Title: Family Bonds
Incredibly vague summary written many months ago when I thought this would be about 5 chaps: After his relationship with Anya fizzles out Xander and Spike become lovers. Xander’s insecurities lead him to seek help from
Notes: AU begins S6 replacing Hells Bells. No Dawn, Buffy didn’t die, and Season 6 Spuffy? Eewww no.
Feedback and con crit appreciated and lusted for
Disclaimer: not mine, all belongs to Joss and Co. Damn them. And bless them.
Other chapters are here
Beta thanks to kitty_alex
Spike dropped the car keys on the table, threw the newly filled blood cooler on the counter and led Xander to the bedroom. He helped Xander out of his clothes and into a hot shower. Spike stripped and climbed in after him, gently guiding Xander to stand under the spray and washing the blood and dirt off both of them.
Xander watched Spike through sad eyes. Spike was trying so hard to be careful, to make sure Xander was warm and clean and all Xander could think of were Buffy’s words. He just thinks he likes you; as soon as we get that spell off, he’ll be gone. And why not? Buffy was being affected. It was almost certain that other demons were too, and after tonight he knew that meant vampires too. So if them, why not Spike? He was a demon, but not just a demon. He was a master. Xander knew he had completely denied his earlier concerns, but now they came back to him tenfold. What did he have to offer? Spike was powerful, immortal; Xander was just a guy. Could he seriously think that Spike would be interested without a spell?
Xander felt his head spinning and wobbled a little on his feet. He reached out for Spike to steady himself.
“Come on mate, we’ll get you into bed.” Spike turned off the water and helped Xander get dry before wrapping a towel around his own waist and steering Xander towards the bed.
Xander gingerly lay down on his side, avoiding any pressure on the back of his head. He could feel the beginnings of the bruising on his body and knew he was going to be feeling the after effects of his fall for a few days yet. Spike pulled the blankets over him and Xander felt the bed dip as Spike lay down beside him.
“You had me worried there for a while Harris,” Spike told him gently, stroking his fingers over Xander’s face.
Xander’s eyes went to the rapidly healing gash on Spike’s forehead. “That shouldn’t have happened again.”
“It’s nothing. It’ll be gone in an hour. How are you feeling?”
“Sore, tired.” Bewildered, doubtful; it hurts like hell but not in a way Tylenol can help.
“Sleep mate, you need a couple of day’s good rest.”
“Why are you looking after me?”
Spike looked confused. “Didn’t we cover this today already? I’m sticking around mate.”
“You don’t wonder why? Doesn’t it seem a bit strange to you?”
Spike frowned and thought about what Xander was asking. Nope, still didn’t understand. Must be the concussion talking. “No it doesn’t seem strange. I care about you, you’re hurt, I’m helping.” Spike stopped and looked worried. “Unless I’m not helping, you want me to leave you alone for a while so you can rest?”
Xander sighed and shook his head the tiniest fraction. “No I don’t. Please stay?”
“Don’t have to ask mate.” Spike leaned in and kissed him. He intended it to be just a glancing brush of lips but Xander’s hand came up to his head and held him there. He felt the warm tongue pressing for entrance and opened his mouth to it, welcoming Xander but wondering about the sudden desperation in the boy’s kiss.
When Xander let him go, Spike pulled back and looked at him with a surprise smile. “Never gonna complain, but what was that about?”
Xander’s hand slid softly up and down his back. “Nothing, just saying thanks I guess.”
Spike nodded. “No need. But anytime you want to thank me like that, you just go right ahead mate.”
Xander offered him a small smile then closed his eyes. That bump on the head must have scrambled him up a bit. Boy just wasn’t himself. Give him some time though, time to get back on his feet and he’d be okay.
Spike felt Xander drop off to sleep almost as soon as his eyes shut. His hand on Spike’s back stilled and he heard Xander’s heart slow and his breathing settle into a regular pattern. Spike settled himself comfortably. He would watch over Xander through the night until he was sure the boy would be okay and was on the mend.
Xander slept heavily but his mind remained active. It sent him back to the cemetery, leaving him standing in the clearing while Buffy expounded on the many reasons Spike would not want him. It dropped him into the middle of the Magic Box where his friends were laughing and pointing at Xander and his ridiculous idea that Spike could love him. It took him to Buffy’s living room where Willow and Tara were reading crystals, runes and scrabble tiles that spelled out exactly how foolish he was. Each of the dreams ended on a conflicting note. The harsh brutal words faded away and he was filled with warmth and contentment before the next ruthless round began. He stood in Spike’s crypt, tears rolling down his face. Spike was in his armchair, sneering at him and slugging on a bottle of something golden brown, a cigarette in his hand, telling him how since the spell was removed he just couldn’t get the taste of useless, pathetic loser out of his mouth and could he please shut the door as he fucked off.
Spike sat up against the headboard, watching Xander sleeping soundly. Gradually though, the smooth relaxed lines of his forehead gave way to creases and accompanying sounds of distress. No words came to tell Spike of the reasons, just restless arms and legs, moans and whimpers. He pulled Xander to his chest and held him tightly, his hands moving in soothing patterns over the broad back, his lips at Xander’s ear shushing him until he stilled. Every now and then it would start again and Spike would hold him and calm him, until Xander again settled into peaceful sleep. When the next one started in the hours just after midnight, Spike made the decision to wake Xander when, for the first time, he saw the tears seeping through the dark lashes.
Careful not to bump Xander’s head, Spike slid down into the bed facing him and softly stroked his fingers over Xander’s cheek, wiping the dampness away.
“Xander wake up now mate,” he spoke quietly so as not to startle Xander awake. “Come on now, wake up.”
As with each other nightmare, the horrible torment was ended with a soft touch, but this time, also with words that dragged him up from the depths. As he surfaced he felt Spike’s cool touch. Still caught up in the feelings of the last dream, of being so harshly rejected and turned away, Xander took a moment to focus on Spike’s face close in front of him. That couldn’t be right, Spike looking at him with concern; no, Spike had said terrible things, he wouldn’t look like that. Xander pulled back from him, fresh tears burning his eyes.
“Mate its okay, you were dreaming you’re awake now.” Spike reached out to him but Xander jerked his head back, wincing a little at the sudden movement.
“No, you said- You didn’t- I thought-,” Xander squeezed his eyes shut as the fog cleared a bit more. No, this Spike hadn’t said anything. Dream Spike. No, nightmare Spike. Xander sighed heavily; this Spike still thought he wanted him.
“Just dreaming,” Spike reassured him. “I didn’t say anything.” He reached out again, and when Xander didn’t flinch or move, hooked a hand behind his neck and pulled Xander in close. Spike noted how stiff Xander felt and assumed it was the aches and pains from the demon fight. He laid back and arranged
Xander over his chest, wrapping his arms around him. “You want to tell me?”
Xander sighed and buried his head in the crook of Spike’s neck. No. How could he tell Spike that he was probably under a spell too, that he didn’t really feel any of these things. If Spike was affected then he would only argue the fact and it would get them nowhere. If Spike was affected then they would only have this short time together before
“I can’t remember now,” Xander lied. “It doesn’t matter.”
“It’s been going on for hours mate, you don’t remember anything?”
“No. It must be the concussion.”
“How are you feeling?”
“Head still hurts, but not as much. Rest of me is a bit sore but it’s not bad. I thought it would be worse.”
“Yeah you got thrown a fair distance mate. The slayer and that Ehrijji were having a right old tug of war with you.”
“The demon threw me?”
“Right as I cut off its horn. The watcher had grabbed the slayer and pulled her away.” Spike stopped as he thought about what he’d just said. “You and the slayer, you were fighting together.”
“Yeah I guess we just didn’t even think.”
“What happened mate? I know she said something. You don’t just stop in the middle of a fight like that and let the nasties get you. What did she say?”
Tell him? He’s affected too…he just thinks he likes you…he’ll be gone. “Nothing new. Same old routine. Xander dumb, Spike bad. You know.”
“That’s it?” Spike looked sceptical.
Xander yawned and nodded.
“You need to sleep mate.” Spike ran his fingers through Xander’s hair, noticing that the lump on his head was not as big as he’d thought it would be.
Xander lay still and enjoyed the feeling of Spike’s hands in his hair and running over his back. The hard, cool body under him was soothing, solid. This was not the amorphous, dream-Spike who hated him, or worse, who felt nothing, not even hate. This was the Spike who wanted him, who touched and kissed him like no one else ever had. The Spike he could lose any time now.
Xander twisted his body against Spike and lifted his head to stare into the blue eyes. “I’ll sleep soon, I need something first.”
“What’s that mate? You want some water, pain meds? What?”
“None of that, just you.” Xander rolled to his back and pulled Spike with him.
Spike lifted himself up and looked at Xander with a frown. “Now that’s not one of your greatest ideas mate. You have a concussion, you need to rest.”
“I’ll rest, I promise.” He spread his legs wide and felt Spike settle down between them. “But I need you.”
Spike heard the pleading tone in his voice and that, along with his earlier, desperate kisses and the tears that went well beyond his dream worried Spike. “Xander you need to tell me mate. Something’s got you a bit off kilter.”
Xander smiled, hoping it didn’t come off too forced. “My brain just got shook up that’s all. Can’t a guy feel a bit needy every now and then?”
Humans. Such delicate things, despite the muscles and solid build. A bump on the noggin and the boy was all over the place.
Xander was gently rubbing his crotch against Spike’s and it would take a stronger vampire than him to resist that. “Course you can mate, just let me do the work okay?”
Xander gave a grateful sigh and pulled Spike down to kiss him. If this was going to possibly be one of the last times, he wanted to enjoy it all. He kept his promise to Spike and lay still while Spike licked and kissed and touched him everywhere with such gentle care that Xander could have almost cried. He tried to push aside the feelings of impending loss and just revel in the sensations Spike brought about with seemingly little effort. That wasn’t as hard as he’d thought. Spike soon had him panting and whimpering with need, taking him so carefully that Xander thought he would scream with the anticipation. Spike moved inside him and Xander closed his eyes, cataloguing every movement, every twitch of muscle, every pulse, flick and throb of Spike in him. He opened his eyes and looked directly into Spike’s above him.
“Come with me Spike, please,” he begged, arching and digging his fingers into Spike’s back.
Spike looked at the strange combination of lust and sadness in his boys face. Something going on there but he wasn’t going to share. All Spike could do was give him what he wanted and wait. “Together mate,” he panted softly. He worked them both steadily and when he saw the familiar signs in Xander he let go too and they clung to each other riding out the waves of release.
“Gets better every time,” Spike mumbled breathlessly into Xander’s neck.
Xander ran his fingers along Spike’s spine. “Yeah it does.” Wonder what it would have been like a few months or even years from now?
They lay together in silence for a time; Xander drifting off, and Spike listening to his body gradually calm and slow down. Spike cleaned them both up and left Xander sleeping while he recharged himself with the fresh blood and a cigarette. He climbed back in next to Xander and curled up behind him, pulling Xander tight against his front. Xander moaned and settled into him, his hands covering Spike’s on his belly. Spike again stayed awake and watched over Xander. The nightmares didn’t return and Xander slept peacefully. An hour or two after dawn, when he was certain Xander was okay he allowed himself to drop into a deep sleep.
Xander woke slowly and found himself wound around Spike. Between the heat from Xander’s body and that trapped under the blankets, Spike was warm and Xander pressed into him, breathing in Spike’s unique scent. It was strong today. Usually Xander only got a the merest suggestion but this time the smell was quite distinct and mingled with other scents, mild soap, sweat, smoke, sex and a hint of blood.
There was something he should be worried about, something that was not quite right but Xander couldn’t put his finger on it. A niggling thought in the back of his mind that told him he’d forgotten something. Oh well, it would come.
He carefully extricated himself from Spike and shifted back to lean up and over him. His face was so relaxed in sleep, but Xander could still picture the demon. He knew exactly where this face would change and hovered his fingers over Spike’s forehead, reluctant to touch in case he woke up. There was a demon in there. And the demon was most likely under the influence of whatever the hell had been done to Xander. He wished he could know. No, don’t wish that’s just a word you don’t use in this town. He badly needed to know, though, if Spike was affected.
The thought slammed into his head in a sudden rush of understanding when he saw the Tylenol on the bathroom sink. No headache. Xander reached up to tentatively touch the dressing still in place from the hospital. No pain. He peeled it away and ran his fingers over the area. No lump, no gash. Nothing. What about the bruises though. Xander examined himself. Nothing again. He knew there should have been bruising, he’d felt the burning under his skin and had been smacked around by demons enough in the last few years that he knew last night’s injuries should have left him black and blue. He looked in the full length mirror behind the door and slowly turned around looked at himself from every angle. There on his back were a few pale yellowish marks, but they looked to be days old, not hours old.
He flexed his arms and legs, focussing on the joints and sore spots that had been bothering him when he went to sleep. Not even a twinge. Well that was just not right. The doctor had said a couple of days, Xander knew his own body, or thought he did, and experience told him that a few days of hot baths and a bit of stretching would have been expected. Maybe the doctor had been wrong. Maybe he hadn’t hit the ground as hard as they all thought. No, Xander recalled the head splitting pain last night and knew it had been bad. So what the hell?
This he would have to bring up with the girls. They would want to know why he was up and around so soon, he wouldn’t be able to hide the fact from them at all. Xander turned the water on softly to minimise the noise and stepped under the spray. He ran his soapy hands all over himself searching but there was not even the tiniest ache or pain anywhere on his body. He washed his hair, removing the last traces of blood, curling his nose a little at the strong smell of the shampoo and body wash. Rinsed and dried, he went back to the bedroom to dress.
Xander slid open the closet door as softly as he could and pulled on his clean clothes; his shoes were poking out from under the bed. Stepping carefully, Xander reached down for his shoes, startled when Spike’s hand closed over his arm.
“Where do you think you’re off to mate?” he asked in a croaky voice.
“I thought you were asleep,” Xander said, sitting on the side of the bed to pull on his shoes.
“I was, still half am. Where are you going?”
To find out if this is real. “To see how Anya is.”
Spike sat up and slung an arm around Xander’ shoulders. “Mate you should be resting, doctors orders.”
“I took some Tylenol, had a shower, I feel okay. Really. Just a bit of a headache and a bit stiff, that’s all.” Xander mentally berated himself over how easily the lies came.
“I don’t think you should be driving anywhere, in fact I don’t think you should be going out at all.”
“I’ll be okay Spike.
“I’ll go with you.”
“Spike look at the time, its half past flammable. And besides do you really want to sit around with the Scoobies? I’m going to see Anya remember?”
“Bloody woman pisses me off,” Spike conceded. “Still I don’t like you going out, you should be here in bed until that head of yours is working proper. I didn’t sit up all night so you could go out again and shuffle your brains up again.”
“All of which would have more impact if you were my mother. Spike I’ll be okay. You know the girls will look after me. And if you’ve been up all night worrying about me like a big
“Oi! I’ll give you
Xander gave him a small smile. “Give me all the
Spike snorted. “Better get some sleep then so I can give it to you right and proper.”
Xander leaned in and kissed him. Softly at first but then he couldn’t help it. The thought of what he was most likely about to find out played havoc with his head and he clung to Spike, his tongue searching out the deepest corners of Spike’s mouth, his hands roving over the firm, bed-warmed flesh, trying to touch every part he could, commit it to memory. If this was the last, make it the best.
Xander ended the kiss when the need for a full breath became overwhelming. Spike looked at him with that expression Xander was coming to love. Head cocked, eyebrow up, curious smile.
“Harris are you going to tell me what’s wrong with you?”
Xander smiled. “Nothing. There’s nothing wrong. I guess I just wanted to say thanks for looking out for me and looking after me and I’m sorry you got hurt again.”
“And that’s it?”
“Mate I do not believe you. But for the sake of, oh I don’t know, domestic harmony or some such, it can wait. We’ll talk later okay?”
“There’s nothing, but yeah, later.”
Spike kissed him again and then flopped back down in the bed pulling the covers over himself.
Xander looked at the messy blonde hair sticking out of the blankets and gave a sad sigh before he stood and went out to the living room. He shut the bedroom door behind him, picked up his phone from the kitchen and went out into the building’s corridor to phone
God it had only been a week, but so much had happened to both of them. Well mainly to Xander which was affecting everyone else he cared about it seemed. There were obviously things happening to him that he didn’t even know about yet. The fact that he had no injuries to speak of was just the most noticeable to him at the moment. Again there was that niggling feeling that there was something else he should have noticed, but rather than dwell on it right now, he pushed it aside and snatched up his keys.
Now he needed to know if this incredible week with Spike had all been a magically influenced sham.