Concrit: in comments please - you flame, I delete!
Disclaimer: Of course they belong to me in a straight-jacket wrapped round me permanently kinda way. In other words, they ain't mine!
Warnings/Squicks: None in this chapter
Summary: From a Plot Bunny left by qwerty_lee BTVSAU : In which Xander's demon-magnetness attracts another Master Vampire, and Spike is forced to go claim him, since he's the only one with the “right” to do so.
Previous chapters: Links given below
Beta(s): Unbeta'd but proofread
Graphics: (size, and artist) : no graphics
Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5
The speed of Spike's reaction astounded Xander. Wriggling like an eel, he slipped to one side, growling as the stake went through his shoulder and almost pinned him to the concrete floor with the strength Dreiden put behind it. With Dreiden committed to the move he was making, Spike used his unfettered hand to grab hold of Dreiden's hair and wrench his head back, lurching upwards to rip his throat out with his sharp fangs. Dreiden staggered back, clutching at his bleeding throat, shock all over his face. Growling and snarling, Spike leapt to his feet and stalked after his victim. Lashing out with his foot, he broke one of Dreiden's kneecaps with a loud snap, and as the vampire's leg collapsed under him Spike stood over him, wrapped his hands around his head and twisted, pulling it off with a wrench, dust scattering around him.
A stunned silence overtook the room then there was a concerted roar from the gathered assembly! Speeding towards Spike, Angel ripped at his own wrist and offered it to the staggering younger vampire. The minion who had thrown the stake to Dreiden was grabbed and dragged over to the announcer who was once more in the middle of the room.
“Master William is hereby declared winner of the Challenge and has earned the right to Claim the Seer Alexander. Master William, what would you like us to do with this miscreant?” Wiping his mouth on his arm, Spike shrugged back into his proffered duster, leaning against Angel.
“What do your laws say about such treachery?” Angel demanded, fully aware that Spike needed time to recover. The battle had been closer than either of them had been expecting, and the fact that Spike had been millimetres from his final death was a lingering fear for both of them.
“The Laws of the Court are slightly unclear. Obviously this minion was obeying his Lord and Master, and as such could not refuse. However, Master Dreiden failed which makes his court the sole province of Master William now – it is up to him what punishment is doled out”. Shaking himself back to awareness, Spike stood up straight, determined to be strong.
“Right – shove him down in the dungeons – I assume you have dungeons in this place right?” The announcer nodded. “'K – lob him down there for now, will deal with him later”.
“As you wish Master William. And the Seer? The Claiming ceremony should - “
“Not doin' it now. Going to my room – have his guards bring him up 'lright?” Nodding to Angel, Spike strode out of the great hall, Angel behind him, watching his back. He really hoped Xander understood what was going on – there was no way he wanted to do the Claiming Ceremony now. Apart from not particularly wanting an audience for his first time with the boy, he certainly didn't want to risk having to bite him – the way he felt at the moment, soul or no soul, he wasn't sure he would be able to stop once he started sucking his blood.
“Son of a bitchin' bastard!! Practically gives me a heart attack and then doesn't even look in my direction when he does win. I've a good mind to - “ Realising he was muttering angrily out loud, Xander lowered his head once more, hiding behind the hood. He actually did understand why Spike hadn't come to him straight away – he had seen how much pain the vampire had been in, and could only imagine he needed a great deal of blood about now, and although Xander wanted to belong to Spike and share his body, he didn't want to be Spike's food. And strangely the second part of his vision had come true – one of his vampire guards kneeling on the bed to reach over and release him from his chains. So much for his fears that he was going to be 'claimed' (and that just had to be a euphemism for sex because, hello, talking about vampires after all) in front of all the other vampires in the hall. Instead, there was a small crowd around him as he was released from his bonds to be taken to his 'Master'.
Stepping through the door being held open for him, Xander looked up as Spike walked through from the adjoining bathroom.
“I said I'm alright! Fuck it, I just - “Looking up, he gestured to the guards. “Get out”. Once the door shut behind them, he walked over and stood in front of Xander but didn't touch him, locking eyes. Not even realising that his hand had moved, Xander lifted his hand and ran his palm gently over the stubble atop Spike's head. It tickled slightly, but felt very nice against his skin. Spike closed his eyes and tilted his head back and forth, brushing his hair against his hand like some man-sized cat. Curling his hand behind Spike's neck, he tugged him forward, still stroking over his head until their lips met. Gently, delicately almost, they kissed for the first time. Xander could taste tobacco, blood, and something underlying that - the essence of Spike. Pulling back, they looked into each other's eyes.
“Kinda milked that for all it was worth, eh Bleachy?”
“Not sure ya can call me that anymore Whelp, 'less you're wanting me to bleach what's left?”
“Nah, kinda like the way it feels”. Spike nodded.
“They treat you alright Pet?” Xander nodded. Apart from a mild concussion, he couldn't complain and it would definitely seem like he'd come through this better than Spike. So far at least. Stroking his hand down Spike's neck, he moved it towards the sluggishly bleeding wound in his shoulder.
“You gonna be alright? That looked - “
“I'm fine. You're as bad as Peaches. Gimme a chance to knock down a pint or two, and I'll be right as rain. We just need to get out of 'ere as quick as we can”. At the mention of Angel, Xander realised that the other vampire was sat in the corner of the room – he'd been so focussed on Spike that he hadn't even noticed that he was there.
“Will they just let us go?”
Angel sighed. “I'm not sure. Spike is now the Master of Dreiden's court – they might insist on the claiming ceremony happening here and now. If they do – if they do Xander you need to be ready”. Moving towards the bed, Xander sat down, arranging the robes around him carefully so that he didn't show off more than he wanted to.
“Ok, somebody really needs to let me know what this claiming ceremony consists of. And why the heck all of this is happening to me now?”
“Sorry Xander, I forgot you weren't there for all of this stuff. And there isn't a huge amount of time now because they may well want the claiming ceremony to happen sooner rather than later. They will want it here to consolidate Spike's victory and mark you as belonging to this court – a Seer is a great thing to have in your court, and Spike's position will be elevated because of it”. Making a rolling gesture with his hand, Xander turned to Spike – obviously Deadboy wasn't comfortable spilling the details so he would have to rely on Spike.
“Basically? We fuck – I bite ya and claim ya as my consort. You take your place in Court alongside me. They all get to be snobby wankers looking down their noses at other vamps that aren't in our court and don't have their own Seer”.
“Wow! Blunt but full of info. Thanks Spike”. Nodding his head absently, Xander leaned back against the headboard and chewed things over in his head. “We fuck?”
“In front of witnesses I take it?”
“Uh huh”. Cocking his head to one side, Spike wondered whether the other man had finally snapped, his abnormally calm acceptance of things enough to make the hackles rise on the back of Spike's neck.
“Riiight”. Shifting forward on the bed, Xander pushed himself to his feet and walked slowly to the bathroom, closing the door carefully behind him. He slid down the door until he hit the floor, curling his legs up under the robes and dropping his face into his hands. He found himself thinking he was entitled to some quiet freaking out time - perhaps if he closed his eyes for long enough, all of this would turn out to be a rather long-winded, nasty bad dream that he would wake from. His exhibitionist streak had died with him in Oxnard - there was no way in hell he was putting on a sex-show for a bunch of evil vampires, even if Spike was sexier than hell without that peroxide job.
Spike's gaze followed him until the door closed, then he turned and looked at Angel. “Well that went better than I thought it would”.
Chapter 7 to come....