Title: Navigating Rough Water
Feedback: Love it!
Disclaimer: Don’t own any of the characters, etc.
Warnings/Squicks: Rape, non-con S/Aus, illusions to child abuse, M/M
Summary: Spike and Xander, with life not easy for either, the two bumpy paths cross and lead to an unlikely friendship and more.
Notes: Set in season two during the Angelus phase.
Notes 2: Thanks once again to my fantastic and ever hard working beta sublimatedangel and to 50ftqueenie for the support.
Link to Chapters 1-3
Xander had meant to go home and start copying the notes for History but on the way home he’d gotten distracted.
So now he found himself in possession of five pints of cow’s blood courtesy of the late night opening butchers - ‘Only in Sunnydale!’ - and the vague notion to visit a sick vamp.
“This is so fucking stupid,” Xander said to himself as he walked quietly into his house and upstairs to drop off his books.
“Can’t go for a bit anyway. Too early, the others will be about.” So Xander lay down on his bed to try and work out what! the hell he was doing.
Empathy! That could only be the reason, although how he could be empathising with a blood sucking fiend was beyond all reason.
“Reasonless man, that is me,” he intoned to himself.
Getting up, he checked the clock on his night stand. 7:30pm. Okay, time to rumble!
In hindsight, walking through the streets of Sunnydale with five pints of blood in a backpack and eight in his body perhaps wasn’t the wisest of plans, but the ‘Harris luck’ wasn’t in evidence and he’d made it safely to the warehouse.
Stake once again firmly in hand he crept around the back and up to Spike’s window.
The room being pitch black meant Xander couldn’t see anything within.
Fumbling with the board once more, he slipped into the darkened room and pulled the emergency candles from his backpack. Lighting one, he placed it on the floor by the window and turned to look at the bed.
“Well, if it isn’t one of the slayer's minions, playing White Knight to the Big Bad.”
Xander bolted, grabbed his rucksack and had one hand on the windowsill. ‘Spike awake, SPIKE AWAKE!’
“Wait… Please.” It was the ‘please’ that got Xander. He didn’t think Spike said ‘please’ to many people especially not a useless human boy and Xander didn’t get many pleases in his life.
The vampire had wilted. Spike just sat there looking alone and apprehensive.
“Why?” was the only word Spike could get out when Xander remained in the room without speaking.
Nobody did anything for free. In his book, it was dog eat dog in the world and Spike was usually one of the biggest, meanest dogs around. ‘Except I’m not, I’m banged up and fuckin’ useless.’ The recent beating by Angelus and his subsequent submission to ‘fuckin’ Master’ stung.
He watched as the huge brown eyes of the boy crept over him up to his face and looked in his eyes; trying to read his soul, if he’d had one, was what it felt like.
“n..n..NOBODY should be hurt like that!”
Spike snarled, demon face racing to the front. ‘He’s seen!’ Leaning forward, he snarled, “You tell anyone, boy? I'll fucking gut you like an overripe fruit.”
Xander shook, edging back once again.
“N..n..no,” he whispered. “Never.”
The quiet words reached Spike faster than any loud extended protestations would have done and he calmed. Demon still to the fore, but now able to plan his words.
“You fed me your blood?” Xander nodded. “Tells a lot, blood,” Spike commented.
The boy’s wide eyes held no guile and Spike started to feel a little uncomfortable; he knew he was scaring the boy, but after feeling so helpless for so long it stroked the demon's ego, made it purr.
“Come closer,” Spike asked.
“Not 'til you promise not to eat me.”
Spike leered. “Oh, you're no fun, pet.” A strange look with the demon to the fore.
Xander blushed a deep red when he finally realised the intent behind that statement.
“You... You... Ummm... No...” Xander stumbled over the several sentences that wanted to escape his mouth all at once.
Pushing his demon back, Spike tried to ease the situation. “Just teasing, pet. You go a lovely colour when you blush.”
Xander gathered himself. “Look I just brought you something, okay? So I’m gonna give it to you, then leave.”
Quickly opening his rucksack, he pulled out the first packet of blood and tossed it onto the bed. Making sure to keep as far from Spike as possible, he threw the remaining four in quick succession.
“What’s this, pet?”
“Look... I know you can’t hunt at the moment and I know once you can, it’ll be fine and I’m probably gonna be the first one on the menu, but I thought it might help you get…” Xander drifted off into silence. “Yeah, stupid idea. Stupid Xander, sorry.”
Spike gazed at the boy in amazement. He’d brought blood for him! Admittedly cow’s blood by the looks of it, but blood never the less. Still he couldn’t stop himself from saying, “If you come over here, I could have it from the tap, so as to speak.” A sly grin followed.
“NO.. very much of the no-ness there.” Xander backed further away, panicking.
“Sorry, pet.” Spike sighed and looked at the packages on the bed in front of him. Vulnerability flashed across his face for a moment. “These are good, okay, just..” he trailed off.
“WHAT?!” Xander the ever present feeling of being useless bubbling up, spoke louder than planned; they both stilled and glanced at the door.
Silence; both eyes fixed to see if they had been heard.
Spike cocked his head, using all his senses to work out if Angelus was even in the warehouse. The boy’s heartbeat pounded as the minutes swept on.
“I don’t think he’s even here; must be out with the others. Dru too, seems pretty dead like.”
Xander's drop in heart rate signalled a decrease in the tension in the room.
“I need to go.” Xander said after a moment, shifting restlessly from foot to foot.
Spike looked at the boy, really looked. The bloody awful clothes hid a slight but well formed musculature, hair a dark chestnut brown and eyes that seemed to show every thought and feeling a hundred fold.
“Pet, if I drink these real quick like, can .. can you take the packages with you? Nowhere to hide them, see?”
“Oh, yeah. Sorry, should have thought of that.”
Xander glanced at his watch. “Okay, but hurry. I need to get back, my curfews earlier on a week night.” Not that his parents ever really noticed if he was there or not unless it was to vent their anger on.
“Mummy and daddy gonna worry if you're not in?!” Spike snorted.
“Yeah, something like that,” Xander muttered in reply, not looking up.
With that comment, the smell of fear, ever present since Xander had entered his bedroom, peaked then dipped off. Spike pondered this as he hastily drank the blood, grimacing at the taste of cold cow’s blood.
“Yuck, fucking disgusting that,” he spat out, as he threw the last empty at the boy.
“It’s all I could get, sorry.”
“S’all right, pet. Just nasty is all. You off then?” Spike pasted an air of disinterest over the words.
Xander glanced at his watch again. “Shit, yes,” he replied as he scrabbled to close the rucksack at his feet.
Turning, he checked to see if the coast was clear outside the window and tossed the rucksack out, bracing himself to follow.
“Boy? What’s yer name?”
Xander paused and whispered back over his shoulder, “Xander.”
Blue and brown met and Spike spoke without really thinking. “If you come back, I promise not to eat you.”
Xander smiled and disappeared, the board back in place. Spike followed the sounds of his departure as far as his senses would allow until he was left in the darkness, a single candle dipping and flickering his only proof of the visit.
So Chapter 5 on Monday :~)