Rating: Adult overall
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters in this story
Summary: Xander has a crush. William has a secret
"Knows what? Who knows what Will?"
Defeated, William laid his head back down on his knees.
His hands that had been tucked under his bent legs came out.
That's when Xander noticed the large brown envelope that William
Without a word, William handed it to him.
Xander glanced down at it quickly. It was not stamped or addressed
other than the word "William" scrawled across the front.
Of course there was no return address.
Whatever this was that hurt his Will so badly was not sent by a friend.
Xander passed the envelope back over his shoulder to Willow and
returned his attention to the sweet young man in front of him.
20 years old he reminded himself.
Not much more than a child, and despite last night, still a total innocent.
Xander's heart broke.
Scooting over beside him, Xander pulled
William into his arms, and kissed the top of his head.
"What ever this is can't be so bad that we
can't fix it. Let me take care of you Will. I can take care of you."
Encouraged, Xander felt William start to relax a little in his arms.
Reluctantly fearful of that tiny spark of hope he could sense seeping
into his heart, William leaned further into Xander's chest.
He knew he was making a dreadful mistake allowing himself to feel hope.
It was a mistake he had made before.
He thought back on the very few people he had allowed into his life since "the incident", as he had come to think of it.
Each one of them had sworn to be his friend.
None of them had stayed.
He remembered the hell he went through when he was
first sent away to boarding school.
Everyone there knew about him before he had even arrived.
The taunts, name calling and threats and even a few beatings were
bad, but the whispers behind his back and the way the other boys
avoided him was worse.
He had no friends, no family and no home.
Now he had Xander.
At least for another minute or two.
Both men were startled out of their own thoughts when
they heard Willow gasp behind them.
They had all but forgotten she was there, and now their eyes were
locked on her.
Xander's questioningly and William's filled with panic.
Stepping forward, Willow handed the envelope and the papers it
contained to Xander.
"No Xander, please. Don't" William begged pitifully.
Without comment Xander accepted the papers. Willow sat down
on the bed on the other side of William and put her arms around
him tugging him loose from Xander and holding him herself.
On first glance, Xander could see that the envelope had contained a handwritten face sheet and several newspaper clippings.
Looking first at the cover sheet he scanned it quickly. It read
I KNOW WHAT YOU DID. STAY AWAY FROM
XANDER OR HE WILL KNOW TOO.
HE WILL HATE YOU.
HOW LONG DO YOU THINK YOU WILL
KEEP YOUR JOB IF I TELL?
Several things were obvious. First, only a weasel writes a note and doesn't sign it.
Second, it seemed to be more about Xander than William which meant it had
to be someone close to Xander or they wouldn't ever know or care about William.
And most importantly that scribbling handwriting looked awfully familiar.
But finding the note's author and the author's motivation could wait till later.
There were other issues waiting to be faced.
Waving the letter, Xander asked "Where did you get this, Will?"
Mumbling against Willow's body the whispered answer was barely discernable
"It had been slid under my door. It was there when I got home this morning."
"O.k. we're going to talk later about why you left our bed in the
middle of the night, but right now let's deal with this
situation so we can move on."
Xander hoped his tone and words covered the fear that was churning
in his stomach.
The last thing he wanted to do was look at the news paper clipping he held,
but he knew he and William had no future till they all faced his past.
After all how bad could it be? It wasn't like he could have killed any one.
Not his gentle innocent William.
Taking a deep breath Xander looked at the clippings in his hand.
Blowing the breath back out he dropped down on the bed beside the other two.
He couldn't take his eyes off the words of the bold headline
15 year old boy murders own father.
Looking up, Xander locked eyes with the terrified blue ones and
the sad green ones that both waited for his reaction.
Xander studied William's face.
Try as he may he could not find a cold blooded killer.
All he could see was the childlike innocence of his Will.
Decision made, Xander laid the newspapers down on the bed beside him.
"Rather than read these, I would like you to tell me what happened. But remember,
Baby, this is your story, and if you don't want to tell us about it that is your choice."
Surprisingly, William found that for once he wanted very much to tell what had happened.
Even if it would result in both Xander and Willow walking away from him, William was tired of running and hiding.
He was tired of people like the note's author threatening and controlling his life.
Maybe some of Xander's strength was transferring itself to him or maybe he was finally just finding some of his own.
Pulling himself away from Willow, William sat up straight. Looking Xander in the face he said
"I would like very much to tell you about it. When I am finished, you are free to go. We made no commitments to each other."
The words were difficult to squeeze out considering his chest and
stomach were both trying to climb up and out his throat.