Warnings: Strong sexual language and M/M sexual situations.
Disclaimer: The Bee freely admits she owns none of the characters in this story
and makes no profit. I simply borrow them, then hose them down before returning
them to the shelf for others to use.
Summary: AU. This story is a follow-up to Carnivale Mystique.
At the ending of Carnivale, Willow vowed to spend her life looking for her lost
friend and that is just what she has done. Now, after nearly 40 years, she and
the carnival cross paths again. Can she finally get the answers she needs and
protect her granddaughter from falling victim to the special allure of the carnival?
During the telling of this story will be flashback chapters that tell how Spike
and Xander adjusted to their roles of master and pet.
Note: If you haven't read Carnivale Mystique or have forgotten the story,
there is a prologue that contains a brief summary of the story. Use the tags
at the top of the page to find your way there.
Thanks and credit to silk_labyrinth for betaing the spelling, punctuation and
finding wandering boo boos.
As always, thanks to the wonderful Petxnd for her friendship and her banners that
put the perfect visual to my words.
Spike was frantic.
He paced repeatedly back and forth in front of his game booth and he muttered,
swore and kicked mounds of dirt and sawdust with the toes of his boots. He had
faced dozens of threats and obstacles in their years together, but none put the fear
of God in him like this one. The woman had said it had been nearly 38 years since
that warm night. The night of his boy. Spike was never keen on keeping track,
but that sounded about right.
Since then, they had often escaped raging mobs of townsfolk, laughing as they
faded off into the night together. They had experienced and survived fires, flood
and famine, coming out ready for the next run none the worse for the wear. And
they had always done it together. Spike knew he could survive anything as long
as they were together.
They had overcome all these things and they had stood firm. Together. Always
together, and Spike couldn't imagine his existence without his boy by his side.
He had stopped thinking of Xander as property years ago. Now, he was the
vampire's lover, right hand and.....and....well, everything. There was no bigger
word Spike could conjur up to describe Xander's place in his world. Spike would
very simply dust if Xander left.
And that was what Spike had always feared. This was the secret, unspoken nightmare
that haunted his daytime sleep. The dread, or possibly the premonition, that someone
from the boy's past would find them and spirit him away. Without Spike's blood,
Xander would go through painful withdrawal, but he would survive. He would again
begin to age and he would soon revert to his human ways.
Xander would survive, but Spike would not.
He stopped pacing and his arms hung limply at his sides. He hadn't felt like this
since that other night. The one he had tried to forget but now again made itself
known. It had been nearly 21 years ago, yet seemed like yesterday.
Xander laughed as he had to release the thick cock from his mouth and cough.
He had been unable to shake this cold for the past two weeks and it had
planted itself deep in his lungs and refused to budge. Of course it hadn't
helped that they had been setting up in small villages all across the damp, foggy
countryside of Eastern Europe in the rainy season.
Spike found human illness most inconvenient. Especially when it affected his
pleasures and orgasms. Lately, though, he was becoming concerned. Now
when the boy coughed, Spike could hear it deep in his human's chest. He
could detect fluid in his lungs and his bronchial tubes were full of thick,
Spike pulled his trousers up over his unsatisfied erection and cupped Xander's
"Hey, Spike, I wasn't finished. You're still..." * Cough, cough*
This time, the force of the cough caused his boy to step back and hunch over.
Immediately, Spike grabbed the boy's arm and he dragged him across their
tent to the cot, where he pushed him down.
"Lay down! Cover up and I will go get you....um, what does a sick human
Xander threw off the blanket and tried to get back up.
"Don't be silly, Spike, I'm OK. It's just a little..." *Cough, cough.*.
Xander's face screwed up and he twinged. The coughing now sent sharp
pains into his back and, from the perspiration on his scalp, he knew he had
a high fever. He was ready to concede. He was sick. He flopped back
down and pulled thewool cover up to his chin.
"Just some water. Maybe bring me some water."
This had been one of Xander's concerns. Would Spike keep him if he were
too much trouble? No one else did. Curling up on their small bed and he
coughed while his mind drew pictures of possible outcomes. Maybe one
morning he would wake up, alone in an empty field, the carnival having
moved on without him.
Xander closed his eyes and let the sorrow flow with the sickness to intensify
his misery. That would be the worst. Living the rest of his life Spikeless would
be unthinkable. The best solution would be if Spike just bit and drained him.
At least his last moments of life would be orgasmic ones and Spike would have
a belly full of human blood. He would die as dinner.
Like a cow. When they die, every part of them is put to some good use.
Maybe his body could be ground up and fed like kibbles to the panthers.
Perhaps Spike could skin him and dry the flesh in the sun till it became thick,
tough and leatherlike. His ass could be gloves and his dick, a nose warmer.
Xander's weak, thready voice called out in the darkness and immediately Spike
rushed to sit at his side.
"Yes, my love, what is it? What can I get you?"
"Spike, I think I would rather be made into a belt than a wallet."
Spike jumped to his feet in horror. His boy was delirious! It was worse than
he thought. Quickly, he ran from the tent to the huge canvas dining hall
where the workers and demons congregated in their off hours to drink coffee,
play cards and flirt. He burst through the flap and shouted.
"Xander's sick. He's really sick and I don't know what to do."
Angelus, who was sitting at a far corner table with three Tuckus demons,
slapped down his hand of five aces and began scooping in his pot.
"He's a pet, Spike. When they die you flush them and get another one."
"Fuck you! He ain't a sodden goldfish! Someone needs to go to town and
find a doctor. A real doctor that treats sick humans."
Daniel Osborn hurried over to Spike's side and tugged his sleeve.
"I'll go Spike. I can change to the wolf and run faster. I'll find one and I
promise I won't come back without him."
Spike was overwhelmed with relief and gratitude. Tears welled up in his eyes
and, for fear of his voice betraying him, he just nodded and hoped Oz could
read in his eyes what was in his heart. He then turned and raced back to his
When he saw him, Spike gasped. His condition had greatly deteriorated in
the short time he had been gone. His body was coated in sticky, foul-smelling
sweat and his face hung over the side of the bed. The rag in his hand that
he covered his mouth with when he coughed was spattered in blood droplets
and lay crumpledat his side.
Spike hurried over and gently straightened his body up, all the time running
his cool hands over Xander's hot face. His breathing was ragged and shallow
and Spike could hear the fluid sloshing around in his chest.
His pet was dying.
Spike sobbed and clutched the boy to him, rocking and cooing comforting
promises of making him all better. Xander, who was in and out of consciousness
felt loved and safe in the strong arms. After a short time, Faith came in with
a bowl of water and rags and began wiping his fevered neck and face. Clem
slipped in quietly and stood in a back, dark corner, tugging nervously at his
ear flap while, all the time, Spike sniffled and mentally prayed to a God who
had long ago turned his back on the demon in disgust.
Finally, after what seemed to be hours, the flap burst open and Oz shoved a
small man through. He was thin, had dark hair with an inch of grey at the
roots andwalked with a limp that indicated one leg was considerably shorter
than the other. He wore a cotton bathrobe over matching pajamas and in
his hand he carried a largeblack leather valise.
"I got him, Spike. At first he didn't want to come but I convinced him."
The doctor edged away from the little man with the half snout and sharp
fangs andrealized he was not in Kansas anymore. Before he could inquire
as to the purpose of his kidnapping, Spike grabbed his arm and shoved him
toward where Xander lay, silent and barely alive.
"Fix him! You fix him now or you will die!"
Knowing that was not the best tact to take, Faith jumped up and placed a
gentle hand on Spike, pushing him back. Then she spoke softly.
"Doctor, our friend is very sick. He has had a cough for some time and
today it got worse. Can you give him something? Can you help him?"
Immediately, the doctor set aside his fear and apprehension and slipped into
his professionalism like a pair of worn slippers. He pulled his stethoscope
from his bag and he listened to the patient's weak heartbeat. He took his
temperature and studied it as Spike's patience reached it's limit.
"What is it? What's wrong with him?"
The doctor laid down the tools of his trade and looked into the hopeful faces.
"It's pneumonia. A severe case and to be honest, I can't imagine why he is
still alive. He must have an amazing constitution. I'm going to give him a
shot of a powerful antibiotic. You need to keep washing him down to try
to break the fever and I will leave enough medicine for the next ten days.
Make him take some juice or chicken broth. Four ounces every hour is
enough to prevent dehydration. If you do all that and he makes it through
the next 24 hours, he has a real chance."
Spike and the others knew the amazing constitution was due in part to the
doses of vampire's blood that he had injested over the years, and as soon
as the doctor was gone, Spike intended to give him even more.
It was the longest 24 hours of the vampire's existence. He refused to leave
his boy's side and sent the others for the liquids, which he spiked with blood
and literally poured down his patient's throat. He gave the medicine faithfully
and he prayed. When the cold compresses did not do enough, Spike stripped
down and wrapped his cold body around the hot, sweaty one hoping for a
transfer of temperature. He was still there at daybreak when he finally
Spike snapped alert at the soft, croaky voice in his ear. Xander's temperature
was considerably lower and, although weak as a kitten, he was awake. The
others that had spread out to nap inside the tent smiled and dragged their
exhausted bodies out heading in the direction of their own beds.
Spike clutched his sick boy to him and rocked, sobbing his relief and promising
the Powers that they would see a reformed vampire. The Powers That Be and
Spike both knew that was bullshit but it was the thought that counted. It took
a full two weeks for Xander to be completely well again and in that time,
everyone in the carnival catered to him and let him know what he had not
realized. He was more than Spike's pet. Much more. He was their friend
and a valuable part of the carnival family.
Spike too looked at Xander in a different light and from then on their
relationship became more equal. Spike wasn't stupid. He knew what he
had almost lost
And now that fear of losing him was back.
Spike immediately dropped the flap on the front of his booth and slapped the
'Closed' sign on it. All the time he had been wasting on past memories and
regrets had given the bitch time to locate and persuade his boy to leave him.
Spike took off at a dead run toward the huge crowd. He needed to find Xander.