Pairing : Spike/Xander
Rating : NC17
Summary: The words of a prophecy force Spike and Xander closer than they ever thought they would ever become but will it be close enough?
A/N : Inspired by plot bunny/challenge posted here: http://spanderfiles.com/grp/challenges.html
Lady Q: Write a story based on the meaning of Xander's name. Alexander means: Defender of Men and Warrior. So I would like to see a story based on the meaning of his name and Xander coming to understand it
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Nothing had been heard from Willow for the past five days, days in which Xander and Spike settled into their mutual claim, Giles and Leslie worked on the spell to bind Willow's powers, and Angel and Buffy patrolled, argued and made love.
"I don't know what's wrong with him. I mean, thank God for slayer healing is all I can say!" Xander and Buffy were sat in the gardens of the mansion, licking ice cream cones and soaking up some rays.
"Is he hurting you?" Xander exclaimed, half getting to his feet.
"What?! No. And Hell no!! It's just - ok, Angel has always been, well, vigorous, but lately it's like he's trying to stamp his mark on me or something. He's worse than the energiser bunny - every time I turn round he's all over me!"
"Ewww! with a side order of positively way too much information!" The pair snickered. Living in the mansion it was next to impossible not to hear the two couples when they were in the privacy of their own rooms, and blushing was practically a thing of the past.
Giles now knocked before entering any room in the house, having walked in on one of Spike and Xander's training sessions and caught them christening the training mats.
"Seriously though, Buff, did you hear what you just said?"
"About him trying to put his mark on you? I know you and Angel have talked about him claiming you - maybe he's just struggling with the urge and sublimating".
"Ooooh, big word there Xander!" she punched him on the arm as he blushed.
"Yeah well, Spike likes reading to me in bed and I - well, I enjoy it more than I ever liked school. So yeah, I'm learning a lot - and I don't mean about that so get your dirty mind out of the sewer!!" He sneaked a glance at her. "Ok, not just about that!!"
"I kinda gathered things were going well in that department".
"Yeah, no complaints here" he smirked. They looked at each other again, and collapsed in giggles. Sobering up slowly, Buffy turned to him again.
"So do you really think it's this claiming thing?"
"Yeah, I really do. Spike's told me a lot about that stuff, about how his demon feels all possessive and stuff. It must be really hard for Angel fighting his demon all the time, wanting to claim you but wanting to protect and respect your right to choose. And I think it's harder for him since Spike claimed me - Spike's his childe and has something he doesn't, but something he desperately wants. It's gotta rankle and a rankled demon is gonna be difficult to calm down".
"Yeah. Yeah, I see what you mean".
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
"You gonna claim her?" Spike and Angel stood just back from the window, watching their lovers in the sunshine.
"I want to. But she's not sure. And I can't say I blame her. Let's be frank, Angelus is not the poster child for 'the demon you want to tie yourself to for eternity' and that's what she would be doing. I know she still struggles with the things he - I did."
"If you don't claim her, are ya gonna be able to hold it together?" Angel turned and looked at Spike for a moment, then shook his head.
"I really don't know Will. It's getting harder and harder, it's like every time she's away from me I have to stake my claim, mark her with my scent because I want everyone - demons, humans - to know that she's mine". Spike sighed, well aware of the struggle his Sire was dealing with. "I want what you have. I envy you".
"I know how lucky I am, believe me. The Whelp is fuckin' amazing, just accepts everything about me - no soul but no fear. It's - I dunno, it just stuns me all the time. I mean, I know what's in his heart and I've never felt anything like it". For a moment, Spike looked vulnerable and young, and Angel felt a twinge for what used to be. If Angelus hadn't been such an evil bastard, if he'd handled the soul better, Will could have been his. He would have come to him when he was chipped and they could have..... Shaking his head, refusing to consider what might have beens, Angel knew he was hiding from the situation with Buffy. She either had to accept him as a vampire as well as a man, once and for all, or they would have to go their separate ways again. It wasn't safe to keep pushing himself this way.
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
"We're ready". Giles and Leslie stood in the doorway, spell components packed safely in a satchel as they watched the foursome load up with weapons. It seemed strange to be doing this when it was just Willow they were facing, but they wanted to be ready for anything and everything.
"So you're sure of where she is? No chance she's messing with your locator spell?" Buffy asked, shoving some stakes into her jacket.
"She's in the basement of the school. It's worrisome that she's so close to the Hellmouth - it concerns me greatly that whatever darkness is inside her may grow stronger while she's there". Giles was grim-faced but determined. They needed to deal with this now, before Willow became more powerful.
"Right. Giles, you and Leslie hang back until we've given the area a proper sweep. We clear it of vamps and whatever other oogly booglies are hanging around, then we get in there and we get our Wills back. Any questions?" The strategising and organising of the plan had all come from Xander, the soldier memories coming to the forefront as he discussed with Spike and Angel the best way to approach the situation. It was yet another side to the young man, and Giles was kept busy cataloguing the changes he was going through without being too invasive. “Ok, let's go”.
They took two cars to the school, Xander snuggled in the back of Angel's convertible with Spike.
“Luv, you don't take any chances, you get me? I know you've got more control over the hyena, can call her up when you need her, yeah, but just – mojo frightens me and I don't wanna lose you, ok?”
“I know Spike, I know. But I worry more about you – Willow really has it in for you, so you need to stay out of sight, ok? I've never felt about anyone the way I feel about you – I don't want to lose that, so you keep yourself safe or else buddy!”
“Right pair of poofs we are!” Lighting up, Spike looked out of the window. He was so scared – the bint had been right powerful before, who knew what sort of power she had now she was based over the Hellmouth?
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
The area round the school was very quiet – no demons, no vampires, nothing. As a group they felt slightly over-dressed, weighted down with so much weaponry with no visible enemy to engage. As they entered the basement, the atmosphere became heavy and menacing.
“I know you're here – you might as well put the lights on”. Willow's voice echoed slightly in the large room causing Buffy and Xander to jump, Angel and Spike stiffening. They fanned out to make themselves a more difficult target, all of them jumping when they heard her say “Illumine” and a bright white light appeared, lighting the whole room.
Willow was huddled in a corner. Her clothes were torn and dirty, her hair bedraggled, her hands with broken nails digging into her head.
“I can always tell when you're there. Even when you think I don't know, I do. Sometimes I light up the room and you're not visible, but I know you're there”.
“Willow – we want to help you”.
“No, no you don't. The voice told me – you want me to stay weak, to be a good little girl and stand behind you. But I can help, really I can. I just – the spells can make so much difference, the voice told me. It's worth it – don't you see Buffy? It's worth it if it keeps us safe and together. Just the Scoobies, because we belong together. I just want things back the way they were, you know, before – before everything”. She shook her head, rising to her feet and drawing a gasp from Buffy and Xander as they saw her properly for the first time. Her hair was jet black, her skin marked with jagged dark lines, eyes pure black with no green to be seen. “I didn't mean to hurt Xander, but he chose. He chose Spike – I can't believe he chose Spike over me, but he did. And I didn't mean to kill him – I really didn't. But the voice says if I can just soak up a bit more power, can just hang onto it, I can bring him back. Not – not like your Mom, Buffy, when we tried that I wasn't strong enough – but now, now I can do it. I can bring him back and we can be together again. And – and, if I bring him back – when I do it – he won't be claimed anymore. Spike won't be able to get his hands on him and Xander can go back to being our Xander-shaped friend, and be there for us. Won't that be good Buffy?” her voice rambled on as she paced back and forth in a small line, never venturing far from the wall.
“Willow, you didn't kill Xander! He's here Will, he's here and he wants you safe”.
“No – no, you keep lying to me. You just want to trap me, take me away from the power. Keep me stuffed down in a box like – like my parents, and the teachers and everyone! Little Willow Rosenberg. Well I'm not her anymore – not little Ms Nobody!! I'm strong now – just watch!” Gesturing with her hands, Willow aimed unerringly for Angel, the lightning bolt striking him cleanly in the chest and sending him flying backwards.
“ANGEL!!!” Buffy rushed over to him, petrified. “Not dust – that means he's ok – he's not dust! Willow, we need to get you out of here – you don't know what you're doing!”
“Yes I do – I do know. I'm not stupid, I'm not. And I'm not going to be left behind anymore – you're off with Angel, and Xander – I hurt Xander, oh Goddess I didn't mean to, but I hurt Xander. What am I going to do? No, I can get him back – I can. I just need to hold on a bit longer and I can bring him back!”
“Hey Wills”. Xander stepped forward, unable to stand back any longer. “What ya doin'? Come on, Wills, let's get out of here. We can sit back, eat twinkies, I'll even watch your choice of movie – whatdya say?”
“Xander? Is it really you?”
“Yeah, Wills, it's me. See, look, I'm not dead. So you don't need to soak up any more power or anything like that. I'm here and if you come with me, we'll be safe. Ok? Let's do that, Wills, how about it?” Stepping closer, he held out his hands to her.
“Oh Xander, I was so scared, I - “ Suddenly her head whipped round and she glared at Spike. “I knew it was a lie, I knew it!!! YOU! It's all your fault – all of this, is all your fault!! Do you think I didn't see you – watching him, pretending to be his friend – when all the time you just wanted to get your nasty hands on him”. She stepped towards Spike, hate sparkling in her eyes. “I figured out how to kill your chip ages ago but there was no way I was going to help an evil soulless monster like you. And I'm not letting you touch my Xander – not ever again. And I don't have to kill you – I can just keep you in pain forever and ever, make it so you can never come near him again!” Fingers splayed, palms upward, head thrown back, Willow began to levitate, a chill wind ripping through the room as she gathered the power towards her.
“Willow – please, Willow – don't do this – please...”
She turned to look at Xander, the sight eerie with her eyes all black. She looked almost mournful. “I have to save you Xander – I have to”.