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All I Need


Part Eleven

“No, Angel,” Giles said yet again, “I’m afraid I don’t know where Xander is, and quite frankly, if he were interested in contacting you, I’m reasonably certain he would have done so by now.”

He sighed softly, taking off his glasses and setting them on the desk. “Yes, I understand that you’re concerned. We all are. However, that said… he’s a grown man, and considering the life he’s led I believe him to be more than capable of taking care of himself. If I should hear from him, I’ll be certain to inform him of your inquiries.”

Another sigh. “Yes. Yes, alright, Angel. Oh, Dawn wanted me to inform Spike that she’s been forced to change her flight. She won’t be arriving in Los Angeles until eleven PM rather than seven on the thirteenth. Her final exams have been shifted a bit. I trust you’ll pass that along?”

A relieved smile that the subject of the missing Scooby had been successfully changed and Giles proceeded with the careful polishing of his eyewear. “Right, then. I’ll expect yet another prying phone call in a week, shall I? Good night, Angel.”

He honestly had no idea of why the vampire was so desperate to locate Xander Harris. The two of them had never gotten along to begin with and that state had only gotten worse after the bout of what the boy had referred to as ‘Angelus-itis’. Still, that didn’t change the fact that Angel called on a near-weekly basis in an attempt to find him.

“You’d think after nearly six months he’d give up,” the Watcher grumbled, putting his glasses back on and rising to procure a fresh cuppa. “Of course, if he did he’d hardly be the Angel we all know and loathe…”

And maybe Xander wasn’t the only one who hadn’t forgiven Angel’s demon for the things he’d done. Maybe.

* * * * *

Angel heaved a huge sigh as he hung up the phone and forced himself to meet the still-hopeful eyes of his GrandChilde. “Uh, Dawn’s going to be a few hours late when she comes to visit,” he said simply, giving the boy a sympathetic gaze. “She wanted you to know.”

Spike smiled just a little at the mention of the girl then frowned again, refocusing on the matter at hand.

“Fuck,” the blond growled, wanting nothing more than to put his fist through… something. Anything. “How is that bloody possible, Angel? How could he just… drop off th’ face of th’ soddin’ Earth? Did ya ask your bleedin’ psychics again?”

It was the edge of building desperation in the other vampire’s voice that had Angel wondering yet again about what exactly had happened in Africa between his boy and Harris. Not that he actually expected to get an answer, which was why he wasn’t asking. The first five or six hundred ‘fuck off’-s he’d gotten had made it clear that Spike didn’t want to share that story.

“Look, Spike, you’d be amazed at how many one eyed humans there are in the world. Yes, the psychics are… well, psychic… but I can’t afford to pull them from paying jobs to look for one specific one eyed guy, twenty-four/seven. I’m sorry. I wish I could, but I can’t.”

Angel sighed again, hating the fact that he was getting used to feeling like he was letting the boy down. “It’s… they describe it as looking for a needle in a pile of needles, okay? They’re still trying but unless one of them gets extremely lucky, I… well, I wouldn’t count on them pulling it off. I… I’m sorry.”

And that was the first time Angel had admitted what Spike had suspected all along. The bloody psychics were useless. It didn’t make him feel any better to be right, of course, but…

Oh, hell, who was he kidding? It made him feel worse. The way things were going, he’d never find the bloke again and while he wasn’t quite clear on why it mattered so much to him, it did.

And it also didn’t help that he’d obviously been stupid enough to think that Angel had actually listened to him when he’d come back to LA three weeks earlier, tail between his legs after searching every bloody inch of Africa, it felt like. He hadn’t, though. No, the bloody gel-abusing shit hadn’t listened then or during any of the many phone calls, apparently.

It was kind of worrisome, actually, that he was so obsessed with the boy. So he and Xander had shared a moment out there in the trees. A hot moment that still had him waking with pleasurable full body shivers. He should have been able to move on, though. Should have just… chalked it up to experience and forgotten.

Unfortunately, neither soul nor demon was willing to let that happen and didn’t it figure that the one time his two halves were in agreement it was over a no longer human bloke who thought he was some sort of a fake?

And make that a formerly human bloke whom Wolfram and Hart hadn’t even been looking for, considering Angel was a huge prat.

Angel watched the emotions chasing across Spike’s face, bracing for the usual explosion he got when the boy didn’t get what he wanted. That was why it was all the more surprising when the blond growled softly and slumped down into a chair, head in his hands.

“You… enormous… git,” the blond said slowly and clearly, trying to control his fury, “I told ya… an’ told ya. Xander isn’t human anymore! An’ he’s got two bloody eyes now, doesn’t he? You’ve wasted six bloody months of my soddin’ existence while your fuckin’ shit-for-brains psychics have been lookin’ for a one eyed human!”

He growled again, louder this time as he stood and leaned over Angel’s desk, his fingers flexing hard enough against the surface to press small indentations into it. “Forget about helpin’ me, Sire,” he sneered, blue eyes flashing hot gold at the older vampire. “I see how much ya bloody fuckin’ care!”

Okay… and that was an entirely different explosion than the one he’d been expecting. “Childe!” he snapped out, his tone stopping the blond at the door, “Get back here!”

“Why should I?” still snarling, glaring venomous disgust as he turned. “Ya didn’t listen, Angel! All this time an’ you’ve been lookin’ for th’ wrong bloke! Bloody hell, he could be dead by now an’ I wouldn’t have a soddin’ clue!”

“Spike!” Angel roared, standing suddenly behind his desk, “Get your ass back in that chair and tell me what the fuck you’re talking about! Because I promise you, you never said anything about Harris not being human!”

“Did so, ya great prat! Ya were just too busy suckin’ up ta your wolf-bint ta pay attention!”

And shit. Maybe he had been. The only thing the older vampire was entirely sure of was that… when Spike had first started calling from Africa, he’d gone on and on about Xander Harris and after a while the constant repetition had gotten boring, so… maybe he’d tuned it out. Great. Another load of guilt. Just what he needed.

“Okay,” he forced out through gritted teeth, “If I missed it, I’m sorry. But if Harris managed to survive for two years after the Hellmouth and he’s got a demon now, then I’m pretty sure Giles is right and he can take care of himself.” He nodded sharply. “Meaning… he’s probably not dead.”

He watched as those few words seemed to calm the boy slightly then he nodded again. “Okay. So sit down and tell me exactly what happened… and what kind of demon Xander is because I would have noticed if you’d said he was a vampire, no matter what else I might have missed.”

Spike frowned. Much as he needed his Sire’s help, he didn’t want to tell him everything. Unfortunately, now that Angel was actually paying attention, he had a feeling it was going to have to be the whole story or nothing at all. “Bloody fuckin’ hell,” he sighed before telling the brooding wonder what little he knew about the Xander of six months ago.

* * * * *

He’d left Africa far behind. Farther behind than six months could account for, even. In fact, he almost never even thought about it. Any of it.

Not the two years he’d spent there to begin with, not his time in the trials, and definitely not less than a week spent at a certain Lodge in Uganda.

And he never ever thought about a particular shape-shifting creature whose scent still haunted him.

Or so he told himself, in any case.

And so what if his heart leaped whenever he heard a low growl, only to plummet again when it turned out to be a dog… which happened with surprising regularity these days. Apparently other animals could smell him, scent out that he was a predator in his own right. Some of them panicked. Others tried to escape, although he wasn’t hunting them. Still others tried to show that they were just as big and bad. It was almost funny, most of the time.

A small part of him wished he’d stayed at the lodge, spoken to Will in person. Okay, make that a large part of him—meaning his beast and about half of his conscious mind. He just hadn’t been able to do it. Hadn’t been able to look into those eyes, that face and not…

Xander shook his head, his nightly stroll along the Seine providing less amusement than usual.

Damn it, he’d been doing so well with the avoidance. He’d managed to go nearly two weeks without thinking about Will or Spike more than a few times an hour, and now…

It was all that Slayer’s fault.

He’d been minding his own business, just wandering along through garret-lined cobblestone streets, leading a few obviously young fledges away from the more populated areas when she’d shown up all bluster and slay-now-ask-no-questions-later, and sure he wasn’t with the Council anymore but that didn’t mean he wasn’t still willing to use his new strength and stamina to take out a few vamps, right?

Besides… it made the hyena happy. Nothing quite like hunting another predator, even if the vampiric ones turned to dust before it could feed.

In this case, though, that damned Slayer had shown up and ruined all his fun, dusting his playmates before the game was more than started. Of course, then the bitch had turned on him Apparently being less than fully human was a good enough reason to slay.

He supposed he shouldn’t have been surprised, although Giles had been running the Council more gently than that Travers bastard ever had. Still, Giles couldn’t be everywhere at once and maybe he didn’t know what some of his Watchers were teaching their charges. He’d have to drop the man an e-mail, just to give him a heads up.

So there he’d been, robbed of his prey and faced with a very stuck up and annoying teenaged girl who was brandishing a stake at him with one hand and an axe with the other.

Buffy could have taught the bitch a few things about witty banter, he’d acknowledged at the time since her repartee had consisted entirely of an incredibly stupid comment about most other demons having better taste than to hang around with vampires.

Of course, then she’d attacked and although his beast had initially wanted to accept the dominance of the strong female, he’d made it understand that she was trying to kill them, and…

Xander was pretty sure he hadn’t hurt her too badly. Nothing a few weeks in hospital wouldn’t fix, anyway. But ever since, he’d found most of his waking moments and all of his sleeping ones focused on the ‘hanging around’ he’d done with a certain demon who’d reminded him so much of a particular vampire, and…

“Shit. I am so screwed up,” he sighed, finally turning around and starting back to the small hotel where he was currently residing. Not that he’d be staying there much longer. His savings were almost gone, after all, and… maybe it was time to get a job or something.

He wondered for a moment whether the identity he’d assumed to stay off the Council’s radar would hold up to that sort of scrutiny, but… he’d cross that bridge when he came to it. And he’d burn it behind him if necessary.

He wasn’t ready to go back. Not yet. Not until he’d managed to somehow get the memory of that scent, those eyes, that face… and their original owner… out of his mind.

Part Twelve

“Primal?” Angel said quietly into the phone, “Are you sure?”

He frowned deeper than usual, shaking his head in despair. “Well, check again! There must be some… No. No, of course I trust you to know your job, but… I need you to be sure.”

He growled softly into the phone, then again, louder. “So get me a second opinion! A third opinion!”

“No! Shut. The. Fuck. Up! And listen to me!” he was snarling now, face shifting as Angelus begged to be set free on the fucker on the other end. “This is… not a friend, but he’s family. Sort of. Be sure! Make it a priority.”

It was only as he was slamming the receiver down into the cradle of the telephone that he realized his wayward Childe was lurking in the doorway, a look on his face that took a good fifteen seconds to place. Spike looked… scared and… anxious? What the hell?

“What was that, Sire?” the blond nearly whispered, his mouth suddenly dry. “It’s Xander, i’n it? He… bloody fuck, he’s dead! He’s dead, right?”

“No!” the older vampire said, his voice so loud in the otherwise silent office that he might as well have been shouting.

“No,” he said again, quieter this time, “But… Hell. Spike, you… you’d better sit down.”

“Why? What is it? Tell me, ya soddin’ wanker! What’s happened ta my Xan!”

“I… nothing, Spike. Nothing I know of. But there’s… shit, boy, there’s something you need to know.”

His entire body was shaking with impatience, but he knew that tone. That was Angel’s ‘careful voice’… the one he only used when he had bad news to share and there was no way the big poofy wonder was going to spill word one unless and until he did what the git wanted.

He darted over the thick rug then flung himself into his usual chair with a growl and golden glare. “Right. I’m sittin’. Now talk, ya daft bugger.”

The brooding face became more so and Angel stared at his own hand on the glossy black top of his desk. “All right,” he finally said, mentally slapping Angelus for wanting to keep the boy in the dark, “What do you know about Primals, Spike?”

* * * * *

~From: One Eyed Wonder
~To: Watcher Man
~Subject: Fair Warning

Hey, G-man!

Long time no talk, huh?

Yeah, I know. Been kinda hiding out. Not that I’m free and clear of the Slaying stuff because I’m not.

What’s that they say? You can take the boy out of Sunnydale, blah-blah-blah, right?

So anyway Giles… Crap. How do I say this?

Guess there’s no easy way, so here it is.

Some of your Watchers are going against you.

Maybe that’s too general. Okay.

I know what you told them about demons, Giles. I did check my e-mail a few times that first couple years when you were getting things back up and running.

Some of them aren’t listening.

And it’s not just demons, either. It’s anyone who isn’t 100% human.

How do I know, right? Easy. I was on the wrong end of stake and Slayer the other night. I don’t think I killed her, though.

Why would a Slayer go after the Xan-man, you ask?

Long story. Let’s just say Africa changed me in a lot more ways than you know. I’ll tell you sometime.

Don’t worry, though. It’s nothing dire. Or nothing more dire than usual. LOL

Hey, Giles. I can hear you polishing your glasses from here!

I just figured you might want to know what’s going on where you can’t see, okay?

G-man… you know I love you, right? You’re like the Dad I never had. Hell, I wish I never did have a Dad growing up. It would have been so much better if I’d never known the fuckwad who sired me.

Uh, sired in the human way, not in the vampire one because so not a vampire, here. Just… not exactly human anymore.

Shit, I hope you can handle that.

I should have told you, Giles. I know that. But I couldn’t stand the idea of you giving me that disappointed look of yours.

It’s not something that was done to me exactly, so it’s my own fault but I don’t regret it, even if I was looking for something else.

Like I said, long story.

Anyway, that’s all. Just thought you’d want to know what your people are up to.

I’ll get it if you don’t want to talk to me again, G-man. I’m not really the kid you knew before, right? Just… let me know if I should bother swinging by next time I’m in London.

With love,

Your quasi-son Xander

* * * * *

~From: Watcher Man
~To: One Eyed Wonder
~Subject: Re: Fair Warning


Where the bloody hell have you been? We’ve all be worried!

Buffy wanted to send a search party into Uganda when you disappeared and Willow nearly drained herself searching for your energy signature!

Honestly, I hadn’t thought you could be such a… prat!

You will drag your ass back to London ASAP, young man! If only so that I can ground you for life!

Or better yet, use you as a sparring partner for the new Slayers-in-Training.

Yes, that will teach you a lesson! A good thumping or twelve might make you see the light. I only wish the girls weren’t stronger than I or I would dearly love to do it myself.

That said, I believe I owe you at least a word of thanks for alerting me to the problem with certain of my staff.

If I am not mistaken, you would be referring to Etienne DuChamps and his Slayer, Dominique.

I have been given to understand that the girl is recovering nicely, largely due to the fact that none of her injuries were in critical or fatal areas.

Etienne has been reassigned under Andrew’s watchful eye. I truly feel that the young man will benefit from Andrew’s guidance, much as I never would have thought to say so just a few years ago.

With regards to the other, Xander.

As you haven’t said in what manner you’re no longer entirely human, all I can say is that… you seem to have control of yourself. I say this because you could have easily killed Dominique and apparently made a conscious choice not to.

Yes, I have seen photographs of her injuries.

I can not say that I’m pleased about what you did to her, however I certainly don’t and won’t blame you for defending yourself.

You’re very right, Xander. You’re not the boy I used to know. But Xander… you haven’t been that boy for a very long time.

You grew up. And in the process, you became a man who I am proud to call friend… and because you are no longer employed by the Council—meaning me-- I have no compunctions about admitting that your sentiment is returned.

If I had been blessed with a wife and a son, Xander, I would have been very pleased if that son had been you… fully human or not.

With equal love,


(P.S.~ Do you have any idea of why Angel would be desperate to find you? He’s been annoying me on a near-daily basis for almost half a year now. I believe it may have something to do with Spike, although I can’t be certain. He did seem rather surprised to hear from me in Africa but I can’t say whether that has anything to do with this. ~Giles)

* * * * *

He read Giles’ e-mail… then he read it again. And again, mind spinning faster and faster as he sniffled for a few minutes.

Then the P.S. registered and… he tried to figure out what the hell Angel had to do with anything, much less Spike.

Spike was dead, gone, dust and ash, lost to him, to the world, to everyone and everything and…

And Giles had talked to him? How was that even possible?

It took a good hour of his eyes staring blindly at the monitor for Xander to think about checking his old e-mail account but when he did, he inhaled sharply and sobbed just once, ignoring the looks it earned him from the other patrons of the internet café.

Twelve e-mails from Giles, dating from the day after he’d gotten to Uganda through a few days ago… and interspersed amongst those and the e-mails from Buffy, Willow and Dawn he found thirty or so messages from someone he’d never heard of before.

His heart was pounding wildly, his beast stirring within him almost desperately as he clicked on the name of the sender—‘Clever Childe’.

He didn’t notice the tears pouring from his eyes as he read, didn’t pay any mind to the way his hands were shaking or the sense of triumph the hyena spirit was reveling in.

The only thing he did notice was the obvious longing that had somehow transmuted itself from the electronic mail to his heart.

“He’s alive,” he whispered, not entirely sure he believed it, but the words were so Spike, so…

“I need to find him. Go there. Make this right… and find out why in the hell he didn’t tell me!”

And that was an idea the beast within was more than happy to support.

Part Thirteen

“You’re wrong, Sire,” Spike growled, leaning over Angel’s desk once again, golden eyes locked on truly saddened brown ones. “If all of these bleedin’ ‘Primals’ go soddin’ nuts an’ start killin’ people, then Xander’s somethin’ else!”

“Spike, that’s just not poss…”

“Don’t fuckin’ tell me it’s not possible, ya git! Saw him, didn’t I?” The blond snarled, words hissing slightly as they passed sharpened teeth. “He stayed at th’ same bloody Lodge an’ didn’t even try ta snack on anyone! That sound like one of your soddin’ ‘Primals’ ta ya?”

Well, and no. It really didn’t. Still, that was the only possibility that had come up in the search he’d had more than half of his staff conducting. “Maybe… maybe it was self-preservation or something, Spike! Too many people around, so it couldn’t hunt or something…”

Another growl as Spike tried to restrain the impulse to throttle the older vampire with whatever might be handy… like a chair. Or the bloody ugly lamp on the desk.

“You’re an even bigger wanker than that hair suggests, aren’t ya, Angel? Told ya! He had that one bloke all separated from th’ herd, didn’t he? Had him outside an’ less than fifty yards from th’ trees! Loads of lions an’ leopards an’ shit there, yah?”

He leaned closer, forcing himself to speak slowly and clearly out of deference to his GrandSire’s obviously slow mind. “Xan could have killed him. Eaten him. Dragged his remains off inta th’ forest an’ said he’d wandered off. Not a soul would have thought anything but that one of th’ bleedin’ wild animals got him.”

“But he didn’t, Sire. He sent th’ bloke away an’ went off ta hunt down a soddin’ deer! Does that sound like someone what can’t control his own impulses ta ya?”

Angel sighed, realizing that even Angelus was confused about what all of that meant. In fact, if Spike hadn’t seen it with his own eyes, Angel wouldn’t believe it. But Spike had. There was no way the boy could be lying so consistently and well, and not about this. For some reason, Xander Harris was important to Spike, and that meant he was important to Angel as well.

“No,” he finally said. “But I can’t believe that there’s some sort of… human-demon hybrid out there that Wolfram and Hart didn’t know about before and that we haven’t come across since the… change in management, so…”

“Fine! Don’t believe me! ‘s not like that’s a shocker, ‘ey?” the blond snarled again, louder. “Ya never trusted me! Not ya, not Angelus! Always thought ‘little Willy’ was too bloody stupid ta do anythin’ or know anythin’ without one or th’ other of ya tellin’ him! Well, I know this, Sire!”

He nearly howled with frustration and anger. “Whatever my Xan is, whatever he’s become? He’s still a good bloody bloke! A soddin’ white hat ta th’ end! Ask yourself this, Angel! If he was a bloody bug-shaggin’ nuts Primal, where are th’ fuckin’ bodies? Where’s th’ reports ‘bout bunches of folks bein’ killed an’ eaten, ‘ey?”

And suddenly the other part of what Angel had said came back to him. “An’ where’s his bloody Pack! Ya said they travel in packs, so where’s his? Was all on his own in Africa. Would have noticed if there was more than one of his type roamin’ around, wouldn’t I? Or do ya think they were layin’ low, too?”

Even his demon had to admit that Spike had made some good points, much as it hated to do so. Angelus really had thought of Spike as the weak link in their little family, and even with all the things the blond had done in the past couple years that proved otherwise, it was a hard habit to break him of.

He sighed and shook his head. “Okay. Okay, Spike. You’re… God, I don’t believe I’m about to say this, but… You’re right, Spike.”

It took a moment for that to sink in but when it did, Spike blinked, human features replacing the demonic ones he’d been wearing. He glanced around the office for another moment or three as though waiting for something.

“What?” Angel demanded, the constant mood swings annoying him almost beyond bearing. “What now?”

Another moment of tense silence and Spike shrugged. “Ya said I was right about somethin’. Figured I’d wait ta see if th’ world was endin’.”

The older vampire growled softly, reaching for his cell phone when it beeped. “Very funny, Spike,” he grated out quickly.

He hit a few buttons, finally figuring out what the beeping was, then opened the text message he’d just received.

Surprised brown eyes flew to his GrandChilde’s and he shook his head, not knowing what to say as he turned the phone, letting Spike see the message displayed on the screen.

‘X in Paris. Fought a Slayer. Have S check e-mail. PD for RG’

Angel swallowed a few times, amazed by the timing, then managed to find his voice. “I’m assuming you’re going to Paris, then…” he said, closing the flipcase of the phone and looking up to meet… nothing.

A few scattered shouts from the hallway outside announced the boy’s hasty departure and Angel almost smiled before remembering…

They still didn’t know what Xander was and while Spike obviously trusted the former human, it was always a good idea to be careful. And careful meant backup in this case.

He’d arrange it himself and with any luck, his GrandChilde wouldn’t even know the team was there unless he needed it.

Angelus curled contentedly within the corner of Angel’s mind he occupied. Spike would be protected. His family would be protected… and at his age, with the insanity of years earlier gone, that was what mattered most.

* * * * *

Check his e-mail… check his e-mail? Bloody fucking hell, he’d done that at least twelve times a day since he’d gotten Xander’s letter in the bar that night and… there had never been anything.

He’d still tried, though… hell, he’d written to the brunette every few days until he’d come back to LA, just on the off chance that maybe the sheer volume would make the bloke reply, if only to tell him to stop. At least then he would have known his Xan was alive.

As it was, if Xander had finally bothered to respond, there was no way Spike was going to even try to play it cool.

And that was why he was racing as fast as he could from Angel’s office, down the hall, waiting impatiently for the elevator, finally saying ‘sod all’ to that after almost thirty seconds and taking the stairs.

He barely managed to slam the door behind him when he reached his rooms, and his feet actually skidded over the hardwood floor as he raced to his computer. He flung himself into his chair, growling as the sodding laptop took what seemed like forever to boot up. “Come on, come on… hurry up, ya bleedin’ piece of crap!”

Moments of shaking anticipation, mind swinging from one extreme to the other… Xander declaring his undying love and devotion. Xander demanding that Spike stop trying to contact him. Loathing him. Hating what they’d done in the forest, wanting to never hear from him again.

And then… he was in.

He was in!

His hands were shaking as he went to his mail, fingers trembling while he moved the cursor and clicked on the first new message.

* * * * *

~From: One Eyed Wonder
~To: Clever Childe
~Subject: Regrets

Spike. God. Spike!

I can’t, I don’t… is that really you? Are you

* * * * *

Spike frowned and hit the ‘back’ tab then clicked the second message.

* * * * *

~From: One Eyed Wonder
~To: Clever Childe
~Subject: Re: Regrets


That would have worked better if I hadn’t sent it by accident, huh?

Shit, Spike.

It’s you.

HOW is it you?

I… fuck. Shit. Jesus fucking Christ!

Okay. Making myself be calm now.

I’m calm.


I had this all thought out. How I was going to say this. And now that I’m typing I can’t remember any of it.

I… okay. It’s e-mail. I can say whatever I want to and the worst you can do is not reply, right?

So this is me taking a deep breath.

And this is me letting it out. LOL

I thought it was just me, Spike. I thought I was the only one who couldn’t let go. You were dead and I couldn’t…

Hell, I even managed to piece together the things you said when you were crazy and the little bit you said after. It took me a while but I figured it out.

Shit. This should be easier in e-mail, but it’s not. Fuck.

I… you know what? I’m not gonna tell you. Not like this.

It doesn’t matter anyway. All that matters is us.

I’m not sure there even isan us but the first twenty or so e-mails you sent me sort of sounded like maybe there is… like maybe you want there to be.

Then again, the ones after were kind of…


Not them. Just me saying ‘shit’, y’know?

Okay. I’m just gonna say it, okay? Since you can’t tell me not to right now.

That night in the forest. I… fuck, I wanted it to be you. And it was but I didn’t know it and if I had known I would have wrapped myself around you and held you and protected you from the sun and when you woke up I would have licked the back of your head better and wrapped my lips around your cock until you came hard and deep in my throat and then I would have teased you open and sunk deep into you and…

Groaning now… and…

And Jesus fuck. Enough babble, right?


I can’t stop thinking about you, Spike.

Not just the sex stuff, but you.

Hell, I’ll understand if you don’t reply to this. I don’t expect you to after the way I ignored the account you were writing to.

I wanted to disappear. And I did. I used an identity that I had in reserve just in case I needed it.

And I did need it.

After Uganda, I needed it. Needed to be someone other than the guy who’d run at you, attacked you and... well, you were there. You know what I did.

I should have hidden myself better. Hidden my beast better. Because I’m sure you know what I am by now.

I’m sorry for the way I attacked you, Spike. I never gave you a chance to say no. And I don’t know if it’s possible, but… can we forget about that and try to at least be friends again?

I don’t know, but I’m willing to try.

Are you?


* * * * *

Spike snorted, every part of him wanting nothing more than to find the git and beat him for putting him through six months of hell.

Instead, he clicked the ‘reply’ tab.

* * * * *

~From: Clever Childe
~To: One Eyed Wonder
~Subject: Re: Regrets

Bloody hell, Xan.

Scared the fuck out of me, you did, running off like that and leaving me with that bloody note! But I’m guessing you know that, seeing as I might have mentioned it a time or two in those e-mails you mentioned.

Don’t rightly know what’s happening here. Just can’t seem to stop thinking about you. Scoured all of bloody Africa looking for even a hint of where you’d gone and… yeah, mentioned that before too, didn’t I? Fuck.

Think I’m obsessed with you, love. Must be.

Seems like you’re worried about that night in the forest, Xander, and you shouldn’t be. Not sure how much you remember, mate, but you weren’t the only one participating in our little ‘rut against the tree’ moment, were you?

I’m saying you didn’t attack me. Not really. Could have gotten away if I’d wanted to, yeah? Vampire, aren’t I. And before you go getting broodier than sodding Angel on a bad day, you weren’t the only one who got off on it, right? I seem to recall covering you in cum, pet. Not something I do without a certain degree of pleasure.

So bloody hell NO we can’t forget about it! Don’t want to! And I don’t want to be friends again. Not when I know now how bloody good you feel pressed against me, your body all sweating and heaving with want.

We were friends once, yeah. As much as I was friends with any of you lot. Okay, more than that but friends, right? This is different. Don’t feel like sitting down and watching a game with you, do I?


Missed you, mate. Wanted to rip your head off in Africa. Before I knew you were you, I mean. Pissed me off no end that some wanker was walking around looking like you and not being you. And yeah, told you that already too.

Don’t want to miss you anymore, Xander. Not like this.

Need to see you, pet. Soon.

You mind if I do that? See you?

Bloody hell, tell me it’s alright.


* * * * *

Nothing to do now but wait, Spike knew, although in this case he chose to assume the best and started packing. He was bloody well going to Paris and if he had his way, he wouldn’t be coming back to LA without his… whatever Xander was to him.


And he’d have to remember to ask him what he was because ‘Primal’ just didn’t cover it. He knew that much, although he wasn’t sure of how he knew.

He just knew.

Part Fourteen

In the end he hadn’t even waited for a reply.

He’d simply called down up to Angel’s office and told him he needed the jet, which was apparently being fueled while the pilot filed their flight plan with the tower at LAX.

Spike couldn’t help grinning as the chauffeured limo slid through the rush hour traffic like some sort of a big, magic whale. The again, that was pretty much what it was. Conspicuous consumption at it’s best. The old ponce had made it into something of an art form since the big battle.

He counted himself fortunate that he hadn’t had to convince his GrandSire of the need for this trip, as much as he resented having to be grateful to Angel yet again. Still, he figured he’d end up paying for it when he came back.

If he came back, he reminded himself. There was no guarantee that Xander would want to live in Los Angeles, after all, and Spike couldn’t quite picture finding the bloke and leaving him again. Not even if his demon hadn’t been growling at the notion.

“Care ta pick up th’ pace, mate?” he called to the driver, smirking when the bloke tried to look at him in the rear view mirror. “Don’t have all night, do I?”

A heavy sigh filled the air, then the driver spoke. “We’re making very good time, sir. Any more magic on the car would be dangerous. But don’t worry, you won’t miss your flight.”

“Yah… know that, seein’ as it’s a private bloody plane. Won’t leave without me, will it?” He smirked a bit, then frowned. “Not known for bein’ th’ most patient bloke, am I?”

A laugh. “No sir. Patient isn’t one of the words the guys use when they talk about you.”

“Ya lot talk about me?” Spike chuckled. “Well, well. An’ what do ya say, ‘ey?”

A shrug. “Mostly that you get things done fast and dirty when necessary. Or we did when you were here more. Now it’s more like ‘damn this place is boring without Angel’s Childe around. Wonder when he’ll be back’,” the driver said with a laugh.

Spike snorted. “Yah, well Broody th’ Wonder Git isn’t rightly known for his stellar sense of fun. Still think he needs ta find out if one of th’ soddin’ firm’s doctors can schedule him in ta have that stick removed from his bum. Think he might choke on it one day, it’s so bloody far up there.”

The rest of the drive passed quickly and Spike made a mental note to request the same driver on the rare occasions that he didn’t drive himself.

* * * * *

The flight from LA to DC was bloody well boring but it couldn’t hold a candle to the sheer lack of any sort of enjoyment that occurred during the trip over the ocean.

By the time the plane set down outside Paris, Spike was ready just stay there forever. Of course, he might be doing that anyway, he reminded himself.

It took almost no time at all to get through Customs, especially as he only had the one bag and the laptop.

It took even less time to explain his need for internet access and be shown into the First Class lounge of one of the airlines—a courtesy extended to those with their own planes.

Spike wasn’t there long. Just long enough to start the computer and check his e-mail.

He bit his lip nervously, hoping Xander wanted him there and afraid that maybe he didn’t although the earlier messages had seemed to imply that he was wanted, and…

“Oh, bollocks,” he muttered, “Just bloody well look, you ponce.”

He opened his mail program.

Gave an anxious smile that there was a new message from his Xan.

He clicked on it, eyes scanning the very brief contents—only five lines.

* * * * *
~From: One Eyed Wonder
~To: Clever Childe
~Subject: (none)

Timhotel Saint Georges

21, Boulevard de Clichy

9th Arrond.

3rd floor, second room on the left.

~X (trying so hard not to cry like a girl here, Spike)

* * * * *

~From: Clever Childe
~To: One Eyed Wonder
~Subject: Re: (none)

You need to change your name, pet.

How about ‘Two Eyed Terror’?

Wait for me, Xan. I’m on my way.

~S (you cry and I’ll never let you forget it. You know I won’t. Unless it’s because I’m doing you so good, love. That’d be a right proper reason for tears… of joy.)

* * * * *

He looked out the window of the taxi, arching a brow at the small hotel. Not the sort of place his Xan deserved and not even close to the Lodge they’d stayed at in Uganda. Of course, if the bloke had dropped off the radar, chances were he didn’t have Watchers Council funding, so… it’d do. For the moment, in any case.

If he’d had a working heart, Spike was sure it would have been pounding. As it was, though, he found himself swallowing hard as he tossed the cab driver a few crumpled bills and climbed from the car.

“Taa, mate. Keep it,” he said distractedly, only realizing he’d overdone it when the taxi peeled away before he could change his mind. He didn’t care, though. Money. So what? It didn’t matter nearly as much as the fact that he was here… he was going to see his Xander and…

“Bloody fuckin’ hell…”

* * * * *

Third floor. Second room on the left.

He stood outside the door, breathing hard for some reason. His hand rose once, twice, fingers clenched into a fist and… he couldn’t knock. Couldn’t make himself do it.

What if Xander had changed his mind since he’d sent the e-mail? What if the delay in responding to it had made the bloke think he wasn’t coming? What if…

The door opened suddenly and strong, thick fingers grabbed the lapels of his duster, pulling him inside with a jerk.

* * * * *

Xander didn’t know how it was possible, but it obviously was.

He’d just gotten the e-mail on the brand new computer he’d bought with the last of his savings, and then he’d smelled it.

At first he’d thought it was some sort of sense-memory brought on by Spike’s reply, but… the scent—that rich, thick, glorious scent had grown stronger, then stronger still.

He’d been sitting there at the small desk in his room, body vibrating softly at first, then harder and harder as he heard the measured steps coming off of the lift and moving to his door.

He’d swallowed roughly, growing hard in his pajama pants as he’d listened to the strained breaths on the other side of that thick barrier of wood, and…

It was Spike. He knew it was Spike. Hell, even the hyena knew. In fact, his beast was practically purring, although hyenas didn’t really do that.

He wasn’t sure of when he made the decision to get up and go to the door. Wasn’t even sure he’d done it until he was standing there.

And what if Spike wasn’t sure about this? What if he was standing outside and not knocking because he’d changed his mind?

‘Change it back,’ the beast snarled softly, ‘Ours. Our Will, our Spike. OURS.’

‘Yessss…’ Xander admitted with a slow, dark smile, ‘Ours. Ours always.’

He flung the door open, grabbing the blond and dragging him unceremoniously inside, kicking the door closed with a loud slam that was echoed by the sound of a strong, panting vampire being pressed hard against it.

Part Fifteen

Lips. Tongue. Hot, hard body, chest bare against his clothing, back flexing, supple iron under silken skin…

“B-bloody…” He couldn’t even finish the perhaps over-used phrase before he was diving in again, mouth open and panting as tongues met almost violently—sliding, twisting, wrapping wickedly around each other, and damned if Spike knew when his duster fell to the floor, when his shirt disappeared with a sound like wet silk.

He didn’t care, either. He had another shirt, he thought hazily… in his bag. Yeah, in his bag…

Muscles bunched, pale arms wrapping harder, tighter, pulling heated flesh against his own as the six-months-denied passion spread, burning wildly, wickedly, wonderfully from him to his Xander and back again.

Fingers dug deep, blunt nails finding rough purchase in flesh and tanned skin as he rocked himself harshly against the hot shaft he felt before him, his own jeans-encased cock throbbing already.

“Xan… Xander… bloody fuckin’ Christ, Xan!”

A low, deep growl built within him as he and his beast both tried to crawl back into that cool, hungry mouth, only to be stopped by the rough and sudden shove.

He almost went down on his ass, catching himself at the last moment and gazing up from his crouch at the golden eyes beneath blond hair. One hand against the floor, fingertips pressing wood, steadied him as he licked his lips slowly, green-sheened brown traveling wantonly over half-clothed flesh.

“Want you,” he breathed, nothing of the zeppo in his tone. “Need you, Spike…”

Blue eyes fastened on brown, soul rolling over the demon that quickly. “Yah…” barely a whisper as pale pink lips were licked as well. “Learned my lesson about wood at my back, though, didn’t I?”

Xander laughed, his mind putting a completely different spin on the comment. “God, I hope not…” he managed to mumble, fingers pushing against the floor as he quickly sprang upright again.

His hands darted out, grabbing pale skin again, pulling the blond against him and somehow spinning him until that nearly glowing white stretch of spine was pressed hard against his chest. His fingers ghosted down, joining over the tight, cotton enshrouded groin as he pressed his already throbbing cock to the thick seam covering his goal.

Lips dropped from ear to neck, blunt teeth nipping wickedly, then nipping harder at the groan he heard. “But you’re right, Spike,” he whispered against the soft, pale skin, “Don’t want you knocking yourself out again. That’s the bad kind of ‘wood at your back’.”

The blond gasped, hips arching into the warmth over his cock, and suddenly he didn’t care who did the fucking here, as long as there was fucking. “Need this, Xan,” he groaned, “Scary how much I need this…”

“I’m not scared, Spike,” he rumbled, voice pitched to dance over skin. His fingers moved, finding the fastenings of jeans and pulling, tugging, pushing even as he felt the blond shifting and heard boots being kicked away. “The only thing I’m afraid of right now is that this is just a dream…”

“Not dreamin’,” the vampire snarled, hands sliding behind him to push almost desperately at flannel, “Bloody hell… if I wake up an’ this i’n’t real, I’m goin’ ta walk inta th’ sun!”

Harsh gasps left two throats as the vampire turned and bare flesh finally touched equally bare flesh after far too long.

“I have a better way to burn,” Xander growled, a smirk crossing his lips when the blond shivered. “Gonna set you on fire, Spike… from the inside out…”

“Y-yah… an’ then I’m goin’ ta show ya just how it… feels… luv…”

* * * * *

Moments that felt like an eternity got them to the bed. Instants that almost vanished took them to the perfect moment.

First time, Xander realized. First time he’d done this when it actually mattered… when it wasn’t for comfort or distraction or some sense of validating the fact that he was alive!

And he was alive. In a way he’d never known he could be until that fateful night under the trees with Will. Spike. Whichever. His.

Fingers slid deep, moving easily on the slick trail of gel, and thank God Spike had thought to bring lube because he hadn’t had a chance to buy any.

(‘Didn’t want ta hurt ya, love… when I pressed inta ya. ‘Course, I’m just as glad ta have it now, considerin’…’)

He’d tell Spike later, he decided, that he hadn’t even considered touching anyone else—male or female—since he’d woken after that night in the forest. Of course, the blond would probably know that by then… among other things.

A third finger joined the first two, moving slowly-- more slowly than he thought he could stand. Still, he stood it. Managed to push the beast down inside him while it demanded that he take! Have! Because the ‘want’ was more than covered.

“God, Spike,” he murmured against the shell of one ear, “You’re so tight… gonna feel like heaven to me…” He swallowed hard, sure that the words were complete truth. “Need you so bad, baby… so bad… want to be in you, Spike, filling you up… Jesus…”

He knew he was whimpering but somehow the vampire couldn’t manage to care. Hell, not even the demon minded the fact that those sounds were coming from him.

He shifted just a bit, legs spreading wider on the mattress. “Bloody… hell… do it, Xan… please, luv. Need ta…”

And the hyena was bouncing inside him, then bouncing more as he pulled his fingers from the slick sheath and pressed the blond flat on the bed. His hand found the tube of lubricant, squeezing and slathering a good bit over his tense and ready cock before he shifted, placing himself between open legs and leaning down.

Blue eyes widened, watching one large hand settle on the sheets beside him while he felt the other hand assume a similar position on the other side. “Xan… luv… not goin’ ta break, yah…?”

And in that moment, with those words, Xander let himself go, let his beast rise to do what it had been wanting to do for close to an hour, although if he were being honest… it was what he’d wanted to do for all that time, too.

His hips rocked, the thick head of his ready cock pressing lightly at the reddened hole it belonged in. “What if I want you to break?” he growled, snapping forward and howling as cool-tight-slick-mine enveloped him.

Spike gasped, pushing up into that initially painful thrust, already glad he’d decided not to fight this. “Perfect,” he growled, features flashing quickly to true as he pressed back harder, waiting for his Xan to pull back before rising to hands and knees. “Try breakin’ me,” he challenged, the question finally worming its way into his mind. “An’ when you’re… done…” he gasped, the next rough piercing shivering through his entire body, “I’m goin’ ta… bloody hell…”

He almost wished he’d put Spike on his back. He wanted to see his face. The hyena didn’t care, though. It knew who it was fucking, knew the blond’s scent, knew his taste. Xander groaned, forcing himself to move more slowly.

“No,” he whispered, pressing his chest fully against the straining spine beneath him as his hips took up a nearly gentle rhythm, “Don’t want to break you, baby… not this time. Later, if you want…” He shifted slowly, drawing the motion out as his cock sought and finally found the hard little nub within Spike’s ass, then he pulled back, rubbing all the way before reversing the motion and moaning at the suddenly panting breaths he heard.

“Xan… Xander… my Xan… fuck, pet… that’s… yah… right there… don’t stop… bloody fuckin’…” And as it was pretty much the first time he’d babbled, Spike wasn’t worried about not being a champ. His arms tensed more, muscles flexing as he pressed back into each careful thrust. “G-god… Xan… so… fuckin’…” He wailed, a sharp stab of pleasure taking his voice for a minute as he felt the thick head inside him jab at that point that was giving him so much pleasure.

His entire body was screaming for release, wanting nothing more than to plow deep and hard into the incredible tightness surrounding his cock, but still he kept his thrusts shallow, the tip of his shaft pressing against that small nubbin over and over again. “Do you know how amazing you feel, Spike? Your little hole stretched around me, holding me tight while I slide in and out of you…?” He groaned, biting lightly at the soft skin just below Spike’s nape.

“I was right, baby,” he mumbled, forcing himself not to move any faster or harder, “You feel like Heaven… a little slice of tight, cool paradise on Earth… I could stay in you forever, making you moan and shudder… feeling you shake around me… Yeah, like you’re doing now…”

He could feel the tension gathering in his groin, feel his balls drawing up tight and hard against his body but Spike didn’t care. This was already so much more than he’d ever expected, so much sheer bliss. His body arched, pushing up against his Xan’s. “Never… knew… bloody fuck!… bein’ buggered… could be so… FUCK!... nice!”

And that was the truth, too. Angelus had never given a whit for Spike’s pleasure and that had colored all of his thoughts about bottoming. But with Xan… oh, with Xan, it was… “Harder, luv… want ta feel ya cum...”

Brown eyes narrowed as hips moved faster, one hand leaving the bed to find and wrap tightly around a hanging, seeping cock. His fist moved wildly, matching the motion of his hips as he slammed himself deeply—repeatedly-- into Spike’s willing ass, shaft scraping roughly over that pleasure point and receding each time he was buried balls-deep.

“Spike… Spike… Jesus… Spike…” he gasped, eyes closing as he felt the coiled pleasure in his belly unfurling.

He thrust once, twice, thrice again, his hungry, swollen cock pulsing needily then erupting hard, wild spurts of hot cum deep within his vampire’s cool form.

The high-pitched keening sound was coming from his own lips, Spike realized with a slight sense of embarrassment. Of course, that was fine considering the way Xander was making him feel. His body bowed and heaved, into the hand around his shaft, then back onto the demanding cock buried within him and his eyes closed, everything within him howling for completion.

“X-xander…!” he yelped, the thickening of the already nearly impossibly large cock in his ass pressing deliciously against his prostate, “Xan… c-cumming…” And then he felt the first rough, violent spurt within him and shuddered, his own shaft pulsating strong, wicked streams of fluids onto the bed.

* * * * *

“Jesus Christ…” Xander breathed, softening cock still buried deep inside that amazing ass, “That… fuck, Spike. That was…”

“Th’ best bloody shag of my life?” Spike mumbled, trying not to move and lose the somehow comforting fullness within him, “Yah… that it was…”

Dark hair moved gently as Xander pressed his lips to the nape he’d bitten earlier. His voice was a mere whisper as his arms wrapped nearly delicately around slender ribs, holding the vampire close. “Next time, though… I want to see your face, okay?”

Spike chuckled, pressing back into the embrace. “Next time, luv… ‘s goin’ ta be me fillin’ ya. An’ trust me, I’m not goin’ ta pass on seein’ every bloody twitch of your lips…”

And oddly enough, not even his beast had a problem with that. That didn’t stop him from tensing a bit, though. “O-okay…”


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The Spander Files