Author: Mrs. Muir
Pairing: Spike / Xander
Rating: NC-17 (Adults Only!!)
Feedback: If you’d like…I’d like
Summary: Xander turns to Spike when his home life falls apart and in a moment of desperate loneliness they cross the boundaries of friendship. Together and apart they travel a rocky path to manhood and to the truth of their hearts.
Warnings: Underage, All human
Disclaimer: All things BtVS belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Fox and whoever else can lay claim to them. This story is for entertainment purposes only.
Previous chapters can be found here
and the new chapter is here:
The bell rang, making students jump from their seats and scurry from the classroom. Buffy waited until the class emptied out before following her classmates into the crowded hallway. Keeping her head low, she slid along the sides of the hallway until she reached her locker. It was so-far-so-good as she turned the tumblers of the lock. Sixth period was over and freedom was finally hers. All she had to do was get off school grounds and she would have successfully made it through another day without a showdown with Angel or his skanky new girlfriend.
"Boo," a voice whispered in her ear, making her jump about two feet.
"Geez Spike," Buffy said, elbowing her friend in the stomach. "Do you have to scare a girl half to death?"
"Well you were looking a little uptight," Spike said, tickling her with his breath as he continued to talk into her ear. He massaged her shoulders. "Feel a little tense, too. Mr. Baker get on you about French again?"
"No. I'm trying to avoid Angel," Buffy whispered, still not turning around. It was a little childish to think that if she couldn't see Angel and Cordelia that they couldn't see her either, but it was all she could manage. If they wanted to find her, they would. She wasn't afraid of them. At least not physically. If it came down to it, she was pretty confident that she could kick their ass. She was more worried about her heart, which was already bruised from seeing them together every minute of every day.
"Oh. What happened to the big crush?"
"Would you hush?" Buffy yelped, looking around to see if anyone could have heard. The hallway that was packed with students just a few minutes ago was almost empty now. She was relieved to realize that it wasn't likely anyone had overheard Spike's blurting of her feelings for Angel. "I still like him, but after that stunt you pulled, I heard he was after blood."
"Let him be," Spike said. "He deserved it for toying with your affections."
"Please," Buffy said, slamming her locker shut. She gave the tumbler a few quick turns to make sure it was locked before she turned around. "I really don't want everyone talking about it, so can we change the subject?"
"Sure, just as long as you're not feeling scared," Spike said. He threw an arm around her shoulder. "Come on. Let's go find Red and Xander. "Maybe we can find some other trouble to get into this afternoon."
"No trouble," Buffy said. "I want to stay on my mom's good side."
"What do you want?" Spike asked with a laugh.
"Nothing," Buffy said, leaning into his embrace as they started down the hallway. "I just want to keep her happy so that I can be happy without her knowing a thing."
Spike squeezed her shoulder in support. It made Buffy feel safe knowing that her friend was there if she needed anything. Without speaking they headed for the parking lot behind the school where they would meet up with Willow and Xander. There weren't any definite plans for the rest of the day, but she was sure they would end up doing something even if it was hanging out at her house. Her mom had gone grocery shopping the night before so there was plenty of food for snacking. Maybe they could watch a movie or catch up on Road Rules.
"Uh oh, stupid bints right ahead," Spike muttered, interrupting her thoughts.
Coming right at them was Cordelia and her pack of followers. All of them dressed in the latest fashions with perfect makeup to fit their perfect lives. It made Buffy want to hurl.
"Well, look it’s the school vandals," Cordelia said, stopping in front of the pair. Her minions flanked her. "What have you misfits destroyed today?"
"Damn it," Buffy said, snapping her fingers. "Our plan didn't work. Her mouth is still running."
"Yeah, well, I bet Angel is grateful for that," Spike added with one of his evil grins.
"Oh, that's really funny," Cordy said. "Unlike your prank the other night. Angel was livid about his car."
"It was funny," Buffy retorted. "You were afraid you were going to get hooked."
"Well, you all are going to get it. Angel isn't going to let this go," Cordy said.
"Yeah, like right now he's…," one of Cordy's friends started to say until Cordelia grabbed her shoulder.
"He's what right now?" Spike asked.
It didn't take much for Buffy to figure out what Angel was doing. If she and Spike were inside the school, it left the weaker two of their group vulnerable.
"Shit, Xander," Buffy said, knowing she was right when Cordelia lifted one of her brows and shrugged her shoulders. She knew that while she was avoiding Angel because of the embarrassment she would feel, Xander had been avoiding him because he didn't want to deal with someone else trying to beat him up. It wasn't fair. It had been Spike's idea so why wasn't Angel trying to pick on him?
"Come on," Spike yelled, taking off at a run down the hall.
Buffy wasn't far behind even with her heels slowing her down. The anger she was feeling making her move despite feeling clumsy. All she could think about was Xander getting hurt. He didn't fight back which Angel probably knew. Everyone in the school knew about Xander's Dad. Despite hoping that Angel wouldn't do anything like pick on someone who was outmatched by his size and ability, she feared it wouldn't make a difference. Angel needed to take back his pride.
As soon as Xander looked up to see Angel coming his way, he knew it was the end of a good day. His stomach sank while his hands twitched with uncertainty as to whether to ball up into fists or remain frozen at his sides. The frightened little boy under his father's fists wanted to cry while, at the same time, rage at the injustice of someone else wanting to hurt him made him want to meet Angel with fists cocked. Frozen in indecision, Xander watched the school's hero, and everything he'd never be, approach with a gathering crowd in his wake. Whatever went down would be seen by the other students, and only add to his reputation as a loser.
"Let's get out of here," Willow urged.
Xander could feel her hand curl around his arm, gently tugging at him to flee. He knew if he ran it would only be followed by the sound of students imitating chickens with clucks that would be heard for days. Swallowing back his fear, Xander dropped his book bag on the ground and stood straighter. At least being beaten at home insured there was no audience, but here at school he would be surrounded. Each punch or kick would be followed with taunts. His stomach tightened as he prepared to deal with whatever was coming next.
"Not running?" Angel said. He stopped within punching distance of Xander.
"Not today," Xander said, hoping his voice didn't sound as weak as he felt. "What do you want?"
"Uh, I think you should direct that to your mother. She's responsible for that ugly mug, not me."
A few of the kids snickered. It didn't make Angel laugh. Xander couldn't believe he could be so stupid as to be a smartass. Angel didn't need any more reasons to beat the pulp out of him. He flinched when Angel moved so close that he could smell Angel's breathe which thankfully didn't smell like alcohol. It was a stupid thought it was the only thing that came to his mind as Angel grabbed his shirtfront and pushed him into Spike's car. Xander felt Willow stumble since she'd still been holding onto him.
"Do not ever hurt Willow," Xander yelled, struggling to stand back up. He threw a wide punch that missed its target, but it felt better than doing nothing. "She didn't have anything to do with this."
The crowd was chanting, "Fight, fight…"
"She shouldn't be hanging out with such a loser," Angel yelled back as he threw a punch.
Somehow, Xander got lucky. He ducked, and then danced out of the way just in time. Angel's fist connected with the window frame of the Impala. As he tried to regain his footing, he could hear footsteps running his way. He knew it was Spike and Buffy. They were the only two in the school that would be coming to his rescue. Except he didn't want to be rescued. Not from Angel. He would rather go down trying to defend himself, instead of someone else doing it. Before the others could reach him, Xander drove his shoulder into Angel's midsection taking them both to the ground. He started pounding away, not caring if he was doing damage.
The voice was feminine and very demanding. It took a second to recognize Cordelia's voice as the one telling them to stop. He almost laughed, but Angel was tossing him onto his back. Suddenly, Angel was pulled off of him.
"Don't," Xander yelled when he saw it was Spike rescuing him. He rolled onto his knees and then jumped to his feet. "Let him go."
Cordelia stepped between him and Angel stopping Xander from starting the fight again.
"Do you want to get kicked out of school?" Cordelia asked, pointing at Angel. "You promised to take me to the Winter Formal. Who would I go with if you're suspended? The captain of the football team is supposed to take the head cheerleader." She took a deep breath. "And I don't want to go with someone who has fading bruises. The pictures would be horrible."
Everyone laughed. Xander was too humiliated to find anything funny about it. Tomorrow he would hear about how Spike rescued him and a girl stopped the fight. There wasn't anything manly in either thing. He grabbed his backpack off the ground.
"Are you okay?" Willow asked.
"I'm fine," Xander said. "Did you get hurt?"
"No." She shook her head. "Thank you for standing up for me."
"Why wouldn't I?"
"Hey," Buffy said. "You were really throwing some fists around. I'm proud of you."
"Yeah, until Spike decided he had to rescue me."
"I didn't," Spike said, stepping into the group. "Just wanted to make sure there was enough left for me."
Xander was furious. At himself, Angel, the world and especially at Spike.
"Bullshit. You decided to play hero," Xander spat. "I don't need you to take care of me."
"I wasn't trying to take care of you," Spike protested.
But Xander could tell he was lying. The truth was in his friend's eyes. That Spike felt that Xander was weak. Weak because he wouldn't stand up to his father's rampages. Weak because he always tried to use humor to avoid conflict. Weak because he loved Spike.
There would never be a conversation between them about who would bottom in their relationship. It was already obvious that Spike was the more masculine between the two. Although Xander knew in his heart it was what he wanted too, it infuriated him that Spike would feel this way about him. It wasn't without justification, but he hated for others to have the same thoughts about him as he did. Most of all Xander hated that he wanted to be pulled close to Spike's body and told everything was going to be all right.
The inner fight between the man and the frightened boy was driving him crazy. Tears burned his eyes as he fought those, too. There wasn't much he could do to save face at this point. His friends were staring at him, unsure of what to do, afraid they were going to set him off. He laughed. It wouldn't take much.
"You okay?" Buffy asked.
"Yeah, another headliner day in my life," Xander said, pushing back the hair from his face. Or that was what he wanted them to see instead of them seeing him checking to see if he was crying or if there was sweat on his cheeks.
Suddenly he was being hugged. He already knew it was Buffy. He didn't want her touch. He wanted to hold onto the rage that was still coursing through him. It kept him strong. Stronger than the helplessness filling his soul. The rage told him to push her away, as hard as he could, to tell her and Spike to go to hell, that he didn't want their sympathy, and their friendship that he so desperately needed to stay sane.
A sob, muffled against his shirt, melted him. With one last fight to stay where he was, he pulled Buffy close. It couldn't be a good day for her either. Not with the boy she wanted to love already making plans with another girl for one of the biggest dances of the year, and then having to watch Angel attack him. It had to have hurt her to choose between the two of them in the fight. Even if knew in his heart that she would always choose him. She was loyal to the end.
"I’m sorry, Buffster," Xander whispered.
"Not your fault," Buffy said. "I'm stupid for liking him."
"No, he's stupid for not seeing what a great girl you are," Xander said. He sighed as he looked up, knowing he was guilty of Angel's crime. He stared into blue eyes. "Sorry Spike."
It wasn't okay. One day Spike might not take another sorry from him. Xander wondered what he would do when that day came.
to be continued…