Title: The More Things Change
Feedback: Comments and email
Concrit: by email please
Disclaimer: The characters belong to Joss and a bunch of lawyers. I'm just playing with them. No disrespect intended. No reflection on real persons or places intended. I'm not making any profit from this. This is strictly for entertainment.
Warnings/Squicks: None for this chapter
Summary: Xander goes to LA on a fact finding trip and finds Angelus instead. Scariness happens.
Previous chapters: In my memories. I can't seem to get the link insert thing to work right. So just click on my user name and go to my memories. All the chapters are there together.
Notes: Xander wakes alone.
This doesn't strictly follow canon. Sooo if you don't like that sort of thing you might want to skip this. This is my first story so feedback is very welcome. Please send concrit by email.
Beta(s): The wonderful and gracious mwrgana Thank you and XOXOXOXO. All mistakes and looniness left are mine and mine alone.
Graphics (size, and artist) Icon by moscow_watcher
His very first feeling was hunger, bone deep all consuming hunger. It burnt through him until his veins were on fire with it and it demanded instant appeasement.
His second feeling was confusion.
His eyes snapped open and he looked about at his surroundings with bleary eyes, recognizing nothing.
His self awareness expanded more slowly than his feelings.
He became aware of the silence. He raised an aching arm and looked at the marks on it in confusion. Touched his chest and felt the lingering tenderness, the stillness, and listened to the silence. He knew something was missing, lost.
His eyes teared up. He was lost.
His third feeling was a body-freezing fear.
He sat up and looked around himself and scrambled from the bed, gasping as his sore body protested. He fetched up in the corner on the other side of the bed, the farthest from the door, screwing himself into the smallest space possible and laying his head on top of his knees. He wrapped his arms around himself and purred softly, trying to comfort himself. He licked at his sore arm with his cool tongue.
What was happening? Where was he? Why was he alone in the dark? Why was he sore? Shouldn't someone be here?
A flash of memory. Consuming pain and cruel laughter. He stilled exploring the memory. He turned it this way and that examining it from all sides. It was joined by another, his eyes widened. The memories trickled back in a sluggish stream. The stream widened and the memories come faster. It became a roaring torrent and suddenly, like a dam bursting, the memories flooded back tumbling around in his mind, each one more painful than the last. He grabbed his head in his hands and keened, rocking himself back and forth.
If someone asked him he wouldn't be able to say how long he sat there overwhelmed. He relived the horror of the recent events and took a long look at the downstream of his life. He looked and comprehended what he saw with a clarity that he'd never had before. But he could say with certainty that it was a pity that it had taken torture and death for him to understand what his life had been about. That he had risen from his death, the way he had lived, and the way he had died. Alone. Isolated. Marginalized. A victim.
He could also say with certainty that no matter what happened from this moment on, he wasn't going to live the lies anymore, he wasn't going to play the game. He was through with it. He was a new man. He was different now. He had been changed, been broken or fixed, whichever one preferred. Things were going to change. He found .... acceptance ... somewhere in himself.
He was a vampire. Him, vampire-hater extraordinaire. Nothing would or could change that now. He had been turned by Angelus. Insane hatred and rage rose up to smother him. He forced it down with a huge effort. *Not now, but we'll get to it,* he told it.
It's funny how things look a lot different when it's personal.
He sat there and deliberated for a few more moments and then dragged himself to his feet. Right then. First things first. He needed to feed. The aching hunger roaring through his body was distracting. He uncurled himself and listened to his surroundings, and heard nothing. He quietly rose from the floor and cautiously approached the open door of the bedroom and looked at the larger room beyond.
It was dark but that didn't matter, he could see very well. He realized that his face had changed at some point and that he was seeing with his demon's eyes. He looked around carefully and moved into the room. He looked to his left and saw an old couch and then to his right.
The kitchen is what he wanted. He walked to the right and around a half wall. There was an old refrigerater there. Deadboy must have some blood around. He opened the door and a wave of cool air came out. Good it was still working. He spied containers on the top shelf and grabbed one taking the top off. The scent of blood hit his sensitive nose, and made his mouth water.
Right then. He scavenged a mug from a cupboard, poured blood into it and set it in the microwave and punched in the time. Then not able to wait any longer, as the microwave hummed, he put the container to his lips and shuddered even as he gulped down the remainder of the cold viscous liquid. It soothed the fiery ache in his belly but it tasted wrong, nasty in fact. *Because it's not human,* he realized with a start. *How can even that asshole stand this stuff?*
The microwave dinged and he grabbed the mug and chugged it down as well. The blood tasted better warm but not by much. He was still hungry so he returned to the refrigerator. He abandoned the mug, hunted for a large bowl and poured the whole container into it. He nuked it and drank it down, grabbing another container from the fridge even as he finished the bowl.
He'd keep drinking until he was satisfied or the blood ran out. He knew fledges required a lot of blood at first. He figured he must have drank about two quarts so far. So this container and maybe a couple more ought to hold him for a while.
Hunger satisfied. He strolled back through the kitchen and opened the next closed door. Bathroom. He suddenly smelt himself. Dried blood and semen, the stale odor of sweat clinging to his skin. He had an urge to scrub until his skin peeled off.
He quickly turned on the shower and stepped into a scorching hot spray. He ducked his head and let the water soak his lank, sweat-matted hair and had a flash-back of ice cold water dripping from his head down his face.
Rage flared again, so hot and sudden it made his knees buckle. He caught himself on the wall of the shower leaning his forehead there for a moment. *Not, now. We'll get to it* He struggled with the rage and managed to push it back again and stood shakily. "Ahh sweet repression my old friend," he chuckled darkly at himself. He grabbed the shampoo sitting on the shelf and lathered his hair, and rinsed it clean and did it again. Then with a snort he grabbed the conditioner too.
Then he turned his attention to his body, fully aware that he'd been procrastinating. "I'm the poster vamp for repression and denial folks," he quipped. He filled his hand with the shower gel and began soaping his body looking at the marks left from his torture and feeling the ones he couldn't see.
He wasn't completely healed yet. There had been a lot of damage. His demon had healed only the essential parts, when it had taken up residence. It had ignored the bruises and other various marks as not life threatening or disabling. But the broken bones were healed completely. He'd have to see if they were healed straight. If not they'd have to be rebroken and set again. Wasn't that a lovely thought?
He took inventory of himself. It was hard. One of the hardest things he'd ever done. He remembered what had happened to make every welt and bruise. When he finally got to his scrotum and cock he was surprised and grateful that they were not as painful as he had thought they would be. He took a deep unneeded breath and looked down at himself.
There was nothing left but fading marks and some residual soreness. He cautiously ran soapy hands over his buttocks and carefully slid fingers into the crease probing gently aound his anus. The same story there. A residual ache but not the agony he would have expected.
Clean finally, he climbed out of the shower, grabbed a towel and dried off as he wandered back to the bedroom. Clothes. That was next. He started opening drawers and found black silk boxers. Silk? He picked them up between two fingers and looked at them like they were a poisonous snake. But that was all that he could find. He sighed and pulled them on. Spike was going to call him a poof, he just knew it. He would never hear the end of it.
He quickly located an undershirt and the one pair of jeans in the armoire. The jeans were black of course, he snorted. They were just a bit large for him but they'd do. The black silk shirt was too large in the shoulders and a little too long in the arms, so he just rolled them up. He left the shirt tails out. Black cashmere socks, and a pair of black leather half boots and he was dressed.
He went back to the main room and gingerly sat on the couch in the darkness. Now that he had finished all the things he could to distract himself. He had some thinking to do, some decisions and plans to make.