Chapter Rating: Still PG-ish…
Story Rating: R
Warnings: Fluff, smutt, and some mentions of 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.
“Are you serious?”
Nodding slowly, Spike dropped Xander’s uniform shirt on the coffee table, watching every face in the room go from stunned to blatantly despondent. Willow pressed her face into Tara’s shoulder, not even wanting to look, and Xander’s doggy heart broke at the sight of her. He whined, wanting to comfort his dearest friend, but from the look Giles was giving him, this obviously wasn’t the time to be a “bad dog”.
Buffy turned to the Watcher, shifting into war-mode. “What the hell are these things, Giles?”
“Is he alive?” Willow gasped out, still not even looking. She sounded close to tears. “Tell me he’s alive, or I’m—”
“He’s…” Spike pressed his lips together, even paler than he normally was. He hadn’t slept at all during the day. In fact, he’d spent most of it pouring over some ancient-looking volume with letters he couldn’t read, and Xander had gotten bored and tore into the piles of trash Spike had lying around, searching for things to amuse him. “It doesn’t look good, Red. Groefflings don’t play well with humans.”
Buffy looked absolutely livid. Hands fisted at her sides, she turned to face her once-nemesis and treated him to the wonders of her death-glare. “What happens? When a human like Xander meets a… Whatever they are. Dog-Things.”
Gritting his teeth, Spike faced her and sneered. But he was more tense than rebellious, and Xander let his body wilt to the floor between his feet.
“Three choices.” Spike forced out between his teeth. “One, the Groeffling sees a large, brutish human, feels threatened, and rips him to pieces.”
“Hold it, Red.” Raising a hand in pause, Spike looked to Willow with a reassuring nod. “Kid’s not on steroids. Not even a pup would fear our Boy Brainless.”
Thanks, Spike… He yawned, resting his chin on the floor in humiliation. But Willow did seem to calm, so he figured it was okay.
“Two, Female Groeffling spots a fairly testosterone-laden young whelp and decides to make pups. She’ll drag him home and turn him into a slave.” He growls, his jaw set. “It’s gotta be that one. Boy isn’t stupid enough to piss off a Groeffling.”
Buffy snarled, itching for her stake. To be perfectly honest, Xander felt the urge to growl. “You said three. Three options.”
Spike blinked, shaking himself from his thoughts. “Oh. No, only two that matter, really. Last one only counts for werewolves and such. Doesn’t quite work on full blooded humans.”
Giles quirked an eyebrow.
“See, Groefflings believe that being canine makes one superior. So if they encounter things like werewolves, or other such beasts with canine qualities, they feel a responsibility to ‘em. So they turn ‘em into full-fledged dogs.”
The girls all looked at each other, shrugging the information off, and for a moment Xander felt so depressed that he actually thought about running into traffic. Then he looked up. And Giles was staring at him as if he’d seen a ghost.
“My Lord…” Giles murmured, looking taken aback.
Oh My God… Perking up, Xander slid to his feet and met his stare full-on. Oh My God, Way To Go, G-Man! Someone gets it! Thank God!
“But unless the boy’s Grandda’ fucked a Rottweiler, don’t see how…” Spike sighed, leaning back in his chair and looking grave, jaw set and eyes icy cold.
Xander slid to his feet and trotted over to Giles, throwing his whole body up against his leg, as if he expected affection. Thank GOD… Please, Giles, just get me out of this furry body and I’ll never fall asleep in your books again…
Giles cleared his throat, reaching down a tentative hand to brush over Xander’s hip. “I think… Yes. I think I’ll take the dog for a walk. If I may?” He glanced at Spike, who waved his hand in a gesture of nonchalance.
Xander followed Giles out the door, tail wagging with high hopes for the first time since he was changed.
“The hyena never went away, did it?”
Padding along the sidewalk beside him, Xander peeked up at Giles and whimpered a little. Nope. Still here, still hungry for pork.
Chuckling a little, the Watcher reached down and scratched him behind the ears. “I’m sorry. I should’ve known.” He sighed, straightening as he began their aimless walk. “Primal spirits wouldn’t leave their chosen forms that easily, especially not alphas. Fought you tooth and nail, I’ll wager.”
Hell yes… He looked up at Giles, whining a bit as they trotted past an empty Burger King bag. You’re all lucky I could cage the bitch. Hey, can we get hamburgers?
Giles smiled down at him, amused with his state, but he soon turned somber as he dragged his fingers through Xander’s heavy fur. “You’re probably ready to get out of Spike’s crypt. I can take care of you for the time being.”
Xander paused mid-step, looking up at Giles like he was insane. Are you kidding me? Leave Spike? He shook his head slowly and emphatically, trying to convey the message. No way. I can’t. I just can’t.
Incredulous, Giles paused with him, watching him shake his head. “No? Really?” He sighed, worriedly stroking his snout. “Is he feeding you?”
Xander nodded, up and down.
He nodded again.
Giles leaned over him, his mouth going tight as his forehead creased into a frown. “You’re not growing… attached, are you?”
Stiffening slightly, Xander couldn’t help but whimper at the thought. I don’t know, okay? He growled in frustration, lowering his eyes and dropping to sit on the pavement, trying to think. Before all this… I could just about stand him. That was as good as it was going to get. Sure, I thought he was hot, yeah, but hot doesn’t automatically override evil-crazy. But now…
Giles crouched down lower, stroking over his ears to catch his attention. “You lay between his feet like he owns you.” He frowned with worry. “The same way a slave would. Or a favored bitewhore.” His eyes widened. “Good Lord, he hasn’t…”
Growling low and offended, Xander glared at the Watcher. Are you kidding me? No. Hell no. Come off it, Giles.
Raising his hands in defense, Giles pushed to his feet, looking back toward the Magic Box. “Just making certain… But…” He looked down at Xander, eyes soft and sad. “Xander, I fear… He’s becoming your Master. And that’s not the kind of power anyone should give to William the Bloody.”
He found himself whimpering, highly upset with himself. Too late… I’m his right now, and I don’t think I can change that…
Giles sighed, turning on his heel. “I know. We’ll get you back.” He smiled, running his fingers through his fur one last time before he headed for the Magic Box. “I’ll bet the spell reversal was in that book you destroyed. We’ll just have to find another way.”
Xander pouted at the jibe. But he was more saddened by the lack of hamburger on their way home.