Paring: Primarily S/X with a very minor S/OCs.
Rating: NC17 Adult Reading
Disclaimer: The Bee has no claim on any of the characters or
products named in this story and receives no profit from anything.
Warnings: Adult language, Prostitution, Violence, strong sexual
content. NOTE: All the boys working in Hope House are over
the age of 18. The Bee does not do underage!
Summary: Long after the final battle of Sunnydale, Xander is
alone, his life in shambles. Is there anywhere he can go and anyone
who can give him hope? There just might be.
As always, kudos to Petxnd for the wonderful banner.
Spike retreated to the far wing of the Victorian hotel to his set of private
rooms. He peeled off his clothes and stepped in to the bathroom. All he
wanted now was a hot, long shower, to bring relief to his aching body
and calm his restless mind.
Standing with his hands braced against the glass wall and with his head
tipped down, the water cascaded over him, soothing and warming him but
doing nothing toward preventing the rampant memories that charged through
him, fresh as if it had all happened yesterday.
Closing his eyes, he could see it all play out like a horror film behind his
eye lids. The small band of them, all broken, bleeding and exhausted from
battle after battle, fighting back the onslaught of Bringers sent to defeat them.
The same Bringers that had wiped out the London Watcher's Council just
a month earlier.
Over the course of the last two weeks they had huddled together in the nearly
demolished mess that had once been the warm and loving Summer's home.
They took turns sleeping, half the group standing guard over the others
before trading places. None noticed that Spike had taken all shifts, forgoing
any rest, keeping himself sober and ready at all times.
The Watcher and the Witch had been holed up in the kitchen working on a spell
that would call up all the potential slayers and Buffy had gone off on her own,
preferring solitude to the empty pointless conversation of the others. Dawn clung
closely to Spike's side, so full of confusion and fear that she sought his strength
and false confident air. Andrew happily cooked and cleaned as though he hadn't
a care in the world, which, possibly he didn't.
Xander, as always, was attempting to be all things to all people.
He had repaired the structural damage to the house as best as he could. He
replaced the windows, kept the generator running in the basement when the
power had gone off and offered moral support and encouragement when they
got overwhelmed. All without thanks. All with out reciprocation.
He and Spike had never been friends but they were, at least to Spike, something
more. They were brothers in arms. They were joined in a tight band that stood
solidly, side by side to fight for a cause that was bigger than themselves.
The last morning, the final fight had come upon them without warning.
At 7 am, it started.
A small mound of earth behind the High School had, overnight, grown and tripled
in size. Roaring and exploding like a volcano, it spewed black clouds of dust
and hot magma from a mound near the old gymnasium and they knew that this
was it. Win or lose, the war was today. As they went about the business of
preparation, none of them would say good bye or speak of this as the end.
By collective agreement, they silently gathered up their weapons and started out.
Together, they marched down the center of the abandoned streets as the sun rose
bright and golden, fighting to light the day against the growing cloud that rained down
black ash, coating their hair and making it hard to breath. Spike had taken to the
safety of his car and driven ahead to meet them there.
Giles and Willow stayed behind, casting the spell and calling up any and
all potentials, compelling them to come and join the fight.
When they arrived in the school basement, the First had been waiting with an army
of mindless ubervampires that were highly honed killing machines. Instantly
they had pounced on the small group of wannabe heroes.
It had been brutal.
They had all taken vicious hits. For every demon they staked, ten more came on.
Buffy fought with all she had and even Spike had to admit he was impressed.
Despite several gashes on her arms and legs plus a shallow stab wound to her
side, she never let up.
Spike too, fought all out, although he knew it was only a matter of time.
There was no way they could hold off the army that was tearing into them.
When he smelled the boy's blood, his eyes sought him out. Xander had been
bitten. Not deeply and not enough to kill or turn him but it was enough to
give him his second wind, to fire his resolve and keep him in the whirlpool a
Suddenly, when they were all at their last, the tide turned. The doors
had burst open and a small army of twenty or so young girls with the
strength and instincts of a long line of slayers charged forward. They
unquestioningly threw themselves into the battle and held back the hoards
till the Witches next spell could hit. A spell that blew the roof off. Literally.
Exploding into a billion splinters, the school roof above them disappeared from
the building and the flood of morning light that found it's way through the dark
ash was just enough to cause every vampire in the room to burst into flames.
Every vampire but one.
At the last second, Xander had thrown himself over top Spike's smaller body,
shielding him from the deadly rays and saving his life. Together they had
squirmed and scooted till Spike was safely tucked away under a stairway
where he stayed, feeling his injuries heal and waiting out the long, bright day.
It was over. They had won.
The others had collected their dead and injured and crawled back to Buffy's.
There was no celebrating. There was no sense of victory. There was only
pain and fear and confusion. At nightfall, Spike returned to his crypt.
He never spoke to any of them again. Three days later, he watched them
leave town. Two days after that, he took one last look around his crypt before
closing the solid door and walking away.
Shutting off the water, Spike sighed as he dried off and slipped into his black,
satin lounging pants. His nocturnal body craved sleep, but he needed to see to
a couple last minute details first.
Padding barefoot through the now quiet hotel, Spike knew that the boys were
probably all tucked in bed. Most in their own, some in others. He didn't object
as long as it didn't interfere with business.
Quietly he pushed open the door of the clinic. Mrs. Gessel looked up from her
chair at the side of the bed.
"Has he waken up yet?"
"No, Master, but he seems to be resting better."
"Mrs. Gessel, I need for you to take some ointment downstairs to Jack. Check his
injuries and make sure Wendell didn't do too much damage. Then go and get yourself
a cup of tea or a bite to eat."
"It's all right. I'll stay with him till you get back."
Without question, the housekeeper collected gauze pads and pain cream before
leaving. At the last minute she looked back to see the Master brushing his hand
over the sleeping boy's forehead. Gently, she pulled the door closed.
Spike stared down at the gaunt, marred face.
"Bloody hell, mate, what happened to you?"