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, no Season 6 Spuffy.
Disclaimer: not mine, all belongs to Joss and Co. Damn them. And bless them.
Other chapters are here
Xander sat stiffly on the couch, his elbows resting on his knees, head in his hands. When he felt the cushions dip he looked up at Spike.
“So. Giles, Anya and now Angel. Anyone else know more about my life than I do?” Xander asked him sourly. “What about Rose? Now I think about it, I’m pretty sure you and Rose were talking around something last night.”
Spike nodded. “Yeah but that’s it love, no one else.”
“You plan on catching me up or you want to tell the rest of the town first?”
Spike put a hand on his leg. “Are you going to let me talk to you?”
“Just do it, stop messing around with me and tell me what everyone else seems to know.” Xander shifted himself back into the corner of the couch and made himself comfortable crossing his legs and folding his arms. It was a barrier between him and Spike that suggested no nonsense until everything was out in the open.
Spike took the hint, slid back to the other end of the couch and faced Xander. “To be honest, I hoped that maybe you might have come across it in one of those Watcher’s Journals and made the connection already.”
“I could have done Spike, but unless you tell me what it is, how will I know?”
“True, love,” Spike conceded. “Okay, you know about all the skills and enhancements and ramifications of becoming a consort yeah? But there’s one thing I just didn’t know how to tell you, not until I had an option for you; maybe a way around it.”
Xander watched him steadily, still angry that he had no idea while others seemed well informed, but willing to hear Spike out, if only he would get to the damn point. His thoughts must have been obvious, because Spike continued quickly.
“We have this connection yeah? But as well as it meaning that we feel and sense each other and belong to each other it means that your existence is tied to mine. Love, if I die, you die.” Spike delivered the words and waited.
Xander took a moment to process this. It shouldn’t come as a surprise and it didn’t. As a consort he had taken all aspects of Spike’s nature, then why shouldn’t his entire existence depend on Spike also? “You didn’t know how to tell me that? It was pretty simple in the end wasn’t it?”
“No there’s nothing simple about it love,” Spike said.
“Tell me how it will happen,” Xander demanded, his tone leaving no room for argument.
Spike shrugged. “I can’t really say, you would just gradually wind down, stop eating and sleeping. I suppose if you want a word for it, you could say it was like pining away. You might last a few weeks or a few months; it’s one of those things that’s different for everyone. Like Rosie said, the bond is fluid.”
“Are you planning on dying any time soon?”
Spike looked quizzically at him. “Wasn’t in my diary for this week love, no.”
“And in the meantime it’s business as usual? Your injuries won’t affect me?”
“No they won’t and business is as normal as it can be if you’re my consort.”
Xander nodded his understanding. “Spike you’re over one hundred years old. Despite how it looks sometimes, you aren’t stupid or careless. You’ve lived a more dangerous life in the past that what you have done for the last few years and you made it through that okay. If you mean what you say about not feeding from humans then that alone increases your life expectancy. We fight together now and if you help train me properly then that has to help too right?”
“There’s a lot of variables mate. But yeah, those things will make a difference,” Spike agreed.
“And who knows, in a hundred or two hundred years or whatever, I may have had such an amazing, full life that I’d be happy to go with you.”
Spike growled and shot forward, his finger in Xander’s face. “No! You don’t talk like that love. You want me to go and dust myself if something happens to you?”
Xander calmly pushed Spike’s hand away and waited till Spike sat back again. He understood Spike’s reaction, his would have been the same. “No I don’t. All I’m saying is that the whole thing is probably so far away, it doesn’t bear worrying about now. Neither of us know how we’ll feel or react when it happens so I’m not making predictions either way. Not like I have a choice is it?”
“Well now love. Funny you should say that,” Spike began carefully.
Xander saw the hesitation on Spike’s face and knew that hadn’t been the only thing. There was some issue of a promise between Spike and Angel and Xander knew it was going to be something big. Spike didn’t ever look that edgy. “Go on. You need to finish this,” he said quietly, bracing himself for something he knew he wouldn’t like.
“Angel is the head of our clan. You’re part of the clan, an important part and Angel has recognised that. He said you’re family and you would be protected.” Spike took an unnecessary deep breath and closely watched Xander’s reaction. “If something happens to me, Angel has promised to take over your claim.”
Xander’s reaction was not what Spike expected. A heavy fist flashed out across the couch and, at the last moment, glanced off Spike’s face. Xander threw himself away from the couch, away from Spike and paced the living room floor, disgusted with himself, repulsed by Spike’s proposal. “WHAT THE FUCK SPIKE? You would just hand me over to Angel? What am I, some kind of possession? Am I just a toy that gets passed around the family and everyone gets to have a turn?”
Spike’s eyes flashed with gold and he would have been out of his seat and across the room in a second if Xander hadn’t been unable to control the enormous wave of hurt and anger he was feeling. As it was, he could almost see the instant Spike caught it and it stopped him in his tracks.
Spike wiped the trickle of blood from his lip. Xander had pulled the punch but still, it was enough to split his lip. “He can save you.”
“If that’s the option then maybe I don’t want to be saved,” Xander yelled. “You would have him bite me? After last night you would suggest that to me? How can you? It makes me sick just to think of someone else biting me, claiming me. And Angel? What the hell are you thinking? Are you even thinking?”
“You think I actually want him to claim you? I can’t bear the thought of anyone else touching you. But more than that, how could I know you might die because of me and not do anything to stop it?” Spike tried to catch his hand as he stalked behind the couch, but Xander avoided him. “You just said it. You don’t know how you’ll feel at the time do you? I wanted you to have an alternative. I can’t be that selfish that I would just assume you would want to die with me. I had to make sure you would be okay if that’s what you wanted. Just to have the choice love.”
“Some choice Spike. Die a lingering, agonising death or let your sire who hates me take a poke.” Xander stopped pacing and stared at Spike as a thought hit him. “Do I have to fuck him? Oh god, Spike tell me I do not have to have sex with Angel too. That would just be too much.”
“Xander love, he doesn’t hate you.” Spike sat on the edge of the couch and watched Xander pacing again. “And no, you don’t. He can claim you without sex. You won’t be mated to him, won’t be his consort, just claimed by the head of the Aurelians. He’ll have to bite you, you’ll have to bite him, just the once though. It will be enough for him to take over your claim. Then if you didn’t want to, you would never have to see him again.”
“Why would you keep this from me? Why wouldn’t you have let me have some say in this?” Xander swerved from his pacing and made to sit on the couch but veered away again and resumed his circuit of the room when Spike reached for him.
“You do have a say love. If anything happens to me you have a few days, maybe a week to get to Angel before its too late. You can make your choice then. That’s when you have your say. But right now, what kind of master would I be if I didn’t make arrangements for the safety of my consort? There’s many things I can and will give up for us, but doing what I think is best for you is not one of them.”
“If I do this then I’ll be tied to Angel’s life instead of yours right?” Xander stopped across the room and faced Spike.
“So if Angel dies I get passed on to someone else or die?”
Spike sighed. “Xander none of this is something you have to do. It’s all just an option for you if that’s what you want at the time.”
“I know. I understand that. But what about you Spike? If I die what happens to you? Nothing?”
Spike jumped out of his seat but quickly sat back down again as Xander stepped further away. “Not nothing love. How can you say nothing? My existence isn’t linked to you like yours is to me, but it would break me I’m sure.”
“What would you do if you had these choices?” Xander studied Spike’s face carefully as he thought about that.
“Seriously? I don’t bloody know. I’ve had a long life, I’m not ready for it to end, but if my future had to be without you, I just don’t know that I would want it. Like we said love, when the time comes, who can say?”
Xander saw and heard the honesty in Spike’s reply; he relented, sitting heavily on the couch. He leaned back against the cushions and rubbed his hands over his face. “When the time comes it will be my decision alone okay?”
“Of course it will, I won’t be there to say otherwise and Angel will respect your decision.”
He let Spike reach out and run cool fingers through his hair. Xander closed his eyes and sighed, enjoying the feeling. “And you don’t get to keep this stuff from me. All these other people knew but I didn’t. You can’t do that to me Spike.”
“You understand why I did? I just wanted to give you something more than a glimpse of your death. If the bloody watcher hadn’t said anything it would have been okay until after I phoned Angel tonight.”
“Yeah I get it.” Xander’s eyes flicked to the tiny smear of blood next to Spike’s mouth. He leaned over and pressed his lips softly to the already-healed lip. “Sorry,” he whispered. “That was inexcusable.”
“It’s forgotten love. I likely would have done worse if I were in your shoes.”
Xander sat back again and let out a groan. “I never finished those journals. If I had, I probably would have known about it. I just got side tracked by everything else that’s happened. Three weeks of my life that has been just the most intense, insane experience I could ever conceive of and there is no sign that its going to slow down. It’s like a maze and around every corner is something I just couldn’t imagine.”
“’I’m with you every step of the way, love.”
“Be beside me Spike. Don’t be the surprise I can’t see coming.”
“Doing my best mate, but I’m just me and I’m far from perfect.”
“You and me both Bleachie.”
Xander took Spike’s hand, twisting their fingers together and they sat in silence for a time. “So Angel wasn’t happy either huh?”
Spike snorted. “A little less than, I’d say love.”
“But he said I’m family?”
“Yeah he did mate. I think the shock may have triggered a facial expression of some kind and his heart may have started beating for a minute, but after that he accepted you. He’s not a bad bloke love, I would never have asked him otherwise. He’ll make sure you’re okay.”
“If that’s what I decide,” Xander reminded him.
“Then, but before that as well love. You’re family, you come under the protection of the Master of Aurelius whether I’m dead or alive. Since your slayer did away with the Master and Darla is long gone, Angel is it. It’s a good name to be able to drop.”
Xander sighed. “I guess I’m gonna have to tell the girls aren’t I? And Giles.” He rolled his head against the cushions and faced Spike. “That’s not gonna go down well is it?”
Spike shook his head in answer then held his arms open. Xander looked at him with narrowed eyes. “I’m not done being pissed at you.”
“I know love. You’ve every right to be but I’ll not apologise for trying to make sure you’d be okay.”
Xander gave a resigned shrug, settled himself between Spike’s legs and lay back against his chest. He smiled as Spike kissed his head and whispered into his hair, his strong arms wrapped around Xander’s chest, “Love you Harris, just trying to look out for you yeah?”
“Yeah.” Xander took up Spike’s hand and kissed his palm. “Love you too, but I’m still pissed.”
Spike just held him tighter and Xander let him.
The next day, around mid afternoon, Xander was hunting and gathering in the fridge while Spike was still sleeping. He’d just put the finishing touches on a plate of potential coronary disease when the phone rang. Recognising the number of his office, he pounced and snatched it up before it woke Spike.
“Hey Xander, remember me?”
“Um, the guy who signs my pay check right?”
“Is that all I am to you?”
Xander laughed. “What can I do for you Nate?”
“Good news. The insurance company has okayed everything, most of the new equipment arrived yesterday, the power stopped shorting out early this week and we’re good to open up again.”
Xander was torn. He loved his job and missed the routine and the guys, but he’d gotten so used to spending his days and nights with Spike, he was feeling a touch of separation anxiety at the thought of returning to work for up to ten hours each day. “When are you going to open?”
“A few days yet. I’ll be in coordinating the deliveries of new equipment, accessioning everything and recalling the guys back from the other sites. I’ll probably get you to come back again on Wednesday. How’s that sound?” How did that sound? It was his job, he loved it. Xander knew he would enjoy being back. “Sounds good. Can’t wait to get into it again.” And he was not surprised when he realised how much he meant it.
Xander spread himself out on the couch with the phone and his food and spent a good half hour chatting with Nathan about how the site would run, rerouting his boss’s ponderings about the source of the electricity failures and generally talking shop. And while he wouldn’t give up his current life for any money, Xander knew how much he’d missed this.
While he was listening to Nate reading from a report from the insurers, Xander heard the bedroom door open and soon he found himself with a naked, half asleep vampire sprawled over and straddling him, his face buried in Xander’s neck. Xander smiled, wrapped his free arm around Spike and wondered if the stillness meant that Spike had gone back to sleep.
He finished off his call with Nathan and dropped the phone on the floor. Two hands now free, he put them both to good use and familiarised himself with the planes of Spike’s back. His theory about Spike being asleep was blown out of the water when Spike shifted, slipped his hands inside Xander’s waist band and slid his boxers down a few inches.
“You still mad at me love?” Spike asked, his lips tickling against Xander’s throat.
Xander knew there was only one answer for that. “No.” Last night Spike had finally let him back in and Xander caught the full force of Spike’s feelings on the matter. No way to hold a grudge against someone when you could feel how affected they were too. “It’s a new day, I left the mad behind before I went to sleep. I know how you felt about it, I understand your intentions. It’s all good. Not so sure I like my options, but that’s beside the point. But you know, in spite of all that- Or maybe because of all that, I’m not sure now really-.”
“Oh, yeah. Point is, I am insanely in love with you and you have your hand on my dick, so I defy anyone to stay mad in those circumstances.”
Xander gasped as he felt Spike’s hard length grind press down onto him and the very tips of his fangs just breaking through the skin of his neck. As Spike ground against him, Xander felt the tiny pinpricks further up his throat when Spike broke skin in a new place. And again, and again Spike dotted Xander’s neck with miniscule holes, each just big enough for a single drop of blood to escape. A lick over each hole, then a new one was made less than an inch away. Every bite increased his desire and Xander was soon thrusting up against Spike and clamping onto his shoulder with his own blunt teeth. Xander came in a hard, grunting burst when Spike sank his fangs fully into the claiming scar over the vein on his neck, Spike followed not long after as he drew the pulsing blood from Xander.
Spike’s hand left Xander’s waist long enough prick his thumb on his fangs and press it into Xander’s mouth. Xander sucked greedily, savouring the tiny amount of his potent master’s blood and enjoying the warm rush it gave him, knowing Spike was feeling the same.
Xander sighed in contentment. “Who would have thought that a dry hump and sucking the blood from a dead guy’s thumb would be just what I needed.”
“You’re a fucking poet Harris, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise,” Spike snorted and held Xander’s hands above his head while he kissed him. Xander struggled to pull his hands free but Spike’s grip was locked.
“Love you Bleachie and I could kiss you for hours, but don’t get between me and my food. I’m starving.”
Spike sniffed and noticed the plate of food on the floor by the couch. “That’s not food mate, that’s a cardiologists wet dream. You keep eating that shit and you’ll put all his sons through college.”
“So you go cook then.”
Spike laughed and peeled himself away from Xander, eyeing the sticky mess between them. “Unbloodylikely love. I’ll pay for Rose to feed you but buggered if I’ll be cooking for you. Not starting any habits that might last me a few lifetimes.”
“And you call yourself a good master.”
“Hey, none of that, consort!” Spike leaned down to Xander’s neck and sucked hard on the fresh puncture marks in his scar, smirking as Xander came again instantly. “I’m a bloody great master.”
“Not fair,” Xander panted.
“Evil, don’t forget love.”
Spike climbed off and wandered away; a minute or two later Xander felt a warm wet cloth land unceremoniously on his stomach. He cleaned himself up, threw the cloth at Spike’s back which he could just see disappearing towards the bedroom and felt around the floor for the remote control. He had a busy afternoon schedule planned.
Seeing as they would probably have to go and speak to Giles and the girls tonight, Xander had decided an afternoon on his ass what just what the doctor would not have ordered and therefore would be near perfect. Television, food, TV, something to eat, maybe watch a movie, have a snack, rest a little while a sitcom was on. All carefully choreographed. Except for one thing.
“Goddamn it Spike, what the hell have you done with the remote this time?”