Title: The More Things Change
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Concrit: by email please
Disclaimer: The characters belong to Joss and a bunch of lawyers. I only wish they belonged to me cause I'd make em do naughty things together forever. 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: References to: Torture, Non Con, Kidnapping,Violence, Character Death and Revenge. Language. Alcohol Use. Oh, and the murder of innocent clothing!
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 Giles' reaction. Jesus, I'm a wreck.This kind of Angsty stuff just wore me out. Poor Xander and Spike, and Poor Giles.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 bymoscow_watcher
The beautiful banner was made for me by sevendeadlyfun
Thank you dear, mwaahh!
Ordinarily Xander didn't buy anything but cheap American beers, living paycheck to paycheck as he had. Working stiff and all that. But they had the Council plastic, so on the way back to the apartment they stopped at a liquor store and bought some imported stuff for Giles and some JD for Spike. Xander found a bottle of Irish Whiskey. Spike raised an eyebrow at the name on the label when he slid the bottle on the counter, but let it go without comment.
They carried their purchases out and got in the Desoto and sat looking at the black painted glass of the windshield. "Ready for this, luv?"
Xander scooted closer to Spike so his leg touched Spike from hip to knee. Leaning back on the seat, he drug his hands through his unruly mane and sighed like a tired racehorse. He reached and grabbed Spike's closer hand and played with his fingers as he rolled his his head on the seat to return Spike's intent blue gaze.
"I don't know, Spike. I'm kind of confused and my feelings are all mixed up. I mean, I still love them but I'm pissed as hell. How do you tell people that have been your life, that when you died, you could see how much they treated you like shit and you're not gonna take it anymore? How do you do that without totally alienating them? I'm still Xander, but not. I'm different. I'm afraid they won't be able to accept me like I am now, and it hurts. If they can't, then Angelus is still taking things from me. I'll survive, and I'll have you, which is the most important of all, but I'll still feel like some pieces are missing."
Spike turned his hand and caught Xander's, stilling the busy digits, threaded the boy's fingers through his and squeezed in reassurance. His eyes took on an introspective glaze. "I don't know Xander. Maybe that's why new fledges go for their families first. No one can hurt you so badly as those closest to you. Me. I loved my Mum. I tried to turn her so she could be with me forever. The demon in her took over so completely I had to dust her. I was devastated even as a vampire, luv. She was the most important person in my life before I was turned. She was my only family. And she still was aside from my Sire. I couldn't tolerate how the demon changed her. And I've never brought anyone over to the nightside since her."
"Have I changed so much then?" Xander whispered dismayed.
"No, not you pet." Spike chuckled. "You are some different. Bound to be, especially with four different personalities and three different species in the mix.You're a big part Xander, less inhibited by purely human hangups mixed with a few more obvious traits from the others in there. You had a strong human personality before you were turned, and still do. Had to. For you to be still you, after Angelus got his hands on you. A stubborn, mouthy, tosser you were, and still are. Loyal, and loving, able to see everything, and still care so much."
"You took everything they handed you and you still loved them. Your demon has merged with you and generally that doesn't occur with us vamps til we're somewhere around three hundred years old depending on the vamp. The seams, where all of you in there merged together, may still be a bit rough and leaky though, so until everything settles in good here," he reached up with their entwined hands and tapped Xander on the side of the head with one slim digit ",and smooths out. There are bound to be some rough patches. There's nothing wrong with that no matter how long it takes. And I'll be here to help you."
Heaving a sigh of relief Xander laid his head on Spike's shoulder. "You're amazing. I treated you so badly for years, because I was so jealous of your ability to speak your mind, when I couldn't. And I couldn't admit to the attraction I had for you. It wasn't until I died that I realized that was what all the animosity was about. And it was all twisted up with my guilt over staking Jesse. You could do anything you wanted to without anyone thinking it was weird and you're like sex on a stick. Nothing shocks you, and you don't judge. You're more alive than some humans I've known. You've been so good to me. How can you do that?"
Spike petted their entwined hands with his free one."I learned a long time ago, to live in the moment, Pet. Had to. When Angelus abandoned us, Dru and me. The actions of a even a moment ago are done, and can't be undone, no matter how much we regret them, or like them. They're a memory already. This moment right now is the one we control. This is where we are right now. Living, loving, fighting, fucking, whatever. The next moment will never arrive because it's always the next moment. It doesn't pay to live in the past, where we can't change anythin'. Not when there is always right now, this minute as it is occurring, where we have the power to choose."
Xander stirred restively and nuzzled the soft skin below Spike's ear. He whispered as though telling a secret. Spike cocked his head toward him. He felt Spike shiver as the breath from his words puffed across the sensitive ear. "My Sire is a really smart guy, who hides himself behind a snarky punk attitude. Thank you. Let's go now. I'm through with my girly attack."
Xander sat up straight and said out loud. "Might as well face the music, or the Brit at least."
"Oi, I'm a Brit." Indignant.
"Yeah, but you're a cool Sire Brit, not a stiff upper lip, ex watcher, git Brit, with a tweed addiction."
Their voices could be heard floating out of the open windows into the quietness, fading into the night, as the car started and accelerated away.
"Oh, well that's alright then."
"How many times do you think he'll polish his glasses?"
"Oh no, shock will make it only a two timer!"
"You're on blondie."
"The sexual kink or fantasy of your choice."
"Done." Crowed the blond behind the wheel and the brunette snickered.
The delivery of their purchases, from earlier in the evening at the Clothiers, arrived. Spike was on the couch busy with bags and boxes, wondering why it seemed like there was more there than they had actually purchased. Xander disappeared into the kitchen. When he reappeared he had several plastic garbage bags clutched in his hand and a determined, spiteful gleam in his eye.
"Wanna help me kill something Sire?"
Spike's head shot up and around. Wide blue eyes startled at that. Then he grinned when he saw where Xander was headed. He got off the couch slowly and stretched, popping the vertebra in his back, and trailed his vengeful Childe.... into the bedroom.
Xander growled as he snatched open a drawer. He changed to game face and snatched out a handful of shirts with a clawed hand and started 'dismembering" them with prejudice. He snarled with satisfaction as ripping, tearing noises came from the bundle of rioting color. When they were nothing more than ribbons and shreds unidentifiable as anything but rags, he grabbed a garbage bag and rammed them in with glee. "Come on Spike, get your hands dirty here." Spike changed into game face and pounced a drawer to share in the kill.
There was a blizzard of rainbow colored pieces and shredding, ripping noises, growling and snarling. The garbage bags were forgotten. Suddenly the open drawers were empty and the air was filled with fluttering bits of multi colored cloth still floating to the floor. The only sound in the room was unneeded panting in the aftermath of the "kill." The room was littered with cloth confetti. It looked like a rainbow had burst and coated the entire room with floppy fragments, including the two inhabitants.
There was a green strip of something dangling from the ceiling light fixture. Xander had shreds of cloth and pieces of multi colored thread stuck in his fangs. Spike had a bit of what appeared to be part of a fuchsia colored cloth flower dangling from one side of his mouth; and yellow threads hanging over one ear. They both had tattered scraps of gaily colored material stuck to them from head to toe. They were standing ankle deep in technicolor fragments.
It was completely silent as they surveyed the scene of the 'kill' for long moments. Then Xander pointed a finger at Spike and chortled. The chortle turned into a laugh and he laughed hysterically. He huffed between guffaws. "You've got yellow strings on your ear."
Spike tackled him to the bed with a growl and tickled Xander without mercy until he could only pant out pleas for clemency between screams of laughter. Spike ceased tickling and looked down at Xander who lay under him in a boneless happy sprawl. He was flicking at the thread in his teeth with his tongue, trying to disentangle it from his fangs. He was relaxed and unstressed.
Spike hadn't taken Xander hunting, as he normally would have with a new fledge, since he had returned to Sunnyhell. The spurt of mindless violence they shared, harmlessly vented on the "killing" of the hated clothing, had served it's purpose for now. The only scents coming from the boy were happiness and contentment.
Xander plucked the yellow threads from Spike's ear and started picking slivers from his clothing and Spike returned the favor. Fairly soon they were scrap free. Xander found a broom and dustpan. They quickly had all the remains and evidence of their "kill" safely bagged.
"Wanna cremate it, Spike," Xander mumbled eyeing the bag with suspicion ",so they can't rise again, cause anything is possible on the hellmouth."
"We'll take it to one of the cemeteries and do it up right, sometime soon, Xander."
There was a knock on the door.
"Stay in here out of sight, Xander, 'til I find out who it is." Spike ordered. Then he was gone shutting the bedroom door behind him.
Giles sat with a cup of hot tea in his hand liberally dosed with a shot of Spike's JD. He was watching Xander and Spike with piercing assessing eyes.
Xander caught Giles' attention. "I uhmmm, Jesus," he swore ",this is hard." He took a large swallow of amber liquid from the glass and edged, if possible, even closer to Spike. "Okay, you sent me to LA."
"Yes," Giles prompted ",to get any additional information they might have on The First. I assure you my memory is working perfectly well, Xander."
Xander continued. "Well, before I got there I could tell there was some sort of trouble brewing. There was a darkness over the entire city. I almost turned around and came back then, but I knew everyone was counting on me to get the info. And you hadn't said anything about anything really dangerous going down. So I kept going."
The boy's eyes and voice took on a distant quality as if he were recounting a dream.
"I drove through the city. It was dark. Lights were out in big areas all over the city. Demons were everywhere. It was like a war zone. Looters. Demons eating people in the middle of the street. Cars overturned and on fire. I didn't stop, not for anything. I felt bad about the people I saw get eaten, but there was nothing I could do to help them. I remember .... a brick hit my rear window, sounded like a gunshot. The glass.... just sort of collapsed.....and it.....scattered everywhere over the back seat."
Spike watched as the watcher's face went as pale as his handkerchief; Which he pulled out and swiped over his face and mouth as he listened to Xander. Then his arm dropped and it dangled forgotten from his fingers.
Xander continued uninterrupted;
"I got to the Hyperion in one piece and went inside. It was dark and no one was there. I looked around and found a flashlight and a bottle of Irish whiskey." He held up his glass, in salute. "I drank a bit of it and fell asleep on the couch in the lobby."
At this point Xander chugged the remaining liquid in his glass and Spike snatched the bottle off the coffee table and poured him another half glass.
Giles protested irritably. "Really Spike, He can't talk if he's inebriated."
Spike growled back. "Sod off watcher. He needs it. This is hard 'nough on 'im. It'll take the edge off."
Xander gulped down another couple of swallows from the glass and continued. "I woke up to Angelus...... Hanging in chains........ He tortured me for days, Giles..... I'm not sure how many....... Then he took me to a public place somewhere...... I don't know where..... I think it was a bar..... or a club....Not too sure.... just that I heard voices..... I was kind of in and out..... He raped me .....it hurt sooo bad....even after all the other pains.....felt like I was being impaled by a fence post....... drained me..... and turned me in front........ of witnesses......... He said........The Slayer's lapdog..... his newest Childe." Xander changed into game face during the telling, with his peculiar yellow green eyes glaringly evident.
Giles face paled alarmingly and his mouth worked but no words came out. He looked like he might pass out. He snatched his glasses off and started rubbing the lenses.
Xander said. "One." Spike nodded in acknowledgment.
"Dear Lord Xander," Giles said faintly as he cleaned his lenses with shaking hands."I'm so very sorry." There was a suspicious wetness in his eyes as he gave up on his glasses, as a way to deal with his distress, and threw them on the table. He buried his pale haggard face in his hands. "I feel horribly, terribly responsible for your situation. I allowed The First to consume all my attention. I didn't even think to inquire about the situation in Los Angeles before I sent you there. If I had inquired, we would have known Angelus was loose. You wouldn't have even been there. Oh my dear, boy."
"GIles."...."Giles." Xander interrupted the shocked watcher. "You can't take all of the blame on yourself. The LA crew should have called here and let us know that Angelus was loose, just in case he decided to come this way, so we'd be on guard against him. They could have caused the death of every one of us. And if The First started working with Angelus....." They all shuddered at the possibility. "They were the ones who took Angel's soul out of him anyway. Then they let him escape."
Giles head snapped up and he glared. "They what?" He rapped out. "They didn't inform me in regards to that. The LA group just called today asking for Willow to make a trip to LA. Something about a healing spell for Angel and Cordelia. Angel is in terrible shape. Cordelia is in a coma. Someone dumped Angel at the Hyperion and escaped before they could ascertain exactly what happened to him."
"Well," Xander continued sarcastically ",they certainly do have a problem with communication, don't they? Yeah, they took Angel's soul out because Angel didn't remember The Beast. Beastboy who turned off good ol' sol and brought permanent darkness, and made mincemeat out of everyone in the Wolfram &Hart building. He Killed everyone in it, hunted down anyone associated with it and killed them too, and their families. Then he made mincemeat out of Angel and his crew."
Xander paused and swallowed another couple of mouthfuls from his glass. "Soooo, they dug out 'ol Angelus for more information. But it seems like they let someone steal Angel's soul in it's little magic bottle. Then Angelus escaped. They were out hunting for him, in the city, I suppose, when I arrived."
"No one knew I was there, Giles. And Angelus knew it, so he took as much time as he could to ",Play with me." Do you have any idea what it's like to know you're going to die far away from help? I Knew that no help was coming. No one was going to rescue me at the last minute. I was In pain and I knew more pain was coming before I died. I was right."
"After Angelus turned me. He left me in Angel's basement apartment. I rose, from Spike's estimate, less than twelve hours after I died." Giles looked up again at that and he fixed Xander with that piercing gaze as he listened carefully to the rest.
"When I rose, I fed on the blood Angel had there in the apartment. Pig's blood. Yuck. But better than nothing. I gorged on it. I must have chugged down twelve or fourteen styrofoam containers. Then I took a shower and stole some of Angel's clothes. I sat there on his couch and made some plans. I went shopping and bought some vampire proof chains and a tranq gun with some demon effective darts, and a couple of syringes full of a demon tranquilizer. Found a temporary lair in the sewers. And then I went hunting for Angelus." Xander's eyes had taken on that peculiar dead eyed, sharky look. It sent a chill through Giles as he watched the boy.
"I found him too. The arrogant bastard. He was busy with Faith and The Beast. He let the Beast beat Faith until she couldn't get up." Giles winced at that revelation. "Then he used a knife The Beast made from his own bone for some reason. Did his best thing, ya know. Stabbed Beastyboy in the back. And walah... the sun's shining again. He tried to get Faith but she broke some big windows in the warehouse." Xander barked out a cold humorless laugh. "You shoulda seen Angelus hotfootin' it ta keep from burnin'. Put Faith out of reach surrounded by sunlight. So he yacked at her a little more in his usual egomaniacal way. Then he was at the sewer entrance."
Xander paused for another gulp out of his glass, and licked his lips. Giles' gaze was sharp and intent on his face and Spike was in game face, growling subvocally. Xander reached for Spike's hand and continued in that dead voice. "It only took one dart in the ass to down the "Great Angelus" but I shot him with two more to be on the safe side.
"My God," Giles gasped out. "It was you Xander? You did all that damage to Angel?"
Xander snarled. "It wasn't Angel at the time," his smile was cold and deadly. "He wasn't even in there. Nope, it was all Angelus, and he got everything coming to him. Every....Last...Thing. If you want to see it, I've got it on DVD."
Giles asked distractedly. "What's that Xander?"
Patiently. "I said I have the whole thing on DVD, if you'd like to see it."
"No, no thank you. That's quite alright. I'll take your word for it Xander." Giles patted at his forehead with his hanky now. He was in a cold sweat now, whereas he'd just been cold before. Spike watched him with knowing eyes and squeezed Xander's hand in reassurance. "Have another nip Rupert. It'll help."
"Thank you, Thank you, Spike, I believe I will do just that. If you please?" Giles held out his tea mug and it trembled. Spike steadied it with his hand and filled it halfway with JD. The watcher took a long drink. Giles sighed as he slumped back in the seat; Elbow on the chair arm, head down in thought he rubbed at his forehead with his fingers. "Needless to say. All this is quite a shock, Xander. To say it is overwhelming is more accurate. It is readily apparent that the soul anchoring spell I cast for you, worked the way it was intended. However.. there is something...else..I am not quite able to grasp as of yet."
"I can tell you what that is, Giles." Xander volunteered.
"Yes, yes, please. Do tell me what it is I am missing, Xander, if you can? At this point, I will welcome any logical explanation."
"The Hyena, The soldier AND the demon. Have somehow merged with me. When you did the soul anchoring spell, the hyena was still there inside me. Then later, the soldier stayed too, after that Halloween."
Giles closed his eyes wearily and pinched the bridge of his nose between nose and forefinger, as though he couldn't stand another revelation. He asked in that very calm voice that shouted he was anything but. "And why pray tell, did you never think to tell me about them before now?
"Xander, you asked me to perform a very powerful spell on you without all the facts. Simple yes, but still a very powerful spell. That spell in effect bound all the spirits or souls, if you will, into your body at the time your physical body died. And since it was intended for only one soul. It perceived your soul as fragmented and forced you all together. There is no reversing that spell. So presently you have a primal, a dead soldier and a demon merged with your human soul," Giles sighed and shook his head.
"Giles, we figured that much out." Xander waved his hand back and forth between himself and Spike. Giles head came up and eyes pierced him again. "Did you? Then what IS the problem, if I may be so bold?"
"The demon rejected Angelus as Sire, as did we all. Do you think I could have done, what I did to him, if the demon acknowledged Angelus as Sire, or Angel?" Xander asked with exaggerated patience.
Giles sat straight up at that. His watcher mind plainly working on that tidbit, turning it this way and that. "Really," he finally said ",That is quite extraordinary. I would hazard to say it just may be a singular occurrence. I've never heard of anything like it. I have never read of it prior to this. Certainly none of the watcher journals or vampiric histories make mention of it."
"They/Xander want me to be his Sire, watcher." Spike spoke quietly. "He needs a Sire. He's too young a fledge and too unstable to be without a Sire. I want to try a cross siring, but I'm not sure it'll be right. Since it's like he doesn't have a sire. His demon never acknowledged a first sire. To cross sire there usually has to be a first sire. There usually IS a first sire. I've read some some texts that Dru had. But I'm not quite sure how to proceed. What with the merged souls n' all and the soul anchoring spell. This will probably be a history maker."
Giles glared at Spike. "And just how do I know this Spike? I'm supposed to take your word for it?" Giles hissed out.
Xander lashed out at that. He jumped up to put himself between Spike and Giles, game face to the fore, hissing at Giles. Giles pushed all the way back into his chair at the threat, surprised by Xander's reaction. Spike quietly pulled the boy back, and down into his lap and put restraining arms around his waist.
When Xander could speak he spit out. "You can take my fuckin' word for it, Giles." Giles flinched at Xander's growled declaration. "I left LA looking for family and friends. Spike found me, in Angel's car a little more than half way back here, starving and disoriented. I was still weak and sick from the torture and fighting with the LA bunch. He's been taking care of me since then, feeding me, keeping me safe."
"I want him. We want him. And I/we will have him. If I have to go to someone else for help. So be it. Either you help us, or you don't. This is not up for debate. My decision is made. I am not asking for your approval or permission. You, and everybody else, will respect my decision, including Buffy and Willow, or I can and will leave Sunnydale. There would really be nothing to keep me here, if you all can't keep yourselves from trying to control what I do, as you've done in the past, Giles."
Xander paused and calmed somewhat. "There's also one more thing, I'm not sure but Willow may have cast some sort of spell on me while I was alive. I can't be certain. I don't know what effect it might have had on the whole mess."
Giles recovered his composure enough to sigh and shake his head. "I don't know if I can tell at this late a date or not, since it was probably tied to your living body, not your soul. The spell would have dissolved when your body died." Giles made a face at that. "If you are determined to do this, we need to look at a few of the books I have brought. I may need to make one or two telephone calls. It might be better to get this accomplished tonight. Willow will be bringing Faith from Los Angeles when she returns. The rest of that group may arrive with her as well.