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
Xander froze as all eyes turned to him. Spike unobtrusively got up from the stairs and came to stand by his side, one hand resting possessively on his back.
“Xander?” It seemed as though
“Yeah Spike, you want to explain how this promise of yours works if Xander isn’t safe?” Buffy asked, her hands on her hips.
“Oh bloody hell Slayer. He is safe. Look at him.”
“I’m looking Spike and I’m seeing my friend with a vampire bite on his neck. That’s your way of looking after him? By feeding off him?”
“Buffy its okay-.”
“Xander it is not okay. He bit you!” She spoke slowly and loudly.
“Xander you said you were safe, that he wouldn’t hurt you,”
“Guys I’m not hurt, I’m-.”
Buffy rounded on her watcher. “Giles you made me put that stake away and now look where we are.”
“Buffy there is no need for weapons, it isn’t what you think,” Giles told her.
“It’s not a vampire bite?”
Tired of being talked around and over, Xander stepped in. “Alright that’s enough,” he shouted. “Everybody sit down. And there will be no weapons.”
“Yes, Buffy. This gets finished tonight. I am so tired of the whole damn thing and having to explain myself to you every time we get together. Now please sit down.”
Buffy caught Giles’ impatient expression and reluctantly sat,
The thought briefly crossed Xander’s mind that Spike would be less intimidating if he were to sit, but before he could form the words, Spike sighed.
“Fine, love.” He sat next to Xander. “Better?”
Xander smiled happily at him. It always gave him a warm feeling when things like that happened; random stray thoughts or shared feelings. Even before Spike had claimed him, for Xander it emphasised the depth and scope of their relationship. The rush of affection that spread though him must have overflowed to Spike, judging by the surprised smile that Xander received back. At the other side of the table, the girls appeared confused by Spike’s one-sided conversation, whereas Giles seemed to be merely curious.
“Much, thankyou.” Xander slipped his hand into Spike’s lap and linked their fingers together.
“Xander why do I get the feeling there’s so much more that we don’t know?”
“Because there’s so much more that you don’t know,” he agreed.
“Xander you’ve been bitten, we’re worried about you,” Buffy said. “Well,
“Buffy I assure you, I am not worry-free. I do however understand what is happening and I encourage you to keep an open mind and allow Xander to have his say.”
Xander smiled his thanks to Giles and waited until he had the girls’ full attention. “I’m just going to explain how it is. I know things are hard for you to take in, I really get that. But this is not open for debate. This is me telling you how it is. Are we straight with that?” When they nodded, he continued. “I am Spike’s consort. Not just part claimed like it’s been because of that spell, but fully claimed. It’s what I wanted, what we both wanted so you need to respect that. The spell started the process and you know I was picking up Spike’s strengths because of it, but now that’s complete; the claiming finished it. It’s done and that’s about it. I am a full consort.”
“And we get to the part about how it’s okay for Spike to bite you when exactly?”
Xander shook his head. “Buffy I’m trying really hard not to resort to grade school insults here but how long since you looked at your own neck. If I’m not mistaken that scar hasn’t completely faded yet has it?”
Xander saw Buffy’s hand immediately go to her neck and her attitude was defensive. “That was different Xander, Angel would have died.”
“So you’ve got a reason and you obviously think it was justified. But the only difference is in the reasons, Buffy. You still allowed and actually even forced the bite didn’t you? So how can you sit there and judge me for something Spike and I both wanted?”
“I’m not-, I didn’t mean-. I just don’t understand why you did it.”
“Buffy I think you will find that is how the master and consort status is achieved. The bite was a necessary part of the process.” Giles looked to Spike for confirmation.
“That it was Rupert.” Spike told him distractedly, his eyes glued to Xander.
Xander shifted in his seat when he felt the rush of lust between them as they both remembered the moment. His fingers clenched with Spike’s and he had to force himself to give his attention back to the girls. “Um, so like I said, Buffy, it was something we both needed. It just couldn’t happen while Spike was chipped.”
“And what about the chip? How did you get that removed?” Buffy demanded.
Xander looked at Spike before answering. It was really up to Spike to choose how much of that story they told.
“Didn’t get it removed exactly, it was the bloody Fewoi last week. When I killed it, the charge shorted out the chip.”
“And you didn’t think to mention it before last night?” Buffy asked Xander incredulously. “He’s been unleashed for nearly a week and you thought it was okay not to tell us?”
“Fuck, Slayer, I am right here, speaking to you and still you talk past me. And who the hell said you had to be told every bloody thing anyway, you fucking arrogant bi-.”
Xander grabbed at Spike’s arm as he made to stand and pulled him back down. Directing his comments to Buffy, he made no effort to disguise the anger in his voice. “Okay, first? Unleashed is kind of offensive Buffy, so is the way you are talking about Spike like he isn’t even here. And we didn’t say anything to you about the chip because we didn’t know until last night. And to be honest now I know how you’re reacting, I doubt I would have told you if we did know.”
“How should we react Xander? This is so out of the ordinary for us; I don’t know how we’re supposed to deal with it.”
“Buffy, I don’t need to be dealt with. All I need is for you to understand that what I choose to do with my life is not something that you get to make decisions on. There are some things that I’m just not prepared to talk about and I am so tired of you treating me like I’ve done something wrong by not telling you every tiny detail.”
“How about any detail Xander? Anything at all?”
“We’ve kept some things to ourselves, yes. But look at the result when you guys have found out anything. Spike is attacked and I’m reprimanded and ignored. And you wonder why I don’t want to share? Besides, some things happening here, happening to me, are just too personal to make announcements about. ”
“Consort here, Will. Its just one of the perks, same as when I got that concussion, except now it’s complete it’s a bit faster.”
“Oh,” she said in a small voice. “I knew that, but I guess I didn’t really want to believe it, but here you are with the consorty evidence and now I have to, don’t I? Believe it I mean.”
“Sorry Will, you really do. I had all the consorty evidence before you know. It was just building up. Now its done building and I am Xander Harris, official Consort of William the Bloody, Master vampire.”
Xander turned a bright smile on Spike, shared his surge of love and thought how proud he was to be able to say that.
“Same here love,” Spike said quietly and squeezed his hand, responding to Xander’s thoughts.
“Same what?” Buffy looked from one to the other with some confusion. “Same what Spike? Did the chip fry a few brain cells too? Cause you’ve been a bit less sane in the solo conversation department tonight.”
“Completely sane Slayer and like he said, there are some things that are just none of your business. This being one of them.”
Xander sighed, resigned to having to share some information, but, like Spike, reluctant to divulge too much. “There is a consort and master connection that is fully active now. It just makes us more sensitive to each other and that’s all I have to say about it. It’s kind of private.”
Buffy’s hand again stroked at her neck and Xander could see the sadness and confusion. He nudged Spike.
“Slayer, that bite the poof gave you, it wasn’t the same. There needs to be different circumstances. It was special for him, but still, it technically was only a bite. ”
She nodded but didn’t meet his eyes. “It’s just a scar, it was nothing.”
Xander smiled at her. “No Buff, it wasn’t nothing. It was huge, you understand exactly what it was like and that was just a bite.” He pulled aside his shirt and indicated the scar. Spike did the same, displaying the claim scar on his own neck. “These are so much more than the bite. Do you understand now what this means to us?”
Tears welled in Buffy’s eyes as she again nodded, staring at the marks they both wore with pride. “I get it. I do. I’m sorry Xander.”
“Xander, you bit Spike?”
Xander flushed and nodded. “Yeah Will, I did and I so do not want to discuss this part of it anymore.”
Giles cleared his throat and looked like he would rather be anywhere else. “Ah, yes, Xander I do believe you have sufficiently explained the situation. There is no need for further detail,” Giles stood and quickly moved away from the table. “I imagine that some kind of congratulations is in order then?” He awkwardly put his hand out to shake Spike’s and after a moment’s hesitation Spike stood and shook, silently acknowledging the acceptance.
Xander got up from the table and took Giles’ extended hand in both of his. “Thankyou,” he said with a genuinely warm smile. “Please don’t be worried about me.”
“I rather think it’s unavoidable.” Giles smiled back at him. “Now, I will leave you to do whatever it is you people do that means I no longer have to intervene in your dramatic encounters.” Giles turned to his slayer. “Buffy I trust that you will no longer need to be disarmed or restrained?” She shook her head, having the good grace to look mildly embarrassed and Giles wandered off busying himself behind the counter, obviously relieved to be dealing with something less emotional.
Xander gave a soft laugh as he realised he’d been watching Giles jealously, wishing he too had some routine that needed attention. No such luck though as the girls still stared at him, their eyes flicking from his neck to Spike’s. He could sense a multitude of questions just below the surface of the awkward silence.
“Right. Don’t think I can stand much more of this.” Spike grabbed Xander by the arm. “Consort, a word thanks.”
Xander let himself be dragged away as Spike headed for the front door. “Spike what is it? Where are we going?”
“We aren’t going anywhere. I am going to kill something, or hopefully many somethings” Spike pulled him close. “Your friends are coming around love. They’re going to want to chat and make up and do those bloody nauseating things they do when they’re trying to make up with you. You are oozing all kinds of feelings about them and I am either going to vomit or dismember someone.”
Xander laughed. “You won’t be out long?” he asked, his hands sliding beneath Spike’s duster and down over his ass, squeezing hard. “Like you said, it’s still kind of a honeymoon and I had some plans.”
Spike’s face slipped and his subsonic growl vibrated through Xander. “Quick trip love. Be back before you know it.”
“Better be.” Xander aimed carefully so as not to slice his lips on the fangs and kissed his demon. It was just the lightest of touches, but enough that they were both wanting more, conscious though of the audience. “Love you, Bleachie.”
“You too mate. Get those silly bints sorted out yeah?” With a quick kiss to Xander’s cheek he was gone, a cigarette already halfway to his mouth as the door swung closed behind him.
Even with Spike out of the store, Xander was still able to feel him. There was the love and happiness that he’d shared just seconds ago, but there was also the relief and a sense of freedom and strength that was new. Xander felt a twinge of worry as he also caught a burst of bloodlust but was met with a reassuring vibe and smiled to himself as he realised the extent of this new form of communication with Spike. The awareness gradually faded as Spike drew further away and Xander was able to concentrate again on the girls.
Bypassing the table, he found a few bottles of soda in the fridge, next to a pile of unused blood bags. He pulled them out and checked the dates, finding that they must have been accumulating for a while as Giles continued to stock the pig’s blood, unknowing of the alternate arrangements Xander and Spike had made for the home deliveries. Xander shuddered at the thought of Spike drinking pig’s blood again and quickly dropped all the bags in the trash, reminding himself to speak to Giles about it later. He collected the sodas and joined the girls at the table. .
“Oh.Um, no. None. I’ve seen your auras Xander, I know how genuine this is. And the chip and bites and all, I just don’t think it’s any of my business and if you want me to know about it then you’ll tell me when you’re ready. This was something the three of you needed to get straight and I didn’t want to step in while you did that.”
“Well you sort of have Will. But you’ve been friends for so long it was understandable. These things happening to Xander are so unusual you’re bound to be worried about it, but I think it’s important for you to take him at his word.”
“We haven’t though, have we Xan?”
“Not so much with the benefit of the doubt Will, no.”
“But Xander you can understand why can’t you?” Buffy said. “I mean a month ago, you were engaged to Anya, Spike was just an annoying vampire hanging around that you liked to insult and argue with. Now there’s no engagement, Anya’s off with Simon the Stockbroker and you’re in love with Spike –and my god I never thought those words would pass my lips.”
“I never expected you to be okay with everything in an instant, but what I did expect was that if I told you how I felt you’d believe me and support me. It just didn’t happen and you made me feel like I counted for nothing. You both assumed that there was something wrong with me that you could fix.”
“We’re bad friends. Bad, bad friends,”
Buffy nodded. “Right there with you Will. Xander you’re not the same person you were a few weeks ago, that takes some time for us to get used to.”
“Still the same here Buff, just got some enhancements and a big bleached accessory,” Xander smiled.
“Okay so again with the wrong words,” she said. “You’re life is not the same then.”
“That’s a given,” he snorted. “There is so much I’ve had to get used to, so many new things happening to me. I really wanted to share that with you, well not all of it, but you know it’s been exciting and you guys are my best friends, it would have been nice to have been able to tell you about it.”
“You seemed a bit standoffish though Xan. Some days we couldn’t even get near you.”
“Yeah I know Will, I’m sorry. While I was half bonded it was almost painful to be near you and to be away from Spike. It was that damn spell.”
“Fully bonded now; no more spell. Well, I hope no more spell. I was going to ask you guys to check it and make sure. But we’re pretty sure it’s shut down.”
A bright smile lit
Buffy’s eyes widened and filled with tears. “I think you’re right. Does this mean I can have a hug?”
Xander smiled. “Do I have to pat you down first?”
“Well if you did, I know now you wouldn’t just be copping a feel.”
“Nah Buff, you got the curves and bumps in all the wrong places for me.” Xander held his arms out and she slid across the bench seat and wrapped her arms around him.
“I love you Xander and I’m still worried about you but I trust you to be happy and safe,” she whispered.
“I am safe Buff and I’m so far beyond happy.” Xander felt a thump at his side as
“Not leaving me out of a Scooby group hug mister.”
Xander relaxed and enjoyed the moment with the girls, feeling like both nothing and everything had changed. He was so glad to be able to take this comfort from his friends and to be able to do it without the pain and discomfort of just a few days ago. The girls’ closeness just felt right and there was no urgent craving to be with Spike. Yes, there was still a burning desire for his presence, but that was more manageable, even enjoyable.
Xander laughed. Spike had been right to disappear for a while. He would have hated the warm fuzzies Xander had right now. Again, he had that twinge of worry, thinking about what Spike might be doing but in a well used move, he pushed it aside in favour of the more pleasant thoughts and feelings of a make up hug with his girls.tbc