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: Epilogue followed by a short preview of the next fic in this series "The Wildcat" which will is still very much in progress.
Archive: All parts of this story can be found either in my memories or at Twisting the Hellmouth
Spike sat on the ground, with his face buried in his knees. He was rocking back and forth, and quietly sobbing. Buffy simply stared at Acathla with a stunned look on her face, as if she couldn't quite grasp what had happened. Xander stood still holding the sword hilt, Dru's blood coating his lips as he tried to figure out what the hell had just happened.
After a moment Xander shook his head as if to clear it, then raced to Spike's side. He put his arm around his mate and held on as Spike continued to cry. After another minute Xander looked up into Buffy's shocked face and pulled her down with them. He didn't know how long they stayed like that, huddled together for comfort, he just held them both.
Buffy's need to know prompted her to speak finally. "What happened?"
"I think I sent them both to Hell." Xander said, his voice raw.
"No. I mean the light show you and Spike put on. What was that?" She clarified.
"Dru was right; It burns. She told me it would, but I didn't understand. Now I do." Spike said, sounding less sane than normal.
"Willow didn't..." Buffy started before Xander savagely cut her off.
"Willow DID, and he's not the only one she tinkered with." Xander spit out.
"What do you mean? What did she do to you, Xander. You already have a soul, how could she give it back to you?" Buffy asked confused.
"Easy, she took it away first." Xander replied grimly, before he stood and started pulling Spike to his feet. "Come on, if there are any more minions hanging around, we're in no shape to fight them, and Giles needs to get to the hospital. Besides, I need a word or three with my bestest friend."
The coldness in his voice chilled Buffy to the bone, and she had no idea what to say that could even begin to make anything better. Instead she simply moved to Spike's other side and helped him to the van.
Willow and Kendra's room was dim and quiet. Oz and Cordelia had gone for snacks. Willow had been completely excited by the obvious success of the spells, but the amount of magic had taken it's toll and she'd dimmed the lights because the flicker was aiding and abetting her magic induced headache.
Xander watched her for a moment, one part of him trying desperately to reason with the other half she had set loose. When he saw a self satisfied smile on her face there was no chance of holding back his darker half and he stormed into the room.
"Xander! Did it work? Did you guys get Giles? Where's Angel?" The flow of a Willow babble in full force died at the stern look on Xander's face.
"Well right now I'd say Angelus and Drusilla are getting the orientation tour of Hell. But yes, your spell worked like a charm. You managed quite a lot tonight, Wills." He said with a feral smile.
"W-well that's good, right?" She asked, "But what do you mean Angelus went to Hell? I wasn't fast enough with the spell?"
"Oh no, you definitely got good timing on the spell front. And your accomplishments tonight? Well it should make you so very proud. You managed to merge a soul into a vampire who desperately didn't want it, set loose something I've been fighting back for more than a year, and made a perfectly good life long friendship disappear. All in all spectacular results, wouldn't you say?" His hands gripped the side rail of the bed tightly as he all but growled out the last statement.
"Xander, what's going on? I don't understand? What did I do?" She was in tears now and the sight of them did nothing to placate Xander. Instead it only made him angrier.
"What did you do, Wills? You did the one thing I swore I'd never forgive you for." This time he did growl and she shrunk back in the bed as his eyes flashed green. "You hurt my mate, Wills, and that is unforgivable."
Suddenly a growl was heard from across the room as Oz stepped inside. He stalked across the room and wedged his way between Xander and Willow. His growl was met with a matching one from Xander. Instead of attacking, Oz tilted his head to one side.
Xander's eyes slowly faded back to their normal brown and he backed away. "Keep your mate and her magic away from me and mine, Oz. Please, I don't want to hurt her, but I will and we both know it."
Oz nodded and Xander quickly left the room, followed all the way by Willow's confused sobs.
It had been more than a month since Angelus and Dru were sent to Hell, and both Xander and Spike were still adjusting to the changes Willow's spell had induced. After a bit of Spring cleaning, which mainly consisted of doing away with the corpses and the few remaining minions, the couple had taken up residence in the mansion.
Everyone, except Oz, had tried to speak to Xander on Willow's behalf and while he accepted that it was an accident, the hyena part of him just couldn't forgive and forget the pain she was still causing his mate. Buffy seemed to accept that fact, while Cordelia honestly didn't seem to care either way. Giles simply cleaned his glasses a lot and left rather quickly when his suggestion that maybe things were for the best was met by twin growls.
Naturally seeing Willow standing just outside the mansion's front door with a brightly colored bag in each hand came as a bit of a shock. It was a few days after the Summer Solstice and thus still very much light out, so Xander was alone when opening the door. He struggled to control the desire to rend and tear, and the long time friends simply looked at one another for several long moments before he broke the silence.
"What are you doing here, Wills?" He asked as calmly as possible.
For once in her life nervous babble failed her completely. She forced herself to take a deep breath and then held out the bags. "Housewarming gifts." she managed to say.
He gave her an assessing look. "What?"
Finally, the babble came. "I know I messed up, and I know you're mad and I totally don't blame you, cause I don't know what I'd do if someone hurt Oz, but I swear I didn't do it on purpose, I wasn't even trying to do anything to either of you. The spell called for human blood and vampire blood and I thought it was just in general, you know like when you put in eye of newt it doesn't generally focus the spell on the newt. Of course if you're using newt eyes the newt's probably not in a position to complain, but I didn't realize that it would end up focusing on you and Spike, I swear."
"I know you didn't mean it, Wills, I really do. There's just this part of me, the part you let loose, that doesn't care. I'm not trying to be mean so please don't cry anymore. I'm trying to get past it, and the Xander part of me totally gets that you were only trying to help, despite everything. And I'll always love you, you're my Willow, but the new Xander, the one you made, doesn't like you very much right now."
"But just for right now, right?" Willow said through tears.
"Just for now." He confirmed. "So housewarming gifts?" He asked while his hyena bits fought the urge to hug her.
"Oh yeah, well mansion warming gifts I guess." she said with a tiny smile, before handing the bags over.
"So it is." he said with a returning smile before opening the first bag. "Thanks for this... bag of blood?" He asked, perplexed. "Uh, we're doing pretty good on blood, Wills. Giles hooked us up with a decent butcher and, while he hates the taste, we're pretty much stocked up on pig blood."
"Yeah, Giles told us, but that's not pig blood. I talked with someone about what happens with the blood that is either too old or has something wrong with it, from the blood bank. See they just throw all that into the incinerator, and Giles said that the sorts of things that make them unusable for transfusions wouldn't mean anything to a vampire, so I made a few arrangements. I picked up the first batch as Spike's gift. There's a contact number in the card, so you guys can start buying from my source instead of the butcher."
Xander's face lit up at the thought. He knew how much Spike hated the pigs blood, and hadn't known what to do about it. "This is great, Wills. Thank you." The thoughtfulness towards Spike even warmed the hyena up to her... a little.
"So are you gonna open your gift?" She asked coyly.
He opened the second bag to find all his favorite snacks. He got a big grin on his face and pulled Willow in for a much overdue hug, hyena be damned. "Thanks, Willow." They held each other for a few moments and then when he let her go he dropped a kiss onto the top of her head.
She smiled shyly up at him. "There are also a few gift certificates for that pizza place you like. I've gotta go cause it's getting late and I promised Buffy that me and Oz would patrol with her tonight."
"Ok. Bye Wills." He said quietly as he let her out the door.
Just as she walked away Spike stepped out of the shadows. "I should have known the way into your good graces was through your stomach, luv." He said with a smile.
"Not my stomach, Spike. Our stomachs." He held the bag of blood out to his mate with a smile.
"Too right." Spike said with a smile. "Ours"
The End... for now.
But, here is a teaser of the next story in this series, Wild Cat, which is still very much a work in progress.
Xander was taking a drink when Spike spoke up. "See that right there? That is the ass of a slayer." He was pointing to a leather clad derriere leaning over the pool table at the Bronze.
"No, it's not. We know both of them and, while granted both have mighty fine asses... which you so did not just hear me say... that ain't theirs."
"Pet, I saw her walk in... that is a slayer."
"But how? Buffy's still good, and Kendra's Watcher says she's doing a lot better."
"Do I have to walk you though this, Pet?" Spike asked with a smirk.
"It's really simple, luv. What happened with Kendra?"
"You were there. Dru slit her throat, you chased her off, and we stopped the bleeding and we got an ambulance." Xander said.
"Right, Pet, but what happened while you were waiting for the ambulance?
"Um.. her heart stopped... oh son of a bitch, that is another slayer's ass."
"Angelus, Drusilla, welcome back. My name is Lilah Morgan and I'm here as a representative of Wolfram & Hart. The senior partners have a, shall we say, vested interest in your case, Angelus."
"Have they now?" He purred, eyes roaming over the tasty morsel in front of him.
"Yes there are certain prophesies that refer to a souled vampire and the apocalypse. I realize you don't qualify for that particular status at the moment, but my firm would like to offer you up a deal."
Dru ignored Lilah. As she finished speaking, Dru let her body flow in a dance around the room; Spinning, dipping, and twirling, she began humming a tune and finally spoke to Angelus in a little singsong voice. "The Wolf and the Ram and the Hart all want pieces of their savior, and their destroyer. They wish to bind the nasty soul and keep me with daddy always, but they haven't the power to bind the unwilling soul. They are thieves and liars." She hissed at Lilah, finally acknowledging her seconds before lunging at her.
Angelus caught her by the waist and spun her around. "Now, now my Dru, what have I taught you?"
"A shallow cut or two while it's still alive to flavor the blood properly." She said while wiggling her body against Angelus'.
"That's my girl," He smirked at her, "but I meant about lawyers?"
"Unless you have them on retainer be prepared for indigestion." She answered promptly before slipping out of his hands and latching on to Lilah's neck.