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: S/A/X alluded to but you can uncover your eyes now - they got dressed!
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, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11
He hadn't moved. His chest rose and fell as he breathed, but he simply lay there. No other signs that he was in there. Spike was immovable, refusing to do anything until Xander came out of this trance or whatever it was. For a week there was no change. Willow strangely enough was looking after Spike – forcing him to drink and rest. Giles was researching, using all of his resources to figure out what had happened and having absolutely no luck. Buffy and Angel were fighting – she had just known that the Clan Initiation ritual had taken place and she was pissed. So they fought – a lot – at least they did when she wasn't terrorising the Court simply by stomping around. Angel and Carson were working closely together, consolidating Spike's place as Master, enforcing new rules and happily staking offenders to get the point across. So far, the Court were happy – their new Master was dedicating time to his Consort which was only right and proper, and they had their own Seer, placing them higher on the Vamp Totem pole regardless of the fact that it wasn't Dreiden. For many of them, they were actually happier that it wasn't Dreiden as he hadn't been the most sane of Masters. And Spike? Spike was lost. He could do nothing but watch over Xander, willing him to come back, wake up, curling up next to him and silently weeping himself to sleep, rapidly losing all hope at the lack of response – externally or in his head.
“I'm hungry”. Xander's voice was whiny, although the hug he gave Spike was warm, loving and strong.
“What do ya want then? Tell me and I'll get it for ya”. Snuggling closer, soaking up the warmth the bigger man threw off continually, Spike was happy to indulge his every whim.
“Really?” Spike nodded. “I want a proper giant American burger with the works. And fries – not chips cos they're just wrong over here. And twinkies – man, I would kill for a twinkie”.
“Ok. You wake up and you can have it”.
“Yeah, luv, I promise”.
The gentle kiss to his brow made Spike stir, stretching his body to pop out the kinks as he rearranged himself around Xander.
“Hey, Fuzzy-head – where's my burger?” The voice rumbled in his ear as he had laid his head on Xander's chest, and he smirked at the complaint mixed with an insult.
“Yeah, yeah, I'll get one of the minions to go and get it for ya as soon as it's dark enough. That alright with you?” Tugging Spike closer, Xander hummed his agreement. Pulling his vampire up his body, he kissed him gently on the lips, rubbing his hand over the fuzzy hair.
“Why did we sleep with the lights on?”
“The lights aren't on, ya daft git – you must be – fuckin' hell, Xander you're awake!!!” Leaping up from the bed, Spike looked down at the other man in shock.
“Well d'uh!” Shifting up the bed, Xander sat with his back against the headboard, rubbing at his eyes to clear them of sleep. Then he froze, hands still pressed to his face. “Er – Spike?”
“Spike, from anyone else this would sound incredibly stupid, but how come I have two eyes?”
Xander wolfed down his burger and fries while the 'discussion' raged all around him. Ok, so it wasn't a proper American burger with the works, but it was close enough and he was starving. He felt like he hadn't eaten for a week, and he wasn't far wrong. He had no memory of his time in a trance or whatever – the last thing he remembered was the Initiation Rite and mind-bending pleasure, and boy that was a difficult memory not to smile over when Buffy was glaring daggers at him in between hugging him hard enough to crack ribs. He couldn't figure out why he wasn't more freaked about the sudden reappearance of his eye, but to be honest it seemed like everyone else had that covered and he was so damned hungry. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Spike was staring at him. The vampire hadn't left his side from the time he had yelled for everyone to let them know that Xander was awake, a constant touching presence, even if it was just toes touching under the table, or thighs pressed together as they sat next to each other.
As promised, Spike sent a minion out for Xander's meal at the first sign of darkness, and Xander had an internal giggle at the thought of a vampire queuing up in MacDonald's or wherever! He tuned back into the conversation, just in case they were saying anything interesting.
“It's inconceivable for his eye to regenerate spontaneously. My understanding of both of the rituals was that there was no blood exchange between human and vampire. And even if there was a blood exchange, surely it wouldn't have this kind of effect”. Giles appeared torn between fascination and fear, occasionally falling into Watcher-lecture mode which wasn't sitting well with Angel.
“That may be so, but nevertheless, the rituals seem to have been the catalyst. It was after the second, em, ritual that Xander fell into the trance, so it makes sense that they had some role to play”.
Nope, nothing new being discussed there. The argument had been raging back and forth for the last 45 minutes and they were no closer to anything resembling an explanation. Spike's foot tapped against his to get his attention, and wiping his mouth on his napkin, he turned towards him.
“Think it might have summat to do with the Seer thing?” He tilted his head, considering. That made a lot of sense to him.
“It might well be. I mean, Caleb took my eye because he said I 'saw too much' – maybe the Oracles or PTB wanted to be sure I saw what I needed to see”. His hand drifted across the table, fingers entwining with Spike's, picking at the already chipped black polish.
“Hope you're gonna repaint that when you're done” Spike nodded towards his fingers, smiling. “Wanna go visit the Oracles? I know the Pouf used to see 'em in the States but I think they're inter-dimensional so we should be able to do it from 'ere. Might have to ask someone in the magic community though”.
“Yeah, I'll paint your nails for you, and oh my God I have turned into a girl! Maybe Willow will know where we could start?” Looking furtively round, Xander managed to catch Willow's eye, gesturing her over. She sidled sidewards, leaving Buffy, Giles and Angel still arguing. “Hey Wills. Have I told you thanks yet for taking care of my Vampire for me?”
She sat down next to him, wrapping her arm around his shoulders and dropping her head to rest there.
“It was the least I could do since I didn't get to buy you a proper wedding gift. And where are you guys registered anyway?”
“Harrods of course. Only the best for the Master of the City's Consort my dear”. Xander's faux English accent made Spike wince, although he couldn't hold back a smile at listening to the two of them babbling together.
“Oi! Only Master of the Lower City, Pet. Don't want to try to run all of London on me own”. Spike smirked. “Well at least not yet!”
“Hey, we could do a combo trip – get your wedding present and go visit the Oracles because I know that's what you two were talking about!!”
“Because your brain was working along the same lines? See, we still have that whole Scooby Telepathy thing going – I wonder if there's a way we can test it over distances? And please tell me that you're not in my mind all of the time, cos there have been a few occasions lately where it's a NC17 place to be and I would never be able to look you in the face again if I thought you knew what I'd been up to in technicolour!”
“How do you manage to say all of that in one breath, Pet?” Shaking his head in shock, Spike held back his laughter.
“Practice, Spike, lots and lots of practice. And hey, Xander, you could use it for – well actually I shouldn't even be thinking about how your ability to hold your breath for a long time could come in handy, especially since I know you can swim a whole length without taking a breath, and since when did saying length become something smutty?!”. The three of them ended up giggling, more with relief than anything. The bond between Willow and Spike that had begun after he got his soul had now been strengthened by their shared love for Xander.
“I do wish you would try to take this seriously. Do you realise the far-reaching effects this could have?” Giles' irritated voice broke into their quiet joking, and instantly reverting to their teens Xander and Willow both straightened in their seats and put on their 'we're paying attention' faces. Spike on the other hand merely scowled, and stood up, moving towards the kitchen door where he lit up.
“If you'd been paying attention Watcher instead of arguing with Buffy and the Pouf, you'd have heard us discussing the idea of approaching the Oracles, see if they can shed some light on this whole thing. Xan reckons it might be a gift from them to their Seer, and I think he's on the right track. We just need to find a way of visiting them and asking”. Stung silence from Giles greeted Spike's rebuke, then he seemed to realise it was well deserved and stepped forward.
“Right, yes, well I apologise Spike. I should have realised you were taking the situation seriously. It's just such relief to have Xander whole and hearty – I'm sorry”. Slumping into a seat, Giles wearily took his glasses off and gave them a clean. He was so relieved to have Xander back safe and sound, but couldn't help but be concerned. More magical intervention hardly seemed something they should be celebrating and he was worried that the new eye came with attachments and/or consequences.
The slam of a door marked Buffy's exit, Angel's face a clear indication of what direction the conversation had gone in after Giles had left them to it. His head was lowered in defeat, and he gave a tired sigh before turning back to the others.
“So, we're off to see the Oracles?? Better make sure we have a nice gift for them – I think this is gonna cost us!”