kimalis (kimalis) wrote in bloodclaim,
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kimalis
bloodclaim

SERIES: Family Bonds chapter 1

Title: Family Bonds

Pairing: Spander
Rating: PG for this chapter, eventually NC-17

Summary: After his relationship with Anya fizzles out, Xander and Spike become lovers . Xander’s insecurities lead him to seek help from Tara. She uncovers secrets from Xander’s past.
Notes: AU beginning in S6.   Check each chapter for updates to warning and rating
Feedback: Yes please. Con-crit welcome, just be gentle with the new girl.
Disclaimer: not mine, all belongs Joss and Co. Damn them. And bless them.


Title: Family Bonds
Pairing: Spander
Rating: PG for this chapter, eventually NC-17
Summary: After his relationship with Anya fizzles out, Xander and Spike become lovers . Xander’s insecurities lead him to seek help from Tara. She uncovers secrets from Xander’s past .
Notes: AU beginning in S6.
I claim artistic licence with a couple of major details…Why? Because I can.
Spike never fell in love with Buffy, because het fic? Blecchh! Dawn doesn’t exist cause I can’t stand her whining. Sweet should have married her and taken her away. Her incessant squealing would have fit nicely into a hell dimension. This also means that Buffy didn't die, but that doesn't impact on this fic anyway.

Feedback: Yes please. Concrit welcome, just be gentle with the new girl.
Disclaimer: not mine, all belongs Joss and Co. Damn them. And bless them.


FAMILY BONDS

 CHAPTER ONE - ONE DOOR CLOSES

“Hey everybody, there’s something Anya and I want to tell you.” Xander joined Anya behind the counter of the Magic Box, holding her close with an arm around her shoulders.

“We’re getting married.”

 
He was ecstatic. He’d thought his life was perfect. That was then. Now, Xander sat on a beach, alone, and reflected on how his life had changed since the big announcement. It seemed like the perfect thing to do at the time. Ah, hindsight. A real shame it had to come after the event. It may have saved a lot of heartache further down the track. Of course there was always foresight, but that pesky thing never factored in during the intensity of a moment, with the heady rush of emotions one experienced in that first big romance. Those things pretty much cancelled out any thought of possible regrets or hasty decisions.  The passion, the longing, the fulfilment of that basic need to be wanted and desired by another. To be able give back the same. Those were the undoing of good sense. They clouded the mind and muted any niggling concerns. For a time.

 
Xander would have, and often had, told anyone who would listen about how lucky he was. This was the girl for him. They would spend their lives together. His missing half. His better half. After a while the impetus became less about sharing his good fortune and more a way to convince himself that this was a future he wanted.

 
He couldn’t pin down his changing feelings to one single trigger. It was more a gradual shift, like the seasons, until he had found himself smack in the middle of the autumn of his relationship. It, or he, was falling apart. He’d tried to deny it of course. Too much TV and too many movies had left Xander with the idea that ‘cold feet’ was to be expected and he would soon overcome any doubts. When the cold feet began to spread and he could feel the chill touching the edges of his heart, he knew it was time to act.

 
It wasn’t only Anya, although little things about the former vengeance demon were niggling at him. She was very high maintenance, insisting on his constant attention and compliance. He was feeling constricted by her persistent need to be with him, a clingy, suffocating need. Sex was a huge bugbear for him too. Always on her terms, never on his and he began to find it more a chore than a joy. At work and at home she was unashamedly driven by her love of money. Of the making, investing and spending of it. Or rather, his. A common argument would arise on the rare occasion when Xander dared to spend money on himself rather than save or invest it. Oddly enough though, Anya managed to keep herself very well turned out in fashionable clothes, shoes and accessories. Xander soon found that she tolerated no questioning of her spending habits and realised that her credo was along the lines of ‘what’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is mine’.

 
He couldn’t pull the old ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ routine. It was him too. Amidst all the fears, annoyances and irritations, Xander found himself becoming distracted more and more often by his reactions to a certain body. A body who was frequently the subject of some sinfully explicit dreams; who was beginning to encroach on his mind during intimate moments with Anya. Her long, light brown hair would suddenly be replaced with short, peroxide blonde. Xander would be looking into Anya’s eyes only to find himself wishing to see a set of deep blue staring back at him.

 
Initially Xander regarded it as no more than his unconscious mind doing its own thing, like a random dream over which you have no control. When he found himself having more of those explicit thoughts during Scooby meetings while the unlikely object of his illicit imaginings was so near, he thought that it was perhaps time to face up to this. He was attracted to Spike.

 
The idea of being attracted to a man was nothing new to Xander; he’d had a wide range of experiences while on his Oxnard adventure. It was more the idea that it was an attraction to a vampire. Xander had never been a card carrying member of the vampire fan club like the rest of his friends. Although, as the years had passed, he was far less pro-stakage than he’d been previously. As far as Angel went, absence made the heart grow…well, not fonder, but certainly less hate-filled. And a chipped Spike? Take away the fangs and the murderous intent of the past and he was just a guy down on his luck. Granted, he oozed attitude, still threw empty threats around like they were going out of style and could tear a demon to pieces in seconds, but Xander had to feel for him. What the Initiative had done was nothing short of prolonged torture. Vampire, demon, human or animal, no creature should be unable to defend or feed itself properly. It frustrated Xander more than he could understand to see this Master vampire with his wings clipped.

 
Not that Xander missed the constant threats on his and his friends’ lives, but the chip wasn’t natural. And as he had grown and matured, Xander realised that vampires, demons, monsters and all the other bump-in-the-nights were the natural way of things. Violent, deadly, terrifying…occasionally slimy and often stinky… but definitely natural. Hell, demons had been around longer than humans. Was it really any different to the lion versus gazelle documentaries he often watched on a slow night in? People oohed and aahed and felt sorry for the gazelle, but there was never the suggestion that it was anything other than the natural order. Hunter and hunted, just that this time the hunted were humans and that was much more difficult for people to deal with so it was labelled unnatural.

 
All this aside, Xander still had issues with Spike-directed lust. Look at his track record- a demon, a slayer, a mummy, a bug, a cheerleader.  Not exactly your normal, garden-variety headboard notches. Was he prepared to possibly add vampire to the list? A very hot vampire. A muscular, graceful, sensual, vampire. A vampire he had tried his damnedest to ignore. Not only did he not want to be disloyal to Anya, no matter where their relationship was headed, but how would a guy like him have a chance with a guy like that? Xander was fooling himself if he thought that Spike would give him a second glance. Sometimes he tried to engage the vampire in conversation after he noticed Spike watching him. It was difficult and Spike had seemed uncomfortable so he’d let it go. If Spike wasn’t interested that was fine, Xander wouldn’t push it.

 
What could he have to offer someone like Spike anyway? No super or magical powers, uneducated, nothing special to look at, goofy, clumsy…the list in Xander’s head went on. Why would a Master vampire- 120 plus years old, incredible fighter, savage, soulless demon, snappy dresser, quick talker, stunning work of art- even notice him aside from sizing him up as a tasty treat? That was an argument for another day.

 
Even if he hadn’t been aware of these feelings, Xander knew when it was time to call it quits with Anya. Yes, they had announced their engagement to one and all. Yes, they, or more accurately, she, had started the wedding ball rolling with bookings, appointments, seating plans and what not. Yes, they would certainly lose some deposits, but in the grand scheme of things, these were trivial concerns. What mattered most was making a clean break, one that would not leave bitterness and heartache in its wake. So he continued on with the nightly meetings at the Magic Box, pretending that all was normal, but just biding his time, working up the courage to do what he needed to do. All the while trying his level best to not notice Spike watching him, Spike, whose image was still making cameos in some of Xander’s more private moments.

 
Eventually, Xander bit the bullet and sat down at home with Anya laying his cards on the table. Well, all but that one face card bearing striking blue eyes and blonde hair. They discussed their relationship openly and without malice. Xander was surprised to find that Anya had been having second thoughts too. She admitted to being so caught up in the idea of romance and weddings and fairytale endings that she hadn’t noticed how unhappy they really had become. Anya told him how she wanted someone who would devote themselves to making her happy and making her money. Someone who would fit in with her ideals without too many questions. Someone who would give her orgasms a little more regularly.  Xander explained how he was looking for someone who wanted, needed and couldn’t live without him. The exact him he was comfortable being, not the him they wished he could be. 

 
In the very end, they parted on good terms with hugs, apologies and sincere regrets. Anya decided to keep her job at the Magic Box and stay in Sunnydale, but would move out of their apartment to find somewhere closer to the business district. Hopefully somewhere near a bank where she swore she could smell the cash on the breeze when the wind blew the right way. Xander would stay in the apartment. He was happy there and his recent promotion to site manager ensured the rent wouldn’t be an issue.

 
Even though it had all gone without a hitch, it had been a draining experience for Xander. It was the end of a major chapter of his young life. He had found his feet as an independent adult with Anya at his side. Now his immediate future was as a single man and Xander wanted a little time to regroup. After organising the details with his boss and and letting Willow know he was going, but not telling her where, Xander had thrown a few things in the car and hit the road. He'd headed for a small beach house he’d rented several hours away. and that was where he was now. Spending a quiet, relaxing week getting to know himself again, learning to be comfortable with his own company and dissecting and examining his feelings for Spike.

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