even care about apocalypses
or Girl Scouts as thoroughly sated as he felt. Spike lazily licked
his claim mark, and he could feel the corresponding tremors go through his
body. Hands tangled with his hair before releasing the gag.
“So, pet, does the club have sewer access?”
“Huh?” He stretched his lips, grateful that Spike had taken that out.
“The club, ya know, that place where ya use to work, they have sewer access?”
“Don’t really know, why?”
“Thought I’d stop by there and pick up my music,” Spike calmly announced.
“Uh, well…um,” Xander froze.
“Articulate as ever, pet. Where’d ya leave them?”
“How could you…”
“Oi, ya pressed so tight against me on that motorcycle that I could feel
the CD’s even through the jeans. So, where they at? Locker?
T’s office? Better not be with Carlos ‘cause I already cut that wanker
slack once.” Xander thought about asking Spike to take off the blindfold
so that he could watch for any homicidal activity, but then he decided he
really didn’t want to see his imminent death.
“I gave them to Angel,” he admitted, and the hands that had been roaming
over his body froze.
“Oi, you bloody well took that joke about 50,000 leagues to bloody far, ya
pillock.” Spike complained loudly, but the hands resumed their aimless
groping, so Xander assumed he wasn’t going to die soon. “So, ya like
the practical jokes?” Spike hands disappeared, and Xander found himself
“Spike?” he called without receiving a response. “It was before we
had the …uh….talk about Angel and all,” he defended himself.
“Just remember, ya started this, and you’re makin’ me go to the pouf to get
my music back,” Spike said in a slightly scary voice, but the hands that
now put something around his waist moved gently.
“What ya doing?” he asked as he felt the thick material around his waist
“Gettin’ even,” Spike amicably responded. He felt cuffs close around
his ankles and he could hear some ominous clinking. He tried to close
his legs, not that it would make him any less vulnerable, but it might make
him feel less vulnerable. Strong hands stopped him. “You’re not
“Okay, I know I went too far.” Xander went to stand and release the
leash from the ceiling only to find that he couldn’t straighten his legs
since some sort of chain connected the ankle cuff to the material at his
waist. Oh shit. “Spike?” he called hesitantly.
“Wot? Don’t trust me?” came an amused voice, and Xander just knew that
he was going to pay for trying to give Spike a reason to talk to Angel and
Angel a chance to talk to Spike without feeling a need to threaten him.
Served him right for getting into a family dispute he thought to himself
as hands returned and pushed his knees apart again.
Xander didn’t fight as Spike arranged him and something slick touched his
hole. He thought Spike was going for round two when the pressure increased
until something rigid slipped in and settled with a pop. He could feel
himself stretched, and he could also feel the pressure on his prostate when
he moved. Hands now worked at the front of the waistband and he could
feel lengths of something dangling over his genitals before being pulled
through his legs and into his crotch. The tightness irritated him,
but didn’t really bother him too much, but it did push the object in his
ass farther in, making Xander Jr. struggle to respond even though it was
physically impossible for him to react this quickly. Spike worked at the
back of the waistband, and Xander suddenly had a pretty good idea what the
vampire had done. He experimentally pushed, straining to get rid of
the object lodged inside him and, sure enough, the pressure on his crotch
increased, but the objected couldn’t move much at all.
“Isn’t this taking it a little far?” Xander asked as he realized how helpless
he was, hobbled, hands secured, a butt plug up inside him and some sort of
harness holding it in. And of course the blindfold, which he found
more annoying than all the rest combined.
“Givin’ my music to my soddin’ sire was going a little far; this is justice,”
Spike commented. Xander opened his mouth to complain again, but the
bit slid back into his mouth, and he struggled to push it out before Spike
could secure it. Of course he lost.
“Sewer’s a handy thing, pet. I’ll go see the pouf, then drop by Ajani’s
and see how things are going. Need to make sure he knows I won’t challenge
him.” Spike fell silent for a moment, and Xander couldn’t do anything
except tilt his head in the direction he thought Spike stood. “Havin’
to get that wanker out of there made things a little tense. Having
an older master make demands so quick, it’ll make him think I plan to ask
for more. Might take him a little ‘takin’ over the nest’ gift to show
him I’m not looking for anythin’ from him.” Xander groaned at the thought
of being tied up for that long, so he could only hope that Spike was teasing.
Not that he could do anything other than hope of course.
“Course, don’t want ya to get bored, pet. Saved this back last time
I found your hidin’ place.” He could hear the familiar sound of the
stereo opening and closing before the loud strains of Dead Kennedys assaulted
his ears. If he hadn’t been gagged, he might have told Spike that didn’t
actually mind this particular CD, making it useless as torture. Either way,
he didn’t have the choice now as he explored the surface of the gag with
the limited movement of his tongue.
“One more surprise, pet,” Spike whispered in his ear and he couldn’t help
but jump, which drove the plug farther into his prostate, which caused Xander
Jr. to struggle to a sort of quarter mast. He groaned; his only hope
of surviving was to keep still so his prostate didn’t get stimulated.
He had almost forgotten Spike’s words when he felt a hand between his legs
and suddenly the plug began to vibrate sending waves of pleasure through
his body. Xander slapped his legs closed as he tried to deepen the
sensation, pulling against the restraints and moaning loudly around the gag.
Spike stood with a hand on his lower back for several minutes before the
hand delivered one last sharp slap to his butt.
“Oh yeah, don’t tease the master, pet. I’ve had 120 years to develop
tortures.” Xander could barely even register the words as he squirmed
and squeezed his inner muscles in an effort to get more stimulation.
“Have fun,” the vampire laughed as the sound of the hallway door opening
and closing told Xander that he was on his own.
By the time he heard the door open again, Xander was beyond all thought.
He had tried pulling his legs up and rubbing against himself, but he couldn’t
get the right angle or enough pressure, so he had eventually given up.
It took longer for him to give up trying to control the urge to move, but
by the time the door came open, he twisted and squirmed and thrust and didn’t
care how it looked. Almost instantly, he felt a hand at his cock, and
he thrust forward wildly even as he felt a hand push the plug up into his
body. He slammed himself forward just twice before he came harder than
he ever had in his life.
By the time he had gathered enough brain cells to really pay attention to
his surroundings, he lay in a hot bath with Spike washing him. He couldn’t
concentrate enough to form words as the vampire picked him up and dried him
before carrying him to bed. He didn’t even really remember falling
asleep. He only knew he had fallen asleep when he started drifting
back up into consciousness feeling incredibly relaxed. He felt as if
he had overslept and Spike was already awake, a hand wandering over his curled
body. Xander lay on his side, and he felt Spike press up behind him,
a strong arm curling around his waist.
He sighed as he felt a hand run through his hair before smoothing it away
from his face. Then Spike reached down and pulled his top leg up so
the vampire could slip between his legs even as they lay on their sides spooning.
He hadn’t realized that Spike had somehow managed to prepare him already
until he felt Spike’s cock slip into him slowly. Once in, Spike waited
a moment before slowly pulling out until only the head remained within in
him. Despite the soreness, Xander felt Spike’s fullness rubbing along
his prostate and a shiver of pleasure rolled through him.
He tried to thrust back, but a strong hand held him as Spike slowly moved
in and out in a steady rhythm.
“You’re killing me,” Xander gasped as Spike rolled his hips and slid in again
“Ya don’t smell like your suffering.” Spike didn’t vary his unhurried
pace. Xander grabbed Spike’s hand from his waist and tangled his own
fingers with Spike’s. He didn’t know what had happened the previous
evening, but this slow, soft approach certainly surprised him. He shuddered
again as Spike pushed into him and started two sharp fangs over the claim
“Suffered last night,” Xander half-heartedly complained. Even though
he said the words, he knew that last night had been many things and suffering
had not even entered the equation. In fact the equation seemed to be
something along the lines of bondage plus sexy vampire multiplied by sexual
frustration equals nearly earth-shattering and coma inducing orgasm.
“Oi, didn’t think ya minded. Fact, thought I might stage a repeat performance
some time.” Xander groaned when Xander Jr. betrayed him by dripping at the
very thought. Damn traitor. Spike just laughed and continued
his slow movements. Spike’s hand slipped free of Xander’s embrace as
Spike reached down to take pity by grabbing Xander’s cock as he speeded up.
The two of them came at nearly the same time, and Xander noticed that Spike
didn’t even bite him. Oh yeah, something’s wrong with his vamp, he
thought. Ajani didn’t have the power to disturb Spike so much, so he
made his best guess.
“So, what exactly did Angel say that caused this whole reaction?” Xander
asked once he could breathe again.
“The pouf has nothin’ to do with it.”
“You’re lying, vampire mine.” Xander rolled over onto his back, wincing
slightly at the soreness he discovered.
“‘M evil, pet. Supposed to lie.”
“You’re about as evil as…” Xander caught the expression on Spike’s face and
quickly edited his statement. “As a tiger. A big man-eating tiger
that rips people’s throats out.”
“Bloody right,” Spike agreed, his expression quickly becoming satisfied.
“Which is still not evil. Dangerous, not evil,” Xander pointed out,
but Spike only glared. “And let’s stick to the subject, namely, what Angel
said.” Spike lay quietly beside him for several minutes.
“He tried to take ya, pet.” Spike finally sighed.
“No he didn’t,” Xander began and then he remembered the dark vampire stepping
into his personal space, staring him down. “Um, okay, maybe he did.”
“Ya didn’t know?” Spike turned gold eyes to him, and he couldn’t avoid hearing
the disbelief in Spike’s voice.
“I really didn’t; I thought he was being an ass, that’s all.”
“Bloody hell.” He waited for Spike to continue, but the vampire simply
reached out and pulled him close so that he now lay on his stomach, half
on and half off Spike. Spike’s arms held him tight, so he settled down
and wiggled his way to a comfortable position.
“Ya keep that up, and we’ll start up again,” Spike promised with amusement.
“Hey, human here. You start up again and death by fabulous sex is a
very real possibility. My cock is sore, my backside is sore, and I’m
a teenage male complaining that he doesn’t want more sex right now, so an
apocalypse must be coming. And stop changing the subject. What’s up
with you and Angel?”
“He told me he tried to take ya. Told me he told ya to leave me.”
“Oh wow, that couldn’t have been a pleasant conversation. He does still
have all his body parts attached in correct order, right?”
“Oi, not goin’ to dust my sire, that’s Peaches’ style. ‘Sides, he said
that ya wouldn’t budge. Said ya stayed loyal to me even when he called
on the demon in ya.” Spike’s voice sounded strange.
“Okay, Spike, I know I can be a little slow, but why in the world would you
ever think I might go to the broody Neanderthal when I want you?”
“He’s my sire, pet.”
“Yeah, covered that, but I’m obviously missing a couple of points because
when I try to connect the dots into a picture, I’m coming up with abstract
art.” He could feel Spike’s chest rise and fall as the vampire sighed.
“He’s older and stronger, luv. A vampire or even a vampire pet should
always go to the stronger master.”
Xander couldn’t resist the urge to snort. “Yeah, right. Strong
in that Cordelia can whip him into place or strong in the whole personality
split thing or strong in terms of being jealous of you? I’m not seeing
the whole ‘he’s stronger’ part of this conversation.”
“Jealous!?” Xander gasped when the arms tightened a little too much
and the pressure instantly lessened. “What’d the tosser say to ya,
“He said that he didn’t like the fact that after you were turned, you still
managed to try and create something where he just went around destroying.”
“Wanker pointed out my faults often enough. He’d wait ‘til I’d found
something I might like, then he’d take it away, laughin’ and callin’ me weak.”
Xander could hear the emotion in the tense voice and heavy accent.
“Angelus may have thought that, but Angel…Angel’s jealous that you control
the demon better than he could. That makes you the stronger person…
or demon in this case.”
“He said that?” Xander lifted his head and looked into Spike’s shocked
“Yep. It’s why I gave him the CD’s, so you two would have to talk.”
“Wanker,” Spike complained, but he wasn’t sure whether the insult was meant
for him or Angel. The arms tightened again and Spike possessively
declared, “Mine.” Xander didn’t even have to consider the answer.
“Yours,” he agreed as he lowered his head back to the muscled chest.
“However ‘yours’ has to go to the bathroom.” He felt the chest rise
and fall in another sigh.
“Bloody inconvenient human bodies,” Spike groused even as strong arms released
him. Xander laughed and then headed to the bathroom. He was brushing
his teeth when the unmistakable sound of a trumpet and drums filled the lair.
He finished quickly and went into the main room where Spike had already dressed.
“New CD?” Xander asked with a nod toward the stereo shelf. He had to
admit he liked the complex notes and the way that first one instrument and
then another took main stage.
“Miles Davis,” Spike agreed. “Must be one a Angel’s; found it in the
pile of CD’s he returned, and I’m not givin’ it back.”
“Pretty good,” Xander commented.
“Heard him in New York in the fifties or sixties, always did like him.
Now get a move on, pet. We need to get goin’.” Spike finished
lacing up his boots and turned to securing various weapons in his clothes
“Helping Ajani take down another master?” Xander asked as he got into
the armoire and pulled out clothes for the day.
“Not this time. We’re going to see Peaches.” That stopped him
in the middle of pulling on his pants, one leg in and one leg raised in the
air. Spike’s snort of laughter got him moving again. “Talked
to Ajani last night; seems like one a Cassidy’s minions got away with most
of the mojo Cassidy’d collected.” Spike shrugged on his duster, and
Xander hurried to button up his shirt. He really did dress faster back
when he could throw on a t-shirt and then pull on a button up shirt without
buttoning it, but the few t-shirts he’d brought had already disappeared.
“Oh god, please don’t tell me that means that someone is going to finish
that whole enslaving all the vampires scheme,” he said as he sat to pull
on his own boots.
“Think so, but Ajani and his minions can’t stop them, and we’re not goin’
in there alone, so, we go to Peaches.”
“What happened to the good old days when vampires just randomly killed?”
Xander groaned as he finished and tucked his own weapons away. “Now
it’s all end of the world this, enslave everyone that.” Despite his
jokes, Xander could feel his stomach tense at the thought of someone using
magic to enslave Spike or even Angel or Ajani. Before he’d worried
about the power and damage a person could do with an enslaved vampire army.
Now, he worried about the vampires.
“Ducks,” Spike nodded his head
toward Cordelia when they walked through the door to the dim office.
“Oh, don’t even come in here with that whole innocent act. If you’re
here to hit Angel again, you can just turn your over-bleached ass around
and leave, mister.”
“You *hit* Angel,” Xander demanded, but Spike didn’t even have the grace
“Wanker deserved it,” Spike smugly insisted. “But I’ve got to talk
to him, so the cheerleader needs to go get him.”
“And you,” Xander did flinch when Cordelia pointed a manicured finger at
him. “Exactly where were you last night? I expect you to keep
his unholy bleachiness in line.” Xander swallowed and closed his eyes
in an effort not to think about where he had been during Spike’s confrontation
with his sire. Spike’s snicker proved that the vampire had no trouble
remembering the previous evening.
“Can’t really tell him what to do,” Xander pointed out with a glare to Spike
who wouldn’t stop softly laughing. “Besides, I’ve learned my lesson about
getting between Spike and Angel.” Xander didn’t even think about what
his words must sound like until he saw the instant worry on Cordelia’s face.
“Xander? Are you okay?” she asked as she walked around the desk, a
stake in hand.
“I’m fine, Cordie. Just a piece of advice from experience—don’t try
to pull a practical joke on a 120 year old vampire. You won’t win.”
He shrugged and Spike’s snicker, which had disappeared at the arrival of
the stake, now returned.
“Whatever,” Cordelia waved a dismissive hand in their direction. “I
so don’t need to know what adolescent games you’ve been up to.”
“Who ya talkin’ to?” asked a voice from a back office and the green-eyed
man, Doyle, walked out. “Dinna know we were gettin’ regular visits
or we’d a redecorated, maybe something in a nice cross motif,” Doyle commented
as he leaned against the doorframe watching them. Xander really wondered
how ugly the confrontation had been the previous evening because everyone
seemed on edge. Well, everyone except Spike who had obviously caused
the whole mess.
“We really do need to see Angel,” Xander hurried to say before Spike could
offend them any more than he obviously already had.
“If he thinks he can walk in here whenever he wants, he’s gone in the head,”
Doyle responded without moving.
“It’s all right,” came a voice from behind Doyle, and the man moved to allow
Angel into the room.
“Well if it i'nt tall, dark, and broody,” Spike commented, and Xander felt
himself pulled tighter into Spike’s side. He resisted an urge to roll
“Spike, I thought we agreed to keep our distance?” Angel asked as he moved
into the room, taking a position in front of the desk where Cordelia sat
and Doyle now leaned.
“Just thought you’d like a heads up, but if ya don’t want my help, I’ll just
take my pet and get far enough away that we’ll be safe.”
“What are ya blatherin’ about now?” Doyle asked from his position behind
Angel, and Spike released Xander in order to dig in the duster pockets for
cigarettes. Xander retreated to the arm of the sofa nearest the door.
Spike lit his cigarette and stood there, blowing smoke in Angel’s direction
while Angel’s expression grew increasingly pained.
“William?” he finally demanded in a half snarl.
“Wot? Just thought to tell ya that some bloody git got his hand on
that mojo that Cassidy’d collected. Thought you lot took care of that,
but I guess good help’s hard to find,” Spike waved toward the desk, and Cordelia
gave out an offended squeal.
“Jaysus,” Doyle swore.
“Where did you hear this?” Angel demanded.
“Oi, you’d a heard too if ya stopped to talk to the fledges instead a pretendin’
ya can kill them all. One of the older vamps set up shop on the north
end, been gatherin’ minions and lettin’ the younger masters kill each other
off as he sat back and chatted up those lawyers of Cassidy’s.” The
room fell into silence for several seconds.
“And why *exactly* did this minion trust you with this information?” Angel’s
eyes narrowed, and Xander resisted an urge to beat both vampires until they
stopped this inane game of who can piss higher. It was like watching
those stupid rams on National Geographic, the ones that rammed their heads
together over and over until they proved who had the harder head.
“You really are playin’ on half a deck these days. The minion trusted
me ‘cause I’m a master or have ya forgottin’ how minions act the way you
forgot your own childer?” Xander sat up a little straighter, expecting
the blows to start, but Angel wilted like a plucked flower.
“William,” he said in a far more conciliatory tone.
“Don’t bloody go there, Peaches. Don’t want to have some wanker with
mojo strong enough to bring me to heel runnin’ around. I fought to
get free a Darla, and I earned my status, so you can soddin’ help me take
him down or not, but ya won’t treat me like some underling who hasn’t earned
his place.” This time the uncomfortable silence stretched far longer
with the two vampires staring at each other. Spike finally ended the
stand off by walking to the door and flicking the remains of his cigarette
onto the street.
“So, ya in or out?” Spike demanded from the door without turning around,
his back to Angel in an expression of either submission or contempt, Xander
really couldn’t tell which. He could practically hear Angel grind his
teeth, and that man was lucky he was a vampire; otherwise he might have a
serious dental problem. Angel finally spoke.
“Do you trust this minion?”
“He’s got no reason to lie. Knows I’ll go back and torture him to death
if he does.” Spike stood motionless, no bouncing, no twitching a cigarette
in his hand, no nothing. The stillness made Xander nervous.
“Do you know where this place is?”
“Yeah, Peaches, I do.” Spike turned to face his sire, and now Angel
was doing the silent and motionless bit. This was just entirely
too creepy. He could see Cordelia and Doyle exchanging glances, so
he wasn’t the only ones getting major wiggins.
“Cordelia, get the holy water,” Angel quietly ordered.
“You’ve got to be kidding.” Cordelia’s hand shot up to her waist as her eyes
narrowed in rebellion.
“Cordelia, please just get the holy water. Doyle, call Gunn and see
if his crew can give us some support later tonight after we’ve checked this
“Hello?!?! You’re talking about trusting the vamp that blind-sided
you yesterday. Can anyone here spell trap because I did not survive
a hell mouth just to end up a vampire chew toy.”
“Cordelia,” Angel said wearily.
“T-R-A-P. Pretty simple.”
“Trap. Ambush. Snare. Lure. Con.”
“Can I get in a word here, Angel? ‘Cause I’m trying to make a point
and I don’t think you’re listening.”
“He’s not lying.” Angel finally just started talking over Cordelia’s complaints,
and she fell silent as he continued. “We have to stop this vampire,
and we have to get whatever magical objects he’s using.”
“And we’re trusting Spike on this?” The second hand now rested on
her hip giving her the outline of some ancient warrior… or an angry mother.
Scary either way.
“Yes, we are. Doyle—phone.” Angel now turned to completely face
his own crew, and Doyle reached for the phone. Cordelia’s hand landed
on the handset before Doyle could pick it up and the man looked up at Angel
helplessly. Oh yeah, this wasn’t of the good.
“Gunn’s probably not going to be up to anything other than soft foods after
yesterday anyway,” Xander said about three seconds before his brain reminded
him that he didn’t really want to get into a discussion with Angel, certainly
not in front of Spike who had gone a little extremeish last time he’d talked
to Angel, certainly not when the topic included Spike’s whole secret plan
Angel swung back to face him, taking two steps toward their end of the room,
and he could hear Spike sigh and shift closer to the couch where he sat.
“And I think I’m going back to the whole not talking thing—I get in less
trouble that way,” Xander nervously laughed.
“What did you do to Gunn, William?” Angel spoke to Spike, but his eyes remained
focused on Xander until Xander squirmed under the glare.
“Nothing. Would of happily killed the wanker, but ended up pullin’
him out of a lair instead. Not going to talk about it.”
“You saved Gunn?” Angel now turned to Spike, confusion pulling his brows
into deep furrows.
“Nancy-boy thing to do, but yeah. I did. Enough said.”
Xander watched Angel’s eyes travel from him to Spike and back to him.
The vampire reached some sort of conclusion because his forehead smoothed
out and he nodded knowingly.
“He okay?” Xander didn’t realize that Angel was talking to him until Spike
nudged him and he looked up to see Angel watching him intently.
“I guess. He was strong enough to take me on a whole guilt trip, so
I’m assuming that means he’ll live.” He squirmed a bit talking to Angel,
and the vampire must have realized it because he backed up a step or two,
and Spike returned to his place leaning against the door.
“We’ll check the place out and see if we can handle it with the five of us,”
“Never do like this part of the plan,” Doyle complained but he followed Angel
into the back and helped him carry out a large collection of weapons.
When they reached the building in question, Xander found himself agreeing
with Doyle. The place had once been some sort of utility station with
thick concrete walls and wire towers and a steel door. Hell, it might
still be a utility station, but God help the utility worker who tried to
go in there because vamps slipped in and out of the half-open door with regularity.
“They must have sewer access in there,” Angel commented as he lay on a small
hill watching the facility.
“Ya think?” Spike sarcastically snapped back from the convertible.
He hadn’t liked coming in one vehicle with Angel and company, but the older
vampire had insisted that Spike’s motorcycle with its missing muffler and
throbbing engine was just a little too obvious. So that left Spike
and Xander in back with a very uncomfortable Doyle. A particularly
uncomfortable Doyle once Spike made it clear that he would sit in the middle
and Doyle would not be anywhere near *his* Xander.
“Spike,” Angel snarled, but Xander was relieved that the older vampire had
returned to using the nickname. When Angel said “William,” he was reminded
of his mother’s angry “Alexander Leville Harris,” and that was so not a good
memory. The very sound of his full name still sent his manly bits retreating.
“What’s the plan?” Doyle asked from his position next to Angel, binoculars
“It better not include me getting down in the dirt with you two,” Cordelia
called quietly, but she was also pulling weapons out of the trunk and sorting
them by function: crossbows with the stake throwers, maces with the
swords. Strange girl. Dirt, no; weapons, yes.
“Right now, we wait and try to get an idea of how many are in there.”
Xander turned to see Spike gesturing to him, and he followed Spike away from
the others toward a distant fence.
“Ya stay back in this, pet. Don’t care what Peaches says, you’re mine
and you’ll bloody well listen to me.” Spike didn’t even make eye contract
with him, instead the vampire stared toward Angel.
“But what if—”
“Oi, no arguin’. Peaches and I can take care of ourselves, and if it
comes down to you or those two wankers that hang around Peaches, you’re worth
more than them.” Gold eyes flicked toward him before returning to study
Angel. Xander turned to watch the scene that fascinated Spike.
Cordelia leaned on the car flipping through a magazine while Doyle and Angel
lay on the grass.
“It’s not really a matter of w—”
“If ya say one more word arguin’, you’ll soddin’ well stay in the lair until
this nest is cleared out. Got it?” Xander felt his demon moving
within him, pushing and urging him to obey. Of course, he couldn’t
really do much to help compared with Spike and Angel, so he nodded his agreement.
“Promise,” Spike ordered.
“You’d take my promise? What about the whole 'supposed to lie' thing?”
“I’m supposed to lie. You’re a bloody white hat; you don’t lie.
Not to me, pet.”
“I promise, Spike.” Xander felt a heaviness in his mind and he wasn’t
sure he would be physically able to break that promise. “So no Ajani
tonight at all?” Xander whispered.
“Nope.” Spike turned his head as if listening for something but obviously
concentrating on Angel more than his current conversation.
“Kinda like him,” Xander commented, and when Spike shot him a disgusted look,
he quickly amended his statement. “In a human-friend sort of way which is
actually a little disturbing considering he’s a killer and I really shouldn’t
like killers, well, except for the obvious…and I am so gonna shut up now.”
“Yeah, well I told ya not to get attached. Masters from different lines
don’t share well, so we won’t be goin’ back.”
“Why?” Xander suddenly feared that Spike might have done something.
“’Cause he’s master enough to not want me around. ‘Sides, after we
take care of this wanker, that only leaves two or three real masters in the
city. Ajani can either make a truce and carve out his own territory
or he can try and take the city, don’t really give a rat’s arse one way or
“But the vampire war…my mother…my friends.” Xander could hear his voice
approaching girly altitudes, but he nearly panicked at the thought of Spike
abandoning them and making him abandon them.
“Oi, told ya I’d get the city quiet, and I did. With only a couple
a masters, they’ll settle things traditional-like, so no more marauding minions.”
“Marauding minions,” Xander laughed nervously, “that sounds like a Gilbert
and Sullivan musical.”
“Bloody hell, ya really are daft.” Spike shook his head. “Right,
so let’s see what my wanker of a sire has planned.” Spike started back
toward the rest of the group, and Xander followed. He appreciated that
Spike didn’t want him to get hurt, but when Spike had left him to take care
of himself with Ajani’s minions, it had felt so good. Just knowing
that someone didn’t see him as the pathetic one, the loser, the demon-bait
oaf made him happy. Now Spike had with one sentence relegated him back
to sidekick land. Even worse, by forcing the promise out of him, he
knew his own demon would fight to enforce it. Xander stopped obsessing
when Spike turned and gave him a confused expression right before reaching
“Pet?” he asked softly.
“I’m fine,” Xander answered quickly and then walked by Spike to lean next
“Any plan then?” Spike pulled cigarettes out of his duster and started toward
Angel. When he got high enough on the hill, he crouched down so that
the guards at the door below wouldn’t see him.
“A friend a mine has access to some city plans. He’s bringin’ blueprints
now,” Doyle offered. Xander watched as Doyle slid closer to Angel,
and he had to suppress a smile. Everyone else reacted to Spike as if
he were a killer, and yes, he actually was a killer, but Xander could see
the nervous bounce that revealed his desire to *do* something. He watched
the cigarette and knew that Spike was uncomfortable and trying to put on
his ‘Big Bad’ personality. He listened to the accent thicken and suspected
that Spike was upset about the coming fight. The longer he knew the
vampire, the more he understood his moods, but he just wished he could find
the button to push to make the vampire trust him.
Xander hadn’t come to any conclusions an hour later when a new car arrived
and Doyle met with some man, the two of them leaning over a laptop computer
and a pile of blueprints weighted down with small rocks. He’d had no
idea that fighting evil could be so boring and had even resorted to Cordelia’s
magazines. Doyle, Angel, and the new guy talked and pointed while Spike
offered a couple of comments that the others obviously dismissed if he was
reading body language right.
“Don’t you ever get bored?” Xander asked Cordelia one article about pores
and two boyfriend quizzes later. They had moved to the backseat.
“He pays; I sit,” Cordelia waved a dismissive hand toward Angel as she continued
“But is it always like this?”
“On good nights, yes. On bad nights, there’s more slime.”
“Wow, I just thought fighting for truth and justice would be more…interesting.”
Xander threw the magazine down and looked over at the conferencing trio and
“Is that what you’re fighting for?” Cordelia asked in a suddenly serious
Xander watched Spike animate an argument with a cigarette flick and a quick
flash of game face. Doyle retreated, but the new guy ignored the antics.
He wasn’t near enough to hear, but he placed good odds that Angel had either
just called Spike ‘William’ or sighed heavily. “What?” he finally asked
when he realized Cordelia had asked a question.
“Truth and justice, is that what you’re fighting for?” she sighed in obvious
frustration at his inattentiveness. Xander looked over to find Cordelia’s
magazine forgotten in her lap and a far too serious expression on her face.
“Interesting choice in partners then,” Cordelia’s gaze slipped over to Spike,
but then it returned to pin him to the car seat.
“I’m not gonna sit here and fight with someone who also hangs out with a
“Mine has a soul,” she shot back.
“And I’m really sick of hearing that. Does that somehow change who
he is? He’s still a vampire, you know.” Xander tried to keep
his voice down, but when he glanced over at the group, Spike now stood staring
directly at him, ignoring the other three. Oh yeah, overprotective
mode in five…four…three…
“He’s evil,” Cordelia nearly hissed in a good imitation of a vampire herself.
“You can tell yourself whatever you want, but he’s evil.”
“And how exactly would you know that?”
“Sunnydale born here. I grew up around evil. I saw what Angel
did when his soul went MIA, and it wasn’t pretty. There were dead fish
involved.” Xander narrowed his eyes in confusion, wondering if he had
missed something because he thought she had just said dead fish.
“You’re worried about the fish of the world?”
“I’m worried about how long you can keep Spike on a leash.”
“No leash here.” He held up his empty hands.
“You really are an idiot, aren’t you? You know, when I first saw you,
I thought about calling Willow. You know, telling her I’d found you
because she really worried when she tried to call you back after your little
fight and found out your phone had been disconnected. But I didn’t
know how to explain all these changes in your life: the gay thing, the pet
thing, the sleeping with the undead thing. Now I realize that you haven’t
changed at all. You were a moron then and you’re a moron now.”
Xander sat open-mouthed and speechless as he tried to scrape up enough dignity
to even reply.
“You were a bitch then and you’re a bitch now.” Xander was proud of
himself; he didn’t babble, stutter, or cry even though he had an urge to
do all three.
“A bitch who tells the truth,” Cordelia instantly announced in a regal tone.
“That vampire would happily eat us, but he plays nice while you’re around.
So what happens when he gets tired of you or you try to find whatever life
a person like you considers normal? Hell-lo, he’s going to go binge
on the local population because he’s not the cute and fuzzy you seem to think
“And he’s not what you think either,” Xander growled back. He struggled
to keep his voice low since technically they were still on stake out.
“He isn’t Angel. He never ate his family. He never tried to kill
every person who knew him as a mortal. Angelus was a sick bastard who
got off on other people’s pain; Spike just is, so don’t compare them.”
Wow lame ending on that argument, but then he didn’t really expect to win
“And how do you think he got that name? His pathetically outdated hair?”
“I know all about the railway spikes he used,” Xander snapped back, but he
had to admit he was disturbed by Spike’s story of torturing people, one he’d
heard shared with a demon over a drink while Xander knelt on the floor by
the vampire’s side.
“And you’re okay with that?” Cordelia demanded. Xander thought
of Angel and Spike in the office, facing off with one vampire claiming the
mantle of “goodness” and “honor” and the other vampire just wanting the respect
of his sire. Suddenly a piece slipped into place and Xander realized
that he was okay with Spike’s past.
“I’m fine with his past because he did that to impress your boss. Angel is
his sire, and he wanted to prove that he was just as strong, so if he did
things that were evil, I’m blaming Angelus. As for him being a vampire,
deal with it.”
“My god, you really do love him.” Cordelia’s sharp tone mutated into wonder
and a soft wistfulness so quickly that Xander felt like he had just jumped
realities and landed in a new conversation.
“I…Um…Okay, lost now. You’re supposed to do the bitchy thing and then
I do the whole defensive thing, and don’t go changing the rules on me mid-fight.”
“I still think you’re stupid,” she shrugged, “but you just keep in mind that
Spike’s only playing well with others because instead of trying to impress
Angelus, he’s trying to impress you. I suggest that if you ever want
to break up you hire a whole lot of bodyguards and give the rest of us enough
warning to update our security.”
“And again with the comparing him to Angel. There’s no comparison.”
Xander stood up and stepped over the side of the car onto gravel path.
He’d expected to find Spike waiting in full game face ready to eat Cordelia.
Instead both vampires and the new guy—car and all—had disappeared.
Doyle leaned against the base of a cable pole, and Xander stomped toward
“Where’s Spike?” he asked when he got close enough to ask without raising
his voice. Alerting the entire nest of vampire’s on the other side
of the hill didn’t fit in with their plans…if they’d actually formed a plan
“Spike had an anger management issue; he and Angel went back of the shed
there,” Doyle nodded toward an old wood shack, and Xander altered direction
without another word.
What right did Cordelia have to question him? Her comment about Spike
getting tired of him hit a sore spot, but he didn’t think for one minute
that she was right about Spike being a sadistic killer like Angelus.
Spike killed to eat, which technically people did too. Every sick and
twisted story Spike told had either Angelus or Darla in it. Every person
he raped had been next to Angelus, and now that Xander thought about it,
Spike had described the violence with great detail and joy, but he had described
Angelus’ reaction in even more detail. Spike was a vampire with a demon’s
sense of family and love and honor, but that didn’t mean he was a monster…okay,
it did mean he was a monster, but that didn’t make him less of a person or
maybe just not less of an individual.
Xander was shaking his head at his own mental confusion when he turned the
corner of the shed and stopped dead. Spike’s back was up against a
pole, Angel’s body trapping the smaller vampire, which didn’t actually surprise
Xander. The surprise came from Angel’s mouth locked over Spike’s neck,
and Spike in full game face buried in Angel’s neck. The sounds of drinking
and moaning were unmistakable and Xander felt himself react to the raw lust
he could practically smell.
Holy shit, what memo had he missed? Yes, he expected to get replaced
eventually, but this was a little more than he was prepared to deal with.
Part of him gasped to breathe through the agony, and another part of him
panted at the basic animal desire swirling around him. He must have
made some noise because both vampires stopped, Angel stepping back and dropping
into human features so fast that Xander thought for a moment that he hadn’t
seen the ridges at all.
“I told you he could handle Cordelia,” Angel said calmly even though he had
an even more guilty expression than usual.
“I wouldn’t say handled as much as got verbally ripped apart before retreating,”
Xander said as he stepped forward carefully. If he was about to be
rejected and destroyed, he wasn’t sure he wanted to be much closer, but he
couldn’t seem to stop his feet.
“With Cordelia, you count yourself successful any time you can walk away
from the fight with both your wallet and your manhood in place.” Okay,
Angel told a joke. He still looked guilty, but he told a joke.
Xander looked over toward Spike, looking for some reassurance, but the blonde
vampire had turned away, leaning a shoulder against the pole with cigarette
smoke rising above his head.
“Um, I’m not sure about the manhood thing,” Xander admitted as he stepped
“I’ll go make a few last minute checks,” Angel answered and then the large
vampire actually managed to run toward the car. Actually, he was probably
just running away, but Xander appreciated his ability to make the move look
“Spike?” Xander called, unsure how to handle the moment. He knew that
technically he was the pet and Spike the master, so the vampire probably
had a right to go sucking on and lusting after others, but that didn’t make
him feel any less inadequate. God, he had felt like the loser when
compared to Luther, so he sure as hell couldn’t compare to Angel. What
if Spike wanted to get rid of him? He couldn’t blame Spike for preferring
Angel, and if he had to, he’s share just to not get left behind. But
what if Spike didn’t want Angel in addition to him, what if Spike wanted
Angel instead of him? And why wasn’t Spike interrupting his internal
panic with some sort of comforting comment, even if it was a disturbing sort
“Do you want me to leave?” he asked.
“Yeah, be there in a bit, pet.” Xander’s chest physically hurt so much
at that first word, that he almost didn’t hear the rest.
“Will you?” He had to know. He couldn’t live with this fear.
“Wot?” Spike turned and he saw the tilted head and funny wrinkle that
always appeared when Spike got confused.
“Will you be…” Xander took a deep breath trying to control his breathing,
his fear, his pain. Suddenly strong arms locked around his waist, and
he swore he never even saw Spike move.
“’S’all right luv. It’s a sire thing, a way of makin’ things…” Spike’s
words stopped as the vampire struggled to explain something that he obviously
hadn’t tried to explain in words before.
“You need to be okay with your sire. I get that,” Xander answered as the
pain tightened until he wondered if he could actually die of grief.
“It’s okay, I never expected you to…”
“Oi, we’re makin’ a right mess of this,” Spike complained and Xander could
almost pretend to be okay listening to that almost normal voice as strong
arms held him. “Not giving ya up, pet. You’re mine and ya stay
mine.” The words sunk into his heart, loosening the bands around his
“But you want him,” Xander stated calmly. Funny because inside he was
running around and wailing.
“Want my sire, want one of my sires. Want to hunt with them or share
a warm lover with them. Want to have a place in the clan, that’s all.”
“And Angel can give you that?” Xander asked.
“Yeah. Sometimes feels like someone’s crushin’ my soddin’ chest, knowing
I’ve been rejected by the whole bloody line.” Xander knew the feeling.
He may not have a line with a whole hierarchy of vampires to reject him,
but the rejection of the one vampire that meant everything to him?
He wasn’t sure he’d survive that.
“It’s okay if you’d rather have him,” Xander whispered because he had to
fight to even get the words past his lips.
“If I have to chose, I’ll choose you every time,” Spike said fiercely, and
the arms tightened until Xander could feel the circulation cut off.
“He can give you things I can’t; he can give you family.”
“And I’ll rot in Dru’s bloody hell dimension before I let myself in for that
grief again,” Spike said, and Xander felt a face nuzzle at his neck.
He happily tilted his head and Spike’s tongue played with the scar.
“I chose you, Xander. You’re the one I want, and I didn’t mean ya to
see that. That was just a sire’s way of letting childer know things
“That’s a vampire *hug*?” Xander asked, unsure if the raw emotion he’s witnessed
could really be compared to a hug.
“Sorta. Doesn’t matter, though because it’s not anything that changes
what we have. Like you once told me, not going to start chasing the
broody Neanderthal. But we gotta take care of this master or both us
vampires’ll end up serving some bleedin’ little runt. Besides, you
don’t want your precious Ajani comin’ up here, ‘cause the info Doyle’s buddy
brought, it shows some bad mojo goin’ on.” Xander could hear Spike
practically begging him to let it go and let things return to normal.
“The little runt’s mojo isn’t nearly as bad as these two bad-ass vampires
I know.” Xander allowed Spike to guide him back to where the others
waited, but he couldn’t pretend away one simple truth that now colored his
whole world. Spike needed something that he couldn’t give him, at least
not without giving up his humanity.
Xander knew he was obsessing when Angel covered the attack plan, but then
he didn’t really need to listen. He could sit and watch the others
while he thought about things like life and death and families and how screwed
he was because he would never be enough for anyone in his life. Cordelia
and Doyle would dust any vampire’s fleeing out of the building. They expected
a few fledges might decide to run for it, but most would stay to protect
their master. Spike and Angel would attack from the sewers shortly
before sunrise when the vampires were full and tired. Since most of
the minions were young and still undisciplined, both vampires insisted that
they could clear out most of the nest with no trouble.
Of course Spike had been absolutely gleeful once he discovered that Cordelia
had packed his new favorite toy: a flamethrower. Angel had rolled
his eyes and begged Spike to please remember that they were just as flammable
as the fledges, but Xander could see how much more friendly the two were
now. It hurt him because it just reminded him what he couldn’t give
Spike. He did have to admire Angel’s crew though. The plan had
no more come out of Angel’s mouth before they started moving into place.
Of course he got the all-important job of guarding the car. He had
to say that in an entire history of being left behind, this excuse was the
At least that’s what he said that until he discovered himself surrounded
by fledges all alone at the convertible. The first two he easily tricked
into overextending themselves, slipping a stake in at the right angle to
turn the guys to dust. The problem came when three of them jumped him
at once. He dealt with blue shirted one in front of him, but that left
two others free to grab his arms and wrench the stake from his hand.
He tried going into hand-to-hand combat mode, but that only lasted the three
seconds it took the vampire holding his left hand to twist it up behind his
back. Before he could really even think about what a screw up he truly
was, he found himself marched down the hill toward Doyle and Cordelia, a
knife at his neck and a vampire at each arm.
He could see Cordelia react
first, her hand snapping up to her hip as though she could intimidate the
vampires into letting him go. Of course, she did have some practice what
with the whole intimidating Angel thing. His foot caught on a piece
of discarded pipe, and he stumbled, the vampire behind him pulling his arm
damn near up to his shoulder at the same time the knife at his neck dug in
slightly. He gasped and tried not to stumble again.
He watched as Cordelia pulled on Doyle’s jacket. The man turned, and
Xander could hear his Irish cursing as Cordelia pointed toward his journey
down the hill. Of course they were very near the bottom now, so it
wasn’t all that difficult to hear Doyle’s colorful response. One minion
went ahead, and Cordelia and Doyle backed away from the door they supposedly
“No need for anyone to get hurt here,” Doyle pointed out. Yeah, right.
Like the minions thought they’d shown up with stakes in hopes of finding
a whittling class. At least Xander now knew that he wasn’t the only
to say stupid things under pressure. The minions didn’t even bother
to answer. The one opened the door and the whole mob, Xander in the
middle, entered the giant bunker-like building.
Xander tried not to choke on the dust and smoke in the air since one really
good cough and he could decapitate himself. He squinted in the dim
light before it dawned on him that he had better options. Ignoring
the hands that pushed and pulled him, he closed his eyes in order to concentrate.
When he opened them again, the burning sensation had disappeared and the
smoke seemed to vanish in the sharp-edged demon vision. Of course now
the smell of gasoline nearly made him vomit, but at least he wasn’t working
The minions stopped, and Xander could see Spike and Angel in a corner, fighting
like archangels in this book his grandmother had once bought him, and could
you go to hell for comparing demons to archangels?
“Stop,” roared a voice, and the minions all stopped as though they were puppets
on strings. A short round vampire who looked more like an accountant
than a master vampire stepped forward with a sword in hand. Angel shifted
to one side holding his own sword, and Spike gave his battle axe a twirl
as he took up a position next to his sire. Xander could tell from the
bounce in Spike’s knees that the vampire was enjoying himself.
“Drop your weapons or you’re precious pet will soon be screaming in agony.”
Xander watched as Spike’s eyes scanned the room until meeting his own.
“Yeah, the whole leave me at the car thing didn’t really work out well,”
Xander would have shrugged and played it off like nothing except the knife
now dug into his throat so he had to strain to look at anything except the
ceiling and he couldn’t really shrug with his arm twisted nearly out of the
“Let him go,” Spike snarled, and Angel reached out and put his free hand
on Spike’s arm. Xander knew that he was dead. No matter what
happened, the asshole at his throat was going to kill him.
“Surrender first,” accountant-vamp ordered.
“You won’t free him either way, so that’s not going to happen. I’m
sorry Xander.” Xander could see the honest pain in Angel’s eyes, and
Spike’s bounce had turned into a deadly crouch. Yep, this wasn’t ending
“It’s okay, I know the score. Just make sure you take these bastards
down for me.” Xander kept his eyes on Spike even though it required
him to tilt his head down just enough for the knife’s point to prod the sensitive
skin under his chin. That pain just didn’t matter any more, but he
knew Angel was doing the right thing. If they dropped their weapons,
this master would kill both of them, and Xander could face his own death,
but he couldn’t bear to watch Spike dusted.
“I heard you’d gone soft, but maybe I heard wrong. Kill the pet.”
Xander had trouble telling the exact order of events, but within a couple
of seconds, Doyle and Cordelia appeared tossing what appeared to be water
balloons. As he tried to process the image of bright blue and red balloons
in the middle of the battle, the balloons started hitting and smoke rolled
off vampire arms and faces. Screams echoes off the concrete walls and
he ended up on the ground minus the guards.
Doyle appeared near Spike and Angel, and Spike dusted two vampires lunging
at the human with incredible speed even as the blonde vampire moved toward
the middle of the room. Xander realized that Spike was fighting to
reach him at the same time he realized that Cordelia had gotten separated.
She fought far better than he ever expected, but she clearly wasn’t holding
her own. He reached for a shard of wood that had fallen to the floor
and pulled himself up to go help Cordelia.
His arm didn’t really work right yet after being twisted so sharply, and
his knees felt weak either from fear or from breathing gas and smoke although
he did notice that the air was quickly clearing. Obviously someone
had propped open some doors. He blamed all these circumstances for
what happened next.
Xander grasped the wood and stepped toward Cordelia when a vamp stepped up
in front of him. Xander feigned to the right and then tried to stake
from the left, but he had practiced against short weapons, and he couldn’t
get around the broken pole the vamp waved as a weapon. Realizing that
the weapon’s long reach made it almost impossible for him to stake the vamp
himself, he backed up with his opponent in pursuit hoping to reach Spike
who he could hear shouting advice from the other side of the room.
When he felt a strange tingling behind him, he spun and staked a strange
vamp trying to get him from behind before turning in time to see his first
opponent drive forward with the length of the wooden pole.
Xander watched the impromptu spear slide into his body with the surrealistic
feeling that it wasn’t his body. The grinning vamp jerked the wood
back with a wrench, and he could feel himself pulled forward into that grinning
face. With arms that had already begun to feel cold, he pulled up his stake
and drove it into the vamp’s heart at nearly the same time as the wood pulled
free from him, sending him to his knees in a cloud of dust.
He put his hand up to his stomach and felt the warmth around his chilling
fingers. Funny enough, all he could seem to focus on was that the vamp
had just ruined one of his favorite shirts. He would have wanted to
be buried in this shirt, but he suspected the blood would never come out,
much less the hole torn when the vamp drove the broken pole through his middle.
Around him, the fighting continued, but he slid from his knees to his side,
no longer capable of tracking which side was winning. He could see
vampires dissolve into dust, but he could only hope that wasn’t Spike-shaped
dust. Spike. Shit. He suddenly realized how hard Spike
would take his death; the vampire spent five years getting over his last
lover. But then again, Xander sighed as he felt the pool of blood under
him grow, he was no Dru. Besides, Angel would be there to comfort him.
He had trouble breathing now, his chest hurting with each inhaled breath.
He almost wished he could just die now, just stop the pain.
“Xander!” he heard shouted from a distance. “Be alright, pet.”
He couldn’t decide if Spike was asking him a question or giving him an order,
but all he cared about was having the vampire’s hand to hold as he died.
“Spike?” he called, his voice weak and thready to even his own ears.
The vampire appeared in his dimming vision, the ridged features and yellow
eyes suddenly comforting.
“Bloody hell, no,” Spike whispered and Xander could see the pain and fear
even in the vamped out features. “You bring up the demon,” Spike ordered
roughly. Xander tried to laugh, but he couldn’t get enough air to finish
“Don’t work that way, Fangface,” he coughed.
“Don’t you tell me how it works, ya bloody git. I told ya to pull up
yer demon, and you’ll bloody well obey me or I’ll beat ya senseless.”
Xander tried to laugh at the image since a wet noodle would probably do the
job at this point, but he felt the stirrings of the demon answering Spike’s
“Ya hear me? You’ll bloody well do as you’re ordered or you’ll be soddin’
“William!” He heard Angel shout from far away, as though a veil slowly
descended over his senses.
“Stay outta this, Pouf.” Spike turned again to Xander, “you listen
up and get yer sorry arse out ‘ere before I soddin’ beat ya black and blue.”
Xander could feel the demon moving, and he intentionally stepped back, allowing
the demon access to the world. For the second time in his life, he
felt the wind of the demon rushing by him to take control. Suddenly
he watched though someone else’s eyes as the world appeared bathed in reddish
light. He wondered if he would see his eyes if he looked in a mirror
now or if vampire eyes would prove as invisible as vampires, leaving his
face with two empty sockets according to the mirror. Wow, he could
still mentally babble at the point of death. Of course, by pulling
up the demon Spike had made the pain go away, and maybe that was the point,
he mused. He watched as the demon’s nose twitched in response to some
“Drink,” Spike ordered, and he felt an arm at his lips, the most delightful,
richest, warmest taste ever hit his mouth, but it wasn’t his mouth; he simply
sat in a dim corner and watched and felt from his self-exile. Or exile
in the self. Whatever.
“Childe, you will stop,” ordered some deep voice far off in the void.
He couldn’t care as long as that taste remained. He could feel his
own lips close over the source and suck.
“Not turnin’ him, ya idiot. I’m savin’ ‘im.”
“No human can drink that much.”
“Didn’t drain him first, did I? Case you’ve forgottin’ how to make
a childe, ya gotta drain ‘em first before feedin’ ‘em.”
“If you don’t turn him, you’ll kill him. Let him go NOW.” Xander
felt the source of the wonderful taste ripped from him, and he could feel
the growl in his own chest. Strange feeling really, like being in the
passenger side seat of your own car. His eyes swung over to glare at
Angel, and he didn’t fight the impulse when he felt his own lip lift in a
“Oh my god. What did you do?” Cordelia shrieked, and he felt his head
swing over to her. She stood in the far corner, which was now empty
of vampires except one cringing minion that huddled on the floor. Cordelia
walked over and calmly staked the creature.
“Stay down ‘n let that stomach heal,” a voice ordered, and his eyes swung
back toward the sound, unable to turn away. He inched toward voice,
pulling his own body along the floor, once he saw Spike being held back by
“Boy, what have you been up to?” Angel demanded, and he could see the shock
on the older vampire’s face which had fallen back to human features even
though Spike’s ridges remained.
“Not anythin’ I’ve done,” Spike argued as he obviously struggled to pull
the arm away from his neck. “He just needs to stay like that ‘til he
heals.” Xander felt his own head cock to one side as he watched the
The demon inside him panicked, confused at why the master of the line and
his master would fight. Xander sent comforting thoughts from his dark
corner, now realizing what Spike had done. Spike had called up the
demon so that the demon would heal him. But the demon complained of
the wound. The wood had struck deep; the wound caused pain, but the
demon didn’t want to show weakness, so he remained silent. Xander sent
more comforting thoughts, promised the demon that both vampires would help
if they only knew the pain. He pushed and cajoled and encouraged until
he felt the demon let out a whine of pain.
At once, both vampires turned yellowed eyes to him, and Xander could feel
the demon struggling to retreat. The weak were killed, the demon thought
at him, but Xander pushed back from his corner. Trust Spike.
Trust Spike, he sent back as loudly and strongly as possible. The demon
reached out toward Spike, and the blonde vampire pushed away from his sire
to kneel down and gather him into his lap. Xander settled, sure that
Spike would take care of the upset demon. He felt his head cradled
in Spike’s neck, a wonderful smell tantalizing him, and he could feel the
demon hoping. Hoping for what? Xander didn’t know what the demon
wanted, but he suggested a means for the demon to get his way. He heard
his own voice beg, “Please.”
Spike had been rocking him gently, but the word made him stop. Xander
waited confused while the demon waited impatiently.
“Go on, then,” Spike commented as he began the rocking again. Xander
could feel himself biting down on the neck, his teeth sliding into the flesh,
enjoying the taste of old, rich vampire blood that made the pain go away,
made the torn flesh mend. After feeding, Xander felt his mouth detach
and the demon begin to purr as the pain and damage faded under the influence
of Spike’s blood. Suddenly Xander understood. He sent the thought
to the demon, and the demon rumbled back a happy affirmation. He pushed
forward and felt the demon yield and step back so that Xander could whisper
the one word that made everything right again.
“Sire,” Xander whispered in Spike’s ear, and he felt Spike tremble.
“Yeah, ‘m here,” Spike agreed, holding even tighter. Xander retreated
again and let the demon have its moment with its sire, knowing that when
the time came he would be able to regain control, but for now he was quite
happy to wait. Besides, the demon babbled less than he did, so hopefully
he would be smart enough to avoid commenting on the stupid expression on
Xander finished packing his bag. Dinner tonight with his mother and
then the open road. He had expected to leave most of his things behind
as they hit the road on the motorcycle, but Spike had appeared with an old
Desoto, the windows blacked out. It didn’t look safe to him, but then
riding behind Spike on the motorcycle wasn’t exactly safe either. He
reached inside, and could feel the demon happily curled within him, so he
went back to packing his duffle.
He remembered the night when everything had fallen into place, and he still
didn’t like the answers Spike and Angel came up with to explain the presence
of the full grown demon hiding in him. Spike suggested that Cassidy
shared too much blood; Angel countered with the possibility that the lack
of other vampires to keep the small piece of demon in his place had caused
the demon to grow. Spike argued that Xander might be one of those people
who just naturally corrupted any magic cast on him, including the blood magic
used to make a pet; Angel rebutted with the possibility that the magicks
that Cassidy had used might have affected the vampire’s blood.
He had stayed out of the debate until Doyle had suggested that he might have
demon blood that interfered, and he had protested at that…well he had until
he discovered Doyle’s own heritage, then he just tried to pry his foot out
of his mouth.
Cordelia had just calmly walked around the dead master’s alter destroying
the magic objects while complaining that she was getting calluses and would
never be able to work as a hand model if they didn’t stop worrying about
it and help her destroy things. The only real conclusion Xander came
to was that Angel and Spike would never agree. That and that he did
actually carry a full demon. He still had lots of questions.
Would they eventually merge? Would he age? Would he be able to
stay in control or would the day come that he found himself locked in his
own mind? Unfortunately, no one had the answers, so the three of them would
just have to work that out, just Spike, Xander, and baby demon.
He felt the stirrings at the nickname. Little demon? Petite demon?
Mini demon? Xander really felt the unhappy turnings now, and he laughed.
Diminutive? Tiny? Miniature? The demon now made little distraught
sounds in his mind, and Xander had to laugh. Okay, okay, he relented.
His powerful, covert demon. Maybe even his clandestine, dangerous demon.
Wow, he could tease himself he pondered as he laughed again.
“Oi, no goin’ loony on me,” Spike complained as he came down the stairs for
“Nope, no looniness here. Just teasing myself.”
“Not bloody fair, that’s my job, Spike commented with a lewd leer and a cocked
“Oh not even! We’re supposed to be at my mother’s, and I am *so* not
going to turn up with those thoughts on my mind.”
“Move your arse, then. If I have to put up with human in-laws, I want
this evenin’ started and over quick as possible.” Xander followed Spike
up the stairs with duffle in hand. Everything else had already been
thrown into the car. Thrown with enough force that Xander slightly
worried about the CD collection.
“Hey, I have to put up with Angel,” Xander pointed out.
“True enough,” Spike conceded. “So, any thoughts on where we’re headed?”
Xander waited until Spike had locked the door to their abandoned lair before
“Been thinking of visiting the hell mouth.” Spike looked at him with
his confused, head cocked to one side expression for a couple of seconds
“Wherever, pet. One hell mouth coming up. Right after we survive
dinner with your mum.”