Chapter Rating: PG-13 (language)
Story Rating: R
Summary: Xander wants Spike. The hyena knows it. Tuesday was the last straw.
Disclaimer: None of these characters are mine. At all.
Warnings: Hyena!Xander, Rough sex later.
Chapter One: http://qwerty-lee.livejournal.com/1421.html#cutid1
Chapter Two: http://qwerty-lee.livejournal.com/1759.html#cutid2
Chapter Three: http://qwerty-lee.livejournal.com/1829.html
The smells in the apartment were overpowering, enough to make Spike’s eyes water. First, cigarettes. A lot of them. At least sixty, all lit within the day. They littered the floor, the tables, the kitchen counters, and about a half-dozen ashtrays from several different bars, all scattered around the apartment. They were overpowering to the point of nausea, and given that Spike was a nicotine addict himself, that was saying something.
Once you got past the cigarettes, there were the candles. Long wax tapers, like the kind in churches. Some of them were still lit, while others lay smoldering on the coffee table. They were unscented, but the wax still haunted the air.
Then there was the blood. Unmistakable, metallic and alluring. Human, definitely. But not the particularly addictive brand of AB Neg the kid had coursing through his veins. Nope, this was plain old B Positive, fresh and just about room temperature. That unsettled him.
The blood was settled around an old leather bomber jacket lying on the couch. It looked like somebody had taken a knife to it. That unsettled him more.
The last smell, faint as it was, set off alarm bells in his brain.
Magic… He snarled at the very presence of it, lingering in the air. There should be no magic in Harris’ apartment. Kid was the last bloody human on this rock, after all.
He followed that scent, and it grew as it led to his bedroom. It was a dark, musty kind of magic. Very old, very dangerous. A little bit familiar. He slid through the bedroom door, opening it just far enough to let him in, and immediately the scent washes over him, dark and twisted and heavy with the promise of…
He breathed in the scent, honing in on his nightstand and making his way toward it, stepping over dirty clothes and similar debris. When he tried to open the drawer, it was locked. That… That scared him.
Calm down… He told himself, trying to stave off the panic that was beginning to take over. It’s probably his dirty magazines… Everybody’s got secrets, don’t they? Just…
He took hold of the handle and pulled. Then he pulled again, harder. The lock snapped, and the drawer slid open, revealing its contents.
A honey wax candle. Bones he couldn’t quite recognize. Three very powerful books, written in Arabic.
No. Wait. Written in Swahili, before it separated from Arabic.
He took them out, one by one, and gingerly placed them on the bed. They had to be old. Pre-sixteenth century, before he was born, but then some of the best magic outdated even Angelus. He opened the smallest one, the one that was on top, and breezed past the text until he found a place marked, toward the end.
He licked his dry lips, something about this whole thing unsettling him enough to make him admit his own fears. Harris has gotten into something he doesn’t understand. He’s gotten into something dangerous. Snatching the phone off the boy’s nightstand, he dialed the number for the Magic Box, and waited for the Watcher to answer.
“This is the Magic Box, Rupert Giles speaking, how-”
“Ye sound like a fuckin’ machine, Watcher.” He sneered, flipping open the next book.
Giles sighed, sounding utterly bored. “Spike. Shouldn’t you be out patrolling?”
“M’at Harris’ flat now.” He picked up the second book, staring at the marked page. An illustration of a fairly strong looking man in warrior’s garb, locked in a cage. “Any reason ye been lending the boy yer witchy books?”
“I… I haven’t.” He sounded stunned. Spike picked up a stray cigarette off the nightstand and pulled out his zippo. Smelled like his favorite brand. Well, favorite American brand at any rate. “Why? He- He has some of my books? Oh Good Lord…” Papers shuffled on the other end, and Spike had to grin. One day, he’s going to steal all his books and watch him die of a heart attack.
“Three of ‘em. Maybe more.” He said it, just to make him squirm some more. “Ancient Swahili.”
“Swahili?” Giles paused, sounding utterly confused. “Ancient Swahili? Xander can’t…”
“Well, I know that. Harris isn’t exactly the brains of the operation, Ripper.” He grinned maliciously around the cigarette. Giles shifted in his seat, unsettled. “But he’s got a couple pages marked here, so obviously he understood a bit.”
“Marked? Marked, as in-”
“Book-marked, Watcher.” He sighed testily. “No highlighters involved.”
Trying not to sound relieved, Giles practically radiated nonchalance through the phone. “Well, of course not. Xander knows better.”
Spike pulled the cigarette from his lips, looking down at it and watching it smolder. “The word Rohofunga mean anything to you?”
A frown sharpened his voice. “Soul-tying? Used by ancient African warriors, believed to be possessed by those they killed. Or Shaman, trying to connect with their animal spirit gods.” He paused. “Or…” His voice went soft, a little urgent, and Spike could hear him remove his glasses. “Well, that can’t be it. We got rid of that.”
Something in his stomach turned hard and he knew, right then, there was a basis for his instincts. The ones telling him he should be on the next plane to the other side of the world right now. “Got rid of what?”
“I’m sorry?” His voice sounded faint, as if he’d just been distracted.
Spike’s nerves snapped. He snarled. “Got. Rid. Of. What?”
“The- Well.” Giles sighed, sounding more than a little unsettled. “The hyena.”
Hyena? Spike frowned, his brief outburst ebbing away into confusion. “The hyena.” He said it slowly, as if he was unsure he heard correctly. “There’re hyenas in Sunnyhell. Right. ‘Course.”
“Well, there were.” The Watcher replied, matter-of-factly. “Before you… arrived. A rather dim zookeeper started playing with African magic, and as a result, Xander and a group of ne’er-do-wells were possessed by a pack of hyenas.”
“Possessed…” Spike growled the word, mulling it over in his brain as he flipped back to the illustration of the warrior. “Dead hyenas?”
“Ah… No.” The Watcher had the nerve to sound just a little bit smug. “Live ones.”
He stopped. “They were alive.”
“The hyenas were alive when their souls possessed these kids.”
“Very much so.”
It clicked. His eyes widened, and he plucked the cigarette from his lips, staring down at the illustration and praying he was wrong. He spoke softly. “Ye can’t mean Primal magic, Watcher.”
“Of course.” Giles spoke with all the authority he possessed. “Xander became possessed by a rather rambunctious Primal spirit. Alpha in a pack of hyenas. He spent a good three days tearing up town… eating pigs, and such.” A small shudder of disgust passed through his voice. “Luckily, we were able to find a spell-”
“Watcher, you soddin’ idiot!” He growled, rage coming back full-force as he realized the extent of the damage already done. Ripping the phone from his ear, he cursed loud and angry, every curse that sprung to mind. He paced the room, immediately realizing he, and Sunnydale, were totally fucked. “Ye can’t remove a Primal spirit from its vessel without killin’ the vessel! It can’t be done! S’why they’re called ‘Primals’, not ‘Animal Possessions’, ye dumb shit! Once a Primal’s in a vessel, it stays there!”
Giles was silent for a good thirty seconds. It sounded like he’d stopped breathing. Spike let him regroup as he himself tried to get it together. Fuck. Fuck, this is impossible. No way in the Nine Hells was Harris a fucking Primal. Harris, of every bumbling fool wandering about Sunnydale. No.
“But-” Giles took a breath, collecting himself. “But, he was fine! Once we performed the spell, he was perfectly back to normal!”
He took a drag on the cigarette, blowing out the smoke slowly between his teeth. “But he remembered everything, didn’t he?”
“Well, yes, but-”
“Shit.” He growled, frustration with the Watcher getting the better of him. God, he could murder him for such incompetence. “Look. Ye didn’t get rid of the thing. Ye caged it. And from what I saw just now, it’s loose.”
“It’s- But- The thing’s been gone for six years!”
“Wrong again.” He hissed. “Ye didn’t send it to some abyss. Ye sent it to a little corner of the boy’s mind, and odds are, it’s been screaming and bitching to get out ever-fuckin’-since.”
“I- Well-” Giles sighed, sounding equal parts guilty and resigned. “I’ll call-”
“No you fucking won’t, Rupert!” He snarled, glaring at the phone. “I’m handling it this time. Sit down, shut up, and let me do this right!” He snapped the last word so loud, it echoed. And before the idiot Watcher could respond, he hung up.
Alright. Boy’s got a demon locked up in his head. He slid a hand over his slicked back hair and tried to imagine it, which wouldn’t be hard considering his own affliction, except that this was Harris. The Zeppo. Last Human Standing, in a sea of magic. Though, if Giles had buggered him up six years ago, he hasn’t been human for a long time, has he? God, no wonder his life’s been such shit. He’s had a hyena bitch clawing at his brain for at least a third of it.
But, Jesus, such power… Primals were top-notch fighters, warriors of instinct. And they almost always fought dirty. How White Hat Harris managed to keep his beast on a leash for six years… He had no idea.
But he did know one thing. Something had to have set it off.
He took a drag on that cig that had hung between his fingers for the last ten minutes, only to realize it was pretty much down to the filter. Thing’s been beggin’ to get out for six years. His mind reminded him. If he let her out, had to be one of two things. One, she wore him down. Two, she convinced him she could get something he couldn’t. Something he needed.
He paused mid-step, eyes falling to the last of the cigarette between his fingers.
The leather. The blood. The cigarettes.
His favorite brand of cigarettes.
“Christ…” He hissed it out loud, dropping the butt to the floor and crushing it under his foot.