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 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
Xander drove. Fast. Had his mind been on anything other than Spike he would have thanked the half assed efforts of the Sunnydale PD. As it was all he could think of was finding Spike. Getting to Spike. Taking Spike home, locking the doors and staying the hell away from his friends. Did friends do that? Xander let out a harsh sound that was halfway between a sob and a laugh. No, not going to breakdown. Find Spike. It will all be fine when Spike is here.
Locating the entrance closest to Spike’s crypt he pulled the car up to the curb. Single minded in his determination to reach the crypt and find his vampire, Xander barely remembered to lock the car before taking off at a run through the gates and into the dark. Even though it was the nearest gate, the crypt was still deep in the cemetery; Xander had no trouble finding the start of the right path.
Still holding his axe, Spike faced the people who Xander called friends, his features flickering between man and demon. He snarled, growled and intentionally intimidated. None of them recalled seeing this aspect of Spike directed at them in the recent past.
For his part Spike was feeling murderous. The scent of Xander hung in the air and Spike knew that it hadn’t been long since he’d left. It was the combination of his lover’s pain and these people’s obvious guilt that was fuelling Spike’s rage.
“One of you tell me now,” Spike snarled. “Now!”
Giles warily approached, thought better of it then moved behind the counter, seeking out the perceived security of distance. “Ah, Spike. Xander has not long ago left. He was going to look for you. He was, ah, well, a little uneasy.”
“Uneasy?” Spike’s voice was deceptively calm. “He was more than uneasy, Rupert. I can smell him.” He stalked towards Giles, his yellow gaze never wavering from the eyes of the watcher. A slight movement behind him and Spike spun, growling at Buffy. “Rein in your slayer, watcher,” he cautioned.
As he looked around, the darkness far less penetrating than he normally found it, he realised with a fresh burst of adrenalin what he’d done. Patting down his pockets to double check, he groaned at his stupid mistake. No weapons. Not even a stake. He looked at how far he had come and judged how far still to go. Weighing the options he decided it would be best to just keep going. He’d been through the cemetery before without running into anything, perhaps luck would be on his side. Xander nearly laughed out loud. Yes luck, but which kind? Murphy would control that one.
Further in, Xander glanced around the immediate area. When he saw he was not far from the section that held Spike’s crypt, Xander felt some of the tension leave him. Just down another pathway, around the gardens, through the graves and he would be there. He recalled that Spike had given over his crypt to a friend and hoped that whoever it was didn’t mind the intrusion. Realising he had no idea who that friend was, he also really hoped that they wouldn’t try to tear him to pieces or drain him.
He scanned the area, smiling a little at the novelty of being able to see quite clearly. Nothing there lurking in the dark, nothing close that he could see anyway. He could hear sounds from far off, rustling and shuffling, could tell the direction but not the source. Again nothing in the immediate vicinity. Just as well. Could he have made a more stupid mistake than coming in without a weapon? Spike would never let him hear the end of it, and rightly so. Actually, Spike was going to be pretty angry about this one. It wasn’t a stupid mistake, it was a dangerous and potentially fatal mistake.
Giles waved Buffy away. “Put your stake down, Buffy.”
She shook her head and held her ground; stake still in hand, body language screaming her intent. “What are you gonna do, Spike?” she taunted. “Clutch your aching head at me?”
“Yes. Right after I tear your heart out through your mouth. The pain will be well worth it.” Spike bared his fangs and let out a low rumbling growl. “This stinks of your doing slayer.”
“Buffy, you will move away now,” Giles instructed firmly. “We have done enough, if you hurt Spike you will lose Xander.”
Buffy lowered her stake, but held her position.
“What happened to him?” Spike growled, his head turning as another movement caught his attention.
“Spike?” She deliberately kept her voice low and soft, knowing he would hear her no matter what, but hoping it would calm him. “Spike, Xander is upset. He needs you, he wanted to find you. You need to help Xander now.”
Giles addressed Spike from behind the shield of the counter. “We suggested to Xander that you and he separate for a short time to allow us some time to investigate possibilities regarding the spell.”
“Separate.” Spike’s voice dripped with contempt.
“Just for a short time.”
“You told my consort we should separate.”
“He’s not your consort yet,” Buffy said. “If Xander stays away from you we can maybe reverse the whole consort thing before it goes too far. Before he gets hurt.”
“He won’t be hurt,” Spike roared at Buffy. He felt the tempting weight of the axe in his hand. If it wasn’t for the chip these people would be bleeding for him now. But no. He’d promised Xander, his friends would be safe. Scared maybe, but safe.
Xander was part way through the cemetery’s showpiece circular garden, when he picked up a sound that was closer than anything he’d noticed yet. A regular sound, not the random rustling of small animals. Steady, cracking of twigs, crunching of gravel. Steps. He listened. There; step, pause, step pause. Behind him, to his left. He turned and tried to peer into the darkness, knowing he should be able to see but the garden lights along the edges of the flower beds made it more difficult, and the areas beyond the lights not as clear to him.
The sound still came; step, pause, still from the same direction. He stopped, it stopped. He backed away, it began. He stopped again, silence. Xander looked around for something to fill his empty hands, anything that might serve as a weapon. Flowers, rocks, small bushes, fallen branches. He took a few steps to the side and reached for one of the branches. Not that it was really strong enough to fend off anything bigger than a small child, but there was always the off chance that if this was a vampire he might get a lucky jab in.
Xander continued to back away. Keeping his eyes fixed on the direction of the sounds. The step, pause kept pace with him as he moved through the garden. The hum he’d felt in his body, that urgent need for Spike was overtaken now by a prickling sensation, almost a buzzing and his skin crawled uncomfortably. On the far side of the garden he noticed a change in the lighting. No longer the soft yellow of the decorative lights, but a bluish glow emerging from the dark.
The little lights edging the beds began to pop and spark. One after the other, they burst into showers of sparks and went out. Xander could no longer hear the steps over the fizzing and sparking of the lights. His stomach churned and his heart gave him that fight or flight warning that seemed to be a standard for nights in the cemetery. The blue light, just out of his field of vision, moved following the curve of the landscaping, keeping pace with Xander’s backwards steps.
Giles sighed. “Spike, Xander is not thinking clearly. His mind is clouded by his feelings for you. Now if you were both to remain at some distance from each other, to minimise contact between you, it may be that the aspects Xander has begun taking would lessen. He could have his normal life back again.”
Ignoring Buffy and a very subdued
Spike struggled with his demon. He was aware of
“HE WOULD NEVER AGREE TO THAT. I WOULD NEVER AGREE TO THAT.”
Anya spoke up. “Giles you can’t ask that of him. Xander has started changing already, you saw how agitated he was tonight, you can’t ask him to leave Spike. He told you he won’t. He told you he wants this. Besides it wouldn’t work I was trying to tell you earlier. You can’t take away any of the aspects he already has. It would only stop the development of more.”
Buffy nodded. “Right, so we get Xander away and he doesn’t get the full dose. It’s not too late.”
Spike howled in anger and frustration. “ENOUGH!” He pulled away from
Memories of patrols last week came to Xander immediately, along with those of his burnt out worksite. An image from the watcher’s book flashed to mind. Fewoi. Big, metallic, charged with blue energy. And what did he have? A big stick. Xander chanced a look over his shoulder, gauging how far he had to go and wondering if the developing skills he’d been acquiring would allow him to outrun this, get to the crypt, lock himself inside. He could only hope that the new tenant was a better option than this.
Xander turned and ran, following the circular path through the garden, not chancing the uneven ground of the beds. He made it only a few dozen feet when he felt the hairs on his body stand on end, the prickling crawling feeling became almost unbearable. He threw an arm over his eyes as the gardens behind exploded in a heavy showers of sparks as all the lights blew in quick succession. A streak of blue light passed him and when Xander looked up he found the path blocked by the Fewoi demon.
Too fast, that thing was too fast for him to outrun. He looked at the branch in his hand and marvelled at how he ever thought it could be of use. He didn’t drop it though. The demon stood still in front of him, its blue glow dying down. Xander could see the thin lines of electricity receding, crawling back over the grey body and all returning to a fissure in the centre of the demons chest.
Oh shit, oh shit. No weapons, too slow. Xander Harris better be able to pull something special out of the bag here, but what?
Spike turned a glare on Giles, Buffy and
“Spike we don’t know, he just left,” she told him softly. “He needed you.”
Without another look at any of them, Spike snatched his axe from her hand, turned and left. Outside there was no clue as to where Xander had gone. He concentrated and felt for a trace. Nothing. He must be too far away. So where would he be. Not at home, not if he were looking for Spike. He tried to recall their last words. Going to help Tom, going to the crypt. Unlikely Xander would go there, not with half the demon population after him. But if Xander was angry, hurt-. Bloody idiot would be smack in the middle of the cemetery right now. Spike sprinted, the natural speed he was capable of just not seeming to be fast enough.
He tore through the streets, finding the most direct route to his crypt. Ahead he could see Xander’s car parked by the gates. Empty. He growled and gave another burst of speed as he ran inside. Damn the paths, Spike jumped and leapt over the graves and headstones. He came to a stop at the opening of the next section as a familiar feeling came to him. Xander was near, not at the crypt. Suspicions confirmed when he heard his name shouted with fear. Not far, Spike hoped, not too far.
The demon smiled. Looked around pointedly and laughed. The sound crackled and hissed sending hot pinpricks of pain over Xander’s skin. He scrubbed at his arms and chest, trying to rid himself of the sensation as he backed away from the Fewoi.
For every step back, the demon matched him. It was a standoff where Xander gained no advantage in the circular pathway.
“You will be Fewoi.” A low hissing sound.
Xander stopped. It wasn’t the demon’s crackling words that halted him. It was that feeling he’d been hoping for. That familiar warm sensation spreading from his chest, through his body, filling him with the knowledge that Spike was here. Spike was close. Spike was coming. Xander could hear the crashing sounds of his vampire running through the underbrush off to the side. On that course he would come out just in front of the demon.
The demon’s head turned sharply in the direction of the sounds and it let out a discordant shriek. Blue strands of energy again worked their way out of its chest and as they spread over the Fewoi’s body, the remaining nearby lights began to arc. The demon raised its hands to its chest for a brief moment, then when they pulled away, the runnels of light shifted, changed, faded into white; the white glowed stronger, reaching out towards Xander. The lights along the path no longer arced but grew bright, their hue matching that of the demon.
Xander stood frozen, he could feel Spike coming, could sense his fury. The white charge from the demon was spreading and Xander knew he needed to move, to stay out of its reach. His feet betrayed him. Xander could feel the hairs on his body standing on end, feel the sharp pricks of static from his clothes, he wanted to move, tried to force his legs, his arms but for all the response he got, it was as though they belonged to someone else. Xander could do nothing.
Spike was close enough to see as the demon summoned the energy from its chest. He picked up Xander’s racing heartbeat and felt his fear easing somewhat as Xander detected his presence; his own body recognised the proximity and Xander’s warmth spread through him. Spike flicked his eyes over Xander, quickly scanning him for injuries, scenting him and registering only relief, love and fear. No pain. And no weapon.
“YOU WILL BE FEWOI.” The demon’s words rang out, the sound itself visible as sparks and ripples in the air.
Spike saw the blue light give way to the white and gradually inch its way out from the demon. Without another look at Xander, Spike charged, enraged. He burst from the cover of trees and leapt for the demon, his axe swinging.
Before him, Xander could see the demon ignoring the threat of the vampire and focussing its intense energy his way. A blur of black leather flew from the cover of the trees as Spike slammed his axe into the demon’s chest at the energy’s point of origin. Too late Xander realised the consequences, as the demon’s charge flowed through the axe and into Spike. The agonised shrieks as it died silenced to nothing for Xander as he heard only Spike’s howls and saw his body glowing and arching with the white energy. Spike hands locked around the metal plates on the axe handle, his cries dying away as his body jerked and twisted in the grip of the demon’s electricity.
As both Spike and the demon crumpled to the ground, still connected, Xander found his feet and raced to Spike’s side.
“Spike? Spike! Let go, let the axe go.” Xander reached out to pry Spike’s hands away but was loath to touch him as the residual, but still potent energy of the demon arced over Spike’s body. The axe. He needed to get the axe out of the demon’s chest. Xander felt the weight of the branch in his hand and quickly stood, levering the end of the wood between the axe handle and the demons body. A few solid twists and he had the axe out, disconnecting Spike from the charge.
Xander grabbed Spike’s duster and dragged him across the ground, away from the demon. The dead demon’s energies gradually faded away, the immediate area lit now only by the few remaining garden lights. Xander fell to the ground and pulled Spike’s still body to him.
“Come on Spike. It’s dead. Open your eyes, you killed it. Open your eyes damn it.” Xander shook him, yelled at him, slapped him but Spike remained still. Xander closed his eyes and concentrated on Spike, but felt nothing. Not dust; back to his mantra for these occasions. He’s not dust. What to do? No choice. There was only one place he trusted.
Xander picked Spike up and ran for his car.TBC