Title: Family Bonds
Summary: 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
Buffy ignored the pizza box
Xander watched Buffy with a steady gaze, not prepared to say anything until he knew whether the others had shared any details with her at all. During the days this week when he had not been taking any calls, he couldn’t remember Spike ever telling him Buffy had called. Willow, yes,
Buffy slung the towel around her shoulders and stood with hands on hips. “Xander welcome back and I’m really glad you’re over your concussion now, but what is she talking about?”
So clueless it was then. Xander glanced around at the others hoping someone would intervene.
“I rather think this might be yours to tell Xander.” Giles said, avoiding his eyes. “Of course we are all here to help.”
“Xander what’s yours to tell? How on earth can you be a consort? Do you even know what a consort is?”
Xander stood up and backed away from the table. “Buff you want to step back a bit? Look what happened last time okay?” Xander tried to wave her off and after some thought she reluctantly moved away. He turned to the others. “And you guys. You’re not seriously leaving all this to me?”
Giles flushed and stood. “I apologise Xander, of course not. It was our decision not to inform Buffy of the events of last Saturday, so it is also our responsibility to now explain. Buffy if you’ll take a seat please?”
Buffy ignored him. “Somebody. Explanation. Now.”
“Yes, yes of course.” Giles launched into a very brief description of the spell followed by a more detailed explanation of the outcome, leaving out one rather significant fact.
“Giles I may not have been the poster girl for slayer studies, but I read enough of your books to know you must have this wrong. Consorts aren’t just drinking buddies or, or pool pals. Xander would have to be-.” She stopped.
Xander could see the exact moment it all fell into place for her. Right then, when her lip began to curl and she did that thing with her mouth that told you she was either going to scream or vomit.
“Xander tell me you and Spike- that you’re not- you wouldn’t- he’s a- Xander?”
Xander groaned his frustration at being forced to get into this now, when he was emotionally still far from his best, missing Spike and very unsure at how she was going to react. Stick with the facts, give it to her straight, or, well, not so straight, but- “Actually, yes Buffy, Spike and I. We are. I would. And yes he is.”
And there it was, the face that made him want to smack some sense into her with a rolled up Hustler. How did someone who had done the deed with Angel manage to look so prim and proper and completely disgusted now? And this was coming to him not courtesy of a bad aura vibe, but pure best friend Buffy.
“Xander how could you do that?”
“You know Buffy it’s really pretty easy and a whole lot of fun. You just-.”
“Actually I kinda-” Anya began but was stopped by Xander’s frown. “-think that
“Xander he’s a vampire. You hate vampires. Its one thing to be palling it up on a boy’s night out, but do you have any idea what you’re doing?” Buffy asked.
“Yeah I kinda do Buffy. Know exactly what I’m doing.”
“Xander it’s got to be the spell.
“Giles?” Buffy turned to her watcher.
“Buffy the spell is attracting demons, it is causing Xander to acquire Spike’s strengths. It is enhancing their relationship. It is not affecting his ability to think nor Spike’s.”
“There’s a relationship now? And why is it that you all seem to know and I’ve been left out of the loop?”
Xander laughed. “Buffy are you listening to yourself? Really listening and still in all honesty asking that question?”
“But Xander, it’s-.”
“No Buff. You don’t even have the excuse of the aura effect to fall back on this time, so think carefully about anything you say now. Spike and I are together, we have been for two weeks. I know exactly what I’m doing and I do not have one single regret. Not one.”
“Xander you saw how badly things went between me and Angel. Surely you don’t want that?”
“Okay first? Spike and I are not you and Angel. Second? Um, well actually that’s it. Spike and I are not you and Angel.”
“Xander, he has no soul so he can’t really feel anything for you. And what happens if something ever goes wrong with that chip? Or he works out a way to get it out? What then Xander? You think he’ll still be all hugs and snuggles and want to shoot some pool then?”
He’ll bite me. He’ll claim me. I’ll be his. “Chip issues to be dealt with if and when. And not that it’s any of your business but he promised me that he wouldn’t hurt any of you and I believe him. And how dare you suggest that he doesn’t feel anything for me? You know nothing Buffy. How much did Angelus feel for you? It might not have been love like you had with Angel, but it was passion and obsession they aren’t really that different.”
“We are not talking about Angelus. You aren’t trying to tell me that you believe a promise Spike made? Come on Xander even you aren’t that gullible.”
He overlooked the insult in favour of pointing out her hypocrisy. “Buffy it was just over a week ago that you were in that training room telling me that you had no problem with me and Spike. What’s changed now?”
“I said I had no problem with you having Spike for a guy friend. Not a boyfriend.”
“It’s so different. You get that close to him and he can hurt you. It’s what he does Xander. He’s an opportunist. Manipulative, scheming, soulless-. ”
“Oh don’t play the soulless card Buffy; millions of souled people do heinous things every day. We all recognise that Spike is not your average vamp. I believe every word he tells me Buffy, souled or not.”
There was quiet while Buffy sat down at the table and thought. “You’re all okay with this?” Buffy asked everyone and was met with various combinations of nods and shrugs. “I mean Xan, I don’t care that it’s a guy. Really I don’t. But it’s Spike. And you’re you. And I just have this picture of you getting so hurt. I don’t want that.”
“Buffy it isn’t going to happen.”
“But it could. So easily.”
“That’s no different for any relationship. But less likely for us because of the bond.”
“God, Xander you’ll be a consort.” Buffy’s eyes widened. “If you break this off now maybe it won’t be too late. It might reverse anything that’s already happened to you. It’s only been a short time, there can’t be many changes yet can there?”
“Christ Buffy! What is wrong with you? I do not want to leave Spike.”
“Actually Xander Buffy might have a point. Just for a short time until we can work out the spell.” Giles suggested. “If you were apart from Spike you might be able to stop the changes that would make you a consort.”
Xander stared at him, mouth open but unable to form any words.
“That might be the only way to stop this from happening Xander. We can keep researching the spell, find a way to break it or change it, or like you said, at least stop the demons claiming you but at least you wouldn’t have to worry about the consort part.”
Buffy stood. “Right. Then the only thing left to deal with then would be the demons being attracted to you. So we take extra weapons on patrol and it’s no big deal.”
“Um, excuse me,” Anya put her hand up gingerly. “Yes big deal. My ribs say big deal.”
Xander saw the pain flicker over her face. Oh she still hurt. That was his fault.
“Those demons will eventually stop feeling the spell and we won’t have to worry.” Giles told them.
Xander’s skin crawled and prickled. He felt nauseous and was struggling to keep himself in check. He couldn’t tell them. Shouldn’t tell them. They would not understand at all. Don’t say it Harris. God,
“No this is just not right.” He pushed
“Xander what are you saying?” Giles asked. “Do you have those characteristics now? You can feel Spike? What does that mean?”
“Xander that can’t be right, it’s too soon for that.”
It almost hurt. Her touch. Their words. It was too much. These were the people he had spent the week mourning the potential loss of. They meant so much to him that he was crushed at the idea of being without them and now they wouldn’t listen, wouldn’t hear him. He should never have come out without Spike. Too many people near him. People trying to stop him being with Spike. They didn’t understand, didn’t want to understand. Nothing was more important to him now than becoming Spike’s consort. Master and Consort. That was his future.
Buffy came around the table towards him. “Xander you need to leave him now before it gets worse. You can go back to him again once it’s all cleared up, but you can’t be a consort.”
Anya was struggling to get up and help Xander but was restricted by the pain of her ribs. “What’s wrong with you? Stop this.”
Xander backed away from them. All of them. He snatched his hands away from
“Xander no, stay and we can get this sorted out,”
Giles approached him with his hands out to calm Xander. “Come and sit down Xander and we can talk about this. I’m not sure you’re in the best state of mind right now.”
“No! Of course I’m not. But listen to what you’re saying. Listen to me. I want this. I want this.”
“Xander it’s too soon for this. There must be something we missed with the spell. Let us try it again.”
Xander bellowed and she jumped. “No more spells. None. I trust
Xander backed to the door. “If you find a way to stop the demons coming then send me a message. Otherwise I have nothing more to say.” He spun and yanked the door open, slamming it behind him. Don’t stop. Keep going. Find Spike.
Xander pulled his keys put and ran to his car. Get in, get it started, do it quickly before one of them comes to bring you back. Where would Spike be? Home? No, too early, too long to wait. ‘I’m going to stop off at the crypt and pick up a few more things on the way back okay love?’ Crypt, yes. Wait at the crypt, Spike would come. They could go home, lock the door, stay together.
Xander’s car sped away.
The further Spike got from the apartment, the less he could feel Xander. He stopped in at the Lion, checked if Tom had any new information he could use as a starting point. None. Nearby was still the only clue he had.
Spike circled the block, reluctantly clearing thoughts of Xander from his head. Fledges. Should be easy enough. He scented the air, concentrated. Nothing there. He crossed the street and circled the next block. Scenting, listening, feeling. There. Spike smirked to himself. Easy pickings. Axe over his shoulder, he followed his nose and found the nest.
He made short work of the fledges, all apparently turned in their late teens, all trying out for badass wannabe but missing by a long shot. They’d not only stolen Thomas’s blood but had been collecting themselves quite a stash of useless things. There were crates of alcohol and a box of weapons- guns. Fledges, idiots. He kicked aside the boxes of electronic games, clothes, chunky jewellery, bandanas, CDs- no, stop for a second look at the CDs. Rubbish. Bags with empty food packets, junk food mainly; Spike stopped and looked at the last paper bag he kicked. That wasn’t chocolate wrappers falling out of there. That was cash. A quick scan of the nest uncovered several such bags, none containing a great amount but altogether not a bad haul. That would keep him in blood for a while yet, would let him buy Xander something nice, maybe pay for a bit of the rent.
He stuffed the bags into his pockets, hefted the crates of bottles and headed for the Lion. There were no labels on the crates so Spike had no way of knowing where they’d been stolen from. And Tom hadn’t lost any booze but no reason he shouldn’t benefit, compensation for the lost blood and all.
Having dropped it off, exchanged a few pleasantries, Spike felt it was well past time he was home again and decided to forego the visit to his crypt. Wait until Xander was with him and they could just load up the car and he wouldn’t have to go back again. He knew his things were safe there, not only from Tom’s wards but because Clem, the big, floppy, all round nice guy demon, had moved in a few days back. Spike had called Clem while Xander was sleeping, offered the place and made the arrangements. Clem was pleased, to say the least. Sweet place, he’d said.
On his way home Spike concentrated, knowing as he got closer that he would feel Xander and perhaps if his own libidinous thoughts were focused properly, Xander would be more than ready for him to get back. He rounded the corner to their block and felt nothing. Maybe needed to be closer. Next door, nothing. Standing on the front lawn, still nothing. Spike ran up the stairs and still felt nothing. He tried the door. Locked, silent inside. He felt around the top of the door jam where he knew Xander would leave a spare key for him. Inside was dark, but that was not an issue now. Spike did a quick circuit and confirmed he was alone. Into the kitchen and he finally noticed the note on the counter. Spike, Gone to the Magic Box, just a quick visit. Miss you, love you, Xander. Right. Into the pocket with that. Sentimental sap. Spike also pocketed the spare key and was off. Buggered if he was going to sit and wait, he’d no idea how long ago Xander had left but he was going anyway. He again shouldered his axe, scowling at it. Not his favourite, this one had too much plating on the handle, he liked a nice solid wooden handle, not your average vampires’ choice but he was not your average vampire.
Spike arrived at the Magic Box a short time later, knowing before he threw open the door that Xander was not there. He was met with startled and guilty looks all round. Spike’s stomach lurched as he took in the residual scent of Xander. Panic, anger, hurt, need.
“What the fuck have you people done to him this time?”