orchidluv (orchidluv) wrote in bloodclaim,
orchidluv
orchidluv
bloodclaim

Nothing the Same, Book 2
Chapter:  5/?
Pairing: Spike/Xander
Rating: PG13 - NC-17 Individual chapter will carry specific warnings.
WARNING:  This chapter contains explicit sex and violence
Feedback & concrit: yes, please
Disclaimer: don't own them, never will, just playing with them
Spoilers: Anything from Season 1 on. 
Summary: sequel to Nothing the Same. Life goes on for Spike & Xander.

Previous parts here

Chapter Five

“You told Joyce Summers that Angel was a madman who committed suicide?” Giles’ pained expression as he summarized what Xander had just told him seemed to be reflecting actual pain. He pressed the heel of one palm tiredly against his forehead, his still bandaged fingers not yet up to the task of rubbing his headache away. He had a

bit more use of his hands now and had adapted to his limited finger dexterity as injured people do but was audibly looking forward to the day when the bandages would be gone.

Xander met his eyes squarely. “Yep.” It hadn’t been an impulse that sent him to the Summers’ house yesterday, he had thought about it for a long time. Regardless of what Giles’ opinion of his actions were, Xander knew it had been the right thing to do.

“I see.” Giles sat down with a sigh.

Silence stretched between them and Xander simply waited, giving Giles time to process the information.

“I suppose it was rather clever of you to find an explanation that covered the situation without revealing Buffy’s role as the Slayer,” Giles said eventually, “but I don’t really understand why you felt it was necessary.”

“Giles, you know what happened and you’re freaking out - in a discrete, British way, of course,” he added hastily at Giles’ look. “Mrs. Summers has been completely in the dark and is probably blaming herself for Buffy running away. Having some idea of the reason why Buffy left has to help a little.”

If Xander had one main problem with Giles, it was that he was so intent on what Buffy needed that he was frequently oblivious to everyone else’s needs. He didn’t think Giles was intentionally cruel but, sometimes, the things he did sure made him seem that way. It was like all his empathy was focused on Buffy and he didn’t have any to spare for anyone else. In Xander’s opinion, it skewed his thinking, like when he was willing to go along with the re-souling spell, or now, when he’d been willing to leave Mrs. Summers hanging with no information. Giles was so intent on protecting Buffy’s secret identity that he couldn’t see Mrs. Summers’ pain.

“Well, no harm done. And you may be right, it may help Mrs. Summers to have some idea of the trauma that Buffy went through that caused her to run away. It was certainly not Joyce Summers’ fault.”

Xander’s jaw tightened but he didn’t say anything. Giles kept making excuses for Buffy instead of holding her accountable for being a selfish bitch. After Spike’s wounds had healed and Xander’s own anger had abated somewhat, he’d had been surprised to find he was able to muster a bit of sympathy for Buffy - for a couple of days, anyway. After Jesse died, Xander had pretty much crawled into a hole to grieve, so he got the whole wounded-animal-suffering-alone thing. Sometimes you really had to just go to ground until the first raw pain eased a little.

His sympathy had died rapidly as the days went by and Buffy didn’t return. As far as he knew, Buffy hadn’t even bothered to find out if Giles was alive before she blew town and she sure didn’t seem to be thinking about what her mother was going through. Buffy was the one who kept going on about her great mythic destiny as the Slayer and apparently that no longer meant anything to her either. Granted, it was possible she was still fighting demons wherever she was now, but Xander wouldn’t have put any money on it.

Xander was the first to admit he had Buffy issues. So the fact that he thought she was just being a big drama queen over Angel’s death probably wasn’t a surprise. In his opinion, she was self-indulgently wallowing in melodramatic grief over her star-crossed love. After all, it wasn’t like she didn’t have her mother and Giles to help her deal. Plus, she’d had months to get used to the idea that she was going to have to kill Angel. It couldn’t have been a surprise when it finally happened - she’d gone into the battle with a lot of weapons for someone who didn’t seem to have understood that people die in fights to the death. Ok, the fact that Angel had a soul again when she killed him had to have hurt but, hey, who’s fault was that? The least she could do was check up on the wounded her boyfriend had left strewn in his wake.

Giles looked exhausted. He was still spending far too much time on the phone, calling the same numbers, and new ones he dug up, over and over again as he sought out information, tips, rumors, anything. Xander had offered to stop their demon study sessions until Buffy was found but Giles had insisted on continuing them, saying it helped to think about something else for awhile. Although Giles and he had a mutual agreement not to talk about it, Xander knew that Willow was coming over every morning to keep him company and to use the computer to widen the search. Fingers aside, Giles was still nearly computer illiterate but Willow had always been good on the internet. From what Oz said, Willow and Giles were also studying magic. Giles had given in to Willow’s desire to learn more magic and was teaching her the theoretical underpinnings of magic, insisting that Willow have a firm grasp of the fundamentals if she was intending to keep studying to be a witch.

Oz was worried about Willow. He wasn’t trying to push Xander, but he’d mentioned how lonely she was without Buffy to talk to and how obsessed with finding her she was - spending hours on the computer at home in addition to her time with Giles. Oz and Xander had found it was impossible to leave Willow out of their conversations - she was too much a part of Oz these days - and they didn’t try. Oz respected that Xander was angry with Willow and didn’t try to force the issue, and Xander simply acted as if she was someone he barely knew and had no issues with when her name came up. They were guys, it worked.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Leaving Giles’ apartment, Xander found himself heading towards Revello Drive. He knew Mrs. Summers worked and wasn’t likely to be home. Stopping at the house, he surveyed the lawn and wondered if it was Buffy’s job to keep it mowed. It was way overdue and was going to be a real chore to mow if it wasn’t done soon. On impulse, he walked around the house looking for a garden shed. He wasn’t particularly worried about the neighbors, figuring that, if they had never noticed Buffy climbing out of her window most nights, they weren’t particularly snoopy people. Finding a small shed tucked away at the back of the property, he checked inside and saw a lawn mower.

An hour later, he surveyed his work. The lawn was tidy again and the house no longer stood out among the neatly trimmed yards of its neighbors. Satisfied, he put the mower back and headed home.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“You told her my Sire was an escaped lunatic?!” Spike was outraged and it showed.

“Well, he was, kind of.” Xander hadn’t thought that Spike would be upset about what he’d told Mrs. Summers.

Which was stupid, now that he thought about it. Can you say Sire issues? Not that he blamed Spike, he told himself hastily. Anyone with Angel/Angelus as a Sire was entitled to all the Sire issues they could handle. Jerry Springer would love to get that family on his show. Angel would fit right in with those people whose husband and father came home one day and announced they were getting a sex change operation. For Spike, the whole “Hi, honey, I’ve got a soul now” had obviously been the vampire equivalent of a childhood trauma. Not that he was ever sharing that analogy with Spike. He wasn’t that dumb.

“I’m sorry, Spike. I didn’t mean to insult your family but you said yourself that Angelus was different this time around.”

Ok, maybe he should’ve just stuck with the apology part of that sentence. Spike was still glaring at him in yellow-eyed anger and Xander didn’t know what to say to get Spike to cool down.

After a minute, Spike’s glare softened and his eyes shifted back to blue. “Yeah, he was different. S’pose escaped loony does sort of cover it.” He shrugged, putting it behind him in that way he had of living entirely in the present. “How’d that work out?”

Xander perched on the arm of the couch next to him. “It went ok. I think maybe it helped a little bit.”

“Told ya you would know what to do.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Jose approached Spike outside the bar he was just about to enter. “Master Spike, may I speak with you?”

“What’s on yer mind?” Spike had a feeling that trouble was in the wind, there had been tension among the three minions and he had warned Xander to stay away from them for the time being. He signaled for Jose to walk with him away from the bar and possible eavesdroppers. He was pleased when the minion fell in step with him and, without prompting, didn’t speak until they were well away from the bar.

“Rafael is being courted by an older vampire. He is young and foolish and equates a small Court with weakness. He does not understand the value of patience and building things slowly so they last.” At Spike’s raised eyebrow, Jose bowed with a curious, antique formality. “Forgive me, Master Spike, if I have spoken out of turn. It is apparent to me that you have chosen to build your Court slowly after your difficulties with the minions you inherited from the Anointed One.” For the first time since he’d met the vampire, Spike saw a hint of a smile on the usually impassive face. “I was not part of that Court by choice, having been familiar with a number of the vampires who made up the Court.”

It was the most Spike had heard the minion say since he’d joined the Court and it cemented his growing approval of Jose. It also fit with what Spike had been observing about the youngest member of his Court. “Yeah, bunch of useless gits the Annoying One had.” Turning to the subject at hand, he asked: “So, who’s recruiting Ralph? And what’s Michael’s position?” He studied Jose carefully as he answered, aware that, if Jose wasn’t playing this straight, he would be the one most likely to mount a serious challenge.

“A vampire who calls himself Ares, recently arrived in town.” Spike snorted in disgust at the name, vampires could be such posers. “He is in the bar now, along with an unusually large number of vampires. Michael… is on the fence. I apologize but I am not sure which way he will go when it comes down to it.”

“Fair enough, doubt he knows himself which way he’ll jump until the question is put to him.” Spike made up his mind quickly. “You armed?”

“Two stakes and a knife.”

Spike nodded, pleased with the swift, accurate listing. Opening his duster, he unfastened a small, one-handed crossbow that he’d worn hanging from a loop inside his duster since the day he’d moved into the factory. Handing it and a handful of bolts to Jose, he ordered: “Don’t use it on the wanker. I’ll take care of him. Use it to take out anyone who tries to interfere in the fight.”

“Yes, Master Spike.” Spike watched as Jose loaded the crossbow, his quick economical movements satisfying Spike about his competence.

“No time like the present.”

They both turned and headed back to the bar, Spike slightly in the lead, Jose keeping the crossbow down inconspicuously at his side.

Entering the room, Spike heading for the bar with seeming casualness, taking in the players with one sweeping glance. Ares had to be the tall black-haired git leaning back in his chair at the corner table. Every other vampire had their attention focused on him, a few openly, the rest surreptitiously. A handful of barely-turned fledges were listening to his booming voice admiringly, but most of the crowd looked like they were withholding judgment.

Spike leaned against the bar and ordered whiskey. The bartender poured it quickly and moved immediately down to the far end of the bar, as far from Spike as he could get. Picking up his glass, Spike swiveled casually around and sipped while he studied the room. Jose had stayed near the door, fading back into the shadows, but Spike could see he was poised and ready. Ralph was with the sycophants clustered around the corner table. Michael was standing with a couple of older vampires against the wall who’d stopped talking, along with almost everyone else, when Spike walked in.

The front legs of Ares’ chair thunked back down onto the floor, the sound like a gunshot in the rapidly spreading silence. Spike ignored him, finishing his drink and setting the glass down on the bar. Still leaning casually against the bar, he lit a cigarette, puffing idly like a vampire without a care in the world. He kept his gaze on the far wall, even when he heard Ares’ chair scrape back and his booted feet crossing the room.

With studied contempt, Spike took a last drag and flicked the butt in the direction of the approaching vampire, turning his head to watch it bounce off the polished boot. “Sorry, mate. Didn’t see you there,” he said, his indifferent tone clearly conveying his opinion that the vampire was too unimportant to bother with. Behind Ares, the vampires who had been listening to him had moved with him, forming a loose semi-circle behind Ares.

Spike gave them a disbelieving look. “Not much of an entourage for the god of war,” he commented sarcastically. “Recruiting babies, are you?”

“You should know, I believe some of them used to be yours.” Ares’ voice was smug.

Spike just shrugged at the implication he couldn’t hold the minions he recruited. “Gotta have someone to do the scut work. They’re so unimportant, it’s hard to keep track of ‘em. Always plenty more where they came from.” He looked pointedly at the group behind Ares, letting his gaze sweep over Ralph without a flicker of recognition. “You sure some of these were mine? Don’t recognize any of ‘em.”

Ralph stirred as if he was about to say something but a sharp gesture from Ares stilled him again.

“Well, you’re still young. You’ll find that memory improves as a vampire matures and comes in to their full power.”

“Be as old as Methuselah one day and I still won’t be wasting my time learning the names of useless minions.” Spike wasn’t worried by the other vampire’s implication that he was far older than Spike. Wasn’t a vampire turned who didn’t claim to be older than they actually were. He doubted that Ares was much older than Spike, if he was anything at all out of the ordinary, Spike would almost certainly have heard of him before now.

During the barbed exchange, many of the other vampires in the bar had drifted closer, including Michael who was being careful to stay in the area between Ares and Spike, clearly reluctant to choose either side yet.

Spike shot the minion a hard look. “Gonna have to decide which side you’re on,” he said flatly.

It was enough to get him off the fence and Michael crossed the room to Spike’s side. “With you, Spike,” he said. The watching vampires shifted restlessly but no one else seemed inclined to take a stand either way.

Once Michael had chosen a side, Spike ignored him, focusing on Ares again. “Well, enough of the boring small talk. Let me guess, you’ve just strolled into town and decided there needs to be a change in management.”

“Something like that. The Hellmouth needs a strong Court, not that miserable excuse for one that I hear you’ve set up.”

“And you think you’re the right vampire for the job.”

“I am.” Ares attacked as he answered, aiming a vicious blow at Spike’s head.

Spike was ready for it. He’d seen the tension in Ares’ body and was already moving when Ares’ arm swung, ducking below the arc of the swing and bouncing back up, untouched. Spike had decided to let Ares’ attack first for the same reason he hadn’t dusted Ralph yet: appearances. Dusting Ralph before the fight would have given him an importance he didn’t have. Attacking Ares first would have made Spike seem insecure.

This way, Ares looked foolish for missing his first blow and Spike followed up his advantage quickly with a rapid flurry of blows, ending in a spin-kick combination to Ares’ chest that staggered the larger vamp knocking him back into his cluster of followers.

He was up again in an instant and roaring in fury, charging Spike with murderous intent. Ares was a head taller and significantly outweighed Spike but he was slower and far too dependent on overwhelming his opponents with sheer mass. Spike stayed out of his reach, dancing quickly in and out of range, landing hard, sharp blows and retreating again before Ares could respond.

Although they were fairly evenly matched, Spike’s darting attack made him look like he was complete dominating the fight, in fact just playing with Ares, the proverbial cat toying with a mouse. Which was good because it kept the other vampires in check. None of them wanted to back the wrong side so, despite the numbers favoring Ares, for now they were staying out of it. He was peripherally aware of Michael guarding his flank against attack armed with what was probably the bartender’s club but all his attention was concentrated on Ares.

Spike needed to not only win the fight, he needed to make it look easy. For that reason, he couldn’t risk closing with the bigger vampire. He had no doubt he would win even a close quarters fight but if he got too battered taking the other vamp down, then others in the room would get ideas. Fortunately, this suited Spike’s fighting style.

Darting quickly from side to side, dodging Ares’ lunges and roundhouse blows with contemptuous ease, Spike peppered the air with mocking commentary, criticizing Ares’ moves, his fashion sense, and anyone lame enough to follow him. Bouncing on his toes, circling, almost dancing around the larger vamp, Spike was constantly in motion, forcing Ares to lumber after him - like a big dog being tormented by a cat.

Ares’ increasing fury did nothing for his fighting skills. He continued trying to come to grips with Spike, intent on crushing him under his weight and seemed to be unable to alter his tactics despite the fact that they weren’t working. Ares was bleeding from the nose and mouth and a large cut over his eye where the skin had split under Spike’s fist was dripping blood into his eyes. Shaking his head to clear it, he shot blood droplets around the room, splattering the ring of watching vampires. It had not gone unnoticed in the crowd that Spike was still untouched.

Spike knew he’d been lucky that none of Ares’ punches had landed. A nearby table lay in splinters from the force of one of Ares’ missed blows and Spike was keenly aware of how much strength the bigger vamp had. It wouldn’t do for the image he was projecting to be sent flying across the room from a single punch. On the other hand, appearances had been satisfied and it was time to end this.

“Bored now,” he announced. “Really don’t fancy wasting more of my time on you.” Snatching the club out of Michael’s hands, he swung it like a ball player hitting a line drive. It smashed into Ares’ side, lifting him off his feet and dropping him onto a table which promptly broke under his weight, sending Ares to the floor in a shower of splinters. Ares had barely staggered upright when Spike swung again, this time bringing the club around in a low, vicious arc aimed at Ares’ knees.

Ares screamed, crumpling to the ground as the bones in his left knee shattered. Spike hit him twice more with the club, hammering him into the floor and hearing bones crack as he did. Tossing the bat back to the surprised Michael, who still managed to snag it in mid-air Spike was pleased to see, he yanked a stake out of his pocket and pounced, slamming it home with both hands into Ares’ back. He snatched it back quickly even as dust exploded beneath him and whirled to face Ares’ entourage, which was significantly smaller now. A couple of times during the fight, he’d heard the twang of a crossbow bolt being fired and now he shot a quick look at Jose, still in his post by the door.

“One or two sought to interfere, Master Spike. They will not trouble you again.”

Spike was pleased to see that Ralph was gone - whether dusted or fled, he didn’t really care. The fledge was too insignificant to worry about either way.

Spike turned to Michael. The minion had acquitted himself fairly well, having had the sense to both stay out of it and to arm himself as he guarded Spike’s flank. In one swift move, Spike grabbed him by the throat and slammed him up against the wall, the stake pressed to his chest hard enough to draw blood. The light-haired vampire opened his mouth to say something then snapped it shut again at Spike’s snarl.

“If I ever have to ask you to choose a side again, you better pick the other guy and pray they win or I will stake you out over a groymin’s nest and leave you to be eaten alive.”

He held Michael’s eyes for a long moment, emphasizing his point. The minion dropped his eyes, bowing his head in submission and Spike pulled the stake back, satisfied that his point had been made. He relaxed his grip, letting the younger vampire’s feet touch the ground again, then drove the stake into Michael’s stomach with one brutally quick movement. The minion screamed in pain and Spike dropped him. He watched as Michael’s knees crumpled until he slid down the wall to the floor, cradling his stomach in both arms. Never hurt to underline a point with a spot of violence.

Spike turned and swept the room with a hard stare. “Anyone else have questions about who’s in charge here?”

Silence was his only response and Spike smirked as he looked around the room at the thoroughly cowed vampires. “It’s simple enough, even for you lot. This is my town. Anybody wants to do anything out of the ordinary, they clear it with me first. I don’t give a shite what most of you do most of the time. But anything that’s going to cause problems for anyone but yourself, you bloody well better make sure you bring it to me.

“This is the Hellmouth, most of the humans who live here are too stupid to know we’re around. Some demons need that, so let’s try to keep a low profile, shall we? If you feel the need to walk starkers down Main street, go to L.A. and get it out of your system. Anyone has a problem with any of that, you know where to find me.”

He looked over at Jose and nodded, acknowledging how well his new lieutenant had done. “Take Michael back to the factory and find him something to eat on the way home. Pick out one of the rooms on the second floor for yourself. You’re promoted. If you happen to know anyone worth keeping around, bring ‘em over for a look-see.”

He didn’t bother lowering his voice. Promoting Jose publicly was a mark of distinction that the other vampire had earned. Making him the gatekeeper for anyone who wanted to become part of Spike’s Court gave him status of his own. He’d called Michael by his name and allowed him to live. That was reward enough for him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Working for Mrs. Summers helped alleviate some of Xander’s guilt about Jesse’s mother. He still hadn’t written to Mrs. McNally and that sat uneasily on his conscience but every time he tried, he ended up sitting in front of a blank piece of paper, unable to write a single coherent sentence. He’d been unable to talk to her face-to-face, what could he possibly write down that would make sense or help her deal?

Mowing the Summers’ lawn was a self-imposed penance for not mowing Jesse’s lawn. Fixing the broken shutter, replacing the loose board on the porch step, washing the windows, all somehow lightened his guilt over not doing the same things for Jesse’s mom. It didn’t excuse his failure to sit and talk to Mrs. McNally last year, but talking with Mrs. Summers maybe balanced the scales a little.

The second time he’d gone to the house, she’d come home and found him weeding the flower bed in the back yard. He hadn’t heard her car drive up and nearly had a heart attack when she came around the corner of the house and spoke to him. He’d jumped to his feet and stammered apologies, worried that she’d be angry at his presumption. Instead she’d simply thanked him and asked him to wait there for a minute. He didn’t know what to expect but it wasn’t that she would change into jeans and a work shirt and join him. Working together, side by side, they began talking. At first, awkwardly about the garden and the weather, then gradually they branched out until they were talking easily about nothing in particular.

She was a really nice lady. Lonely and trying to hide her worry, she was genuinely grateful when Xander began stopping by a couple times a week, offering to do any chores that needed doing. He was a fairly good handy-man, having had lots of practice around his parents’ house, and he helped her with minor repairs and sometimes just kept her company. If she was home, she would sit and talk with him while he worked and always had a glass of lemonade and a plate of cookies for him when he was done. Except for the anxiety that never left her eyes, she was like a sitcom mom: warm and friendly and with a never-ending supply of snacks. Xander envied Buffy and wondered if she had any idea that she had the kind of mother that people wished for. He couldn’t believe Buffy would do this to her mother. She’d been gone for nearly a month now and there had been no word save the postcard she’d mailed the first week she was gone.

Xander knew Mrs. Summers had figured out that he hadn’t been very close to Buffy. He didn’t know enough about her non-Slayer life to fake it and just ended up just telling Mrs. Summers that he was friends with Oz and so had only gotten to know Buffy recently.

Then one day, she asked if she could talk to his friend, Angel’s relative. Mrs. Summers was hoping he could tell her more, since he was the one who had supposedly told Xander about what happened the night Buffy ran away. Xander almost dropped the glass he was holding in his panic as he thought about what Spike might say or do in front of the Slayer’s mother. Spike didn’t talk about it much directly but it was obvious he was still furious with Buffy over the fiasco with Acathla and the re-souling spell.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Xander caught Spike not long after he woke up, bringing him a cup of coffee and sitting cross-legged on the bed next to him as he drank it. “Would you mind doing me a favor?”

“Sure, pet. What’s on your mind?”

Spike had been relaxed and comfortable ever since his fight with Ares, which he had described to Xander in loving detail from start to finish. The tense wariness that had been present in Spike every moment since they’d moved in to the factory had vanished with the fight. Spike was firmly in control of the Hellmouth now and had a lieutenant he could trust to keep the minions in line. Several more vampires had moved in to the third floor of the building and Xander had talked with Jose a couple of times since the fight. He liked the polite, older vampire and Jose was beginning to loosen up a bit, smiling occasionally at one of Xander’s jokes.

Xander was beginning to recognize the difference between minions and Masters. Mostly it was control - minions simply couldn’t be trusted to control themselves without someone they feared keeping them in line. As vampires matured - over decades, not years - they gradually learned to control their instinct to hunt and kill and would often become interested in other things: sometimes hobbies they had pursued in their human years, or new technology as the world changed from the one they’d been born into, or whatever. A lot of vampires never did mature, enjoying slaughter and destruction to ever be interested in anything else. Jose had been a vampire for about 30 years, and Spike told Xander he was unusually mature for that age. Michael was roughly 10 years older and had far less control.

“You know how I’ve been talking to Mrs. Summers?” Xander knew he was stalling, but he had a feeling Spike wasn’t going to like the favor he was asking.

“Yeah,” Spike cocked his head and Xander suspected he smelled nervous.

“Would you mind coming over and meeting her?” he asked, the words tumbling out quickly.

“Don’t usually do the meet ‘n greet thing with humans, luv.”

Relieved that Spike hadn’t gotten angry, Xander explained: “She asked if she could meet you, she’s hoping you might have more information than I do, that Buffy may have said something to you.” Xander looked anxiously at him. “She’s really nice, Spike, and she’s worried sick about her daughter. She’s grasping at straws and she knows it, but she’d really like to talk to you.” He frowned at the wicked gleam that had appeared in Spike’s eye. “Not if you’re going to mess with her, Spike. You can’t get back at Buffy through her mom.”

“Would I do something like that?” Spike asked with injured innocence.

“Only every day of the week. But not tonight, ok?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mrs. Summers welcomed Spike with a warm smile, inviting him inside without batting an eye despite the fact that he was dressed for evil - black tee-shirt and jeans, red silk over-shirt, duster, Doc Martens. The two of them were chatting away in no time. It turned out that Mrs. Summers’ had spent some time in London during a Junior year abroad thing in college. Xander was the odd man out, not knowing any of the places they were talking about and nervous about the reason for their visit despite the fact that it was obvious that Spike was effortlessly charming Mrs. Summers, or Joyce as she insisted Spike call her.

When the London talk died down, the anxiety returned to her eyes and she thanked Spike for coming. “I really appreciate you being willing to talk to me. I know this must be hard for you and I’m so sorry for your loss. You were related to Angel?”

Xander jumped in before Spike could respond. “They were cousins, I think. Right, Spike?” he prompted nervously.

“Fuck this. Joyce, your daughter’s the Vampire Slayer. Angelus was a vampire. They were the Hellmouth’s version of soddin’ Romeo and Juliet. She stuck him with a sword and sent him to hell. Then she did a bunk and ran off.”

Joyce gasped like a fish out of water and Xander groaned, burying his face in his hands. “Great, Spike. Why don’t you give it to her straight while you’re at it?”

“What? You’ve all been lying through your teeth about what happened. Lady deserves the truth.”

What are you talking about?” Joyce looked liked she was torn between anger and laughter. “Buffy wouldn’t kill anyone…” she stopped abruptly, looking even paler and finished quietly, “not on purpose. And… vampires? That’s crazy.” Anger was obviously rapidly winning the battle.

Trapped, Xander briefly considered just grabbing Spike and dragging him out of there but he couldn’t just leave after she’d had that dumped that on her. Hoping she wouldn’t hate him, he finally said, “it’s true. Angel was a vampire. Spike is one, too.”

“I think you two should leave now. This isn’t very funny.” Mrs. Summers was suddenly on her feet, her voice cold as she pointed to the door.

Standing there, Mrs. Summers radiated offended dignity. Or she did until Spike shook his head and morphed into his true face. Mrs. Summers gasped in shock, one hand going to her throat as she stepped back instinctively.

“It’s ok, Mrs. Summers,” Xander hurried to reassure her. “Spike is a…” he winced even as he said it, “a good vampire. Not evil,” he clarified, thinking that sounded a little less dumb and wishing Spike had stuck with the “relative of Angel, the off-his-meds-mental-patient” story.

Outraged, Spike opened his mouth to protest and Xander smacked him, hard. Shooting Spike a warning glare, he waited until Spike subsided, grumbling under his breath about being evil. Served him right to be insulted, springing the vampire thing on Mrs. Summers that way.

“Can we, maybe explain a little?” he asked.

Mrs. Summers sat down like her legs weren’t able to hold her anymore and nodded mutely, her eyes frozen on Spike’s gold eyes and demonic features.

~~~~~~~~~~

It had gone surprisingly well. Spike remained in vampire-face for most of the rest of their stay and Mrs. Summers had actually learned to deal with it pretty quickly. Xander and Spike between them filled her in on Hellmouth reality and Spike had been amazingly non-confrontational about it, especially given how he felt about Buffy. He didn’t call her a bint or anything worse even once, nor express his dubious opinion of her intelligence. As Mrs. Summers’ shock faded, she began asking questions curiously: about vampires and demons, about the Slayer, about magic. Spike had seemed to enjoy answering her questions and even editing his answers. There were none of the truly awful blood and guts stories he loved to share with Xander and Xander couldn’t help wondering at how easily Mrs. Summers was accepting Spike. Xander himself had taken a lot longer before he could talk to Spike without a cross clutched in his hand and his heart hammering. She had welcomed Xander readily, of course, but then he hadn’t introduced himself by brutally shaking her world view. Was it just that Mrs. Summers was lonely or had she been like this before Buffy ran away?

The end results were mixed. Mrs. Summers was reassured about Buffy’s ability to take care of herself physically but had a whole new set of worries about Buffy fighting demons. To Xander’s relief, she wasn’t angry that he’d lied to her, just saying that she understood why he had not wanted to tell her the truth. She invited Spike and Xander to come over any time they wanted and Xander could tell that Spike was secretly pleased. There weren’t too many humans who would give a vampire an open invitation into their homes.

With a mother like that, how could Buffy have left? This was someone she could have gone to and cried and been comforted. Xander used to dream he had a parent who listened and cared like this and Buffy had just thrown it away.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Leaving the house and walking out into the quiet residential night, Xander suddenly found himself yanked off the front path and pressed up against the rough bark of the palm tree at the edge of the Summers’ front yard with a yellow-eyed demon seriously in his personal space.

“Think I’m good, d’you, luv?” Spike growled menacingly.

Xander kept his expression serious with an effort. “You are the sweetest person I know, Spike,” he said, with the earnest sincerity of a used car salesman assuring a customer that the car they were interested in had only been driven by a little old lady once a week to church.

Spike’s glare intensified, his eyes narrowing in outrage. His hands closed tightly in Xander’s hair, holding him still as his mouth claimed Xander’s hard, leaning his body against Xander’s and sliding one leg between Xander’s as his lips devoured Xander’s, his tongue darting in to taste and tease. His leg began rubbing between Xander’s and he kept it there against Xander’s burgeoning erection as he lifted his head.

“Sweet?” he asked, threateningly.

Xander nodded as well as he could, pinned as he still was. “Decent, fair-minded…” Spike’s lips cut him off again before he could utter more insults. Xander was trying to laugh and kiss at the same time and not doing well with either as he fought free of Spike’s mouth.

“Kind to kids and…ahhh…puppies!” he managed to say, his breath hitching as Spike’s thigh pressed hard against him.

“Right, that does it.” Spike let him go so abruptly that Xander staggered. He was both amused and horrified to see Spike was theatrically unfastening his belt. “Gonna show you who’s evil,” he was muttering as he began to unbutton his fly.

“Spike!” Xander yelped, his hands flying up to block Spike’s. “Stop! We’re in the middle of her yard.”

Spike leered at him. “Gotta prove I’m evil, don’t I?”

As tempted as he was to call Spike’s bluff, Xander didn’t dare, he knew his vampire too well. Spike would just go right ahead and that was so not happening. “You win,” he said hastily. “You’re evil. There’s not a trace of good in your entire body.”

Spike grinned triumphantly. “Let’s go home and shag, pet.”

“Oh, yeah.” That was a plan Xander could get behind.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Running up the stairs to their apartment, Xander was laughing at the yellow-eyed demon chasing him. Giddy with relief that things had gone so well with Mrs. Summers, Xander have given in completely to the rising tide of lust.

Spike had been evil personified on the way home, stopping multiple times to kiss and fondle Xander as they walked through the quiet streets. He seemed to particularly delight in rubbing teasingly against Xander in the floodlit areas under street lights where anyone could see them.

Xander had countered the sneak attacks by making up outrageous, over-the-top sappy nick-names. “Pookie” had been especially effective, Spike’s answer to that one had left Xander panting and barely able to walk. Thank god the Sunnydale cops were more well-known for their absence than their presence or the two of them would have been arrested for public indecency a dozen times over.

They barely made it inside the door before they were tearing at each other’s clothes as they headed, somewhat erratically, for the bedroom, leaving pieces of clothing strewn in their wake. By the time they landed on the mattress, they were both naked and fully erect.

Xander began frantically rubbing himself against Spike, desperate for release after being teased for so long. Spike stopped him and he groaned in frustration. “Please!”

“Not yet, luv.”

Xander swore. “You really are evil,” he groaned.

Spike laughed, pinning Xander down and hovering over him so their bodies didn’t touch above the knees. “Someone needs to learn to wait.”

Still holding Xander’s arms down, Spike began kissing across his chest, his tongue swirling around the already peaked nipples and teasing them into hard, aching nubs. Xander moaned, arcing his chest into the touch and losing himself in the pleasure Spike was giving him. Even when Spike released his arms to move further down his body, he stayed put and let Spike do what he wanted. The journey had become as pleasureful as the destination.

Spike lifted Xander’s legs up, pushing his knees forward towards his chest and concentrated on the tight pucker exposed by the movement. Other than one long sweep of his tongue, he bypassed Xander’s weeping erection, letting his tongue swirl around and over, tasting Xander’s balls and sac, hearing his lover gasp and moan as his hips pressed up into the touch.

Another day, Spike would concentrate on Xander’s balls, bringing his boy to orgasm from his tongue and fingers teasing and playing with them, showing him how unbearably sensitive they could become. But for now…

Spike’s tongue darted out, teasing at Xander’s hole, his fingers spreading Xander’s cheeks as he inhaled deeply, gathering the smells into his lungs even as his tongue swept over the entrance, causing it to twitch in excitement. Xander was mewling now, incoherent pleas falling from his lips as his legs jerked in Spike’s grip. Chuckling, Spike thrust his tongue inside, swirling it around the passage and feeling the muscles clench and spasm as he thrust in and out.

Fumbling blindly for the lube in the drawer beside the bed, Spike kept tongue-fucking Xander as he spread lavish amounts of the slick over his own aching hard-on. Letting Xander’s legs go, Spike spread Xander’s knees and positioned himself between them. Leaning forward, he drank in the sight of Xander - flushed and eager, his eyes black with desire. Spike’s erection nudged at the opening and Xander tilted his hips wantonly. Spike forced himself to go slowly, not slamming in like he wanted. He hadn’t stretched Xander enough for that. He pushed himself inside his lover with rigid control, feeling Xander’s passage stretch grudgingly, the tight heat almost robbing Spike of that control as he thrust in with agonizing slowness until he was fully seated.

Reveling in the feeling of Xander’s passage gripping him, Spike kissed Xander long and hard. It was only when Xander’s hips began twitching upwards, seeking more, that Spike allowed himself to move. Slowly at first, then faster, his hips began the age-old rhythm of thrust and retreat, moving smoothly in and out of the tight channel, Xander’s hips moving in counterpoint to his own.

As his climax rapidly neared, Spike sank his teeth into his mark. Xander cried out and came immediately, orgasm pulled from him at the ecstasy of the double penetration. As his body bucked underneath Spike’s, Spike poured his own offering deep into his boy, until Xander’s body had milked the last drops from him and he let himself collapse on top of his boy.

Temporarily sated, Spike pulled out and let Xander drowsily tug him into his arms. Snuggling into the warmth of his boy, Spike had the last word.

“That’ll show you who’s evil,” he said smugly, feeling Xander’s lips curve against his cheek as he spoke.

TBC


 

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