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The Hive, Chapter 9 
26th-Nov-2012 12:19 pm
Originally posted by fangstress at The Hive, Chapter 9

THE HIVE

By Fangstress

CHAPTER 9

Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer crossover Angel the Series

Warnings: Violence, Slash, Rating R, Spangel, Eventual Spander, Vamp!Xander, Post Series, Ensemble Cast, Angst, Hurt/Comfort

SUMMARY: Xander's life changes forever when he tries to help a deranged Slayer...

To read Chapter 1, click here:  http://fangstress.livejournal.com/10764.html

To read Chapter 2, click here: http://fangstress.livejournal.com/11426.html

To read Chapter 3, click here: http://fangstress.livejournal.com/11695.html

To read Chapter 4, click here: http://fangstress.livejournal.com/12097.html

To read Chapter 5, click here: http://fangstress.livejournal.com/12826.html

To read Chapter 6, click here: http://fangstress.livejournal.com/13435.html

To read Chapter 7, click here: http://fangstress.livejournal.com/13968.html

To read Chapter 8, click here: http://fangstress.livejournal.com/14954.html

LAST WEEK:

"And now there are three of us." Angel said. "A Triumvirate, Wesley called it. Three Aurelian Vampires with Souls.  He thinks it's important, somehow. That maybe it's part of a prophecy."

Xander spluttered incredulously, “Me? Part of a prophecy?  Wait. You said Spike? Bu t he's dead. Died on the Hellmouth! Burned up-- he---"

Angel gave a little smile. "Spike's here.” He came closer to stand before Xander, facing him. "He's my Seer. My liaison to the Powers that Be."

Xander's mouth hung open with shock for a moment. Then he pressed his hand to his heart. "Angel, O, Sire of mine--I don't know if I can keep handling all the shocks you keep dishing out. My undead-non-beating-black still heart can't take it! There; did I get all of the clichés?"

Angel gave him a flat look. "There are a few you missed." After a moment, he snorted, amused. "Spike's here and he's alive.”

Xander shot to his feet, ignoring screaming muscles and torn flesh. “So, when can I see him?”

Angel abruptly looked old, so old.  “This really isn’t a good time, Xander. There’s a lot—a lot you don’t know.”

AND NOW….



THE HIVE

By Fangstress

Chapter 9

So, can I see him?" Xander asked.

A shadow passed over Angel's face. "I'm sorry Xander, but it isn't a good time."

"But--" Xander shot up, desperate.

"Xander--"

"Angel, why? He'd want to know!"

"Xander, he knows." Angel stuck his hands in his pockets, and began to pace the room. “He knows you're here, he knows you're a Vampire. He Saw it. Before it happened. We were too late ... too late to save you. And that vision took a lot out of him."

Xander lurched to his feet, ignoring the painful twinge from his gut. "Vision took-- wait-- you knew? You knew I was gonna -- that you were going to--"

Angel’s face went wooden, but his voice betrayed his unease and anger. “I was trying to stop it, dammit!"

The world went red, and sharp, stabbing pain shot through Xander's right hand. He blinked at it, trying to understand how it had become lodged in the broken and cracked plaster of the wall. Xander stared at his fist in amazement. Oh. Now all the holes in the walls and plaster dust made sense. He felt his face ripple back into its human guise. He shot an unsurprised Angel a sheepish look. "Oops."

Angel just stood there, arms crossed, looking at him as if he were an unruly six-year old. Xander hoped he couldn't blush, because boy, this made him feel very, very small.

"That would be why I'm not taking you to see Spike." He indicated the wall with his chin. "At least not until you've got yourself under control. He's not well, and you're a loose cannon." Angel said, flatly. “I won't risk it. I won't risk him."

"Erm." Xander pulled his smarting hand out of the wall. More bits of plaster and dust fell to the carpet. The bleeding had already stopped. And he was getting more and more tired by the moment. He'd still not entirely healed up from his torture session with Claire, and it was beginning to be...ah, painfully obvious. Maybe he should take it easy for a while. "Okay, I get that." He moved unsteadily towards the bed.

Bed.

Good idea.

**

Xander, sprawled on his back on the floor, stared up at Angel crouched beside him with an expression that hovered somewhere between chagrined and amused.

"Back to bed, young one. You've got more healing to do." Angel lifted Xander easily, and again with the child imagery--and tucked him back in bed.

Xander's sense of the ridiculous made it impossible for him not to smirk. "Daddy, will you read me a story?" Xander grinned, voice high and sleepy. Then, he thought about what just came out of his mouth, and was once again profoundly grateful that Vamps didn't blush. Daddy? Please, don't let that have been a Freudian slip. Xander grimaced.

Angel just heaved a long-suffering sigh and rolled his eyes. But then, with a rueful grin, he lifted his wrist to his own mouth and bit. "You need to feed more." he whispered.

The last thing Xander remembered was Angel's wrist pressed against his lips, and that first delicious draught of the blood of his Sire.

**

It was exhilarating to finally be out of that musty room, even if it was only walking about the grand old hotel with Angel. Just getting to stretch his legs, looking at something other than the increasingly damaged walls...Xander had been going slowly stir-crazy for days. But here he was, walking the hotel with Angel; still feeling a little weak; and he'd been a Vampire for at least a week. There was a lot that he didn't remember.

He looked around, seeing the sad state of the hotel, and chuckled. Angel shot him a glance, raising an eyebrow in inquiry.

"Sorry,” Xander chuckled. "My mind is flashing on all the repairs I'll be doing to my room. Though I can't remember most of it."

"You won't be there much longer," Angel said. "I just wanted to make sure -- well, that you're a little more stable before I move you somewhere a little better. Then you can repair the room. " Angel led Xander down a flight of red plushly carpeted stairs. He steered Xander toward what looked to be the lobby. "I'm not surprised you went a little feral. You were really out of it, and your demon was leashed-- by force-- by your soul. You were fighting yourself, me; everything and everyone."

Xander stiffened, suddenly feeling very cold. "Did I-- did I hurt anybody?"

"No, but that's why I had you... sequestered away." He gave Xander an apologetic look, leading him into the cavernous lobby. 

"Can't believe I'm saying this but...thanks." Xander shivered as he thought of all the damage he could have caused to actual people—not  walls, if he hadn’t been contained. He jumped when he felt Angel's hand on his shoulder.

"Not a big deal." Angel quirked a grin in Xander's direction, beckoning him to come closer. "Hey. Take a look." Angel gestured at a large, deep mahogany cabinet set flush with the wall. He opened its gilded glass doors with a certain reverence. Inside, nestled and fitted into red velvet, glittering weapons were displayed in a way that would have made Buffy green with envy. Buffy. Xander winced, the memories acute and agonizing. He had to find out-- if-- if-- they'd ever have him back.

I'm an idiot. They betrayed me, and I…still miss them. Not-- hanging out with them; I was done with that for the most part-- but, I was still one of them from the old days. And that's so very over..."Buffy”. Xander shrugged, shoving his hands into his pockets. "They don't know..."

"Xander." Angel turned to him, sympathy plain on his face. "I'd wait a while before trying to contact Buffy and the others. We're not sure what's happening, and Wesley's trying to find out a bit more about some of the rumors we heard coming out of the UK."

Xander stared at the floor. His stomach was in knots. It hurt. It hurt a lot.

"I'm sorry, Xander. Let's just wait. Let us get a little more information. Make sure everything's copasetic."

Xander nodded tightly, keeping his gaze on the floor. He couldn't bear it if Angel saw him crying. He heard Angel let out a heavy sigh, and then put a gentle hand on his shoulder again. "You might appreciate this one." Angel turned Xander toward the weapons case and drew out a large gleaming silver ax from the cabinet. He handed it to Xander.

Xander took it reverently. "Wow. It's… stunning." He turned it in his hands, admiring, and wondering that it seemed so light. Ah, Vampire strength. And since when had he been susceptible to weapons porn? Oh, about the time he'd been disemboweled by someone he trusted. His hands clenched on the haft of the ax. He had to force them to relax, and handed the weapon back to Angel, suddenly terrified of what he could see himself doing with it.

Angel gently took the weapon from him and replaced it in the case. "We'll get you trained. I never did understand how you never got any real weapons training, working with Buffy."

"No dead weight on your team, right?" Xander quipped, trying to keep the bitterness out of his tone.

Angel just gave him a long-suffering look. "Ouch." He motioned for Xander to follow. "Come on." They went behind the huge marble topped reception desk and back to an office. By the scent of leather, books, and scotch, Xander guessed it was Angel's.

Angel went back behind the large leathertop desk and switched on a light. Not that Xander couldn't see perfectly, but it did add a golden ambiance. "Have a seat, Xander."

Xander took one of the leather armchairs facing the desk, and sat, trying not to slouch. "I feel like I'm been summoned to Snyder's office."

"No, no-- it's nothing like that. I just thought you might like to discuss some options."

Cold fear ran down Xander's back. He was going to be turned out on his own, wasn't he?

"Xander."

He was going to be out there on his own-- no home, no sire, all alone again...

"Xander!"

Xander snapped to attention at the command in Angel's tone. It was everything he could do not to cringe.

Angel was right in front of him. Not touching, but crouched there in front of him as if he expected Xander to do-- something.

Xander took some slow breaths. His hands were shaking. Why had he freaked like that? Oh. Alone.

"Xander? Okay?" Angel asked again.

"Yeah, yeah Angel--" Xander ran a hand through his hair. It was too long, shaggy and unkempt, he could feel that much. Could he trust anyone to give him a haircut? Maybe he'd let it grow.

"Xander, look at me."

Xander dragged his gaze from the floor to Angel's face. He realized he was glaring. Oh. And in gameface, too. Wonderful. He shook his head slightly, banishing his demon.

Angel hadn't moved an inch. "What's going on?" He asked quietly.

"You're going to get rid of me." Xander blurted, then looked down, ashamed of his own weakness.

Angel's expression turned anguished. "Xander, no--"

Xander had the sense that Angel was kicking himself. God forbid. He’d made Angel brood. "I'm a liability, right?"

"Xander--" Angel sighed and rose from his crouch, to lean back against the desk, crossing his arms over his chest. He studied Xander seriously. “That’s not what I meant at all. I just wanted you to know you have choices. You don't have to leave if you don't want to. This is your home. You're-- you're my childe, and you have a home here, as long as you want it."

"Really?" Xander whispered, hunched in his seat. He sounded like a child. He really, really wanted to kick himself a few hundred times.

"Of course." Angel said, as if it had never been a consideration. "Xander, you've got to learn to trust me. I know we don't have a great history-- actually it was really, really bad--" he said ruefully, "--but that's all changed, now." He went back behind his desk and sat. "I just wanted you to know that-- look; I treated my progeny horribly when I was Angelus. Horribly. I won't -- I promised myself that with you, it would be different. You have a soul. I have a soul. That makes it different."

Xander felt a spark of hope. "Then I can stay?" he felt absurdly relieved.

"As long as you want." Angel said. "In fact, I'd recommend it. And I think-- you'll be an asset to the team...that is, if you want it."

"I want it, Angel. I do." Xander said, a heavy weight lifting from his chest. Maybe one day he'd be ready to strike out on his own-- but not now. It was too soon. Too much, too soon. And hey, I've got Vampire strength and speed, now. Be a shame to waste it. He smiled, feeling a little wistful. He could have been a help to Buffy; now, like this. If she didn't stake him on first sight. He sighed. Not going there. Angel had said no, and Xander found himself reluctantly agreeing. There was still something fishy about how everything had gone down with Claire-- and all the weirdness with the slayers and Willow and the rest of the Scoobies--

"You think too much. Here."

He looked up again to see Angel handing him a big tumbler full of scotch. He took it, cradling it in his hands, admiring the amber glow.

"To new beginnings?" Angel asked, lifting his glass.

"New beginnings." Xander said soberly, clinking his glass with Angel's. He took a big gulp, and was surprised when it didn't burn as much as he'd have thought. Angel drained his glass, and topped them both back up.

Angel took a sip. "Now." He regarded Xander over the rim of the glass. "Let's discuss your future."

Xander smiled a little. "Well, I'm staying. What else do I need to know?"

***

That’s it for this week—and we have now reached the point where things may start to get a little weird—a little surreal—and hopefully, a little more exciting. 



Feel free to let me know what you think. Thanks for reading so far. 


Comments 
26th-Nov-2012 08:58 pm (UTC)
OH !! I do love it now and I know for sure, I'll love it the next 1.879 times you will update this. Arrgh!! I see great mondays with wonderful reading time for the next 36 years.
Thanks for this great update. I do like how you write the characters. Very good!
26th-Nov-2012 09:08 pm (UTC)
Hey, Chaoskir-- thanks a lot for reading this, and sticking with the story. :-)

I'm really glad you like the characterizations-- I've been struggling with that. (And still working on it.)
26th-Nov-2012 09:49 pm (UTC)
This week's part was really worth the wait. I am so glad that Xander is adjusting to being a vampire and Angel is patient and understanding to him. Also understand now why Spike didn't turn him himself. The strain of the vision must have made him too week to do it and Xander needed it right away. Now i will wait patiently for next week, don't know how lng this will be but i will be reading every monday.
26th-Nov-2012 09:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the compliment! I'm so glad you thought the chapter filled in some gaps. :-) I really struggled with this one-- and this is structured to be novel length. So, I'm really glad you think it's worth taking this journey with me. :-)
27th-Nov-2012 12:40 am (UTC)
still reading and enjoying!
27th-Nov-2012 01:43 am (UTC)
Very, very glad to hear it!
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