slashtheboyz (slashtheboyz) wrote in bloodclaim,

The More Things Change 17/?

Author: slashtheboyz
Title: The More Things Change
Chapter: 17/?
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 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: M/M, using Craft, Anal, I think that covers it all.
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. The link is in the top upper left corner of my journal.
Notes: Okay so we have, visions, and bonding/siring rituals in this chapter. Oh and Giles actually helps. I think recent events have fried the poor dear's acceptometer.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

The beautiful banner with my boyz, under the cut, with the current chapter, was gifted me by: sevendeadlyfun
Thank you so much sweety:D

Xander sat back in his chair with a frown. He didn't know diddly about Siring or Bonding. He did know he felt antsy. The feeling had crept up on him slowly enough that he didn't realize just how uncomfortable he was until a sharp jab of anxiety totally distracted him from the book he was attempting to read. Now that the unpleasant feeling had his attention, it gnawed away at him intolerably.

He snarled a little under his breath and shoved his chair violently back from the table. It scraped loudly in the silence as he stood up, and tipped over with a loud crack that echoed in the room. Two heads snapped up in concert. Spike and Giles blinked up at him in surprise, startled out of their concentration on the texts they were reading.

Spike watched perplexed as Xander prowled around the table. The boy was agitated and unable to stay still. He marked his place in the book before him and closed it. He stood up and met Xander on his third trip around the table. He grasped the boy by the back of the head and pulled him to his shoulder, and broke into a rumbling purr, to soothe away the anxiety. Xander rested there body rigid, then relaxed against him. "What's got you in a tizzy, luv?"

"I don't know, Spike," Xander whined and shivered. "I just feel so antsy or something. It's driving me nuts."

Xander stiffened and went totally limp, as his vision greyed out. When sight returned, he found himself looking at the familiar interior of Buffy's house. "Whatthefuck!" But the picture suddenly blurred and split and there were four rooms now telescoping from the original scene, and several scenes tiled off from those. In each picture there was activity.

He struggled to understand what he seeing. He looked back at the original scene. He could see himself, Spike, Giles, Buffy, and Willow seated at the table. Anya was at the stove. Dawn stood at the counter speaking to Anya while she stirred something in a pot. Suddenly the windows and doors blew inward scattering glass and splinters everywhere, and bringers came through the empty window frames and shattered doors like a flood.

He looked at the other pictures and in each one the scene was similar but with differences, some big, some small. In one Dawn was sitting at the table. In another Giles was standing and speaking to the rest of them. In some of them Spike and he weren't there at all. In some Dawn was absent. In some they were all outside the house on the sidewalk. But in all of them it was dark outside. The clock on the wall read 8:45pm.

In the original picture the bringers converged on Spike, there were too many for even him to fight. Icey fear washed through Xander. He changed into game face and snarled with rage as one of the scabby bastards hit Spike over the head with a club, and he fell to the floor dazed. The bringers retreated back through a shattered door, taking Spike with them; they disappeared from sight. Everyone was too busy fighting bringers to notice in the confusion that Spike was gone, until it was over.

In the other pictures: Dawn was killed by a bringer. In some it was Giles. In others it was Andrew killed while  tied to a chair in an upstairs bedroom. The pictures kept telescoping out with each scene somehow a little different from the original. But in all of them the common denominator was the time, 8:45 pm, Buffy's house, and bringers. Those were the same in every picture Xander could see.

Xander was overwhelmed with the dizzying array of overlapping pictures. He wondered what would happen if none of them were at the house at all.  He groped for equilibrium, reeling under the kaliedoscope of images.

The image changed instantly. The bringers crashed through the windows and doors again, but this time it was one single scene. The house was lit like someone was home, but deserted, the disappointed bringers trashed the place and left the way they came, back through the doors and windows. He growled with satisfaction as they left empty handed.

The picture flickered and changed like the channel being changed on a TV. He saw a big round seal inscribed with symbols open up and an ugly twisted looking vamp came out of the hole. This time he snarled in pure challenge. Fuckin' wannabe, ugly as sin.

The picture changed, and he saw a blond potential killed in a hotel room by bringers, Eve was her name. Then the picture faded, to something that looked like her at Buffy's house talking to the other potentials. As she talked the expressions on their faces became more and more fearful and filled with doubt.

Then the channels flipped again and he saw a dark haired man in a warehouse like place, with a strange weapon in his hands, and he knew the man's name was Caleb. He worked with The First; and Buffy should have that weapon, it belonged to the Slayers.

The picture flipped again and he was at Buffy's empty grave. He saw Willow's magic and the resurrection. And he saw the magic disrupt the natural balance in a huge way. He knew the reason The First was able to come into the world again as the direct result of the forced reversal of the natural order. The First had seized upon the breach of natural laws to make its' assault against the world.

The pictures faded away and....just before they faded away completely, the last thing he saw was the book they needed for the right bonding ritual, and in that brief second he comprehended everything that would have to be done. And consented with everything in him; Mind, body and soul.

Xander came back to awareness of the here and now. He opened his eyes and found himself cradled in Spike's lap, crushed against his chest by the steel bands of his arms. Spike in game face growled and snarled at Giles, wouldn't let him approach.  Xander reached up and touched Spike's ridged face gently as he croaked out ",Shhhh...I'm alright Spike, calm down now, love. I'm okay."

Spike forgot Giles entirely and turned to look at Xander all yellow eyes and fangs, still growling ferociously. He started running his hands over Xander's body urgently, checking for injury, he buried his nose in Xander's neck and scented him, snuffling noisily then prickled him with fangs to taste him. He pulled back, panting through his fangs, like a winded runner in his distress. "Shhh..Spike, it's okay..I'm okay." Spike lifted him and placed him on the sofa carefully, then exploded off the couch into a whirling dervish of furious motion. "Bloody buggering fuck!" He howled out and punched the air savagely.

Giles jumped and stared at Spike in amazement. "Calm down Spike, please. We cannot determine exactly what happened with you storming about, snarling and howling."

He turned back to Xander. "Xander, are you alright? Xander nodded and let his head fall back against the couch to examine the ceiling. "Good. If you can tell us as many details as possible about what you experienced. We might be able to ascertain the nature of the.... occurrence."

Xander sat up and felt dizziness sweep over him. As he toppled forward off the couch he called out ",Sire." Spike moved so fast he was there to catch him before Xander saw him move. He caught Xander up and sat down, gently gathering Xander into his lap again. Spike spoke to Giles without taking his eyes from Xander. "Watcher, pour im another jigger of the good stuff, that'll fix 'im up right."

Giles turned away from the pair on the couch, picked up Xander's abandoned glass and the bottle from the coffee table. He poured half a glass, handed it to Spike, who held it for Xander to drink. Xander's hands came up and covered Spike's on the glass and he gulped down most of the alcohol at one go. His teeth chattered on the rim of the glass.  "Fucking hell, pet. What happened?"

Xander slumped there against Spike as he panted needlessly. "I really don't know, Spike. One minute I was feeling antsy, and squirrelly, like a disturbed bee hive sorta. Then I was... I saw..It was...," he struggled to find words to describe what had occurred.  

"Like a movie, or a TV ... and it was Buffy's house. Maybe more like a home movie, I dunno. Then the picture started multiplying, and all the pictures had different scenes. They just kind of branched out from some of the other pictures."

He paused with his mouth open, then he laughed shakily. "Kinda like a picture tree." Spike relaxed and rolled his eyes, Giles huffed in mock irritation. Xander continued with a snicker. "They were all different from the first one." He paused in thought for a moment. "Almost all of the pictures had three things the same though, over and over. A group of us..Buffy's house and 8:45pm......and... bringers... broke in, through the windows and doors. Everyone was fighting. They knocked you out and carried you away Spike."

"In some of the pictures different ones of us were killed... or taken instead...."

"Then the picture changed, like a flipping through TV channels with a remote, to somewhere under ground. It looked like a basement. I saw this really ugly, nasty looking vamp crawling out of this... hole...."

"Then I saw this potential, a blond one. Eve. She's dead, in a hotel. But something that looks just like her, The First I think, was at Buffy's house, talking to the other potentials, and they were scared."

"Then it flipped channels again, and there was this dark haired psycho dude,..... His name is Caleb, he's like some kinda super evil, creepy, preacher guy. He works for The First. Man does he hate girls. And he was holding some kinda strange lookin' weapon with a curvy blade on it ..... And hey! He stole that! It belongs to the Slayers."

"Then I saw Buffy's empty grave. After Glory. The First is able to try to take over the world because the laws of the universe were broken in a big way. We forced the natural order into reverse, and caused a humongo conflict when we brought her back. It caused a weakness, in the stuff this dimension, universe, whatever you call it, is made from. The First just took advantage of the weak spot. Willow's magic again." Xander sighed heavily.

"Oh... and the book you need for the siring/bonding thing is the big dark red one. It's on page four hundred and eighty three about halfway down the page."

Giles was gaping at him, and Spike was clutching him again and cursing in several demon languages.

Giles collapsed, to sit on the coffee table as though his legs were too weak to hold his weight. He slowly took his glasses off again and was wiping them furiously. All he could say was "good heavens" and "dear Lord."

Xander chuckled weakly, and said "Two." Spike snorted, and nodded.


Xander was asleep. He was exhausted by those bloody visions. The boy had been through enough. Now he had to put up with bleedin' visions too. Spike wanted to go out and kill something so badly his fangs ached. The need for the release of mindless violence was like an itch he couldn't scratch.  

Giles speculated that Xander's unique circumstances: The merging of the spirits/souls of three disparate species, and the extreme circumstances prior to his turning, had woken normally dormant abilities in the boy. His mind, body and soul had been harrowed like a field for spring planting. Now that things were 'settling' so to speak, the abilities were emerging. There may be more surprises in store from the boy. No telling what had been shaken loose by Angelus and the blinkin' merge.

Spike carried Xander to the bedroom and gently tucked him under the covers. Giles stood in the doorway unnoticed and watched as Spike placed a lingering kiss on the boy's forehead and smoothed back his hair with a gentle hand. The naked vulnerability visible on Spike's face as he looked at Xander, was a revelation to the watcher. If he hadn't seen it with his own eyes, he never would have believed it. He quietly returned to the table, nibbling on an arm of his spectacles, as he contemplated the latest turn of events; and the newest facet of William the Bloody.

They went to the page in the book that Xander told them to look at. Halfway down the page was the ritual for siring/bonding, but this one was a ritual for siring not a childe, but a mate. Mating was extremely rare amongst vampires; and the vampires involved were usually from different clans. In some circumstances it was necessary to cross sire the mate into the clan of the dominant partner, as well as fix the mating bond.

In this case Spike was the dominant partner; He was  older, a Master, and had an acknowledged Sire and Clan. This particular ritual would not be needed if it weren't for Xander's special circumstances. A siring bond alone would only address the demon, so it was really useless in Xander's case. The cross siring/mating bond would address the totality of Xander's unique psyche of merged parts.

The ritual was simple enough. They would drink a potion. Spike would have to drain Xander nearly to dust, say the words, and feed him his own blood, as though he were turning the boy for the first time. Giles would be the witness. Xander would be the passive partner, as drained and weak as he would be. All he had to do is trust Spike and consent. The amount of trust required of Xander was huge. He would be totally dependent on Spike for the entire length of the ritual.

To most vampires being so vulnerable was intolerable; to a new fledge without a sire, it would be almost unbearable. That kind of trust between vampires was a rarity. And they had to repeat it three times. Three different phrases. Once each for the uniting of
Spirit/Soul, Mind, and Body. Once to erase any previous Sire, then to cross sire, and the third time the claiming of the mate.

Spike was afraid Xander would change his mind when he found out the details of ritual they had to use. Why would the boy choose to tie himself to Spike for eternity? There was no undoing it once it was done. It was permanent until they were dust. If one of them was killed the other would be dust also. How could Xander bring himself trust him that much, with their history; his history?

He really was love's bitch. Always had been. He had a deep seated need to be needed; and he knew it. And Xander definitely needed him; The boy wasn't shy about showing it or admitting it. Spike was already in over his head. He had drifted into deep waters with the boy without even realizing it. The thought of living without Xander was an ache that outdid the one he had endured from Angelus' desertion and Dru's rejection. How had the boy wormed into him that far, this fast, without him knowing it? He sat on the couch glowering at nothing and smoked one cigarette after another, raising the bottle of JD to swallow a mouthful when he remembered to.


Giles left for the Magic Box to get a few items he would need for preparing the potion, he also had to get blood. Spike and Xander would need it and Willie's delivery wouldn't come until tomorrow sometime. He wouldn't be gone long.

Spike sat on the side of the bed and just looked at Xander. His gorgeous boy looked so young and untroubled, with his face relaxed in sleep. Spike took an unneeded breath and tried to steady his emotions as he prepared to wake Xander. He bent and placed a soft kiss on Xander's lips, each eyelid, and nuzzled his temple while he placed a hand on the boy's chest and rubbed gently. "Xander, luv. Wake up now. We're almost ready to do the ritual. I need to talk to you before we get started."

Xander hmmm'd, and pressed his face against Spike's lips. He snaked an arm around Spike and pulled him into closer contact. Spike lay there a moment with his lips against Xander's temple and his hand on Xander's chest. Xander wiggled with pleasure and mmmmm'd. Spike sat up, and Xander opened his eyes to look at his beautiful Sire. "Oh, you're sooo good." Xander smirked. "What a way to wake up," his voice still muzzy with sleep.

"Xander, we need to talk about this ritual. I need to tell you a few things." Spike started uncertainly.

Xander listened gravely, then piped up. "Spike, I know exactly what the ritual is. I knew it when I told you where to find it. I had already consented or I wouldn't have even mentioned it. It is my choice Spike. I chose you, seems like years ago now. I haven't changed my mind. And I won't change my mind. Ever."

Spike's blue eyes glowed extra bright as a suspicious moisture gathered there. His hands clenched on the covers. He whispered hoarsely. "How did you?..How can you?.....I don't understand..Xander."

Xander reached out and gathered Spike to his chest and hugged him tightly. Spike's hands left the blankets and moved to grasp his shirt in white knuckled fists; Xander laid his face on the crown of Spike's head as he spoke gently to his distressed Sire. "It's really very simple Spike... I trust you." He closed his eyes tightly at the pained noise/groan/sob that came from Spike, and squeezed him tighter.

"I need you now, like I used to need air, to live. You've become very necessary to my existence, my happiness, very quickly. I feel safe with you, cared for, important, wanted. I feel like I'm free to change and grow and you won't run away if I do. You've accepted me without conditions or reasons. I want to be with you, take care of you too, make you happy."

Xander put his hand on Spike's cheek and caressed the soft skin for a second, then he gently tilted his face up. He looked into those bright blue eyes." I won't lie to you. I don't know if what I'm feeling is love or not. I think it is, but my emotions are so out of whack. And I won't hurt you by claiming something I'm not sure of.

But I still want you, and need you. Once I get my head untangled. I'll know one way or another exactly what I'm feeling. Just be patient with me. Either way it goes. I'm happier with you than I've ever been, just in the short time we've been together. Happier  than I've ever been with anyone else. I'll always need you with me in my unlife. I will have no regrets spending eternity with you as a Sire/Mate."   

He lowered his head and caught Spike's lips with his own, just a soft press of his lips, reassuring.

Spike suddenly came to life in his arms and wound those strong hands into the hair at the back of his head. His lovely Sire devoured his mouth like he was starving and Xander was on the menu. His tongue explored every inch of Xander's mouth, dominating and thrilling. Xander decided that Spike had a Big Bad tongue too. Spike broke away panting. "Damn right you won't, boy. And don't you forget it!" Xander grinned happily. His Big Bad was back in the building. He tucked away vulnerable, needy, Spike in his "treasured memories" vault to pull out and examine on a rainy day.


The potion was finished finally. It took a couple of hours to crush and mix herbs and in a particular order; in a rough cast, pure, silver bowl, made without a mold, unfinished or unpolished by any hand. To the herbs they added drops of Xander's blood and Spike's, then sea water, and dragon's blood. Spike drank mug after mug of blood from the cooler that Giles had brought with him when he returned with supplies. Xander had as well. Spike's eyebrow had nearly levitated off his face. He looked at Giles strangely. Giles had brought them human blood.

The potion was simmered over a low heat in a small copper pot, then poured into a blue colored bottle and stoppered with a cork. And Giles shrouded it in a piece of deep purple silk.

They moved the living room furniture into the small dining room temporarily. Giles tapped a nail into the floor. It had a string attached that was nine feet long, with a piece of chalk at the end. He carefully used it to mark out a circle on, the now empty living room, floor.

Then he carefully drew a large pentagram, centering it precisely in the circle, with the tips touching the borders. One small section of the circle was left open until it was occupied. Giles spent some time copying letters and symbols, in various colors, on the inner and outer edges of the circle, and pentagram, from the designs pictured with the ritual in the book.

Giles and Spike set black, deep blood red, silver and gold candles about the circle opposite each other, there were four of each. They handled one color at a time, and placed them so that they were evenly spaced around the perimeter of the circle.

Spike then brought out Xander's old sleeping bag and covered it with one of his beloved black satin sheets. He arranged it carefully in the middle of the circle, centered in the pentagram. He set a folded thick red blanket off to the side.

Giles disappeared into Spike's vamp room and came out a while later clad in a black robe cinched with a black cord woven with red, gold, and silver threads.

He looked at Spike and Xander. "Both of you need to shower and it's important that you use the only the things I brought with me to cleanse yourselves with. Spike, there is a red silk robe for you to wear with a belt, Xander you'll be skyclad."

Spike showered first and came out in his red robe. The threads woven into the crimson cord wrapped around his waist sparkled. He dragged the cooler with blood into the circle and some other small things that he laid on the pallet next to the pillow.

Giles brought out a very old book and began clearing the apartment of any energies that might interfere with the ritual, and setting up wards. Calling on Guardians of the elements, and Airts. Tautes, and Morrigan, The Black Goddess, and others for other points to ward the ritual from outside forces.

Xander ambled to the shower and used the herbal bath scrub and soap to wash himself and his hair thoroughly. He stepped out and dried himself with the red linen towel. He was ready to get this done and over with. He was vibrating with anticipation.

Xander came out of the bedroom and Giles guided him to the circle. Spike was inside, met him at the line, and led him to the pallet in the middle of the circle. "Lie down here on your back, Xander."

Xander sat on the pallet and stretched out pulling the pillow under his head. Giles closed the circle and looked over the arrangements to make sure everything was complete and correct. When he was satisfied. He nodded to Spike and picked up a wicked looking sword Spike had pulled out of his closet; He placed himself in front of the apartment door facing inward.

Spike picked up the little blue bottle and knelt offering it to Xander. "Drink half, Pet and I'll drink the other half."

Xander tilted the bottle and chugged down half the potion with a grimace at the taste of it, and handed the bottle back to Spike. Who immediately upended it and drank down what remained. They both felt the effects quickly. A lassitude crept over Xander, his muscles relaxed, and he watched Spike with hooded eyes.

Spike eased himself down onto Xander and kissed him, ravishing his mouth, he nibbled kisses up the boy's jawline to his ear and nibbled on the lobe. He smoothed one hand down Xander's side to his belly and then lower to grasp the hardness that was already waiting for him. He stroked that hardness once, twice, ran his thumb across the sensitive head of the boy's weeping cock. Xander thrust lazily into his hand and moaned stretching his head back on the pillow, exposing the strong column of his throat, signalling his utter submission.

Spike released the succulent earlobe, and brought his thumb up to his mouth and licked the musky scented moisture from it. The flavor of Xander exploded across his tongue. He grasped the back of Xander's head in one hand with a growl and kissed the boy again sharing the flavor with him. He nibbled his way from the boy's mouth, down to his  throat. Spike threw a leg over Xander's hip, pinning him in place, and the boy thrust drowsily against his thigh leaving trails of moisture with his leaking cock.

Spike let his game face come forward and licked at the place where he would bite. "Mine," he snarled as he sank his fangs deep into the boy's throat and began to draw swiftly to drain. Spike moaned and growled as he tasted the rich familiar flavor of family, and the strength of his Sire in Xander's blood. The boy was swiftly weakened to the  point he couldn't even lift an eyelid. When he was just a hair this side of dust and his complexion an unhealthy grey. Spike withdrew his fangs and cried out; "Agnitio spiritus unus eternus!"

He sat back on his heels, panting, and ripped the robe open and sliced across his own breast with a claw, and felt the blood begin to well up. He grasped the back of Xander's head and lifted the insensate boy to his breast and held him there ",drink and live, my own."

Xander 's eyelids fluttered in his grey face and his tongue moved slightly tasting the fluid that would give him life. His mouth opened and he latched onto the the cut weakly and suckled there like a babe. Spike's other arm went around the boy and supported his back, and his own head dropped back in ecstasy. His cock was hard and leaking and he thrust helplessly against Xander as the boy fed from him. When the wound began to close, he pulled Xander's mouth to his neck and hissed between his fangs "feed childe." Xander buried his fangs in Spike's neck up to the gum, and began to draw in earnest, arms went around his waist gripping hard. Spike snarled and thrust against him uncontrollably, and came in his red robe.

Spike pulled gently on the boy's hair and Xander removed his fangs licking the wounds he'd made. Spike settled Xander back onto the pallet and looked the boy over. He still didn't look healthy. His complexion was still a gray color, and he was very weak. Xander opened dazed eyes and and lifted a hand to his cheek and let it rest there a second, before it dropped weakly to his chest. The complete trust implicit in the gesture had Spike hard and aching again.

Spike tore the robe off threw it to the side, and straddled Xander. The boy's cock was only half hard. Even that much was a miracle, weak as the boy was. Spike lay his torso over Xander and buried his face in the boy's neck and Xander turned his head and arched his neck into Spike's mouth begging for the bite. Spike bit deep and swiftly took back the blood that Xander had drawn from him. Moaning at the rich strength in his blood. Straining with the effort, Xander lifted a shaky hand to the back of Spike's head and pressed him closer.

Spike growled with pleasure and thrust his cock against the boy's unresponsive body. He felt Xander shiver once and his hand fell away. He withdrew his fangs the second time and cried out to the ceiling: "agnitio mentis unus eternus."

The boy was too weak this time to sit up and drink even with support. Spike used his fangs, tore open his wrist and placed it to Xander's mouth and the grey faced boy opened his mouth and let the blood flow into him swallowing as well as he could manage. When he gained a little strength he latched onto Spike's wrist bit down and sucked weakly. Spike thrust his hardness against the boy's limp body uncontrollably at the feel of Xander feeding from him.

The next time was the third and last time. Spike wanted this to be finished.  He reached up and picked up the vial of oil that Giles had given him. He moved off of Xander and turned him gently onto his belly. Coating his fingers liberally with the oil approved for the ritual he slid his fingers gently down the boy's cleft to Xander's anus and gently circled there. The boy quivered trying to press back, and  produced a weak noise, but he couldn't manage more.

The boy was too weak to hold any muscle tension, so it didn't take long to work two fingers into him. Then three. Spike poured some of the oil into his hand and applied it to his cock with a twisting stroke. Then He straddled Xander's thighs, spread the boy's cheeks with one hand and guided the head of his cock to that rosebud of muscle between them with the other. He pushed in slowly until the head of his cock was sucked into the boy's tight passage.

Spike slowly pressed forward until his balls rested against Xander's ass. He spread his knees wider and pulled out, arched his back and then thrust back in. He braced his elbows on each side of Xander and slid his hands under the boy and hooked his fingers over the tops of his shoulders. He dropped his mouth to the boy's neck as he thrust faster and harder rocking the boy's limp body beneath him, loving the feel of his boy's tight passage around his cock. He bit hard and deep for the last time, and drew slowly moaning at the taste and feel of his boy as he fucked for all he was worth. He felt his balls begin to draw up. He drew the last mouthful as he started to come, He jerked his fangs free and he roared out the final phrase as he bathed his boy's passage with his seed: "Agnitio corpus unus eternus."

Spike withdrew gently and slid off to lay beside Xander panting. He turned the boy onto his back again. He ripped his wrist with his fangs and opened the boy's mouth, dripping the blood in until he swallowed finally, weakly. Then he lowered his wrist to the boy's mouth and he sealed his lips around the wound and started drawing fiercely as the survival instinct took over. Xander's game face appeared and he sank fangs into the wrist he was suckling on.

Spike reached over and pulled the cooler over to his side, flipped the top off and pulled out a container of blood. He flicked the top off with his thumb and drained it in three swallows, while Xander continued to draw from him. He continued to drink one container after another while the boy fed from him. Slowly Xander regained a healthy color. His voracious feeding slowed and stopped, his fangs withdrew and his human face returned, he fell unconscious.

At that instant all the candles around the circle flared up and the flames burned high and bright. A sourceless wind blew through the room making the candles dance and flutter, then they went out.

In the darkness, three single shining, silver ropes appeared. One each curled from Xander's chest, forehead and groin. Inside the single silvery strands, colored threads were twined and tangled together, inseperable from the whole: a pulsing blood red, an incandescent yellow green, a dark steel grey; and a white glowing thread that was nearly blinding.

The colors merged, as Spike watched, and melded into one whole thickened thread with sparks of the original colors running up and down its' length. The three three silver lines met and coiled around each other and merged into one large rope that hung in the air above Xander undulating like a snake.

Spike felt a strange sensation and looked down at himself. He had threads coiling out of his own chest and groin, he couldn't see the one he felt pulling at his mind. His strands were silver, with a pulsing red/black strand, the color of old blood, and a blinding bright white one twined together at the center. He could see the three ropes rise above him and twine together and  merge into one, like Xander's.

The blunt head of Xander's rope moved stretching out toward Spike, and Spike's rope moved toward Xander. They lunged at each other aggressively, eagerly, meeting somewhere in the middle. The ropes melted into one another at the ends and seemed to suck each other in. The colors of Xander's rope mixed and merged with Spike's rope until a whole new thick rope was created; with all the colors from both of them mixing and merging and moving freely back and forth between them, sparkling fiercely and undulating vigorously.

Then Spike felt the bonds snap into place, as the one thick transformed rope separated and collapsed back into each of them. It returned back down through the three connecting points with bright flare that lit the entire room and illuminated Giles' form in front of the door. Spike shuddered, overwhelmed; and he knew no more.


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