I posted not too long ago a bit of a ficlet called Never Woulda Thunk It, was asked for a sequel - tried to write one and managed to write what follows. Let me know what you think - just please, no rotten tomatoes at my head, they're not good for my complextion (too acidic
Again sequal to Never Woulda Thunk It - Always Shoulda Thunk It (I know sucky title, but hey sequels are never as good as the orignial somehow right?)Story under the cut.
Disclaimer: Nothing mine, nothing…. L
AN: Not betaed, let me know if there is anything glaringly out of place J Hope you all like, sorry for how long it took me.
Description: Sequal to the first AU Buffyfic I did, Spike decides to get his answers and perhaps a bit more besides.
Disclaimer: Not mine.. (I forgot this on the last one..ooops)
Always Shoulda Thunk It
By Marns AKA Bumpkin
“Hey Whelp, mind a spot o’ company for the night?” Spike ghosted out of the darkness beside the apartment’s entrance where he had been biding his time until Xander got home. Xander jumped and had his mysterious, strange looking sword almost totally drawn before he realized whom it was accosting him at his door. Spike eyed what he could see of the odd blade with keen interest, seeing as it was part of the reason he had dropped by the boy’s place. Of course there were those other questions he wanted answers for too, but lets not get nit-picky. It had been a couple of weeks since the little show in the bar and Spike had decided it was past time to indulge his curiosity.
Growling passably for a human Xander re-sheathed his blade and turned back to unlocking the main entry. As he did he ground out, “Dammit Spike, don’t do shit like that! It might be cool-ass shit for the guys in the comics to do, but I almost dusted you before I realized who you were for crying out loud.” Then in one of the lightening quick shifts of mood the so-called scoobies were famous for, Xander continued, “As for the company, sure, don’t mind at all. Come on in.” He led the master vampire into the building and up to his new apartment where Spike looked around with interest. He hadn’t been in the new place yet, Xander had only moved in two months previously and their paths really hadn’t crossed all that often in the meantime.
Stashing his gear, Xander motioned Spike towards the comfortable living room set-up. “Make yourself at home, I’m just gonna grab a shower and get rid of the portion of jobsite I brought home with me. If you want there’s beer in both the cupboard and the fridge. If you want anything harder, sorry you’re out of luck, that stuff isn’t welcome here. Okay preaching over now,” Xander grinned self-depreciatingly for a second, “Anyway, feel free to help yourself to whatever you find, alright?”
Spike nodded and tossed off a two finger salute as Xander headed out of the room. Wandering into the kitchen Spike thought about what Xander had said, and the implied trust the boy had shown by leaving Spike freely wandering about while he was naked and vulnerable in the shower. The no hard liquor rule didn’t surprise Spike in the least when he thought back to what he had mostly overheard and smelled, and to a lesser degree, seen when he had been Xander’s involuntary houseguest. He could only guess at the unsavory things that had gone on when Xander had been younger and less able to defend himself. What had gone on with the boy mostly grown had been bad as it was, which is why his being free to wander while Xander being naked just a few feet down the hall was so surprising. And of course an incredible turn on, Spike growled as between one step and the next he nearly doubled over when his pants became overly constricting.
Reaching quickly to adjust important bits before he was permanently crippled, Spike castigated himself, //Enough of the nancyish woolgathering already, y’d think y’ weren’t a master vampire with the way you’re carrying on.// He ambled to the cupboard the boy had indicated and was pleasantly surprised to find the properly warm temperature Guinness. //Ahh, a decent brew thick enough to chew, good stuff.// He supposed Xander had bought it for the Watcher, but he couldn’t really get jealous since he was going to benefit from the boy’s generous nature as well.
He had just made it to the living room and sat down when his host came breezing out to join him, with a quick detour to the fridge to grab himself a beer, fresh from his shower and clad in what had to be the oldest t-shirt and sweats the kid owned. In some places they were so worn they were practically threadbare, everywhere else they caressed and clung in such a manner that had Spike narrowing his eyes at the boy wondering if he was up to something. After a bit of careful watching, Spike couldn’t tell so he decided to open the conversational gambit.
“Thought I should tell ya, I was at Willie’s two nights before the Gnarlshish incursion-”
Xander froze in the middle of reaching for the TV remote. “Ah, you were?” he squeaked out. Spike smirked, he didn’t know what had the boy so nervy but wasn’t about to look too hard in case it let Xander get his feet back under him. Slyly he teased his host,
“Yeah, raised a few questions that night did. Like, since when did we pay Willie for his info? How did the two of you get so chummy that he actually trusts you, as in ‘no count the money owed’ trust, and-”
“Aaah enough!” Xander interrupted with a hand raised in supplication before Spike could really get going. “Jeez, I’ll answer all your questions, just ask one or two at a time alright? Sheesh, you’d swear that ‘scoobie’ was contagious with the way you were starting there.” Xander muttered the last bit, but vamp hearing let Spike hear it clear as a bell. He grinned.
“Nothing ‘scoobie’ about it mate. I used to have a ton of fun driving Angelus right round the bend when we were traveling all over Europe by peppering the bugger with questions. The more inane, the better.” Xander and Spike shared a companionably mischief filled grin. If there was one thing the two had always agreed on, it was that making Angel – in any of his incarnations – lose his cool, was too much fun.
“Anyway, you asked about the sitch with Willie,” Xander said. “That’s fairly easy to explain, Buffy and her mangling names or just not getting the details straight. Getting the information from Willie wasn’t exactly helpful when she mis-reported everything that he told her, was it?” Spike snorted, he’d often wondered how they got sense out of her reports from Willie. Xander continued, “So, anyway, back in Junior year I went to Willie and talked to him about giving me the information for set rates. As I publicly paid him it gave him a certain credibility, which in turn gave him a chance to charge others if they wanted information too. It’s become something of a lucrative sideline for him.” Xander’s lips quirked into a tiny version of his usual wry grin. “Heh, Buffy never actually beats him anymore, hasn’t really since we set up the whole payment thing. Now when she comes in he cringes and emotes very theatrically, and just spills everything he’s already told me to her really fast. Buffy is always very gratified at his level of respect for her.” Spike rolled his eyes. Xander mockingly laughed. But then Spike sat forward as if electrified, a few dots in his head connecting.
“That’s what all the silly talk you do is about, or at least why you still do it, it’s to make leaps of guesses to what Buffy could be saying to jog Giles into the right direction isn’t it?” He accused the still laughing brown-eyed young man sitting beside him.
Xander tried to act all coy and flutter his long sweeping eyelashes as he cooed, “Awww Spikey, you figured out one of my best kept pet madnesses, whatever am I going to do?” But the effect was totally ruined by the simple fact he couldn’t stop laughing. Spike gave the paltry effort what it deserved and scooping up a throw cushion from the couch battered the laughing git without mercy. After just a few minutes though he stopped, he had more questions after all. The brief break of horseplay had lightened the mood considerably from the dark and bitter turn it had started to have overhanging.
“So what about the safe-haven thing – where’d you come up with that? And how’d you get the Watcher and Slayer to agree to it?” Spike asked.
Xander huffed a half laugh, “Jeesh, you really want to grill me all night don’t you?”
“Yep, told ya I had questions, an’ you promised to answer ‘em so I’m gonna run with it.” Spike said smugly.
Xander only said, “Eeesh, alright. Anyway, the safe-haven thing was an idea I’d been playing with for a while but never could think of a way to make it really work until Anya got her power-center back. Before that I had been trying to talk Giles around and hopefully he would have helped me with convincing the others. Y’know, he could be the voice of reason and all that, or maybe just age of reason voiced.” He flashed Spike a wry grin, “I’m guessing you already heard about Anya right? Willie sucks at being discreet if you’ve got half a brain. Which with who, and what, he normally deals with isn’t much of a problem as such, I have to admit.”
Spike smirked at him in agreement. “Oi Whelp, when did you develop such a keen observational sense?” His voice heavily laced with dry irony. Xander rolled his eyes at his guest and steamrollered on,
“But anyway, I’m digressing, back to the topic at hand. To put things simply, after Ahn got her power center back she didn’t want to have to keep paying rent for her apartment when she wasn’t going to be there for a great majority of the time and I wasn’t particularly fond of the idea of her moving in here. I’d just barely moved out on my own – I didn’t want a roommate of any kind yet.”
Spike could see that, made sense actually. He wouldn’t have wanted someone horning in on his brand new private space right after he got it after nineteen years of hell either.
Xander said. “Thankfully she didn’t take any offence at my reluctance to share accommodations, which of course would have been… bad.” Spike snorted, ‘that would be putting it mildly pet’ he thought.
“Eh, at any rate, me and Ahn talked about my idea, and she for obvious reasons thought it made sense, for both business and practical reasons. Especially with her buying the upper part of Willie’s building there and converting it to rooms and suites to rent out, leaving one always in reserve for herself as needed of course. You know Ahn and money, capitalism is her religion of choice. Well, she made a point of going with me to talk to Giles about my safe-haven idea – as Anyanka, the Patron Saint of Scorned Women – Giles thought that with a demon as powerful as Anya backing it, the idea had merit after all.” Xander’s voice was understandably bitter as he related the last. Spike often wondered how the young man could still be so loyal to friends that showed him so little respect or merit when he obviously was more than able. He decided to change the subject entirely rather than deal with that nest of snakes.
“So whelp, where did you get the interesting sword? D’ya know what it’s made of to make it look like it does? And why don’t you use the thing when we are on patrol with your mates?”
Xander blushed, “Oh, my sword, you want to know where I got it, ummm, well, y’see…” Xander stammered for a bit obviously trying to figure out what he should tell Spike, staying bright red the entire time.
Finally Spike growled, “Oi, twasn’t really a hard question, either spit it out or if you really don’t want to tell me, then just say so.”
Xander slumped a bit, “Ah hell, its not really that I don’t want to tell you Spike, it’s just, well – it was gifted to me by a friend of Anya’s after a rather er… I’d guess you’d call it a rather energetic night.”
Spike snickered, “Post return of her power center right?” Xander nodded. “So who was she, this friend of Anya’s? Patron Saint of something or...”
Xander interrupted him, “Living Retribution for Unsatisfied Lovers, okay, the woman, er, demon who gave me the sword is the Vengeance Demon who’s in charge of getting revenge for the people who have lousy lovers.”
Spike gawped. There really was no other way to describe the expression on his face. Seeing it, Xander couldn’t help it, he began to chuckle. The chuckling soon turned into full bellied laughter as Spike joined in after gasping out, “Damn Xan, I know that Anya always said that you were a Viking in the sack, but hell that is **skill**.”
It took a while but they did manage to calm down. After all the obligatory little snarks and verbal prods used to keep them going were finally exhausted, the two men sagged back on the couch and grabbed their respective beers. Spike watched out of the corner of his eye as Xander brought the cold brown bottle to his lips. Watched as the young man tilted both his head and the bottle back to allow the crisp liquid to flow, exposing the elegant line of his sun browned neck as he greedily swallowed to wet his dry from laughing throat. Sub-vocally the vampire groaned and crossed his legs, //Good Gods, doesn’t the whelp realize yet how vamps have a thing for necks?// Of course he didn’t say anything about what was going on in his head and just as soon as they were both totally at ease once more Spike asked again, “So she mention why it looks the way it does and why is it that you won’t use it on patrol?”
Xander made a funny face, scrunching his nose up. “Ah well, the reasons for both are kinda tied together. See it’s a chaos-change-sword that’s been soul bonded to me,” Spike whistled with appreciation. He also eyed his host with a new respect as well. Xander didn’t notice as he smirked about the appreciative whistle. “I see you have heard of the type, so you know that no-one but I can touch it, and the reason it looks like it does is because it literally inhabits all the planes our world touches all the time.”
Spike grinned. He knew the boy probably knew all about the swords themselves, but there wasn’t that much written about the wielders. “Yeah, I know the swords, I just never seen one before. They’re rare, but then so are the type of human who can even hope to wield one of ’em. In fact I think the wielders are the rarer one of the two.” Then his mind dredged up exactly why the wielders were so rare and he eyed Xander with more than a little lust. Xander caught the look and narrowed his eyes, but he dismissed it as he continued his own explaination.
“Hunh, I didn’t know that, and you’re gonna have to give details on that in a second bleach-boy, make no mistake. Bu-u-ut anyway, moving on to why I don’t use it during patrol - lets just say I whip it out to lay the smackdown on some nasty and the Buffster sees it-”
Spike was nodding in understanding, oh yeah he could see where this was going. The silly slayer bint couldn’t keep her paws to herself when it came to weapons, and in this case that would be fatal – for her, mystical warrior or no. He made a disgusted face that Xander matched with one of his own.
“Yeah, you can see it, Buffy sees new weapon ‘Oooh shiny, must have!’ then she goes all ‘Oh Xander, that is too much for you to handle, must give it to me for safety’ and she won’t listen to a word I say about her touching it being all bad and insta-deathy for her and so she tries to grab it out of my hands anyway and goes all kablooey and then the Xan-man would be getting blamed for even having the dangerous weapon.” Spike blinked. Okay he understood that and pretty much agreed with it, but the fact that he *understood* what the boy had said was just scary, let alone agreed with it. Willie was right – listening to the boy think out-loud was frightening at times.
“Right, understood.” Spike said shortly. Then he continued slyly, looking at the boy out of the corner of his eye, “Imagine it’s along the same lines as why you, the Watcher, and Demon-bint haven’t mentioned to the scoobies at large why she’s got her power-center back. To protect them from each other, et al? Or the fact that just having a soul-bond chaos sword won’t confer the ability to wield it with any degree of ability, so the fact that you can swing it with the amount of skill and grace you have means that you’ve been hiding some rather expert training from the lot?”
Xander made a face at him. “I knew how to swing a sword effectively before I was gifted with the sword Spike, and make no mistake, I never hid it. They just never wanted to see that I was more than able to take care of myself, let alone hold my own. I have to admit to brushing up on what training I had after I was given the sword. It would have been disrespectful otherwise, to both myself and the demoness who gave me the sword had I not.” Spike agreed, the whelp certainly had his priorities right.
Remembering before they had gotten sidetracked Spike was going to tell him why his sword was so rare Xander asked, “So bleachie, you indicated that you knew a bit about my kind of sword and their wielders, cough it up.”
Spike shifted in place, “Right, okay then. Well, I mentioned that soul-bond swords are rare and that the humans who are suited to wield them even rarer. It’s simple really, the only humans who are able to bond to a chaos soul-bond sword are empathic. Proximity based empathic to be more specific. And of course they have to have been exposed to the supernatural on more than one level.”
Xander just sat dumbfounded for a minute. Then he began to chuckle. Spike looked at him curiously, wondering what he was finding so funny. Xander explained, “I guess that would explain a lot about my demon-magnet status to a large extant. After everything that went after me, you could definitely say I have been exposed to a lot of the supernatural, almost a surplus you could say. Nevermind what goes on in this town as a matter of course that I always seem to end up in the thick of somehow.”
Spike thought about it for a bit and began to snigger too. The kid had a point. Xander really had gotten the raw end of the stick for a long time. He had been the token ‘normal’ amongst all his powered and otherwise skilled compatriots, and therefore discounted too often. Spike said to his host with a wry smile, “Yeah well, at least now you’ve been given something to fight back with after being handed all that shite for so long. Plus, in hindsight, now you know you were never as normal or powerless as everyone thought.”
Xander laughed out loud this time, a full belly laugh from his toes it seemed. He said somewhat sardonically, “Y’know Spike, somehow that isn’t really all that comforting with all that my supposed ability drew my way or got me stuck in.”
“Ahh, now, now,” Spike chided with a wide grin, his eyes dancing wickedly. “Don’t be disparaging your gift so fast whelp, didn’t you wonder how you were such a fantastic lover with so little practical experience?”
Xander blinked. It was obvious he hadn’t thought out all the ramifications of his ability yet, and that particular application had totally eluded him. It hadn’t eluded Spike though, his mind had been dwelling on it ever since he had made the connection about what made a human able to be a chaos soul-bond sword wielder. His pants had stayed uncomfortably constricting since then too. Xander’s eyes dropped to Spike’s lap consideringly as he mulled over the vampire’s words. Then his own version of a wickedly mischievious grin appeared.
Invading the blond’s space, the brunette husked, “Well, Spike, it looks as if you are *up* to helping me conduct a few personal experiments to see if I can actually use my ‘power’ consciously, whaddya say?”
Spike didn’t bother to answer verbally, he just closed the remaining distance between them and caught Xander’s mouth in an incredible toe curling kiss. Spike got more questions answered that night, just nothing that required answers in words.
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