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 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
They spent another hour or so fine tuning their plans. Spike was very vocal about ensuring Xander’s safety through every step, his threats of last week still fresh in everyone’s minds and their desire to now do right by Xander, giving that added incentive to agree with his demands. Xander spent some time on
Spike was none too impressed that to make the weapons Xander would be out on his own for so long, especially with a Fewoi still tracking, but a few sharp looks and Giles was awkwardly agreeing to accompany Xander. Any other time, Xander may have put up more of a fight about needing a sitter, but having seen the power of a Fewoi and knowing that his demon-pulling mojo was still in place, he let it go.
Xander was relatively quiet on the trip home. Occasionally, when he saw Spike watching, he would give a small, half hearted smile, but Spike knew it was only surface deep. He prodded Xander for some explanation but received hollow reassurances and no substance. He tried to pick up some sense of what Xander was feeling but got only a general feeling of worry and doubt. When they got upstairs, Spike stopped Xander on his way through to the bedroom and demanded an answer.
“Harris explain yourself. You look like someone ran over your new puppy. Now no one knows better than me how many things you have to be down about. But meet me halfway here love. Tell me what’s wrong. I can’t help you otherwise.”
“I’m fine Spike.”
“Oh you can shove the platitudes, mate, I’ve had enough. Come with me.” Spike took him by the hand and dragged a surprisingly compliant Xander to the couch. He sat down, pulling Xander alongside him. “Out with it.”
Xander tried to judge just how insistent Spike was going to be, then decided to get it over with. “I just don’t know if I’ve done the right thing. I know why I agreed to their stupid plan but I feel like you might have just been going along with it because I said that. And I don’t want to think that, I know you make up your own mind and everything, it’s how I feel about this. I can’t help it.”
“First off, I do make my own choices. But I’m not going to decide on something like that without thinking about what you need.”
“Secondly, the reason I agreed to this whole thing is because it needs to be done. I don’t want you stalked every time you go out. I want you safe. You don’t want me to take on one of those things again, and just between us, I don’t fancy another round with it either.”
“We can just leave it up to them. Stay here and wait it out.” Xander said it but didn’t mean it. Wishful thinking.
“Love, come on now, you know that’s not going to happen. You won’t just leave them to do this. That’s not what you do. I wouldn’t let you anyway, even if you tried. I want that demon dead, the best way to do it is let it sniff you out and ambush it. We could do it together but I’ll be damned if I give up the chance to use your friends. This way I get to keep a better eye on you, the witches can track the demon and -.”
“No, wait! They can track the demon, find out where it’s been holing up and Buffy can just go kill it. No one else needs to be involved.”
“Fight something as dangerous as the Fewoi on its own ground? No mate. Not if we really want rid of it with no casualties. We need to get it out and do this on our own terms, start with the advantage.”
“I don’t get why you want to work with them. Just a few days ago you wanted to rip them up.”
“Yeah, but now we need them. I’m being completely selfish here. I want as many other people as we can find to be involved in this, so I can keep you safe and the slayer can kill the damn thing. You are my first priority in this, love.”
“You’re going to let Buffy kill it? You’ll stay right out of its way?”
“That’s my plan. Let the rest of your Scoobies do what they do best and I will be looking out for you. In the end no Fewoi, no fried Spike, no claimed Xander.”
Xander’s fingers absently stroked at the pulse point on his neck while he thought and mumbled quietly to himself, “No one else.” Maybe mumbled and soft but a shouted proclamation to vampire ears.
Spike pounced, straddling Xander’s legs and pushing him back on the couch. His eyes flashed gold and his growl was low and rumbled through his chest. “No one but me. As soon as I can work out a way.” Spike scraped his human teeth over the side of Xander’s neck. “I mark you here.” He dropped a hand between Xander’s legs. “And you’ll feel it here.” He squeezed as Xander pushed up into his hand.
Before Xander could react any further, Spike had them both stretched out along the couch and unzipped, with their jeans shoved down just enough. Taking both their hard lengths in his hand he quickly and roughly brought Xander to a peak, still working the spot on his neck and came hard when Xander bit into his shoulder.
As Xander caught his breath, he ran his fingers through Spike’s hair and considered the effect of just thinking about a claiming. “It’s a big deal isn’t it? When you claim me I mean.”
Spike voice sounded husky, sleepy. “Yes love.”
Xander was quiet again for some time mulling that over. “Spike it’s been so fast for us, do you ever wish it had been slower? More, um, normal? Without the bonding spell, it should have taken months for us to get to this point. But here we are it’s been two weeks and we’re talking about forever and claims.”
Spike pulled away from the warm neck and propped himself up on Xander’s chest. “Don’t say the W word love, you know better than that. And no, I don’t. Things are the way they are. And if we feel right about forever and claims then that’s just how it is.”
“But didn’t you miss-.”
“Can’t miss what you never had. It might have taken months to get here but then we wouldn’t be right here, right now. You want to be anywhere else right now?”
Xander smiled and shook his head.
“Right, then we agree, so shut up love.” Spike pre-empted Xander’s automatic protest and muffled his words with a long slow kiss that had Xander forgetting what he was going to complain about. Spike let Xander up for air and pulled them both back upright. “You okay now with this plan to get rid of the bloody Fewoi? We go in, get it done, get out. Okay?”
“I feel better knowing you aren’t going to just jump in again, but I’m worried about the others.”
“Of course you’re worried about your friends, I’d be concerned if you weren’t. But make sure you’re worrying about the right things yeah? Me making decisions is not one of them. You just get those weapons made tomorrow and it’ll all work out.”
“Can’t argue with evil vampire logic.” Xander stood and hauled Spike up, glancing at their damp, sticky fronts. “Shower and bed.”
“No point showering Harris, got some plans of my own and most of them involve you getting downright filthy.”
On the way to the lumberyard, they stopped by the cemetery and got out of the car, wandering around the gate area for several minutes before driving on. They would repeat this on the way home, hoping that Xander’s presence there twice in the one day might draw the Fewoi more easily when he arrived again later that night.
Xander examined the wood on offer and selected a few good lengths of hickory and had them cut down to a more manageable size.
“Spike appears to be very protective of you Xander.”
“Yeah cause he loves me, and you should be glad he trusts you enough to be my bodyguard,” Xander said as he loaded the cut lengths of timber into the trunk.
“Oh yes. It warms the very cockles of my heart.” Giles fixed him with a pained look. “No, I’m mistaken that would be heartburn.”
Xander laughed. “Easy there Giles, don’t want to fracture a funny bone.”
“No of course not,” he said dryly. “Xander, I am surprised that he has so readily agreed to this plan to kill the Fewoi. I honestly did expect greater opposition.”
Xander leaned on the side of the car soaking up the sunshine and thinking about that. “He’s been questioning your every decision, changing your plans, telling you how incompetent you all are and threatening your lives if it goes wrong. I’d say that’s Spike in opposition mode.”
“Whereas I would say that’s normal Spike and given your ah, relationship now, I would have thought he might be more opposed.”
“Giles, we both want rid of this Fewoi yesterday. We’ve been up against it, it was difficult and this is the best way we have to be rid of the damn thing. I’m trusting you guys to plan the hell out of this and not hang me out to dry. So is Spike.”
“Xander you know that we have your welfare as our main concern,” Giles said.
Xander laughed, a harsh, sharp sound. “Actually Giles that’s something I’ve been questioning more in the last two weeks than at anytime in my life.”
“Yes, well, granted it hasn’t been an entirely normal two weeks has it? And we are all trying to adjust to the changes; although some of us are doing a better job than others.”
“Well yeah, if you want to be all tactful British guy about it.”
“It comes from being tactful and British,” Giles smiled. “Xander, I do want to apologise for misjudging your relationship. I didn’t understand the connection between you and Spike, I do now and-.” Giles stopped, his face screwed up in what appeared to be extreme pain. “Good Lord Xander. Spike? I mean, Spike?” He sighed. “That’s it. I think I have it out of my system. I hope you’ll be happy.”
“Pretty damn sure G-man.” Xander tried for an earnest face. “Should we hug now?”
“That won’t be necessary Xander. Do get in the car.”
Xander grinned at Giles familiar look of disapproval and exasperation.
They spent longer at the site than they expected, working for several hours with a break for lunch and Xander was able to make a good stock of solid, almost club-like spears. Xander refused Giles’ offers of help, partially because of the site safety rules, but mainly because he was finding it incredibly therapeutic to be working with the hickory. The sounds of the power tools, the smell of the fresh cut wood was blessed routine to Xander, the routine he’d been missing since the site closed down. As he worked he chatted happily to Giles, describing the properties of the wood he’d selected and the methods he was using to work it.
Giles watched and listened, quietly impressed with the deftness Xander demonstrated in handling the timber and the competent way he organised the task. The weapons he created were more than serviceable and if they withstood the coming attack, would be welcome additions to their cache. Giles was further forced to address his own assumptions about Xander when the other workers greeted him with friendly waves and pats on the back, obviously happy to see him. Several made offers of thanks to Xander for his part in ensuring their temporary work placement while their own site re-established itself.
Together, they carted the load of new weapons back to the car. Both had their arms filled and Giles also had pocketfuls of stakes, he’d freshly whittled from the off-cuts while he waited. They stopped by the Magic Box to drop their load off, before Giles returned Xander home.
Xander bounded in through the apartment door, heading straight for the bedroom where he assumed Spike would still be sleeping. One glance at the lump under the covers and Xander knew he’d guessed right. A flying leap at the bed was intercepted by the preternatural vampire speed and Xander was pinned.
“Damn you’re fast for an old guy,” Xander laughed.
“You’re in a good mood love.”
“You betcha. Got my happy on. I’ve been out in the sun, cutting up the wood, talking to the guys, getting all sawdusty and sweaty.” Xander wriggled underneath him. “C’mon Bleachie, smell me. Take a big old sniff; sunshine, man sweat and fresh wood.”
“I caught it as soon as you opened the door.” Spike rubbed against Xander’s hip. “You smell like something I need to fuck.”
“That works out nicely for both of us then cause I really need to be fucked and we still have a few hours to go before we have to meet at the store so-.”
“Shut the hell up Harris and get naked now.”
A considerably more subdued Xander sat in the Magic Box that evening, his fingers wound with Spike’s listening as the final plans were laid. His knee bounced nervously and he gave short single word responses to anyone who spoke to him.
Everyone would have a job. Tara and
They would all be armed with several of Xander’s weapons; he would carry one as well. Everyone was now fully aware of the Fewoi’s power and what to expect, Spike having recounted as much as he knew from his own and Xander’s experience. Final preparations were made, wards were put in place, weapons were collected and everyone headed for the cars.
Outside the store, Spike snatched the car keys from Xander and bundled him into the passenger side. He’d felt how on edge Xander had been and wondered if driving in his distracted state, they would even make it as far at the cemetery.
For his part, Xander was happier to be left alone. If he had a choice, he would be home, far away from the damn demon. The last thing he wanted was to be the worm on the hook. He conceded, though, that as far as plans went, it was far from the worst, and they did seem to have all their bases covered. A few days ago Xander might have outright refused their idea. Then he’d had little faith in them and even less trust. Now though, his friends seemed to be trying to make up for their mistakes and he was happy to let them. Still it was a fairly significant and dangerous thing they were about to try and Xander was nervous. No, he’d bypassed nervous and gone straight to panic. The constant revision of the procedures, far from being reassuring, was more stressful; a reminder of what was to come.
“Love if you want to back out, now would be the time.”
“I don’t, we need to get this done.”
“Okay I won’t ask again, you know your own mind.” He reached a hand out to Xander’s face. “I’ll do everything I can love. Everyone will.”
“Yeah I know.” While they were still in the relative privacy of their car, Xander pulled Spike in and kissed him, trying for the comfort he knew it always gave when he was tense and worried. This time it took the edge off, but he was still anxious and eager to be done. “Come on let’s go, I can’t stand waiting anymore.” Xander jumped out, collected their weapons from the back seat and stuck to Spike like glue. If they were going to be separated at some stage, Xander wanted as much support as he could get now; in his mind it was like filling the tank before a long road trip with no gas stations. Xander was grateful that Spike recognised what he needed and held Xander close with an arm around his waist.
As a group, Buffy taking point and Xander and Spike at the back, they all moved through the paths to the open grassed area where they hoped to confront the demon. Just Off to the side they found a flat area where
All eyes were focused on this stage of the spell. The second powder was the one that would show only the demons with excessively high energy levels. As they watched a blue pinprick of light became visible towards the corner of the map. It gradually grew bigger and as it did, it became more obvious that the light was moving.
Giles looked more closely at the position on the map. “If this representation is accurate then I imagine we have perhaps ten or fifteen minutes before it reaches the gates here.”
Xander leaned in to Spike’s side, glad for the waves of strength, love and security he felt flow between them. Ten minutes. He glanced at his watch and couldn’t decide if he wanted the time to slow down or fly by.