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Pairing:X/S sort of Rating: R - NC17 Feedback: Is a good thing! Disclaimer: Still not mine. ::Pouts:: Summary: Thirty years in the future, two old enemies meet again. WARNING: If you haven't seen season six, don't read this! Archive: http://www.buffysmut.com/adultfanfiction/story.php?no=300 Dedication: To the lovely ladies at the batcave ::snirk:: for all the great fb.






Vengeance


by
Jameschick



         

Prologue



Cold. So cold. And dark. Not quiet though, there is a radio on and two people are talking. He hates waking up in the morgue. He wonders what time it is? Hopefully he won't have to spend all day in here. As soon as the staff head out for the night he will get out of the drawer and leave. He never should have come here but morbid curiosity compelled him. After thirty years it's still vamp city. Why is he waking up in a morgue you ask? That's simple, he died. Again. Want to hear his story? It's a real doozy.

It all started about thirty-six years ago. That's the day Buffy Summers came into his life. Not that he thinks this is Buffy's fault, he doesn't. But things changed after she came. He learned about all the nasties, vampire's, demons, giant snake things that used to be Mayor. He lost his best friend Jesse to vampires and had to stake him. Willow, his other best bud...she became a witch. That's where things get interesting.

He became involved with an ex-demon, they were to be married but he left her at the alter, cold feet. Their reluctant vampire friend, Spike was his name, slept with Buffy. After she threw him over he slept with his ex. On the table at her work. While he watched it on streaming video via Willow's laptop. Why was it being broadcast you ask? Warren.

Warren was this creepy robotics specialist, he built himself a girlfriend who went a little nuts after he dumped her with out telling her. Incidentally he also made a 'Buffybot' for Spike. Of course he eventually got the real thing but soo not going there. So Warren and his two creepy little minions, Jonathan and Andrew were watching Buffy. They had cameras everywhere, that was how they managed to catch 'the boinking demon show'. It's not real important to the story, just a bit of a lead in on Warren and what happened next.

Buffy managed to thwart Warrens' every evil scheme so he went after her the old fashioned way, with a gun. Xander was in the yard with the Buffster, they were making nice after the 'my ex the demon slept with your ex the demon' episode. Warren fired the gun, Buffy got shot. What they didn't know at the time was that he fired a bullet at the upstairs window. Willow and Tara were in their room, Tara was at the window. The bullet hit her in the chest, she died right away.

Willow went nuts after that. She drained the magic from all of Giles books. The dark books. The ones that were off limits to everyone but himself. Xander was at the hospital with Buffy, he didn't know about Tara. Willow saved Buffy, she came to the hospital and levitated the bullet right out of buffy's chest and then healed the wound as good as new. Then the three of them went after Warren. He thought they were all on the same page, justice. Willow just wanted revenge.

She killed Warren, skinned him like a cat. Then poof. No more Warren. She went after his minions next. Xander, Anya and Buffy helped them escape. She drained Rack, he was the resident 'evil warlock'. Then she went after Dawn. Dawn was spared thanks to Buffy, but Giles wasn't so fortunate. She drained him of all the magic he had been impowered with. Some coven in England knew what was happening and sent him back to stop it.

By the time Xander caught up with Willow she was in the process of destroying the world. He stopped her. At least he thought it was him. Turned out all he did was stall her long enough for the magic she stole from Giles to take effect. No one knows exactly what happened, whether her magic was lost or just bound so she was unable to use it. It doesn't matter. The point was it was over, Wills would be okay and the world was safe. Tara was still dead though.

Giles stayed in Sunnydale to help Willow overcome her grief and her magic addiction. Buffy and Dawn grew closer because of everything, Spike was missing but no one really cared. Except Dawn, she actually liked him. Anya left afterwards. She decided to embrace her job as a vengence demon again. Giles took over the shop again and everything was returning to normal. Willow was on the road to recovery, or so they thought.

It was three weeks to the day that Tara died. Willow had gone missing the day before, and no one knew where she was. She wasn't in Sunnydale, Giles had cast a locator spell for the town and she wasn't there. They called everywhere they could think of, her parents were in San Fransico for the summer, they tracked them down but they hadn't heard from her. Xander even called deadboy out in L A, there was no answer, he tried several times but nothing. He called Cordy's house. Nothing there either. He figured they were probably on a case. Everyone was gathered at Buffy's, what was left of them anyway. Xander, Giles, Dawn and Buffy. That's when Willow showed up. She had changed.

Everyone assumed after the 'my will be done' fiasco that Willow had gotten rid of the talisman that D'Hoffryn had given her. They assumed wrong. It seemed that Willow had decided that they weren't good friends to her, that Buffy had failed to protect Tara from Warren and that being a vengence demon was a good career choice. Anya had the whole 'woman scorned' thing going on and Halfreck was working for ignored children. So Wills decided to specialize in friendships gone awry. She made a side deal with D'Hoffryn to be able to seek vengence on her own behalf as her final test. And boy did she.

Buffy was stripped of her slayer power, left pretty much defenseless on the mouth of hell. Giles lost the thing he values most, next to Buffy that is. His knowledge. He was no longer the warlock, the watcher, the bearer of knowledge. He didn't even remember that vampires were real. Dawn, God poor Dawn, she was released from the monks spell. What was once a beautiful young girl became a swirling blob of green light, and then slowly disapeared. Since Glory had been destroyed, the spell was the only thing keeping the key in existance. With out the spell she ceased to be. And Xander? He got the worst curse of all.

Willow, his best friend since they were five, the girl who crushed on him all through elementary school and junior high, right up until Oz and even a little afterwards. The girl who knew all his secrets and never told. The only person in the whole world he trusted completely. She cursed him with immortality. He can never die, never forget, never escape the memories of what happened. Always drawn to seek company, to make and keep friends, over and over just to watch them die time and again. That was her curse on him.

He didn't know it at the time. She just smiled at him and then left. He thought he had been spared, that somewhere, deep down inside she was still his best friend, his Wills. That she would never hurt him. He was wrong.

Buffy was a mess after losing Dawn. She insisted on patrolling even without her slayer powers. She didn't know how else to deal with her grief so she threw herself into slaying just like she did after Joyce died. Only this time, she didn't survive it. A goup of fledges got to her the very first night. Xander tried to help her but he wasn't fast enough, wasn't strong enough. They drained her and left her to rot. He was next. He fought them off, went down kicking and screaming. They killed him too. Only thing was, the next morning he woke up on the ground in the cemetary, Buffy's body not twenty feet from him. That's when he knew. He screamed out for Willow, for her to stop this, to make things right.

He crawled over to Buffy and pulled her lifeless corpse into his arms and cried. He cried for a long time. When he opened my eyes, Willow was there. He begged her to fix it, to make everything right. Told her to kill him instead, just let the others live. Give Buffy back her life, her power. Bring Dawnie back. Make Giles whole. She laughed at him. Then she explained the extent of his curse. Never to die, never to forget, never to stand being alone.

He burried Buffy beside Joyce. He had a headstone erected for Dawnie as well. She deserved to be remembered. He stayed in Sunnydale, tried to help Giles, teach him about the scary things that go bump in the night. He wouldn't listen, didn't even know who Xander was. He died later that week. He took a walk through the park after sunset. Xander was contacted to identify his body. His will hadn't been changed since the curse and as the only remaining survivor of our group, Xander inherited everything. The shop, the condo, his bank accounts and life insurance. He had Giles buried next to Buffy.

He sold the shop, the condo, the furniture, and all his possessions. He had all of Buffy and Dawn's things put in storage and sold their house as well. He left Sunnydale as soon as he could. He went to San Diego for a while, and then travelled around aimlessly. He ran into the new slayer one night in Chicago. He was attacked by a couple of vampires walking back to his hotel. This tiny brunette girl, reminded him of Dawn, came flying out of no where and dusted them both. He looked at her, smiled, said 'thanks slayer' and walked away. She followed him back to his room and they talked.

He told her about Buffy, about Sunnydale, the hellmouth, and everything else. She had only been on active duty for a couple months and her watcher was in the hospital after being scewered by a demon. He trained with her, helped her research. He fell in love with her eventually. She was younger than he, she was only seventeen when they met. By her eighteenth birthday they were lovers. She died in her nineteenth year. He had only two years with her, he didn't regret them but he vowed to himself to refrain from getting involved with anymore slayers, they died too damned young. He went back to wandering after that, never stayed in one place too long. He saw the world over the past thirty years. He made a few friends, had a few lovers. He learned at one point that while he was immortal he was still fertile. One of the girls he was with became pregnant. She miscarried but it got him thinking. If he had to watch his own children grow up and die before his very eyes it would kill him.... emotionally at least. He never bedded another woman after that.

Xander had always found men to be somewhat attractive in a 'if I were gay I would go for him' sort of way. He admitted once, to Willow, about being curious about gay sex. He decided that eternity was along time to go without sex so he started to look into that side of himself a little deeper. He's had a few male lovers since then. And at first he was still very nervous and somewhat frightened about the fact that yes, he was attracted to men, and that he was very much enjoying the sex. He got over it. He is now very accepting of the fact that he is a bisexual man who leans heavily to the gay side.

He's died a handfull of times. He was drained by vamps, hit by a car, struck by lightning believe or not, and choked to death on a piece of steak, embarrassing that one. He drowned once, fell asleep in the tub. There have been a few other deaths, who knew how accident prone he really was? He had woken up in the morgue on a few occassions, often enough to learn a little magic, like how to open doors from the inside. It tends to freak people out when you jump naked out of a body bag and run like hell. After the first time he vowed never again, so....magic.

Xander started to wonder what ever happened to Spike. He took off before Tara's death, and no one had seen him by the time Willow cursed them all. He wondered if he ever came back to Sunnydale. After much consideration and soul searching, he decided to look him up. So here he was, back in good old Sunnyhell California. Two hours in town and he was dead already. He didn't even see the vampire until he was biting him. The place really hadn't changed much. As soon as he get out of here, he's headed to Spikes' crypt. Take a look around, see if there's any sign of life, unlife, whatever. He hopes it's almost dusk, it's fucking cold in there!

Part One



Five minutes after the staff at Sunnydale General left the morgue - no one worked the nightshift in this town - Alex Lavelle, formerly known as Xander Harris, slipped out of his drawer and searched for his clothes. Within ten minutes he was standing outside of the hospital lighting a cigarette - he started smoking ten years ago - and taking in the familiar sight of Sunnydale General after dark. He had logged alot of hours in the emergency room of this hospital when he was still mortal. Whether it be from slaying duties or drunken relatives, he knew all the staff on a first name basis.

After tying his almost waist-length, wavy, chestnut coloured hair into a ponytail and combing his fingers through his beard, he headed out in the direction of Spike's old crypt. He was pretty sure that Spike wouldn't be there, it had been thirty years and even if Spike had come back to Sunnydale what were the chances he'd still be here, and living in the same place? But Alex had nowhere else to start from so that's where he headed.

Alex made one stop before heading to Spike's crypt, he went to see Buffy, Joyce, Dawn and Giles. He hadn't been back to pay his respects since he'd left thirty years before. It was high time he stopped in to talk.

Upon reaching the group of headstones he noticed there were fresh flowers placed on the graves of the girls, and even a single bloom was left for Giles. Alex sat for a moment, longing for his lost friends, his family. He didn't have any words for them, so he just sat in silence as the tears slid down his face. He hoped that Buffy and her mother were together, and that maybe, if there was any justice at all, that Dawn had found her way to them as well. The very thought of her just blinking into nothingness left a cold ache in his heart. She was the little sister he never had, just as Giles was the father he always wanted. Giles would have found Buffy on the other side, he was sure of it.

Alex wasn't sure how long he sat staring at the graves and silently weeping. He noticed that he wasn't alone as a small group of vampires crept closer. Outnumbered and practically unarmed, Alex stood, wiped his face on his shirt and withdrew the single stake he had from his back pocket. The vampires attacked. 'Oh well' thought Alex, 'at least I'll go down fighting this time.'

Alex managed to stake two of the five vamps before one of them got a good hold on him. The other two soon grabbed on as well. He felt fangs pierce his flesh on both wrists and his neck, then they were only in his wrists and then nothing at all. He fell to the ground, dizzy from the blood loss. When he rolled over to see what had happened to his attackers he was met by the curious gaze of a man with sandy blonde hair that was hanging around his face in lose curls wearing glasses and holding a stake.

Alex groaned and tried to sit up. The man grabbed his elbow and assisted him. "I say, are you quite alright?" Alex nodded wordlessly and braced himself on Buffy's headstone. "I'm fine, thanks." He answered somewhat gruffly. His throat was sore from weeping and the vampire bite didn't help any. The blonde looked at Alex and then shrugged his shoulders. "You really shouldn't be out at night, this town is most....unpleasant after dark." Alex chuckled and said, "Yeah but the vampires seem to like it. I was on my way to see an old aquantaince, thanks for your help. I'll just shove off now."

Alex got back on his way toward the back end of the cemetary and Spike's crypt. The blonde haired man, stunned by the reference to vampires watched him walk away. When he saw that he was going further into the cemetary he decided to follow. "Bloody fool is going to get himself killed."

"Sir. Sir, wait up." The blonde jogged after Alex to catch up to him. "Yes, can I help you?" Alex stopped and faced the man who had helped him. "It's just, if you know what lurks in the dark in this town, wouldn't you deem it safer to pay your respects during the day?" Alex considered this. He hadn't really given it much thought but this stranger was right. Just because Spike may not be living in his crypt, it didn't mean someone or something else wasn't.

"You're right. This was stupid of me. It's just that I haven't been here for a long time, I guess I sort of forgot how dangerous Sunnyhell can be."The man nodded and turned to go, but then stopped. "How did you know about the nightlife here? Most people are blind to what they don't want to believe." Alex chuckled. "I grew up here, to tell the truth I never knew what went on here at night either...until my best friend was turned into a vampire. Long boring story there, let's just say I woke up to what was happening around me." "Have you been away long?" Alex smiled. 'you have no idea' he thought. "A few years. I never asked your name, it would be nice to know who rescued me." The blonde smiled. "My name is Wil. And you are?" "Alex. It's nice to meet you Wil." They shook hands and then headed toward the cemetary gates.

"So, Wil. What were you doing walking through a cemetary at night?" For a brief moment a sad look crossed Wil's face. "I uh, I was going to pay my respects to some old friends. It's not far from the gates and I know what to look out for." Alex understood that, he was doing the same thing tonight at Buffy's grave. "I could use a drink, join me?"

Wil looked at the strange man in front of him, it had been along time since anyone had asked him to do anything sociable. He spent most of his time here alone, working, watching out for others, lurking in the dark. Alex seemed to genuinely want to spend time with him. "Sure mate, where to?" Alex stopped and thought about it. "I have no idea, as I said I haven't been home for a while, you lead I'll follow."

The two men talked as they walked through the dark streets. They weren't bothered by anything on their way to where the Bronze once stood. It was now called 'Maxells', it was nice. They sat at the bar and Will got them drinks. "So Wil, what do you do here in town?" "I own a shop on main street. I work there most days. You? I mean what do you do for a living Alex?"

Alex wondered what he should tell him, truth was he didn't do alot. He invested the money he'd gotten from the sale of the shop, condo, and Buffys house as well as what he got from selling his own things and the insurance money. He lived just fine off the interest and picked up odd jobs here and there. He decided on the truth, or part of it at least. "I do odd jobs here and there, I travel alot. Before that, when I lived here, I was in Building constuction."

"I can't help but think there's more to your story than you're letting on, I won't pry. We all have our secrets, I have a past that I'm not exactly proud of myself." Alex smiled. "I'm not ashamed of my past, I had a good life here....good friends. I just left that life behind when I moved on. I guess you could say I died here and reinvented myself on the road." That was as close to the truth as he'd ever told anyone. There was just something about Wil that made him feel comfortable. Perhaps it was the gentle English accent, reminded him of Giles. "Where abouts in England are you from? You sound like an old friend, very cultured." Wil laughed. It was a very pleasant sound. "I'm originally from London, but I travelled around Europe quite a bit." Alex nodded. "I spent some time there myself the past couple of years. I didn't stay long in France though, it was too....." "French?" "Yeah." The two men shared a laugh and ordered more drinks.

As they were leaving, Wil got up the courage to ask Alex a question he had been wanting to most of the evening. "Alex, how long are you in town for?" "I'm not sure Will. I came to pay my respects to some old friends and look up an old aquaintance. I could be here a few days or a few months. Why?" Alex could practically feel Wil blush in the dark street. "I...I was hoping I could see you again. If..if you want to that is." Alex smiled at Wil. "I'd like that, very much. Perhaps I'll stop by your shop tomorrow after I'm done at the cemetary. Where exactly is it?" Wil smiled shyly at Alex and pulled a business card from his pocket and handed it to Alex. "I hope to see you tomorrow Alex, I really enjoyed spending time with you tonight." "Me too. Walk me to my hotel? Be my saviour again?" Wil blushed but nodded.

When they reached the Motorlodge, Alex stopped outside his door and turned to Wil. "Thank you for tonight. For the rescue and the company." He leaned in slowly and gently kissed Wil goodnight. "I'll come by tomorrow, that is if you still want me too?" Wil smiled at Alex and nodded. "Then I'll see you tomorrow Wil. Be careful on your way home." Wil nodded again and walked away. He had a goofy grin plastered on his face.





Part Two



The next morning Alex woke late, had a large breakfast at the local Denny's and then headed to Spike's old crypt. He was better prepared than the night before. He had packed a few stakes, some holy water, crosses, a silver blade, an iron spike and a cell phone just in case he ran into nasties of the human variety.

As he walked through the cemetary, Alex couldn't help but think about Wil, the man seemed so shy and sweet, it was refreshing actually. Alex remembered the feel of his soft lips as he kissed him the night before. He wanted to see him again. Badly. He was planning on stopping by Wil's store after he was done poking around Spike's old place.

Alex stopped briefly at his friends graves. He noticed the flowers from last night were still there. He wondered once again who had left them, perhaps Angel came by regularly. Alex had never contacted anyone in the L A group other than to write them a letter warning them about Willow's demon status and to not make any wishes around her should she show up there. He didn't want to watch as Cordy grew old and lost her looks, he didn't want to be around deadboy period, and he barely knew Wesley and had never met that Gunn fellow or Fred.

Alex said a brief prayer for the group of people whose graves he was standing over and then headed on toward Spike's crypt. Wil was right about one thing, it was much safer doing this during the day.

As he entered the old crypt, Alex noticed that the door was stuck, like it hadn't been opened in some time. He peered into the dark gloomy tomb and then entered. The place hadn't changed much. There was alot more dust and the TV was gone, but other than that it looked the same as the last time he had seen it. He went down into the cavern underneath. It still looked a mess from when Buffy and Riley had blown the place up. The old bed was still in the far corner, sagged and rotting with age, there were a few CD's scattered about, and an old unopened package of cigarettes. Alex pocketed these items as momentos of his former life.

Deciding that Spike must not have come back to Sunnydale at all or if he had he hadn't gone back to the crypt, Alex left. He figured he'd check by the mansion and Angels old apartment before going to see Wil. He didn't want to look desperate after all, and he had come to Sunnydale to find Spike.

The mansion was a bust. It was condemned and was in worse shape than the crypt. The apartment hadn't turned out any better, it was ocupied but not by anyone he wanted to know. The thing that answered the door was truely horrific. It was purple, big white teeth, long tail and a funny voice. It was Barney on speed, Alex was almost positive. When it started to sing, Alex....ran!

Wil had gotten up and opened the shop like he did everyday. Only today wasn't like the last twenty-eight years in this town. Today he had a.... date? Meeting? Rendevous? With Alex. The handsome young man who had kissed him last night. He was still in shock over that fact, after spending so long alone, he finally found someone who he was interested in. The fact that it was a man was a surprise, he personally had never been with a man before. But Alex was so great, he knew about vampires, they had spent the evening talking and then he'd called him his saviour. And the kiss while not passionate was.....genuine.

Wil had been alone for as long as he could remember. As a man he had fallen in love with a girl who had spurned his affections, belittled his writing, and broken his heart. If not for her, Wil would have likely led a long full life, eventually marrying and perhaps having a family. As it was, he had run out into the night and met his fate at the teeth of a dark-haired woman. He died that night, only to be brought back to life over a century later in the demon-possessed body of the man he once was. He spent a couple of years of wandering alone, living a horrid existance while reacclimated to the world. He had the memories of the demon to help with this, and while usefull they were far from comforting. Spike, as the demon called himself had been a horrible monster for all but the last few years of his existance. In the end he had fallen deeply in love with a beautiful young woman, a slayer of all things, who spurned his affections.

Wil had been lucky in the fact that Cecily had never given him cause to hope she would love him in return. Spike had not been so lucky, Buffy had not only lain with the demon, but she entrusted him with her secrets, her friendship, and the life of her friends and family. When she broke up with him he was devestated and acted rashly, he tried to force her to see that they were good together. It went too far. He scared himself as much as he had scared her. So he left, went to Africa to have his chip removed. Figured if he couldn't be the man she wanted and have her love, then he would be the demon she accused him of being and have her hatred. Anything was better than her pity.

Wil woke up on the damp floor of a cave with a horrible looking demon standing over him. He remembered the last minutes of his human life, being bitten, having his blood drawn from his body and then a coppery taste in his mouth as he died. He screamed. The demon laughed. When Wil had screamed himself out he heard the demon speak. 'The slayer shall receive what she deserves.' The demon then left and Wil sat huddled, scared and alone in the cave.

The memories didn't come right away, Wil left the cave that night and wandered off into the night. He came across a lone man walking and before he knew what he was doing he had bitten him. He pushed the man away from him and ran as fast as he could. When he was sure he was alone, he stopped. That's when the memories of the demon hit him. Vampire. Undead. Killer. The pain washed through him as he realized what he now was. He was undead, a vampire. But he would not be a killer! He knew he could survive on the blood of animals, the demon-Spike, had done so for years now. He made up his mind to stay away from people, to survive on his own.

The demon kept him constant company in his head. Pushing him to go home, to go back to Sunnydale. With the chip out of order it wanted to make good on it's threats. Eventually Wil did go back, he didn't want to leave Dawn worried about Spike. She had always been kind to the demon and it had loved her as well. She was the only one it planned to spare. Wil would never let Spike out to play, he was the stronger of the two and he made the decisions.

It had been almost two years since the night Spike had left that Wil had returned. The town looked the same as the demon remembered it, only perhaps a little darker? More dangerous? He went by the crypt that the demon had called home. There was nothing there that he wanted, so he left. That first night he did nothing but wander the town, getting himself familiar with things. He stayed in an abandoned building that night, he refused to stay in a crypt.

The next night Wil went in search of the tomb where the demon had found the ring of Amara. It was easy enough to find with Spike's memories, and the treasure was still there. He loaded it up into sacks and trunks and transported it to the old building he had spent the night in. After that he went in search of Buffy and her friends. He wanted to explain what had happened to Spike. He wanted to make sure that the demon hadn't hurt any of them by disappearing that way. Even though they had parted on bad terms, Wil was sure that Buffy was at least a bit concerned for the demon, and Dawn would have most likely been beside herself with worry.

The magic shop had been the first place he visited. Perhaps Anyanka would be there if not the rest of them, it was closed however so he started toward Revello Drive. He noticed more than one vampire wandering the streets on his way over, but no slayer. Curious, he walked a little faster. When he reached the slayers house it was different. The house had been remodelled and painted, flowers adorned the front lawn and a name plate was hung on the front door. It read: The Winter Residence. Wil knocked on the door and when an older woman answered he had asked about the previous owner. Unfortunately, the old woman couldn't tell him anything.

Wil could feel the demons trepidation, something was wrong here. He stopped the next vampire he saw and questioned him about the slayer. That was when he found out she was dead, buried in the same cemetary as his demons crypt. He went there immediately to verify the alegation. What he saw made his demon howl. Not only was Buffy dead, but the girl - Dawn - was gone as well. He saw the headstone for the watcher, the dates were seperate by a few days, he pieced together what he could. Dawn had gone first, Buffy in her grief had gotten herself killed most likely and with no slayer to protect the town it was only a matter of time before the watcher would become a target. He didn't see any graves for the witches or Xander, he figured they probably fled town after the slayers death. They were brave but they weren't stupid.

Wil hadn't heard from his demon after that night. It was as if it were broken by the death of the slayer and her sister. Wil went on about his business, he sold the treasure, bought a small book store with an apartment overhead and set up shop. He specialized in the occult - books on witchcraft, demonology, pagan ritual, etc. He made a life for himself here in Sunnydale, he worked, he patrolled to keep the streets safer, he conversed with his customers, but he'd never made any friends, never took any lovers. He wasn't human, and anyone he became involved with would not only learn of what he was, they would eventually die even if they did accept him.

Wil would leave flowers on the graves on a weekly basis. He never knew if the demon took any solice in his actions but it seemed the proper thing to do. He eventually decided that he was never going to be happy all by himself, and that if he ever did find someone he wanted to share his life with, be they friend or lover, he would allow himself to take whatever happiness they offered to him for as long as he could. He hadn't actively persued anyone. He had almost given up on ever finding someone who he could love, then by a twist of fate he met Alex.

It was early in the evening by the time Alex got to Wil's shop. It had taken him longer to scout around town for signs of Spike then he thought it would. He was looking forward to seeing Wil, in fact he had thought of little else all day. He noticed from Wil's busines card that he ran an occult shop, Alex was curious to find out if Wil was a practitioner of magic or if he just knew a good business to be in, in this town.

Wil looked up from the register when Alex entered. He was in the process of ringing up a sale so he merely smiled at him and went back to work. Alex took the opportunity to browse around the store a bit. There were no other customers in the store at the moment so Wil went over to se his new friend as soon the last patron left the shop.

"Hello."

"Hey. Nice store, you have a great selection of demonolgy texts. I haven't seen such a broad selection in years."

"Thank you. Do you practice magics?"

"Not much. An old friend used to, she got hooked. It ended badly."

"I'm sorry. Did you find who you were looking for?"

"Nope. No clues in any of his old haunts. Ran into the scariest demon you'd ever want to meet though."

"Really? How so?"

"It looked like Barney. You know that big purple dinosaur from the children's show thirty or so years ago?"

" I remember that show, repeats and all that. I never actually watched it."

"Hey, never thought you did. No need to get offensive."

Alex and Wil shared a smile.

"You do know that the character on that show was actually a demon don't you? Their species feeds on the annoyance of adults, what better way to do that than star in a childrens television show?"

"Ha! I knew it! I told them all he was evil. But did they believe me? Nooooo."

"Told who Alex?"

"Oh, just some old friends. They're all dead. Tragic incident."

"Aren't they all, here on the hellmouth?"

"True."

"If you don't mind me asking, how long have you been away from Sunnydale? It's just that I've been here quite a few years myself and I feel like I should know you from somewhere. Like we've met before."

"A long time. It's a long story, and not a happy one. I'd rather we not discuss it if you don't mind."

"Certainly. I wasn't tying to pry. I hope you understand."

Wil felt rather bad that he had brought up such painful memories for Alex. He only hoped that he wouldn't fault him for being curious. Alex smiled at Wil and looked at his watch.

"What time do you close?"

"About ten more minutes."

"Join me for dinner? My treat."

"Sounds lovely Alex. Thank you."

Alex and Wil had decided on Chinese food for dinner and had walked to the 'Jade Dragon', Wil swore it was the best Chinese food restaurant in Sunnydale. They were seated at a small table in the far corner, it was somewhat of a romatic set-up. After they had ordered, Wil had asked Alex about his life, did he enjoy travelling? What were his favorite places? That sort of thing.

Throughout dinner they continued to discuss world travel, various things that they had in common, and were getting into conversation that was a bit more personal.

"Alex, I don't mean to pry but would you tell me what happened to you to make you leave Sunnydale? It's just that I feel that I've gotten to know you, and I'd like to know alot more about you. I ah, I like you."

"Okay. It's not a nice story though. How about we take a walk and I'll tell you all about it."

"Alright.

The bill was paid and the two men walked out into the night. They were walking toward the park when Alex began his tale.

"As I said before, I grew up here in Sunnydale. Born and raised on the hellmouth and didn't have a clue. I was in highschool when my best bud Jesse was turnrd into a vampire. By a sheer twist of fate I accidentally staked him one night at the local club. My life was irrevocably changed from then on. I knew what really went on in this town and I helped to fight against it. My other best friend, she began practising magic. She got very powerful, like scary powerful, and she got addicted to it. She rehabed, got better for a while. I fell in love with the strangest girl, we were going to get married but at the last minute I chickened out and ran. She didn't take it well. Then again they never do, do they?

A good friend of ours, my highschool crush, was shot in her backyard. I was there when it happened. The guy who did it took off, I waited for the ambulance and then drove to the hospital. I didn't know that my best friend had been upstairs with her girlfriend, and that she had been standing at the window. A stray bullet had hit Tara and it killed her."

Wil was begining to get a strange tingley feeling in the pit of his stomache. This all seemed familiar to him, not the shooting but the rest of it. He motioned for Alex to continue as they sat on a bench in the park.

"That's when everything changed. While I was at the hospital, Wills was turning to the dark arts. She sucked all the magic out of the books at the magic shop. She wanted revenge on the guy who killed Tara. Long story short....she killed him. Skinned him alive and then incinerated him. She tried to kill our friends and destroy the world. I stopped her, or at least slowed her down enough to let a counter spell bind her.

We really thought she was getting better after that. Then she disappeared, came back as a vengence demon. She destroyed us all. My friends all died, and I was cursed. I left after that, I never came back once, not until a couple nights ago. And I've never told this story to anyone."

Wil was sure he knew why it seemed familiar, his demon had memories of similar experiences. It wasn't possible that Alex and his demon knew of each other. It had been too long ago. But still....

"Alex? What were your friends names?"

"Well, the witch turned demon was Wills, Willow. Tara, her girlfriend was also a witch, G-man or Giles as the others called him was the owner of the magic shop, Anya - that was the girl I was to marry, and then Buffy and Dawn. Buffy was..."

"The slayer, and Dawn was the key. It's not possible. It can't be."

Wil got up and started to pace. Alex watched him with shock and bewilderment. How did Wil know about Buffy and Dawn? No one knew about Dawn.

"How? Wil how do you know about Buffy and Dawn?"

Wil stopped pacing. He looked at Alex.

"Is Alex your real name?"

"No. I changed it. I was going to change it to Heywood Jablowme but strangely enough it was already taken. So I went with Alex La Velle. Why? And what does this have to do with Buffy and Dawn?"

"Alex La Velle? Oh my...Alexander lavelle Harris. Xander Harris. It is you! How? It can't be, you should be old."

"Wil, you're starting to freak me out here. How do you know me? I haven't gone by Xander Harris in thirty years."

"It's a long story, you won't like it and when I finish telling you....well, you'll probably hate me. But first let me show you something that you might recognize."

With that said, Wil took off his glasses, lifted his hair off his forehead and showed Alex his scarred eyebrow. Alex paled and reached out to touch it.

"Spike?"

"William. I havn't been Spike in thirty years, the demon has receeded completely, he doesn't even talk to me anymore. I'm sorry Alex, I didn't recognize you from it's memories, you look so different and you're still young."

"How? How did this happen, did Spike get cursed with a soul? Oh God! Willow! She did this to him didn't she!"

"No, actually he did it to himself. As I said it's a long story. I understand if you wish to leave, to not see me anymore. I know how you feel about vampires and the one that inhabited this body in particular."

"No, I'd like to hear what happened. I came here looking for Spike actually, I'd like to know what happened to him."

Wil told Alex about the last night Spike spent in Sunnydale, how he had attacked Buffy and then ran scared. How he went to Africa to have his chip removed. About being gifted with a soul, not cursed. He told Alex how he had woken scared and alone in a dank cave with a demon looking down on him. He told him of his years wandering, hunting animals for survival. About how he came back here to find Buffy and Dawn, to explain to them about his demon.

"And when I saw the graves, it was like something broke inside of me. The demon - Spike - howled in rage and loss, it went on for hours. I went home just before dawn and slept. When I awoke that evening Spike was silent. I havn't heard from the demon since. He is broken, damaged. It-he truely did love the slayer, it just didn't know how to love her the way she needed."

Alex sat in silence for a long time. He had come here to find Spike and he had....sort of. He really liked Wil, he was seriously thinking of staying in town for some time just to be with him. But now, it was strange, different. Wil was William, before 'the bloody' he was a gentle soul residing in Spikes' body. Or was it his body? He had it first after all. It was confusing.

"Can you still....grrr?"

"Grrr? Oh you mean change faces. Yes I can."

"Would you? I mean...I'd like to see."

Wil removed his glasses once again and bowed his head, when he looked back up at Alex it was with the demons face. Alex reached out and ran his fingertips gently across the brow ridges and down to the sharp fangs protruding from Wils' mouth.

Wil held perfectly still while Alex touched his demon face. It was a strange sensation. He had never had anyone touch him like this, it was...nice. He felt slight vibrations rumbling through his chest, then he began to hear a sound. Alex must have heard it too for he withdrew his hand and smiled.

"I made you purr. Wow!"

Wil ducked his head in embarassment and shifted back to his human face. Alex put a finger under Wils' chin and lifted his face to meet him.

"Hey, don't be embarassed. I'm flattered. I always wanted to make a vampire purr."

"You what? But you hate vampires!"

"Nah, not all of them. I like some, I've met a few since leaving Sunnydale that I haven't wanted to stake. Never kissed one before though. You were my first."

Wil spluttered and blushed, Alex chuckled at him and smiled.





Part Three



Alex took a good look at the vampire in front of him, he could now see the resemblence between Wil and Spike. He wondered how he had missed it before. The eyes were a dead give away. Everything else was different though. The hair, while still blonde was a darker shade and it was longer, and curly. The accent and the glasses were pure William, Spike was too cocky and arrogant to wear glasses or show how well educated he was. It was strange, looking into Wils eyes and seeing Spike there as well.

Alex could now admit to himself that he had always found Spike to be somewhat attractive, not that he would have ever, under any circumstances, wanted to have any sort of relationship with him. Spike was not his type. Too callous, and hello? Evil. But Wil wasn't Spike, was he?

"So Spike is gone?"

"Not gone persay, dormant. He is lost to me, I cannot reach him but he is still there."

"Does it bother you that he seems to be .... damaged?"

"Very much so. He was all I had for the first couple years. His memories were what allowed me to function in this strange new world. I grew to understand him, his existance, why he was the way he was. Alot of it was due to my influence on him."

"How?"

"When the demon possesses the body, the memories and personality of the host body are integrated into its being. That is how the demon has knowledge, the ability to pass for human, to read, write, drive a car, etc. Spike remembered being gentle, walked all over, scorned and hurt. I was a bit pathetic when I was alive. A 'wanker' as he called me. Angelus took great pleasure in reminding him how weak he was because of the man I had been. Spike became hard, cruel, a monster in order to survive Angelus. Also to prove his worth, that he was worthy of his Sire's attentions. Dru was the world to him. All he wanted was to prove he was better than Angelus, so she would look at him the she looked at Angelus. He never got what he wanted from her, he was always second best even after Angelus got cursed. He thought he'd gotten his second chance with Buffy, that she would chose him over Angel."

"That's harsh. No wonder he was such a bastard."

"Yes, well. When we learned of her death, he knew it was over for him. He would never be found worthy of love from anyone. His Sire had abandoned him, Bufy had spurned him, he'd left town a broken and bitter demon. He wanted the chip out so he could bury his pain under anger, it was the only real way for him to cope with rejection. He asked the demon to make him the man he once was. He should have known better, demons can rarely be trusted. He had to endure a series of tests, a fight to the death with a flame-fisted humanoid, another fight with a two-headed demon, and then a swarm of beetles invading this body. He passed out, and then I Woke up."

"And you have no memories of what happened between the time you died and when you woke in that cave?"

"No, at first I thought I was in hell. I remembered the demon - Drusilla - draining my blood, and then this heavy feeling. The next thing I know I'm in a dark damp place with a very large, very ugly demon staring down at me."

"What did you do?"

"What else? I screamed my bloody head off!"

Will smiled at Alex and they both cracked up laughing. It was good, they needed a tension breaker.

"So, what did you do before coming to Sunnydale?"

"I wandered. I hunted animals, great fun that was! Ever try to catch a wild boar? Not easy."

"Nope, but I ate a live pig once, it was in a cage. I was possessed at the time."

"You'll have to tell about that sometime. I bet it's an interesting story."

"You have no idea. Buffy didn't find it so interesting though. But that can wait, I want to hear about you and Spike."

"Alright. Where was I then? Oh right, wandering. Well, I spent about two years wandering around. I stayed in Africa for the first year, then Spike convinced me to go to the states. It made sense, I could get blood alot easier in here. He tried to talk me into going to Angel, but I refused. There was no way I was takilng any chances on Angelus knowing of my existance. As I understand it, his soul isn't permanent and he has already lost it twice. Is this correct?"

"Big yep on that one. Angelus is soooo not someone I want to meet up with again. Especially in my current condition."

"About that, I was wondering what exactly Willow cursed you with. If you don't mind me asking."

"Not at all. You keep my secret and I'll keep yours, deal?"

"Deal."

"I can't die. Well yeah, I can. I can't stay dead is more apropriate. I have, embarrassingly, died quite a few times. I just keep waking up. I also have the gift of terrible lonliness, I'm forced to seek company, make friends. Then, I get to watch them die. Lucky me huh?"

Wil didn't know what to say. He was stunned by this, all of the demons memories of Willow were of a sweet, shy girl who was extremely protective of her friends. He knew about her magic addiction but never thought she had it in her to be cruel. It was very distressing. He felt awful for Alex. He could understand why he wouldn't want Angelus to know of his condition, he would be most likely tortured and killed every night for eternity. Angelus was a sick bastard.

"I'm sorry Alex. I didn't mean to...hurt you?"

"It's okay. At least you're sort of in the same boat. Being immortal and all."

"I guess I am at that.

"So, there's no clause to your soul? You won't be lost if you ah...get a happy?"

"No, no clause. As I said, Spike was gifted with a soul - me - not cursed. I'm here to stay."

"Good to know. Not that I'm glad Spike is gone, I will miss him, I guess. But I'm glad that I have a chance to get to know you, Wil. I really like you, alot."

Alex placed his palm on the side of Wils' face and then slowly brought their mouths together in a soft sweet kiss. Wils' hand came up and cupped the back of Alex' head and deepened the kiss slightly. When they parted, Alex smiled at Wil and stood up. He offered his hand to the shy vampire and grinned when he took it. They began walking toward Wils' shop.





Part Four



Alex walked Wil back to his shop, they went inside and talked for a while. It was a bit akward at first as Alex kept searching for Spike in Wils' eyes. Eventually he realized what he was doing and stopped.

"I'm sorry Wil, this is just a bit strange. I hadn't really expected to find Spike here, it's been thirty years after all. And then I meet you, and I start to think about sticking around to get to know you better, only to find out that you're Spike, but not Spike. You're Wil."

"I understand Alex, it is a shock. My demons memories of you are so different from the man I have spent the last couple days with. I never would have known you were....Xander, either."

They spent the next few minutes silently contemplating their unusual situation. Finally Wil spoke.

"Alex, can I ask you something?"

"Sure."

"Have you always been gay?"

Alex laughed out loud and Wil looked almost affronted.

"No, well sort of. Xander was very...."

"Very much into denial?"

"That's one way of putting it. I guess I've always admired guys, but I never actively persued those thoughts. Not until I got a girl pregnant. I realized then just how cruel Willow had been in her curse. I can still father children, Wil. I can watch them grow up, get married, have children, grandchildren, and die. Over and over and over. It's the cruelest fate she could give me. Wills knew I always wanted a family."

"Oh Alex, I'm so sorry. What...what happened to the woman you....."

"She had a miscarriage. I haven't bedded a woman since then."

"How long ago was that?"

"Twenty two years ago. I've had a total of three lovers in the past twenty two years, and all of them were men. Does that bother you?"

"No. Not at all, it's just.... I've never...."

"But Angel..."

"Angelus. And that was Spike. And it wasn't exactly consentual, it was dominance."

"Oh. So does that mean you don't want to....?"

"No. It just means that I haven't before, and you'll have to be patient with me."

Alex smiled at Wil and was relieved to have it returned.

"I have all the time in the world."

"As do I."

"So, we take this slowly. One day at a time."

"Yes, but.....could you kiss me again? Please?"

"Be more than happy to."

This kiss was more than the previous ones. It was full of passion and promise. It went on and on until finally, Alex drew back to catch his breath.

"Gods Wil, I could kiss you forever."

"Yes, you could."

Alex couldn't help the unmanly giggle that escaped his mouth, the truth was he could actually kiss Wil forever. It was funny. And it was exactly what was needed to break the atmosphere of lust that had enveloped them both. If they were going to take their time, they needed to be more careful.

"I should go, Wil. You have to open the shop in the morning and I was planning on looking for work since I'll be staying in town, that and maybe find a nicer place than the motorlodge."

"Yes, that's probably a good idea. We don't want to get too carried away. I'm happy that you've decided to stay Alex."

"Me too, Goodnight Wil."

"Goodnight. Alex? Will I see you tomorrow?"

"Oh yeah. Definately."

Wil leaned in and gently kissed Alex goodnight. After Alex left, Wil touched his face and wondered at the sensation of whisker burn around his mouth. He had never kissed a man with a beard before, he'd never kissed a man before. But even Spike had no memory of kissing a man with a beard. Will rather liked it. He locked the door and went upstairs to his apartment to sleep. He hoped he would dream about Alex.

Alex walked back to the hotel in a daze. It was amazing that in a Sunnydale without a slayer he made it back unharmed. But he did. He was still stunned that Wil was Spike. Well not Spike but William. It was still confusing. He didn't care though. Wil may be a vampire - sort of - but he was still Wil, the sweet shy man that he had begun to fall for the first night he'd met him. The fact that it was Spikes' body that he had been holding, Spikes' lips that he had been kissing, Spikes' tongue that he had sucked into his mouth, none of that mattered now, they were all Wils' as well. Growing up in Sunnydale prepared you to accept the unacceptable and to embrace the unexplained.

The only thing was, the part of Alex that was still Xander missed the snarky arrogant vampire that Wil used to be and was saddened by the loss of him. Especially now that he knew how Spike really felt about Buffy. He felt bad for the way he had treated Spike and now he would never get to apologize.





Part Five



When Wil slept that night he dreamed about Alex, but they were more like memories than dreams. In the dreams Alex was different, he was clean shaven and had short hair, his dress sense has horrid and he was saying some very unpleasant things to him. It was most disturbing.

Wil woke up with the strangest sensation. He remembered the dream, only it wasn't a dream it was a memory. One of the demons memories of Xander. Odd that. He hadn't brought Spikes' memories to the surface in years, why now?

*Because you pillock, you just found out that the man you're smitten with is Xander Harris. Spikes' greatest annoyance.* Wil sighed, arguing with himself wasn't going to help. He wasn't the same man he used to be, why couldn't Alex be different? He knew what he was and wasn't repulsed by it, hells he even said he'd miss the demon-Spike. It was just a side effect of a traumatic night.

Wil lay back down and tried to sleep. He wished he could talk to Spike, let him know what happened to the slayer and her sister. He deserved to have the truth.

"Oh why the hell not! Spike? If you can hear me I'd like to tell you that I know how Buffy died, who was responsible."

Wil felt stupid talking outloud to a presence that was inside him but he didn't know what else to do. He continued talking, recalling the entire conversation between him and Alex, even the part about Alex and Xander being one and the same. When he was finished he felt both stupid and relieved. Stupid for talking to himself basically, and relieved because if the demon had heard him and understood, perhaps it would give him some measure of closure, or even bring him back from where ever it was it was hiding. Wil felt incomplete without Spike, like half a man.

When Wil fell back asleep he dreamed Spikes' memories again. He remembered the initiative, the pain the demon had been put through, the tortures and the starvings. He wanted to wake up, to not relive these things but he was trapped. He remembered every single thing that led the demon to fall in love with the slayer, its mortal enemy.

Wil watched the whole thing as if he were merely a spectator, he remembered the pain the lonliness, the gut wrenching dispair that drove him to Africa, that his only reason for being had turned him away and in his anger he had crossed a line that he swore he never would. He almost raped the woman he loved.

The years between the cave demon and coming back to Sunnydale went past in a blur. Time slowed once again to the night in the cemetary when he and his demon learned of the slayers death. Wil could hear the howling of the demon, could feel its rage and grief. It wanted to bring the world to its knees, to make everyone feel his pain as their own. And then Wil was left alone with his thoughts. The demon was silent. Just as it had been for the last twenty-eight years.

Wil woke up with a start. He was shivering and shaking, something vampires don't do. He remembered everything about his dream, he also felt.... different. Like something had changed within himself. It was time to get the shop ready to open, the wards had to be reset on a daily basis to keep him from frying in the sunlight that filtered in through the windows.

Wil showered, dressed, ate and then went downstairs to get the shop ready. After re-setting the wards, he put the cash drawer in the register, turned off the alarm and unlocked the door. He turned the open sign on above the door and waited for the first of the days customers to come in.

Alex got an early start that day, he wanted to find work and then an apartment. It would be wierd living in Sunnydale again but for the chance to be with Wil he was willing to put up with it.

Work hadn't been hard to find, with his skills in carpentry and construction he was hired at the second place he applied to, ammusingly enough it was the company he worked for all those years ago when he was still Xander Harris, donut boy extrordinarre. The next stop he made was the closest coffee shop so he could go through the classified ads.

While sipping his coffee and reading the reading the paper, Alex made a mental list of the things he would need to do once he found a place. Furniture, that was the first thing he'd have to aquire, unless he got a furnished apartment that is. Secondly, he would need to go by the storage company and make sure that Buffy and Dawns things were still there. He wondered if he should tell Wil that he still had possession of their things, maybe it would help Spike in some far fetched way to have something of Buffys'. Alex shook his head and sighed.

"Spike is gone, and he's not coming back. You heard what Wil said, he's damaged."

"Did you always talk to yourself Xander? Or is this a new thing?"

Alex looked up sharply at the woman standing in front of him. He could hardly believe it was her, he hadn't seen her in thirty years and he hadn't figured on every seeing her again.

"Anya?"





Part Six



Alex took a good look at the woman sitting across from him. It was her alright. Could his life get any stranger?

"Yes Xander, it's me."

"What are you doing here? What do you want? And it's Alex now, I haven't been Xander for a very long time."

"Alex. Hmmm, I like it. But not the beard, I'm glad you didn't have one when we were together. The long hair is nice though."

"So glad to have your approval. Why. Are. You. Here?"

"I'm in town on business, sensed you here and thought we could chat."

"About what? In case you hadn't noticed, not real big on the hanging out with vengence demons thing."

"Oh, because of what Willow did? It's hardly fair to be mad at me. I didn't curse you. D'hoffryn wouldn't let me, remember?"

"And that makes me feel soooo much better."

"It should. If I had done it, I would have turned you into a troll, or horribly disfigured you. All Willow did was make you immortal."

"Go away Anya, I'm not in the mood for this."

"Fine. I'll just go pop in on Spike. I know he's here as well."

"NO! Leave him alone. Spike isn't......Spike anymore."

"Oh, right. The soul, I forgot about that. Lucky him, Willow had a much worse idea in mind for him. He's lucky that demon souled him first."

"What do you mean?"

"D'Hoffryn said that Since the soul had done nothing to wrong Willow, she was forbidden from wreaking vengence on him."

"Wow, that's good then. I mean for Spike, Wil. So...how is Willow? Still very much into the vengence?"

"Yes. She's very good at it. D'Hoffryn is very pleased with her work."

Xander sighed. He had hoped that Willow would realize the mistake she'd made. That somewhere deep inside she was still his best friend, the one he could always depend on. Aparently he was wrong. His Wills was gone.

"But she's okay?"

"Oh, yes. She's an excellent demon. Very creative. Why there was this one girl....."

"Stop! I don't want to know. She's not my Willow anymore. She's... I don't know what she is anymore."

"She was never yours Xand...Alex."

"I have to go Anya. I have places to be."

"Okay. It was nice seeing you again.... Alex. I hope I'll see you again before I leave."

"Yeah, sure."

And with that Anya was gone. No one seemed to notice that she just disappeared, such was life in Sunnyhell. Xander folded up his paper, gulped the rest of his luke-warm coffee and headed out to find an apartment. But first he was going to see Wil. He needed to warn him about Anya being in town. It couldn't be a good sign, his life was just starting to look up and wham! Vengence demon.

As he was heading to Wils' store, Alex kept thinking about what Anya said. Spike had been spared from Willows' vengence only because he had been given a soul. He wondered what Willow had planned to do to Spike, it would have to have been pretty bad if being given a soul was preferable to what she had planned. As far as vampires' were concerned, being souled was a fate worse than death.

What had happened to Willow to make her that hard, that cruel. It couldn't have just been Taras' death, they had all lost loved ones before, hell, Buffy had to kill Angel and send him to hell! You didn't see her going all vengence demon on everyone. And Buffy had every reason to want Xander to suffer, he lied to her, kept quiet about the fact that Willow was trying to re-soul her lover. There had to be another reason why Wills had turned to D'Hoffryn.

Wil had been feeling out of sorts all morning. He was impatient, insolent, and rather rude to one man who had asked after a book on angels. He didn't know what was wrong whith himself and frankly he just wanted to close up the shop and go back to bed.

Wil tried to ignore his seeming mental breakdown, he chocked it up to having a terrible night and tried to let it go. It wasn't easy. He was glad that it was turning out to be a rather slow day for business. He really wanted to just go back upstairs, or perhaps call Alex and talk with him. He felt perhaps he could help him make sense of what was happening to him.

When Alex arrived at the shop he saw Wil standing at the counter, eyes closed and a look of fierce consentation of his face. He walked over and stood behind him. Alex rested his hand on Wils' shoulder and spoke softly in his ear.

"Hey, what's up?"

Wils' eyes didn't open, in fact he didn't move all, but when he spoke.... thirty years seemed to melt away and Alex was left standing in muted shock.

"What the bloody hell do you want Harris?"

The voice, the accent, it wasn't Wil at all. It was harsh, cockney, arrogant, it was...

"Spike?"

And then the world turned black.





Part Seven



When Alex came to, Wil was crouched beside him, a worried expression on his face. Alex scooted away and looked at the vampire very carefully.

"Wil?"

"Yes, Alex. It's me. What happened?"

"Spike. Spike was here."

"How, when? I - I don't understand."

Alex sighed and ran a hand through his hair. How do you tell someone that their demon is popping out to say hello after a thirty year absence?

"I don't know Wil, I came here to warn you about Anya and when I got here you were just standing behind the counter, eyes closed and jaw clenched. I spoke to you and then Spike said 'What the bloody hell do you want Harris?' and then I guess I fainted, pretty girly of me, and then you were here when I opened my eyes."

Wil stood and began to pace, this was unexpected. Sure he missed his demon, wanted to be able to interact with him again, but if he was unaware of Spikes' presence how could he control him?

"Hold on, did you say Anya was here?"

"Yeah, I ran into her earlier. She's in town on business."

"Lovely, just what Sunnydale needs, another demon."

"That's what I was thinking too. She wants to see me again before she leaves."

"Do you.... Are you.... I mean it's Anya."

"Gods no! I mean yeah, I was gonna marry her at one point but she's not who I want to be with. I want you Wil."

"Even with Spike popping out at random intervals?"

"Could be interesting. Be kinda funny to see how he'd react to finding himself kissing me."

"You, have a truely wicked streak in you."

Alex grinned at Wil.

"You don't know the half of it yet."

Alex stood and walked toward Wil. He reached a hand out and gently pulled the other man toward him. He brushed his lips over Wils' before pulling away slightly.

"Someday, soon I hope, you'll get to see just how truely wicked I really am."

"Yes, I -I'd like that. But I think, until I can sort out this Spike thing, that we should continue to wait."

"Of course. I told you, no rush."

Alex left soon after that to finish his quest for an apartment. Wil continued to work, not having any more strange bouts of anger or impatience. He chalked it up to Spikes' influence earlier and left it at that. He was troubled however at how the demon would react to his relationship with Alex. Spike was not against having sex with humans, or even males for that matter, it was the fact that Wil was falling in love with Alex - Xander - that would be the problem.

Alex finally found a decent apartment, it was partially furnished and had a fridge, stove, microwave, and a dishwasher. All he needed was bedroom furniture. He thought about taking some of Buffy's things from storage but decided against it. He didn't want to be reminded of that time in his life while laying in bed at night, hopefully with Wil at some point. He wondered if the vampire would still be able to smell Buffy and Dawn on their belongings, as far as Alex knew, no one else had touched any of it in thirty years.

Alex phoned the storage company and made arrangements to come by the following evening after dusk. He would ask Wil if he wanted to accompany him when he saw him later tonight. For now, he just wanted to get some dinner and see how Wil was doing. Not necesarrily in that order.

When Alex entered the book store that evening, things were a bit tense between him and the vampire. Alex was dreading bringing up the trip to the storage area tomorrow, he didn't know what it would do to Wil, or to Spike for that matter. He hoped it wouldn't make things worse.

WIl was afraid that Spike would take over again and hurt Alex. With the chip not working, he would have nothing stopping him. His only comfort was the fact that Spike hadn't seemed to realize he was unchipped when he had popped out earlier. Wil was assuming that the demon had supressed the memories of the slayers death, that and the past thirty or so years. If that were the case, Alex would be safe for now, but what would happen when Spike remembered?

"Hey Wil."

"Good evening Alex, did you have any luck finding a flat?"

"Yeah, not too far from work either. I need to get some furniture but otherwise it's okay."

"That's good."

There was a long stretch of uncomfortable silence before Alex finally spoke up.

"Uh, look Wil. I ah, I made an appointment to go by the storage warehouse tomorrow night. I have Buffys' things, hers and Dawns, and I guess Joyces' as well. I kept everything, I don't know why but I did. Do you want to go with me?"

Wil looked at Alex, but didn't speak. He wasn't sure why Alex wanted him to go. If it was for moral support he could understand, but there seemed to be something else on Alexs' mind when he asked.

"Why?"

"Why what?"

"Why are you asking me to come with you? Do you need emotional support or is it something else?"

"Both. I would ask you regardless but I was thinking of Spike as well. I thought it might help, you know?"

Wil did know. It was actually a very good idea, perhaps Spike would respond to being around the slayers things. Anything had to be better than having him 'pop out' unexpectedly.

"I will go with you."

"Wil? Is something wrong? You seem kinda.... distant."

" I'm sorry Alex, I don't mean to sound so distant I'm just having somewhat of an identity crisis."

"Because of what happened today, with Spike?"

"Precisely. For the last twenty-eight years I've been alone, I've missed his company. I thought that I would never feel him again, never be able to talk with him. You wouldn't understand the connection I feel to him, you couldn't possibly."

"No, I couldn't. But I'd like to hear about it. Will you tell me?"

Wil thought about talking to Alex, he might be the only person who could possibly understand what Wil had to deal with as he knew the demon personally.

"Alright, but not here. Would you come upstairs with me?"





Part Eight



Alex and Wil settled in on the couch in the vampires' apartment. Wil took a deep unneeded breath and began.

"Alright, you know a lot about vampires and how they incorporate their human hosts memories into themselves right?"

Alex nodded but remained silent.

"Right, well that's kind of what happened with Spike and myself. When I died the demon took over and used my memories to make a place for himself in this world. He knew everything I knew plus what was instinctual to its species. When I awoke in that cave, I knew only that I had died and was now looking into the face of a monster. I knew who I was, I had all my own memories but knew nothing of the demon that had inhabited my form for the past century. It was Spike who taught me how to get by in this new world, how to fit in. I assimilated his knowledge into myself much the way a vampire does to its host."

Wil stood and began to pace as Alex sat and waited for him to continue.

"When we came back here, when we learned what had happened, I lost a part of myself. Angel and Angelus are polar opposites they fight each other for dominance, both trying to pretend the other doesn't exist. Spike and I co-exsisted almost peacefully. Those years with the chip had mellowed him somewhat, he was a pleasant companion when he wasn't trying to drive me out of mind. Did you know he can sing every song the Sex Pistols every recorded? Well he can, I had the pleasure of hearing them over and over on our trip back to the States."

Alex couldn't help the chuckle that escaped him. He remembered Spikes' singing very well.

"Yeah, I lived with him. I know. It was his only form of torture left, he used it quite well. He had a real nice voice when he tried though, when he thought noone could hear him."

"Yes I agree. I was always too shy to perform in public but I loved to sing when I was alone. I guess it was one of the traits he inherited from me. But I should continue with the point I was making. The night that Spike fell silent, after we had screamed out all the rage and hurt that he felt, I began to lose those memories, those comforts. I had to actively search for information where as before it was all right there. I can only assume that Spike opened his mind to me willingly and when he shut down it shut down with him. That's one of the reasons I didn't recognize you. Spike would have known you by scent alone, I had no recollection of your scent anymore."

Wil sat next to Alex again and took his hand.

"I miss my demon, Alex. I don't feel complete without him but I am afraid."

"Because of me?"

"Because of what Spike might do to you. He and Xander were never friends, but you know that."

"I do. But I'm not Xander, not anymore. I grew up, I changed. Christ Wil, I came here looking for Spike. Is that something Xander would have done?"

"No. I see your point Alex, but I still worry."

"Hey, it's not like he can kill me. Well okay, he could. But I won't stay dead."

"That is hardly the point! I don't know how you can be so...... "

"Relax Wil, I'm just trying to lighten the mood a bit. I understand why you're afraid, I won't tell you that I'm not, a chipless Spike is the stuff of nightmares. But I like you, alot. I want to be with you, and I don't care if Spike has a problem with that. If he has a problem with us as a couple then he will just have to close his eyes and plug his ears when we're together."

Wil smiled at Alex and pulled him closer. He kissed him gently and then drew back.

"You realize, that Spike and I share a body don't you? I'll look pretty silly with my fingers in my ears and my eyes screwed shut everytime we're together."

"I meant in a metaphorical sense."

"You really have changed. Xander wouldn't ever use that word let alone use it properly."

"Ha ha, I'm insulted really."

Alex and Wil spent the remainder of the evening at Wils' apartment. They talked some more about Alexs' past and Wil began to realize that Alex was as far from Xander as he was from Spike. Hopefully Spike would relize this as well and there would be no problems with his and Alexs' relationship.

As the night drew on Alex reluctantly got ready to leave. He wished that Wil was ready for a more physical relationship, he deserately wanted to touch Wil with out a layer of clothing between them. Tonight was the most they had ever touched without the vampire pulling away shyly. But as much as Alex was ready to take Wil to bed, he knew the other man wasn't there yet.

"I have to go Wil."

"I wish you didn't."

"I do. I want you too much to stay. I told you I wouldn't rush you, and I meant it."

"I understand, I wish I could tell you I was ready for this but I'm not yet."

"I know, and I'm okay with that. Can I kiss you again before I go?"

"Please do."

They kissed until Alex had to pull away for fear of not being able to stop. Both men were extremely aroused and knew they had to stop. Wil walked Alex downstairs and let him out the front door of the shop before heading back up to his apartment.

Once inside Wil stripped off and climbed into the shower. He stood under the hot water and thought about Alex and the way his hands felt as the touched him, the way he kissed him with such passion, he whispered his name as he brought himself to climax. If it weren't for Spike and his sudden reappearance, Wil would have asked Alex to stay the night. He was ready, but he needed time for Spike to come to terms with it before he took the next step.

Alex got back to the hotel in record time, it would be his last night there. He could still taste Wil in his mouth, he was still hard and was desperate for release. He drew a bath and climbed in, that was one thing he wouldn't miss about the hotel - the shower had no water pressure at all.

Alex lay back in the hot water and thought about Wil as he stroked his painfully hard erection. It didn't take long for him to bring himself off. He climbed out of the tub, dried off and collapsed on the bed. Tomorrow was going to be hell, he only hoped that the trip to the storage locker would help Spike. He suspected that Spike was the reason Wil wasn't ready to be with him and he wanted to do anything he could to help.





Part Nine



Alex spent most of the next day shopping for furniture and moving into his new place. It was nothing special but it wasn't a dump either. He wanted to see Wil to find out how he was doing, if there were any new Spike developments, but he waited. He would see him tonight as it were and he didn't want to crowd the man.

Wil had woken up after a restless sleep. His dreams were filled with erotic images of Alex, naked and spread out on his bed. He could practically feel the heat encasing him as he thrust into his body. It was extremely pleasurable, but difficult to go to sleep afterwards. He wished he could take Alex to bed, but Spike was holding him back. He didn't want to run the risk of having the demon come out in the middle of their love-making. Hopefully, he could get this situation with Spike sorted before he went insane from desire.

Wil spent the day as he always did, working in the shop, signing for the deliveries, and more recently fantasizing about Alex. He couldn't help the smile that graced his face when he saw his love interest crossing the street toward his store, nor could he help the blush that spread across his face as he was instantly bombarded with images from his dreams. ~ Alex naked, sweaty and writhing beneath him, Alex draped over him as he pounded him into the bed, the two of them simultaneously tasting each other. ~

Wil opened his eyes to see Alex smiling at him, he blushed even further at being caught.

"Hey Wil, how are you?

"I'm good. Did you get settled into your flat today?"

"Yep, bought furniture and everything. You just about done here?"

"Yes, just waiting for Mrs. Thomas over there to figure out that she bought that book last month. Poor things getting a bit senile."

Alex looked over and saw the old woman at the shelf of ancient religion texts. He shook his head, it wasn't often you saw a person of her age in Sunnydale. Old people were an easy meal to alot of demons, and Alex wondered if she was aware of the towns other residents. It would explain her longevity.

Wil approached the elderly woman and conversed quietly with her for a few moments. He walked her to the door and said goodbye to her. He turned off the open sign and locked the door, when he turned around Alex was right there.

"I've been wanting to do this all day."

Alex pulled Wil into his arms and kissed him. Wil kissed him back with all the pent up sexual tension he had been under since Alex had left the night before. Alex left Wils mouth and trailed kisses along his jaw, across his chin and then down to the column of his neck. Wil tilted his head back to give the other man better access.

Alex couldn't help but moan his pleasure as Wils hand crept up under his shirt and began to caress his skin. He returned the gesture by tugging at Wils shirt until it was untucked from his pants. Alex continued to kiss and suck at Wils neck as he explored the skin of the vampires back. He was so hard it was almost painful. Will untied the cord that held Alexs' hair back and ran his fingers through the long silky locks. Alex groaned against Wils neck, he loved having his hair played with.

Wil was in heaven, he was sure of it. Not in over a century had he been touched this way, even when he was human his sexual experiences were limited to a few groping sessions with a friends cousin, and a whore that had taken a liking to him once and gave him a freebie. Being touched by Alex was like nothing he'd ever experienced. He wanted more.

Standing by the shop door in full view of anyone who passed by the open blinds on the front window, they made quite a sight. Alex had managed to undo Wils shirt and was running his hands along the vampires well defined chest as he kissed his way back to Wils mouth. Wil had nearly shredded Alexs' T-shirt in his enthusiasm to get it off him. Neither man was thinking about anything other than how much they wanted each other. As Alexs' hand found the button to Wils trousers, he was pulled up short by an outraged shriek.

Both men turned to see who was there only to see an extremely irate vengence demon standing before them. Wil hastliy began rearranging his clothes as Alex sighed in defeat and Glared at Anya.

"What do you want Anya? Can't you see I'm busy?"

"You - you were kissing Spike! Why were you kissing Spike? Is he the reason you stood me up at the alter? Are you gay? Why didn't you tell me?"

Alex carefully pulled his hair back and retied it before addressing Anya.

"I was kissing Wil, not Spike. I was doing it because I wanted to, because he wanted me to and because he is the sexiest man I've ever met. No, I did not stand you up because of Spike, I didn't even like Spike back then. Yes I am gay, bisexual actually, and it's none of your business. Does that cover everything? Because I'd really like to go back to what I was doing before you interrupted."

Anya looked at Alex in shock, Xander would never have kissed a vampire, souled or not, and Xander didn't like men. Whatever had happened to Xander these past thirty years had changed him, and she didn't like it one bit.

"Fine, I'm going. But you just remember this Alexander Harris, I was ready to forgive you for standing me up, and I was willing to take you back. Now I'm not. You've lost your chance with me."

"Okay. Bye Anya."

Anya disappeared in a flash of light and Alex and Wil were left standing there looking at each other.

"Kinda ruined the mood huh?"

"I would say so, and it's likely just as well. Things were getting a bit out of hand, wouldn't you say?"

"Yes, but I'm not sorry, I liked touching you."

"I liked you touching me as well."

Alex smiled at Wil.

"We should head out. We're expected at the storage place in half an hour."

"Very well, let me just get my keys."





Part Ten



The drive over was quiet, both men were wondering if this excursion would help Spike or make things worse. Alex was really hoping it would help Spike. He couldn't believe how close he and Wil had come to having sex before Anya showed up. He wasn't sure if he should be angry with her or thankful to her. He had said he wouldn't rush Wil, and he knew that the vampire wanted to wait until after he'd gotten Spike sorted. But damn it, he wanted him.

Wil kept replaying the scene from the shop over and over. He was quite miffed that Anyanka had shown up. He was quite enjoying the feel of Alexs' hands on him, his mouth doing sinfully pleasurable things to him and he wanted it to go on forever. It was probably for the best, but he was still angry. He just wanted everything to be right so that he could make progress with his relationship with Alex. It was everything he had wanted since he decided to allow himself companionship. Alex was a good person, he was funny and caring, he knew about demons and accepted who and what he was. He wanted to be with him, regardless of the Spike factor, and best of all he was immortal, he wouldn't die and leave Wil all alone.

As they drew closer to the storage warehouse Alex reached for Wils' hand. He gave it a gentle squeeze and pulled the car to a stop.

"Whatever happens in there, I want you to know, I still want you. If Spike comes out and goes a little psycho, don't blame yourself okay? This was my idea, and I still think it's a good one."

"I admit I am a bit afraid of what he'll do. Do you suppose the owner will be around or will he just leave us alone? I'd rather we do this in privacy."

"I'll tell him to go away then. You ready?"

"No. But lets get on with this. The sooner we go in...."

"The sooner we find out if it helps."

Alex parked the car and went to the small on-site office and knocked on the door. He waited while the man fumbled around looking for the keys to his locker area.

"I'm surprised that we still have a key for that one, no one's been near it in thirty years. How did you fall into possession of all this junk?"

"My father, Alexander Harris, passed away and left it to me."

The man shook his head and smiled at Alex.

"Sorry to hear that. But I think you got shafted, nothing in there but old furniture and boxes."

"All the same, I'd like to see it. Would you mind leaving me and my... friend alone for a while? I'll let you know when we're done."

"No problem."

Alex and Wil followed the man to the back of the warehouse, they watched as he unlocked the door and turned back to them.

"Just drop by the office on your way out. If you want any of it, let me know when you'll be back for it."

Alex nodded and the man walked away. As soon as the manager was out of sight, Alex pulled Wil to him and kissed him.

"You ready?"

"No, but I think I need to do this."

"Come on then, lets go in."

They walked into the large sized room and just stood there. Now that they were there, Alex had no idea of what to do. Wil was just standing there, eyes closed and hands balled into fists.

"Hey, you okay?"

"Yeah, just trying to see if Spike is sensing anything."

"Don't force it, Wil. Just let what ever happens happen, okay."

"You're right. Perhaps we should look around a bit."

They began sifting through the boxes closest to them, Most of the stuff in them belonged to Joyce, Alex remembered helping Buffy pack up her mothers things a week after the funeral. It was a very sad time in his life as well. Joyce was like the ultimate mother, she cared for them all, even Spike would go to her to talk when he had a problem. His own mother was nothing when compared to Joyce. He missed her, alot.

Wil had found a box of Dawns' things, he looked at the photo albums and diaries and wondered if he should open them or not. He thought back on what Alex had told him, that Dawn just ceased to be, blinked out of exsistance. He was glad that she had left something of herself behind. Perhaps she would not mind if he just looked at the pictures.

Wil picked up the book on the top of the pile and sat down to look at it. He opened the cover and smiled at the first picture. It was one of Dawn and Xander, they were both smiling and dripping water. In the back ground was Buffy, bone dry and holding a hose. She was smiling as well. It was a beautiful picture, he wanted to show it to Alex.

"Alex, come look at this."

Alex walked over and crouched down beside Wil.

"Oh wow. Did I ever look like that? It seems so long ago. Gods they were beautiful."

"Yes, they were. I found Dawns diaries as well. Do you suppose we should take them?"

"Yeah, I think we should. I'd like to look at them, I don't think she would mind."

They sat and finished looking at the pictures. Wil set aside the box to go with them when they left. Alex dug a little deeper into the room, he remembered something that he had forgotten until just now, somewhere in here was a trunk that he desperately needed to find. It was the one thing he was sure Spike would want. He let out a triumphant whoop when he finally found it.

Wil heard Alex shout and went to investigate, when he found him he stopped dead in his tracks. There in Alexs' hands was Spikes' leather coat, his duster.

The world faded around him and Wil was inundated with images and memories. He remembered taking the coat from the still warm body of the slayer he'd just killed. He remembered a thousand nights of blood and sex that surrounded that coat. He remembered the last time he had seen it. The night he'd tried to rape Buffy and had fled from her home leaving it behind. He hadn't even realized he was screaming until Alex took him in his arms and held him.

"Oh Wil, I'm so sorry. Please be okay. Please."





Part Eleven



Alex rocked the distraught vampire until he was limp in his arms. He lifted him gently and carried him out to the car. After laying him on the back seat he retrieved the duster and the box of Diaries and photo albums. Alex stopped by the office and told the manager that he was leaving, that he was taking the box and the coat and would call if he wanted to come by for anything else.

Wil was still asleep in the back when Alex got in the car. He drove to his new place as he didn't feel right going into Wils' apartment uninvited. Alex took Wil up to his apartment and set him down gently on the sofa before retrieving the box and the duster from his car. He hung the jacket in his hall closet, just in case leaving it out wasn't a good thing, and put the bow down in the corner of the living room. He picked up one of the diaries and looked at it, he decided to leave them for the time being, he wasn't ready to read them yet.

Alex picked up one of the other photo albums and sat in the recliner. He glanced over at Wil to see if there was any change in the vampire, there was none. He began thumbing through the book, the pictures were bringing everything back, thirty years seemed to melt away as he lost himself in memories. Pictures of Willow, when she was still his best friend in the whole world, Tara, the quiet shy girl who loved Wills more than anything else. Buffy and Dawn, were they always that beautiful? And Joyce. The most lovely woman he had ever known, it was no wonder her daughters were so special.

A lone tear made it's way down Alexs' cheek as he looked back on his past. He saw pictures of himself, ones of him and Anya, and ones of him and the girls. He looked happy, truely happy. He couldn't remember if he had ever been truely happy since then. He had been truely miserable, a wretched thing for a while there, just drifting about on the edges of humanity. He was glad to have these pictures, to have a reminder of a time when he was truely happy.

Wil was asleep, or rather in a state of unconciousness, he wasn't aware of where he was or what was going on around him. The last thing he remembered was seeing Spikes' coat, and then the images, the screaming and Alex holding holding him. He wished he could wake up, or something, he had no idea what was happening to him, where he was or what he was doing. Had Spike taken possesion of the body? Was he at this very moment doing horrid things to Alex? It was maddening not knowing.

Wil seemed to be trapped in his own mind, he was aware that he was thinking, that he was asking questions of himself, but when he tried to open his eyes, to see, he couldn't. His world was darkness. He hoped Alex was okay, that he was safe and that if the demon was loose, that it hadn't hurt anyone.

Spike woke up confused, he was in a strange place, with a strange looking man in the room and he couldn't remember how he got there. He stayed perfectly still, not wanting to draw attention to himself just yet. The man didn't seem to notice he was awake so he had a little time to think, to plan an escape. He was hungry though, he wished he could bite him, drain him and then he'd have no trouble at all.

As Spike thought about killing the man, he braced himself for the expected pain he always recieved. When it didn't come he grinned a truely evil grin and licked his lips. 'Oh yeah' he thought, 'the Big Bad is back!'.

Alex didn't even see the vampire move until it was too late. He found himself yanked to his feet and held tight as two razor sharp teeth embedded themselves in his throat. He knew this was a possibility, that Spike would try to kill him, probably succeed at it as well, but he didn't think it would actually happen.

As he began to lose conciousness Alex whispered to his executioner.

"Damn it Spike. You could have asked if you were hungry."

Spike let the body fall to the floor. He wiped his mouth on his sleeve and looked down at the man. He thought about what he had said. He could have asked? What the hell did that mean? Did they know each other?

Spike crouched down and examined the body closely, he leaned in and sniffed at the neck. His head shot up and he he backed away quickly. 'No, it can't be.' He thought. 'That can't be Xander Harris.' He tried to picture the man with out the beard, with shorter hair and brighter clothes.

"Aw, bugger. It is Xander. I just ate Xander Harris, yuck!"





Part Twelve



While Spike tried to figure out which alternate dimension he had ended up in, where Xander Harris had long hair, a beard and fashion sense, he wandered around the apartment and looked at things. It was a fairly nice flat, nothing special but not a dump. There were no girly things in the place at all so it was obvious he lived alone.

Spike picked up the photo album that had fallen to the floor when he pulled Alex out of his chair. It was full of pictures of the scoobies. "Well at least that hasn't changed." Spike sat down on the sofa and began looking through the book. He noticed right off that the pictures of Xander were pictures of the boy he remembered, not the wookie currently lying dead on the floor.

"So what the hell is this all about then?" Spike had considered leaving, going out and seeing what was what, but he decided he'd be best served by staying put, for now at least. He needed answers before running off half-cocked.

Things were strange here, he couldn't find anything he recognized on the telly, the telly itself was odd to begin with. It was thin and mounted on the wall. There were over five hundred channels and nothing familiar on at all. Not even a footie match. Spike did manage to find some beer in the fridge so he brought it out to the living room and sat on the sofa. He opened one of the cans and looked at the body again.

"Jesus mate, you really let yerself go didn't ya? Can't have that now can we?" Spike got up and went into the bathroom, he rummaged around in the medicine chest and finally found what he was looking for, a pair of scissors and a package of disposable razors.

Spike plopped himself down on the floor and looked at Alex. "You don't mind if I fix you up a bit now do ya, mate? I get bored right easy and yer dead and all, so why not eh?"

For the next couple hours, Spike amused himself by trimming and shaving Alexs' face, and cutting his hair. When he was finished he compared it to the pictures in the album. Spike had purposely left the hair a little longer than Xander had usually worn his. He sat back and admired his work.

"How is it that you don't look a day older than you do in those piccies, yet your hair looks like you'd been growing it fer years?" Spike rubbed his head and thought about it. He was getting as crazy as Dru, playing with dead bodies, talking to 'em even. "Bloody hell, what the hell have I gotten myself into this time?" Spike cleaned up the hair off the floor as he talked to himself.

Spike secured the windows in the apartment and flopped back down on the couch. He left Alex propped against the recliner and turned the TV back on. He flipped around for a while, finally leaving it on a channel that was playing a soft core porn movie. He watched as he drank the beer and tried to figure what to do next. He couldn't stay here, the body would start to smell soon not to mention that someone would come looking for him sooner or later. Spike fell asleep before he had made any real plans on what his next move would be.

When Alex woke up his neck was sore and so was his back. He stood slowly and stretched out his stiff muscles. He looked over at the vampire sleeping on his couch and wondered who it would be when he woke up. Alex stiffly made his way to the bathroom to relieve himself, one of the more unpleasant things about still being basically human. When he was finished he washed his hands and then looked up into the mirror.

"Spike! You undead asshole! You cut my fuckin hair?!" Alex ran out to the living room and pounced on the vampire on his couch. When blue eyes opened in shock, Alex waited for the vampire to speak before he ended up punching Wil instead of Spike. "What the fuck?! You're dead!"

Alex grinned and then hauled off and punched Spike full in the face. He climbed off of him and said. "Well so are you. Why the fuck did you cut my hair, Spike? I could have lived with out the beard, but I really liked the hair!"

Spike just gaped at Alex, he didn't know what the hell was going on. He could see the twin puncture marks in the boys neck, he knew it was the same Xander he killed the night before, but he didn't understand how. "Your dead" he whispered again. "I killed you."

Alex stopped and looked at the distraught vampire, his anger at losing his hair melted away at the look of confusion on Spikes face. He reminded Alex very much of Wil at that moment. Alex slowly aproached Spike and crouched in front of him. "Yes I was and yes you did. Thanks for that by the way, you know I really hate being vamp chow. Of all the ways to die, next to being fried by lightning that has to be the worst."

Spike continued to look at Alex funny. "Xander?" Spike asked as if it were somehow not true. Alex smiled. "I haven't been Xander in a very long time Spike, it's Alex now. Would you like me to tell you a story? It may take a while, and you won't like the ending, but I think you need to hear it."

Spike nodded and sat back on the couch. What he was about to hear was not going to be pretty. Alex just hoped that what ever was happening to the vampire, that Wil was okay and would come back to him. Alex began his story, "Well it all started about thirty years ago, the day Tara died......"





Part Thirteen



By the time Alex finished telling his story, Spike was stunned into silence. A soul? He had a soul? Where was it then? And how had he been lost for the last twenty-eight years. No, something was wrong here, he was in an alternate dimension or Harris and the witches were doing some kind of mind-fuck on him.

"No. I don't believe you. The slayers not dead, I don't have a soul, Dawn did NOT cease to exsist and Red is not a demon. I refuse to believe this. You've had yer fun, pulled yer prank on me now knock it the fuck off!"

Alex shook his head, this was not going right. How the hell was he supposed to convince Spike he was telling the truth? If only he could talk to Wil. He honestly had no idea how to convince Spike of anything, how was he going to keep him from leaving when the sun set? What would it do to Wil if Spike killed someone? "Spike, what's the last thing you remember?"

Spike thought long and hard, he wanted to say it was leaving Buffys' house after he had attacked her but he knew there was more. A thousand jumbled images tumbled through his mind. He saw a demon with glowing green eyes, a vast stretch of desert in the moonlight, the deck of a ship sailing across the ocean. It was confusing. "I - I don't know."

Alex watched as Spike tried to grasp what was happening to him. "Try Spike. Try to remember."

There was a train, then a bus, he was walking along the highway. He was sitting in the cab of a deisal truck with a large bearded man. The 'Welcome to Sunnydale' sign, the treasure, the slayers house. Spike tensed, he didn't want to know, he was afraid. "No, I don't to remember! Make it stop, makeitstopmakeitstopmakeitSTOP!"

Alex caught the vampire as he fell to the floor shaking and howling. He wished he knew how to help him, how to make it stop. "Shh, it's okay Spike, it's over now. Let it go, there's nothing you can do for them now, I was there and I couldn't stop her. You couldn't have either, she would have done something to you as well."

Spike remembered, he remembered everything now. The night in the cemetary where he howled for hours, the only thing that kept him from greeting the sun was.... "William."

"Yeah, Wil. I told you about him, remember? He lives in there now too. Can you feel him? Is he okay?" Alex couldn't help but push Spike a bit, he was very concerned about Wil.

Spike concentrated, twenty-eight years of Wils' memories flooded his brain, but it was only the past week that stood out in his mind. Spike payed close attention to those memories. Meeting Alex, kissing Alex, almost having sex with Alex. Alex had been very supportive of Wil, wanting to help get Spike better. Xander would never have done any of those things. Xander hated Spike, but Alex had come looking for him.

Spike shook his head, alternate dimensions had nothing on this one. This one was as strange as they got. His soul was falling in love with Alex, Xander. It was more than Spike was ready to deal with. He had killed his souls lover. How bloody ironic!

"Look Xander, er Alex. I need some time to think about all this. Could you leave me alone fer awhile?" Alex let go of Spike and helped him to his feet. "Sure, I ah, I start work tomorrow so I need to do some shopping. You want anything while I'm out?"

Spike gaped at the man in front of him. Alex was a hell of alot nicer than Xander ever was. "Well, unless yer gonna open a vein for me... again.... I could use some blood. Oh, an' I drank all the beer." Alex chuckled. "You know Spike, I was right. You would bite me if given the chance, told you I was very biteable, moist and delicious!" Alex grinned and walked toward his room. "Just let me change my clothes and I'll get out of your hair. "Biteable indeed, yer a real nummy treat, Harris."

The laughter from the bedroom made Spike frown. "What?" Alex returned to the livingroom in jeans and a blue shirt. "You said the exact same thing to me over thirty years ago Spike. Don't you remember? I had you tied to my chair?" Spike thought back recalled the conversation. "Oh, so I did. Guess somethings never go out of style" Alex chuckled. "Yeah, unlike your wardrobe."

Spike looked down at his outfit and made a face. He reached up and touched his hair, as he felt the loose curls he pulled his hand away sharply.

"Could use a pair o' jeans and some hair dye." Alex shook his head. "Uh uh. I like Wils' hair the way it is, and so does he. I'll see about the jeans though, maybe some hair gel?" "That'll do, thanks Xa... Alex."

Alex grabbed his keys and walked to the door. He turned back and looked at Spike. It was wierd, it looked like Wil but he could definately tell it was Spike. Wil was sweet, smart, shy and gentle. Where as Spike had always been tough, mean, scary and sexy as hell. You could see by the way the vampire held himself that this was not Wil. Alex was sure that if this was the vampire he had seen that first night in the cemetary he'd have recognized Spike right off.

"I'll be back in a couple hours, Spike. Make yourself at home."





Part Fourteen



After Alex left and Spike was sure he wasn't coming back right away he went over to the box in the corner and pulled out all of the photo albums. He sat on the floor, back against the wall and looked through them all. He could tell these were Dawns books by the comments written under some of the photos. He missed the girl terribly, she was always nice to him treated him like a person.

He set the photo albums aside and reached in the box for her diaries. He opened them all and looked at the dates, he wanted to read the one from the last year she was alive. That was the only one with real memories anyway. When he found it he closed his eyes and gathered his strength. He opened his eyes and began to read.

The book was full of teenage thoughts and ramblings. About how unfair life was, how much she missed her mom and resented her sister. Spike couldn't help but chuckle at some of the entries. She disliked Riley almost as much as he did. By the time he got to the night Willow had gone bad he was almost smiling. Then he read the passage.

Today Tara died, it was awful. I came home and no one was here, I found her on the floor of her and Willows room. She was dead. I was so scared, I sat in the corner for hours. Buffy and Xander found me, they told me Willow had gone bad, that she was using dark magic. Buffy insisted I couldn't go with her to find Willow so I asked her to take me to Spike. Xander got mad but she took me anyway. He was gone. I stayed with Clem but I really wanted Spike. He makes me feel safe you know? Next to Buffy he's the strongest person I know.

I tricked Clem into helping me find Racks place, he didn't want to but I can be pretty persuasive. Willow was there already, she tried to kill me. She was going to turn me back into the key. I was so scared until Buffy showed up. Willow transported us to the magic box and then they all started fighting.

Xander told me that Spike tried to rape Buffy. I couldn't believe it. He was like my hero, you know? I thought he was so cool, he was evil but not. Then I found out what he did, I don't know if I can forgive him for that.

Spike couldn't read any further. He closed the book and dropped it back into the box. He had let her down, he had let them all down. All he wanted was for Buffy to love him but he hurt her, he hurt all of them. He hung his head and cried, he cried for his beautiful slayer, for Dawn and for Tara. He cried for the girl Willow used to be before the magic destroyed her. He cried for the watcher, the most stubborn, ballsy man he'd ever met next to Angelus. And he cried for Xander, for the boy he was, who had to endure the death of every one he loved and not be allowed to join them.

Spike was drained, completely. He dragged himself to his feet and stumbled down the hallway to the bedroom. Once iside he flung himself onto the bed and curled up into a ball. He wanted to disappear again, let William exist in this body and just fade away into nothing, just like Dawn.

Spike closed his eyes and tried to sleep but Dawns words kept haunting him. She was gone and he would never get the chance to apologize, to explain how wrong he was. He would never get to make ammends to Buffy for hurting her, and then abandoning her. Regardless of what Alex had said, Spike still felt that he could have prevented this if he had been there. He should have been there.

Alex took his time shopping, he was in no hurry to return home. He needed the time to think, to figure out what was happening. His life was like a never ending episode of the 'Twilight Zone' he half expected to see Rod Sterling step out of the next aisle. This being Sunnydale, it was a very real possibility.

He purchased several pairs of jeans for himself and a sturdy pair of work boots. He wandered around the store looking at various things, avoiding the inevitable purchase of hair gel and jeans for Spike. It wasn't that he wasn't happy to see Spike, it was just that he wasn't sure what would happen with Wil now. Would he come back? Would he still want Alex or would Spikes influence drive a wedge between them?

Eventually Alex gave in and gabbed jeans and hair gel for Spike. He even went so far as to pick up a couple black t-shirts for the vampire as well. Alex made his way to the check out and paid for his purchases, he carried everything out to the car and put it in the trunk. He lit a cigarette, something he hadn't done much lately as Wil didn't smoke, and leaned against the car. He closed his eyes and just let the calming effect of the nicotine take over. When he finished smoking he got in the car and drove home wondering which vampire he'd find when he got there.





Part Fifteen



Alex let himself into his apartment quietly. He wasn't sure if the vampire would be awake or not, Wil had adopted human hours with running a shop and all but Spike would probably have crashed by now.

Alex emptied the bag from the butchers shop into the fridge and then took the rest of the bags into the living room. After setting everything on the sofa he went and looked in his bedroom to see if the vampire was in there.

Alex stood in the doorway and watched the sleeping form on the bed. He didn't know who was curled up in a little ball in the center of his bed, Wil or Spike? If it were Wil, he wouldn't hesitate on laying down beside him and wrapping his arms around him. He looked so miserable. But if it were Spike, he would likely get bitten for his trouble. But.... he did seem lonely, maybe it didn't matter so much who it was, everyone needed comfort didn't they?

Alex gave a resigned sigh and stripped off his jeans, he pulled on a pair of sweat pants and crawled into bed with the vampire. He figured if nothing else, Spike would be grateful for the heat he provided. And if it were Wil, then maybe they could cuddle when he woke up, possibly even make out a bit?

Alex knew he shouldn't be thinking about kissing Wil, touching Wil, being kissed and touched by Wil. He just couldn't help it, they had come so close to.... before Anya showed up and he was still so very frustrated by that. He wanted to talk to Wil more than anything though, he needed to know that he was alright, that he was still there.

Alex pulled the vampire into his arms and stroked his back soothingly. He sighed contentedly when he felt the other man relax into the embrace. At least he could do this much, in some small way he hoped his presence would be enough to draw Wil back to him. He missed him more than he thought possible. He was sure he was falling for the shy sweet man.... vampire, something he hadn't allowed himself the luxury of doing in longer than he cared to think about.

For Alex, relationships were always a double edged sword. If he allowed himself to fall in love, to feel more than affection for his partner, it would only hurt that much more when he left, or they left him, either because they'd figure out he wasn't quite normal or they would grow old and die. Alex felt himself drifting off, content to just have Wil near him.

When Alex awoke he was somewhat surprised to find that he wasn't alone. He wasn't used to waking up to another person in his bed. Then he remembered that he had fallen asleep curled up with Wil, or Spike, whichever the case may be. He lay there enjoying the feel of Wils' body pressed against him, he played with the soft curls of the vampires' hair. Hopefully the vampire would wake soon and they could begin to figure things out.

Alex was brought out of his internal musings when the body in his arms began to stir. Instinctively he pulled the other man closer and squeezed. The light rumble from the chest of the vampire made Alex smile. This had to be Wil, there was no way that Spike, big bad Spike, purred.

Alex ran his hand up and down the vampires back, the purring increased. Emboldened, he lowered his head and placed a gentle kiss on the vampires temple. He smiled when he felt the other man wriggle closer to him and press into him. He sighed as he felt cold lips brush against his neck as Wil burrowed his face into the crook of Alexs' neck. A cool tongue flicked out and tasted his skin and Alex moved his head aside to give him more access. He felt the man freeze as the tongue encountered the two small puncture wounds.

"Alex?" The voice was muffled against his skin.

"Yes?" Alex wasn't entirely sure that it was Wil after all. He couldn't make out the accent either as the vampires voice was quiet and the word was uttered against his skin.

"Sorry." The vampire pulled away and rolled out of bed. Alex sat up in astonishment and watched as he just walked away without a backward glance.

"Okay, so.....who was that?" Alex asked himself as he got up and followed in the vampires direction.





Part Sixteen



Alex found the vampire in the living room, he was acting strangely. Alex stood and watched silently for a minute before clearing his throat and entering the room.

"Wil? Spike? Which ever one you are, what's going on?" Alex watched as the vampire turned sorrowful eyes on him.

"I - he hurt you. I'm so sorry Alex, about everything." Wil hung his head and Alex approached him. He stopped dead as the vampires head snapped back up and yellow eyes bore into his.

"Told you already, it was an accident!"

"Accident? You killed him!"

"Didn't know it was Xander now did I? Looked like a bloody wookie, he did."

"You shouldn't have bitten him regardless!"

Alex watched as Wil and Spike argued, it was the strangest thing he'd ever seen, and growing up in Sunnydale he'd seen some pretty damn strange things. He couldn't do anything but stand there slack-jawed and stunned as the schizophrenic vampire argued with himself.

"Look what you did to him! You changed his entire appearance."

"What? Just made him look like Xander is all."

"But he isn't Xander. He's Alex."

"Didn't know that at the time now did I? 'Sides he hit me for it, we're even."

At this point Alex began to laugh, he couldn't help it. It was laugh or cry, and while he may have been okay crying in front of Wil, he would never cry in front of Spike. That way just led to badness.

"Now look what you have done."

Wil approached Alex and stood quietly in front of him, he studied Alex while he waited for the man to regain his composure. Eventually Alex stopped laughing and just sat down right on the floor. Wil crouched down in front of him and took his hand.

"I'm sorry Alex. I had no idea what was going on or I would have stopped him."

"It's okay, not your fault. Besides, I always figured some day Spike would kill me."

Alex couldn't help but chuckle at Wils' outraged expression.

"How can you make light of this?"

"It's over and done with? I'm okay and by the looks of you, I'd say the human blood did you some good as well."

The vampire did look healthier, Alex knew that a vampire could exsist on animal blood but human was better for them. Much the same way as humans could survive on a diet of junk food but it wasn't the best option to do so.

"That is beside the point."

"Look Wil, Spike is ..... Spike. He's always been the bite first ask questions later type. I knew it was a possibility, I could have tied you up or something but I didn't. It's just as much my fault as it is his. Don't blame Spike for acting like a vampire, okay?"

"Very well. So long as it doesn't happen again."

Wil ran his fingers along the smooth skin of Alexs' face, he ran one hand through the much shorter hair and grimaced. Alex chuckled at him.

"Don't like the new look?"

"It's just so..... Xander."

"I know, it'll grow back though."

"Yes, but I liked your hair, I kind of like the smooth face though."

"I'll keep it then, but I'm growing my hair again. I feel naked without it."

Wil gulped as he was immediately bombrded with images of a naked Alex.

"Gah! Stop that!"

Alex looked at the vampire, confusion written on his face.

"Stop what?"

"Not you, him."

"Spike?"

"Yes?"

"What did Wil do?"

Spike visibly shuddered.

"Was picturing you naked. Not something I'm ready to think about."

Alex couldn't help but laugh at the expression on the vampires face. He knew Spike would come around eventually, he had little choice in the matter. Wil was the dominate personality after all. But he would give Spike time to get used to the idea before pushing things, he could use some time to adjust as well.

"I understand. How about we just hang out for a while? Try to get reaquainted, become friends?"

"Alright, guess we could try that. Not like I have a choice is it?"





Part Seventeen



It had been a week since the emergence of Spike and Alex found himself beginning to like spending time with him almost as much as he did with Wil, for entirely different reasons of course. He and Spike were becoming friends, they would play pool, watch TV, discuss the finer points of American football versus English football, and sometimes they would talk about the past.

When Alex spent time with Wil it was different then it was before. They now had Spike to consider as well and the tension between them was like a third person. Technically it was, it was Spike.

Alex was still very attracted to Wil and he still wanted him. Wil still felt the same way for Alex as well but Spike was not comfortable with the idea of his souled counterpoint having sex with Alex, who thanks to his efforts, looked remarkably like the Xander he remembered. It was a frustrating situation all around.

Wil was almost wishing that Spike was still silent. He wanted to be able to touch Alex, to kiss him, without feeling the demon recoil. He had tried talking to Spike about it but the stubborn demon refused to even admit that there was a problem. Wil was thankful that Alex was being so patient, but if Spike didn't come around soon he was going to go insane.

Wil was laying down in bed, alone, as he did every night after Alex and he had parted ways. He was sick and tired of the tension, the frustration was starting to show up in others areas of his life and it had to stop.

"Look, I know you have no problems having sex with men, or humans for that matter so can you please just get over this already."

Wil could feel Spikes discomfort with where this conversation was going but he pressed on anyway.

"If it bothers you that much, then just go away. Bury your head in the sand or whatever it is you've been doing these last twenty-eight years and give me some time alone with him. For that matter, do that anyway. I don't think I've had a moments peace since I woke up in his bed last week."

Spike growled. It was obvious that he wasn't going to be able to put this off any longer. He knew that it was only a matter of time before Wil and Alex had sex, but he didn't want to discuss this.

"It's not that. Damn it, you don't understand. It's Xander! No matter what he calls himself, no matter what he's been through, no matter where he goes, he's Xander Harris. And Xander Harris belongs to me!"

Now it was Wils' turn to be silent and listen. He never knew the demon had laid any claim to the man. He had gotten nothing but negative thoughts and feelings toward Xander from Spike. He was curious to know what Spike meant by his claim.

"Angelus gave that boy to me. Trick or not, he offered him to me. The boy belongs to me, he just doesn't know it. I always wanted him, was going to turn him sooner or later. I wanted him to want me first. When I got chipped, when I had to live with him in the basement of doom, I got to know him. Straight as an arrow that boy was. He hated me too, hated everything about me. I gave up on ever having him willingly before he was turned."

Spike got up and began searching for a cigarette while he talked.

"I moved on, fell for Buffy. Had her use and reject me, went to Africa, got a soul. Lost meself for the next three decades, only to wake up in Xander Harris' apartment, with him dead on the floor 'cause I killed him. If I'd known it was him, I would have turned him. He. Is. Mine."

The cigarette search continued out into the living room area of the apartment.

"Now I find out he's gay, immortal, and attracted to you. My soul. Not me, you. I want him, but he wants you. What the bloody hell am I supposed to do? Just hand him over? And why in the fuck are there no soddin smokes here?!?"

Spike flopped himself down in the chair and let Wil take over again. He had told his story, made his point and now there was nothing left to say. Alex - Xander, it didn't matter, the man was his. It was now up to Wil to deal with the truth.





Part Eighteen



Wil sat in stunned silence. He had expected to hear a number of reasons for why Spike was against him and Alex having a relationship, but this was not one of them. The demon considered Alex his property. Wil was well aware of the possessive nature of vampires and Spike in particular and he knew that no matter what he said, the demon would not relinquish its claim.

"Then what pray tell do you think we should do about this? I will not give him up any more than you will. The fact that he wants me, even knowing what I am and having to put up with you is more than enough reason for me to hold onto him. I am the rightful owner of this body, and I have a stronger will than you. If I have to, I will supress you in order to keep him. I don't want to, I've missed you all these years but I think I'm falling in love with him. Don't make me do this."

Wil stood up and walked back into the bedroom. He climbed back into bed and lay staring at the ceiling. He knew he wasn't going to sleep that night. He could feel the demons frustration and need for violence and he was tempted to give in to it and go out and find something to vent on. Of course if he did that than he would undoubtably get injured in some way and he would be sore the next day. On the other hand, it would calm the demon and perhaps he might get some sleep after all.

It didn't take long to find a demon to slay, it was Sunnydale after all. The thing had been strong, but it wasn't very fast. Wil had taken his time before killing it. Now that it was dead and Spikes thirst for violence had been quenched he was going home. To sleep. Of course as soon as he was comfortable, Spike wanted to talk.

"I won't just hand him over."

"Not this again. I'm tired, I have to open the shop in the morning. Can't we just sleep?"

"No. Not until we decide what to do about Xander."

"It's Alex. And I told you, I won't give him up. Not even to you."

"Then I guess we share."

"Share? Alex? He's a person Spike. You don't 'share' people."

"Sure you do. Vampires do it all the time. And you are a vampire."

"Fine. You explain to Alex about how he belongs to you and then tell him that you are willing to share him with me. If he agrees to it, then fine. We'll share him."

"Like that's gonna happen. He'll likely stake me."

"No he won't. He likes me. Now shut up so I can sleep."

Alex was having no luck sleeping either. He was frustrated, horny, and confused. He wanted Wil, that much was clear to him. He was certain that he was falling for the man. The problem was that he was attracted to Spike as well.

When he knew the vampire before, when he was still Xander Harris do-nut boy, Spike was just an annoying, chipped pain in the ass who sometimes lived with him. He tolerated the vamp at best, was unneccesarily cruel to him at worst, and most of the time just couldn't be bothered one way or the other. So why was he finding himself having naughty thoughts about him now?

He tried to rationalize it, it was Wils body after all, that was why he was having the lusties for Spike. That worked for about a day. The night he dreamt about being fucked by a bleached blonde leather duster wearing Spike he had to accept that it was Spike, not the fact that he was in Wils body, that was attracting him.

If only Spike weren't so against this. He knew eventually that Wil and he would be together, Spike could only stall them for so long before Wil simply overpowered Spike and took Alex to bed. He hoped it was soon. Right now, he didn't care which one of them he bedded. He just wanted to touch that sexy body, kiss those soft lips and relieve the burning ache that was slowly driving him insane.

Alex punched his pillow into shape and tried once again to sleep. He had to work in the morning and he was tired. It was going to be a very long night.





Part Nineteen



By the time Alex stopped by the bookstore the next day he had come to a decision. He needed to make Spike understand that he wasn't going anywhere, that he wanted to have a relationship with Wil and that Spike was just going to have to accept that. Of course the shop was still open when he got there and Wil was just finishing up with the last few customers. Alex browsed the shelves as he waited for the people to leave and for Wil to lock the door.

Wil had decided that he would just push Spike to the fore and make him explain his "brilliant" plan on sharing to Alex as soon the store was closed. So once the last patron had left and the door was locked he did just that. So it came as a shock to him when Alex spun him around and kissed Spike.

Spike for his part wasn't complaining about the kiss, it was quite nice actually. He did wonder how long he could continue with it before either Wil took over the controls again or Alex realized he was kissing the wrong personality.

It only took a moment for Alex to realize that it wasn't Wil he was kissing. Kissing Wil was always good, it was soft and sweet and sometimes a touch hesitant, other times almost desperate. This was none of those things. It was passionate, possessive, hard and needy. It was Spike in all his glory. And Alex didn't want to come up for air. He wanted to kiss Spike until he passed out from lack of oxygen.

Eventually, breathing became necesary and he drew back, panting and flushed. He looked into the vampires eyes and saw a mixture of lust and hunger that made his knees weaken and his throat dry up. He managed to squeak out a single word.

"Spike?"

"Expecting someone else were ya?"

"Uh... "

"What's a matter pet? Cat got yer tongue? No that's not it, I know it was there a minute ago."

The vampire leered and it looked so wrong coming from Wils face that Alex couldn't stop the laugh that erupted from him.

"Oi! What's so bleedin' funny?"

Alex managed to calm himself and plucked the glasses from the vampires face before answering.

"That look so does not work in these. I mean the hair in itself makes it all kinds of wrong, but throw in the glasses and it's like watching Giles do an impersonation of you. No offence to Wil, I don't think he looks anything like Giles."

Spike snatched the glasses back from Alex and stuffed them into his shirt pocket. He huffed and stuck out his bottom lip in an exagerated pout. Alex couldn't help but think about that lip, how he wanted to suck it into his mouth and nibble on it. He shook his head and tried to remember what it was he wanted to say to Spike in the first place. Something about him and Wil, and why couldn't he remember it now that he was here?

He leaned in towards the vampire and sucked his bottom lip into his mouth with out thinking about the fact that this was Spike and not Wil he was kissing. Spike quickly took the lead and devoured Alexs' mouth in hungry kisses.

The next thing Alex was aware of was Spike shredding his shirt to pieces in his quest to get closer to him, for some reason this really turned him on. He pulled at the vampires clothes as well. He wasn't thinking about anything except the cool white flesh under his fingers, the throaty growls in his ear.

Wil for his part was content to let this play out. If Alex and Spike had sex then there was no reason for Spike to stand in the way of their relationship. Besides, he could feel everything that Spike felt. He would be a fool to put a stop to it. As the clothing came off and more and more flesh was revealed Alex started to come to his senses.

"Spike?"

"Mmmm, Xander."

"Uh, What are we doing? Wil...."

"Knows exactly what's going on luv. Don't think. Just feel."

With that said Spike pulled Alex closer and removed the last barrier of their clothing. Now naked they began to really explore each others bodies and their kisses became more urgent and consuming.

Spike lay Alex down on the floor and blanketed him with his own body. They both moaned at the sensation of hot and cold flesh meeting. The vampire rolled his hips slowly, grinding their erections together and Alex gasped and arched his back off the floor.

"I need you, now."

"Yes, God yes."

"Open up for me Xander, I'll make you feel so good."

Alex obeyed and Spike lowered himself to explore Alexs' hidden entrance. He blew cold air across the little pucker and felt the man shudder in anticipation. He tentatively stroked his tongue across it and chuckled at the expletitives the othe other man uttered. It would be fun to draw this out but seeing as he hadn't been laid in three decades, Spike wanted to get on with things. Alex shouted as he felt the cool wet tongue stab into his entrance. It felt like nothing he'd ever experienced. It was good, very, very good. He thought he might cum before Spike even touched him with his cock. The vampire seemed to sense this and gripped his cock firmly at the base.

"Uh uh luv, you wait for me eh?"

"Gah!"

"Still eloquent as always."

Spike chuckled and then went back to his task of stretching Alex. At least with out the chip he wouldn't have to be too careful, a little bit of pain was fun after all.

"Are you ready Xan? Want me to fuck you now?"

Always had to be the Big Bad, Spike couldn't admit that he was likely far more desperate than Alex was. So he tried to play it cool.

"Yes! Now damn it! Stop teasing you asshole!"

"You had me at 'yes' luv."

Spike pulled Alexs' legs over his shoulders and spat in his hand before spreading it over his cock. He lined himself up and slowly pushed forward until he was fully encased in Alexs' hot flesh. He couldn't stop the purr that erupted from him. The heat was unbelievable.

Alex couldn't stand the stillness so he lifted his hips to get the vampire to move. Spike seemed to come out of his daze and began a slow steady pace of thrusts. Alex began to push back into the vampire faster, he was so close, he needed to cum so badly.

Spike knew Alex was close, he was as well. He wrapped one hand around the other mans cock and began stroking as he pounded faster, harder, into the warm channel. He leaned in and kissed Alex possessively as he increased the pressure to the mans cock. He felt Alex seize up as his orgasm over took him. As the muscles began to clench around him, Spike pulled away from the kiss and growled 'MINE' before sinking his fangs into the side of Alexs' throat.

Spike pulled his fangs out of Alexs' flesh seconds before howling his completion. He licked over the mark and nuzzled at Alexs' neck. Alex kissed the side of his head and held him. He knew what had just happened. He wasn't stupid, he had actually payed attention during research sessions. Spike had just claimed him. He now belonged to the vampire. The question was, did he want to?





Part Twenty



After catching his breath, Alex rolled them both both over so that they we're on their sides facing each other. He took a minute to think about what he really wanted to say about this whole claiming business. As far as he knew, you didn't just go around claiming people all 'willy nilly' it was a rare thing for a vamp to claim a mortal. Usually it was done for a mate or to mark the human as a future childe. Alex couldn't be turned, so it couldn't be that, and there was no way Spike loved him so there had to be another reason. Was it Wil? Was that why he had claimed him? Just as Alex was about to speak the vampire opened his eyes. Alex was sure it wasn't Spike he now held in his arms. He leaned in and kissed him softly before pulling away.

"Wil?"

"Yes Alex. It's me."

"You um, are you okay? With what just happened I mean, with Spike?"

"I'm fine. It was only a matter of time before this happened."

"Not that I'm not happy to see you, but is Spike planning on coming back out here to explain this?"

Alex pointed to the bite on his throat. Wil shook his head and smiled fondly.

"He says that you're not stupid and you know exactly what it means."

"Well duh! It's a claim, obviously. What I want to know is why? He doesn't even like me! Well except that he just... and we just... but really, he doesn't."

Wil chuckled and stood before helping Alex to his feet. They dressed in silence, Alex without a shirt since his had been shredded. Finally, Alex couldn't stand the silence any longer. Taking a huge risk he announced his decision to the vampire.

"I won't honor it. I didn't ask to be claimed, and I won't be owned."

He heard the snarl just before he was gripped harshly and pulled within inches of Spikes' very demonic face.

"You. Are. Mine. No getting out of it. I do own you. Always have. Accept it Xander, 'cause I'm not letting you walk away."

"Alex. My name is Alex. I told you I'm not Xander anymore. I haven't been for a very long time."

"Fine, Alex. It doesn't change the fact that you wear my claim. Get used to it. You are mine."

"Why Spike? Why this?"

"Told you. You. Are. Mine."

Alex pulled away from the irate vamp and began pacing. This was getting him nowhere. He wanted answers not a declaration of ownership from cave-Spike over there. Maybe if Spike calmed down he would be more receptive to answering him.

"Fine. You win. I'm all yours."

Spike reverted back to his human face and watched Alex carefully. He didn't trust this easy acquiescence.

"Right. You're mine."

"Okay, so will you tell why now? Why I'm yours? As I said, you don't like me so what possible reason is there for you to claim me? Is it for Wil? So I won't leave? 'Cause I gotta tell you, I wasn't planning to go anywhere."

Spike ran his hands back through his hair, still disgusted by the curly locks and wishing his froofy soul would let him bleach it. He tried to find the words to explain to Alex why he had claimed him without looking like a wanker. He would not admit he had feeling for the git.

"You remember the first time we met?"

"Uh yeah? Angel was offering me to you as an appetizer. Why?"

"Who is Angel?"

"Um... the Poof?"

Spike laughed loudly and for a long while before addressing Alex again.

"Well yeah, he is that. But what I was getting at is what is he in relation to me?"

"Oh. He's your sire, right?"

"Right. And he offered you to me. First prezzie I'd gotten from him in over eighty years. Just took me a while to claim it. You always were mine pet."

Alex was stunned. He hadn't expected that answer. Spike had always planned on this? Even during the chip years and their forced co-habitation? It hardly seemed likely, the vampire had hated him then, used every opportunity to embarrass and humiliate him.

"But you hated me?"

"Nah, hated that you hated me. Different story all together. Wanted you to come to me willingly, figured it would never happen though. Got a bit pissed about it. Took it out on you."

"So you wanted me? When I was Xander donut-boy Harris? I find that hard to believe."

"I could see your potential, what you were capable of being. Mind you, if I'd have gotten my teeth into you then, you'd be a vampire now, my first childe. We would have caused bloody mayhem together."

"Okay, and suddenly I'm thinking this curse has it's upshot. No vamp-me, that has to count for something right?"

"Oi! That's no way to talk. You'd have made a brilliant vampire luv."

"Okay, enough about that. What about Wil?"

"What about him?"

"What about me and Wil? I get that I 'belong' to you, but I care about him, what happens with me and him?"

"Nothings changed Xan... Alex. Just that now there is you and him, and you and me. We share."

"Share? Me?"

"Yes. Share you, we worked it all out last night. Mind you William here didn't think you'd go for the plan but I was being positive."

Alex shook his head and walked to the door. He unlocked it and stepped outside.

"I... I gotta think. This is too... too much."

The vampire watched as Alex ran out the door and disappeared in the night.

"Brilliant you pillock! You scared him off."

"Sod off git. Wasn't my fault. 'Sides, he'll come back, he always did."

"I hope for your sake that you are right. If he gets hurt, I'm blaming you."

"You could've stepped in anytime here ya know? Don't blame this all on me."

"Oh.... Do shut up!"

The vampire chuckled at himself as he went upstairs to his apartment.

"Snappy come-back, luv. No wonder you were such a hit with the ladies."

The sound of growling could be heard from the top of the steps.





Part Twenty-One



Alex ran off into the darkness without looking back. He was understandably freaked out. He had just been claimed by a souled but chipless Spike. A Spike that seemed to be independent of his soul rather than squashed by it like Angelus and Angel.

Then there was Wil. Alex was almost head over heels in love with the shy sweet vulnerable vampire. He wanted nothing more than to go back to him and hold him close until his world made sense again. But he couldn't do that, because where Wil was Spike was. It would be easier if they were in seperate bodies. Then again, this wouldn't be happening if they were.

From what Spike and Wil had both said they were okay with the whole 'sharing of Alex' scenario. He was the only one having problems with it. Did he want to get into a triad relationship? Sure there were only two bodies, but there were three people. And he wasn't sure he was comfortable with that.

"Humph, should have thought about that before you had sex with Spike? Hmm?"

Alex walked to the park and sat down on one of the many benches. He put his head in his hands and sighed. This was not the way he had envisioned his evening. He was going to tell Spike the way it was going to be, then he and Wil were going to spend some quality time together involving much kissing and touching of the naughty variety. He had not planned on taking it up the ass from Spike.

Not that that hadn't been good. It had been. He very much enjoyed it. Parts of him were all for an encore performance. But he wanted Wil. He wanted Wil without Spike popping out. He wanted his lover to be focused on him, not on trying to control his demon from taking over. How was this ever going to work?

Alex heard a noise behind him and tensed. He slowly sat up and turned his head. There were three vamps in game face coming toward him. Not a good thing, considering he had run out unarmed and underdressed.

"Shit shit shit! Why do I always do these stupid things?"

The vamps spread out to surround him and he tried to calm himself. Time to see if this claim thing really works.

"Evening, nice night isn't it?"

"Nice enough to die."

That was the reply of the one directly in front of him, he seemed to be in charge.

"Oh, maybe you didn't notice this? *points out the bite mark on his neck* I belong to Spike so no snacking. Sorry fellas."

"Good one. Spike hasn't been seen in these parts in ages."

"Oh, he's here alright. And if you touch me? You will hurt for a VERY long time before you die."

The lead vamp looked a bit hesitant, but the other three were either too young or too stupid to realize the threat that Spike represented. As soon as one of them lunged at him the others joined in. Alex was surrounded and quickly lost consciousness as the vampires began to feed.

Once inside the apartment Wil pulled a large t-shirt from his dresser and went back down to the shop before heading out after Alex. He wasn't happy about his running off like that but he understood why he did it. It was a bit much to take in, being claimed by a vampire when you are in a relationship with his soul.

He figured that Alex would go to the park, it was one of the places they went together on their walks. He heard noises up ahead and picked up his pace. As he got closer he was able to make out Alexs' voice.

"Oh, maybe you didn't notice this? I belong to Spike so no snacking. Sorry fellas."

"Good one. Spike hasn't been seen in these parts in ages."

"Oh, he's here allright. And if you touch me? You will hurt for a VERY long time before you die."

Spike was both pleased by the admission of his ownership of the immortal and enraged by the vampires who were obviously planning on making a meal of Alex.

Wil graciously stepped aside and allowed Spike control as they ran toward the park. What they found when they got there was Alex being drained by three vampires. Spike flew into a rage and tore the first vampires head off. He followed up by staking the second. The third, incidentally the one who seemed to be in charge was thrown to the ground before a very pissed off master vampire pinned him.

"MINE! The boy is MINE!"

Spike roared at the vampire beneath him as he shook him like a rag doll. The younger vampire looked terrified, and well he should be. This was Spike at his best, or worst depending on how you look at it. He was defending what was his.

"No one touches him. You were warned. HE warned you. Now? You hurt. Then you die."

Spike beat the vampire bloody and then broke both his arms and his legs. He would have spent hours, days even, torturing the other vamp but he was worried about Alex.

"You're lucky. You get to die now."

Spike tore the vampires heart out of his chest and watched with satisfaction as it turned to dust. He then turned back to Alex and crouched in front of him. Alexs' pulse was weak but it was steady, he was however out cold.

Spike picked him up and carried him back toward the book store.

"You realize that just because he told those vampires he was yours it didn't mean he's ready to accept it."

"MINE!"

"Yes I realize that. I'm just trying to prepare you for the fact that Alex might not see it that way."

"He. Is. Mine."

"I can see civilized conversation would only be wasted on you right now."

"Grrrrr."

"Are you growling at me? How very neanderthal of you. Lets just get him home and into bed."





Part Twenty-Two



When Alex woke the next day he noticed that he was not in his own bed and frantically searched the room. He was relieved when he recognized Wils sleeping form in the bed next to him. He remembered being jumped by three vampires the night before, and others had tried to turn him in the past. It was not fun coming to, and finding youself in a vampires lair.

Of course the next thing he realized was that he had no idea of how he'd gotten here. He assumed that either Spike or Wil had followed him and brought him home. Did that mean that the vamps who had bitten him were dust? He hoped so. He hated being being food.

Still feeling somewhat drained, Alex slipped out of bed and went in search of the phone. He called his boss and explained that he'd been mugged in the park the night before and wouldn't be in to work. His boss accepted the story fairly quickly so Alex went back to bed and curled up with Wil, Spike, whichever was there. He was tired and he wanted to be held.

Wil was awake the moment Alex left the bed. Spike was awake as well. They listened intently as Alex called into work and then lay back down in silence as he padded back into the room. When Alex got back into bed and snuggled into the cool body beside him, the vampire smiled.

*See, I told you he was mine.*

*Don't get your hopes up, he might still refuse you.*

*He can't. I've claimed him. He's mine!*

*Please, let me handle this? You're far too emotional.*

*Grrrrrrrrr.*

*Oh please, like that's going to scare me? Just be quiet and lets enjoy the fact that Alex is here with us, okay?*

*Fine.*

Wil was hoping to work things out with Alex regarding Spike and his claim. He wanted to be the one who touched and was touched by Alex. Sure, he had experienced everything that Spike had the night before, but it was Spike that had taken Alex, claimed Alex. It wasn't him. He wanted it to be him. In truth, he wanted Alex to take him.

A few hours passed as Wil lay comfortably in bed, awake, with Alex holding him tightly in his sleep. He hoped this would become a regular occurance. It was a most pleasant sensation, being held by a warm sleepy body. By Alexs' warm sleepy body. He felt Alex begin to waken and he turned on his side to watch him.

Alex opened his eyes and saw his vampire watching him. Those beautiful clear blue eyes were full of happiness and ... love? It had to be Wil. He smiled at him, almost shyly, and reached up to brush a lock of hair out of his eyes.

"Morning."

"Good morning Alex. How are you feeling?"

"Drained. Pun intended."

"But you're okay?"

"Yep, good as new. Or I will be once I have some coffee."

"I'll go make some then."

"No. Wait, I didn't mean to chase you out of bed. I kinda like you here."

"As do I. Alex? What were you thinking, running off like that. Unprotected and halk naked."

"I wasn't thinking. I was having a 'Xander attack' I panicked and fled. I'm not really sure why."

"Is it because you don't wish to be Spikes claimed?"

Spike growled inside the vampires head. Wil immediatly shushed him. Alex fidgited uncomfortably for a few minutes. He lowered his eyes and spoke so softly that had Wil not been a vampire he would have missed it.

"No, it's because I do."

Spike, who had been holding his figurative breath waiting for Alexs' reply let out an internal roar of triumph. Alex wanted to be claimed by him and he was estatic. He finally had someone who was his. Not because they were 'family' and they had to put up with him, not because he was defenseless and they pitied him, not because he was conveinient and easily discarded. Alex was his, because he wanted to be. He may be in love with his soul, but he belonged to the demon. That was good enough for Spike, for now at least.

"Then what is the problem Alex?"

"You."

"Me?"

"Yeah, I ... I think I'm in love with you."

The smile that lit Wils' face was beautiful. He gently lifted Alexs' head so he could look him in the eyes. He kissed him softly and then pulled slightly away.

"I love you as well, Alex. So what is the problem?"

"How can this work? I love you, I want you, more than anything. If I love you I shouldn't want anyone else. I do though, and it's wrong."

"It isn't. Alot of what Spike is came from me. We are very much alike, my demon and me. He is an extention of myself, and vice versa. Sort of a package deal anyway, luv. If you and I are going to be together, Spike would be involved anyways. This just makes it easier."

"So ... you aren't jealous? That Spike and I..."

"No. I was there as well, just not in the control seat. We share a body, whatever he feels, I feel and whatever I feel, he feels."

Alex smiled up at his lover.

"So if I were to do this, you would both feel it?"

He kissed Wil. Gently at first, but then more passionately until he finally had to pull away to breathe.

"Yes, exactly. And could you do that again now? Please?"

Alex chuckled and rolled on top of the smaller man. He kissed him again, only this time he didn't intend to stop any time soon.





Part Twenty-Three



Wil was in heaven, or as close to it as he would ever get. The feel of Alexs' warm heavy frame draped over top of him, his hands touching his skin, warming it with his own heat. His lips and tongue tangled with his lovers, stroking, tasting. It was all too much and yet not enough at the same time.

Spike wanted to throw his soul over and be the one recieving all of that intense pleasure. He wouldn't, but only because he knew that in a battle of wills, William was the stronger of them. That and Xander.... Alex wanted this to be about him and Wil. Spike had to respect the limits of this situation if it were going to work. But he still wanted Alex to himself, he was a selfish demon after all.

Alex was lost in the feel of Wils body beneath him. It was so much more exciting than his fantasies had prepared him for. Wil was cool and smooth and his skin felt like silk. He should have noticed these things before, but it was so different to last night and the way Spike felt moving against him. It was hard to realize that it was the same body at all. Alex wanted this body, no matter who were in control of it at the time, but he desperately wanted to give Wil pleasure. His own pleasure, not the second hand feelings that belonged to Spike.

With that thought in mind, Alex began to explore Wils body, to see what he liked, what made him squirm, what made him scream. Sucking on his throat was a given, hello vampire? So he didn't stay there long before moving down to explore his pale chest, licking across his pink nipples and feeling them pucker against his tongue. He nibbled gently and couldn't supress the chuckle when Wil arched into the contact and whined softly. It was such an unvampiric noise.

Alex knew that vampire bodies were unchanged from the time of death, so he knew that he would find firm taut muscle and sharp bone under all this glorious skin. It didn't stop him from touching it like it was all new to him, because it really was. This was not Spike he was touching, not Spike he was looking at, not Spike who was writhing and panting and begging for more. No, it was not Spike, it was Wil, and Wil was an innocent in the ways of flesh. And that just made Alex want him more.

Wil thought he would go insane from the intense pleasure he was feeling. Alex was making him tremble and shake. He was making him breathe. It was amazing. As he felt the warm wet mouth of his lover trail lower on his chest his hips began to buck involuntarily. His body knew what it wanted even if he didn't. Alex must have known as well for he found himself being stripped of his boxer shorts and then engulfed in a wet heat that had him shouting in ecstasy and clawing at the bed.

Alex smiled around the hard shaft in his mouth. He had never had a lover this responsive before. In his innocence, Wil didn't know to be reserved or try to hold to an image. He just allowed himself to react to what he was feeling. It was incredibly sexy and Alex wanted nothing more than to be inside of him. But it was too soon, he wanted this to last.

Wil gasped as he felt a warm wet finger brush across his anus. He knew it would feel good, he had Spikes memories of penetration to prepare him, but to feel it firsthand was incredible. He wanted more, he wanted to be filled. He pushed against the finger and gasped when it entered into his body. It was an odd feeling, warm and gentle and probing. Then it moved against his gland and he screamed.

That was what Alex wanted. He wanted to make Wil scream, to show him how good it could feel. To make him crave more, to beg for it. Not to be cruel, just because it's always so much better when you have to wait for it.

"God, Alex. Please."

Alex looked up at Wil, still sucking his cock and thrusting his finger in and out of his hole. Wil looked so hot and needy, his honey coloured hair falling in his yellowed eyes, his mouth open and panting around gleaming white fangs. It was almost enough to make Alex cum right then and there. He wished he could freeze this moment forever in time, or at least have a photograph of it.

"More. Please Alex, I need more."

Wil howled as a second finger joined the first, a third was close behind. He was sure he was going to cum before Alex got around to entering him properly.

Alex was sure that Wil was ready so he reluctantly released him from his mouth and crawled back over his body. He swooped in and kissed him passionately. He needed some kind of lube though, and he wasn't sure if Wil had anything.

"Wil, do you have anything slippery?"

"There's lubricant in the drawer."

"There is?"

"I do share this body with Spike, you know."

"Of course."

Alex chuckled and reached into the drawer, he chuckled again when he pulled out the tube of lube. It was chocolate scented. But now was not the time to think about Spike and his chocolate scented lube, now was the time to use that lube and make love to his vampire.

Alex coated his fingers and then eased them into Wil gently, he made sure his lover was well coated before lubing his erection and slowly sliding in. Once fully encased, Alex held himself rigid as he waited for a signal from Wil.

Wil was frozen in shock, Spikes remembrances had not prepared him for this feeling at all. He felt full, stretched, complete. And the heat. It was almost too much to take at once. He wondered why he didn't know it would feel this way.

*Never been shagged by a human. That's why.*

*Oh. Well thank you for clearing that up. Now shut up please.*

*Anything you say mate, but you best do something to get that boy moving before we both go insane.*

Wil had to agree with that, so he wriggled just slightly to get Alex's attention.

"Please, Alex. Do something."

"Sorry. I was making sure you were ready."

"I am. Believe me I am."

Alex slowly withdrew and then pushed back in. Wil moaned appreciativly and thrust up against him. This changed his angle just enough to stimulate his prostate on the next thrust. Alex smiled as Wil growled softly and clenched his eyes closed. He wasn't going to last much longer, not with all the stimulation he had recieved prior to being entered and now, with the way Alex was slowly increasing his pace and the strength of his thrusts. When he felt his lover wrap a warm hand around his shaft and begin stroking him he howled his climax.

Alex felt Wil spasm around him and sped up his pace, a few strokes later and he came as well. He collapsed on top of the vampire, panting harshly. He felt cool fingers trailing along his spine and he wiggled under the ticklish sensation. Wil laughed lightly and turned his head to kiss Alex. The kiss was soft, sweet, and full of emotion. When Alex drew back to breathe he looked into Wils' blue eyes and he knew he would never leave this man, vampire.

"I love you."

"And I love you."

*Well that's lovely, really. Doesn't anyone love me?*

Wil chuckled at Spike and Alex gave him a funny look.

"Sorry, Spike is feeling a bit left out. He thinks no body loves him."

Alex smiled at Wil and pulled him close. He closed his eyes and began brooding.





Part Twenty-Four



Alex fell asleep holding Wil close to him and thinking about the complications of being involved with a multi-personality vampire. He knew he loved Wil, there was no question there. But what did he feel for Spike? What did Spike feel for him?

~Alexs' dream~

Alex stands between the familiar sight of his beloved Wil and the Spike he remembers from his past. They each have a hold of one of his hands and are pulling him toward them. Alex can feel his shoulders straining from the force and tries to get them to let go, to come toward him and each other rather than pulling him apart. It isn't working.

"Xander, you belong to me."

"Alex, you belong with me."

Alex tries again to pull away but they only hold on to him tighter.

"Spike, Wil. You're hurting me. Let go, please."

Alex pulls again and still they don't let go.

"Alex, I love you."

"Xander, I have always loved you."

"Alex, please. Choose me, I won't let you go."

"Xander, you have always been mine. There is no choice. I won't let go."

Alex felt them pulling harder and harder. He screamed as he began to split in half. He looked up and saw Wil, then he looked over at Spike and saw that he was still holding on to him, half of him any way. He looked down at himself and realized that he was only half a man. He screamed again.

~ ~

Alex sat up abruptly in the bed, he was sweating and shaking. He quickly looked himself over to make sure he was in one piece. Hell, he grew up in Sunnydale, he wasn't taking any chances. Wil blinked and looked up at Alex. He noticed that his lover was disraught and reached for his hand. Alex yelped and leapt out of bed. He fell, naked, on his ass. As Wil peered over the edge of the bed, Alex began back peddling away from him before standing and fleeing the room.

"What the hell?"

Wil slipped on a pair of pants and followed his lover out of the room. He found him in the living room by the door that led down to the shop. Alex was still naked, and Wil figured it was the only reason he hadn't fled the building entirely.

"Alex? Are you alright?"

"No, not alright. Very not alright. As in needing to go home now. Pants. I need pants. Can't run around the hellmouth naked, might end up in some wacky demon ritual. Or get arrested, that would be bad too. Naked men shouldn't go to jail. Bad things happen there. I need pants. Can I have pants? Wil? Spike? Some one? Can I have my pants?"

Wil gaped at his lover. He'd never seen the man so flustered. He was ... babbling!

*He does that. Shock, ya know?*

*What do I do?*

*Sit him down, give him tea, get his pants.*

*I don't know how to do this Spike, I've never dealt with a babbling immortal before.*

*Then let me. I lived with Dru for a century, I can handle Xander.*

*It's Alex.*

*Not right now it isn't, that is Xander.*

*Bloody hell.*

*Yeah. You can say that again.*

Spike slowly approached the naked trembling human. He kept his eyes downcast, his hands held out in front of him and tried to appear non threatening.

"Xander? Look, luv I'm going to help you okay. I'll get yer pants for ya in a minute alright? Just come an' sit down a mo'. You can't leave looking like that and I don't want to be worried about you taking off while I get yer jeans."

Slowly Spike reached out a hand toward Alex. Alex flinched away from the hand but he did begin to calm a bit.

"S-Spike?"

"'M here pet. You okay now? What set you off luv? Have a bad dream?"

Alex nodded and allowed Spike to steer him towards the sofa. Once he was seated Spike went to the kitchen and put the kettle on for tea before gathering Alexs' clothes from the bedroom. Alex dressed quietly while Spike fixed him some tea. Once they were both sitting, tea in hand, Spike gently placed his hand on Alexs' knee.

"Want to talk about it?"

"Not really."

"Was it about us?"

"Sorta."

"Okay, you know that I won't hurt you don't you?"

"Yes. No. I'm confused, Spike."

"Okay. Tell you what, you tell me what has yer knickers in knots and I'll try to help figure this out for you."

Alex sipped at his tea and decided that maybe he should tell the vampire what was bothering him. At the very least, it might make him feel better to have it out in the open.

"Okay, but it's stupid really."

"It's not stupid if it scared you that much."

Alex took a deep breath and then began reciting the dream to Spike. When he was finished he took a good look at the vampire. He expected Spike to laugh at him, or smirk and tell him he was being soppy. Instead, Spike just pulled him into an embrace and kissed him on the top of his head.

"I'm sorry luv. I didn't mean to make you feel that way, but I do love you."

"I know, Spike. I think I love you too."





Part Twenty-Five



Spike held Alex close and just replayed those words over and over. Alex loved him. Or at least he thought he did. It was more than he had hoped for, more than he deserved from a boy he had tried, and succeeded, at killing.

"Then what's the problem pet? I love you, William loves you. You love him, you think you love me. I don't see where there is a problem."

"That's just it, Spike. How can I love you both? It isn't right."

"Psh, I loved Angelus and Dru for years. There's no law that says you can't love more than one person at a time. If there were, it would broken alot. You mean to tell me that you didn't love the cheerleader when you were snogging red? Or that you didn't love red? I won't believe you."

"That's different. I always loved Willow. Still do. And Cordy? Well yeah, I loved her but ..."

"But what?"

"But not the way I love Wil ... or you."

"It's okay Xan, er Alex. Sorry. It'll take time to get used to it. Nothing about this situation is normal. For one thing, you got three blokes who are shagging and only two bodies. For another, William an' I are as different as night an' day. Things would be simple if William an' me each had our own body. Then we'd just stick you in the middle."

Spike leered at Alex. Alex couldn't help but laugh at him.

"Yeah, right. Given the chance to have sex with your own body, you wouldn't leave this apartment for days. You are nothing if not a narcissist."

"True. Can't blame me though, I am immanently shaggable."

"That you are, Spike. I'll give you that. Do you think I could talk to Wil for a bit? I know he heard everything we talked about but I'd like to know what he feels about this."

"Alright. Give me a mo' I want to ask him a couple things myself."

Spike was not looking forward to giving control back to Wil. He was enjoying his time with Alex, it was an unexpected feeling to have your affections returned for once. And yeah, Alex obviously put Wil first in his thoughts, but Spike was willing to live, er unlive, with that.

*Alright ya tosser. The boy wants you now, so talk to him.*

*Thank you Spike. I don't know how you managed to get him to talk to you, I wouldn't have had a clue what to say to him.*

*Like I said, experience. Being with Dru taught me alot. She used to have nightmares, would wake up screaming and clawing at herself. I was the only one who could calm her.*

*Well, thank you again. And don't worry, it'll all work out in the end.*

*Sure, mate. Go talk to him.*

When Wil opened his eyes he saw Alex smiling at him.

"Well, at least you to have learned to talk without actually speaking out loud. It draws less attention you know."

"Hmm, it would seem that it depends on mine and Spikes emotional state at the time of the conversation. We do still tend to yell at each other if we're upset or angry."

Alex chuckled and and turned to kiss his lover. He was desperate for this to work, but prior experience said that two was company and three was a crowd. He didn't want to lose Wil, but he didn't want to lose Spike either. He was still confused about how it was possible he loved Spike when he had always hated the vampire in the past.

"So, you heard everything Spike and talked about. What do you think?"

"I think, that you have been under far too much stress about this. Just let things happen, Alex. I love you and so does Spike. We won't hurt you, ever."

"So I should just enjoy this, whatever this is, between us and not worry about the consequences?"

"What consequences, Alex?"

"I don't know, jealousy?"

"Who's?"

"Spikes, yours?"

"Alex, Spike and I are fine with this arrangement. You're thinking in human terms. None of us are truly human, Alex. Let it go."

"I never thought about it that way. I'm not human anymore, am I?"

"Not entirely. That bothers you?"

"Not really, I mean ... I sort of knew that. I just never really thought about it. I guess I didn't want to."

"It'll be okay, you have me now, and Spike. We'll always be here, you won't have to be alone."

"And neither will you. Either of you."

Wil kissed Alex softly and pulled him closer.

"What say I leave the shop closed today and we stay in bed?"

"That sounds like a good plan. A very good plan."





Part Twenty-Six



Warm bed. Warm body snuggled against him. It was almost perfect. If he could just keep this warm body all to himself, not have to share with his soul ... but that was never going to happen, so no point in dwelling on it.

Spike loved these few moments he had each day when the soul was still sleeping and he could pretend that it was just him, Spike, that owned and controlled this body. He would fantasize about the things he could do if he had no soul to contend with.

It wasn't about bloody mayhem and torture. Sure there was a part of him that would always crave that, but he didn't need the kill. He could feed without killing. He wanted his identity back. He wanted to cut the loose curls out of his hair, he wanted to strip the honey colour from it, leaving it a blaring white. He wanted his jeans. He hated the feel of those soft cotton trousers that William was so partial to. They reminded him too much of the things he wore as a human. That and Angel wore similar pants, the bloody git.

Wil would not tolerate Spikes obession with black. He did wear it, just not all the time. Spike wanted his duster. He missed it terribly. Wil wouldn't wear it. Too much of a reminder of where Spike had gotten it in the first place. Of course, Spike had trouble looking at it, at first. He remembered the last time he had worn it, going to the slayers place to convince her to take him back. Almost raping the woman he loved, stopping himself just in time, and running away from Sunnydale without it.

He got over it. Buffy was right, they were no good together. She was a slayer and he was a vampire. Besides all that she would always belong to his damned Sire. Angel had marked her, no matter how many times Spike had taken her, she would never be his. Xander was.

It would have been so much simpler if the boy had figured out his sexuality back then. If it were him that Spike had fallen for. He could have, very easily. Just the slightest encouragement that the boy was interested in him and he would have persued him relentlessly until he gave in.

Of course he had him now, so it had all worked out, right? NO! He had Alex, not Xander. Not quite Xander anyway. Alex was an odd combination of a hard, cynical, distrustful man and the goofy, loyal, too trustful boy that was Xander. It wasn't necesarily a bad combination, just not Xander.

He knew what had happened to the boy to turn him into what he now was. It was a shitty deal for him no matter how you looked at it. He lost not only his best friend from childhood, his other best friend and protector, but he lost a father figure and a kid sister as well. In one moment, his entire life was taken from him. That kind of thing does change a person.

He had changed when Angelus disappeared and left him with Dru to care for all by himself. He became hard, angry, impatient and impossible to be around. He was nothing like the 'William' that had risen from his first death. So yeah, he knew how circumstances changed a person. But to find out that not only have you been cursed with immortality, that you can still father children who wouldn't be and would therefor die some day while you wouldn't even grow older ...

It was beyond cruel. Especially for someone like Xander who had always wanted a family of his own. A real family, not just friends who were like family. So Xander had been forced to change his sexual preferance, no matter that he didn't seem to mind shagging blokes, it was the principle of the thing. He would never shag another woman, even he wanted to. He wouldn't take the risk.

The curse was a gift for Spike. He would never have to turn the man and risk losing him to the demon, he wouldn't have to watch him grow old and die, he couldn't be killed, period. It was a nice feeling, knowing that your lover would always be around.

The only problem was that he didn't have any control over when he got to be with Alex, or for how long. Wil was always there, hovering in the background waiting to take back possession as soon as Alex would ask about him. It was bloody unfair. He couldn't do that. Just take over whenever he felt like it. Spend as much time with the boy as he would like to. If only they were separate. He wouldn't mind sharing Alex so much if he and William were separate. If he had his own body.

"I wish I had my own body, then I could do as I soddin' well please."

Spike whispered the plea to no one in particular. Too bad he didn't know he was being watched, otherwise he might have known better to make wishes in front of vengeance demons.

"Done."

Spike shot up in bed when he heard the whispered reply. He frantically looked around the room before his eyes rested on the shadowed figure in the corner.

"You!"

"Me."

And then the world went black.





Part Twenty-Seven



When Wil woke up he was nestled into the cool body of his lover.

*Cool? Alex should be warm.*

Wil sat up and opened his eyes. He looked down at ... Himself. He immediately began to panic, he looked around frantically. He saw Alex on the other side of him, sleeping peacefully. He pinched himself. It hurt. He Jumped over his other self and stood beside the bed, staring. He hadn't seen himself in thirty years. It was both disturbing and fascinating.

*Okay, I'm in shock. Otherwise I would likely be screaming my bloody head off.*

Taking several deep breaths, Wil tried to figure out what exactly had happened. There were two of him, that much was obvious, but how? Why? Was it a hellmouth thing? Would Alex multiply as well? He really wasn't up to handling this alone.

*SPIKE*

He hollered to get the demons attention with out waking Alex. When Spike didn't answer Wil began to piece it together. Wil was Wil, and the other, the one in the bed, was Spike. Panic set in. Wil began shaking, he was hyper-ventalating, and his heart was hammering in his chest.

"Oh God! I'm alive."

That was the final straw, Wil slumped to the floor and began to laugh hysterically. It was all too unreal. How many times he had wished for this, prayed for it, and now that he had it ... He wanted it to go away. He didn't know how to be a human in this world. How to interact with other people. He was scared, and he desperately wanted to run like hell, to the one place, the one person who always made him feel safe. But England was a long way away, and his Grandmother had been dead for a very long time.

Alex awoke to the sound of laughter. It sounded wrong. He rolled into his bedmate and saw that he was still asleep. Alex was never very good in the morning, or anytime that he first woke up. He sat up, rubbing the sleep from his eyes and focused on where the sound was coming from. He saw Wil sitting on the floor, head in his hands, laughing, crying, he wasn't sure which. He just knew he was needed and he crawled out of bed and toward the man huddled on the floor.

"Wil? What's wrong?"

Wil looked at Alex, then looked at his double on the bed and then looked at Alex again. Alex followed the movement and realization sunk in.

"Holy hellmouth Batman! What the fuck is going on?"

Wil choked out a painful sounding laugh and Alex pulled him into his arms. He held him close and tried to calm him. He could feel the mans heart pounding, hear the quick, shallow breaths. That's when he noticed that instead of the soothingly cool skin he was used to feeling against him, Wil was warm. Warm and alive.

"Wil? Is Spike still with you?"

A shake of the head was his only answer.

"Are we gonna assume that, that is Spike in the bed?"

A nod this time.

"Okay. We can deal with this. We can. We just need to wake up Spike, hope he doesn't try to kill us, and figure out what the hell happened. Okay?"

Another nod and Alex got up, helping Wil to his feet as well.

"Put somthing on, if he attacks, run like hell. Get outside in the day where he can't follow."

"Alex ... "

"Wil, he can't really do much to me. I'll live. Again. You won't. He might react instinctively. I don't want to take any chances, okay?"

"Alright."

"Promise?"

"Promise. Lets just do this."

Wil quickly pulled on pants and a shirt and followed Alex back to the bed. He stood behind his immortal lover as he gently woke the slumbering demon.

"Sod off! M'sleepin' here."

"Spike? Spike you need to wake up."

"Xan? Er, Alex?"

"Yeah. We ah, we seem to have a very hellmouthy situation here. Can you wake up now?"

Spike opened his eyes and looked blearily at Alex. Then he saw the man behind him. The man smelled like his pet, he growled at him.

"Stop growling at Wil."

That got Spikes attention. It had been over a century but he still vaguely remembered what he looked like. The human standing behind Alex was William. Did this mean he didn't have a soul anymore? He started to grin, thinking of the things he could do now that he was no longer chipped or souled. Then he remembered what had happened earlier that morning.

"Willow."





Part Twenty-Eight



"Willow, what? Spike, what does Willow have to do with this?"

Spike sat up and turned remorseful eyes on his Xander. He didn't know what the man was going to do when he found out this was his fault. Maybe it was a good thing? Everyone could be happy together, yeah?

"I was laying here early this morning. You and William were sleeping, I was enjoying me freedom while it lasted. I was just thinking 'bout things, pissing and moanin' truth be told. I was feeling sorry for meself, how I was a secondary being an' all. No freedom, no choice, no say in even my own bloody appearance."

Spike took a second to glare at Wil before resuming his explanation.

"You know how I am, pet. Didn't mean anythin' by it. Hells, I hadn't realized I'd spoken out loud till it was too late. I just wasn't thinking. I didn't mean it."

Alex sighed and sat down beside Spike. Since it looked like he wasn't about to bite either him or Wil. He picked up Spikes' hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze.

"Okay, I believe you. Now tell me what you said. Word for word, Spike. Don't leave anything out."

Spike told him his entire inner dialogue. He finished up with a whisper.

"Then out loud I said, 'I wish I had my own body, then I could do as I soddin' well please.' I didn't know she was here, luv. Honestly."

Wil had the grace to look a fair bit guilty as well. He knew he was monopolizing Alexs' time, and that he was very adamant about his dress style and hair colour. He just hadn't realized how badly he made Spike feel.

"For what it is worth, Spike. I'm terribly sorry. I hadn't realized how badly I was treating you."

Spike looked at Wil and could tell right off that the man was sincere. He shrugged his shoulders and then leered at him.

"Want to make it up to me then? Give us a kiss!"

Even Alex had to laugh as Wil spluttered and blushed and then scowled and got huffy. Spike ducked several pillows that were tossed at him and smiled at his human counterpoint.

"I forgive you. Just stop throwing soddin' pillows at me, git."

The tension breaker was desperately needed. Although it did bring up a whole series of other problems. But first things first.

"So Willow granted your wish. Why?"

"How the hell should I know? What did you say was her area of specialtise?"

"Friendships gone sour, that sort of thing."

It was Wil who made the connection.

"So, you think of me as a friend? That's why she was able to grant you your wish. You were angry with me, rightfully so, for mistreating you, ignoring your wishes, monopolizing all our time with Alex etc."

"Guess so. Sorry."

"Are you? It seems to me that you got exactly what you asked for. Why would you be sorry?"

"Because I never thought about what it would do to you."

That's when it dawned on Alex. Wil was human, he would age now, he would grow old and die someday. That is, if one of Sunnydales demon population didn't get to him first. Sooner or later he would lose the man he loved.

Once again, Willow had shown how truly spiteful she could be. This was just one more pin to stick him with, one more wound to bare. He knew now, nothing would ever bring Willow back. She truly hated him. Why, he would never understand.





Part Twenty-Nine



It had been three days. Three days since Wil had been human. Three days since Spike had cut and bleached his hair. Three days since Alex had had his world turned upside down again. Three days since any of them had had sex. It was the last part that was getting to Spike.

They had discussed options, how to keep Wil from growing old and dying on them. They tossed around the idea of Spike turning Wil and then resouling him. They had discussed finding a spell that would bind him to either Spike or Alex. They had even entertained the idea of asking Anyanka for help. That had lasted all of ten seconds.

In the end, it would be Wils decision to make as it was his mortality at risk. He wanted to think about it for a while. Alex understood, Spike did not. He argued that anything could happen to him now. That humans were too fragile, and some nasty demon could eat him all up. That didn't do much to help Alex not think about his lovers mortality.

The other thing was Wils attitude toward sex now. He said he had no problems with being in a homosexual relationship and he still loved Alex deeply. It was Spike that concerned him. He still had certain victorian attitudes about sex and threesomes were not something he was comfortable with. Espescially when one of the bodies was a complete double of his own. It was too strange for him to be comfortable with.

Alex was trying to be patient. He loved Wil and he understood why this was hard for him. But he also understood Spike, the longer they put it off, the harder it would be. Spike had no moral inhibition to shagging Wil. As a matter of fact he was looking forward to it. He always knew he was a handsome bloke, but he hadn't realized how sexy he looked.

The only thing stopping Alex was that he couldn't just pick one of them and screw them silly with out hurting the other. If he shagged Spike, Wil would probably think that now that he was human, Alex would leave him for Spike since he wouldn't get old and die. If he made love to Wil, Spike would get angry and think that Wil was more important to Alex than he was. All in all, Alex was in hell. And once again, it was all Willows fault.

Wil continued to run the shop, no longer needing to set the wards each day. He met Alex for lunch in the park every day, enjoying his time outside in the sun. He was happier than he had ever been. To be alive, truly alive in this time was miraculous. He was almost grateful to Spike for making that wish. The only thing that was keeping him from leaping for joy was Alex. He knew the man was hurting for him, that he was thinking of the day he would lose him to death.

Alex couldn't help but think about it. Wil was human now, and humans had certain needs. Friends, family, a sense of belonging. Alex remembered wanting these things, needing them. He had found all of that with Buffy and Willow. They were his friends, his family. He had a place in their world even though he was just 'regular guy'. No special powers for him. But he also remembered feeling inadequate at times, as though they just kept him around to make him feel better, like they knew that he was nothing with out them.

Was that the way Wil felt now? If not now, would he at some point come to resent him and Spike because they had forever and he didn't? Would he still want to be involved with a man now that he was human again?

It was the last thought that really bothered him. Wil was now able to have a family, to find a nice girl and settle down. Have children, have grandchildren. He could have the life that he had been denied. Why would he throw away a second chance like this on him and Spike? An immortal and a vampire? Two men who would never age, who would still be young and beautiful as he grew old. And if he did stay with them, how long before he realized he'd made a mistake? How long before he resented them for it?

Then there was Spike. He was chipless now and had total possession of his body. How long would he stick around? Sooner or later, claim or not, he would leave. The hunt would call to him, beckon to him. He would crave the blood and the death. Alex wouldn't be enough of a reason to refrain from killing. Spike was a demon, a hunter. He always would be. How could Alex expect him to stay by his side?

Thank God he had a job to go to. The time away from them each day gave him time to think. He knew that he loved them. Both of them. He also knew that they loved him as well. But sometimes that isn't enough. He had loved Anya and he'd still left. Oz had loved Willow and look what happened there. Then of course there was Deadboy and Buffy. Yeah, love wasn't always enough of a reason to stay.

Spike had his own insecurities. The fact that Wil could do things with Alex that he couldn't, like eat lunch in the park every day, was making him crazy. He just knew that Alex would choose Wil now that they were seperate. It was bloody unfair. He had made a wish and gotten what he'd asked for, only to lose the reason for making the wish in the first place. What did he need his freedom for if he didn't have Alex? It's not like he had anyone else to live for. He'd been gone for thirty years, all his friends were likely dead. He still hated Angel, and the stars only knew where his mad princess was. He wondered how long he had left until Alex and Wil asked him to leave.





Part Thirty



Alex came home to find Spike in his apartment. He had wondered how long it would take before the vampire became impatient and sought him out. He was actually grateful that he was the first one to break, this pussy-footing around each other was getting ridiculous.

"Spike. What brings you by?"

"You."

Before Alex knew what was happening he found himself pressed against the wall with his hands full of horny vampire. Not that he was complaining. When Spike brought their mouths together it was all Alex could do to keep from devouring him. He had missed this, the feel of those silky lips on his, the faint trace of copper in his mouth. He pulled Spike closer and began to pull at his clothes.

Spike was howling inside. He had half expected Alex to push him away, so when he felt the man respond to his attentions he couldn't stop from smiling into the kiss. He felt Alex tugging at his shirt and returned the favor.

At some point they had managed to make it into the bedroom while undressing each other. Alex fumbled blindly in the bedside table for lube while Spike set out to prove why breathing was an over rated experience.

The feel of that cool mouth on his cock was almost Alexs' undoing. He was so desperate for this, to feel this conection again, to know that things were not so fucked up that they couldn't be fixed. By the feel of things, Spike was just as desperate for this as he was.

"Gods, Spike. Now, need you in me."

Spike made a low growling noise that vibrated around Alexs' shaft and he almost came right then and there. It was only the swift loss of contact as Spike pulled away and grabbed the lube from his outstretched hand that saved him.

Spike was panting harshly. He didn't need to breath but he found it calmed him. Right now he needed calming or he might inadvertantly hurt Alex he was so desperate to be in him. He slowly prepared his lover while he tried to think non arousing thoughts. The sounds Alex was making were not helping. He was mewling and crying out softly, begging for more. Spike slicked his cock and lined himself up at Alexs' hole.

"Ready luv?"

"Yessss."

Spike pushed into Alex and moaned at the feel of hot flesh grasping him. Alex felt like a furnace, it was incredible. Once he was fully inside he stilled to allow Alex to adjust. He knew his true face had appeared but he was too out of control to do anything about it.

Alex looked up into the eyes of the demon and smiled. He knew Spike was just as far gone as he was. This was not going to last long. That in mind, he reached up and trailed his finger tips lightly over his lovers facial ridges. Spike growled softly and closed his eyes. Alex wiggled to signal that he was ready for Spike to move.

"Xander, luv. Missed this, missed you."

"Me too Spike. Uhg! Faster, please."

Spike increased the pace of his thrusts and began jerking Alexs' cock in time to his thrusts. He buried his face in Alexs' neck and sucked gently on his skin, leaving a bruise. Alex tilted his head to give him better access.

"Do it. Bite me, mark me again."

"Xander."

Spike groaned into Alexs' neck before sinking his fangs into the smooth tanned flesh. He drank a small amount of Alexs' blood and felt his orgasm rip through him just as Alexs' seed spilled over his hand.

When Alex recovered the first thing he thought of was Wil. He needed to talk to him about this, about what was happening now between the three of them. But first, he thought he should talk to Spike. Maybe between the two of them they could figure something out.

"Spike, we need to talk about Wil."

Spike growled softly and clenched his jaw. He should have known this would happen, that Alex would have to bring him into this even when they were finally alone together.

"You want me to fuck off so that you two can be together? That it?"

Spike was up and pulling on his jeans in record time. Alex just gaped at him, confused.

"Er, no? Spike, come back here. Please?"

Spike turned around and looked at Alex. He ran his hand through his short bleached blonde hair and sighed. He sat on the edge of the bed and waited for Alex to speak.

"I don't want you to go anywhere. I love you, remember? It's just ... I love Wil too. I don't know what's happening here, I think ... I think I'm losing him."

Spike moved back into the bed with Alex and pulled him into his arms. He kissed him on the head and ran soothing hands down his back.

"It's a confusing time for him is all, luv. He's newly human and needs time to process what it means. He'll either stay with us or he'll leave. Nothing we can do about it except tell him how much we want him to stay, how much we love him."

"You want him to stay?"

"Course I do. He's my soul."





Part Thirty-One



William closed the shop early and went for a walk around town. He was enjoying the freedom of being able to go outside whenever he pleased. His lunch dates with Alex were wonderful but he wanted to spend more time in the sunlight than just an hour a day.

He didn't go out at night much anymore, Spike was adamant that he stay inside or be accompanied by him. Not that he minded the protection Spike offered him, it was just that he felt a bit ... coddled. He had spent the last twenty-eight years looking after himself after all. He certainly didn't need to be watched like a three year old.

Of course when he'd told Spike that, the vampire was most indignant. He spluttered and raged about how fragile he was now, about how many different species of demon could and would kill him for either food or sport. Not to mention the fact that he hasn't been human in over a century and had no idea how to fight in his new weakened state.

Wil had to admit he was right, not that he was happy about it. If it weren't for Alex, and possibly Spike, he would sell the shop and move away from Sunnydale. Perhaps he could talk them into leaving with him?

That was the other problem. He wasn't sure what was going to happen with them now that he was human again. He still loved Alex, that wasn't an issue, and Spike was very important to him. If he could get past the fact that he was in a body identical to his own, and that he was a demon, Wil was pretty sure he could come to love him as well. He just wasn't sure he was willing to give up his humanity for the two of them.

Could they accept that? If he decided he didn't want to become immortal? If that were even possible, he refused to be a vampire. Sharing his body with Spike was one thing, but to share it with some other demon? The thought made him cringe. And they hadn't thought of any other way, aside from asking Anya to curse him, to do it.

So the question was, would they stick by him as he grew older, as he got weaker and eventually died of old age? Would they resent him for not giving them forever? Would they even care now that they had each other to spend eternity with?

It was questions like these that held him back from being with them, well Alex any way. With Spike, it was all of that plus the idea of having sex with a double of his own body, it just seemed ... wrong. He knew the demon found his hesitation both ammusing, and frustrating at the same time. Alex however, was as patient as he had been in the beggining of their relationship. Although he did wonder what was keeping the two of them from simply falling into bed together. He thought perhaps that it was because of him but he wasn't entirely sure.

WIl found himself in the park once again and had to smile that his feet had brought him here of all places. He sat down on the same bench he and Alex had sat at the night he told him about Spike, the night he had learned about Alexs' past, about the curse. Could he really give up a chance at eternity with Alex? Did he want to?

The truth was, the idea of forever scared the hell out of him. He was human. Humans weren't supposed to live forever. He had a second chance at life, a chance to have a real life, a happy life. He could travel, he could go to university, he could write again. He had a chance to do all the things he had been denied by his death. He could get married, have a family ...

The shock at that thought took his breath away. He could. Have a family, that is. Children. Little people that looked like him, that would carry on his legacy after he died. A sweet little girl with big soulfull eyes, like Dawn. Maybe a smart young lad with honey coloured hair and bright blue eyes. Someone he could teach, love, protect and cherish. He had wanted a family when he was alive, the first time. Did he still want that?

Maybe this was why he was holding back. Why he had avoided being intimate with Alex. Perhaps it was because he wasn't sure what he wanted yet? He needed to talk to Alex. Even if he hadn't made any decisions, he needed to tell him what was holding him back. Feeling like the weight of the world was on his shoulders, Wil stood up and made his way back toward his apartment.





Part Thirty-Two



Sunset found a freshly showered Spike and Alex walking toward Wils shop. They were both silent, wrapped up in their own thoughts. Spike was at least mollified that Alex didn't want to get rid of him so he and Wil could be together.

Alex was trying to figure out how to get Wil to stay with them. The idea that he may want a normal life now was something that wouldn't go away. As Spike had said, all they could do was tell Wil that they loved him and wanted him to stay. The rest was up to him. Perhaps it would be best if they didn't tell him that they had spent the last half hour making love in the shower, and the bed before that. It might make him feel insecure.

"Spike?"

"Yeah mate?"

"I've been thinking."

"Ah, thought I smelled rubber burning."

Spike grinned at Alex when he turned annoyed eyes on him.

"Ha ha. Any way, I was thinking that maybe we should keep what happened between us to ourselves. I don't know how it would make Wil feel and I don't want him to feel unwanted."

Spike scowled a bit at the secrecy, but nodded his head.

"If that's what you want."

It was a little too reminicent of the last relationship he'd been in for his tastes. All secrecy and sneaking around. But if Alex didn't want to tell Wil about it, then so be it.

Alex knew he had hurt the vampires feelings. He didn't mean to, he just didn't want to hurt Wil. He threw his arms up in the air and growled. How did he get into these messes? Only he could become involved with an emotionally insecure vampire and his human counterpoint.

"You alright pet?"

"No. I'm not."
Alex pulled Spike in the direction of the park. When they got there, he sat him down on a picnic table and then ran his hands through his hair. He scowled at Spike when he realized - again - that he didn't have all that much hair to run his hands through anymore.

"I am not ashamed of you. I love you."

He held up a hand to silence the vampire.

"I know about Buffy and you, how she wanted to keep it a secret, I don't want that for us. Wil knows about us, hells he was there, inside you, at the time. It's just, since the split, we've been all awkward and wierd with each other. I just don't want him to feel left out. Like we don't need him. Do you understand?"

Spike sighed but he nodded his head.

"M'sorry. I just don't like secrets. Not about us anyway. We need to deal with this luv, soon, cause I'm not sneaking around just so I can bloody well see you. It's ridiculous."

"I know. We'll talk to him tonight. Tell him that we love him, that we want him to be with us for as long as he can. After that? Well I guess it's up to him."

"Fair enough. Come on then. Lets go talk to him."

Spike took Alexs hand as they left the park and continued to hold it all the way to Wils shop. Wil had just gotten out of the shower and finished dressing when he heard Spike come home. It was strange living with the vampire now that they were seperated. Wil worked during the day and slept at night, and Spike slept during the day and prowled at night so only having the one bed wasn't a problem at least. He was pretty sure that Spike wouldn't bite him or turn him without his permission so he wasn't afraid of him either. It was just strange, living with him, like this. Alex took Wil into his arms and gave him a chaste kiss on the mouth. Wil smiled at him and stepped back from him. Alex frowned but didn't say anything.

"How was work?"

"Good. I closed up early and took a walk. It was such a lovely day, it seemed a shame to spend it cooped up indoors."

"Yeah, it was a nice day."

Suddenly Alex felt nervous and uncomfortable. He knew that they all needed to sit down and talk, but he was afraid to say anything. The way Wil had greeted him, or rather the way he hadn't greeted him, had him worried.

Wil wanted to talk to Alex. They had so many things to discuss, but he didn't know where to begin. He took off his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose. Spike and Alex looked at each other, Spike raised one eyebrow. They both knew that look.

Spike took out his cigarettes and lit one. Alex plucked it from his mouth and watched amused as Spike scowled and lit another. They both drew on their cigarettes and waited for Wil to speak. Neither were surprised when he put his glasses back on and said ...

"Alex, Spike. We need to talk."





Part Thirty-Three



Here it was. The "talk". Alex knew he should have expected it, since when did he ever get what he wanted. Not ever, that's when. He slumped down onto the sofa and put his head in his hands. He was surprised to feel cool slender fingers rubbing soothingly on the back of his neck. He smiled at the thought of Spike comforting him.

Spike knew this was going to be hard on Alex. He himself was a little hurt that it was coming down to this, but he knew how much his souled half meant to the immortal. It was just one more thing to cause Alex hurt. Ever since that damn curse, it had been one thing after another for his boy. Then he had to go and make it all worse by absently voicing a wish.

Wil looked at the two dejected men on his sofa and smiled. So eager to assume the worst, they were. He hadn't meant it to come out like that. They did need to talk, but it didn't have to be bad news.

"Spike, Alex? Are you alright?"

Alex looked up at Wil, his pain clearly written on his face.

"Is this it then? The part where you tell us that you want to stay mortal, get married, have kids, grow old and die? Where you tell us there is no room in your life for a vampire and a cursed immortal?"

Alex began to shake slightly and Spike held him. Wil looked completely shocked and Spike, well Spike just glared at Wil for hurting his Xander.

"N no? This is the part where I tell you that I've come to a decision about certain things, we talk, then we - all of us - figure out where to go from there. Is that okay?"

Alex looked at Spike and then at Wil. He smiled slightly and then nodded.

"Okay. I guess I just automatically assume the worst."

"Well, you haven't exactly had the best of luck, have you pet?"

Spike pulled Alex closer to him and motioned for Wil to join them on the sofa. Wil did, and then cleared his throat, took a deep breath and began.

"I don't want to be turned. Ever."

He held Spikes gaze for a long moment before the demon growled and looked away.

"It isn't personal, it's just ... Well, sharing this body with you was one thing, but I refuse to share it with something else. And I refuse to share Alex with another demon."

Not having thought about that, Spike calmed down some and nodded his acquiescence. Wil let out a breath he had been holding. He turned to Alex and cupped the mans cheek.

"Alex, I love you. I do, but I don't know if I can give you eternity. To be honest, the idea frightens me. I can't say that I won't change my mind some day, but for now, this lifetime that I have, I would like to spend it with you. And Spike of course."

Alex didn't say anything. Spike didn't either. Wil was beginning to feel concerned. He wasn't sure that they would accept his terms, that they would allow him to live his life as a human. Each second that passed made him more and more nervous. Finally just as he was thinking that they would never speak, Alex pulled him into his embrace and kissed him.

"I can't ask for more than that, Wil. I was so afraid that you would leave me, leave us, get married and have a family. I would never deny you that happiness if it's what you truly wanted. I hope that someday, maybe you will change your mind, but if not, this is enough. I love you."

Alex kissed Wil again, but pulled away when he heard Spike growling behind him.

"Spike?"

"What?!"

"You okay? You're awfully growly over there."

Wil shrieked as he was quickly torn away from Alex and landed on hard denim covered thighs. He was about to protest this action when soft cool lips covered his own, a cool tongue pushed into his mouth and strong hands began roaming across his back.

For all his Victorian sensibilities, Wil couldn't help but moan into the mouth that was plundering his. He had never been kissed like this before. It was so demanding and possessive. He barely registered a second set of hands on his chest, plucking at the buttons on his shirt. Before he knew it, cool lips had been replaced by warm, his pants were being opened and a cold hand was releasing him from the confines of his boxers.

The sofa was entire too small for what Spike had in mind so he picked Wil up and walked to the bedroom, Alex right behind him. Spike gently lay the mortal on the bed and slid his grey cotton dress slacks down his legs and then tossed them aside. Alex climbed onto the bed next to Wil and began kissing him once again.

Wil was lost to a sea of never ending pleasure. Where one set of hands left off another started up, where cold lips left him shivering, warm ones made him sweat. He didn't know why he hadn't done this sooner. He felt a cold slippery finger trace around his entrance and opened his legs wider to receive it.

Spike looked up at the wanton display of his human counter-point and groaned. This was what he had been fantasizing about ever since the split. To have William, his soul, accept him so openly, so freely, was almost too much. He may only have one human lifetime with this man but he was determined to make the most of it.

Alex rolled Wil on top of him and opened his legs.

"Wil, I want you inside me."

Wil moaned and shuddered against his lover. This was the one thing they had not done. While he and Spike shared a body, he had bottomed while Spike had topped. He knew the sensations, but technically this would be his first time inside of his lover.

Spike slid up beside Alex and handed wil the lube. Wil looked at the tube in his hand and handed it back to spike.

"Would you? I, er, I'm not entirely sure what to do."

Spike just chuckled and kissed him.

"Sure luv. You wanna watch?"

Wil nodded his head and blushed furiously. Alex chuckled at him and kissed him as well. Spike showed Wil the best way to stretch and prepare Alex as Wil blushed and grew ever more aroused. Finally when Alex could take no more teasing, Spike lubricated Wils' cock and rolled out of the way. Wil gently pushed into Alex until he was fully encased in the hot tight channel of his lover. He felt Spikes finger at his entrance once more and pushed back onto it.

Spike prepared Wil quickly, but carefully and then pressed himself inside. He stilled to allow Wil to get used to the sensation before pulling out slowly. He trust back in just a little harder the next time.

Spike set the pace for their mating as Wil was both taken and taking. Alex had one leg over Wilí shoulder, the other one wrapped around his waist. He could feel Spike licking at his foot every once in a while but when he looked at him, Spike was the picture of innocence. Well, as innocent as anyone could look who was currently involved in a three-way homosexual encounter.

Wil was so close to cumming it was almost painful. He continued to thrust into Alex as Spike pounded into his ass. He felt Alex tense beneath him just as he felt sharp fangs pierce his throat. That was all it took and Wil came with a scream. Alex shuddered underneath him and sprayed warm cum all over their chests while Spike cool seed flooded his ass.

The three of them lay in a tangle of limbs, both Wil and Alex panting for necessary breath. Spike was licking at the mark on Wil neck and purring. Alex looked over at him and smiled.

"You know, Spike. If I had known that you could make that noise thirty years ago, I'd have teased you mercilessly. Now though? It makes want to say 'awww' and cuddle you."

Spike lifted his head long enough to stick his tongue out at his lover.

"Sod off. M'content."

"Ah, does this mean that you have claimed me as well as Alex?"

Spike lifted up on one elbow and looked at Wil. He couldn't help the smile that crept onto his face. This was his other half, Wil was the angel as he was the demon. He shook his head at his strange thoughts.

"It does. You are mine, just as Alex is mine. Even without the bite, the claim, you were mine. You're my soul, this just makes it ... official."

Wil thought about this for a long time as they lay silent in the bed just basking in the warmth of being together. He felt like he was home with these two immortal beings. Maybe eternity wouldn't be so scary after all.





Epilogue



It was a cloudless, star lit night. The moon was full and Alex wondered if somewhere out there Oz was running free. He looked to his right and watched as Spike knelt at the headstone and brushed away the fallen leaves that covered it. It had been a while since they had been back here.

"We should go, Spike. Daylight won't be far off."

"I know luv, just a bit longer, hey?"

"Five more minutes, then we have to go. Otherwise you'll be stuck hiding out in a crypt all day."

Alex watched a star shoot across the night sky and smiled. A long time ago, before he knew about vengeance demons and bad wishing, he would have made a wish on that star. He had always wished for the same thing, someone who would love him forever. He looked over at his vampire and smiled. It seemed that someone had granted that wish.

Spike looked up from the now clear headstone and watched as Alex smiled faintly at the sky. His princess used to wish on the stars, he figured that his lover did too once upon a time. Spike never went in for that sort of thing, he always thought that he made his own destiny. That was until he made one little wish. A wish that changed his life.

"Alex, I'm ready."

Alex and Spike held hands as they walked out of the cemetary and back toward their hotel room. Today was the day they would get what they had waited for. Today, Willow would finally pay. It had taken a considerable amout of time, effort, and money to buy the ingredients and learn the spell they needed to cast, but to a couple of immortal beings it wasn't a hardship.

Wil had been gone for just over ten years now. They had never found a way to immortalize him, and then he said he didn't want it anyways. He figured he had a second chance to live, and that was what he was going to do. So for the next twenty six years, thats what he did. Alex and Spike loved him every second of every day they were together. When Wil passed, it was quiet. He died in his sleep with his lovers on either side of him.

After the funeral, Spike and Alex left Sunnydale. They traveled for a while but eventually settled in New York for a while. That was where they first heard of the spell they were going to perform tonight. The spell - if cast properly - would summon any demon you wished and hold them prisoner in a protective circle. Alex would be performing that spell.

A second spell, cast by Spike once the demon was contained would revisit every wrongdoing it had ever done upon itself. Willow would be stripped of her powers but not her immortality. She would suffer everything she had done to her friends, and every other person she had cursed. It was the most fitting thing they could come up with. Willows own visciousness would be her punishment.

The first spell was cast and Alex and Spike waited until the smoke cleared to see that they had indeed summoned and contained Willow. She immediately attempted to free herself from the circle.

"You won't get away, Wills. It's time to pay for your actions."

Spike started to chant his spell and looked at the man who had been so wronged by this ... thing that used to be his best friend. He felt no sympathy for her. She deserved worse than this in his opinion. But Alex was still a good man, and wouldn't do any more to her than what he felt she deserved. It was poetic justic, really. Just not not brutal enough for his tastes.

Willow screamed as she felt her powers being torn from her, it was like someone had reached into her chest and pulled out her vital organs all at once. She dropped to the floor and writhed in pain before passing out cold.

Spike finished chanting and stepped closer to his lover. He smoothed his - now long again - hair back from his face and rolled his brow across Alexs'.

"It's done. Do you want to leave her, or stay until she wakes?"

"Stay. I want to make sure it worked. I have to know that they will be avenged, that she'll know how hurt and betrayed we all felt. She has to pay for what she did, Spike."

Alex couldn't stop the tears that slid down his face. Spike gently kissed them away and held his love closely.

"She will, luv. I promise. Every hurt, every betrayal. She'll feel their deaths, their pain, your anguish. She will never know peace again, luv. I swear to you, if this doesn't work, we'll find something else. I won't give up. I won't let Dawn be forgotten, she forgave me ya know?"

"She did?"

"Yeah, finished reading her diaries one night. She said she overheard Buffy and Tara talking, that she understood how things were with the slayer an' me. She knew how horrible I felt, how sorry I was. She said she could forgive me, since I stopped myself, and that if I ever came home she would tell me that. She never got the chance."

Now it was Spike who had tears in his eyes and Alex who held and comforted his lover. He kissed Spike, softly gliding his lips over the silky ones beneath his. He wrapped his arms tightly around him and they just held each other, both lost in the memories they had for their fallen friends.

When Willow came to, she was disoriented at first. She looked around the dingy hotel room and then slowly made it to her feet. She saw Alex and Spike sitting together in a chair in the far corner watching her. Spike got up and approached her.

"So, Red. How you feeling?"

Willow just looked at him and blinked. She was still confused, the last thing she remembered was being in Venice, she was about to turn this guy into a donkey for stealing his best friends girlfriend. Suddenly it all came back to her. The summoning, the spell, the pain.

Willow grabbed her head and screamed as she began to be assulted by the memories of her one time friends. The fear Buffy felt at losing her power, not being able to protect her Sister and her friends. The confusion Giles felt, not knowing who anyone was or how to function in the world. The utter horror Dawn felt as she realized what was happening to her, her screams of fear and anger that just ceased in an instant.

Willow crumpled to the ground as she relived the attack that had killed Buffy, the attack that had killed Xander for the first time. She felt Giles' confusion as he finally realized that vampires were indeed real, and that he should have known that.

Willow curled up in a ball and sobbed brokenly as she felt every pain she had ever caused Xander to flood her system at once. She was overwhelmed by the depths of dispair her one time friend had lived in. How each death he revived from took him that much further away from the man he once was.

Alex watched all of this from the chair with a neutral expression on his face. He wasn't happy about this, but this was justice, not revenge. She would never curse another person. Never cause anyone the pain she had caused him and his friends. He stood up and wrapped his arms around Spike from behind and rested his chin on his lovers shoulder.

"We should go. The noise will draw attention soon."

"Yeah, think they'll lock 'er up?"

"Probably. We'll have to let Angel know where she is, let him deal with her. He's all about redeeming people isn't he? See if can redeem her."

"If nothing else, with her around he'll never achieve a moment of true happiness again."

Alex and Spike left the room, hand in hand and didn't look back. They would call Angel from the road somewhere and tell him about Willow. After that it was his problem, Alex got what he needed. Some might call it vengeance, but he preferred the term justice.





The End







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The Spander Files