Authored by: Tisienne (aka tistoo)
Pairing: S/X (of course)
Rating: Overall, porny; thus the NC-17 in the subject line. lol
Disclaimer: I am not-- nor have I ever been-- Joss Whedon... and while I am possibly a mutant AND someone's enemy (somewhere), I am also not M.E.
Summary: The plot thickens. Heh-heh.
A/N1: This story follows canon to somewhere in early season 7 then skews from it radically. Spike left Sunnydale. Xander never lost his eye. Buffy still asked him to take Dawn away and in THIS world, he succeeded. Sunnydale is a crater in the ground and Xander and Dawn are living with Spike in Philly.
A/N2: As promised, here's part 27. I hope to have 28 ready to post by this time next week, RL allowing. Many thanks to those who have been so patient about waiting and sincerely heartfelt apologies to all.
Previous parts live HERE
And now... on with it, yes?
* * * * * * * * *
“You love him more than me,” Dawn accused, entirely baffled by why she was saying that, much less the way she was saying it… all bitter and angry. “And he loves you more, too! It’s not fair! I’ve lost everything and you guys are all ‘ooooo, my boyfriend, my boyfriend’ and I’m all by my fucking self!” She growled, while on the inside she cringed.
Spike blinked. “Bit…” he began, only to be cut off by the girl’s venomous words.
“You fuck and fuck and fuck and there’s nothing left for me! You and him! Him and you! And when you’re not fucking, you’re kissing or touching or… something! You don’t give a shit about me! Neither one of you! Why don’t you just kill me like…” And suddenly Dawn found herself with one hand clasped tightly over her mouth.
The vampire was still blinking at the girl’s words and her language. He’d never heard Dawn use words like that before. Still, he couldn’t ignore the implications of her truncated rant.
“Like who, Niblet?” he growled almost dangerously. “Haven’t killed anyone precious to you. Ever.”
Dawn shook her head, her hand still hard on her mouth. She might not be able to control herself otherwise, but she could for damned sure manage to keep herself from spewing still more unmeant venom.
It was only because of the fractured light coming through the window that Spike noticed the oily sheen on Dawn’s bracelet. Something about it bothered him; he wasn’t sure why.
“As for me and Xan… never seemed ta bother you before, did it?” he went on, still keeping an eye on the silver around the girl’s wrist though he pretended to look at her chest. “Or are you jealous, pet?”
He put a bit of purr into his voice, adding a half-smirk for good measure.
“Bother you ta think about me and my bloke gettin’ all comfy and cozy at night, does it? My arms around him instead of you?”
And he was making a point of only describing things she’d seen… wouldn’t ever get more graphic than his ‘niece’ should hear, but she didn’t know that… and more to the point, whatever it was that was affecting her wouldn’t know.
“Drive you nuts ta think about my lips against his, his lips makin’ me beg and plead for the heat I can only find with him…?”
And there! He saw it! The bracelet shimmered and shivered, that slimy and wrong shine flowing faster over its links and charms, and…
Dawn was dying inside. There was no other explanation.
She had no clue as to why she’d been acting the way she had for the last week or so… no idea of why Spike and Xander’s relationship—which had been such a comfort to her so recently—had suddenly become a threat. Hell, it wasn’t a threat and yet some portion of her seemed to think it was… and unfortunately, that was the portion that was mostly in control.
“He’s mine!” she heard herself hiss past the barrier of her own flesh, even as her eyes tried to tell Spike that something was wrong.
The blond smirked, giving the girl an unconcerned look. “No, pet,” he said very simply and plainly, “he’s not. Never will be, either. Loves me, the bloke does. No need for a young and inexperienced chit who’s got nothing goin’ for her except a sister who’s famous in some circles.”
Dawn heard and felt herself snarl, even as she felt her body launch itself across the few feet between her and Spike. “I’m not her!” she heard her own voice cry as she was tackled to the rug, her wrists held above her head.
“No. You’re not,” Spike snapped, the fingers of one hand finding the silver links and tearing them apart. “You’re you, Bit…” he tossed the shattered bracelet away. “You’re my Niblet. Xan’s Dawny. And you’re bloody gorgeous, but you don’t want me, pet. Don’t want my bloke, either…”
She found herself sobbing beneath the solid weight of the hundred-and-thirty-something blond and wondering what in the hell had been wrong with her.
She loved Spike and Xander! She was glad they were together! They were her… family. They were her home! And yet she’d…
“Oh… oh, God… Spike, I… I’m sorry! I don’t know what…”
Spike heaved a huge sigh of relief and released the girl from his hold.
“Wasn’t you, pet… was that bloody bauble. And I know. Not on a Hellmouth, right?” He shrugged and gave her a small grin. “Doesn’t mean there can’t still be odd things happening, yah?”
Dawn swallowed hard before nodding just a bit and hoisting herself onto the couch. “I… I really didn’t mean it, you know…”
The blond’s brow furrowed, even as he joined her on the couch. “You sure about that, pet? Would get it if you felt like we were… neglectin’ you. Not that we are, mind, but could see how you might feel…”
“No! I mean… no,” Dawn answered quickly. “You guys have been great! I mean, okay, the ten o’clock curfew? That could use some work, but then again I never go anywhere but Bailey’s and you do let me stay over whenever I want as long as I have my books and stuff, so…” She sighed. “I just… I guess I kinda feel like you’d be better off if I wasn’t here, Spike. If it was… just you and Xander.” She blushed.
“Shut your bloody trap.” Spike was reeling. Not just from the venom his sweet bit had been spewing earlier but because she’d even suggest that anyone would be happier without her there.
“Think, luv…” he demanded, pulling the girl close. “Without you, Xander wouldn’t have come here. You’d have been in that bloody disappeared town. And as for me… I’d be sittin’ here all alone and wonderin’ why my bloke wasn’t answerin’ my e-mails, yah…? Be bloody miserable, me. Lost. Probably crazy again… or more, anyway.”
Dawn smiled against her personal demon’s shoulder then shrugged. “I guess you’d have kept writing til you started getting your e-mails back as undeliverable, huh? Or at least that’s what… Willow… told me happened, before… everything.”
And something about that struck Spike as strange. He would have asked questions but it was just then that he felt a stabbing pain in his gut and gasped.
Dawn blinked at suddenly finding herself on the floor with Spike standing above her in full game-face. “S-spi…” she started to say, only to lose her voice at the anguished howl the blond released.
“XANDERRRRRR…! NOOOOOOOOO…!” was all she heard as the vampire ran from her, flinging open the apartment door so hard that the knob imbedded in the plaster behind it.
She shook in place for a good five minutes, biting her lip roughly. Something had happened to Xander. That much was obvious. And Spike… Spike had torn out of the apartment like there were demons after him, and since Spike was a demon, it couldn’t be good…
And she’d been forgotten, so it might be even worse than she thought, and…
“Dawn…?” she heard, her eyes widening when she looked up and saw Kent.
* * * * *
Kent almost laughed when he found himself nearly bowled over by a large armful of adolescent girl. But then he realized she was crying. Dawn was crying.
He called upon his deeply-buried-and-hitherto-unknown fatherly instincts and held her, stroking her back gently as she sobbed and babbled and clutched at him.
All he could make out was ‘Spike’, ‘cursed’, ‘Xander’, ‘hurt’ and ‘bracelet’, but it was enough.
One soft hand stroked long brown hair and Kent plastered a hopefully convincing smile on his face. “Come on, Dawny. Will stopped by on his way out and asked me to come and get you.” He thought fast. “He said something about Xander needing him. He thought it might take a while.”
Dawn blinked her eyes, clearing the blur of tears slightly as she looked up into Kent’s gaze.
“Liar,” she said succinctly; soggily. “But thanks for trying.”
Kent sighed and bowed his head. “Okay, it was more like a hard bang on the door and a shout of your name, then Xander’s. But you’re staying with me, so…”
A tiny smile curved Dawn’s lips before disappearing under the worry again. “I’ll get my things.”
* * * * *
He’d known it would be bad. He’d been sure of it as soon as he’d felt that pain, and while he had no idea of why he could feel Xander, he was thankful for it… or he would be once he knew everything was alright.
“Bank, bank, bloody bank…” he was snarling, even as he tried to remember which ATM was closest to their apartment, and if he was all fangs and fury, he didn’t fucking care. Something had happened to Xander and that mattered more than whether the entire city saw him in his true face.
Feet pounded roughly against cement as he ran faster than he’d ever run before, and when he finally rounded the corner and saw… him… he froze for a bare instant.
Of course, he made that instant count as he took in the sight of the three men standing nearby and laughing as they watched Xander—his Xander—bleed onto the cold cement, one of them wiping a knife.
Mere moments later saw all three stretched in twisted positions on the ground, but Spike didn’t care; didn’t feel even a moment’s remorse for surprising them and ending them… all but one, and he’d find him later. They’d hurt his boy! Hurt him and… and God, let him be in time, let him be able to…
He could hear Xander’s breath wheezing. Could hear that great heart laboring mightily even as it slowed just a bit and that wasn’t acceptable, wasn’t right, wasn’t the way it should be and there was no chance that any hospital could fix him in time, even if there were one nearby and… six blocks! Just six blocks and maybe fifteen minutes and everything was so fucked, and… and he didn’t know what to do, or not without asking Xan but Xan was the one who was hurt and they’d never talked about what could happen, what might happen and he was so fucking scared! So scared! He could lose his love!
Pale, elegant hands covered the wounds as Spike fell to his knees beside the long, shaking form, trying to staunch the flow. “Xan… Xander. I… God, pet, I’m sorry, so sorry, I… I should have made you stay, I… my fault; all my fault, I…”
The voice, when it came, was barely loud enough to hear, but Spike did hear and swallowed hard.
“No… baby…” Xander whispered, “M-my f-f-fault… so c-c-cold, S-spike… w-why am I so c-cold…?”
It was a delicate matter but Spike managed to shift the boy into his lap, even while continuing his efforts to slow the bleeding. “ ‘s shock, luv… losin’ a lot of blood, you are. Body starts ta shut down an’ can’t make heat th’ way it’s used ta doin’…” And sure, it was a simplified way of putting it but his bloke wasn’t in any state for complicated. “Too far from th’ hospital, luv… couldn’t get you there in time. Only one way I can… help you, yah…?”
His mouth was dry, Xander realized, and he spent a good five seconds trying to swallow before giving up. Instead he shook his head. “N-no,” he finally managed, “D-don’t want to b-be a v-v-vampire, baby. J-just… tell Dawn… I l-love…”
“No! Can’t let you die, Xander!” He was shouting the words but he truly didn’t care. It would ruin his image, but so what? He was still Spike and still as stubborn and strong as he’d always been. “Not… not goin’ ta turn you, pet. Promise! Just can’t let you die!” ‘Not when you love me and I’ve never felt this way in more than a hundred years of existence, and not when I can save you… even if you’ll hate me for it later…’
“N-never… hate you…” the whisper came again, even softer this time as Xander’s body slowed further still, his heartbeat becoming a bit more random and quiet. “Never… hate… you…”
And Spike knew what he had to do, any thought of how Xander had somehow heard his internal comments pushed aside for later, if ever.
He stood quickly, growling at the increased smell of his bloke’s blood when his hands left the punctures to chest and stomach. His growls became deeper when lifting the boy made the blood flow even faster.
His feet moved purposefully, boots slapping the walkways in a rough, hard staccato as he reversed the path he’d just taken, leaving three bodies laying in the still of the night, only one of which retained a pulse of its own.
Yeah, he was going to save his boy. Fix him. Make him… live.
And when Xander woke up he’d be gone, Spike promised himself. He had to be gone.
He wouldn’t be able to stand the look of betrayal in Xander’s eyes, and he knew it.
So fixated was he upon what he knew he had to do that Spike never questioned the fact that he’d just killed two men and gravely injured a third while his soul didn’t even mark it.
It didn’t matter, after all. Nothing mattered, aside from the quickly fading form in his arms.
* * * * *