Kitty Alex (ex_kitty_al) wrote in bloodclaim,
Kitty Alex

If I Were Souled ~ Surprise

Title: If I Were Souled ~ Surprise
Rating: R
Author: kitty_alex
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Pairings: Spike/Xander
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot. I bend to Joss Whedon's will and try my best not to murder his characters.
Summary: Spike has settled into Sunnydale and has found a place for himself with Xander. Only problem is the Anointed One has unknowingly created a major road block for them.
Chapter Summary: It's Buffy's birthday and the Scoobies decide to celebrate.
Warnings: AU
Notes: I'd like to thank kimalis for helping me out with Spike's slang and bringing detail to me jumbled mind. Then I'd like to thank Buffyworld for episode guides.
Previous Chapters: You can find previous chapters here

Opening Credits

A woman in white twirled around the empty Bronze. Xander watched her anxiously as her long brown hair flowed and swirled around her while the hem of her dress shimmered and floated in the false breeze she was creating with her endless twirls. She stopped and looked at him. The smile one her face was one of innocence masking one of evil. It made him shiver.

“You’re here too early, Kitten. This isn’t where good kittens go.”

“Excuse me?”

“You have a very pretty eye. Is it in your left or your right?” She giggled. “Better pluck out both just to be sure.”

“Uh, sorry, but I am going to keep both eyes in my head, thank you.”

He took a step backwards and found himself tumbling backwards. He fell on the ground. He lifted himself up then was jostled by a group of people. He was in the Bronze still, but this time it was crowded with people. He twisted around. Someone was after him. He could feel them moving closer, slipping through the crowd. He turned to see Spike standing before him. He was cradling a sword with a gold blade along his shoulders.

“Still too early, pet. But if you’re dying to let me take a swing at you, who am I to deny you?”

Xander’s eyes widened and he jumped back, narrowly dodging the blade as Spike swung it forward. Spike swung it again and Xander felt himself lose his balance and topple back. There seemed to be no floor as he tumbled through the air before finally smacking hard onto a long table. He could feel that he was on his back, but everything else seemed hazy. The only thing he knew was that he was being held firmly in place by unseen restraints. Drusilla and Spike were staring at him with twin smirks on their faces.

“This is right where the kitten needs to be.”

“Say good bye to the kitten, love. He won’t be here much longer.”

He watched as a blue hand touched his chest and a burning sensation entered him. He screamed loudly and bucked against the restraints.

Xander sat up in a cold sweat bumping his head with Will’s. He looked over to see that the covers had slipped down, revealing Will’s bare chest. He flushed and tried not to remember half the things they had done only a few hours ago.

“Was I that bad?” Will asked nervously.

“No, it was just a bad dream. You were wonderful, Will. You truly were.”

Will tried to look concerned as he took Xander into his arms, but he couldn’t keep the smile off of his face. He stroked Xander’s hair the way he used to stroke Dru’s after she had a bad vision.

“What did you dream about?”

“I don’t remember. It was a jumble of things. I remember burning though and something about my eyes.”

“You do have very pretty eyes.”

“I’m being serious, Will. There was something up with that dream.”

“Have you ever had predictive dreams before?”

“I didn’t say this was one of those weird prophecy dreams.”

“Neither did I. Just did any of your dreams ever come true before?”

Xander thought a bit, “No, not that I can remember.”

“See, nothing to worry about. Go back to sleep, Xander.”

“Oh! I forgot to get Buffy something for her birthday!”

“I thought you would. You have seemed quieter since the incident with the eggs.”

“So you have me covered?”

“I have you covered; now go back to sleep, please? I will get on my knees and beg if I have to.”

Xander kissed him, “You’re too good.”

“That is the problem, is it not?”

“No, there’s no problem. You’re a good boyfriend and you’re my boyfriend. I swear no other thoughts but you. I swear.”

Will kissed his cheek, “You are sweet, Xan. Just do not lie.”

Xander watched him roll over and fall asleep. Well, he couldn’t tell if he was asleep or faking because there was no breathing to indicate if he was actually asleep or not.

“If you’re still up, you’re not- I’m not trying to use you to make Spike jealous. You’re really amazing and I’m glad I have you. I care about you, I do. I just wanted to let you know that.”

“But you still love Spike more than me and I will be here Xander. Maybe one day, you will love me more than him. A vamp can dream, right?”

Xander stroked Will’s hair, “I love you.”

Will rolled back over and smiled at him. Soft blonde curls were falling in his eyes and Xander knew he really did love him, but Will was right, he did love Spike more. He was violent and improper, while Will was only violent when Xander was threatened. But, wouldn’t tell Will that, he didn’t want the vampire’s heart to break, at least he loved him enough to prevent that.

“You had a weird dream?” Jesse asked him while trying to ignore the girls in front of them gushing about Angel.

“Yeah, Will doesn’t think it’s much, but I can’t shake this weird feeling.”

“Oh, remember that one time you dreamed I had an ice cream cone and the next day we got them.”

“That’s because we whined until we got ice cream cones. That’s not big prophecy something is going to come and gouge my eyes out then burn me type thing.”

“Something is coming to gouge Xander’s eyes out?” Buffy asked.

“You finally noticed me?” Xander asked pretending to be excited. “Oh my God, Buffy noticed me over Angel. I was so convinced that I could be run over by a train in front of her and Angel and she wouldn’t notice, but here I was proven wrong! Jesse, this is the best day of my life!”

Buffy rolled her eyes at him, “Maybe some of us aren’t on the level you and Will are, but for others it’s a big deal when a guy and a girl, talk about um, bedtime.”

“Is it the bedtime me and Will do that you’re thinking about? Because, that’s a naughty no-no until you’ve been dating longer.”

“Oh yeah, you are one to talk. And your vamp lost his soul too, so much more dangerous than mine.”

“And the soul happens to be sleeping at home right now thank you.”

“Who pushed you into having sex. Angel doesn’t push me. He wants it to be my decision.”

“Will didn’t push me! We did a very slow gradual slide from making out to pounding the mattress.”

“There’s Cordelia,” Jesse said. “I have to tell her she has to bring some sort of food product.”

“I can tell her,” Xander offered.

“Yeah and get into a shouting match? You know Cordy, you have to be very delicate.”

“You’re not avoiding her anymore?”

“Well, if I don’t tell her, who’s going to bring the chips?”

Jesse wandered off towards Cordelia and Xander let out a huge sigh.

“Can you believe him? He is so- Where’d you go?”

He looked around to see everyone had vanished. He pouted when he saw Willow was talking with that Oz guy. It wasn’t that he didn’t approve, he had taken a bullet for her, but he would have liked it if she said bye. He didn’t see Buffy anywhere. She had been on edge with him ever since he and Will had started officially dating. He figured it had something to do with Angel and Spike, but he didn’t press the subject. He didn’t want to get into a fight with Buffy, not on her birthday.

He walked into the school, it was still early and only the first bell had rung so he had time to wander around. He spotted Giles and ran up to him.

“Hey! Ready to do the Hustle and all those other crazy dance moves they did in your time?”

Giles took off his glasses and cleaned them, “There were other types of music in the 70’s, Xander. Not all of us listened to Disco. But, yes. I am ready for Buffy’s party.”

“I couldn’t picture you in spandex anyway.”

Buffy was coming down the stairs with Jenny when she noticed Xander by Giles, she looked like she wanted to run in the other direction, but she took a deep breath and approached with Jenny.

“Buffy was telling me about her dream,” Jenny said to them.

“I had a dream last night,” Xander started.

“That’s nice, Xan, but this is a slayer prophecy, I’m sure of it. I dreamt that Drusilla staked Angel! It’s been really wigging me out, so I asked Jenny if she could go over it with me. You know, since she’s a cyber pagan.”

“No, but listen. I was burned alive and someone was talking about gouging out my eyes. It has to mean something.”

“It means you’ve been watching too many horror movies. Giles, do you think it means something?”

“If Drusilla is alive then it might be best if we look into it. If Drusilla is behind it, then it will surely need our attention.”

“The thing that burned me was a big blue hand, I remember that much.”

“Xander, I think it would be best if you went to class and stayed away from horror movies before bed.”


“Xander, go to class.”

Xander sighed and walked away. No one ever believed him.

Dalton came in with another box. Life as a minion was hard. Every time Drusilla would have a new vision about the thing Spike was trying to collect, he would have to run out, make all the calls to the excavation teams, then go to the docks to collect the boxes. He had no idea what was in the boxes, but whatever it was, Spike was almost done collecting them. After this one he would have five.

“Put it on the table, Dalton,” Spike said to him.

Dalton obeyed and stepped aside and watched as Spike wheeled over to the table. No one was allowed to talk to Spike as if he were in a wheel chair. The last minion that did was tortured for three days before being left out to be burned in the sun.

“I had a good dream,” Drusilla said.

She came into the room. The insane vampire twirled and carried her doll Miss Edith with her. Spike looked at her with a small smile on his face. Drusilla had been in a better mood with him since he had told her about his plan. Dalton still didn’t know what the plan was, but anything that kept Spike in a good mood and from killing his minions was alright with him.

“What was it about, love?”

“Miss Edith was very cross at first when Kitten was in here and you let him get away,” Drusilla said. Spike rubbed his chest as if remembering how cross the doll had actually been. “But, then we had a dream. We found the kitten and he was surrounded by words and numbers. Deeply asleep though, very deeply asleep. So, I woke him up and so many rivers, Spike. So many rivers flowed into his head when I woke him up.”

“Rivers? Yeah, that’s wonderful.”

“Oh, yes. Very wonderful. They flowed to a vast sea and the sea ebbs into his eye. Woke the kitten up so he will be good to us when you sire him. When you sire him, the rivers will flow past the veil and into waking. It is very wonderful, Spike.”

“Whatever you say, Dru. You get crazier by the day. Well, everything is ready for the party.”

She looked at the table. She coolly walked over, picked up a chair, and threw it against the wall.

“ALL WRONG! This is all wrong!” She cradled Miss Edith. “You made Miss Edith lose her temper. Hush, hush, Daddy’s gone hunting. He’ll make everything perfect for the big day.”

“If it wasn’t for me there wouldn’t be a party. Look! All we are missing is one. Then we’ll have the complete set. Me, pet. I’m the one who’s going to make it perfect.”

“Can I look at one, Spike? Can I open one of my presents?”

“It’ll ruin the surprise, love.” She pouted at him. “Alright, but just a peek.”

She grabbed one of the closer boxes and opened the latch. She grinned, excited at the contents. From where Dalton was, he couldn’t see. He just knew his masters were happy.

“Death pours from it, Spike.”

“Love it, poodle?”

“Oh yes. This will be the best party ever.”

She shut the lid and smiled at him. Spike didn’t smile.

“Is it because of what Daddy does?”

She grinned and twirled, “You shall see.”

Will walked around the school. He let out a sigh and tried to find the student directory. He had no idea where Miss Calendar’s classroom was. After a long discussion with Xander and a phone call to Giles, he was off to see ‘Jenny’ who was working late. In his pocket, he held a scribbling of all the things Xander could remember from his dream. He would have to remind Xander again that he wasn’t an errand boy when he got home, but right now, Xander was burnt out and depressed from no one believing him, so off to the teacher he went, that was if he could find her.

“Jenny Calendar,” a male voice said.

Will grinned, he was getting close. He edged towards the voices and listened in.

“That’s me now, yes. Sorry, I haven’t written. I’ve been really busy.”

“The elder woman has read the signs. The wolf will come out of the woods and strike soon. You have been shirking your duties.”

“He’s been very well behaved despite the curse breaking. He’s saved us a number of times and has been working with us closely.”

“A wolf is still a wolf even if he protects the flock. You are not to turn your back on it, for the moment it knows it has your trust, it turns.”

“He won’t turn. He has found love.”

“Have you forgotten your duty? Have you forgotten that he killed the favorite daughter of our tribe? Have you forgotten that his clan slaughtered every man, woman, and child that ever touched her life?”

Will felt sick, more than sick, he felt nauseous and light-headed. He remembered the day he went with Darla to find the Kalderash tribe that had ensouled Angelus. How he had slaughtered most of the tribe, then how he had killed the main family before Darla had gotten a chance to force the elder woman to take off the curse, even though he had already successfully removed without knowing it. He hadn’t found out until years later that during their time in China, he had removed it. Will tried to remind himself that he was the soul, he was William, he hadn’t done any of those things. It was Spike. Spike was the one who killed all those woman and children. He inhaled even though he didn’t need to.

“I’m sorry, Uncle. I will keep a better eye on him, I promise.”

“Do not forget your place, Janna.”

Will ran as fast as he could away from the conversation. The Kalderash were here. This was bad, he had to dye his hair or something before the elder one recognized him, but then he’d have to wait months to grow it back in. Maybe he could just avoid Miss Calendar or Jenny or Janna or whatever her name was. That was a very good plan. Avoid her and don’t get caught or it will surely be a vengeful gypsy curse for him.

Will groaned as Xander forced him to sit in a library chair, he didn’t want to be anywhere near the school. He was supposed to be lying low and trying to avoid Miss Calendar, yet here he was sitting in the library for her to just run in and curse him. Well, maybe she wouldn’t run in and curse him, but one of the elders might.

“Why do I have to be here?"

"This is crucial party planning moment."

"I thought all I had to do was show up and save your arse when you forgot to by Buffy a present."

Xander blushed as Willow and Giles gave him an identical look that suggested they weren't exactly happy he had forgotten to get her a gift.

"Hey, all she got me for my birthday was whittling knife. Can someone say slave labor?"

"You did make that lobster."

"It was a squirrel and I think with a little practice, I could make it look great."

"Lover's quarrel?" Buffy asked.

They turned around to see that Buffy had snuck up on them. She looked bummed, more so than she did yesterday.

"No, well, Will was making fun of my whittling."

"I was not; I was just saying it was a very good lobster even though it was intended to be a squirrel."

"How do you do that?"

"Do what?"

"Make your insults so uninsulting."

"It is an English thing. It comes with much practise and dedication."

"Hate to break up the fight, but I'm all depressed. I don't want Drusilla killing Angel."

Will snorted and laughed, "OH! Dru kill 'Daddy'? I think not! Brilliant joke, Buffy."

"I saw it in a dream, then my mom said the exact same thing that I dreamt the other night this morning. This is so not a coincidence."

"I think you are looking at it all wrong. Dru might just be trying to scare you. Under the right provocation, she can get into your head. She can play with it, make you see your worst fear or- Stop writing this down, Watcher, it is the last warning I give you."

Giles’ pen stopped scribbling down notes as Will was talking. He took off his glasses and polished them while trying to look innocent. Will made an annoyed sound that Giles pretended he didn't hear.

"I will look into the possibility of Drusilla planning something," Giles said.

Will got up out of his chair and waved off Xander, who was trying to force him back down.

"This is why I do not come to these meetings. Whatever the slayer says, that is the truth. Nevermind us who actually know Dru and her habits. Then when I do talk, every word I say is written down so it can be studied. There is no doubt in my mind that Spike's involvement, my own, and our relationship with Xander has been recorded for the future study of Watcher's of the Slayer." Giles looked nervous. "As I thought. Good day to you."

Will stormed off with his hands buried deep in his pockets. He didn't wait for Xander to follow behind him. Xander was looking equally livid, but didn't storm off after Will.

"You've been recording us? My relationship with Will and Spike is written down in your journal and other Watcher's are going to read it?"

"Xander!" Willow protested. "If Giles didn't think it was utterly necessary, he wouldn't be doing it. Besides, he's a watcher. It's his job to be all watchery and look kind of pervy as he hangs out with the under aged girl in high school. Oh, that didn't help did it?"

"No, Willow. I am afraid it didn't," Giles said taking his glasses off to polish them with an annoyed expression on his face.

"Buffy is late for her own party," Will said not trying to keep the angry tone out of his voice.

"It's only a few minutes," Xander said.

"In my day, you were punctual no matter what. Your hand was bleeding, wrap it! You would be late for the party and your social status would instantly drop to the lowest class in those few seconds you were not there!"

"One, what you just made very little sense. Two, you're no good at exaggerating. And three, I know you’re still mad from the library, but just try to enjoy the party."

Xander sighed. The party was not happening. The Bronze was split. There was the Will side of the room and there was the Angel side of the room. The Will side of the room consisted of the vampire himself, Xander, Jesse, and much to Xander's annoyance, Cordelia. The other side had Angel, Giles, Willow, and Willow's date, Oz. The Will side of the room was not pretending they were enjoying themselves, while the Angel side of the room was making uncomfortable conversation in the awkward silence.

"I think I was born in the wrong era," Cordelia said. "I would love to live in a time where all there was were parties and fancy dresses."

"It was quite dull to be honest," Will said. "Did you bring any blood? If you are going to invite vampires to your party you might as well have a punch bowl filled with blood set aside."

"Will, that's an image I don't want to picture," Jesse said. "Now I'm worried you spiked our punch. It does seem a bit too red."

"I might be a vampire, but I am not evil."

There was a crash and Buffy plus a vampire guest came tumbling through window. She staked it and it exploded into dust. Buffy dusted herself off and looked confused at the decorated room. She looked from guest to guest until her eyes finally landed on the table full of presents. It hit her, this was her birthday party.

"She always has to make an entrance," Cordelia complained. "Not even on time for her own birthday party then she has to come crashing through the window and stake some vampire. We're supposed to be the ones who surprise her."

"Yeah, talk like I'm not even here. Thanks Cordelia."

The Angel side of the room started integrating with the Will side of the room, causing Will to hiss unexpectedly and back away. Xander could tell that Angel was bugging him extra bad today and Xander couldn't place why. Will had been on edge since he had come back from talking with Miss Calendar about Xander's dream. He hadn't mentioned what she said and wouldn't go into detail. Will was always the one to keep secrets when he thought the person's best interest was in mind, so he didn't press. Well, not until they were alone and Will was properly caught off guard.

"So, vampires are real," Oz said. "Explains a lot."

"Doesn't it?" Xander said. "I always knew there was something strange going on with this town."

“What happened, Buffy?” Angel asked.

“There were these vampires. The one with glasses that’s always stealing everything was there. So, I tried to stop them and they left me a present. Can’t I ever catch a break? It’s my birthday! There should be a no slaying rule on my birthday. And if anyone mentions scared duty, I’m staking them.”

“Well, someone is PMSing,” Cordelia said under her breath.

“Why are you even here?”

“I brought the chips.”

Before Buffy could say anything, Jenny came in carrying a big, oddly-shaped box. Xander looked at it and could feel something familiar lurking inside it. He clung to Will’s arm and backed away. Will gave him a concerned look and put his hand over Xander’s. Xander grabbed his hand and held onto it tightly.

“A little help?” Jenny said staggering with the box.

Jesse and Giles ran over, each grabbing an end of the box and putting it on the refreshments table with a loud thud. They looked over it and found a latch.

“Who’s going to open it?” Buffy asked.

“You’re the slayer,” Cordelia said. “You open it.”

“Don’t open it!” Xander screamed panicking. “Just get some explosives and blow it up or something. Don’t open it! Death is waiting in that box!”

Buffy rolled her eyes, “Over drama much?”

Buffy opened the latch, the box lid flung open, and a disembodied arm grabbed onto her neck. She could feel it trying to burn her away as she fought to get it to release its strangle hold. Jesse and Giles tugged hard on the other end of the arm, desperately trying to pry it off Buffy. When Will was able get out of Xander’s tight grip and help, they finally managed to wrestle it inside the box.

“Xander was right,” Willow said wide-eyed. “How did you know what was inside?”

Xander looked at them sleepily, “What do you mean? I kind of passed out there for a second after Miss Calendar brought in the box. Did something happen?”

“You said there was death in that box then something tried to kill me when I opened it,” Buffy said.

“Whatever it is, his conscious mind cannot handle it. Just let it be for now. We should probably worry about burning.” Will stroked Xander’s hair in a comforting manner, Xander relieved that he finally believed him. “Not coincidence, I think.”

“Burning?” Angel asked Will.

A defensive hand clung to Xander’s shoulder, “Yes, he dreamt of burning. What of it?”

“You never were one for history,” Angel said. “It’s a legend way before my time. There was once a demon called the Judge. He was brought forth to rid the world of humanity so only the wicked would remain.”

“In the box, that’s it?” Buffy asked rubbing her neck.

“No, that’s just a part of him.”

“Where are the other parts of him?” Giles asked readjusting his glasses.

“Scattered across the world.”

“Ah, yes. I do seem to recall the story. It was said he could be killed by no weapon of that time. Then they sent an army to defeat him. Hardly any of them survived, but the few that did managed to dismember him. Each of the surviving members took a part and hid it far away from the other pieces.”

“How come we don’t get an army?” Xander asked. “That would be nice to have a whole group of do-gooders to fight on the side of good with us. And where do these armies come from? Who puts them together?”

Will chuckled, “Someone is feeling better. But Dru, she can probably see where each pieces are buried. With enough clues, she can send the minions to where the pieces are hidden.”

Xander knew they were painfully avoiding mentioning that Spike was still alive and was probably the real mastermind behind reassembling the Judge. Xander sighed. He knew he should say something, but Will, like Spike, was loyal to his family and despite all his claims, Xander knew he counted Spike as the brother he never had. Xander knew that he would never get over his feelings for Spike, even though the vampire was evil, he couldn’t find it in his heart to stop loving him. He hated being human sometimes.

“You think Drusilla would be capable of finding all the pieces?” Giles asked Will.

“Without a doubt.”

“We need to get this out of town then.”

“I’ll take it,” Angel offered.

“Like Hell you will, I will take it. I can get on the next barge.” Will countered.

“Don’t you have to take care of your boyfriend?”

“Do you not need to take care of your girlfriend?”

“How do we know you won’t just take it to your ex?”

“I am more trustworthy than you!”

Will pressed a finger into Angel’s chest. Angel growled and glared at him.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

Buffy pushed them apart, “Angel can do it. I don’t mind. It’ll be for the best. Xander needs you, Will.”

Will glared at Angel then at Buffy, “Enjoy the rest of your birthday, Buffy. I left our gifts on the table. Come on, Xander. We’re leaving.”

Xander nodded, “Bye, Buffy. Happy birthday.”

Spike sighed. Dalton had been attacked the slayer and had showed up empty handed. He just saved the ungrateful sod from being blinded by Drusilla and was now sitting there listening to her pout and moan about how she needed Daddy.

“Everything is going to go as planned,” he assured her.

“Daddy would never have let one of my presents get lost. He would have gone himself.”

“I don’t think the docks have wheel chair access.”

“Daddy wouldn’t have gotten crippled either.”

“Yeah, well, next time there’s an apocalypse, you can bet your arse I’m not organizing it for you. Then we’ll see who does it.”

The door slammed open and Spike tried to move his chair to see who had just come in. He saw the missing box on the table and heard Drusilla squeal. He turned his head and his eyes widened.

“Oh bloody hell.”

Xander watched Will pace about his apartment. He kept going on about Angel and how he shouldn’t be trusted. Xander sighed and laid back. He was doing a lot of sighing today. He tried to think about happier things and wondered if his mom had made anything for dinner. It was still horrible and sometimes hardly edible, but Will seemed to like it. Something told Xander that she knew about the two of them. His mom didn’t care that he slept down stairs with Will. She thought he was nice and she was right. He smiled at him as he watched him rant. Will finally took notice that Xander wasn’t listening to him and stopped.

“If I was being insensitive, you could have told me.”

“You’re sexy when you’re angry.”

Will looked sheepish and got into bed, “Then I will have to be angry more often.”

“And you are oh so sexy when you’re being humble.” Will kissed him. “And caring. Did I mention you are killer sexy when you act all caring?”

“Would you consider it sexy if I asked you to tell me more about the dream you had? Because that would be me caring and you said I was sexy when I care.”

“That is being nosey. You’re so unsexy when you’re being nosey.”

“I will have to risk it then I am afraid. I care too much about you not to listen when something is wrong.”

Xander sighed knowing he wasn’t going to win, “That was the first weird dream I had. Alright? Can we drop it?”

“I am just trying to find out the trigger. Did you feel any strangeness before that night?”

“In math class that morning I was napping-” A frown crossed Will’s face. “I mean listening carefully, very carefully to what the teacher was saying.”

Will glowered, “So while you were dutifully ‘listening’, what happened? Did you dream of anything?”

“Rivers. There was laughing and singing, then I saw purple rivers, then my left eye felt like it was on fire. They sent me to the nurse. She looked but didn’t see anything wrong with it and sent me back to class.”

Will opened his mouth to answer him, but the phone cut him off. Will picked it up and answered with his usual proper greeting.

“Yes, he is right here. No, I will not put him on the phone. He is exhausted! Tapping into the unknown will do that to you. I will tell him. If you need anything- Yes, if I see Angelus I will let him know you were looking for him. Oh, he just walked in? Fun. Tell the insane bastard I said hello. You will? Lovely. I will talk to you later.”

Will slammed the receiver down and Xander stared at him, “Uh, what was all that about?”

“Nothing, just Angel said to Giles that the box was stolen when he went to go take it to the pier. If we had just listened to you, we probably would not have to be worrying right now if Spike has enough to complete the Judge.”

“I don’t even remember what I said, how do expect other people to?”

“You need more confidence.”

“Anyway, box was stolen. Rest of the story? Did Angel and Buffy go after the minion who took it?”

“Buffy wasn’t there, but they are going around town.”

“Why don’t we just tell them where their lair is?”

“Because then Buffy would stake Spike and Dru,” Will felt his neck. “They might be evil and I hate them more than anything, but they are family.”

“I know how that is. Do you think they’re really looking or just making out?”

“Probably making out. They promised they would call if anything happened, so you are free to get some sleep.”

“I don’t want to sleep. What if I dream of something horrible again?”

“I will stay up and read. If you start to have a nightmare, I will wake you.”

Xander smiled, “Thank you. Can you leave the light on?”

Will nodded and grabbed his book off the bedside table, “Night, Xan.”

“Night, Will.”

Xander closed his eyes and felt Will’s cool lips press against his forehead. Xander couldn’t help but grin and drift off to sleep.

It felt like he was strapped to the ceiling. He could clearly see the scene happening below, but couldn’t do anything. Below him was the factory Drusilla and Spike called a lair. Spike was out of his wheel chair and pacing around the table. Drusilla came in from the below section dragging Will with her. The sandy-blonde vampire fought against the restraints she had him in, but he couldn’t get away. Spike grabbed him and threw him onto the table. Leather straps snaked out from nowhere and bound Will to the table.

“Now it’s time to join your kin,” Spike said while removing the gag placed in Will’s mouth.

“I will never join you. As long as I have my soul-”

“Is that all? We can fix that. Angelus, get in here.”

Angel came into the room from outside. He was talking with a huge blue demon, the demon seemed very interested in him, but Xander couldn’t make out they were saying. The blue demon looked over the restrained Will.

“This one is missing enough of his humanity that I can burn him without destroying him,” the blue demon said.

“Then get to it. If it works on him, you’re doing me next,” Spike said.

The blue demon placed his hand on Will’s chest. He instantly began to scream in pain as Xander watched what seemed like fire shooting through and lighting up his veins. Finally the blue demon removed his hand and the leather straps disappeared. Xander watched Will’s slow movement then he saw him smirk. The smirk sent shivers down Xander’s spine. It was pure evil.

Will threw his head back and laughed, “Fucking hell! I’m free! Watch out Sunnydale. William the Bloody is back.”

His gaze shifted to Xander and he felt like Will’s eyes were daggers cutting into his skin.

“NO!” Xander screamed.

Xander was awakened by Will shaking him. His eyes went wide and he scrambled off the bed, trying to get as far away as possible.

“Xander, what happened?”

“Not the soul. Not the soul,” Xander said pointing any him. “You’re William the Bloody. You’re not the soul.”

“Yes, I am. You just had a nightmare, none of it was real. I am William Pratt. I am the soul.”

Xander pressed himself against the wall, “You’re lying. You’ve been lying. You know it’s not all there. You’re not whole. That’s why it will kill you if Spike is staked, you’re not whole.”

“If I was William the Bloody, you would be dead by now. You are still alive, so I must not be him.”

Xander relaxed, “You promise?”

“I promise.”

Xander eased back into bed, “I think I saw the Judge. He burned you. He burned the humanity right out of you and left him.”

Xander shivered and Will held him close, “I don’t feel him in here. It feels like it is just me.”

“How can you be sure? What if he’s hiding or something?”

“I know Xander. If anything is in there, it’s not getting out. You have my word, I will always love you.”

“Can we look? You know, just check to make sure they don’t have all the pieces. I don’t think I could bear to see you like that again.”

“Yeah, alright, but just a quick peek.”

Dalton came in with the last piece and handed it to Drusilla. Spike had been sulking since the stolen piece had been retrieved. He kept muttering to himself with a stake in his lap daring anyone to even come near him. A few had tried, but they were now dust on the floor.

“Don’t you want to watch?” Drusilla asked Spike.

“No. You got everything you wanted. Can’t you just leave me in peace?”

“But this is a party; don’t you want to see my present?”

“Fine, but only because I want to see the look on your face.”

Drusilla handed the box held to two other minions and they put it on top of the other boxes which had been assembled before them. The assembled boxes glowed and the swung open. A blue demon, the Judge, stepped out. He glanced around and pointed harshly at Spike.

“The humanity in you is sickening.”

“No, I got rid of the soul. There isn’t any humanity in here.”

“Love, jealousy, hatred, you call yourself a demon?”

Spike growled, “Yeah? What of it? It’s what makes me, me. Don’t like it, go back into that box. I didn’t have to waste all my time and energy bringing you back.”

“That one then,” the Judge said pointing at Dalton. “Bring him to me.”

Spike began to protest, but one look at Drusilla’s pleading face made him stop. He guessed they could always find another minion who was fluent in Latin, Sumerian, Turkish, French, and Spanish. He motioned for Dalton to be brought over. When no one moved, the Judge made his way to Dalton.

“I thought you could just zap people,” Spike said curiously.

“I have been sealed away for hundreds of years and have lost much of my strength. Until I regain my full strength, I can only kill through touch.”

The Judge touched Dalton’s chest and he erupted into flames. Drusilla clapped her hands as their best minion screamed until he was ash on the floor.

“Again!” She demanded. “Do it again.”

“Poodle, if we do it again we’ll be out more minions. Then who will do all the dirty work for us? You’re barmy, I’m in a wheel chair, and-”

“You have intruders,” the Judge said. “One is pure while the other is not so. His level of humanity matches yours.”

“Brilliant, just what we need.”

Spike nodded his head to a few minions and they went off running to find whoever broke into the warehouse. A few moments later, the group of minions had been reduced to three, but they were successfully carrying an angry Xander with a bleeding head wound and a furious Will who had been restrained. He was in full game face and growling testily.

“Let him go. Let him go now.”

“Or you’ll what? Stake your own flesh and blood? I highly doubt it. Now the boy, he does seem like a treat, doesn’t he?” He looked at his minions. “Bring the boy to me and stake the extra vamp. Ain’t got much use for either of them.”

“Yeah, but I do,” said Angel as he burst through the doors. “Hey William, it’s been a long time. Glad to see you were able to separate yourself from the trash that burrowed into your body.”

“He is not rubbish,” Will protested and looked at Spike. “Well, he is a bit. But he is family and we protect our family. That is something you never learned, Angelus.”

“Caught me. I could never fool you. You knew from the moment you saw me when I first came to Sunnydale, didn’t you? You just couldn’t get Spike to listen to you.”

“Of course I knew. I knew you would leave too; too bad you did not stay gone. I hate when you pretend that you care about me.”

“But, I do care about you. I came back, didn’t I? Dru said Darla was going to kill you if I didn’t step in. I couldn’t exactly let my favorite childe die, could I? I know I didn’t stick around at first, after having that soul on so tight and actually caring, even if it was only for a couple of months, I had to do something evil. I had been moping about having actually cared about what I had done for too long.”

“Yeah, you were in so much pain, you crashed right out my bedroom window in China, we met up years later by complete accident, then the next time you have a planned visit, I am out a girlfriend and on my way to Africa. Is your next evil plan to steal my boyfriend too? I do not think he will have you.”

“I don’t want your boyfriend, Will. He’s yours. I decided to play with the slayer. I led her along, played the whole ‘I’m a tortured soul’ act and now tonight is going to be our first time, then the games can really begin.”

“Fun,” he looked over at Xander who was struggling to keep consciousness. “You go play your game, leave us alone, and that will be it then.”

“I can’t leave you alone, I really have to thank you, Will. If it wasn’t for you getting that awful soul out of me, I’d probably still have it. Now, I’m going to return the favor.” Angelus clasped the Judge’s shoulder. “Do me a favor and burn that nasty soul out of him, then you can meet someone truly dastardly.”

The Judge looked over Angelus then he looked over Will. The blue demon nodded and approached the struggling vampire. Spike growled. No one was going to replace him as favorite even if it was technically him.

“As long as you don’t touch his flesh, you won’t get burned,” Spike called to him.

Will gave him a confused look and Spike gave him one back that said “Don’t question me.” William jumped and planted his feet squarely on the Judge’s armored chest knocking him down. Spike knew he was going to regret this, but it was better than having another him with working legs running around. He released the television monitors from the ceiling and falling on top of the knocked over Judge. A hole was created in the floor where the monitors crashed. Angelus vamped out and growled at Spike. Will saw this as his opportunity to escape, he was still restrained, but he was more than a match for the minions. He threw himself back knocking of the minions still clinging to him then swiped at the minion holding Xander, it instantly backed off. Xander quickly undid Will’s restraints and jumped into the new hole, Will followed him down.

“You will regret doing that, Spike.”

“I won’t be replaced. Not by anyone, not even my fucking other half, William.”

“There’s nothing to replace, he was always my favorite.”

Angelus walked away from Spike. The bleached blonde vampire hung his head sadly as he watched Dru prance after Angelus. He’d show them that it was him and not Will who had been the best. Will was the one who had needed him, he had been weak and pathetic before Spike came along and freed him. Will wouldn’t admit it, but Spike knew he enjoyed the bloodshed just as much as him. It was Spike that caused that, it was Spike who killed the Slayers. It was Spike who de-souled Angelus. Spike scowled and wondered why no one saw that.

Will slowed down as soon as he was sure no one was chasing them anymore. He inspected Xander’s wound. It hadn’t closed up yet.

“We have to get you to a hospital.”

“No, not yet,” Xander said weakly. “Angelus, he’s going to fuck Buffy. We have to warn her. We have to save her, Will.”

“You have lost too much blood. Once we get you to the hospital, I will go and warn her. Do this one thing for me? Please, Xander.”

Xander chuckled, “Only because you said please.”

Will found the nearest man hole and helped Xander to the surface. He looked around trying to figure out which way it was to the hospital. Will noticed that Xander was looking like he was about to drop and picked him up. He determined the way to the hospital and ran, completely forgetting about Buffy.

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