“Having a good time?” Xander drawled as he looked at the vampire.
Angelus looked up from the girl he was tracking and grinned. This was *fun* and a lot like he used to do with his family. There was no other feeling in the world like the rush you got from tracking and destroying your prey, in some ways it was better than sex.
Angelus answered as the girl left The Bronze, “Of course.”
Xander said, “I’ll distract her. Follow us and once we’re away from everyone you can feed.”
Xander led the way out of the heaving club to the cool night. The girl was outside waiting for someone by the look of things. She was about twenty with long black hair, and reminded Angelus a lot of his Dru.
“Are you okay?” Xander said charmingly.
The girl looked at him, “I’m waiting for a friend.”
Xander said with a smile, “Oh, you’re Karen? Lucy asked me to give you a message. She said that she would see you tomorrow, she left with some guy.”
“Again? Thanks.” Karen said with a groan as she looked around.
Ignoring the amused vampire behind him Xander said, “Do you want me to walk you home? It’s not safe to walk home alone around here at night.
“That would be great!” The girl answered and the pair started walking.
They had been walking for about ten minutes when Angelus moved out from the shadows. His Master had done very well, better than he had imagined seeing how it would be the first time this Xander had hunted.
Angelus grabbed the girl by the neck and pulled her into the alley. With a grin, he’s fangs descended and he bit into the inviting flesh. The blood was everything he had thought it would be. It tasted of fear, anger, hope and desire. Remembering his orders not to kill, he withdrew his fangs and let the girl fall to the ground.
As he fell into step with Xander Angelus commented, “You were very good, Alex. Done this before?”
Xander grinned arching an eyebrow, “Leading someone into the arms of a vampire? No but its not that much different to hunting with the Pack.”
“Where are we going now?” Angelus asked as they walked through one of Sunnydale’s many graveyards.
Xander sighed, “Home. Can’t risk Buffy finding us. She’d stake both of us if she found out I helped you feed.”
“Why don’t you leave? We can go somewhere else.”
Xander’s eyes glowed, “I can’t abandon my Pack. They’re mine and I protect what’s mine.”
Angelus said thoughtfully, “You know this hyena seems to bring out a lot of the traits your double had. Maybe in this dimension you were possessed by the hyena, instead of becoming a vampire.”
“It’s possible. The universe works on a system of balance.” Xander said ending the conversation.
Doyle groaned as the vision hit him, a jumble of images he couldn’t understand. Gasping he looked over at Angel, “We have to Sunnydale. That guy Cordy used to date, Xander? He’s in trouble.”
“What kind of trouble?” Angel said worried. He had always liked Xander. The mortal was the only one with the guts to stand up to him and to Angelus. It was something you had to admire.
Doyle said confused, “I saw a vamp biting his neck. The vamp was saying something about his master. There was some sort of meeting and then a demon attacked.”
“Is he going to die?” Cordelia asked as she grabbed the car keys.
Doyle said apologetically, “Maybe. We have to get there and save him.”
“I’m not letting Xander die,” Angel announced as the three left the office.
“Where am I sleeping?” Angelus asked hopefully.
Xander looked at the vampire who was staring at the floor again. Shrugging he asked, “Where do you normally sleep?”
“With Lex unless I’ve made him mad.” Angelus said honestly.
Xander said thoughtfully, “You can sleep with me. Don’t steal all the covers or try to bite me. I will hurt you, if I have to.”
“I won’t hurt you Master.”
Xander ignored the vampire’s term of address figuring it was ingrained and he wouldn’t be able to break Angelus of the habit yet. He remembered that any pet had to have simple rules, and wondered what rules Angelus was given.
Xander said seriously once they were both sitting on the bed, “What are the rules you were given?”
Angelus grinned remembering this game. Master always made him repeat the rules so he would remember them, “Do as you say. Always tell you the truth. Never attack you. Only kill with your permission. Never embarrass you. Only answer to Puppy to everyone but you.”
Xander was shocked that the rules were so reasonable. He had expected the rules to be worse for some reason, maybe he was just being a little cynical. Grabbing a T-Shirt and boxers he walked to the bathroom intending to shower and change.
Xander walked out of the bathroom twenty minutes later to find Angelus staring expectantly at the bathroom door. He had thought Angelus was capable of being independent, or at least that’s what the vampire’s earlier behaviour had told him.
Xander took a black T-shirt from his drawers, “You can wear this for bed. Are you injured anywhere?”
“Yes Master.” Angelus answered looking at the floor.
“Where and who did it?” Xander asked growling slightly. The vampire was *his*, no one had the right to hurt what was his!
Angelus said calmly, “My back and Willow. She was angry when Lex stopped her feeding from me. Lex went out to save Spike and Willow got me. The other vampires were too afraid to stop her. Lex killed them when he came back, he was going to fix me up and then I ended up here.”
“Take your top off. I’m going to fix your back up. I won’t hurt you.” Xander said taking the first aid kit from its place under the bed.
Doing as he was told Angelus answered, “I know, Master.”
Xander gasped as he took in the marks on Angelus’ back. Willow had obviously spent a long time torturing Angelus. The vampire’s back was covered in whip marks and what appeared to be burns. Xander started to clean up the wounds. He winced in sympathy when he had to clean the deep gashes with antiseptic but Angelus didn’t react. Xander’s eyes widened when he saw the scar on Angelus’ shoulder, it was an X in a circle.
Xander said seriously before leaving the room. “Okay, get changed. I’ll go and heat up the rest of the blood.”
Angelus did as his Master instructed and waited. He had detected the increase in Xander’s heartbeat, and the scent of anger. He just hoped Xander wasn’t angry with him, he had tried to be good.
“Here you go. In future tell me right away if you are injured.” Xander said giving the vampire the large glass of blood and placing the jug of heated blood on the bedside table.
Angelus nodded, “Yes Master.”
“I’m going to bed. Finish drinking *all* the blood and you can join me,” Xander said before getting inside the bed.
Angelus drank quickly, eager to get into his Master’s bed. It was the only place he felt truly safe anymore, probably the only place he would feel safe. Getting inside the covers, he waited for his master to tell him what to do. He smiled when Xander wrapped one leg over his body, Angelus closed his eyes finally home.
Angel carefully approached the girl, not wanting to do anything to startle her. If he did, it could mean his death. He grinned when she spun around, a stake in her hand.
“Angel, what are you doing here?”
Angel smiled, “Doyle had a vision. How are you, Willow?”
“Angry and worried. Your alternate, Puppy turned up today,” Willow sighed.
Angel frowned, “That could be why I’m here. I guess we should go and see Giles.”
“Sure. Does Buffy know you’re back?” Willow said as they approached the Watcher’s home.
“Not yet. How is she?” Angel said concerned.
“She’s a little angry. Puppy tried to kill her. I think she blames Xander.”
Angel knocked on the door and waited. He grinned when Giles opened the door looking decidedly annoyed.
Giles gave an exasperated sigh, “Angel, I take it Buffy is in danger?”
“No, Xander is.” Angel said ignoring the gasps *that* little announcement caused.
Giles said, “Damn, I was hoping I was wrong.”
“What do you mean?” Willow asked her eyes pinning Giles in place.
“Puppy might turn Xander. It would be understandable given the circumstances.”
“We have to go and save him!” Angel said worried.
Willow smiled, “Puppy is afraid of Xander, he won’t hurt his master.”
“His master?” Angel asked a sick feeling in his stomach.
“Yeah. That’s what he called Xander.” Willow said wondering how Angel would react.
“Shit!” Angel shouted running from the house. He only had an hour before sunrise to get to Xander and save him. He remembered what Doyle had said about whoever bit Xander talking about his master.
Giles and Willow looked at each other before running to the Watcher’s car intending on getting to Xander’s place to save their friend.
Angel knocked on the door loudly, thankful that his contacts had kept him informed of the exact whereabouts of the Slayerettes. He continued banging when he received no answer, mildly surprised that no one else in the building came to see what all the noise was.
In the bedroom, Xander woke to find his arms full of a shaking vampire. He immediately tried to calm Angelus wondering what had scared the vampire so much. Hearing the loud banging, he growled gently running one hand over Angelus’ chest possessively.
“Stay in here until I come back for you. I’ll deal with it.” Xander said his eyes glowing angrily.
“As you wish, Master. “ Angelus said worried that someone could hurt his Master and he would be alone.
Picking up a sword as he headed for the door, Xander growled unhappy that whoever it was had scared *his* vampire. A part of Xander realised that it was a very bad idea to get possessive about a homicidal vampire but it was too late to worry about that. Looking through the peephole he saw it was Angel. All thoughts of restraint left his mind as he remembered what Angel had done to Spike, Xander’s Pack member.
“Get the fuck away from me, Angel” Xander yelled the blade at Angel’s neck. He smiled at the shock in the vampire’s eyes.
Angel’s eyes widened in a mix of fear and arousal as he said, “I wanted to make sure you’re okay. Doyle had a vision that a vampire was going to bite you. The vampire mentioned his master, so it makes sense that its Puppy.”
“One, Puppy won’t hurt me. Two, I see you again and you’re dust. Get the idea?” Xander said deadly calm.
Angel begged, “Xander, you don’t understand! Puppy’s dangerous!”
Xander growled as all the different facets of his personality got angry. He snarled, “Don’t talk to me like that. I’m not an idiot. Puppy is not a danger to me. If I were you I’d be more worried about someone dusting me.”
Xander stopped, sniffing the air for a second he realised Willow and Giles were about to arrive. He didn’t have time for them right now, he had to go and help his Pack member.
Giles turned the corner and stopped shocked to see Xander holding a sword at Angel’s neck.
Willow questioned, “Xander? What’s going on?”
“Nothing, I’m going back to my apartment. I recommend you take Deadboy somewhere, the sun’s coming up in 29 minutes and fifteen seconds.”
Xander closed the door with a bang, knowing they wouldn’t give up. Carrying the sword, he walked into the bedroom unsurprised to find Angelus on the floor, staring at the door and shaking.
Wrapping his arms around the vampire Xander whispered, “Everything will be okay. I’m here, Angelus. I’m not going to leave you.”
“I was scared. I thought you were going to be killed,” Angelus confessed nervously.
Xander explained gently, “I’m sorry but I couldn’t risk someone hurting you.”
“Could you stay with me a while? I won’t hurt you, I promise.”
Xander smiled, “I know you won’t hurt me. Come on, this would be a lot more comfortable on the bed.”
Xander stood and gently directed the vampire to the bed. Carefully placing the sword so it could be reached from the bed, Xander sat down and gently patted the spot next to him. Angelus sat down and hesitantly reached for Xander’s hand. He stopped afraid that his attentions could be unwanted.
Xander simply took the vampire’s hand in his and lay down, grinning when the vampire copied him. He realised that he was going to have to be the aggressor, Angelus wouldn’t touch him unless Xander gave him a sign that it was okay. He placed his head on the vampire’s chest and possessively wrapped his arm over Angelus’ chest.
Xander said suddenly, “Listen to me. I’m adding a new rule to the ones you already have.”
Angelus looked at the mortal expectantly, he would obey the new rule as his master asked.
Xander smiled reassuringly, “If you want to touch me, you can. However if I tell you to stop then you stop right away. Do you understand?”
Angelus said seriously, “Yes Master. Don’t worry I’ll obey.”
“I know you will. Now we can spend the day relaxing.” Xander said with a contented sigh.
Neither noticed Giles watching them through a window in a mix of shock and dread. He had to get Puppy back before his presence changed Xander further. He didn’t want to see Xander become cold and unfeeling like vampire counterpart, Giles would kill Puppy before he’d let that happen.