Loyal Love has Deathless Wings


Sunnydale, Spike thought, was turning out to be a right pisser. Not only had it seen his defeat at the hands of a bottle-blonde Slayer with a smart mouth and too many accessories, but it had been the beginning of the end of things with Dru.

And now here he was, back in this demon-forsaken town. Bereft of his girl, his direction, his joie de fucking vive, only to be confronted by Angel, of all the bloody luck, still sniffing around the Slayer. Not even a good killing, it seemed, could make the Great Poof keep it in his pants.

Spike ground out yet another cigarette and sneered at the lighted windows of the Crawford Street house. So much for staying there. He'd have to scout out another abandoned property, or actually break into his stash and shell out like a real boy. Fucking hell.

Instead of searching for a squat, he ended up wandering into the magic supply store, images of pestilent boils bubbling in his whisky-sodden head. Which was starting to hurt. The too-perky voice of the little red-headed wanna-be hurt, too, and he watched her trip out with her bag of components with a thoughtful look on his face. Fuck Angel, Dru was his only real concern, here. The shopkeeper popped up then, abrasive voice and condescending eyebrow and all, and Spike was out of patience.

She tasted of sandalwood and antimony, and Spike cleaned out her cash drawer and purse, smirking.

Later, at the factory, Spike watched the girl hovering over her beau, if that's what he was. Dark-haired boy with a sharp chin and tired eyes and Spike remembered him. Remembered him quite clearly, suddenly, the tableau coming to unnatural clarity in his head as the boy stirred on the bed and then sank bank, groaning. Angelus' little friend – little after-dinner treat that he'd never got to have.

So, he had him. Salt and iron and adrenaline, hormones and terror. It was heady. Spike accidentally backhanded the girl, getting her off him as he was drinking, and she lay on the floor with a bloody nose and a crooked wrist, unconscious, useless, now, probably. Spike sighed, sulking for a bit. Gulping down the last of his whisky and then moodily fed the near-dead boy a good mouthful of blood.

After that, he left. Back to Brazil, back to Dru. Back to the one constant in his life. And he forgot, all over again.

It was really just too ironic that the Gem of bloody Amara was in Sunnydale. Spike took a long drag of his smoke and leaned back in his chair, free hand idly toying with his empty glass. Around him, the boys and girls of the city danced and drank and did their mating thing, impossibly young. Pleasingly fragrant with hormones and blood just under the surface, clean sweat and sex-musk. Spike flicked a bit of earth off the knee of his jeans and let his gaze skim the room. Tunneling was hungry work, and he and the crew Brian had put together had been hard at it most of the day. Time for a little R&R – rest and refreshment.

As he mulled his choices, he grew aware of someone watching him. He glanced around, but didn’t see anyone in particular – not the Slayer, certainly, and no one he knew. But there was a frisson of awareness over his nerves – someone’s attention, making the hairs on the back of his neck prickle.

He got another drink and swallowed it down then stood and moved toward the stairs leading to the mezzanine. Better vantage – high ground. It was slightly less crowded up there, and a good bit dimmer. The air was blue and red and amber from the stage lights, hazy with cigarette smoke. Spike found an unoccupied corner, nothing but space behind him, and waited.

A moment later, his tracker appeared. Dark hair, dark eyes, lean body under a battered leather jacket and worn jeans – one of his kind. Spike felt a smirk forming on his lips. Someone in the mood to make a scene – make a little noise. Some nobody, trying to be a somebody. Hazard of being a Slayer of Slayers, that – your reputation preceded you. Spike dragged down the last quarter-inch of his smoke and dropped the butt into a handy glass – stood up and leaned against the railing, making a show of looking down over the crowd.

His shadow skirted the couples making out, edgy little dance through the pockets of dark, and a moment later was sidling up to the railing, hitching closer than Spike really wanted. Spike turned, finally, hip against the rail and a little smirk on his face, just waiting.

The other stopped short and stared at him, and then grinned, wide and blinding, the manic sparkle in those dark eyes all too familiar.

“I knew you’d come back. I knew it.”

Spike reached into his coat and drew out his smokes – occupied himself with selecting one and tucking the pack away, lighting the cigarette and sliding his Zippo into his pocket. He drew in a lungful of smoke and let it out again, grey-blue plume straight at the other vampire. "Did you, now? And how's that?"

"Because you had to. Because you…you made me." The vampire lifted a hand, as if to touch, and let it drop. "You'd never just…leave. Leave me." He stepped forward, into a swath of slightly brighter light, and Spike knew – just like he'd known before – who it was.

"I know you," Spike said. He snapped his fingers two or three times, thinking. "You're…the witch's little puppy. Rex or Fido or something."

"Xander," the other said, and then he grinned harder, inching closer. "I knew you'd know me. I waited, waited right here…." The boy swayed a little, mouth slightly open. Scenting, Spike knew. Tasting the air. On this vamp, it looked a bit…animal. His eyes were half shut and his fingers were curling, as if he wanted to touch – to get tangled up in Spike and pull him close. It made Spike shiver. "Waited, I waited…." he murmured, and Spike wondered if he was forever destined to attract pretty, crazy brunettes.

"Bloody boring place to wait out an unlife," Spike said, and Xander blinked, spell broken. "Thought sure you'd have packed it in." Spike slumped back against the rail, studying him. He looked – good. Well, not bad. A little thin, maybe. A little twitchy. But Spike was used to twitchy, after all. "Imagine the Slayer's been after you, eh?"

Xander flinched and shot a quick look over his shoulder. "She – she – she – did. She was. I woke up and I could hear them and Willow was there all…." The vamp made a face, hands moving. Spike had no earthly idea what he was trying to communicate. "And I bit her but there wasn't time so I just had a taste and I was hungry but B– the Slayer was coming so I ran."

"At least you're not daft." Spike looked around in vain for an abandoned drink and finally pulled his flask from an inner pocket and took a long pull.

Xander watched with the kind of manic attention usually only seen in ferrets and lunatics, dark eyes tracking every movement. "There's a lot of tunnels around here. I was down in them once. I just…I hid, and I…you know…." Xander leaned against the rail in a parody of ease, hands trembling a little and his shoulders drawn up tight. He leaned in, and Spike could smell old blood on him. Old blood and leather and earth, pizza sauce and desperation. "Vamps are like meth heads."

"What does that mean?"

"Means they like to jump out and grab people and bite but then they get…distracted. They let go and grab somebody else or they – they – they don't pay enough attention and they get staked. Kinda accidentally. You know." Xander grinned suddenly, looking up at Spike from his slouch, hair across his eyes and his teeth gleaming. He looked predatory, suddenly, in a way he hadn't yet and Spike resisted the urge to grin back.

"And then there's all these…bodies everywhere still all, you know…warm. And moving a little. And it's a shame to just…leave 'em."

"Crying shame," Spike said. He tucked his flask away again and studied the boy. There really was something not quite right about him. Something just…weird. But Spike kinda liked it.

"It's like littering and I just, I just, I just…come along and pick them up."

"Proper little scavenger."

Xander looked at him sharply, eyes narrow. "I don't attack them. I don't, I don't, I just…clean up. She can't – it's not – the same. Can't be mad at me if I don't…."

"Who can't be mad at you?"

Xander edged closer yet and Spike watched the long-fingered hand lift up again and touch the hem of Spike's sleeve. Rub at the leather a little, gently. "Slayer, Willow, they can't…can't…can't be mad if I don't hurt anybody that's not already…." He looked around, nervous dart of eyes and head and then back at Spike, that manic grin breaking free, sudden hectic flash of green across his eyes. "Not already dead, right? Already dead so I put them out of their misery so that's a good thing, right?"

"It absolutely is," Spike said, and Xander laughed. It was high-pitched and grating, and Spike thought he might want to slap him for it but he choked it off in a moment, ducking his head again, fingers crumpling the edge of Spike's sleeve.

"So, now, you're back and I'm here and we can…we'll just…."

"You'll just come work for me, then," Spike said, and Xander followed him down the stairs and out of the Bronze without a word. Spike could get used to that.

Four days later, he was used to it, but it was a little…weird. Xander was weird, and Spike watched him skulk in the shadows and clean up the scraps behind Spike's feeding like a sewer rat, collecting every drop. Hunting – his version of hunting – was a sideways dance aimed more at the other predators than the prey, and Spike watched with amused fascination as Xander actually staked a beefy vamp in the midst of a kill, coughing out dust and then draining the hapless victim dry with a snap and snarl. Occasionally, there was a bit of worrying over ragged flesh and once the cracking and sucking of a thigh-bone from a particularly bedraggled meal and Spike finally got it.

Wheelchair bound, he's spent a lot of time watching telly.

"You've got something wrong with you, mate, know that?" he said, and Xander licked at the blood on the side of his mouth and grinned, unnerving cackle rattling out of his chest. Hyena's bray, and Spike wondered how in the hell that had happened.

But this was Sunnydale, after all – Hellmouth and locus of all things trippy. "Your mum a were or something?"

"Where what? Wear? What are you talking about?"

"Whatever's in you – besides the demon."

"Oh." Xander stood up from his crouch, wiping his palms on his thighs. The alley was dim, but his eyes caught the light, greengage flash like no vamp on Earth and Spike grinned hard around his cigarette, liking the fucked up-ness of it all. "There was this…zookeeper guy. He was kinda crazy. He did this spell only it hit me and us and then…we were a pack, we – we….." He stopped and took a long breath – pushed past Spike and into an easy lope, general direction of the cemetery and Spike's crypt. Spike trotted after – caught up with him at the cemetery gate.

"I had a pack and then he took it all back but not all of it and I'm still, we're still…."

"Still in there." Spike leaned next to Xander against the dressed stone of the wall, watching as the boy sniffed the air and gazed up at the moon and down at his boots. "Where's the rest?"

Xander shrugged. "Couple of 'em moved. We killed…we – we killed this guy and…they were really fucked up and one of the girls had a baby and one of the guys killed himself and…and…and it was like…it was like we had the same heart, and we had….we had…." Xander's breathe ran out in something like a sob, something like a growl, his hands moving in frustrated, choppy arcs. "It was good, it was…it was…warm and there wasn't any…any…."

"Miss it then, do you?" Spike said, and Xander sighed hard and leaned, all unexpected, into Spike's side. Well, maybe not unexpected. He'd been working himself up to touching Spike for days, and Spike had watched and waited and wondered if he'd ever get the courage. The need in the boy was a tangible thing, and Spike liked the anticipation of it all almost more than the consummation. Almost.

Xander was hot from the kill – spiced with blood and the fear-sweat of the dead, steeped in his own scents of leather and earth and clove-sweet soap. Xander's face tucked into Spike's neck, and Spike could feel his eyelashes against the skin of his throat, fluttering a little.

"Miss it so fucking much, it hurts, it's like a hole, I need, I need….."

"I know what you need," Spike said. He let his hand slide down Xander's shoulder – curl around his ribs and tug him in closer, heavy weight between Spike's thighs, against his belly. Petting up under the jacket and ragged t-shirt, feeling silky skin and the flat trace of ribs – the quick lift and fall of muscle and bone as Xander breathed.

"Had to wait, needed you to come back, thought I was going to die, felt like I was dying," Xander murmured, pressing in closer and letting his hand settle on Spike's chest.

"You're not dying," Spike said, and tipped Xander's chin up. The light from down the street caught his eyes and flashed green, eerie and otherworldly, and Spike leaned in and pressed their mouths together. Xander tasted like blood and something sweet, and he made a breathy little whimpering sound when Spike pulled away. "Let's go inside, yeah? Wouldn't do to be interrupted," Spike said, and Xander showed his teeth in a soundless snarl.

"Don't care who sees."

"Neither do I, pet. Just don't like fighting with my gear all undone." Spike pressed the palm of Xander's hand to his cock, hard line under worn black denim, and Xander grinned, fingers curling instinctively, stroking. Spike leaned into his touch for a moment and then pushed him away, slung an arm over his shoulders and got them both moving.

The crypt itself was dark, but down underneath, in the tunnels and chambers that seemed to honeycomb Sunnydale Below, candles were burning, thick white pillars that put off no scent but some small heat. The bed Spike had dragged down was rumpled – unmade and debauched-looking, and Spike pushed Xander down onto it, determined to make him as debauched as the tangled linen.

Xander seemed all huge eyes and long limbs, fingers twisting nervously in the sheets, and Spike shed his coat and boots and crawled up over him, licking his lips. "You're a treat, boy. All new at this, aren't you? Fresh and new…."

"I'm not…I'm not a virgin, not a virgin," Xander muttered, and Spike laughed softly.

"Didn't say you were. But this –" Spike shoved a knee between Xander's thighs and ground down a little, hip to hip, and Xander gasped and arched, his chin going up, this throat laid out, pale-gold and long, so damn enticing. "This is new, isn't it?"

"Sss…" Xander hissed. He gulped and arched again, his hands fluttering uncertainly at Spike's hips. "Sspike, Spike…."

"Go on then, touch me, don't you want to?"

Xander hesitated for a long moment and then he was pushing at the edges of the red silk button-up Spike had on – pushing and shoving and getting it off Spike's shoulders – leaving it tangled around his wrists. He jerked at the black t-shirt underneath – dragged it out of Spike's waistband and up, bunching the fabric. Dark eyes locked on Spike's revealed belly and chest, his fingers running lightly over ribs and breastbone and then, shaky, nipples.

"That's good, yeah, like that…" Xander looked up at him and then that grin flashed across his face, feral and toothy and wicked and he snaked his head up, fast, and put his mouth on Spike's chest. Sucked a nipple between his lips and then bit, human teeth no match for fangs, but it hurt nonetheless.

Hurt like it should; sharp and deep and hot, spreading, and Spike jerked and laughed and tangled his fingers in Xander's long hair – yanked his head back. "Don't take liberties, boy. You should ask first."

"Rather ask forgiveness than permission," Xander said, licking his lips, and Spike twisted his fist – arched Xander's head back, exposing the long column of his throat, and darted down to nip at the vulnerable flesh. He didn't bother with human teeth. Xander's blood all but sizzled on his tongue, tainted with magic, suffused with the other, altogether different and strange. Spike drew and swallowed and pulled slowly back, licking at the wounds, and Xander shuddered.

"Forgiven. Now get your kit off."

Naked, Xander was lean – a little scarred – lightly dusted with dark, fine hair. Spike took his time exploring every inch – testing and tasting and watching with an amused grin just what made his boy keen and writhe, jerk and gasp, moan and twist and beg. He made little bee-stings of bites all along the pale gold of Xander's body, and Xander smeared the blood on his fingertips and gave them to Spike to suck. Made his own marks, fingers sinking deep enough into pale flesh to bruise, fangs scoring lightly along bunched muscle and the thin skin that rode between air and bone.

Spike dug a half-squashed tube of some sort of slick out from between the pillows and rolled Xander over – hauled him ass-up and spread wide, and watched in fascination as Xander's body clenched and pushed and relaxed around Spike's fingers. "Like that, then?" he murmured, and Xander made a wordless noise against the sheets, twisting his head to look back.

Demon's face, ridged and fanged and golden-eyed, but the candles caught that flash of green, animal and eerie, and Spike surged to his knees and lined himself up – pushed in, half an inch – inch. Xander's voice rumbled down in his chest, no words, and he leaned back, muscles tense under Spike's hand, drawing Spike in, deeper and faster, and Spike gave in and just moved.

He ran his hands up Xander's back to curl over the thin shoulders – jerked Xander back hard and ground against him and Xander gave a moan that was edging to a howl, back bowed and head down, nails shredding the sheets. Spike slid his hand down and around and squeezed Xander's cock, brutal strokes, the muscles of Xander's belly rippling against his wrist.

Xander braced his hands and pumped himself backward, fucking himself in choppy jerks and twisting rolls of his hips, and Spike hauled him upright and locked one arm across his chest. He bent his mouth to Xander's shoulder and let his fangs scrape – catch – sink in, skin popping like a fresh apple, blood eddying into his mouth like old, thick wine as Xander's whole body shuddered into a breathless, mindless convulsion of sheer bliss.

Spike's hand went slick and then sticky on Xander's cock and he smeared come up Xander's back – shoved him flat and arched over him and fucked in hard, chasing his own orgasm and finding it in moments, licking at blood-drops and registering Xander's mouth on his fingers, lapping.

"Christ, pet. That was lovely," Spike said, sprawling down over the still-shivering body under him, and Xander bit down on Spike's finger and grinned.

Three days later, they found the Gem. Spike stared in fascination at the cross in his hand, no smoke or pain or that horrible, glaring light. Xander was off to one side of the chamber, picking through heaps of coins and strings of gems, not knowing enough to sort real from paste but sticking to small, portable items. Magpie at heart, Spike thought, and turned the ring on his finger.

"Got it, then?" Xander asked, and Spike sauntered over, tossing the jeweled cross aside and picking up a hide-bound book instead. It was bound with strips of what looked like platinum, studded with stones shaped into cabochons, a rainbow of colors. It had a little lock, and Spike poked idly at it with the pin of an ugly, toad-shaped brooch.

"Got it. Got enough here to live high for years. Get my hat trick, head out. Show you the world."

Xander looked at him from under his fringe of heavy hair, sifting coins and loose jewels through his fingers. "Do you really want to do that?"

"Do what?"

"Kill B-Buffy? I mean, I mean, I… With the ring and all, it's just…not really you, is it?"

"What do you mean?" Spike asked, irritable now – jamming the brooch pin harder into the lock and feeling metal give.

"I mean, it's…you didn't need the ring before. Not for the Chinese Slayer, not for the one in New York. It's like, it's like…cheating."

"Cheating? This isn't the bloody schoolyard, boy." The lock sprang open and Spike flipped through the book. Latinate – untidy – spells of some sort. Christ.

"No, but, but…." Xander shrugged – edged over a little closer and put his hand out, flat, on Spike's chest. Light as a bird, barely pressing, and Spike shivered. "Don't you want it to be just you? Don't you want to just be, just…be better?"

Spike tossed the book down and jerked Xander closer – ran his fingers up into Xander's hair and let his thumbs rest on Xander's jaw, tipping his head back. "You just want to spare your precious Slayer, don't you, pet? After all this time…."

Xander sighed – leaned into Spike and let his hands slide around Spike's waist. "I can't…can't…help… She's just, she…it's… It's Buffy, Spike. I…just…." His dark eyes were huge, his hands bunching in Spike's shirt, and Spike stared at him for a long moment.

Snorted, finally, and pressed their mouths together. Kissed Xander until Xander was limp and pliable against him, hard in his jeans, panting for air he didn't need. "Sod it all, love. Bet you've never been to New York, have you? Bloody amazing place."

"No," Xander said, his mouth curling up into that wickedly demented grin. "I've never seen it."

"Come on, then – sun's nearly down. Got work to do." Spike kissed him again, fleeting, and looked down at the ring on his finger. "Some other time, then, eh?"

"I want to go to Times Square," Xander said. "Eat a tourist."

"Always thinking with your belly," Spike huffed, and Xander laughed – hyena's mad cackle – and Spike dragged that fanged mouth down for another kiss. All the time in the world, really. All the time in the world.

The End