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
In the end Xander couldn’t have said what the time did, only that there just wasn’t ever going to be enough time when Spike held him, when he whispered reassurances and tried his damnedest to kiss away the unease. That time went too fast and it always would. On the other hand, the wait for the demon seemed interminable and Xander wondered if someone had slowed down time just to torture him. Still, it was too soon that Buffy was ordering everyone into position and
Buffy’s voice was carrying across to Xander, sounding partly urgent, partly cautious. He ignored her and listened only to Spike’s soft voice in his ear.
“Come on mate, let’s get it all over with yeah?”
Xander squeezed him once more then reluctantly let go. “You don’t touch that thing okay? You let Buffy take care of it and you do not touch it again.”
“Giving me orders Harris?” Spike asked with an amused flick of his eyebrow.
“Yes, so you damn well do what you’re told.”
“You trying to get me all hot and bothered before a fight love? Cause you’re going the right way about it. Love it when you’re all forceful and domineering.”
“Spike now is so not the time.” Xander tried to hold onto his serious face, but the over the top lascivious expression Spike had was wearing him down and he had to smile at the attempt to keep him calm.
Spike laughed, then leaned in and kissed him. “Love you Xander even when you’re crazy.”
“No!” Xander pushed him away. “Mate. Love. Harris. Dickhead. Anything, but Xander.” He pointed at Spike. “You call me Xander now and I know you’re worried and we’re all in trouble.”
Spike sighed. “Now you’re just delaying mate.”
“Spike, Xander we really must be getting along now,” Giles interrupted.
“Yeah okay G-man, we’re coming.” Xander didn’t say anything else to Spike, just looked at him sternly and pointed a warning finger.
Spike snorted. “I won’t touch it. Dickhead.”
Everyone collected their weapons, Buffy taking a few practise swings and jabs with hers.
“Off you go Harris, we’ve all got your back.”
“I hope someone’s got yours too Bleachie.”
Spike looked over his shoulder at Buffy and gave a wry smile. “You never know, miracles could happen.”
“It’s just about at the gates guys,”
Without another word, Xander turned and headed back down the path. He was going to be waiting around on the path, halfway between the clearing and the gate. Tara and
As they walked, a thought pushed its way into Xander’s mind and refused to leave; he stopped dead. “Anya, what the hell are you doing? You shouldn’t be in this, you’re still hurt.”
Giles sighed. “And we all said that same thing Xander, but Anya is quite a determined woman as I’m sure you well know.”
“Are you going to make me wait in the car Xander? Or are we going to get in position before this thing sneaks up on us?”
“Um, wait in the car?” He said hopefully.
“Pfft.” Anya turned her back on him and continued to their starting point.
No point arguing with her; though if anything went wrong he would do his best to draw it away from her. Xander tried not to panic as Giles and Anya fell back into the cover of the trees positioning themselves between Xander and the clearing. He stood quietly in the centre of the path, willing his heart to stop pounding in his ears so he would be able to hear
Xander was to wait on the path until he could hear the Fewoi behind him. It may be a stalker and able to keep out of sight, but if it was anything like the last one it’s sheer size would not allow it to move silently. They were counting on a lot of ‘ifs’. It would all work if the Fewoi didn’t detect Giles and Anya, if it didn’t make a sudden attack, if it still planned to finish Xander’s incomplete claim as opposed to just killing him outright. So many more ‘ifs’ that Xander pushed to the back of his mind. It was crowded enough in there already and he needed to focus on the sounds around him.
Xander faintly heard
Behind him a loud cracking sound rang out. A snapped branched, but not from Giles or Anya. Xander strained to hear. And there it was, the regular crunching pace of a heavy body moving through the undergrowth off to the side of the path. Xander turned and began walking slowly, putting his feet down carefully so as to be able to hear the Fewoi. He registered the movements of Giles and Anya slightly ahead of him and keeping pace.
Xander kept his steps even and calm. He stopped occasionally and, as expected, the steps behind him also stopped.
Along a gentle curve in the path and Xander could clearly see the open space where Spike and Buffy were waiting in the shadows. Not far now. He paused again and after one particularly loud splitting sound, the steps behind him quietened too. Walking again and there it went, good old predictable Fewoi so far.
Nearly at the clearing and the warm feeling that started in the centre of his belly and spread down to the tips of his fingers told him Spike was near. He felt an immediate rush of relief.
As planned, Xander stepped into the clearing and kept his back to the demon. This was a new burial section, the ground covered with smooth green lawn and surrounded on one side by older graves and on the other three by thick trees and low bushes, not yet landscaped. He looked around locating Buffy and Spike off to his sides and heard the Fewoi stop too. Everything was quiet, Xander knew Giles and Anya had stilled,
It felt like so much longer but in reality, from start to finish, the whole thing must have happened in no more than half a minute. The demon burst out of the trees and screeched at Xander with its crackling voice that seemed to spark through the air.
“YOU WILL BE FEWOI.”
Xander spun around to face it. Ah, yes, that was what he’d been hoping for. This was what the first had done. A bit of showy stuff with the power, a bit of yelling then the white light to claim him. The Fewoi’s hand shifted and that was when Xander noticed it was carrying a short staff. Oh this was new and unexpected. This may be a problem.
The Fewoi touched a hand to its chest, triggering the blue electrical charge that this time crawled over its body and channelled into the staff in its hand. The end of the staff glowed blue for a moment before the Fewoi touched it to the ground and a sharp burst of power shot from the end, running along the ground and into the trees near to where Anya stood. Xander heard a short shriek and the unmistakable sound of a body falling. No, this was not the plan. There was no Fewoi weapon in their plan. There was no injured Anya in their plan.
Off to Xander’s right Giles was emerging from the trees, intent on getting across the clearing to check on Anya. The Fewoi jerked its arm around and another blue streak was shooting its way across the ground towards the watcher.
“Giles move!” Buffy’s voice rang out as she charged at Giles knocking him out of the way of the blast and dodging a second burst herself.
Xander stood frozen, watching the threads of their plan unravelling before him. Their research said the Fewoi wouldn’t attack a protected target, so it was taking out the protection. Anya and Giles down because the Fewoi knew they were there, it would know Buffy and Spike were there; Willow and Tara too. Now he knew someone was messing with him because real time did not run this slowly. Giles was rolling to the ground where Buffy had knocked him and now she was yelling something to Xander while veins of what looked like blue lightening arced towards him from the Fewoi’s weapon.
Useless, their chunks of wood would be useless against this. Xander watched fascinated as the energy seemed to zigzag its way towards him. He could hear people shouting, could feel the air begin to buzz and his skin prickle as it got closer. Beyond the blue light, he saw Buffy holding her weapon like a javelin and charging the Fewoi, saw Giles jump to his feet and run after his slayer, saw Anya also running from the trees, her weapon raised. It was Spike’s sharp yell of his name that snapped him out of the daze and as Xander turned taking a couple of steps to run, he felt a hard body slam into him, an elbow connecting with his jaw, a knee in his gut and he was falling. No, not falling, crashing to the ground, his head hitting the grass hard, all the breath knocked out of him and various body parts sang with the pain of the impacts.
He registered a long loud screeching sound and a bright burst of light as he rolled over the grass. When he came to a stop, all was silent and Xander was lying flat on his back on the grass, Spike half over him. His head was spinning, his jaw felt like it had been hit with the front end of a train and he was sure he would never be able to put food in his stomach again.
“God damn it Xander, you didn’t bloody move.” Spike rolled off him, taking needless heavy breaths. This along with Spike’s use of his name told Xander how close he’d just come to being fried himself this time.
Xander tried to turn over and stand up but groaned with the pain and lay still. When he opened his eyes, Spike was leaning over him and running his hands over Xander’s body.
“You okay love? Did I hurt you?”
Xander grabbed Spike’s hands and stilled them. “Yeah you did, but it’s better than what that thing would have done.”
Spike carefully helped Xander sit up then knelt beside him. “Harris you just stood there. Fuck love, I thought it was going to get you.” Spike gingerly wrapped his arms around Xander, quickly letting go when Xander’s body tensed.
“Spike you’re hurting me, ease up a bit okay?” Xander winced and rubbed at his jaw, then pulled his shirt up to check his stomach. “Damn you have a mean right elbow.”
Xander looked at Spike, fully expecting a cutting remark about his nancyish complaining or his idiotic standing still in the face of danger again, but was not prepared for the look of alarmed comprehension on Spike’s face.
“What is it Spike? What?” Xander looked around, seeing everyone was okay but also watching him and Spike with wary distrust.
Very carefully Spike reached up and gripped Xander’s aching jaw, squeezing gently but with enough pressure to make Xander pull away.
“Ow, what the hell Spike? You’re hur-.”
Spike said nothing but nodded.
“You hurt me,” Xander whispered. “You hurt me and you’re okay.”
“But maybe it’s just cause you were protecting me. Maybe that doesn’t count, cause you didn’t mean to.”
Spike slowly and deliberately reached out and pinched a large fold of skin on Xander’s arm, twisting it for good measure
“Ow,” Xander snatched his arm away and stared at Spike in wonder. “Oh.” No chip. Unchipped vampire. Spike could hurt him, could hit him, knock him to the ground, almost break his body parts and there was no chip reining him in. That meant that Spike could-. A slow dawning smile began on Xander’s face as his mind led him into that next thought.
Spike’s eyes met his then drifted down, his gaze raking over the side of Xander’s throat. Spike’s tongue snaked out and wet his lip and Xander’s hand unconsciously stroked at the pulse point on his neck. This was not a ‘what if’ or an’ if only’ anymore. Xander felt the enormous burst of adrenaline flow though him as he understood exactly what this meant for them both. “We need to go home Spike. Now.”
“Yeah love I think we do. Let me just-.” Spike leaned down, drawn to that spot on Xander’s neck, pressing his lips in a light kiss; a shiver ran through both of them.
The girls’ voices rang out in shouts of warning but Xander ignored them completely. Before he could even take in another breath, there was a scream and a shout and Spike was knocked away from him.
“Xander run,” Buffy shouted.
Xander jumped to his feet, unsure of what he was meant to be running from until he took in the scene in front of him. Buffy had Spike on the ground and a stake raised over her shoulder, Spike was fighting to push her off.
“Buffy. No!” Xander ran, sprinted and dived. One hand grabbed Buffy’s wrist, the other wrapped around her waist and he tackled her to the ground, the stake rolling away. Spike got to his feet, picked up the stake and hurled it away into the trees.
“Get off me.” Buffy twisted and bucked, pulling her arm free and tipping Xander to the ground. She stood over him looking angry and confused. “Xander his chip isn’t working, he was about to bite you.”
“I wasn’t going to bite him, you stupid bint.” Spike reached down to help Xander up but was again knocked away by a flying leap from Buffy.
“You keep away from him Spike.” She landed several solid punches to Spike’s face and head before she herself was thrown viciously away.
Spike leapt to his feet, growling and flashing golden eyes from his demon’s face. He charged her, slamming a fist into her face and sending her stumbling backwards.
“Buffy stop it!” Xander found his feet again and ran to Spike, grabbing his arm and stopping another blow. “No Spike, please don’t.”
Spike snarled and shook him off. “Let go of me Xander, the slayer has had it coming.”
“It’s just the spell affecting her Spike, please stop.”
“Xander it is not the spell, I haven’t been near you until now.” Buffy took hold of Xander and tried to push him away. “You need to get away from him, he’s unchipped.”
“Get your hands off him slayer.”
At Spike’s possessive and infuriated growl, Xander summoned as much of his new strength as he was able. He was never going to be a match for Buffy but he had to get her off him before this went too far. He slapped her arms and shoved her shoulders, not managing to knock her down but she lost her grip on him and staggered a few steps back.
Xander chanced a look at the rest of his friends. They stood anxiously watching but none were willing to get between a slayer and a now unchipped vampire. “Giles help me out here will you? Please?” he called.
Buffy and Spike were staring daggers at each other over and around Xander, neither, however was prepared to just toss him out of the way.
Giles stood unmoving, debating with himself. If he did nothing Xander would most likely be hurt, trying to separate them. Stepping in would appear that he was condoning the preservation of an unrestrained vampire. It was Xander’s dogged determination at this moment, and the images Giles now had of a mature, confident, well-liked Xander, an as-good-as-consort Xander, that made up his mind. They would find a way to sort this out, he would not let Xander down again.
“Buffy that’s quite enough,” Giles shouted, running for his slayer and pulling her back.
“Giles, his chip.” Buffy stared at her watcher, not understanding what was going on. “We can’t let him-.”
“We can and we will Buffy. We have to trust Xander.”
“Giles you hate Spike, he’s a fully operational vampire, he was going to bite Xander and you’re protecting him.”
“No, I’m protecting Xander. He is very close to being Spike’s full consort. If you hurt Spike you have no idea what that will do to Xander, you may well kill him too.” Giles also knew that at some point, Xander would welcome Spike’s bite, but thought it best not to raise that issue until Buffy had calmed. She was only doing what a slayer was expected to do, but now she needed to push that aside and do as a friend should. With a last glance at Xander and Spike, Giles led his slayer away.
Xander, satisfied and surprisingly impressed with Giles action, turned to Spike and gripped his arms. “Spike, please calm down.” Spike continued to snarl in Buffy’s direction until Xander shook him. “Damn it Spike, look at me.”
Spike turned his yellow eyes on Xander and he immediately felt a lurch in his stomach; a combination of intense arousal and, not so much fear, but more appreciation for the demon’s power. “Spike you promised me you wouldn’t hurt them.”
“Bloody hell, Harris. You have to remember that now?”
“Hey, a promise is a promise. Unless that chip was the only thing stopping you from breaking it?”
Spike looked from Xander to his friends. The witches were standing behind the watcher, guarded expressions on their faces. The slayer had her arms folded and was working on that pursed up, self-righteous mouth she did. Xander’s ex was standing there bold as brass with a huge grin on her face. Back to his boy again and Spike saw the love and trust, tinged with a touch of fear, and underneath all that, pure lust.
Spike gave a low growl of frustration. “No love. I meant it. I won’t hurt them.”
Before Spike could stop him, Xander was slamming his mouth against Spike’s, his tongue running over and down the long fangs, his hands exploring the demon face. Spike felt the hard bulge against his own and let Xander have his way. It was a show of trust to his friends that he could never have had enough words to explain quite as well.
Giles gathered the girls together, calling Anya several times and walked them back to the car. There would be considerable fallout to deal with, but now was certainly not the time.