Spike and The Harris Boy

by
Skargasm  and  TheLadyMerlin

Part Three


”Cast it.”

“Yes Monseigneur.” Instantly obedient, the effects were invisible to the naked eye, or rather the human naked eye. Monseigneur could see quite clearly that the net had fallen precisely where it was required, leaving the cadre within the boundaries and keeping such irritants as the Slayer and her witch locked outside. It was good that the demon was distracted and Monseigneur felt no sympathy for the distractions – the demon's childe and it's partner were acceptable casualties. The time was upon them and they could not afford to let sentimentality get in the way. Their ascension was assured, the prophecy was coming together exactly as had been predicted and soon the demon would play it's role in the higher purpose. As it should.



“What the bloody hell!?!”

“Willow – what's going on? Is this one of your spells?”

“Dear Lord!”

“Okay, watcher, you seem to have the best idea of all of us – what the fuck is going on?”

“Spike, I really have no clue. I can only assume that Angelus has magic users working for him. I have never seen a construct such as this – it's completely fascinating.”

“Fascinating or not – it leaves me on this side with the Great Pouf and you with the slayer on that side. Fat lot o' good that's gonna do Xander. Right, bugger it, I'm not keeping him waitin' any longer. No telling what he's doing to Harris while you're out here being fascinated. Find a way – round it, over it, under the fucking thing, I don't care – you get your arses in there to help Xander. Got it?” Spike did his best not to let the sheer terror he was feeling show but he knew he wasn't successful. Waiting for the slayer to turn up before going for Xander had been bad enough. Getting to Crawford Street only to find that just as he stepped into the courtyard, a magic weave came down which kept the slayer et al out meant he was facing Angelus on his own. Not a problem – he was big enough to take his licks, but it totally fucked up the plans to get Xander out. And by the looks on the faces of Buffy, Willow, Giles and Riley, it was obvious that they thought so too. Looked like he was on his own.



“Tell me, does Spike tell you that you smell sweet?” Angelus inhaled deeply, his face pressed against Xander's neck. “You do, you know. I thought it was the ice cream you were eating when I collected you, but no, it's something ….. innate. I wonder – does your blood taste sweet as well?”

Xander shuddered, trying to shrink back into the wall, get as far away from Angelus as possible. Angelus was pressed against him from torso to feet, pushing Xander back into the wall as he scented his hair and moved down his face. His heart was thudding in his chest and he knew he needed to do something to get Angelus away from him – that his experience with Spike told him that the scenting led to tasting which often led to -

“I – I thought you had things to do, stuff to set up. You know – to get ready for Spike. Unless you're planning on doing a half assed job of it.”

“Ah, and there's the mouth I've been waiting on. Always got more to say than is good for you, don't you boy? Like to go on and on – what is it you call him? Ah yes, Deadboy. Is that what you call Spike when he's fucking you? Do you scream for him Xander – call out his name while he rides you? I wonder, would you scream for me? I think you would somehow – I can smell it you know. I could always smell when you were feeling - needy. Angel would never act on it, but me – I have no objections to partaking of that sweetness of yours. After all, it's in the family isn't it. Sometimes when he was with Buffy, he'd be watching you, did you know that? He wanted you too – wanted to bend you over the library table and give you what you were practically begging for. Would you like that?? Find out what it's like to be ridden by a real vampire?!”

“He already knows.” Eyes closed, Xander sighed with relief, before blinking rapidly to hold back the tears. Peering over Angelus's shoulder, he could see his Spike.

“Ah, and there's William. Willie, you took your time – I was about to start the family party without you.”

“Why don't you leave Harris alone, eh? So what if he got turned on around ya? For fuck's sake, he was a teenager – linoleum turned him on. Anyway, I'm here, as instructed, Sire. What dya want?”

“Oooh a little bit of jealousy there Spike?? Worried that the boy might want to upgrade?? Don't worry – Angel's not interested. That useless bastard can barely handle the woman he has – and by the way? I cannot wait to get my hands on that set of curves.” Stepping away from Xander, Angelus turned and smirked at Spike as though expecting agreement.

“Don't think you're gonna get the chance somehow. Reckon you're not gonna be around long enough.”

“Oh really? And just who's going to stop me, Willie?? What – you think you've got the balls? Tsk tsk, obviously you don't remember things as clearly as I do – the last time you had to team up with that bitch the Slayer to get your hands on me. Somehow I don't see it being any different this time. Unless – ah yes, it looks like you're without backup this evening William. Finally seen sense have you? Want to come home to Daddy?”

“'Twas Dru who wanted her Daddy – I couldn't give a flying fuck if we never saw you again.” As they bantered back and forth, the two of them were walking round in a tight circle, both looking for an opening, an opportunity to take the other down. Xander bit his lip, determined to stay quiet and not be a distraction. He had every faith in Spike but he knew that any fight between them wouldn't be easy. Angelus wouldn't be pulling any punches but to say Spike had daddy issues was putting it mildly.

“Ah Willie my boy. I couldn't help but notice that your boy Harris doesn't have anything resembling a claiming mark. Does that mean you don't want him long term? Just fucking around with him are you? Or could it be – oh yes, that would be that lovely government chip that is keeping you leashed. What – Harris the best you could do now you're only part demon? For shame, Willie, for shame. To be brought so low.”

“You shut your mouth!”

“Touch a nerve did I, Pet? Is it because Harris is the lowest on the totem pole or could it be because as a vampire you're pretty much impotent?? Can't ever sink your fangs and get a proper taste can you? That moment when he's coming, when he's seeing stars, when all you want to do is slide your fangs into his neck and taste his ecstasy? Missing out are you??”

“I told you to shut your mouth before I shut it for you.”

“How about this then Willie? We share him – wouldn't be the first time would it? You, me and a hard, male body between us – fucking and feeding? The way it should be when the women weren't around and we could play just that little bit harder....”

“Don't you talk about him like that....” Xander could see Spike was on the verge of losing his temper and he hesitated. Should he say something? Would it help or hinder? But before he could make that decision, Angelus said the one thing that would make Spike hesitate.

“Fine. What if I told you I could fix that little problem of yours? What if I told you I could get rid of that chip and give you back your bite? Still want me to shut my mouth?”



“The veil has been dropped Monseigneur. We merely await your order.” Chevaughnion turned and looked at his faithful servant. He had known Bastien for nearly 500 years and in that time, the other Sk'vald demon had never let him down. For 300 of those years, they had been preparing for the ascension – gathering all of the components, marking events in history that foretold this exact period of time. There had been much celebration when Angelus was cursed with a soul, all of them aware that it meant their time in this forsaken dimension was coming to an end, that ascension was close. And now, now they were mere hours away. Everything was coming together and finally their time had come.

“Gather the others – we will collect our final ingredient and make haste to the Hellmouth. How goes the excavation?”

“It's gone extremely well Monseigneur. The destruction wrought during the Mayor's attempt has actually made it easier for us – we are almost completely ready. Monseigneur?”

“Yes Bastien?”

“I – I wanted to say what an honour it has been serving you for the past 500 years. I am awed by the fact that we will soon return to our home dimension – it has been a long time coming but I knew under your leadership this chance would not pass us by.”

“Thank you Bastien. I can think of no other that I would want by my side.” Clasping tentacles, the two demons took a moment to commune together, the most intimate their species ever got. All being well, this was the last time they would commune in this fashion – once they ascended they would be one entity, never to be separated again.

With the smooth motions typical of their species, Bastien went to gather his comrades together and they moved towards the main hall where the sounds of fighting could clearly be heard, even without their exceptional hearing. Switching to translucence, they entered the hall and waited for their chance to collect the ex souled vampire – he was the final ingredient.



“You can remove the chip!?!”

“Oh yes, Willie my boy. Says something that in the hours of my release I have found a cure whilst the slayer and watcher have found nothing in how long has it been?!” Stunned, Spike staggered back,trying to figure out if his Sire was lying to him. It couldn't be true – Buffy, Giles,Willow, they wouldn't have lied to him, not like this. Okay, he wasn't a true scooby but there had been more than a measure of acceptance since he and Harris had become serious. They wouldn't have left him a cripple, made it impossible for him to claim his boy – would they? His head in a spin, he barely registered Angelus's movement, shifting too late to miss the leg that swept his feet out from under him and tumbled him to the floor.

Flipping over, he tried to scramble to his feet, snarling as he felt Angelus land on his back. The snarl turned into a fully fledged growl as using his greater weight, Angelus forced his way between Spike's legs, pressing him into the floor and grinding his hips against Spike's arse.

“Oh yes, Willie, I have missed you. All I want is my family back – with a few added extras of course. Just think of it – Spike – your bite back, a chance to pay back the initiative, perhaps even turning that Riley boy and having some fun with him. You don't have to turn Xander – claim him and he'll follow you to the ends of the earth, he always has been foolishly loyal. I will claim that cheerleader and tame her tongue once and for all and we could be a whole new Scourge. Tell me that this doesn't appeal to you and I'll know you're lying. I can smell how much you've missed me, Spike, and I have missed you – have missed this.” All the time he was speaking, Angelus was grinding himself into Spike, lips sliding up and down his neck until he was talking directly into Spike's ear. Without volition, Spike knew he was pushing his hips back, automatically flowing into the once-familiar rhythm. No, he couldn't lie and say he wasn't interested – the chance to have his bite back, for vengeance against the initiative, but more than anything the opportunity to make Xander's his properly. Taste his blood without the need for artificial methods of cutting, feed all of his senses when they were fucking so that he could taste how good he was making his boy feel. God, Angelus had probably found his one true Achilles heel and Spike just wasn't sure what he was going to do.

Angelus was licking at the side of his neck, more than likely in preparation to bite – his way of marking Spike as his property, and Spike found himself tilting his head slightly to facilitate things. It was automatic – he had been trained to do this for decades and he couldn't fight his conditioning. He looked upwards, a sense of – what? Shame? - coursing through his veins as he saw Xander's wide open stare and he slammed his lids shut so that he didn't have to face that accusing look. What the hell did Xander expect from him anyway – he wasn't a white hat through choice and his Sire was offering him everything a demon could want. Family, a mate, chaos and destruction.......

“Fuck you, NO!” Slamming his head back, Spike knew he had caught Angelus full on and capitalising on the shock his Sire was feeling, he wriggled out from underneath the hefty weight. Springing to his feet, he shifted forward and slammed the toe of his steel toe cap boot into Angelus's ribs, lifting the body with the force of his kick. He followed up with another kick but as he went to stamp down, Angelus recovered, grabbing Spike's foot and shoving it backwards so that only a flip through the air prevented Spike smashing into the ground. They circled each other carefully, both in game face, and Spike allowed a fangy grin to spread across his face. “Not looking so pretty there, Sire. Whatsa matter – all that animal blood catching up on ya?! Oh yeah, I guess you never knew what good care my boy takes of me – regular supply of human blood here and although it might not be hot from the source it's a damned sight better than what you've been drinking the last few years I'll wager. So come on then, you great pouf. Show me why the Hell I should follow you when my life is pretty damned good thanks ever so.”

“You're gonna regret that Spike. I was willing to forgive you, welcome you back into the family. Hell, I was prepared to take on Harris and that was a sacrifice and a half. But now, well now you are going to have to crawl to get back into my good graces, and I hope to hell you – OOF!” Unwilling to listen to more shit, Spike rammed his shoulder into Angelus's stomach, shoving the older vampire backwards until he slammed him against the wall. A tight grip on the huge skull, and he smashed the dark haired vamp's head into the wall repeatedly, stopping only to knee him in the balls to ensure he was incapacitated. Beating Angelus had never been the agenda – getting Xander back in one piece was the name of the game.

As Spike leaned back, fist clenched and arm tensed ready to throw a heavy punch he registered a presence next to Angelus on the wall. A spurt of speed took him back to the middle of the room, a shocked gasp coming from him as he watched five demons appear from nowhere and surround Angelus. They looked a bit like octopuses, with four long, waving tentacles that they used like arms. They 'walked' or slid on four other, larger tentacles, a smooth motion assisted by a trail of slime they left in their wake. As he watched, Angelus's limp form was draped in a robe, lifted up and he was carried through the door by four of the demons. The one remaining turned towards him and Spike clearly heard Xander utter a muffled “ewww” sound behind him.

“You fought well, lesser demon.”

“Errr, thanks mate. If you don't mind me asking, what you planning on doing with the foreheaded one?”

“He is the final ingredient in our ascension. His sacrifice will be noted, do not fear. I regret any hurt we may cause you at his loss but he is necessary.”

“S'not so much about losing him mate. More about you opening the Hellmouth to do your ascending bit – not sure I can let that happen. Damned sure the Slayer might have a few words to say.”

A tentacle waved in an offhand gesture.

“The Slayer is an irritant we have handled for over 5 centuries – I do not think she will be much of a hindrance. I would suggest you take your pet and leave. We have no quarrel with you – as yet.”

“Right ya are mate. Just thought I should warn ya – we'll be meeting again, probably sooner than you think.”

“If it is meant to happen, then so be it. Fare thee well, lesser demon.”

Before Spike's eyes, the demon became translucent then disappeared from view entirely, only the trail it left behind marking it's path to the door and beyond.

Turning quickly, Spike hurried over to Xander and with some manoeuvring managed to snap the handcuffs. He caught Xander as his legs gave way beneath him and held him close, breathing in deeply the scent of his mate, safe in his arms.

“What the hell was that? And how come you could understand what it was saying?” Well used to Xander's less than conventional responses, Spike was still slightly thrown that this was Xander's opening conversational gambit.

“Er – they're Sk'vald demons pet. Don't normally see 'em this far away from the Ocean. And the language is French – bloody American schooling don't teach you nothing.”

“Yeah, and that was proper English right there.”

“Better than you speak.”

“Huh.” With Xander's arm thrown over his shoulder, Spike began to walk slowly towards the exit, determined to get them home so that the gang could figure out how to stop the Sk'vald's plans. “Hey Spike?”

“Yeah pet?”

“Did I ever tell you it's demons like that I hate the most.”

“Why's that pet – is it the slime or the tentacles?”

“Neither really. It's the lack of knees – just totally creeps me out. No idea why. I ended up looking it up once, it's got a posh name and everything. So has my clown fear but I'm too scared to remember what it's called.”

“Ha bloody ha luv.” They staggered through the doorway, and Spike could see Willow and Buffy waiting out side the 'weave', obvious relief on their faces as they registered who was coming towards them.

“Hey Spike?” Xander sounded a bit slurred and Spike wondered if he was maybe concussed, or whether it was just everything catching up with him. If Spike had his way, Xander would not be taking part in any final battle. He wanted him home, safe and sound. He knew Xander would hate it but he couldn't help it – the need to protect was ingrained in him and he couldn't risk losing this human that was so special to him.

“What luv?”

“Thank you for choosing me.” Surprised, Spike came to a stop, turning to look Xander in the eye.

“What do ya mean?!”

“I couldn't hear everything he was saying to you, but I got the general idea. And I know how appealing it probably sounded – a chance to wreak havoc and have your family back and everything. So thank you – for choosing me and what we have.”

“He said he could fix the chip.” The look on Xander's face soothed Spike's heart. The boy knew how much that meant to him, knew how the chip chafed at his self esteem and his control daily. Xander was also honest enough with Spike to say that part of him wanted to experience Spike's bite, wanted them to be able to share everything. So yeah, he well understood what Angelus's offer meant to Spike.

“Well if Angelus knows, Angel knows. And payment for sorting out this mess and filling his ass with soul will be whatever this fix thing is.”

“You sure luv? Want me hanging around with my bite back and everything? Slayer and Watcher might not take too kindly to it.” Spike looked over, could see Buffy and Willow were getting impatient but he needed to know Xander's thoughts, needed to know what he truly wanted. To be frank, Spike had not expected to face this decision and he was in two minds about it. Chipped, trust was not an issue – Xander knew Spike wasn't chomping on the general populace, as did the Slayer, Red and the Watcher. But unchipped?

“I'm sure. Watching you fighting Angelus reminded me that you're not just my vampire, but that you're a Master Vampire. It's time people realised it and accepted it, time you got your bite back. And if the likes of Riley and them don't like it – well, Sunnydale isn't the only place we can live.”

“You'd leave here – for me?”

“Well yeah. I love you, you bleached menace. I don't give up this ass to just anyone you know.”

“Love you too Xander. An' I promise, chip or no chip, you can trust me, luv.”

“I know.” The moment was too strong for kisses or hugs. Instead promises were made with one long look between them, a look that cemented their commitment to each other whatever they had to face.

“Oh for goodness sake, can you two stop making goo-goo eyes at each other and get out here! We know where they're taking Angelus and we need to get there quickly so that they cannot put down another blanket spell and keep us out.” Giles's voice broke into their reverie and as one they turned towards him.

“Yeah yeah, G-man, didn't mean to let a little thing like being kidnapped get in the way of a good apocalypse thwarting.”

“Xander, that is not what I meant and you know it. And will you please not call me by that ridiculous nickname.”

“Where did Cornfed get to? Dropped a load in his camos and had to go change?!”

“Ewww, Spike, gross much!! Riley's gone to get a truck with some weapons – he's going to meet us at the Hellmouth.” Following behind Rupert, Spike helped Xander remain on his feet as they headed towards the car. On Xander's other side, Willow had wrapped her arm around his waist and added her assistance, obviously pleased to have her friend back safely in one piece.

“You ready with that spell Red?”

“Oh yes, most definitely. One re-souling spell coming up on the double. And this time it's not coming loose ever again!! I'm under strict instructions from Cordy to make sure I don't attach a happiness clause – that was one conversation I could have done without!”

Smirking, Spike manoeuvred Xander into the back-seat of Giles' mid-life crisis vehicle, shaking his head. Off to avert an apocalypse with three teenagers, an old man and a pretend solider – funnily enough, he didn't give much for the Sk'vald's chances of ascending anywhere that night!





Part Four

The watcher's car pulled up outside the remains of the Sunnydale High School and came to a screeching halt. After listening to an argument between Spike and Xander, which had lasted the entire drive, Buffy turned around in her seat and glared at the pair in the back. “Do you two mind?”


“But Buff, he wants me to wait in the car. What am I? Eight?” Xander objected.


“Enough! Shut! Up!” She yelled throwing her hands up in exasperation.


“NO!” Buffy shouted pointing a finger at Spike who had opened his mouth to say something but then quickly closed it again and looked around at the others in the car for help. Buffy turned her glare and her finger to Xander. “You will stay with Willow. You will not argue or try to help with the slaying.”


Xander, following Spike's lead, looked around at the others for help. When he saw Willow's resolve face was firmly in place, he knew there was no point in arguing any more. He pouted and nodded his head.


“Good,” Buffy said, turning back round in her seat. “Now we can go slay the bad guys. Uhm.” She looked over at Giles with questioning eyes. “How do we do that exactly?”


“This would have been so much easier if those two hadn't been arguing the entire drive. We could have had this discussion already and saved valuable time and -”


“Oi! Watcher!” Spike interrupted. “Ya wanna get on with it?”


“Oh right. Of course. It's quite simple really. The Sk'vald are relatively simple to dispose of...”


The group looked at Giles expectantly, waiting for him to continue and when nothing was forthcoming they looked at each other. Buffy shrugged and turned back to Giles. “And that would be by?” she prompted.


“What? Oh yes. It's just ...” he trailed off distractedly and pointed out the window of the car. The group turned as one and looked in the direction Giles was indicating and sat watching in silence, mouths agape as a tank drove into the car park. It came to a juddering halt next to the car, the top opened and Riley popped up with a big grin on his face.

“How's this?” he asked, looking down at the shocked group in the car.

Xander smiled then giggled before he joined Willow and started laughing. Buffy leaned out of the window to wave to her boyfriend. “Hi Riley! Where did ya find the nifty car?”


Riley smiled back. “Borrowed it from the army base.” He shrugged and looked around the empty car park. “We better get moving so I can get this thing back before somebody misses it though.”


“Can't believe Cornfed actually came through for once.” Spike commented with a small shake of his head but he was grinning too.

“Will it work Giles?” Xander asked leaning forward between the seats.


“I do believe it will at that.” Giles said.


“We need to get Angel out though,” Buffy reminded everyone as she slid back inside.


“That would be easier to accomplish if he were in fact Angel rather than Angelus. I suggest that Willow and I remain here with Xander and perform the re-souling spell while Buffy and Spike sneak into the school and retrieve Angel. Riley can set up his...tank and eliminate the Sk'vald as soon as you are clear.”


“How long will it take ya to shove Angelus' soul back up his arse?”


“Spike! Do you have to be so, so.”


“What slayer? Askin' a question. I don't wanna try 'n drag Angelus outta there. Do you?”


“No. But you could be nicer,” Buffy said with a huff of annoyance.


“Enough,” Giles interjected. “It should take about thirty minutes to complete the spell. If there isn't anything else?”


“Nope. Sounds good G-man,” Xander said before turning to Spike. “You be careful.” Leaning forward he pressed a quick kiss to Spike's lips.


Spike opened the door and got out of the car. Before shutting the door, he leaned back inside. “Be back before ya know it,” he reassured Xander then turned and joined Buffy who was waiting beside the car. Spike and Buffy walked across the pavement and onto the grass overgrown with weeds. They carefully searched the building to find a place they could enter without being detected. The windows and doors were boarded over and the doors also had heavy chains and locks to prevent entry.


“Here Spike,” Buffy whispered, indicating a window with several loose and rotting boards.


They worked together to pull off the decaying wood as quietly as possible. Spike helped Buffy into the school then turned back to look at the car in the distance. He knew Xander wouldn't hear him and he knew he was being silly, but he didn't care. “Love you Xan,” he said before following Buffy through the opening and into the dark, decrepit bowels of Sunnydale High.


The hallways were gloomy and barely any light got in through the covered windows. There were bits of debris strewn across the floor and the lack of light made the footing treacherous. In some places the floor was completely missing, leaving gaps they needed to jump over. In some cases the holes were so large they had to search for wood or other material to use as a makeshift bridge. Once placed they would slowly cross the expanse and when they both reached the other side without incident, Buffy would breathe a sigh of relief and they would exchange a grateful glance.


Although Spike could see better, he continued to let Buffy lead as she knew the layout of the building and he would warn her of any danger if she seemed unaware. “Where to now Princess?” Spike whispered.


Buffy gave him an annoyed look over her shoulder and scowled down at the dark smudges on her hands. After wiping the worst of the mess off on her trousers and taking a good look around, she turned back to Spike. “The hellmouth is under the library. Down this way. C'mon.”


She led the way towards the familiar room, picking her way carefully through the detritus. They slowed their pace even further as they neared their destination, a dim, flickering shaft of light warning of someone ahead. One of the double doors to the library was hanging askew and the light was coming through the opening. They crept closer and peered through the gap and into the room beyond.


~*~


Xander watched quietly as Willow took out several items from a plain brown bag. After consulting with Giles, they had decided that they would be able to do the re-souling spell without getting out of the car. Willow moved to the front along with her bag and set about preparing for the spell. Not knowing much about magic, Xander thought it best if he kept quiet and watched for trouble. He peered into the shadows thrown by the remains if his former school, trying to make out Spike's form. He thought he saw some movement in an overgrown corner near some windows but couldn't be sure. It was probably only wishful thinking on his part anyway. “Love you Spike,” he whispered into the darkness. He figured Spike wouldn't hear him but he didn't care. He wasn't sure exactly when Spike came to mean so much to him but at some point the vampire had crept into his heart and made himself a home and showed no signs of budging. Spike was loud, messy and a pain in the ass and Xander loved him all the same. With a last longing look at the shadows near the school, he turned away and watched as Willow made the final preparations for the spell. She had pulled out the drink tray and placed a fat, white candle in one of the holes meant for a cup. Giles held the clear glass Orb of Thesulah cradled carefully in his lap.


“Ready?” Willow asked.

They all jumped when the car was filled with the sound of a deep rumble and shook with small vibrations. Reaching quickly forward, Giles scooped up the orb that was trying to escape by rolling down his legs. Looking out the window they realised Riley was manoeuvring the tank into position.

Giles cleared his throat briefly while settling the orb firmly back on his lap. “Shall we then?”


With a nod Willow set the candle alight and started a quiet rhythmic chant. Giles soon joined in and Xander sat back to watch the ritual.


~*~


The library was lit with candles perched on the remains of the counters and tables. Their light flickered and the smoke added to the already burnt smell of the room. The Sk'vald demons were gathered around a table near a large hole in the floor. Spike poked Buffy excitedly when he spotted a familiar figure locked up in a cage in the corner and staring out at the proceedings with a glower on his face.

“There,” he whispered in her ear and pointed in the right general direction. He knew when she saw Angel. The beating of her heart quickened and her breathing increased. Spike wondered if she realised she still had feelings for the big poof. None of his business he supposed and he didn't owe the overgrown boy scout anything either. Shoving shit in his head and conducting all sorts. He shuddered and pushed the thoughts from his mind.

“Is that Angel or Angelus?” she whispered back.

“Angelus,” Spike hissed.

“How do you know?”

“I know. ” Spike answered quietly with a firmness that left no room for doubt. Buffy obviously trusted his word and simply nodded.

Angelus lifted his head and looked in the direction of the door. His mouth turned up in a sly, knowing smile and his eyes locked with Spike's. He opened his mouth but before anything came out, his body stiffened and he threw his head back as if in pain. Spike put out an arm when Buffy moved. He shook his head and mouthed 'wait' when she looked at him in question. She nodded in understanding and they waited quietly for the spell to be complete.


~*~


Xander felt the hairs on his arms standing on end and an itchiness that seemed to crawl along his skin, tickling and tingling as the magic in the car grew in power. It built higher and higher until it was an almost tangible thing, thick and cloying. Suddenly the orb started to glow and became brighter over a few seconds and just when he thought he would have to turn his eyes away the glow disappeared and Willow slumped in her seat with a sigh. Giles reached out an arm and placed it gently on her shoulder.


“Are you all right?”


“Yeah. Just a little tired,” she responded, sitting up straighter. “Do you think it worked?”


“One can never be completely sure in these situations until the subject is carefully observed of course.” Giles took in Willow's disappointed expression and added. “But I think it is safe to say that in all probability the spell was a success.”

Xander gazed into the darkness and waited for Spike and Buffy to return. Hopefully they would have a souled Angel with them and he only felt a very small twinge of guilt for mostly wanting Angel to be safe only so he could fix Spike's chip.


~*~

Spike watched as Angel's head dropped forward. “That's it,” he said keeping his voice down and checking to see what the demons had got up to while they were watching Angel.


“Good. I'll be right back,” Buffy said as she moved toward the opening. She stopped when Spike reached out and grabbed her arm.


“Know you're the Slayer'n all but we don't know how much help he'll be and trust me, he's heavy.”


Buffy seemed to consider his words for a few minutes before nodding and stepping aside so Spike could slip through the gap.


“Watch my back?” he asked.


“You trust me?” she countered.


Spike held her eyes for a few moments before smiling and answering, “yeah. I do.”


If Buffy was surprised by his answer, she didn't show it. She merely returned his smile with one of her own. “Hurry back. I'll keep an eye on them.”


Spike quietly slipped through the narrow opening and gingerly made his way along the outside of the room, keeping to the shadows. He made it to the cage in a surprisingly short amount of time and the other vampire looked up when Spike reached through the bars and touched his arm. Fortunately, Angel's eyes appeared clear and he seemed alert. Spike made quick work of the lock on the cage door and it thankfully swung open with only a minor creak. Looking over his shoulder he saw the Sk'vald still busy clustered around a book on the table and chattering excitedly. Slinging one of Angel's arms over his shoulder, they made their way back to the doorway where Buffy was waiting. She helped Angel through the opening and into the hall. Spike followed and they headed back to the car park. Returning was easier as the didn't need to waste any time making bridges. With no sounds of pursuit, the group moved as rapidly as possible and could soon see the window Spike and Buffy had used to climb inside.


“Can you make it?” Buffy asked Angel as they prepared to climb through.


“I'll be okay,” he answered with a sigh. Spike thought he looked almost done in but figured he'd make it at least as far as the car and if not he'd hoist the big lug over his shoulder and carry him the rest of the way.


Buffy jumped up and out the window, landing gracefully on her feet. Turning she helped steady Angel as he carefully made his way out. Spike scrambled out after them and they headed across the grass and back to the car. Spike could see the tank had been moved and the large turret was now facing the school. As they neared the watcher's car, the back door opened and Xander popped out. Spike smiled in greeting and they turned to watch together as the tank fired the first round into the school. The resulting explosion took out the remains of the library and a good portion of the building beyond exposing the deep crack in the sunken earth that led to the Sunnydale hellmouth. Xander thought he could see bits of tentacle among the wreckage and turning his face away he desperately tried to hang on to what little there was in his stomach. The tank fired again and the resulting explosion effectively buried the opening under dirt, rocks, and bits of concrete and brick. There was no question as to whether the Sk'vald demons survived. Riley appeared out of the opening in the top of the tank and shouted down at the group below. “Think that'll do it?”


“I should think so,” Giles said.


Buffy squealed in delight and ran over to stand near the large tracks of the tank and bounce up and down. “Oh, Riley! You were great! Can I ride with you back to base?”


Angel looked at Spike, eyebrows raised in disbelief. “Is she serious?”


Spike shrugged and rolled his eyes. “'Fraid so mate. C'mon,” he said tugging on the sleeve of Angel's leather coat. “You can come back to the apartment with us.”


Job done the group dispersed and headed home for the night.


~*~


Angel, Spike, and Xander were relaxing around the office the next afternoon. Xander was pacing about, sipping from a can of coke and trying to decide how to broach the subject of Spike's chip. It would need to be done delicately. They wouldn't want to upset Angel and have him leaving all in a huff without finding out what they needed to know. A roundabout approach would be best. Yeah.


“So Peaches. Angelus said he could fix the chip for me. That true?” Spike asked.


Or we could try the direct approach. That could work too. He hoped. Xander studied Angel's face as he looked at Spike. He couldn't decide if Angel was upset or not. In fact he couldn't tell anything much at all.


Angle finally sighed and looked away, out the window, into the late afternoon sun. “Yes. It's true but I don't know Spike.”


“C'mon. Not gonna go snacking on the population. Told you. Xander takes good care of me. Not been drinking that animal crap for a long time now.”


Angel,” Xander started, stepping closer to the pair. “I trust Spike. He won't hurt anybody. Besides, it isn't fair. You know how many times we've had to go up against humans and he's gotten hurt? And he was only trying to protect himself. Or me. It's not right and you know it.”


Angel thought quietly for a few minutes while Spike and Xander waited, impatiently but silently. This was too important to mess up by pushing too hard.


“I'll do it,” Angel finally relented. “But on one condition.”


“And that would be?” Spike asked.


“You agree to renew your bond with me.”


“Oh no pal,” Xander said, shaking his head furiously. There was no way he was letting Angel mess about with Spike and take him away. Spike was a royal pain in the ass but he was Xander's pain in the ass. “No way. He's mine and I'm not letting you or anyone else get between us.”


“Xander-”


No! NO WAY!.” Xander was shouting now and pacing back and forth.


Spike stepped over and stood in front of Xander effectively stopping his movement. He put his arms around Xander and rested his head on his chest, the top of his head nudging Xander under the chin. Xander took a few deep, measured breaths. Spike stepped back slightly and looked up into Xander's eyes.


“'T's not what ya think, luv. Don't think he means THE bond. Only our blood bond.”


Xander calmed even more. “Is there a difference?”


Spike laughed. “Yeah. Just a quick exchange of blood. Nothing more. Isn't that right, Peaches?” Spike looked over at Angel for confirmation.


“He's right. Just a quick exchange of blood and then we can disable the chip.”


Spike stepped back, surprised. “You mean today? Now?”


Xander felt as shocked as Spike looked. “It's that simple?”


“Surprisingly, yes. Shall we?”


Angel stood and waited in the middle of the room for Spike to approach. Spike placed a light kiss to Xander's lips before turning and stepping up to Angel and simply standing. Waiting. Looking into deep brown eyes, wanting to put his trust in his Sire. It'd been a long time since he'd trusted this vampire. Angel met the hesitant, hopeful gaze with his own without flinching or looking away.

“I'm trusting you Will,” Angel said gently. “You can trust me.”


Spike nodded and bared his neck. Xander watched enthralled as Angel took Spike in a light hold within his arms. Leaning forward, his face changed and he bit gently, took a few sips and pulled back, licking his lips. Xander was surprised to feel his cock stir and he adjusted himself slightly. Spike's fangs dropped and Xander felt a sharp surge of jealousy as he watched his lover bite into Angel's neck. It should be me, he wanted to shout. A wave of dizziness washed over him as he suddenly realised, it would be him. Very soon. Straightening up, he watched Spike back away from the larger vampire. Angel squeezed Spike's shoulder briefly before dropping his hand and turning to Xander.


“You'll need your mobile phone. Spike stand here.” Angel positioned Spike a few steps away so Spike was standing between them. Xander dug in his pocket and took out his phone.

“I'm guessing this is going to hurt. I don't know how much though. Try to stay between us. It shouldn't take long.” Angel instructed Spike. “Xander. You stand there and don't move until it's done. Okay?”


“Yeah.”


“Ready?” Angel asked them both.


Spike and Xander shared a long, loving look and without looking away from each other, they both nodded. Angel took out his phone and hit the speed dial, mentally thanking Cordelia for her ingenuity in programming the phone for easy use. Xander's phone rang and Angel indicated he should answer. As soon as Xander's phone connecting with Angel's, Spike bent at the waist, face twisted in pain. Angel held up a hand before Xander could move. It was one of the hardest things Xander ever had to do. Stand by and watch as Spike crumpled slowly to the floor, moaning and clutching at his head in pain. His heart was breaking and he wanted to run to his lover and hold him in his arms. After what seemed like hours, Angel closed the line and put his phone away. Xander met his eyes with a wide panicked look and when Angel nodded he practically flew to Spike's side. He scooped the limp form up in his arms and cradled him close, chanting Spike's name over and over. Xander didn't even realise he was crying until a shaky hand reached up and wiped a tear from his cheek. Gasping in a breath, he looked down and saw bright blue eyes peering back at him.


“Thank god. Shit Spike. Are you okay?” Xander asked sniffling slightly.


Spike gave him a small smile. “Yeah. Got a bit of a headache though.”


“Do you think it worked?”


“Only one way to find out.”


Xander slid and arm out from under Spike's back and held it out. “Go ahead.”


Spike met Xander's eyes and then looked down at the arm stretched out in front of him. Reaching up, Spike took a small bit of skin between his fingers and squeezed. Hard.


“OW!” Xander exclaimed, pulling his arm away. Then laughing when he discovered he was the only one who shouted in pain. “It worked?”


“Yeah. “Spike grinned back. “It worked.” He rolled his head gingerly to look for Angel, who had stood quietly watching the exchange not wanting to interfere. “Thank you. Sire.”


“You're welcome William. Don't make me regret my decision.”


“Won't.”


Angel nodded. “I don't think we should let Buffy know though. Not just yet.”


“Gotta agree there. Don't think the others would take it very well.” Xander said, chewing on his lower lip in worry.


“Be all right. You'll see.” Spike reassured him. “I'm knackered. Bed?”


Xander and Angel helped Spike to his feet and they stayed on either side of the slightly shaky vampire and made their way upstairs. Xander decided to worry about the others later. Right now he had a vampire to heal and a bond to seal.