slashtheboyz (slashtheboyz) wrote in bloodclaim,
slashtheboyz
slashtheboyz
bloodclaim

The More Things Change 12/?

 Author: slashtheboyz
Title: The More Things Change
Chapter: 12/?
Pairing: Spike/Xander
Rating: FRAO
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: Violence, Graphic Torture. Language
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: Okay. This chapter is longer than the last one. Muchly. But I promised Spander in this chapter and it's at the end. So here it is. This chapter also has more squickiness and references to, I don't know what you'd call it. Fetus stabbing?*Rolls eyes* You'll see what I mean. Lots and Lots of stuff happens in this verrrry long chapter. Okay, I corrected some errors. 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.
Graphics (size, and artist) Icon by moscow_watcher


Xander woke with a start when Angelus began snarling again. He had been dreaming about hunting, with his pack all around him. He rubbed his face with both hands and looked down at his stained clothing. He shrugged, they were all he had at the moment.


Taking a moment to gather himself he stood up and walked over to the growling vampire hanging in the chains. The blood he'd fed Angelus earlier wasn't enough to heal him completely. It wasn't meant to. It was to heal him just enough so he wouldn't bleed out and go to dust. Most of the deep tears were still there and he could still see bits that ordinarily wouldn't be seen.


The shattered jaw was still shattered he noticed regretfully. He would have enjoyed breaking it again.
Part of him, a very miniscule part, was shocked and horrified by the things he'd done to Angelus. But that part was overruled by the majority of him that believed Angelus was getting exactly what he deserved. Angelus had not suffered in Hell. Angel had. If Angel and Angelus were truly separate people/beings/entities then making Angel pay for what Angelus had done was truly a miscarriage of justice. Angel was still a vampire as much as he would like to deny it and Xander wondered briefly if he was watching from somewhere cheering him on.


That was above and beyond the cruelty Angelus had inflicted on Xander and to every..single..victim..in his past. Up to and including the Sunnyhell debacle. Xander felt the rage bubbling up again. He felt a cold inflexible hold restraining the rage and he figured that was the soldier's influence. The hot rage had to be the hyena, the demon and himself.  Well, it was all himself now really.  He wasn't getting much of an echo anymore. The feelings felt more like they just came from him. When this was over and he finally let go of the control he knew he was going to be a tangled up mental and emotional mess. Well the touchy feely wasn't taking care of business. He'd have time for all that... later.


He turned to the cart and set up the brazier he had there and dumped the various fuels into it and set it alight. He placed several pokers in it. Now, to occupy himself while things were heating up. He snorted in amusement. He still had a quirky sense of humor.


He ignored the growling Angelus and walked over to the video camera and pushed the stop button. The battery needed to be changed. He popped off the back and flipped out the old one and put in the fresh one. He got it back on the tripod and hit record again. The DVD was about a third full maybe a little more.  He still had plenty of room on it.


The decimation and fall of the "Great Angelus" recorded for posterity. Xander chuckled to himself and turned to Angelus with a cruel smile. "Hey Angelus, I think I'm gonna mail copies of this to the Watcher's Council. I'm gonna give one to Giles too. Soon as I make copies. My how the mighty are fallen," he giggled. "It's kinda like recording the fall of the Roman Empire, don'tcha think? No. Oh well, you just relax you'll do just fine." He cackled again and it sounded suspiciously like a hyena.


The snarls rose in volume and he could tell the vampire was trying to talk in spite of a broken jaw. Xander's eyes sparkled with malicious glee as he watched. "We're not through yet Angelus. I've got to find something to fill the rest of this disc with. The show must go on pal, and all that jazz. And look you've already broken a leg, and an arm, and oops several other bones as well. It looks like you're just all tore up about it," he snickered nastily.  "Don't worry we'll find something to satisfy all your adoring fans."


He walked over to the brazier, still chuckling, and took out a poker.  The  end of it was glowing hot. "Well looky here, it looks like you'll just burn the house down with this performance."  He turned to Angelus with it. "Since you're so fond of pokers and burns, I thought I'd include a few in your repertoire." With that said he stepped up to the vampire and pressed the tip to the skin listening to it hiss and sizzle and then he slowly shoved the poker into the vampire until it came out the other side. Angelus screamed and convulsed in the chains. Then he went limp head lolling down to his chest.


Xander looked at the now cooled poker and shook his head. "Yep, been there done that. I went on vaction in LA and all I got brought back is a set of fangs. My girls are gonna be sooo disappointed."


He shoved the poker back in the brazier and reached down to the bottom shelf and pulled out the bucket of water waiting there. He was particularly proud of this twist. He had mixed minced garlic and just a dash of holy water in the water.  He didn't have any ice but, oh well, it would have to do.  But first he would try a little Irish Whiskey.  He reached down and felt around and came up with the bottle and cracked the seal. He took a swallow and then flung some of it on the unconscious Angelus. "No sleeping during the performance, pal. The snoring might disturb the actors."


Angelus just twitched. Xander sighed. "Okay you're forcing me to bring out the big guns now." He picked up the bucket and upended it over Angelus' head. He got a big reaction.  Angelus roared to life. He twisted and turned and strained against the chains.  Whimpers, snarls and growls came from him in an explosion of sound. The water soaked his hair and it smoked slightly everywhere it touched and left reddened trails trailing behind. "Now that's what I'm talking about," Xander crowed.


"I've only got a couple more things to do to get you ready for your special night, you sexy vamp you. Then I'm going to take you to a special place." Xander sighed theatrically, shook his head and pouted. "I just wish I had more time to spend with you. There's just so much I want to do with you. But alas time is short and I have responsibilites elsewhere. I can't take any more time to play with you as much as I enjoy it. I'm sure you understand."  Angelus hung limp in the chains again and Xander put a hand under his chin and lifted the demon's head. The yellowed eyes showed agony and
just a touch of fear.


Everything in Xander roared at the triumph over his enemy. He shook his head sadly. "I wish I could bring myself to fuck you. But my dick shrivels just thinking about it. No. Just no. I can't stand the thought of my dick anywhere near you, much less in you," he shuddered with disgust. "So we'll improvise shall we?"


Xnader picked up a pair of heavy gloves lying on the cart and pulled them on. Then he reached over and twitched the cloth covering from a huge metallic silver dildo laying there. The damned thing must be as thick as his wrist and it was a good twelve inches long. He had etched crosses on it at odd intervals and soldered a few spikes on it here and there. And it had a neato remote control.  


He set it back on the cart and pulled off the gloves. He walked over to where he disgarded the waist restraint earlier. He picked up the tangle of chains and leather and detached everything but the groin straps from the restraint and took it with him as he moved around behind Angelus. He reached around his body catching the other end of the restraint, pulled it tight and buckled it, leaving the groin straps to dangle for the moment.


Moving back to the cart he pulled the gloves back on and picked up the the dildo and held it out away from his own self as he moved behind Angelus again. The white light coming from it was almost blinding and he had burned himself several times while he worked on the, he smirked, damned thing.


He reached out and pulled on an ass cheek exposing Angelus' anus and with the other hand he guided the blunt end of the dildo to rest against the knot of muscle. Without warning he shoved it in with one savage thrust. Angelus screamed brokenly as he was split open and smoke rose from the ravaged skin surrounding the dildo. Xander had painstakingly etched crosses side by side around the base. He could see blood beginning to well up from tears and ulceration from the burning.


He pulled the dildo out entirely and rammed it in again as hard as he could. He built up a fast rhythm pounding the device into the vampire's body it was easier as blood and bits of torn flesh lubricated the dildo. And he listened with appreciation to the grunts and broken noises made by Angelus as he was raped with the burning tearing instrument for the first time in... probably ever. He who had taken so much pleasure in raping others.


Xander shoved the dildo in one final time and reached down and gathered the leather groin straps with one hand while keeping the dildo in with the thumb of the other hand. Angelus was doing his damnedest to push it out. He shuddered and shook and squawed like a scalded chicken while he bled and smoked.


The boy pulled the leather straps up carefully placing them against the base of the dildo and pulled them tight and buckled them in place. He checked the placement of the straps and nodded in satisfaction. The dildo woudn't come out until he took it out. He reached for the remote and turned it on. He set it on high and threw it back on the cart, listening to the increase of volume from Angelus. "Ah, that is music to my ears. But you could sing in key you know. Those sour notes really  ruin your act."  


Xander hunted around on the cart until he found the cock cage and moved around to Angelus' front.  He whistled cheerily while he worked. He grasped Angelus' cock and worked the cock cage over it with some difficulty  because the vampire was squirming so much. Xander grinned at the smoke rising from the flesh. He had etched crosses on the metal inner surfaces of the cock cage too. He finally got it positioned correctly and secured with another couple of dangling straps. Angelus was moaning continuously now. He sounded like a sick cow.


The last thing he had was a restraint for the balls. He picked it up and pulled down hard on the vampire's scrotum and wrapped it tightly around the base of the balls and then pulled it up hard between them and around again and tied it off. Angelus' balls were smoking too. He smirked. "Man, I've heard of hot dudes, but you take the prize. You're smokin."


Xander moved to his carry all, ignoring the moaning, shuddering Angelus, he pulled out his magical map. He drew on his duster as he kicked the wedge away from the door. He lifted the iron bar and stuffed the map in a pocket as he felt in the same pocket for the keys he left there.  His hand came out with the keys and he called out to Angelus as he went through the door. "Don't cry honey. I won't be gone long. I have to go get you some soul, I know how much you just love that."


Xander closed the door and tacked the spelled rune he had purchased on the door. He flipped the heavy duty hasp closed and fastened the padlock langing there and clicked it shut. The door shimmered as he stepped away and disappeared. Satisfied that no one would stumble on his little party while he was gone, he started off down the tunnel changing to game face as he walked. Other than the normal scents and sounds of the sewers, rot and decay, foraging insects and rats, he couldn't detect anything else nearby in the murkiness.


Far away he could hear something large and heavy moving through the tunnels. A bit further on he passed another branch off on his left and he could faintly hear the weak moans of something he didn't want to identify so he hurried on.  He quickly threaded his way back toward the Hyperion.


He finally stopped beneath a manhole and jumped to catch the lowest rung of the broken ladder. He pulled himself up the rusty rungs until he could lift the cover and peer out. It was night again. So far so good. He looked all around and not seeing anything he pushed the lid aside and jumped out of the hole. He slid the cover over the manhole with his foot and sprinted into the nearest alley.


Reaching into his duster pocket he pulled out his map and unfolded it he muttered softly to it ",show me where Angel's soul is." The lines on the map shimmered and changed showing him.."The Hyperion? Okay, there's no help for it I guess."  


Stuffing the map back in his pocket he looked up and located a fire escape he ran over to it and climbed. He could hear a pack of hunting vamps a couple of blocks over and he had no desire to socialize.


The buildings in this part of town were crowded close together. It was easy to move from roof to roof until he was close to the Hyperion. He made good time and was finally crouched behind the low wall on the roof of the building closest to the Hyperion. Xander unconsciously bit his lip while he watched the hotel.  He stood and walked to the back of the building and and froze looking down, but something urged him to jump so he jumped. This building wasn't as high as some of the others. He landed softly, legs bent, and stepped out walking away in one smooth motion like he had spent years jumping off buildings. "Jesus," he swore under his breath.


Xander stopped at the corner of the building in the shadows and looked across at the Hotel. There was nothing he could see so he sprinted across the street into the shadows on the side of the old building. Reaching up as far as he could he grabbed a rough patch in the mortar and started to climb hand over hand until he reached the roof and rolled over the side. He lay there for a minute and then looked over the edge and groaned. "Jesus Christ and all his disciples," he muttered ",and just to be safe add all the Maries, Joseph and Saint Peter in there too. And that's just a weird thing for a vamp to say isn't it?"


Xander rolled to his feet and pulled the short sword or long knife, he couldn't figure out which it was, out of a loop inside his duster. It was enchanted he knew that for certain and it was made of the same metal as the chain mail. *That's handy. I'll bet Necrobot put all the loops and stuff in this duster.*


Xander shifted into the shadows on the roof and prowled toward the the only door in sight.  While he stood there scenting the air a body plowed into him from behind. He fell sprawling. A growl escaped from him as he rolled over two or three times and then flipped himself onto his feet. He crouched arms loose and head forward, a predator, eyes glowing a yellow green like a cat.  An exclamation of surprise came from his attacker. A young boy, a teenager stood there in the dimness of the roof with a sneer on his face.


The kid jeered ",you're the first moster I've seen with eyes like that. Are you some kind of weird mutation or what?"


Xander snapped back ", These eyes, nope, these are courtesy of Angelus. He just can't seem to get the siring thing right. No matter how many times he tries. All of his childer are strange." He pondered out loud. "I wonder just what it is about the Aurelian line that produces such strange vamps? Did it come from Aurelius or is it just Angelus?"  


The kid took another step and bowed up even more  hands clenched ",Angelus? You know where he is? Tell me." He demanded arrogantly.  He continued with a boast ",I'm going to find him and kill him. Right after you tell me where he is and I kill you."


"Uhm..No. And you gotta be kidding. Overconfident much?  That's a big bite for a little boy like you. You might choke on it. What makes you think you're capable of killing me? Or Angelus? Anyway his ass is sooo mine and I'm not going to let a little snot like you deprive me of the pleasure." Xander chuckled.


He straightened and relaxed, eyes on the boy's torso. The torso would telegraph an attack before anything else.


"Angel is my father," the kid answered beligerantly. "I was raised by Holtz though, not that monster."


"Ahh, I see. Connor is it?


"That's me. The Destroyer" The kid puffed up like a blow fish.


"Well..," and he just couldn't help it. He giggled. And the giggles turned into guffaws of laughter. When his laughter tapered off and he could speak again he sputtered. ",Connor the Destroyer? That sounds like a really bad B movie, you really should talk to whomever stuck you with that." Xander laughed again helplessly. He watched with interest as the kid's face flushed and his lips tightened with anger.  His laughter trickled away to soberness and he continued.


"I just dropped in to pick up Angel's soul and then I'll be on my merry way. So if you'll excuse me I'll just get it now and then I'll be out of your hair. I wish I could say it's been a pleasure but it really hasn't. Someone needs to knock the wind out of your sails sometime soon. Cause you're gonna bite off more than you can chew one of these days if they don't." With that Xander moved as if to walk around Connor and the kid flew at him in a flurry of spinning kicks and punches.


Xander backed up and leaned to the side in one smooth movement avoiding the foot flying at his head, but a fist hit his nose and he felt the bone give.  The boy got him on the jaw with another blow snapping his head sideways and he growled. Connor laughed ",Ha."  Xander knew he was going to have bruises but he wanted to immobilize the boy; not kill him. He blocked punches and sidestepped other kicks and punches; he  absorbed the blows he couldn't avoid and waited for an opening. Finally it came. The boy left himself open and Xander stepped in a caught him under the chin with one blow that snapped his head back.



He caught the fist that flew at him in his hand and jerked hard pulling the boy off balance and into his arms.  Xander wrapped both arms around the kid and squeezed. The dazed boy bucked and twisted, cursing at him, his arms trapped against his sides. Xander hooked one of his feet behind kid's ankles and pushed them both to the ground. With nothing to break their fall they landed hard with Xander on top, the back of the kid's head met the cement with a thud and he heard the air leave the boy's lungs in a whoosh.



Quickly before the stunned kid recovered Xander fished around in his duster pocket with one hand and withdrew a syringe left over from his Angelus hunting. It was filled with a greenish colored liquid. He eyed it and used his teeth to yank the cap off the needle.  He thumped it once with his fingers and pushed the plunger until a few drops oozed out of the needle tip and ran down; then plunged it into Connor's jugular vein and pushed the plunger in one motion. He pushed about a third the contents of the syringe into the boy and removed the needle. He felt the the kid's body relax. Xander remained where he was on top of the boy holding tightly for several minutes just in case he was playing possum.  


Xander stood and looked down at the boy and shook his head. " Never underestimate your opponent. Someone really needs to beat that into you kid, you can recover from a beating but you never recover from getting dead."


Xandervamp shrugged. The kid wasn't his responsibility thank God. And he had been delayed long enough. The hand he swiped over his nose and mouth came away bloody. He looked at his hand, and heaved a disgusted sigh. He looked about for his weapon and reached down and snagged it by the hilt. He picked up the needle cap, recapped the needle and stuffed the syringe back into his pocket. Then walked away from the unconscious boy pulling out his map and muttering to it.


He was in game face and had been since leaving his temporary lair. Hopefully Connor couldn't tell them just who sneaked into the hotel since he had never met Xander. The darkness and the distortion of his features by his game face should be enough to keep Connor from recognizing him if they met again.  


He snatched open the rooftop door and entered the hotel jogging down the stairs listening and scenting as he moved down floor by floor. The map indicated a room on the second floor. He paused outside the second floor stairway access door and opened it a crack. He heard voices drift up from the lobby but no one above the ground floor was moving about.  


Xander looked at the map again and slithered through the door, moving at speed down the hallway to the door he wanted. He stopped and listened outside the door. When he didn't hear or scent anyone in the room beyond he turned the doorknob gently and cracked the door open slightly letting his eyes confirm what his ears and nose told him before he edged cautiously into the room.  


One thing caught his attention immediately and held it. There was a round wood table a short distance from the door and on it was a container that glowed with a soft blue white light reflected in the shiny finish of the table.  Xander quickly stepped over to the table and gently scooped  up the container and held it up to his eyes. This had to be Angel's soul. Why it was up here he didn't know but he was taking it. The LA crew took Angel's soul and let Angelus out. Then they let him escape to wreak havoc. Then they left the soul laying around like a cheap toy abandoned by child. They lacked common sense so badly it was a wonder they hadn't all been killed before now.


The door to the room was pushed open suddenly and Xander whirled in time to see Cordelia come through the door looking over her shoulder. She shut the door and turned.  She gaped in surprise and yelled. " Who are you?" What are you doing in here?  Then her eyes fell on the soul. "Give me that," she growled ",It's mine." She raised her hand and it started to glow.  


It looked like Cordelia, but it wasn't Cordelia, it was something ooky. A shimmering transparent face appeared over Cordelia's; that face was crawling with maggots. He didn't know who or what it was but it made his skin crawl. And not only his skin but it made his brain buzz like a hive of bees was loose in his skull. And the rounded enlarged belly she was sporting really gave him the wiggins.  So when she raised her glowy hand at him, he stepped forward and slid the knife right into the wrongness centered in her belly.  


It froze and looked down at where the blade was buried in it's belly up to the hilt. Then head moving jerkily it raised it's eyes to Xander's face and the light around the hand died as it dropped to hang limply at her side twitching slightly. The whole body jerked and seized and the head dropped back and light burst from mouth, eyes, nose and the belly wound as Xander pulled the blade free.


The light expanded in a rush blinding Xander for several moments and the entire hotel shook down to the foundations.  Chunks of plaster fell from the ceiling and the walls in showers of dust and the cacophony of breaking glass deafened him. The tremors gradually died away and stopped and the dust that danced in the air started to settle. When he could see again with spots dancing in his eyes Cordelia's body was on the floor and the belly that had been rounded was flat again. There was no sign of a wound.


Xander just stared in shock. What the hell had just happened? He heard raised voices and pounding feet. His eyes raked quickly over the room desperately seeking an escape route as the voices and running feet drew closer. They landed on the window broken during the quake. "Oh hell," he shoved the mysterious shiny jar deep in one of his duster pockets; dashed to the window and jumped.  


He hit the ground running.  He didn't know what all the freaky Cordelia stuff was about but he wasn't sticking around long enough to find out. He sprinted into the garage and jumped into the first car he came to. Xander grabbed the ignition and twisted it hard with a grunt; it broke free with a crack. He slid the blade under wires and sliced up with a quick flick of his wrist.


Grabbing the wires he cut the insulation back from the ends and twisted some together. The car sputtered to life and he threw it in reverse skidding as he slammed on brakes. He slammed the gear shift into drive and jammed his foot down on the the gas pedal; for the second time he screeched away from the Hyperion. The difference this time is he had what he'd gone there for.


Xander drove through town like a speed demon and pulled into the warehouse where he ambushed Angelus.  Jumping out of the car he sprinted to the sewer entrance and slipped down into the darkness. He ran full out down the tunnels until he found his door. he unlocked the padlock and snatched the door open.


Angelus hung limply in the chains unconscious. Xander moved to the vampire's back and unbuckled the groin straps and pulled out the dildo. Angelus' ass was a mess. What was left of his anus was a raw burned mass that looked like it had been mauled by a savage dog. Blood ran down his thighs and pooled on the floor to join the old blood there. He went round the front and and untied the ball restraint. There were deep bloody grooves burned into the flesh of the scrotum and spreading out from where ever the ties had touched the skin.


He untied the straps securing the cock cage and  removed it there were deep bloody grooves burned into the flesh there also.


He tossed everything onto the top of the cart. Then went to the carry alls and picked one up and brought it back to the cart and started packing everything away. He wrapped the dildo, cockcage and ball restraint in a towel and stuffed it into a plastic bag before packing it into the carry all.  


He packed everything away except a pair of pliers.


After checking the disc in the video camera. It wasn't full yet! He put the spare battery in his duster pocket with another blank DVD and packed the tripod and camera into the other carry all.  He turned back and grabbed the laptop from the table and shoved it into the carry all too. Then he took a last look around.  


Grabbing the carry alls Xander went out the door and locked it behind him again. Moving swiftly he made his way back to sewer entrance and tossed the carry alls up through the hole and climbed up after them grabbing them as he cleared the hole. He threw them in the floor boards of the car and started the return trip for Angelus.


Xander didn't think Angelus would regain consciousness anytime soon but he wasn't taking any chances. He used the tranq gun again, He loaded three  and shot them into the vampire.


Then he set the tranq gun on the cart and picked up the pliers. "Open wide." Angelus was still in game face. Xander forced his mouth open and gripped one fang with the pliers and jerked hard twisting at the same time, after a little more pulling and twisting the fang came free and Xander dropped it to the top of the cart. Then he turned to the other fang and repeated the procedure. When he had the other fang he put the pliers in his duster pocket and pulled out a sandwitch baggy. He placed the two fangs in it and shoved it into the duster pocket with the pliers.


He climbed the framework and freed the chains from the beam and let them fall. Angelus fell with a thud. Then he shimmied down the side and wrapped the loose chains around the vampire's torso pulling them tight and secured them with the locks that he had used over head.


He released the chains from the base of the framework and wrapped them two or three times around the ankles then crisscrossed them up the legs until they met the chains around the torso and used the locks to keep them in place.


He picked Angelus up and slung him over his shoulder. He winced at the chain biting into his shoulder. But there was no help for it and it was necessary. He picked up the tranq gun looked around the room to make sure he had everything that mattered and walked out the door. He turned back after a few steps and shut the door; reached up, grabbed the spelled rune and the magicked padlock. Now he could leave.


Xander moved carefully through the sewers listening carefully. He'd made some noise on his way back down earlier and he didn't want any unwelcome visitors to surprise him.


He retraced his path through the sewers cautiously, stopping at every cross tunnel listening and scenting. Nothing bothered him though. He breathed a sigh of relief as he rolled Angelus out onto the floor of the warehouse and stopped to check his surroundings for anyone or anything. It just didn't pay to get in a hurry and get sloppy. Even if he was getting close to the end of his endurance.


He dumped Angelus in the back seat of the car and slid behind the steering wheel. A wave of relief rolled through him. It was almost over. Just a little while longer and he could go home.

**************************************************

The demon Mage was a little person. With tiny green scales touched with iridescent blue and slightly stooped over; wearing a dark grey robe that fell straight to his feet brushing the tips of his clawed toes. He reminded Xander of a tall Yoda.


His home was hidden by an intention spell and warded so many ways that when he walked through the doorway, after they had been invited in, Angelus slung over his shoulder, he got a static shock.


"Wake him up for me, please?" Xander asked politely after he dumped Angelus in the large workroom that he had been shown into. It held bookshelves and a workbench. Shelves of neatly arranged bottles and boxes of unidentifiable contents nearly reached the ceiling above it. The floor was composed of a curious mixture of stone, wood, metal and other mysterious
materials. Dried herbs hung from racks on one side of the room. A huge fireplace was on one wall with a black cauldron hung from an iron hook suspended over a cheerful fire. The mantle was long and wide and held an assortment of instruments that Xander didn't recognize. Two comfortable looking chairs were set before the fire, one had a foot rest in front of it and a throw draped across the arm.


The eyes that met his were wise and knowing. The Mage nodded to himself and squatted down beside Angelus and put one hand on each side of Angelus' head and concentrated for a moment. The chains clanked as Angelus stirred and his eyes opened halfway.


"Will he hear me and understand what I'm saying," Xander asked tiredly. The demon looked at him and answered in that soft steady voice. "He will hear and understand what is needful."


"Good enough, thank you."


Xander squatted where Angelus could see him and addressed the vampire in a low satisfied voice. "I promised you that this time you were free would be the last time ever. I found Angel's soul. And I'm putting it back in. This is my ultimate payback. You should never have fucked with me. Goodbye Angelus." With that he stood and moved to sit in one of the chairs while the Mage got his supplies together.


The Mage completed the resouling of Angel, this time without the curse, as Xander watched his every move. Afterwards he cleared away the detritus of the spell carefully and shelved the book he had used, while Xander squatted and released Angel from the chains that bound him. The very last thing he removed was the collar.


Turning to another set of shelves the Mage ran his long, green, bony, clawed finger along the spines of the books as he bent and peered at the titles through his bifocals. "Ahhh, here we go. Sanguine's Soul Texts." He grasped the spine of a thick book bound in some type of hide and pulled it from the shelf.


He turned to Xander and pierced him with sharp intelligent eyes that seemed to dig right down to the roots of his soul. This guy could give Giles a run for his money in the "piercing looks" department. "Are you sure this is what you want young one?" He asked in a gentle slightly sibilant voice.


"Ye..yessir." Xander finally croaked out. He was tired and hungry; nearing the end of his limits. "The bouncing  of the soul in and out of this body has to stop. Too much damage occurs when the soul leaves and Angelus is left in possession of the body. If they're merged together Angel will temper Angelus."


The little green mage sighed and placed the book on the work table and began to busily sort the things he needed for the soul merging spell. It was Angel now; Xander had to remind himself.  Even if the face was the same. The soul was back in residence.


Xander stood and watched as ingredients were prepared while words were muttered over them. Protection spells were cast calling on strange sounding guardians.  The Mage opened the book to the incantation he needed and began the spell. This spell was longer and more complicated than the one before it.


The volume of the chant increased until the Mage ended it with a shout and a word repeated three times.  He struck Angel's battered chest with a switch made of oak each time the word was repeated. All the hair on Xander's body stood up and felt like it was waving. He felt an electrical crackle in the air and the smell of ozone and lavendar was strong. Angel's body arched off the table; his head and heels all that touched the table for long minutes. Then he collapsed back to the table with a shudder and a thump. Xander swallowed heavily.


"The spell is complete, and successful." The Mage stated gravely and he looked at Xander with compassion on his narrow face.


"The third one, do that one too....Please." Xander had to swallow again but he managed to get it out hoarsely around the boulder that seemed to be lodged in his throat.


The little green guy tapped the spine of the book as he he looked at Xander for long moments and then he spoke again in that same gentle voice. "Still. You want that one still?"


Xander's voice wobbled and shook and tears threatened. "Yessir. I have to be sure. For everyone I love and care about; I have to be sure. Unless you can suggest a better one; I want that one, still."


"I can't think of one better boy. Sometimes simple is best. Sometimes things seem simple but hidden under the simple surface is an immeasurable depth and width." The voice floated behind the mage as he moved into another room and returned carrying a small box in his hand. "We'll need this." He made a small gesture with the box.


Xander nodded and felt oddly like a small boy. "Yes, Grandfather." He replied respectfully. The little green mage darted a sharp eyed gaze at Xander and caught his eyes. "Ahhh, so there you are," he lisped quietly. "When you need  help with other things you know where to find me, yes?"   


Xander nodded and ducked his head.


The spell didn't take long, just as Xander remembered. The ingredients were burned one by one in a small bowl made of clay; with coals from a Rowan tree that grows from the grave of a pregnent bride whose marriage was unconsummated and interred in sanctified ground. The ashes and charcoal in the bottom of the bowl were ground to a fine black powder. Added to those ashes: the ash from a Yew tree growing from the grave of an orphan; buried in a coffin made of oak, in consecrated ground.  


Add wine from a sunrise Easter Mass to the blended ashes to make the ink. Say the words as the design is tattooed into the skin over the heart.


A very simple design. A circle. The circle is eternal and is never broken and the soul's connection to the body can never broken.


Xander nearly laughed out loud at one point and barely restrained himself. This mage used a tattoo gun. "The Mage looked at him over his spectacles, amusement sparkling in his eyes, like he could read Xander's thoughts and said ",what? It works just as well as the old way and a heck of a lot quicker too." He smiled at Xander and it was like the sun had warmed him from inside.


He had the mage do the same thing for Angel that Giles did for him. The tattoo that anchored the soul to the body was permanent, invisible, undetectable and tamper proof by magic or anything else. Angel's soul would never be able to leave his body again. And neither Angel, Angelus nor anyone else would ever know it was there, no matter how well they merged. It was just added insurance, it didn't hurt anything and it made Xander feel safer; the world was safer for his loved ones and the world at large was safe from Angelus.


It was finished.


*************************************************

Xander eyed the Hyperion for the third time in as many days. He was parked outside in Angel's car. He moved eventually to open the door and get out. He was soooo weary. He opened the back door and pulled the blanket wrapped form of Angel from the back seat and slung him over his shoulder again, hopefully for the last time, and approached the door of the hotel.


Xander  just wanted this over with.  He was wearing a ski mask and a pair of sunglasses so hopefully no one would recognize him as Xander from Sunnydale. He wanted to dump Angel in the hotel and go home. Who knows what had happened since he had left.


He shook off his weariness and pulled open the door of the hotel and strode into the lobby. The group of people who were there didn't notice him at first. They were arguing about who was going to take Angelus down. He sighed to himself and shook his head.


He moved toward the couch he knew was in the lobby and suddenly everyone was staring at him. Reaching the couch he laid Angel down and uncovered his battered bloody face. Suddenly everyone was talking at once. He raised his voice and shouted over them all. "Shut up. Here's Angel."


"Don't you mean Angelus?" From Faith.


"No Angel had his soul stuffed back in and this time there is no fucking get out of jail free card for Angelus." Xander growled in exasperation.


Wesley moved quickly to the couch and pulled back the blankets to examine the damage to Angel. "How do you know that Angel's soul has been restored. My God what happened to him?"


Fred covered her mouth with her hands and teared up. She stuttered. " Oh My God..I'll.. I'll go get some bandages and things." Then she was running out of sight further into the hotel.


"I know because I took him to a Mage and watched him do the spell, that's why. Angelus and I had a little play time before Angel's soul was restored." Xander purred out into the silence.


Gunn leaned over the back of the couch looked at Angel and glanced up at Xander. "Dog he's really messed up. What kinda beef you got against Angel man?"


"Not Angel. But I have all kinds of issues with Angelus." Xander replied.


"Yeah, but they use the same body, don't they?" Gunn asked.


"Angel wasn't in it at the time. And after what that fuck Angelus did to me he deserved everything he got." Xander grated out.


Wesley looked up at Xander sharply with a frown. "You expect me to believe you captured Angelus and did this to him when he's a challenge even for a Slayer? What did Angelus do to you? And how did YOU get Angel's soul?" He flicked a glance at Faith. Then looked back down at the body he was uncovering.


Xander lost his patience. "I don't give a flying fuck what you believe watcher. But I'll tell you this a tranq gun and some darts made for demons work wonders when someone is as fucking overconfident as that asshole. Especially right after he'd just killed the Beast and almost bagged himself a Slayer who was too beat down to fight him. His soul is stuck in there nice permanent like now. So don't go do anymore fucked up mojo and mess things up again. You might want to get him some human blood and feed him through a tube. What you're seeing is the light stuff. As for what Angelus did to me, that's none of your business."


Both Wesley and Faith had their attention trained on Xander now. Faith had edged closer to Xander since he started talking. "Just stop Slayer. I brought Angel home and now I'm going to leave. The next fucking time you people get the brilliant idea to suck Angel's soul out. You might want to think twice."


Xander turned and walked back toward the door. Before he could get to it Connor came flying through it looking back over his shoulder. "Hey why is Angel's car parked out front?"


He turned around and nearly ran into Xander who was trying to get around him to the door before all hell broke loose. "Who are you?"


"None of your damned business." Xander growled impatiently. He wanted to be gone.


"He brought Angel home, Connor," Wesley spoke up too damn close for comfort. "Why don't you and Faith see if you can convince him to stay."


"Look what is your problem, watcher? Just get out of my way kid and let me out of here so I can go home."


But Connor always ready to fight was already leaping forward. Connor got in three good blows before Xander started fighting back in earnest.


"You fucking idiots," Xander hissed and let the rage out. "I was tortured for days by that asshole." He punched Connor in the face and broke his nose so fast the kid couldn't block it, then he hit the kid with a hard blow to the side of the head. The kid's eyes rolled back in his head and he slid to the floor out cold.


"He killed me and turned me. I get Angel's soul stuffed back in him and deliver him to your doorstep and you're treating ME like I'm the bad guy here
Unfuckingbelievable." He'd gotten louder with each word until he ended in an enraged shout. His control was slipping so badly he didn't realize just what he was giving away.


"Now I'm leaving." Xander sprinted to the door, out it, and ran to the car with Faith on his tail. He managed to get behind the wheel before she grabbed the front of his shirt trying to pull him out of the window. He pulled back fast and hard using the steering wheel as leverage and he heard a ripping sound.


Jamming the gear shift into drive he stomped on the gas. "You wanna run Slayer?" He hissed at her. "Well run." The car gained speed and Faith tried to hold onto his shirt, running along side the accelerating car, but even Slayer speed couldn't match the car's increasing speed. She gave one more good hard yank and slammed his head hard against against the door frame, to knock him out, then the handful of shirt she had a grip on ripped away. She tumbled head over heels on the pavement as he roared away down the street.


The adrenaline rush of the fighting seeped out of Xander by the time he was merging onto the freeway. Xander knew he was crashing. The iron control he had over his thoughts and emotions was gone. His belly was an empty burning pit of hunger and the abuse his body had been through before he was turned wasn't fully healed. Between the torture, turning, the two fights he'd had with Connor, then the Slayer slamming his head around. He was in bad shape all the way around.


******************************************************

He hammered the steering wheel with a clenched fist wishing it was Deadboy's face he was pounding. He screamed at the absentee cause of his rage and sorrow. The shout ripped at the raw tissues of his throat and reverberated through the car. "Fuck you. You asshole. You fuck! You bloodsucking cunt! Never again though. Never. Fixed you, didn't I, you motherfucker?"


Xander's rage did a nose dive and turned into despair. He just wasn't going to make it back to Sunnydale. He was three quarters of the way there but even his stubbornness couldn't overcome the leftovers of torture, lack of rest, hunger and the more recent damage his body had taken.


The tunnel vision got worse and even in game face he couldn't see any better. His head was spinning. And the greyness at the edges of his vision started creeping toward the center. Xander put on the brakes and got off the road as best he could. He brought the car to a stop and put it in park and snatched the wires apart.  His last conscious thought as he pulled off the ski mask was. " Spike, Sire.. come find me."  And the dark claimed him.


******************************************************

Spike was speeding toward LA in the Desoto. The Watcher had asked him to go and check on Xander. The Watcher had arrived with two potential slayers not two weeks gone and more girls were trickling in every day it seemed. The Slayer's house was a bloody estrogen factory. He shuddered. Thank the devil he was living with Xander.


The boy had been gone almost a week and they had heard nothing from him. Spike snorted in disgust. They hadn't even realized until tonight that he wasn't back yet. Bloody stupid self absorbed bints. He wondered why Xander even stuck around.  Granted things were getting interesting with the first. But to completely overlook that Xander hadn't been around for almost a week, when they had sent him for information that they were supposedly eager to get.


He roared down the highway, cigarette between his lips, a bottle of JD between his legs and his music turned on with the volume as high as it would go. He figured he was not quite halfway there when he saw a car stopped on the side of the freeway with it's headlights on.


He got less than a mile down the road before the pesky soul started in on him. Pestering him to go back and check on the fool stopped at night on the highway. "A con more'n likely," he snarked ",some demon just waitin' for someone to stop and give im a hand, like a right idiot, and then they're on the menu. Oh bloody hell, he yelled at the soul, all right just shut up!"


He slammed on the brakes and skidded into the median and the rear end of the car slewed around until he was parallel to the opposite lane. He looked once behind him and shot onto the pavement going back the way he had come. "There ya soddin wanker. Ya satisfied now?" He snarled. He rapidly approached the parked vehicle and pulled up with a screech of tires stopping just a foot from the bumper of the other car. He looked out the windshield and took a good look at the soft top convertible; sat back in his seat rested a wrist on top of the wheel and puffed on his cigarette and blew a stream of smoke at the roof.


"That's Peaches' car. What's it doin' here?"


He finished the cigarette and threw the butt out onto the highway as he opened the door and got out. He cautiously approached the driver's side and looked in. Damn if it wasn't Xander. The boy was out cold. He opened the door carefully and called his name. "Xander." The boy didn't even stir.


Then the scent hit him. Blood. Fresh blood. He changed to game face and the scent nearly knocked him down. He reached in and grabbed Xander. The boy's eyes popped open and he launched himself at Spike trying to crawl inside him babbling and crying.


"I'm sorry Spike. He got me... .Angelus got me..aaaa..and the hyena.." Xander burst out crying and his face changed. "I'm sooooo hungry Sire.... It hurts.." Xander pulled at Spike's shirt with weak fingers and sobbed, tears ran down his battered game face." The soldier...Then... I got him...I got that bastard..chose you Spike..need you..." Xander hissed.  Then he just collapsed against Spike and sobbed brokenly. Spike couldn't understand another thing.


Spike soothed the boy with his hands, rubbed his back and petted him gently. He nearly swallowed his tongue when the boy's face changed. Oh unholy mother of all demons. The boy had been turned.The Sayer and the watcher were gonna have kittens, cows and kangaroos over this! He licked at the blood on the boy's face and the boy snuggled closer to him at the caress of his tongue and began to purr into the skin of his neck. Yep, he was Aurelian alright. The fledge was too damned young to be out and about on his own. Where was his Sire?


Spike changed to game face and and held his wrist up to Xander. "Here boy, drink from me, until we can get home."  Xander's eye's went wide and they were a strange yellow green instead of the pure demon yellow. He took Spike's wrist in his hands and instead of lunging and tearing like Spike expected. Xander licked at Spike's wrist, purred brokenly, bit down and drew on his wrist gently. Spike cuddled the boy as he fed. The sensation went straight to his unbeating heart. It wrapped around his chest like a vice and shot to his groin. His cock felt like he could cut diamonds with it.


This wasn't the place though. The fledge was too stressed and ready to completely collapse. He needed to feed and rest. And get clean. Spike wrinkled his nose. Then Spike needed some answers. He let Xander draw as mush of his blood as he could afford and then he gently ran a hand through the boy's hair. "That's enough Xander."  Xander's yellow green eyes popped back open and he withdrew his fangs licking the wounds closed and slumped against the older vampire while Spike ran gentle fingers through the boy's tangled hair.


"Come on then, pet. We need to get you home. We'll see what's what after you've rested and cleaned up a bit, yeah." Xander nodded like a bobble head and Spike pushed him away long enough to get out of the car. He turned and reached his hand back to Xander. Spike took the confused looking boy by the hand and drew him out of the car and led him back to the Desoto. The boy collapsed halfway there and Spike swept him up and carried him the rest of the way to the car and deposited him on the seat. He didn't know what had happened to leave the boy in this shape but he was going to find out. When Spike started to get in the car after Xander, the boy suddenly exclaimed. "No no no no..the bags..the bags..the bags..can't leave them..no ..no..no ..no..duster.."


Spike sighed. "Where are they then pet?" "Car.." Xander pointed out the front window. Spike heaved himself back out the door and went back to Angel's car. Bloody hell. There were two carry alls in the back floorboards and a black leather duster laying on the front seat. He grabbed all three impatiently and took them back to the Desoto.  He threw them into the back seat and jumped back in the car. "All set then pet?" He asked the boy. Xander nodded again and scooted as close to Spike as he could get. Spike threw an arm around him and hugged him close and started the car. Gravel spatted from beneath his rear tires as he accelerated away, heading back to Sunnydale.
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