Warnings: Will appear on chapters if needed – some M/M relations
Summary: Spike survived the Black Thorn but only because one of the Senior Partners had heard Illyria refer to him as suitable for her pet and decided to amuse themselves with devastating results
Previous Parts here
Saturday evening with David and Chris was planned, even if it took Jerry (at his wife’s insistence, thanks to ‘William’s’ polite private request) making a promise to call if there was a problem at the site on Sunday.
Poppie and Luka were settled and taxi called. Spike hoped for a relaxing night but could not help notice Xander pulling his belt one notch tighter to keep pants in place. He was losing weight fast. In the beginning it had been a point of pride for the Twinkie prone Xander of old, but lately it was more exhaustion and worry than determination to become more lean. He often arrived home late and fell asleep on the couch half way through his meal. Spike did not raise the issue but worried none the less.
David was his usual effusive self when they met outside the club and Xander’s weariness was soon forgotten even agreeing to dance with David – though Spike rescued him half way through the second song by pulling Chris onto the floor and ‘partner swapping’ in a rather possessive gesture that had David blow him a kiss then laughingly sweep Chris into his arms for the real thing. The pattern was set for the rest of the night, the flirting deliberately exaggerated unless with their respective real partners, and good natured bantering in between (despite the loud music).
Chris was the first to yawn, followed on auto by Xander and they adjourned outside with promises to go out again in a fortnight for David’s thirty fifth birthday, “Which makes me the elder statesman so you youngsters better behave!” Xander shot a knowing look at Spike which puzzled Chris, surely the strikingly beautiful Englishman was only in his late twenties, thirty at a pinch, but that was a question for another day.
David had driven his new Audi to the club so insisted on “driving the two lovebirds home”. Neither Xander or Spike could think of a reason not to accept the offer, a taxi at 2am “as hard to find as tits on a bull” as Spike so politely put it as they walked gratefully to the parked car.
Spike felt it first, the prickle of danger.
Something about the darkened parking spot and generally deserted streets (but for a few revellers) heightened his awareness. He squeezed Xander’s hand and casually pulled a low lying branch from a thoughtfully positioned young tree, stripping it as they walked. David was engrossed with a conversation with anyone who would listen (in particular Chris) so missed the act. And seconds later it wasn’t vampires they faced but a small group of rather drunken youths leaning on the car parked in front of David’s that were in evidence.
“Hey faggots, got a light?”
Someone in the group sniggered and the six or so pushed away to block the four coming from direction of the gay bar.
Spike muttered under his breath and sent a warning through the pledge link that felt like ‘safe… safe… two humans, four fledge.” Xander pulled up closer to David who had slowed, “Get Chris to the car and leave.”
“S#$%! Xander! No way! You and William… No we’re…”
“Just… Trust me combat training… Will ‘n I… Drop behind and get out of here.”
David was a lover not a fighter even at school, but as Xander’s growled instruction was followed without thought, it was William that surprised him. He looked back in time to see the blonde squaring up with the biggest of the group, another grabbing the young Englishman from behind, only to hear, “So… lemme guess? You lot just lost sommit, or wanna pick sommit? ‘Cause you lot need a right timely lesson in etiquette – unless of course you can’t spell the word, ‘n I have me doubts.”
David saw the first punch but not the rest as he was pushed toward the car by an insistent Xander.
What David didn’t see was Spike smiling at the young made minion who hit him as he stepped forward grinning with mal-intent and game face to the fore.
“The pretty boy speaks?! Woo hoo. Well isn’t that a surprise… Take the next f@#$ing fist in the face ‘n maybe you’ll even sing for us, or perhaps you lot up for more… How about we…”
He didn’t get a chance to finish. David and Chris were rushed into their car by Xander who managed to dust one fledge as the driver’s door was slammed closed and he reset to join Spike in a fight that was all too familiar. He banged on the window and ordered them to drive. David did so but only to the end of the street, and while Chris frantically dialled the police, David violently U-turned, barely missing another car in an attempt to drive back to assist.
By the time he did there were only two men pinned to the ground in full ‘Nelsons’ by William and Xander.
Spike was still in game face and struggled to change back, Xander equally riled and growling low as the headlights hit, but both managed a semblance of human as their would be ‘rescuers’ returned.
Spike stated quietly to Xander as the police car pulled up, “These are cannon fodder by midweek if they don’t learn, specially with a Master on the move.” Then more loudly in his captive’s ear, “Careful who you associate with boy or you’ll be fast food for thems what go bump in the night.”
By the time David and Chris had joined their companions and directed the police to the scene, the attackers were subdued and more than willing to give statements. The young police were both impressed by the effectiveness of the holds on the two would be attackers, and the matter of fact way Xander and William conveyed the events while still keeping their grip.
In the end, no charges were pressed on the grounds that they two college boys had simply joined in with four others as a lark and really had not been the ones who picked a fight. Since the other assailants had ‘left the scene’ and Xander and William appeared unscathed, there was little to report. Nevertheless the two boys were given a ride to the station where they would receive an official warning.
David and Chris were visibly shaken as they returned William and Xander home, but nothing a good cup of tea couldn’t fix. David had the courtesy cheer up quickly regaling William’s penchant for tea with a shot of brandy, English solution to the fright of the night and all agreed that ‘storms and teacups’ seemed an appropriate name for the evening.
Chris and David departed happier and more than relieved, and as they were waved off Spike took Xander’s hand and whispered, “Good night all round then? How ‘bout you on top? You got the first one after all!”
The sun still came up at half six, so the respite was limited, and in truth, both were tired so lovemaking was delayed in preference to a gentle petting and embrace that lasted until morning.
Sunday was uneventful but for Xander’s slight hangover and the belated treatment of two rather nasty gashes to Spike’s doggy hindquarters and bruised eye where the ‘bigger one’ had connected with the first punch. Poppie and Luka were attentive and sat patiently as master tended their wounded father after which they licked and comforted for reassurance that all was well. Spike more than happy to accept all attention offered.
Jerry’s intended fishing trip was delayed indefinitely as ‘one thing led to another’ onsite, but Luka grew and Poppie thrived and Xander benefitted from his surrogate family’s happiness via a calm and content, proud father husky. Spike was almost always in his human form by the time Xander arrived home with shortening hours of sunlight, but his calm demeanour spilled over to his other form something of a blessing for the oft stressed Xander.
Since the pledge there had been connection but not really sharing, now it seemed that when Xander felt Spike did and vice versa, particularly love and family.
Though still some months from the event, Xander signed them all up for the Milk Run for the coming January, though it would only be Spike and Luka doing the sprint with him, Poppie and Chloe were named on the ‘big team’.
For Spike it would be an odd feeling ‘trailing along’, but Xander decided that it was best to be on hand at each of the stop off points, primarily to deflect queries regards sleeping arrangements. Poppie was to take second tier lead in her father’s place, and Luka would ride high on Xander’s scooter, promised he might do the final ‘dash’ with family.
Life settled a little for the next fortnight, despite still long hours at work on Xander’s part. He took the three dogs to the site on the second Saturday in November. It been the first real snow of the season, but the dogs had their winter coats and were on best behaviour.
Spike was pleased to see that Chris was on site and greeted Xander with professional respect before giving each of the dogs a friendly petting while he and Xander talked. The act was not missed by many of the newer members of the building team who were working overtime to finish foundations before the weather closed in completely.
To the two teams working that day, Xander was one of the ‘big bosses’ - always devoted to the project, staunchly single, and apparently ‘bullet proof’ when it came to solving apparently impossible logistics problems, also rarely joining them for ‘drinks on a Friday’ in preference to going home.
It was reassuring to see him with his dogs. They all knew he raced them, but to see the magnificent three with their full winter coats and obvious devotion to owner (a sentiment easily returned) somehow humanized Xander more, particularly for the younger men. Spike played to the moment and his children did likewise, fooling around a little in the snow but responding immediately when called.
Spike sat by Xander’s side as the plans for the remainder of the day were finalized, watching with pleasure as Luka and Poppie chased snowballs pitched by the crew eating lunch at the site hut. This was the time he really felt it. He had family and sons and daughters, perhaps not all with him but there. And much as he *adored* Poppie, he had a son - a quirky, cheeky, spirited, game and intelligent son. He quietly thanked the Powers for his current existence and leaned into Xander’s leg to receive another petting around the ears.
The following Friday the dogs were home alone from their run, as was arranged, it was already dark and Spike had only just changed when the doorbell rang. Spike could smell fresh Groxlar demon blood through the door and sensed the prickle of newly made minion. He also knew Xander was at least an hour from arriving home.
Spike led his children out the back door in silence, all leaping the side fence with ease and rounding on the delivery boy, the two dogs blocking the vampire’s escape and growling low as Spike stepped into the auto light’s shine, hands in his jeans pockets.
“Can we help you?”
The hapless minion sensed a physical and magical force he felt at a gut level and made to run but was snatched from behind by the neck. With two large growling huskies nipping at his heels, the newly made vampire froze, utterly terrified.
Spike’s low baritone crooned into his ear, “Now what brings the likes of you to our law abidin’ door *minion*?”
“The master… the master said to deliver this. That’s all I know!” He dropped the package he was holding.
Spike effortlessly lifted the fledge with one hand and pinned him against the edge of the balustrade. “Now that ain’t quite the answer and you might like to know that I get *really* angry when things are delivered as have not been ordered. And particularly when there’s no sender so…*before* I start getting’ *really* violent… why don’t you just tell me what you know.”
The game faced vampire looked like a rabbit in headlights. The man holding him was apparently human, but his senses told otherwise… and the dogs were… well they were threatening but animals and humans were supposed to be weaker according to his master. He stiffened and tried to be bold, “A…a…about what?”
Spike swiftly tore an upright from its footing and slammed it into the thigh of the hapless minion. “About what you know you nit… I can stake you in all sorts of places, all night if you like… but that’s just a bore, so have at it. What. Does. Your. Master. Want. With. The. Boy.? Hmmmm???” Spike kicked the package into the yard without releasing his captive. “And what’s with the extra bits bein’ delivered dust for brains? Hardly a clear message is it now!” He twisted the wood impaled in the vampire to emphasise his point.
“He said… he said it had something to do with a slayer or some magic thingy and it was to scare him off or… or… something.”
Spike effortlessly tore another piece of the balustrade from its post and slammed it into the shoulder of the minion choosing that moment to change into game face and growling low. The terrified vampire began to whimper, for the first time feeling the presence of an infinitely more powerful vampire than he had ever encountered before. “Now do be specific boy ‘cause I can go on playin’ pin cushions with you for hours.”
“He… he said it was something to do with a Hellmouth being closed a while back… and… and that he was connected to the Slayers… and that he’d had word… that he was a threat… to us… demons I mean”
“Now who, pray tell, is whisperin’ such awful rumours in your boss’s ear?”
“I don’t know I swear… I just had to carry that here to warn him that this is the Master of Calgarys territory and hopefully he will… go away?”
“Stupid prat, love to send him a message but frankly?... can’t be bothered.” Spike yanked the wood out of the minion’s leg and dusted the vampire with it. The package was buried next to the ‘toilet’ area of the backyard, all traces of the demon quickly turning to ooze and associated nasty methane gas disappearing within hours.
That night nothing was said or even indicated to Xander. Spike and he made love – though it was a rather one sided affair as usual for Spike, Xander snoring before Spike had even had time to ‘come down’. But still…
Willow was to arrive within the week.