Title: Exceptions to Geometry
Chapter Rating: PG-Ish...?
Story Rating: R
Warnings: Fluff, smutt, and many, many references to Xander/Jesse
Summary: Xander gets turned into a dog by an annoyed demon. Spike reluctantly takes him in.
Disclaimer: Nothing in this story is mine.
“Alright,” Spike tried through gritted teeth. “Maybe you don’t understand what I’m tryin’ ta say. Yer pea-sized brains can’t exactly wrap ‘round too much. Let’s try this again.”
Sitting on the floor beside him, Xander yawned and tried not to feel even more depressed.
They’d gotten to the Magic Box at nine-thirty, after spending the day tirelessly going through the shit his father had tossed on the lawn. Of course the old jerk had kept his walkman, but not the CDs he’d made in his teenage obliviousness, when music mattered more than the evil undead. There must’ve been fifty of them. But Spike…
Well. He watched that tape four more times.
It was putting some pretty nasty thoughts into his head.
Don’t go there … He tried, eyes flicking up toward his unlikely hero. Of course, he wouldn’t need saving if he hadn’t been such a bad dog.
The second they arrived, he’d jumped Willow, attacking her with licks and nuzzles. She thought he was some crazy demonic guard dog and yelled for Buffy, who threatened to shoot him with a crossbow if Spike didn’t get him under control. Then Giles dragged out a gigantic book, flipped it open, and on the first fucking page was a picture of the demon who’d doggyfied him. So he’d jumped up, landing both paws on the page, refusing to let Giles flip it. The thing promptly fell to the floor, several pages crumbling upon impact.
Giles was not pleased.
Hand falling to scratch his ears, Spike stood resolved against the angry Scooby glares. “I went to his house. His old man was throwin’ out his things. Short version, he’s been missing three days now.”
Adjusting his glasses, Giles turned his eyes on Xander, giving him a dark look. “And the… Dog?”
“His.” Spike drew himself up, looking down at him, and he felt himself whimper with reluctant gratitude. “An’ it’s a bloody good dog. Smarter than his master, he is.”
Gee, thanks… He thought. But he leaned against his leg, sighing in delight at the way he scratched behind his ears.
“He’s not in the hospital.” Willow dropped down next to Tara, watching the Xan-dog warily. But she looked miserable, and for the first time since this whole mess started, Xander felt guilty as hell. “We called. We called everywhere.”
Twirling a stake between her fingers, Buffy leaned back against the table she was pretending to study at. “I checked the usual haunts. A couple of fledges, but no Xander. Any new baddies in town?”
“Right, well.” Taking off his glasses to wipe them down, Giles gave Xan-dog a look that could cut glass. “I was getting to that. Before that beast destroyed my book.”
“Name’s Jesse.” Jerking up in surprise, Xander looked at Spike’s face. It was… carefully blank. “Boy used to call him that. Don’t exactly suit him, but…”
“Jesse?” Giles raised his eyebrows in similar surprise.
The whole room went deathly quiet, and Xander slid to a Sphinx-like pose, tail curling around his hinds. They all looked uncomfortable. More Willow and Buffy than anyone else, but everyone in the room knew the name ‘Jesse’ was a touchy subject. Tara looked to Willow, confused, and Giles had the grace to look appropriately grim. Spike stared them all down cautiously, pretending he didn’t know a thing.
Finally, he spoke, watching Willow. Poor Willow, who knew him longest, who looked most bereaved at the mention of his name. “There a ‘Jesse’ I don’t know about, then?”
She swallowed, and he could hear it from across the room. “Jesse was… Our friend. Xander and I used to hang out with him all the time. I mean, he was more Xan’s friend than mine but… He, um…”
Buffy interrupted, speaking dry. “He got turned when I got here, and Xander staked him.”
The room went dead again.
“Oh.” Spike said it softly, straightening a bit. Something in his eyes clouded over, and Xander found himself staring, whimpering in worry. Spike should never have that look in his eyes, that pained, saddened look he could barely cover. It didn’t fit there.
Clearing his throat, Giles broke the silence. “In any case. There is a new creature wandering the cemetery. If that- if Jesse” He corrected himself, glaring at Xander. “hadn’t destroyed my book, I would have a portrait for reference.”
Dropping into a stiff wooden chair, Spike stretched his legs out wide, and Xander crawled between them on instinct, dropping his chin to his thigh. Long, pale fingers sunk into his fur, and he sighed because it felt good, and it meant Spike cared.
Why he cared that Spike cared, he had no idea. But apparently he did. And while his mind was trying to remind him that he was mostly straight, and definitely not into the evil undead, his instincts were telling him this was exactly what he needed.
When had Spike become his master?
God, okay, no… He snorted, yanking away from the hands in his fur and looking up at the vampire, incredulous. We are NOT going down that road…
Spike frowned down at him, confused. “S’matter, pet?”
Okay, no. This Xan-Dog thing was obviously fucking with his head. Shaking himself out of it, he padded past the rest of the Scoobies, into the back of the shop. Very much away from Spike.