Author: Part 1 50ftqueenie… then rngrdead – Ch 2 and beyond
Warnings/Squicks: M/M relations
Summary: Xander comes back from the past witvh a secret.
From 50ftqueenie: This can stand on its own as a ficlet, but honestly I know there's more to this story. Eventually I might revisit and do my own version….
Author’s note from rngrdead: With the kind permission of 50ftqueenie I have been allowed to tackle a version of the remainder of the story.
Context: Xander was taken around half way through Season 4 when Spike was chipped and living in the basement. The time spent in the past correlates directly with the present. Spike did go and get his soul, however, writer’s license dictates that the First is not yet on the scene has had to shift some things including the arrival of the First (later).
The sky was hazy above him, stars a little obscured by the emissions of arguably the world's most smog plagued city, Los Angeles. And didn’t they have that last bit wrong considering London’s ‘pea soupers’, the combination of fog and industrial revolution coal gas emissions leaving street lights vague balls of light – let alone spotting a star.
They had seen stars on their travels though… Oh how they had seen stars! It mattered little what the circumstance, his Wil always seemed to be able to find the romance, the excitement, the beauty that was life, or unlife, as the case may be.
They had been lying in a quiet, post-coital embrace when a terrifying explosion tore them apart. He awoke on the floor of the Magic Box – a place apparently now owned by an *ex* librarian Giles and Xander’s former squeeze, the *ex* vengeance demon Anya.
Initially unable to see, he initially thought himself still in London as some of the smells were familiar, lighting dim and books lined the walls, but alas it was not the case.
Much as he had yearned to return to Sunnydale in the early days of his time in the Aurelian household, it was certainly *not* the case now. But when Drusilla decided she wanted ‘her Spike’ back, she knew killing the Mate would result in Spike dusting also, so found an alternative. And anyone dubbing her as deranged or incapable needed to rethink right there. Drusilla knew *exactly* what she wanted to do, and by and large got what she wanted.
Xander ached physically as well as emotionally – and could only imagine how poor Wil was feeling, had felt, did feel… it was all so confusing… He knew that sitting against a headstone in a Sunnydale cemetery late at night was not the smartest idea, but he really could not bring himself to care.
Only minutes later he felt the prickle and knew he was being circled by several fledglings, knowing from their smell and weak signal that they were newly risen and sired by minions not masters. Their sires were no doubt too limited to look after their creations, making them cannon fodder for the Slayer and useful to no one. He stood and let his training take over counting five (or perhaps six?) dusted out of kindness. He didn’t even have too look for the ones coming up behind him, their stealth all that of a five year old stealing from the cookie jar.
Finally he felt the presence of another, not a vampire, a Krathor demon. They would not normally bother vampires, but humans were a different matter, Xander was not quite either so fair game, something Xander realized a little too late. Swept up with powerful arm, he was thrown against a headstone hard, and habits of nearly three years kicked in, his Consort/Mate link firing at the same time as he counter attacked.
Spike felt the call at a visceral level. There was no question of him having to responding – he had not felt anything so strong since… him, then… so long ago…
Despite the animal blood compromising his speed and strength, he arrived in time to see Xander using two curved silver knives as though a part of his own anatomy. Elegant arcs, amazing speed and brilliant parries and counter attacks soon found the demon with no working tendons in its legs and missing several of its talons. The strikes were strategic, however, not aimed to kill, merely deter and then (when that did not work) disable. Spike remembered the first time they had trained with the knives, Xander insisting that he needed ‘something to fight with’!
Xander sensed him… Yearned for him… Grieved with him… But as he raised his chocolate brown gaze to meet crystal blue and the injured, lumbering figure of the Krathor moved off, Xander knew. Spike had endured a hundred plus years after losing first his Mate, then his Angelus… and had been compelled to look after Drusilla alone as a direct result of both, struggling to survive, doting on her, loving her as her carer more than her Childe. And just before Xander had been flung back in time ‘dumped’ by his love of over a hundred years, denied by the vampire who Sired him only to become crippled by an artificial chip.
After his last nearly three years with Wil, Xander knew it for what it was, the cruelest of muzzles. Not only did it cage the demon, it starved it, took away its ability to operate in its own society, and left the being it inhabited so vulnerable, desperate and frightened, that both beast and man fell into depression and despair.
They stood staring at each other for a long moment before Spike became visibly upset mumbled a choked, “I can’t… not again… I… ” then turned and disappeared into the night.
Xander sat back down pulling his knees tight to his chest and resting his chin on the bony platform created. He would have to face Willow again sometime soon – if only to fill in the gaps of what had happened in his absence of thirty three months. But for now it was his time to regroup. His last joyous joining with his Mate Wil had only been, for him, last night just before… a tear escaped and he hugged his knees tighter as he gave in to shock
It had been five months since Spike’s chipping and he had been so very depressed of late – despite discovering his ability to hurt demons. Xander was sick of playing host to the undead bleached wonder, but still did not trust him alone, with or without restraints. So, on that warm spring evening, the then totally human Xander had ushered Spike to Giles’ apartment for some ‘vampire minding’ with the intention of the Xanman meeting up with Willow and new friend Tara for a night at the Bronze.
As Xander tied the last of the knots in the ropes fastening Spike’s legs to the chair, a flash of white stopped him in his tracks. He fell against Spike’s leg for a moment took two deep breaths, and assuming it had passed continued with his task, only to have a blinding pain flash simultaneously through his chest and head. He almost cried out before slumping forward and passing out.
To the observers, Giles (who was returning from the kitchen with a cup of tea, a cocoa and a mug of blood) and Spike, Xander didn’t look in pain exactly, rather he began to convulse and glow so brightly that his form became painful to look at then, after a final flash and scream from the boy, he was gone, the ground where he had been, left scorched and smoldering a little.
Xander had come to kneeling in a foul smelling puddle on cold bluestone cobbles with his head on a pile of rubbish that reeked of old urine and rotting fish. He tried to stand, but was apparently unable to command his own limbs as yet. He wondered what someone had put in his drink at the Bronze, because the entire evening seemed to be a blank, and now with the alleyway… although the cobbles were a strange addition… He was almost ready to go into full denial mode and simply attempt to crawl home when he heard a delighted little girl squeal, and a slow clapping accompanied by a thick Irish brogue, “Well, well, seems you have found your boy there a bit ‘v a playmate. Either that or dinner, or both… Well c’mon Willi…am pick up y’r ‘prize’ and let’s be off – t’will be light soon enough, and I fancy I have some business with my dark plumb here.”
Xander had just enough time to think “Angelus!” before he was heaved apparently effortlessly over an all too thin shoulder and his world went black.
Xander rose reluctantly. He could feel the dawn approaching, hear the birds heralding the sun even before the merest hint of light in the east. He really did belong in the dark now and wondered how Willow would react to his need for blackout blinds and genuine love of reading by candlelight.
He had hoped to sneak into the house unseen, but he had no key and was compelled to ring the doorbell, appallingly loud at 5.15am.
Willow must have been sleeping on the couch, as the door was opened within seconds and a sleepy Tara joined her partner as the exhausted, cold Xander stepped across the threshold of a house he had known since early childhood. Yet now it felt different.
The witches’ signatures screamed magic – especially Tara, who’s marker was *not* human… and he knew Spike was in the building, the place reeked of his mate!
Before Willow even had the chance to explain the accommodation arrangements Xander said, “Spike is here.”
“Yeah well… umm… after we lost you… umm… Oh Xan! He was so… Something happened. He was… he was… and then with… Oh Xan… we’ve missed you!”
The last statement almost undid him… but he had been through worse, or at least that’s what he thought.
He leveled his most compelling gaze on an old friend and simply said, “What. Happened. While I was away?”
At that moment, in Willow’s basement, a blonde vampire convulsed in his sleep, began to shed bloody tears and dreamt of a lover lost, all those years ago…