Manip by [info] petxnd



Breaking Free


by
StillRose



Part One

The ships claxons were still ringing and the crew was mostly holding to their battle stations. Passengers scrambled for whatever illusion of safety they could find on the tiny transport. Lt. Alexander “Xander” Harris, having neither a battle station nor any false illusions about the ship’s fate frantically kept working on overriding the security protocols on the main cargo container.

“C’mon Xan-man, just once try and remember something Willow tried to teach ya,” Xander muttered as he worked on the codes. He knew his Council access should allow him to reset the security protocols; but Xander wasn’t sure he remembered the correct sequence to input the codes. If he got the sequence wrong, the system would shut him out and his brilliant plan, his only plan, would be about has helpful as his left eye. Useless plan plus useless eye equals even less than useless Xander, he thought. Math’s as good as my eye.

“Harris. Zed – Beta – Alpha – Jesse,” Xander said into the voice panel.

“Security protocol override, Lt. Harris, member of Regent inner circle authorized,” the computer voice droned from the cargo container.

“Yes!” Xander’s shout was lost amidst screams and the sound of the general alarms signaling a hull breach. “Crap!

“I am sorry. I do not understand that imperative,” the security program responded.

“It wasn’t an impera…a command or anything,” Xander said. Wills I wish you were here!  “Look I need you to lock out any unauthorized people from accessing the stuff inside.”

“Security override has been engaged. Please set parameters for new security protocols.”

Loud pops and more screams of terror indicated the fighting was no longer ship to ship but that The Snyder had been boarded.

“Can you lock it out so that…,” Xander paused. The container had weapons and medicine meant for Council strongholds. However, the Biogens would want them too. Hopefully bad enough they’d be willing to bargain. Who doesn’t like a good deal? Even Biogens, soulless, evil, and repulsive as they are, wouldn’t pass up the opportunity? Would they?

“…Program,” Xander continued. “Set for voice and bioscan authorization on Lt. Harris. If container is breached or an attempt is made to override program then auto destruct. Confirm.”

Hey, I only have my life to bet and right now that’s not worth much anyway.

“Confirm. Input voice and bioscan codes.”

“Voicescan – Willow,” Xander said and then stood before a small panel on the cargo container. A small beam of light came out and scanned Xander’s right eye; his only eye.

“Input complete. New security protocol parameters engaged.”

Xander sighed. First part of his plan was complete. Now to help with the fight! Xander thought as he reached for his sidearm.

“Oi! I wouldn’t do that if I were you mate,” a cool voice said from behind Xander.

Xander grew up all his life fighting Biogens. Even though he was a total human, not a Regent like Buffy or a Cyber-Mage like Willow, Xander swore he had a sixth sense when it came to knowing a Biogen when he came across one. It’s the absence of a soul, he thought bitterly. Still, Xander had lost enough to know he couldn’t take a Biogen. The most he could ever hope to be was back up. And in the end that hadn’t been good enough for Jesse.

Xander slowly raised his hands and turned around and then hissed. Standing armed before him was one of the most wanted Biogen’s in the galaxy; Captain William the Bloody. Bloody was the right hand to the leader of the Biogens, Angel. Xander had seen enough vidcaps of Bloody to know what he looked like.

Only a Biogen could have such perfectly chiseled cheeks, piercing blue eyes and lethal demeanor. OK, the hair though. The hair had to be faked, Xander thought and in the volatile mix of suppressed fear, self-pity, and the urge to fight he couldn’t help smiling just a little at realizing Captain Bloody bleached his hair.

“Something amusing, Patch?” Bloody purred as he stepped farther into the cargo bay followed closely by a well armed and built black man.

“Just wondering when, in between all of the murder and mayhem, Captain Bloody got in to see a stylist?”  Xander responded. Wills, couldn’t you find some sort of chip or spell to disengage my mouth?

“Gunn,” Spike growled as he stepped well into Xander’s personal space. Xander couldn’t help but notice he had a couple of inches on the famous killer. “The Council must be gettin’ desperate if they are makin’ lieutenants out of the mentally infirm.”

Captain Bloody punctuated his comments by nearly puncturing Xander’s chest by using his fingers to stab at Xander’s insignia on his Council uniform. Xander grimaced. A Biogen could easily rip his heart out with his bare hands.

“You don’t need to be that smart to kill Biogens, shorty,” Xander said fixing his one eye firmly on the blonde’s blue. Mouth Xander! Mouth!

Bloody slipped into his enhanced face and struck Xander across the face. Xander felt his feet fly out from under him. Tuck and roll Xan. You’ve had enough practice at this, he thought briefly as he painfully landed on the floor.

While Xander struggled to get air back into his lungs he felt himself being hauled up by the front of his shirt. Then the world went into a fast forward blur as he was being shaken.

“Spike!” another voice shouted. “Spike we don’t have time for this. We need to get the cargo onboard the DeSoto and get out of here if we want to avoid a fighter. Riley had time to send off a distress signal before we took out communications.”

Once again Xander found himself making friends with the floor of the cargo bay.

“Right then,” Spike, aka Captain Bloody, said. “Shoot this pissant for me then.”

“You won’t get what you came for,” Xander quickly wheezed.

Spike held up a hand to the black man who was already aiming to fire.

“Wot?” Spike crouched down to look at Xander.

“Container’s set to autodestruct without the correct voicescan and bioscan. Anything you hoped to gain in there; you’ll lose.”

“And how does that involve you, wonder mouth?”

Xander gave a dry chuckle. “I’m the one with the codes.”

Spike arched an eyebrow. “You?”

“Me,” answered Xander.

“Gunn!” Spike said.

“I’m on it,” the black man, apparently Gunn, said. “I’ll get the Captain down here.” Gunn then left the bay leaving Spike and Xander alone.

“If you’re lying to save your useless life, whelp, I promise your death will be one for the Nets.”

“Yeah. I know. Death and pain. The only creative talents Biogens have!” Xander sneered.

Spike once again grabbed Xander and hauled him up. This time he didn’t shake him. He pulled Xander close so they were face to face; their breaths entwining.

“You think you know about pain and death, Council boy?” Spike asked in a lethal whisper.

“Learned everything I know from Biogens,” Xander coolly responded wishing he had two eyes again just so he could give an equal stare back at Spike.

Spike snarled and shoved Xander back against the cargo container.

“Here he is, Captain,” Gunn said as he came back into the cargo bay. This time he was marching Captain Riley in front of him.

“Lt. Harris!” Riley barked when he saw Xander leaning against the cargo container. “What are you doing here? You are supposed to be in the passenger area with the other non-essentials!”

Xander tried to hide his wince. At least let the enemy think I’m of some use, Xander thought.

“Riley,” Spike interrupted. “Boy here seems to think that cargo container is set for an autodestruct. I want you to open it for me.”

“What?” Riley sputtered as Gunn shoved him over next to Xander. “Harris what have you done?”

“Riley?” Spike asked.

“It’s Captain Riley!”

“It’s only Captain if you have a ship,” Spike growled. “And you don’t have a ship. I on the other hand have two; yours and mine. Now open the bleedin’ cargo container!”

“Council protocol strictly forbid…”

“Deadmen don’t care about Council protocol,” Spike growled.

“I’m not going to give you…”

“How many crewmen and passengers have to die before you open the cargo container?”

“Riley. Gamma – Sigma – Xi- Walsh,” Riley said into the voice panel.

“I am sorry. You are unauthorized to access this container. Security protocols engaged,” the computer voice droned.

Xander didn’t hide his smile. Riley couldn’t hide his shock or anger.

“Harris! What the fuck have you done?” Riley yelled.

“Made you bleedin’ irrelevant,” Spike answered as he grabbed Riley by the throat and began to squeeze.

For the briefest of moments Xander was tempted to not interfere. It wouldn’t be his fault if Captain Riley was killed by Captain Bloody. But Xander was one of the good guys and more importantly Riley was human.

“You kill him or anyone else on this ship and you might as well kiss the cargo goodbye,” Xander said quietly.

Spike eased his grip on Riley’s throat. Riley gulped in some air.

“You think you’d last boy if I really wanted to get information out of you?”

“No,” Xander answered calmly. “I know it. Now let Captain Riley go.” 

Spike released Riley, who fell to the floor, and stared at the young lieutenant in front of him. The boy, well man really, was a couple of inches taller than Spike. He had wide shoulders and a long lean build that indicated a strong frame. His hair was thick and dark. Over his left eye was a patch. The lieutenant’s right eye though was what held Spike's attention. It was a rich chocolate brown and it blazed with passion. This man didn’t just have passion for the fight; he had passion for living and for his cause.

Spike suddenly began to find this Council officer rather fascinating. “I believe you, whelp. What are your terms?”

Xander suppressed a sigh.

The Snyder, her passengers and her crew go free. You get the cargo.”

“Harris!” Riley tried to wheeze. Gunn pointed his gun at the prone captain.

“So you just going to hand all those lovely weapons and medicines over ta me?”

“If you spare this ship and all souls onboard.”

Spike smiled. “Agreed. Open the container.”

Xander laughed. “You think I’m just going to take a Biogen’s word?”

Once again Xander found himself face to face with an angry Spike. “You are sorely trying my very limited patience, boy!”

“I only transmit the voicecodes when the DeSoto is safely out of range.”

“And the bioscan, boy? How do you propose to handle that?”

Xander shuddered. I can do this, he thought.

“Take what you need,” Xander answered in a small voice. It won’t be the first time I’ve been mutilated by a Biogen.

In the two centuries since Spike had become self-aware, and in the century of fighting for Biogen freedom, Spike had seen a lot. He was rarely surprised. Yet, this young Council officer was making it a habit.

“And how do I know I can trust your word, Council boy?” Spike finally replied.

Xander hitched a breath in surprise and stared back into Spike’s blue eyes.

“Counter offer mate. I take you and the cargo container back aboard the DeSoto. When we get out of range you open the cargo. If you’ve lied to me or have tricked me I will let you live long enough to watch me hunt down the wreck of this ship and kill every man, woman and child aboard. I might even attack a Council outpost in your honor. Do I make myself clear?”

There was no mistaking the menace and the promise in Spike’s voice. There was a reason he was called, Captain William the Bloody. Early in the Biogen wars, before the Council had called forth the Regents, Biogens like Spike had killed every natural human they had ever served. Whole families had been killed.

Xander nodded. Wills, Xander thought, I’m sorry I never got to say good-bye. I hope you understand. The Council may think I’m a soldier in name only; but you know otherwise.

“And if you double-cross me,” Xander answered just as deadly. “I promise I will find a way to make you hurt more than you ever thought it was possible to hurt.”

For just a moment Spike stood silent then laughed, “You’re too late, mate. You’re way too late.”

Spike’s laughter scared Xander more than anything Spike had done or said yet. As suddenly as Spike’s laughter had come; it went.

“Gunn, tell Fred we’re bringing the container over intact. And let my first mate know we got company,” Spike ordered. Xander had a brief moment to note Spike raising his arm again and then Xander’s world went black.





Part Two

Xander's world slowly waxed from black to a metallic gray. His right eye was open but something was too close to his face for him to focus properly. He tried to shake his head only to feel a hard weight press against his neck and face. A boot, he silently recognized. The bastard's got a boot to my neck!

The realization brought a flash of anger and a cascade of other discoveries. Xander pieced together he was flat on his stomach with his right cheek pressed to the floor and his hands bound behind his back. All Xander could see was the hard floor beneath him. Fuck! Xander panicked. I'm blind. He tried to roll himself over or lift his torso up but the boot pressed painfully down on his neck and left cheek; holding Xander firmly in place.

"Get the fuck off me!" Xander yelled.

The boot ground Xander's cheek.

"Keep quiet ya git!" Spike ordered.

Xander tried to reply but the boot painfully ground in deeper. Calm Xan-man, he mentally recited.  What did Jesse always say, "Wait for your moment, not theirs." Xander forced himself to relax and concentrated on the sounds around him.

"Sorry for the interruption, Fred," Spike said as he felt Xander go still. "What were you sayin'?"

"Well," a woman, apparently Fred, began, "I could probably disarm the auto destruct but it would take time and I'd only have a fifty percent chance of success. I've been without access to the Council's weapons division for over two years now. ...and...well I'm sure they have made significant strides since then…and even if they haven't this could have some Cyber Mage interface technology....well I mean with Lt. Harris there being a known compatriot of Prefect Willow. I could try Spike but...."

"I get it, luv," Spike said softly discontinuing Fred's babble. "If we want the shipment intact, we do it the whelp's way."

"Or maybe you're just playing into a trap," said another woman. The voice sounded oddly familiar to Xander. Who is she?

"He still has access to the Regent, and her inner council, not to mention inner Council codes,” the familiar sounding woman continued, “but he's riding passenger on some rink-dink transport? All I'm saying? Doesn't add up. I say space him and the cargo."

"So wot," Spike asked, "You think they planted him on the ship hopin' we'd bleedin’ attack? That's rather hodge-podge innit?"

"Well, they might not have been going after you, just any Biogen. Maybe he's the trap loaded for whoever attacks. We've been hittin' 'em hard. They'd want some pay back."

"Don't seem like a Council plan to me," Gunn's voice interjected.

"Council yes," Spike said, "not the Regent; too distant for her. She likes to get her hands dirty. 'Sides wouldn't do her image good if it were found out she set one of her friends to cark it...even to off a Biogen."

"Not unless it was a high value target," replied the mystery woman.

"Well I don't think Xa-xan...Lt. Harris here would have any part of such a plan. I mean why would he?" Fred said. "What would he get out of it? Torture and death are not real well rewarding rewards."

Fred's a soft touch. Why she's with a bunch of Biogens and traitors is beyond me, but she's a soft touch, Xander thought. Maybe I can use that? If they don’t go with the “space ‘em plan.”

"Eternal glory," answered a smooth cultured voice.

Xander hissed in recognition. The boot ground hard in response. "I don't want to hear anything comin' out of that gob of yours until I tell ya!" Spike snarled.

"I can not say it is good to see you again, Mr. ...or I should say Lt. Harris," the voice said.

Xander knew that voice! Wesley!  The mystery woman has got to be faithless Faith, the rouge Regent and a former Xan-man crush. Xander suppressed a sigh. I may be a total human but I have an amazing super power; crap luck. 

Wesley had been Faith's Watcher, her trainer and handler. Instead he'd led her into betraying the Council and joining with the Biogens; the very things she had been called forth by the Council to hunt and kill. It’d be worth dying ignobly if I could take both of them out; let alone Captain the Bloody!

Xander breathed deep trying to remain still despite the urge to confront Wesley and Faith. My cheek and neck feel like ground chuck as it is, Xander silently noted. No need to give the Brutal Blonde another reason to tenderize them more.

"Wesley?" Fred asked in a small voice.

 "Lt. Harris and I met several years ago when I was Faith's 'Watcher,'" Wesley's voice dripped with disdain for the title. "I knew him as a true and loyal friend to the Regent and to the cause of eradicating all Biogens. For him, a final mission to kill a Biogen, any Biogen would be a worthy epitaph."

You know me for a whole of three months before you and your Regent take the “Betrayl Express" and you think you know what I want on my tombstone? Xander silently fumed.  Look ma, he's traitorous and arrogant!

"Even if he hates Biogens as much as you say doesn't mean he'd agree to a plan like this...," Fred began to argue.

"Enough!" Spike shouted. "I'm the captain here, or at least I was last time I checked."

There was a silent pause.

"Right then," Spike continued. "Here's wot we'll do. The rest of you clear out and seal off the bay here."

"Wait a sec," Gunn and Faith began to interrupt at the same time.

"I said you'll clear out," Spike shouted over the objections. "You'll seal off the bay and the Council boy and I will open the cargo container. If he's pulled a fast one and sumthin' happens to me then I expect the DeSoto to make double time back to the Snyder  and make good on my promise to the whelp."

"I don't like this plan," Faith said.

"Ya don't have ta, luv," Spike replied with a slight lilt. "Just follow m'orders, yeah?"

"We got your back, Spike," Gunn said.

Xander heard the sound of shuffling feet, a pressure door opening and then securely closing. When the hiss of the lock engaged Xander felt the boot left from his face. Before Xander had a chance to struggle to his knees a hand grabbed the back of his neck and lifted him to his feet. Oh doesn’t this bring back fun memories? Xander thought.

“Now then, Harris,” Spike said as he shoved Xander up against the cargo face first into the container, “the codes. And if you are really are just a boob and a trap…and sumthin’ happens to me? Charlie’s gonna make good on my promises. Understand?”

“I’m half blind,” replied Xander, “not deaf you moronic mutant.”

Spike shook Xander by his neck so once again Xander’s vision was a fast forward blur. He keeps this up and he’s going to get the Snyder lunch special always over his boots, Xander thought.

“Council boy,” Spike said as he ceased shaking Xander, “I’m going to give you a little intel on Captain William the Bloody: I am not known for my patience! Now open the cargo container!”

“How do I know the Snyder’s out of range,” Xander asked as he tried to get the world back in focus.

The painful grip on Xander’s neck tightened and became excruciating until Xander thought he could begin to hear stress fractures in his vertebrae. Then the grip relaxed back down to painful.

Spike spun Xander around and slammed his back into the container. “I’m really startin’ ta get curious, boy; just what are your balls made of?”

“One hundred percent humanity, freak,” Xander retorted.

Spike smiled and gave a casual look up and down Xander’s body. “Maybe I’ll have to find out for myself?”

“I think I’d rather stick with the ‘space him’ plan.”

For a brief moment Spike’s eyes flashed their enhanced gold and then he sent chills down Xander’s spine. Spike laughed.

“What makes ya think ya get a vote, Council boy?”

Xander swallowed. Jesse, you always said Biogens were freaky, but you didn’t tell me they were freaky!

“One more time,” Spike began again, “and don’t ask if the Snyder’s out of range because if ya do? I’m going to turn the ship around and bring it in range…container or not. The codes, whelp, give me the codes.”

“Harris. Zed – Beta – Alpha – Jesse,” Xander reluctantly uttered.

“Security protocol override, Lt. Harris, member of Regent inner circle authorized,” the computer voice droned from the cargo container. “Enter voicescan.”

Willow,” answered Xander.

“Enter bioscan,” the computer replied.

Xander turned around and faced the security panel. Once again a small beam of light came out and scanned Xander’s right eye.

“Input complete. Security protocol parameters disengaged.”

“Open it,” Spike ordered.

Xander turned his head and looked over his right shoulder at Spike. “And how would you suggest I do that blondie? Hands are bound here.”

“Right,” Spike said sounding almost well human for a moment to Xander and not like a Biogen. The moment didn’t last. Spike shoved Xander a side, grasped the container door handle and turned. The pressure lock released and the container opened with a hiss.

Spike jumped. Xander rolled his eye.

“Everything looks good, Spike,” Fred’s cheery voice came on over the intercom. “Not detecting any explosives, radiation or biochem agents.”

Spike smiled and took a look inside.

“Well ducks, Angel’s going to be pleased,” Spike said as he peered at the inventory. “We scored a shipment of solider packs. We have basic meds and ammos for all a good soldier boys needs.”

The pressure doors hissed open on the cargo bay.

“Or in this case for us and folks on the outlying colonies,” Gunn said as he entered the room training a gun on Xander. Willow, you’d appreciate the funny in that, Xander thought. Gunn’s gunnin’ for me.

Xander’s mouth betrayed him again and smiled at his internal joke.

“Sumthin’ amusin’ ya again, pet?” Spike asked.

“Just enjoying the show,” Xander replied. “Not every day you get to see trained apes with new toys.”

Spike snarled, grabbed Xander and threw him towards Gunn. Lucky for Xander, Gunn holstered his weapon and caught Xander before he went crashing to the floor again.

“Lock him up!” Spike ordered.

Gunn smiled. “My pleasure, sir.”

As Gunn maneuvered Xander out of the cargo bay he noticed two things a) Gunn was human and not a Biogen and b) it had been a long time since Xander had made a pit stop.

“I don’t suppose we can stop at the little boys room on the way to ‘lock up’,” Xander asked.

“Spike didn’t say anything about making any stops,” Gunn said with a cruel smile.

“So you always do with the Bio-butcher says?”

Once again Xander found himself slammed up against something solid. Ok, my back and my cheek are well tenderized at this point, Xander thought. Nor does the slammin' help with the bladder problem.

“Listen, soldier boy, don’t be spouting your Council propaganda at me. It won’t work. I know the score about Biogens and what they are fighting for and why. I owe ‘em and I owe Spike. And it wouldn’t take much more than a look and I’d be happy to decrease the population on this ship by one,” Gun snarled in an impressive outburst of words. “Do I make myself clear?”

Waterford,” Xander muttered. As in ‘crystal,’ Xander thought.

Gunn snorted, yanked Xander forwarded and pushed him. Xander got the hint and started moving. All too soon they were through a small corridor and in front of a slim door. Gunn opened the door to a very small room.

You’ve got to be kidding me! That’s not a brig or a holding cell! That’s a closet, Xander thought.

Apparently Gunn wasn’t kidding because once again he grabbed Xander and shoved him forward into the small room. Xander didn’t have to worry about falling because there wasn’t that much room. He bounced off the back wall and before he could turn around the door slammed shut. In the dark Xander could hear the tumblers of the locking mechanism falling into place.

“Hey!” Xander shouted into the darkness. “No night light?”

Silence answered Xander.  Xander leaned back against the wall and let his head fall forward. Fuck, Jesse, Xander thought. When you told me there’d be days like these; you didn’t tell me there’d be days like these!





Part Three

Gunn stalked back into the cargo bay to find Fred and Wesley sorting through the packs dividing weapons from meds.

"Solider boy secure?" asked Spike.

"Yeah," replied Gunn. "Said he needs a visit to the head."

Does he now, thought Spike. "I'll take care of it."

"You?" replied Wes and Fred at the same time.

"Wot?" Spike cocked an eyebrow at his shipmates. "Maybe it's time Lt. Harris learned a few things the Council would neglect ta teach him."

"I am not sure that is the wisest of ideas, Spike," answered Wesley.

"It's hardly Xander's fault he doesn't really know what's going on," Fred interjected. "I was on the Council payroll for years before I figured out the truth."

Spike smiled affectionately at Fred. "Yes, luv, but at least you had a curious mind and went lookin' for the truth. Prats like Harris swallow Council bollocks hook, line and sinker then merrily muck up the galaxy for the rest of us."

"Still," Wesley jumped in again, "Why are you so interested in teaching him a few things?'"

Spike shrugged. "'M bored."

"Right," Gunn huffed.

"And what's that supposed to mean?" Spike asked spun to look at Gunn.

"I'm not sayin' a word man," Gunn answered. I'm no fool, he thought.

"Spike, Xander is one of the Regent's closest friends. He is the best friend of Willow," Wesley continued. "Playing games with him is not a good idea."

"Wes is right," Faith said as she stepped into the cargo area. "Xander's too hot. We need to space him, ditch him or ransom him. Whatever we do we can't be 'playin' him'."

Spike looked at his crew. They were good, effective, damned loyal, and he had trusted them to hell and back. Some part of him knew they were probably right. Better to be rid of the clot, Spike thought. Still, the boy's attitude rankled Spike deep. It got to him more than any Council member had gotten to him since Dr..... NOT goin' there!  Spike snarled as unwelcome memories tried to creep up on him.

"Spike?" Faith said stepping toward her captain.

"Finish gettin' this stuff sorted out. I'll see to the solider boy," Spike said as he twirled away from Faith and stormed out of the cargo bay.

Wes and Fred stared at each other. Concern rippled through Fred's eyes.

"Wes?" she asked.

"He will be fine," Wes said as he laid a reassuring hand on Fred's shoulder.  Wes wasn’t sure whether he was referring to Spike or Xander. He hoped both.

Faith and Gunn shared a look. They didn't need words to communicate. Things aboard the DeSoto were about to get a whole lot more complicated.


*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*


To pee or not to pee,
Xander silently rhymed as he shifted to lean against another wall and re-crossed his legs. That is the question! Whether tis nobler in the....

Xander's thoughts and the dark of the room were interrupted by the sound of the door being unlocked and opened. Light flooded the room and blinded Xander's eye.

"Hear you need a visit to the loo," growled Spike as he reached in and grabbed Xander by the arm.

"Well, if it's on the way," Xander said as Spike drug him out of the "closet" and began to urge him down the hall.

Spike didn't answer. He just kept shoving Xander forward. Again, not helping with the bladder problem, Xander thought.

Finally they reached another door. Spike opened it and shoved Xander inside, followed him in and shut the door behind them.

"I like the upgrade," Xander said as he noted the somewhat larger and lighted room. Plus there appeared to be a urinal in the corner. Xander's bladder twitched with joy.

"Haven't got all day," Spike said.

"How many times I gotta point this out to you, blondie" Xander said as he looked over his shoulder. "Hands are tied."

Spike was smiling again; a smile that didn't reach his unnaturally blue eyes.

"Right. Guess I'm going to have to help ya then, yeah?" Spike said as he moved closer behind Xander.

Ok, we have officially crossed into the "not good" zone here, Xander silently panicked as he was herded toward the urinal. When Xander was successfully herded close to the receptacle, Spike's hands circled in front of Xander's waist and began to undue his pants.

"What the fuck do you think you are doing?" Xander yelled in an explosive mix of surprise and anger.

"Givin' you a hand mate."

"Get away from me you psycho," Xander yelled again as he squirmed and tried to move away from Spike.

Spike grabbed Xander by the waist and held him in a painful grasp.

"You can either do it this way, or I'll take you back to the hatch and lock ya in until you're drowin' in your own piss," Spike whispered in Xander's ear.

Xander froze. This lunatic is serious! Anger and humiliation rolled through Xander like a summer storm. Biogens, soulless fuckin' bastards!  Xander internally screamed. He knew his choices weren't really choices at all, just lessons in humiliation and degradation.

"What's it going ta be, solider boy?" Spike purred in his ear again.

Fuck you! Xander mentally screamed while giving the barest and stiffest of nods.

"Good choice mate," Spike said as he finished undoing the fastening of Xander's pants. With more gentleness than Xander thought a Biogen capable of, Spike reached into Xander's pants and withdrew Xander’s penis.

"Nice bit a tackle ya got there," Spike commented as he adjusted his hold on Xander's delicate flesh and aimed it toward the urinal. "Seems your balls ain't made a brass after all; they’re all soft and human like ya said."

Xander closed his eye and ignored Spike. Instead, Xander concentrated on trying to relieve the painful pressure inside. Xander's concentration failed. No matter how hard Xander tried; he couldn’t ignore the fact someone else was holding his penis while he tried to relieve himself.

Not just someone,
Xander thought, a Biogen! Captain fuckin' William the fuckin' Bloody is holding my rod while I try and pee! For all Xander's efforts he only succeeded in causing his face to flush in anger, his bladder to grow more uncomfortable and Spike to become more amused.

"Havin' problems, whelp? Bit a' performance anxiety?" Spike asked enjoying Xander's humiliation. "Here, let me give ya another hand."

Spike snaked another hand low over Xander's abdomen and then began to firmly press. It didn't take long for Xander's beleaguered bladder to respond. The room was suddenly filled with the acrid smell of fresh urine and a steady yellow stream was escaping from Xander. The bliss of release was so intense Xander sighed.

"How does it feel, Harris?" Spike's voice killed the brief moment of relief for Xander. "How does it feel to be a thing? To have no control over your life, your body or your most basic needs? How does it feel to have your will mean nothing?"

Xander refused to answer.

"Hmmm, Harris?" Spike continued. "Is it humiliating? Does it make you angry? Do you want to kilI me?"

"I wanted to kill you before you proved what sick degenerates Biogens are!" Xander finally snarled.

Spike laughed. Chicken or the egg mate, Spike thought. Chicken or the egg.

"Now let's give that willie a little shake then," Spike said when the stream from Xander finally ended. Xander bit his lip as he suffered through the next bit of humiliation as Spike shook and wiggled Xander's penis getting rid of any excess urine. Then Spike gently tucked Xander back in and refastened Xander's pants. Spike stepped back and Xander immediately moved as far from Spike as the room allowed.

Once again Spike laughed. He then moved over to the tiny sink in the room and began to wash his hands.

"You should be grateful, Harris," Spike said as he rinsed his soapy hands under running water. "Some people think it's a luxury to have something around to do their nasty work...to keep their hands from getting dirty. Some people would pay a lot of money for that...some people did."

"Oh is this the part where I break down in pity for you?" Xander asked still reeling in rage and humiliation. "You and your kind are a fuckin' science experiment, a bad one at that! You were born in a tube and grown. It sucks. Life often does. Doesn't give you a license to kill, maim and be a general boil on the butt of humanity!"

Spike dried his hands and turned to face Xander. Spike's eyes were flecked with gold.

"Deep thinker there aren't you, Harris?" Spike said as he began to cross the room back toward Xander. "You think we should have just stayed the course? Kept makin' nice and pretendin' to be knackered while lettin' the pure humans play God and such while they made the devil blush?"

Spike pressed close to Xander until they were chest to chest. Xander could see the swirling gold in Spike's eyes and the barely restrained ridges of his enhanced face itching to come to forth.

"You started this war," Xander hissed. "Tell me Spike, what deviltry were the children you killed doing? What great and powerful threat could they have possibly been to you?"

Spike slammed his fists on either side of Xander's head. The ridges in Spike face surged forth and his eyes went pure gold.

"That was a long time ago, Harris. And I was a different person then."

"See," Xander seethed. "That's the problem. You aren't a person."

Spike snarled and grabbed Xander's face with his left hand. Spike's long fingers and thumb squeezed painfully into Xander's cheekbones.

Xander went rigid. Terror flooded through him. NOT AGAIN! his mind screamed. Oh God please not again! Images and sensations pulsed through Xander. He felt the firm hold on his face as the thumb gouged through his eye. Xander heard the snarl from Jesse as he came running too late to save Xander's eyesight but not too late to die. Xander felt the searing pain of the loss of his eye and best friend while a Biogen laughed and made his escape before back-up forces arrived.

"If I were you, wh..." Spike began to snarl then stopped. The room was suddenly filled with the strong scent of fear and the boy's heart rate was approaching light speed. The boy was breaking out in a sweat and his breathing was hitched. The chocolate eye that had never failed to meet Spike's fiercest gaze was glazed looking and unfocused.

What the fuck is going on? Spike thought. The boy had been mouthy, a pain in the arse and a royal complication but he hadn't been afraid. Oddly, Spike felt his own heart rate speed up in response to Xander's distress. Slowly, Spike released his hold on Xander and then retreated back to the sink.

"Harris," Spike softly called. The boy didn't respond.

"Lt. Harris," Xander remembered Riley questioning him, "Why did you break protocol? Why didn't you call for immediate back-up?"

"Harris," Spike tried again, "Xander."

Xander heard his name. He blinked his eye and looked around. Spike was over by the sink again. When had he moved?

"Xander," Spike said again as he saw Xander's focus return.

"What?" Xander simply answered.

Spike stared at the boy. He looked tired and achingly human.

"Time for lunch," was all Spike could think to say as once again he took hold of Xander's arm, opened the door and ushered his prisoner out of the bathroom.



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