Olivia Blivious (gertinator) wrote in bloodclaim,
Olivia Blivious
gertinator
bloodclaim

Bound, 1/2, S/X

Title: Bound, 1/2
Author: gertinator
Pairing: Xander/Spike
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: My kinkometer is broken due to the massive amounts of Spander out there written by people whose knobs go to eleven, but I'd hazard this rates somewhere in the low to mid range. *shrugs* h/c, a wee bit o' bondageness and of course, slash
Notes: Thanks to the lovely writer formerly known as synful_trixx for giving much support and canon tips. I haven't watched any Angel (*gags at thought of Angel*) but I meant this to be post NFA and more or less true to canon, though I had everything pretty much stick to the status quo of the series. If you think I'm really off on something important, please let me know. This is my first fic in this fandom and I am a little nervous about writing true to canon with such a large 'verse. I'm just not obsessive enough for the buffyverse. *winks*
Summary: As usual, the new demon in town wants to make Xander his love muffin, and Spike must intervene. That, but you know, in a dark and sort of angsty way.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. If I did, I sure as heck wouldn't be living in Oakland.





"So what're you doing here, Harris?" asked Spike conversationally as they scanned the alley. Xander'd been in LA for a little over two weeks, but this was the first time they had been on patrol together. Spike planned on using the time alone to pick the whelp's brain.

Patrolling with Xander reminded Spike of home, Sunnyhell home, which was a little ridiculous. Ridiculous that he was feeling sentimental, ridiculous that he considered that place home. Ridiculous that he had felt, well, happy to see Harris again. Not that he was willing to admit it. And he sure as hell wasn't going to write poetry about it.

Vampire's weren't supposed to have homes, even on the hellmouth, and especially not a cozy little family that included the Slayer. Spike blamed the soul for making him into a soft nancy boy, for making him remember those miserable time through the rosy tint of imagined love and build them into some barmy fantasy.

But he was curious. He had been trying to puzzle the boy - man? - out since he had shown up. Why had Harris left the Scoobies to hang with Angel's crowd? It just didn't make sense. Spike had never really belonged to the family, no matter what he liked to pretend on his lonely days, but Xander, Xander had been its heart. It just didn't make sense for him to leave The Good Guys and join the rebel fringes.

Xander turned and gave the vampire a strange look. Spike reflected that somehow the loss of an eye had made Xander go from always wearing his emotions on his face to always having a sort of inscrutable manner. Maybe it was the patch. And there was something just a little bit disturbing about seeing Harris' patented eye roll performed with only one eye to participate.

"Deadboy decided to torture me by pairing me up with you as we look for evidence that a Shyglitch demon is nesting somewhere in West Holllywood," Xander said patiently, as if he were explaining how to walk to a very dimwitted biped. Xander's expression changed to something between horror and amusement as he smirked, "I hope like hell it was because he wanted Gunn to play his boyfriend and not because he thought you and I'd make a cute couple."

"Sh'gletk," Spike corrected automatically, producing a set of hisses, clicks and whirs that Xander had no hope of duplicating. "Nasty bit of baggage. Burrow in and nest, then suck power from the electrical grid to feed their babies. But you know that's not what I mean. What're you doing here playing faithful foot soldier to Peaches? I know he puts your knickers in a twist. Never expected you to seek him out and ask to join the team. Right balmy of you, if ya ask me."

Xander turned his enigmatic gaze on Spike again. "You weren't exactly passing out buttons for his fanclub, Spike. What made you pick him as a reason to come back from the dead?" Xander paused for a minute, seemed to think. "And how long are you planning on hiding out here? You haven't even told Buffy you're alive." Xander kept in touch with the Scoobies regularly, and was pretty disgruntled to be forced to keep such a secret from them.

"Yeah, been meaning to give the Slayer a call," Spike lied casually, looking away. "Haven't got around to it yet." Xander snorted in disbelief.

"It's been more than two years. Seriously, Spike." Xander stopped and turned to face the vampire, pinning him with a look. "She's going to find out, and she'll be really hurt." He glared for a moment, then grinned. "And pissed. She might even stake you. God, I hope I get to see it." He rubbed his hands together gleefully. "Maybe she'll stake Deadboy, too, while she's at it."

Spike eyed Xander warily, then realized that he was joking. In the old days, not so much. But now, they almost had a friendship. They had been through too much together, too much that no one else in the world would be able to comprehend, even the gang here with Angel who had their own special memories. It had surprised Spike a little, when Xander had shown up and they had established an almost immediate comeradery. Apparently they'd saved each other's lives often enough now that the harder times had become irrelevant. Funny, that.

Spike smirked. "Wouldn't put it past the bint. Never did get recognized properly for my heroic deeds." He paused, mulled it over. "Might bloody well be worth it if she staked Mr. Broody first and let me watch."

In truth, Spike was terrified of encountering Buffy again. It was one thing to be a sad but beloved memory, another to be a living, not-quite-breathing, but quite often fucking-up vampire. He liked the idea that he could remain a martyr in her memory, an eternal hero, the perfect champion. He could even almost convince himself she had meant it when she said she loved him. He was sure she had loved him for that minute, as the light poured through him and saved her friends. Saved the world. But he was not at all convinced that it would linger when faced with the reality of him once again in solid form. So he was determined not to give her the reality.

He had put off telling her at first because he was a ghost, then because he was afraid. Then because of habit. Now he was sure that she would find out eventually, but he just couldn't bring himself to be the one to tell her. Remaining perfect in her memory was just too important to him.

Xander realized Spike was lost in his Buffy thoughts, and held back from making Broody Boy comparisons. Just Barely. They started walking again, checking down another murky street. Other than startling a pair of lovers trying to re-enact the alley scene from Quadrophenia without quite the same equipment as the couple in the movie, there wasn't much to see.

Xander pulled a stake out of his pocket and played it across his fingers, making it jump in a nimble dance. "I missed California," he admitted quietly. It had been so long since Spike had asked the question, that he was startled for a minute by the confession. "I missed the sun and people speaking American English and eating pizza and ice cream and Twinkies. I missed the old days in Sunnydale with the Scoobies." Xander's pace slowed a little as he became engrossed in the piece of word that fit so securely and comfortably in his hand. He sighed.

"Everyone's all spread out now, living separate lives. I mean it's great and I'm happy for them and they've all grown up yadah yadah yadah. But it's lonely, too. I tried doing the big kid thing and went on assignment in Africa." Xander sighed again and flicked a quick glance at Spike, then back at the stake in his hands. "New people, new places. It didn't feel right. So then I thought maybe I had burned out on saving the world and I tried to just be Normal Guy for a while, but that didn't work either."

"Hard to give up the adrenaline rush?" chuckled Spike knowingly. He hadn't expected Xander to miss Sunnydale, too. For all the apocalyptic events, they had had some good times there. Maybe it took the shadow of an apocalypse for one to really appreciate safety and companionship.

"Hard to pretend I didn't notice that the guy at the used car lot had horns hidden in his pompadour. And the cashier at the corner grocery used his tail to restock the low shelves." Xander snorted. "I'm not very good at talking about the weather, and most of my life isn't really suitable dinner conversation." Even before the demons, thought Xander, remembering nights spent on the lawn in a sleeping bag so he could avoid what passed for Harris Family Love. Xander shrugged.

"Sunnydale's just a hole in the ground, but LA isn't so bad. And Angel's no Slayer, but he's got his own band of merry men. As long as his soul stays pasted in place, I can tolerate him. It feels more like home than anywhere else I've been." Xander cast another sidelong glance at Spike. "You haven't said why you're back here bonding with grandpa."

"Didn't have a choice, did I?" asked Spike, with a slightly bitter edge. "Thought a little thing like saving the world would get me a some slack, but the gits in charge decided they weren't done with me yet."

"You could leave now," suggested Xander. "Travel or something."

"That a hint, Droopy?" Spike asked, trying to cover the flash of hurt. Just when he thought they were bonding. Spike had felt closer to Xander for a moment than he had anyone since Buffy, but it was clearly not a feeling the boy reciprocated. "Not a lot of places a souled vamp is welcome. Mayhem's not as much fun with the guilt tacked on. Makes me almost understand why the Poof is such a bloody broody bastard."

Xander was about to argue with Spike. He could tell Spike had purposely misunderstood him, and he wanted to set the record straight. For all their differences, Spike was head and shoulders above Angel in Xander's eyes. Spike had changed, even as a demon, and had sought out a soul. And in the last days before the Big Battle when the rest of them had faltered, Spike had been the one to keep the faith and keep Buffy going.

Angel's soul had been a punishment, loosely tacked over a vicious and resentful demon. Xander himself had scars both physical and emotional from dealing with Angelus when the soul had slipped. But Spike had somehow found a balance between his demon and his humanity, even before adding a soul. Xander admired him greatly for it, especially since his own injury had given him insight into the darkness that could exist in those who supposedly had their humanity intact.

Before Xander could put any of that into words, though, Spike stopped him with a raised hand and sniffed the air. He got into fighting stance and motioned for Xander to do the same.

Spike's instinct had been on target, and several figures appeared suddenly, blocking the end on the alley. The tall shape in front was clearly the leader, and he could have almost passed as a really ugly human, except for the shiny grey scales and extra set of arms. And the fact that he was over seven feet tall. A Naad demon, and judging by the straps across his chest and the markings on his shoulder, a slaver.

"Don't get captured," Spike murmured in a low whisper. They were clearly outnumbered, and he was worried about the odds. "Run if you can. He's a slaver."

"Not gonna leave you," Xander mumbled back, sliding the stake into his pocket and pulling out the witch-forged blade Giles had given him as a back-to-California gift.

"I'll try to bluff us through. If we have to fight, stay away from the big guy, go for the human minions." Spike wanted to say more, but the demon at the end of the alley was probably within hearing range and it just wasn't safe. Instead, he projected his voice out with false cheer and addressed the slaver. "Hello there, mate. Something I can do for you?"

"Let my men bind you," the demon replied in a voice accented with a low hiss and a wave of his hand.

Spike felt a tickle in his head and recognized the tug of a thrall spell. He stepped in front of Xander, hoping the physical shelter would block the effect a little. Or at least keep Harris from giving himself over to the enemy. This was going to be a lot harder with Xander brainwashed.

Spike tilted his head and switched into game face, but still kept his voice light. "I'm out for an evening stroll with my lad here, be a shame to end it so early." Spike hoped the demon would back off as a courtesy and they could come back later with the whole team to take the baddie on.

The demon crouched and rolled his head, sniffing the air. "The human is not marked as yours. Give him to me and find a new meal. I will let you go."

"Haven't marked him yet," Spike shrugged. Damn arrogant bastard was clearly looking for a fight. "Only just got him, you see. But I mean to keep him." His voice had lowered into a threatening growl. Xander stood frozen behind him, probably working to shake off the thrall.

"I am Sleikslath Naad, son of Shuillera, line of Beilissith," the slaver spoke proudly, thumping his chest with three of his four arms in what was apparently an attempt to at an intimidating ritual greeting. Spike wasn't impressed.

"William the Bloody, Slayer of Slayers," snarled Spike. He had never much cared for the bossy and domineering Naad race. "Sod off and find your own human. You can't have mine."

"Slayer of Slayersssss," the hiss came back into the Naad's voice and Spike did not like how the slaver eyed him as he stepped closer. "I have heard of you. Slayer of Slayers turned to Slayer's pet," the demon said. He sniffed the air. "Ah, and it is true. I smell a soul on you." He hissed in disgust. "I had heard you died. Maybe I should make that rumor true."

"Bloody hard to kill me," Spike growled, preparing to fight. "You aren't the first to try." He elbowed hard at Xander, hoping for a response but he got none. Must still be fighting the thrall. One against... Spike counted eight human minions standing behind the Naad. Not good odds. Spike grabbed the knife out of the boy's hand. If Xander wasn't going to use it, maybe he could.

The demon was staring over Spike's shoulder. "You protect a damaged human?"

"'s a hell of a lot more useful than most humans, even short one eye," said Spike indignantly. Though maybe now was not the time to talk up Xander's finer points. Xander grunted behind him, and Spike hoped that meant he was shaking off the paralysis. Things were going to get ugly very soon, and a moving Xander would be much less likely to end up a slave boy.

The demon seemed to be thinking. "I remember... the Slayer had a one eyed pet, didn't she?" he mused. Spike knew then they absolutely would not be talking their way out of this. Might as well get it over with. He pushed Xander off to the side and jumped at the demon, Xander's blade in hand.

Spike fought hard, harder than he had since Sunnydale. He knew he was outnumbered, but he had to kill the Naad to save Xander. The minions were probably so damaged by the slave spell that they would be total zombies without the demon enforcing his will on them, if he could just get to the slaver. But the humans blocked him and tried to interfere. He killed four of them and injured two more before he was pinned by the demon.

"Ah, you fight well, vampire. I can see why the Slayers feared you. It is too bad you have become an abomination." It was a good thing the Naad didn't have a stake, or it would all be over quickly. The demon had two hands on the vampire and used the other two to pummel him. Spike was not willing to give in, though, and he twisted away, getting in several good kicks and drawing blood with the witch-blade.

Spike was exhausted, bruised and bleeding, with at least two broken ribs, when the remaining minions got hold of him. He had lost the knife after a fierce kick from the Naad, hearing it go skittering off into the darkness. He said a silent apology to Xander, and hoped that the boy would find enough will to fight and be killed before the demon returned to his dimension with Xander as his slave. Naad slaves had hard lives, but a Naad slave that was a friend of the Slayer? He would be a toy to show around and torture for the prestige.

"Sorry, pet," Spike whispered. "I tried." Spike said a silent farewell to Buffy and the Niblet, and prepared to be dust.

The demon smashed two fists into Spike's chest, while another gripped his groin tightly. The pain made Spike black out for just a second, and he wondered if the demon would torment him before killing him. The fourth hand came up to caress his face.

"I'm taking your human, but I will leave you alive to give my condolences to the Slayer," hissed the Naad. The minions released Spike's arms, but the demon held him pinned. He picked Spike up like a rag doll and knocked his head against the brick wall at the side of the alley. Once he was sure Spike was unconscious, he dropped the vampire to the ground and motioned for his minions to grab the boy and follow him.

Xander watched it all in horror, trying to do something, anything, but the thrall spell was too strong. He couldn't move. He meekly let the minions bind him and carry him off. Apparently, the demon was taking no chances that he would escape.

*****

Spike woke hours later to a thrashing bad headache. His hair felt sticky with blood and his chest ached from the broken ribs. He was disoriented for a minute, but as he sat up, a small piece of black leather fell from his chest. Xander's eye patch. The Naad must have left it for him to give to Buffy. Spike was suddenly able to focus with a violent intensity.

"Stupid to leave me alive, you bloody git. You won't be gloating when I pull your eyeballs out your arse." Spike squinted up at the sky and judged he had about two hours until daylight. The Naad dimension was a dark one, and the demons there didn't like daylight anymore than vampires. If Spike was lucky, he'd find the slaver's hideout before dawn and could take as long as necessary to beat him bloody in the dark of the lair. If the demon had gone back to Naad, well, Spike would deal with that if the problem arose. But no way in hell was he letting that pisser keep Xander as long as he was alive.

Spike sniffed the air. The Naad had little scent, but he had not been too careful about the hygiene of his slaves. Spike could clearly catch the trail of four unwashed men, two of whom were bleeding rather profusely. Four unwashed men with a light dash of Harris floating on top. Spike didn't question why the scent was so clearly ingrained in his memory.

After a few minutes of tracking and cursing, he remembered the gadget Angel had given him for patrols. Bloody cell phone. He hit speed dial #1 and got Angel's voicemail. He left street corner names and a brief message. He wasn't about to wait for the cavalry, but it was nice to know they might come later. He gripped Xander's patch in his hand and set off on the trail.

It didn't take long to realize he was too damn knackered to fight the Naad again full on, even with surprise on his side. He detoured down an alley that had the lingering scent of an bathing-impaired human not related to the night's events. Just as he suspected, there was a bum passed out under a roll of blankets, tucked against the wall.

Spike grimaced. No chip to stop him, but the soul was not happy. Spike grumbled and pulled a few bills out of his pocket. "Not much different than giving at the blood bank, yeah?" he said, shrugging. "You'll be happy enough to have the blunt for a bottle tomorrow, and only a wee extra headache." He gritted his teeth. "Harris would understand. Need to be able to beat the demon."

He didn't question why it was more important to know that Xander would forgive him then to worry about Angel's rules regarding human blood or his own soul's misgivings. The Scoobies had been his conscience for almost ten years.

Spike leaned down and gently tapped the wino's vein. The blood was thin, loaded with alcohol, and vitamin B-deficient. It tasted terrible, but helped energize Spike and start his ribs to knitting.

He took only what he needed, then gently tucked the man back in. It had been a long time since Spike had had fresh human blood, much less straight from the vein, and he felt almost giddy with power. He caught scent of the trail immediately and set off doing double time. Dawn was approaching too quickly.

*******

Spike was glad when the trail stopped at a sewer manhole. The sky was creeping from black to grey and Spike knew this pursuit would not be successful if it was postponed, but he also knew he wouldn't be much help as a vampire torch. As it was, there was a chance - but, no, Spike was not going to allow that option.

He spent at least another hour twisting and turning through the sewers. The stench of rotting greenery and animal corpses almost covered that of the minions and Spike had to move considerably slower. On the bright side, they had clearly used these passages for travel many times over the last week so the scent was layered. It just took some extra consideration to track it. Spike was willing to make the effort.

Finally the rot began to smell clearly of human remains and Spike knew he was close. The Naad had probably lost a few slaves in binding. It happened sometimes. The demon would consider the scent aromatherapy and wouldn't bother to clear it out.

The trail ended at a door. Spike hoped that Xander was on the other side and none the worse for wear, but whatever he found, he was going to make the slaver hurt for taking the boy. The soul could speak up later, Spike's demon was driving for now.

Spike had never been much of a planner, and he figured he might as well continue that trend. It had always worked before. Still, no point in letting the Naad get the jump on him again.

Spike opened the door just enough to slip in, then eased it closed again. He could hear faint chanting in the background and that was not a good sign. The slaver must have decided to bind Xander immediately so he would not lose him.

Spike slipped past two sleeping human minions. He glanced at them briefly. These were the slaver's guard, not fresh catch. Even if he killed the Naad, the humans would be insane from the stress of the bond breaking. Not to mention lingering memories of what they had done under the slaver's command. Spike grabbed a knife from a sheath on the closest human's thigh. He felt a small twinge of guilt as he slit the man's throat and then moved to his companion. He couldn't let any sympathy for humans risk Xander's life.

The smell of fresh blood reminded him of his hunger and injuries. The high of fresh blood had worn away, and the small amount had really only taken the edge off. Spike had been afraid to take too much of the alcohol polluted blood, for both the bum's sake and his own. It had been years since he had had fresh human blood; he rarely ever had human blood at all anymore. But if ever there was a time he needed strength, this would be it.

He leaned down and touched the tip of his tongue to the hot red stream spurting from the slave's neck, but then recoiled. Too much demon taint; it would probably only make Spike sick. The poor sod had clearly been a slave for a long time to become so polluted. Spike felt less guilt for killing him. He was barely human anymore, anyway.

Spike went back to the first minion. His blood wasn't so bad, though it had a nasty aftertaste and Spike drank only as much as he could stand. He focused on the need to save Xander, take back his Scoobie.

He came across two more sleeping minions as he edged down the hall and quickly slit their throats. One of them even tasted close enough to human that Spike was able to fill up. His demon roared with the power of fresh blood and he was itching to take on the slaver, all of the night's injuries forgotten.

Spike kept his eye out for more minions as he crept along. If the eight in the alley were all the Naad kept as a slaving crew, Spike was in good shape. Though he suspected there would be guards kept onsite with the pens. Luckily, the Naad were greedy bastards who tended to work alone rather than share profits, so at least there would be no other demons.

Spike climbed a set of stairs and took out another human guarding the door at the top. It opened into a dark concrete room that was clearly part of the Naad's hideout. Spike's night vision showed pens off to the side, but they appeared to be empty except for a few rotting corpses. The dank smell of human excrement and the fading scent of fear indicated they had recently housed newly acquired slaves, but the Naad must have already dimension shipped them. He probably had more pens in the building, but Spike was too worried about Xander to care about anyone else.

Off to the side of the room was the binding area. Spike could see the white glint of runes chalked onto the floor, and the tall figure of the Naad was in the center of a circle with a small hunched shape that could only be Xander. Five minions stood evenly spaced around him, probably in the points of a pentegram, apparently assisting in the ritual by chanting and occasionally sprinkling something. The slaver must have decided on a special binding for a favorite of the Slayer.

Spike slid along the wall, trying to contain the hot white rage that brought his game face out and was urging his demon to shed some blood. He needed to scope the best way to take out the bleeding bastard without damaging Harris in the crossfire. The five minions seemed to be the only humans in the room, but there might be others sleeping somewhere. Spike just hoped they would not be available to join in the fight.

Spike could see Xander clearly now, and he could barely contain his fury. As if the boy hadn't been through enough, he was once again playing demon bait. He was on his knees, naked, head down, with his hands bound behind his back. Tears rolled from his one good eye and made tracks through the ash markings on his face that were apparently part of the spell. The Naad stood behind him, had unbound his codpiece and apparently planned to end the ceremony by taking the whelp with the long slimy appendage that hung between his legs.

Spike roared as full battle rage spilled through him. No more thinking and planning. The demon needed to destroy, annihilate, avenge. He moved like lightening, throwing minions against the wall so hard they lay limp like dolls. A few more humans joined the fray at the call of the Naad, but they quickly crumpled under Spike's frenzied violence. It took minutes, less, and he stood alone against the Naad.

The arrogant bastard did not seem perturbed, though his scales had changed to a slightly greenish tint that Spike hoped meant demon fear. Good. Cheeky bugger should be afraid, because Spike was bleeding pissed off.

"Should have dusted me when you had the chance," Spike growled, not wasting time for banter or niceties. He still had the blade he had taken off the first minion and he flung it directly into the lower belly of the demon, an area he knew to house some of the more tender and essential organs. Direct hit, and the demon howled.

Spike took the opportunity of the distraction to get behind the demon and grip it's head. "Bugger off!" He twisted and tugged and the demon collapsed at his feet with a bolt of green energy that sent a shock through him.

Orange fluid oozed out the demon's belly and his eyes, and it smelled foul. Spike stepped back in satisfaction and shook off his game face, taking a moment to get himself under control before facing Harris.

"You alright, then, mate?" Spike asked, trying for a light hearted tone. Xander was clearly not alright, but it wouldn't do to rub it in and act all mushy.

"You've never been prettier, Blondie," Xander sighed weakly. "Think you can unhitch me here?

Spike squatted down to check the man out. He wiped the ash off Xander's face with the edge of his t-shirt, pulled the patch from his pocket and gently set it over the empty eye socket, then turned to check out the whelp's bonds.

Spike whistled in dismay. The Naad hadn't been playing; he knew his gear. Spike ran his hand along the leather device strapping Xander's arms together, a sort of monoglove with witch-metal links lacing it together. His eyes went demon yellow as a spark shot out under his fingertips and he caught a blue glow of runes. He muttered a few words low, and the runes flared up. Xander winced. Spike touched his cheek in apology.

"Sorry, pet. Wish we still had Red around. Don't think I can get you out of this without a little help. It's got heavy mojo on it." Spike pondered how the hell he was going to get Xander home, naked and in daylight, while still bound. Spike himself was more than ready for his daily nap.

Spike had consumed a lot of blood, but he had also fought hard. The blood had all been tainted and that last jolt of green energy had tweaked him somehow, too. Even though the demon and his slaves were dead, he and the boy weren't safe yet. And Xander wasn't in any position to defend himself. It was the perfect timing for the bloody calvary, but Spike doubted either he or Xander had that kind of luck.

Spike felt around in his pocket for the cell phone, then threw it down in disgust. Bleeding thing had clearly gotten charred in the demon's power blast. Probably wouldn't have had any reception underground like this anyway, Spike thought viciously. Soddin' useless. Xander's voice brought his attention back to the moment.

"If you can't get that off, I guess I don't have much hope of getting rid of my other fancy demon bondage gear?" Xander sound hopeless, begging for Spike to contradict but knowing he wouldn't. But of course, this was the story of his life. Xander Harris, Demon Butt Monkey extraordinaire.

Spike caught a whiff of shame radiating off Xander, but the overwhelming scent was arousal. Arousal and fear, a heady mix. He looked down to the "other gear" Harris had mentioned and caught sight of Xander's pulsing cock, trapped in a magicked cock ring. Spike reached out to touch the leather, convinced that it would show the same runes but unable to resist the chance to lay cool fingers against the pounding blood so close to the surface.

"Oh, Goddddd," groaned Xander, caught between the pain and the pleasure of the cool touch on his highly sensitized skin. It took him a minute to catch his breath. "I can't decide if that was the best or worst thing I have ever felt," he panted. "May be best for my dignity to just forget it ever happened," he added wryly. "In fact, I'd like to forget this whole thing. Think we can make that happen? Soon? Spike?" His voice was desperate and pleading.

"Sorry, Harris." Spike had to work to keep his voice steady as the demon surged with desire for blood and sex. The human blood, the fight, his rage over Xander's condition, all left Spike a little shaky and out of control and the demon was taking advantage to let its desires be known. He pulled his coat off, not quite meeting Xander's eyes, and draped it over Xander's nakedness. "Not getting that off without help, either. Woulda thought the demon's death would be enough, but there must be more to it."

"So we're stuck here?" Xander asked, trying not to sound pitiful. "Until dark?" He burrowed himself into Spike's coat and tried not to think about how comforted he was by the familiar scent of cigarettes, leather and cologne. He certainly didn't want to think about being trapped in his Bondage Boy outfit. So many things to not think about right now, he chuckled semi-hysterically. Of all the super heroes I never wanted to be, Bondage Boy tops the list.

Spike grimaced and began pacing, but did not answer. His vamp healing would deal with his wounds, and he could fight off sleep for a while. But the room stank of dead demon and rotting human, and he was sure it would be very bad for Xander to be stuck there until nightfall. The whelp was close to cracking as it was. Spike met Xander's gaze.

"Can you walk, Harris?" Spike pondered his options. No way could they make it home, but maybe they could make it a little ways out.

"Yeah, just not fast. My balance is shot and..." He wasn't going to give the vampire an update on the throbbing between his legs. "And I'll stand out just a little bit in any public place. Even West Hollywood. The last thing I need right now is to get arrested, and you know that is the Xan Man's luck."

"There's a sewer connection to this hovel, that's how I found it in the first place. I'm not even really sure where we are. I left Angel a message when I was above ground, but I don't think he'll find us anytime soon." Spike sighed, and Xander gave him an amused look. Spike's melodrama and unnecessary breathing was a comfort.

"So we spend the day in the sewers?" Xander asked. It was hard to believe it was true, but that really did seem like an improvement. The demon's sticky orange blood gave off a vile stench, and Xander was having trouble controlling the rolling discomfort of his stomach. It was almost enough to distract him from the ache in his shoulders and the sharp stabbing pain in his knees, not to mention the generally disturbing state of his manly bits.

"Got a better plan?" Spike raised an eyebrow.

"I follow you, oh great leader," Xander said, struggling to get up. He realized it was completely impossible without his arms for leverage and balance. His legs were all pins and needles and it hurt to have any friction at his groin. "Little help here?" he asked, glad for the distraction of snarking at Spike.

Spike studied him hesitantly for a minute. Bare human feet and sewage were not a good combination. "Best if I carry you. Nasty sharp thing in there, and nasty germs too. Don't want to get you home and have to amputate, yeah? Any of your parts," he added with a taunting wink.

Xander gave in surprisingly easily, and Spike picked him up with a startling amount of tenderness, tucking the coat around him and carrying him in his arms instead of the old over the shoulder fireman carry Xander expected. It looked awkward, since Xander was by far the larger man, but vamp strength allowed Spike to carry it off gracefully.

"Thanks for coming to find me," Xander said quietly, deciding he could give up the manly facade for just a minute and allow Spike to make him feel safe.

"Buffy'd never forgive me if I let just any cheeky old demon take you for his bride, yeah?" Spike joked gruffly, trying not to feel the pulse of warm human blood in his arms. Trying not to notice the still powerful pheromone perfume Xander was giving off. And oddly, not feeling a prick of anything but history and affection at the mention of Buffy's name. "Knew you'd want to be the number one wife, anyway. That bloke would've expected you to share."

"Saving myself for that special monogamous demon... the one who doesn't plan to eat me after the honeymoon..." Xander returned weakly, finding comfort in Spike's gentle yet tight hold despite the awkwardness of his confinement.

"Yeah, you keep holding out, mate." Spike chuckled. "Someday your prince will come."

"Princess, thank you very much," sniffed Xander, pretending to be insulted and not incredibly aroused by the very decent souled vampire cradling him in his arms. "I am looking for a princess." Somehow it didn't sound very convincing.

Xander closed his eyes and tried to delude himself into believing he was not cuddling up to Spike, sporting a hard-on that could cut glass. Though he very, very much was.

Denial is so my friend, Xander thought. Spike was feeling much the same way.



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