Title: The Collar
Rating: R / NC-17 in later parts
Disclaimer: I have absolutely no rights to BtVS or AtS, they belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy
Spoilers: Through Season 2
Warnings: Rape, Bloodplay, Violence. Because Angelus is a right bastard.
Summary: Angelus leaves Buffy a Valentine's gift, but she isn't the one to open it. AU from the Season 2 Episode Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered
Chapter: 3 of 6
Xander looked down at the man, the vampire, beneath him, completely unsure what to do or say, and as such kept it simple. "Um... hi?"
"So you're my mysterious benefactor, eh pet? Gotta say I certainly didn't expect such a lovely gift. Thanks for that."
"You're uh, welcome." Xander replied, completely thrown now, but had to ask, "Um... what gift?"
"The blood last night, pet. Very potent stuff, that."
Xander could have kicked himself as he remembered what he'd done and where he was. He quickly pushed off the bed and backed away babbling away. "What oh that old stuff, nope not potent at all, nah kinda sickly really. You must have me mixed up with someone else."
"What say you calm down and have a seat, pet." Spike said patting the bed beside himself.
Instead of taking the seat, Xander dove into full blown rant, as the week he'd been having caught up with him. "Calm down? Calm down? You have no idea what kind of week I've had. I break up with my girlfriend, on Valentine's Day no less. Talk a witch into casting a spell to make her love me, which promptly goes the way of the wacky and makes every woman except her fall for me, including you're reality challenged girlfriend, who wanted to turn me, by the way. Then, luckily, the spell breaks before the lot of them can kill me and my ex in fits of jealousy, but oh no that's not enough. You see all my friends are girls, and if they're not girls they're you know DATING girls, so every one of my friends is either angry, ashamed, or just plain old sick of me. So I try to fix that and get all kittenfied for my troubles. And then the Janitor shoves me in a basket and loses me to YOU in a freaking poker game, and can I just say what's with the kitten poker fixation for demons?"
Spike could do nothing but stare at him in shock for a moment, "Oye whelp, I thought you was human. Don't you need to breath or something from time to time?"
"It's a Willow thing." Xander said absently, "You hang around with her long enough you learn to babble just to keep up."
"Right, then." Spike said calmly, as if that explained everything. "Now, luv, why don't you settle yourself down on the bed, and have at these leftovers. The sushi ain't getting itself any fresher, and I'm not sure when I can get anything more, being as how I don't particularly want to draw attention to myself just yet."
Xander settled himself on the furthest corner of the bed and nibbled at the remaining sushi and generally tried to remain as small as possible. Once he'd ate the remaining edible sushi he slurped at the completely melted milkshake and took subtle glances at Spike, who had no use for subtle and simply watched him eat.
After finishing what he assumed to be his 'last meal', Xander turned to face Spike, forcing himself to meet the vampire's gaze head on before speaking. "Look, I figure I'm about two minutes from dead here, but if by some chance you're taking requests, could you, you know just finish me off and not bring me back, or let Deadboy have me? Cause really not loving his idea of eternity here."
"Just why the hell would I wanna drain you, whelp?" Spike asked, honestly stunned by the request.
"Well the fangs and the forehead were the give away. You vampire, me useless loser, doesn't take a lot of brains to do that math."
"Yeah well apparently you flunked that class, whelp. I got no need, or desire to take what's already been freely given. And I sure as hell got no burning desire to make Angelus' bloody week by turning you over to his tender mercies. Besides, I got my own plans for you."
Xander was thrown for a moment trying to figure out just what Spike had in mind, then his eyes went to the spot where the previous night's floor show had taken place on and his eyes flashed as he jumped from the bed and hit the farthest wall. "No, no way, no, you'll have to kill me first." He said quickly his chest tightening in fear, as he slid along the wall looking for a weapon, or an escape.
"Whelp, what the bloody hell are you on about?" Now totally baffled.
"You're going to..." Xander's throat closed up as a panic attack over took him and he couldn't go on he could only point to the spot and push himself into the corner, eyes wild with fear, knowing there was no way he'd get away from Spike, even injured.
Spike watched him, smelling the pure panic and fear coming off Xander in waves, and finally what he meant registered, and he didn't know whether to be shocked, offended or amused. "Oye, I'll have you know I have never raped anybody. 'S not really my bag, rape. Now, hell yes I've eaten my fair share of tall dark and handsome young men like yourself in my day, but I ain't never once 'ad to force 'em into my bed. And that's certainly not what I had in mind for you."
"It's not?" Xander squeaked.
"No, it's not."
Xander felt some measure of relief for about five seconds then suspicion and fear kicked up again. "So what do you want with me then?"
"I just figured out you were here, pet, it's not like I've had time to really think things out." Spike replied, eyes taking in Xander's body slowly as he relaxed bit by bit.
"So could I just you know... go?" Xander asked.
"I don't think that's such a good idea right now, whelp. Angelus is in a right tear over your slayer friend, and if he finds you, you'll end up sent back to her in pieces. Even if I could get you out of here, he's got every minion on the lookout for you."
"Why's he looking for me?" Xander asked, terror rising again.
"You've been here a couple days, pet. Apparently Slutty thinks he's responsible for your 'untimely disappearance', and has made it her goal in life to beat the crap out of him until you're returned, unharmed. Naturally he wants to find you and send her bloody bits for a year. He never was all that smart." Spike said, grinning up at Xander.
"So what do I do?" Xander asked quietly.
"Come here, let me put this collar back on you, and then settle in while I scratch your ears some more like a good little whelp." Spike said, his tone suddenly serious, despite his words.
Silently, Xander walked forward, sat down on the bed, and waited while Spike adjusted the necklace.
"Good, pet." Spike said as he picked up the cocoa kitten and once again scratched around his ears.
Days of sleeping as a cat, usually on Spike's chest or under the dresser, and nights spent talking melted together. Xander wasn't quite sure how long he'd been living the life feline, and was wondering how he'd deal with school and home if he managed to survive Angelus' warpath.
The time spent with Spike was unusual to say the least. They talked about their lives. Xander told him about his friends and his family, never giving details that might come back to bite them all in the jugular. Spike told him stories about his life and times. He didn't go out of his way to gross Xander out, or scare him, but he was honest about the things he'd done. That had been, aside from the whole Buffy loving thing, the biggest problem he'd had with Angel. He liked to pretend that he'd never done anything wrong, only admitting to things when it was dire, hell not even then half the time.
The Spike and Drusilla thing was just one example. For crying out loud he'd sired Dru and had helped sire Spike. He'd ran with them for God knows how many years. There was no way he didn't have information that would have helped Buffy finish this crap months ago. Not that Xander particularly wanted his new sort of almost kinda friend dusted, but still he wouldn't be crying any rivers if dear old Dru was ready for ye olde Dustbuster.
For Spike's part, he'd stayed in the room one night after the attack, then got dressed and wheeled himself out. He sent a minion out for a few things for the whelp and allowed his sire and grandsire to see him still alive and kicking. If Angelus was surprised he wasn't a big pile of dust, he didn't show it, which started a nice solid round of ignore the cripple that lasted for the next two weeks.
Unfortunately, like always, it didn't last.
He'd been visiting with his princess when she'd gone stiff all over and looked at her damned doll with wide fearful eyes, then grinned, bounced and clapped her hands. When she looked straight at him he realized once again just how crazy she was, and he knew what was coming.
"Daddy's going to punish us, just like the old days." She said reverently before she kissed Spike and danced off to 'get ready for daddy.'
He'd tried to wheel himself out of the line of hurricane Angelus, but he'd been too late. He'd slammed Spike out of the chair and onto the ground in one lightening fast swoop that stunned Spike so badly that even his nearly healed self couldn't quickly recover from it. When he finally managed to start pulling himself up, Angelus reared back with a sharp kick to the ribs that made him bite back a scream.
Xander had been nervous for the last hour. He wasn't sure why, but he just felt jumpy and scared, more than he'd been the rest of the time here. He was still in cat form, and the fur along his back was standing on end. Something was wrong.
He could hear footsteps coming up towards the door, and knew there were too many to be just Spike, and too heavy to be Drusilla. He scrunched back under the dresser as far as possible, while the door was kicked open and two vampires he hadn't seen before stepped into the room and threw down whatever they'd been carrying between them, onto the floor. A minute later one rolled the wheelchair in and shoved it into a corner. That done, they shut the door. The moment they'd retreated enough, Xander ran out to see what they'd dumped.
It was Spike.
He was naked and covered in blood and other body fluids Xander so very much didn't want to think of. There were rips and welts and cuts everywhere, and several obviously broken bones. His white blonde hair was now a streaked and gory red. His throat had been bitten, and once again he'd taken on a grayish tint to his pale skin.
Xander struggled out of the collar, pawing at it anxiously, nearly in tears of frustration when he thought it wouldn't come off. Once it finally dropped, he rushed to the door locking it, then grabbed the knife off the dresser. He carefully pulled Spike to cradle him in his lap and then sliced into the flesh of his hand.
He pried open Spike's mouth and made a fist until blood started dripping into Spike's mouth. They stayed like that nearly ten minutes before Spike roused enough to swallow the accumulated drops. His blue eyes peering up at Xander, not entirely aware. After another few moments he swallowed again and this time pulled the hand towards his mouth. Instead of the expected bite, he ran his tongue over the slice in Xander's hand, healing it, then pulled himself up to a slouched sitting position.
Xander reached for the knife again, but Spike's hand on his stopped him. "No more. You're not my bloody food, pet." he rasped out.
He was trying to struggle to his feet when a stunned Xander reached out and grabbed him, carefully pulling him back down. "What am I then?"
Spike thought about that for a moment then grinned, although it looked rather gruesome with his injuries, before speaking, "You're my friend."
Xander grinned stupidly at himself for a moment, then looked at Spike and picked up the knife again. Spike opened his mouth to protest again, but Xander held up his hand, "Look, we're friends, as weird as that is to think about, and friends help friends. So shut up and have a drink, I got a pint or so to spare and you need it."
Spike tore his eyes from the knife to look into Xander's and tried again to talk him out of it. "Xan, luv, it's ok, I'll be ok without..."
Xander held up his hand again, cutting him off mid sentence. "You may be ok eventually, but this will help you now, right?" He asked. When Spike slowly nodded he continued, "So you're going to take some. You may not know this, but if we're gonna be friends you're gonna need to learn this face." He pointed to his own. "This is the patented Willow resolve face. It means my mind is made up and you're either gonna drink the blood I'm gonna give you, or I'm going to drip it all over the damned floor and you'll have to clean it up."
"Ok, luv." Spike said, tears in his voice as well as his eyes. When Xander made a move with the knife, he stopped him. "Let me bite, it won't hurt as much." He offered.
Xander looked at him a moment or two before he tilted his head to one side and waited.
Spike slowly moved up until he was leaning across Xander's chest, nose flared as he delicately sniffed the skin he was going to taste momentarily. "Are you sure?" He asked, blue eyes meeting brown. When Xander nodded he darted forward and bit.
Xander automatically reached one arm up to cradle Spike's head, and gasped as he let the sensations from the bite wash over him. He felt warmth and love and need. There had been a sharp pain in the first moments of the bite, but that had quickly faded to something resembling euphoria, contentment. After a moment Spike tried to pull away, but Xander held him in place. After another couple minutes Xander began to feel very very relaxed, A moment later he realized he was feeling horny, but was too tired to care. Another moment later and Spike finally managed to push himself away, licking the wound.
He held Xander at arms length and looked at him. Xander smiled dopily at him, and Spike began cursing under his breath. "Damnit all to Hell, Xan. You let me take too much." He slipped one thumb across a still elongated canine and slipped it into Xander's mouth. "Drink." Xander began slowly sucking Spike's thumb. As he watched, despite his slowly healing injuries, Spike found himself getting excited by the look and feel of Xander drinking from him.
After a few moments, Xander seemed to pep up a bit and climbed to his feet. He helped Spike stand up and walked him into the bathroom. "Go ahead and get cleaned up." He told Spike, then went to dig out some clothes. He threw a pair of jeans and a t-shirt on the counter before going back into the bedroom.
He eyed the shoddily locked door a moment before moving a chair to sit under the doorknob, realizing that wouldn't stop a vampire, he hoped it would at least give him time to hide if someone came a calling. Less than satisfied, he moved on to the next job that needed done, cleaning up the blood where Spike had been laying. He wiped it up the best he could with an old towel, then threw it away, grimacing at the amount of blood and gore on it.
Once he finished, he scooped up the collar and sat down on the bed to study the latch. He didn't want it falling off, but if he needed to swap from kitten-shaped to Xander-shaped in a hurry he'd need to adjust it a little more. By the time he was satisfied with the results Spike had finished with his shower.
Spike checked him over carefully, and Xander wasn't quite sure how to take the assessing looks. "Did I grow a set of horns or something?" He asked with a grin.
"Not yet, pet, but if you're set on that look, I know a couple demons who owe me favors. I could probably have you a set within the week." He said smirking at the now squirming Scooby.
"I think I'll pass, I'm already horny enough, thanks." Xander quipped, then blushed deeply when he realized what he'd said.
Spike laughed and then walked around to the other side of the bed and jumped in. He laid down on his back, hands behind his head, and his ankles crossed, with a small smile on his face. Xander spun where he sat on the other side of the bed so that he was facing Spike and the headboard.
"I'm probably soo very much going to regret this, but I gotta ask. Did you really mean it, or was that the incapacitating beating talking earlier?"
Spike didn't ask what he meant, he just sat for a moment and thought before answering. "I meant it."
"Good" Xander said, "Cause I know this is a really bad idea, but I consider you a friend too." Spike nodded and Xander spun himself around in the bed so he was laying next to Spike, but not quite touching him. "So... Angelus?" He asked after several quiet minutes.
"Yeah." Spike said quietly. "It seems your slaygal has been making the rounds again trying to find hide or hair of you. 'parently she caught Angelus out again. I believe the threat went something like, 'If I don't get Xander back in perfect health I'm gonna shove a stake so far up your ass you'll be coughing up splinters for a year'. I swear if it hadn't led to the bastard taking his frustrations out on me an' Dru I'd laugh my ass off. Oh to hell with it, I AM laughing my ass off. Mind you I still can't stand the slayer, but her making Angelus into her bitch is almost worth the price of admission."
Xander joined him grinning for a moment, then let exactly what he'd said sink in. A slightly watery look came into his eyes and Spike wasn't sure whether he was going to laugh or cry. "What's up, pet?"
"I don't know how I should feel. I mean on one hand I'm really glad that Buffy still likes me enough to try to find me, despite all the crap I caused with that spell. Did I tell you she got turned into a rat because if it?" Spike nodded and he continued, "I mean I just have to wonder why she'd bother, why any of them would bother, but I felt really good, cause they still care. Then I realized both times were my fault."
"I'm not following you here, whelp. Both whats were your fault?" Spike asked, confused. Xander couldn't look at him, instead he turned away, trying to hold off tears Spike could already smell. "Oye, just what do you think is your fault?" He asked again.
"Angelus attacked you both times because he was pissed about Buffy. Buffy went after him cause she was trying to find me. It's all my fault that he was mad and that he hurt you like that. It's all my fault." He jumped up off the bed and headed towards the door.
Spike was too flabbergasted by the twisted logic to react right away, but was up in a shot and across the room before Xander could finish removing the chair from under the knob. "What in the bloody Hell do you think you're doing." He asked with deadly calm.
"Just let me go. I'll go after Angelus, and maybe by some fluke I'll catch him by surprise and dust him. More likely he'll start sending my bloody bits to Buffy, and she'll dust him for me. Either way, he doesn't come after you again. Please, just let me go."
"Got it all figured out have ya now, Whelp? Think you're the only reason Angelus has ever laid into me? What about the thousands of times before your parents were even born? What about all the times when you weren't a thought in his over styled head? He does what he does because he's a right bastard and a bully. That is the beginning, middle, and end of the story, luv. He's an overgrown bully with poofy hair and a caveman's forehead. He's been like that for as long as I've known him, and one Xander Harris isn't going to change him one iota." Spike's eyes were blazing as he spoke.
"But this time, I set him off. I made him hurt you." Xander had lost the battle and tears were running down his face. "This time it WAS my fault."
"This time it was Angelus' own bloody fault, both directly and in the roundest of round about ways like you try to claim. Do you know where yer slayer got that bloody collar from? It weren't no secret admirer, Whelp. Angelus sent it to her, with a bloody compulsion charm on it, so that the first person to open the box would put it on. He figured it'd be her. That's why he was waiting outside her house on Valentine's Day, and that's what your triple damned spell prevented. So what if it hadn't been you who found the box and opened it, huh? What then? He'd have the slayer here to kill and maim at his mercy, or what about that little red headed friend of yours? Would you want her left up to his tender loving care?"
Xander couldn't speak his mind too clogged up with horrible scenarios, he just shook his head.
"It wasn't your fault, and if you could change things, it might only end up worse for those you love. Come on back and sit down, OK luv?"
Xander nodded and followed Spike back to the bed. Spike sat down then pulled the younger man down to settle in between his legs and wrapped his arms around him while Xander cried onto his chest.
After a long while the tears stopped, and Spike realized Xander had fallen asleep. He pulled Xander over to lay on the bed, and after finding the collar, Spike slid in beside him and pulled him close once more. Spike held him for most of the day, his ears listening for anyone approaching the bedroom door, constantly at the ready to re collar Xander if it became necessary to keep him safe, unwilling to give up the feel of his body next to him just yet. Eventually the warmth was just too much of a good thing, and he slipped off to sleep himself.