TITLE: Wrong Way
Xander sat comfortably in the middle of Spike's legs watching a TV movie. They were sitting on his bed, words not escaping their mouths as they watched. Xander wasn't even sure what the movie was about. He was to focused on the feeling of Spike's arms wrapped around him. He'd never been this happy in his entire life.
It had been a month since Spike had stumbled into the hotel bruised and bleeding. It had taken almost a full week before he was healed and he was currently living with Xander. He made a trip down to Joe every night to pay Joe the money it would take to keep Xander free for the night.
Most times they would sit in silence, Xander doing homework and Spike just watching. Other times they cuddle close to each other and talk all night. Not about anything important, but the closeness was what was important.
Xander knew Spike was feeling a little antsy. He was a vampire. Vampires went out at night and hunted and killed things. Spike went out once a week and came back, his manner very stoic.
Xander would look at him with imploring eyes and Spike would merely put them both to bed, his arms wrapped tight around Xander. They never said anything and Xander wasn't sure if Spike was killing innocent people, but he didn't want to know. It was ignorant of him, yes, but he just didn't want to know.
He'd go to school everyday, passing by Joe's lingering stare as he did so, and try to ignore his friends like he had been doing before the whole teacher parent night fiasco.
They were more intruding now that Xander had showed some interested in what they were doing. They'd ask him to come to lunch with them and ask him to stay after school in the library. Xander, for the most part, was able to dodge them.
"What's on your mind tonight, pet." Spike asked his voice right in Xander's ear. Xander sighed and closed his eyes.
"Just... well it's Friday and my... I guess friends is the right word to use want me to go out with them to the Bronze. It's the local club... well it's the only club."
"Well, I told them no. They've been really nosy about my life lately. I mean ever since the whole parent teacher thing. I... well I stopped being friends with them when I moved in here.
"They just... they wouldn't be able to understand why I do... what I do. They'd either think I was disgusting and I really don't need that or they'd try and rescue me and I really don't need that either." Xander said.
Spike let out an unneeded breath. Xander had told him that his friends knew all about vampires mainly because they associated themselves with the Slayer.
"Would it really be so bad, luv. If they came in here, guns blazing and saved you. It'd prove they cared."
"It's not just this place Spike. They could stake all the vampires in Sunnydale and trouble would still come. It's Joe's bosses... and I don't want Joe to get hurt. I mean I know we haven't seen eye to eye lately, but he's still like a dad to me. I just don't want anyone to get hurt because of me. I mean when you..." Xander trailed off.
They never really spoke about what drove Spike to move in with Xander. It was a pretty sore subject.
"You can't stop people from caring about you. They're going to do it whether you want them to or not. It's human behavior." Spike said.
"And you. Why do you care about me?" Xander asked in a low voice.
"Because you're special. And you don't deserve to be cooped up in a room with me. You should go out with your friends." Spike said.
He really didn't want Xander to leave, but it was the right thing to do. Xander deserved a life. A real life and that life included friends. That included normal teenage stuff.
Xander sighed and stood up. He grabbed a hold of Spike's hand and pulled him up off the bed as well. They stood there looking at each other their fingers intertwined.
"See, even you do that. You think you know what's best for me. Spike, I've been living like this since I was fourteen. I've learned to take care of myself."
"It's not wrong for me to want you to have something normal."
"You are my something normal."
"No! I'm not. I'm a vampire, Xander. I'm just like those vampires that paid money to take advantage of you. How could you say that I'm your something normal?" Spike asked.
"Because! You may not be normal and lord knows I'm not the most normal person in the world, but what I feel for you... that's normal."
"No, it's not. Whatever you feel for me is not normal." Spike said.
"Whatever I... Spike I love you." Xander said his voice on the edge.
Spike looked at him with shocked eyes and pulled away. He knew he was in love with Xander. He knew from the moment he saw Xander that he was in love with him, but he never wanted Xander to fall in love with him. Spike was a vampire that didn't deserve Xander's love. He didn't deserve Xander.
He kept thinking that Xander would wake up one day and realize what he was doing and order Spike to leave, but in the meantime Spike was happy to just to be around Xander. He would happily do anything to make Xander happy which was why he was snacking on the criminal population of Sunnydale rather than the innocent variety.
He hadn't told Xander that. The less Xander knew about just how much Spike loved him the better off he'd be, but the kid had to go and fall in love with Spike anyway. Spike was okay with unrequited love. He'd done it before.
"Xander, you can't..."
"Don't tell me how to feel Spike. You treat me like a person. Not like some little kid. Not like a piece of trash. You treat me like I'm something special and I know you love me too."
"So what if I do! Is it really great being in love with a killer." Spike said grabbing Xander by the forearms.
"I've killed thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of people. Kids just like you. Kids even younger than you. Babies, Xander, I've killed babies and I enjoyed it. Never once looked back.
"I reveled in their blood. Used to snap the necks of guys just for fun. I've killed two Slayers. Slayers like your friend. Would you love me then? Would you love me if I killed all your friends? If I killed Joe. Would you still love me after that?" Spike said shaking Xander.
Xander felt like he was at the edge of tears. He could feel them prickling his eyes, but he didn't want to cry. He didn't like crying. He wondered if Spike even knew that he'd changed into his vampire face. Not that Xander minded.
Perhaps that's what they meant by drowning in love. He heard Spike say he was going to kill his friends or something like that. He said he could do it. Spike probably could and he'd feel nothing. It would just be another kill for him.
"Yes, I would." Xander said in a strong voice. Spike growled. He threw Xander down on the bed and, without warning, sank his fangs into Xander's throat.
Xander let out a choked gasp of surprise. He hadn't expected Spike to do that. He knew Spike could kill him and he'd be powerless to do anything to stop it. Part of him didn't care. If Spike wanted to kill him than he would.
Xander had a feeling he wouldn't. he put his hand on the back of Spike's head and pushed his head effectively pushing his fangs deeper. Spike unlatched from Xander's neck and changed back into his human visage. He stumbled out of the bed and looked at Xander. He'd hurriedly ran out of the room leaving Xander by himself for the first time in a month.
Xander walked down the long alley to the Bronze. He had quickly patched himself up after Spike had left. He waited until ten o'clock, an hour after Spike left, before sighing and heading out himself. He wasn't exactly sure why he'd ended up at the Bronze.
He should have stayed in considering he had a huge bite mark on his neck. He'd covered it up with gauze as best he could, but he wasn't really used to bite marks on his neck. He put on a high collared shirt, grabbed his jacket and decided to walk around a bit. Vampires were sure not to mess with him considering he did 'belong' to Joe.
"You shouldn't be alone by yourself at night. It's dangerous." Xander turned around when he heard the voice.
It was quite dark, but he could see a tall figure standing in the darker part of the alley. Xander walked toward it, not really sure why he did. Every instinct told him to run in these circumstances.
"Yeah, well, I'm not really afraid of much." Xander said.
"Hmm, that right. And just what makes you so confident." The figure said walking closer.
"Don't know. Just am." Xander said as he walked closer.
The figure stepped into the light. He was pale. Xander was almost certain he was a vampire, but he was old. How Xander could tell he was old, he didn't know, he just could tell that he was an older vampire.
Perhaps older than Spike. He had dark brown spiky hair and dark brown eyes that held no light to them whatsoever. He was dressed in dark clothing and he was taller than Xander. He had a serious look on his face.
"And here I thought it was the scent."
"The scent?" Xander asked.
"Yeah, you've got a vampire's scent all over you. An old vampire too. Is his name William?" The vampire asked.
"He said it used to be. He goes by Spike know." Xander said.
"And how do you know... Spike. Did he claim you?" The vampire asked. Xander looked puzzled.
"Claim? What do you mean?"
"Hmmm, maybe he didn't. But he likes you. He wants to keep you safe. He's made a promise to himself to do just that." The vampire said.
"Maybe we could cut the cryptic and get to the point." Quicker than Xander's brain could register he was being pushed against a wall the vampire holding him against it.
"You can't hurt me. Even if you didn't get your ass royally kicked by Spike, I'm one of Joe's. You can't hurt me." Xander said struggling a bit.
The vampire acted as though he didn't even hear Xander. He leant down and sniffed at Xander's neck. He growled at Xander his face changing for a second before regaining composure.
"Let go of him." Xander's eyes widened when he saw Spike standing behind the other vampire.
The vampire let him go and turned around to face Spike.
"You gotta get out of here." The other vampire said.
"You can't order me around."
"Look, I just want to do what's best for you. You can't just come in here, claim people and make a bad name for yourself with the bloodline. People are talking, Spike." The other vampire said.
"I can handle myself, Angelus."
"If you want him to get hurt, fine stay, but I'm telling you right now. I've been hearing things from the underground."
Spike frowned when he heard that.
"What things from the underground?"
"Bad things. Things like the Order's working to take out all the old vampires. It's been practically handed to them. The Master's dead. Darla's dead. Dru's... and with you treason against them they have right to kill you."
"What about you?"
"They have right to kill me to. Master vampire that kills his own kind and associates with the Slayer. Not exactly the glowing reputation the Order wants." Spike seemed to be thinking this over. He was pacing erratically.
"Well, fuck them. Those pounces... we are the fucking Order. They really thinking they could take over."
"It's not like either one of us wants to take over Spike. There aren't many Master vampires left. I'm telling you... there's another war headed our way."
"Another one. Well that alliance lasted, what... a hundred years."
"A little longer. But it isn't just the vampires that are in conflict. There's places like where this kid came from. The people who back those kinds of places. They're interested in vampires that'll pay for services. Not vampires that'll hunt and kill their own food. It's bad for business."
They were quiet for a little while and Xander felt that it was time to remind them of his presence.
"Um, hey, not to break up this little friendly discussion, I'm assuming you guys go way back, but... what exactly are you talking about." Xander asked.
The brown haired vampire, Angelus Xander thought his name was, looked at him questioningly.
"Should I tell him or are you going to." Angelus asked.
"He doesn't need to know."
"He's involved anyway you look at it Spike. So the question is... are you gonna get him out of there."
"Wait, what are you guys talking about. Get me out of where?" Xander said in a confused tone. He wasn't entirely sure what was going on, but whatever it was he didn't like the sound of it.
"It's not as easy as that." Spike said somberly.
"Look, I don't think it's right you're claiming some kid, but now that I know he's one of Joe's, and I had my suspicions believe you me, I know he's in just as much danger if not more. And he knows the Slayer. You're really fucking up here Spike. Sticking you nose where it doesn't belong. So if I have to save him to save you that's just what I'm going to do."
"Oh so now you decide to play the watchful Sire. It's a little too late for that, Daddy."
"Would you quit being petulant. I'm trying to tell you that danger is coming and to get your scrawny ass out of here and you're not even listening. I knew there was a reason I always go so irritated with you." Angel said running his fingers through his hair.
"Okay... say I believe you with this danger crap. How bad is it?"
"Try really bad. Try the vampires from Florentina are getting involved." Angel said. Spike blanched and Xander's eyes widened.
"Aren't... I mean isn't that like an ancient race of vampires? Don't the live in Europe somewhere? I thought they didn't make themselves known unless something really big was happening. Joe said they hadn't been in the last eight wars or so." Xander said.
Angel gave him a somewhat astonished look. He took a few unneeded breaths and sighed.
"He's smart," Angel said to Spike
"Perhaps a little too smart, but smart. Leave it to you to get involved with someone who works for Joe, is associated with the Slayer and is smart. You really like to be a mind boggler."
"Yeah, well keeps the others on their toes. You're serious about Florentina though. That isn't some cruel joke to get me to leave is it." Spike said.
"Very serious. They aren't taking to kindly to the bloodlines just dying out so easily or being corrupted with minions. They lost Saturninus line that way and the Vespasianus line to. They'll be damned if they let the Aurelius line go that way."
"But I thought you said they didn't want corruption in the ranks. Meaning they'd rather just wipe out the whole line than try and reason. Either way Spike's fucked." Xander said.
"Kid's right. Which is why you need to get the hell out of here." Angel said. "What about you. You're still and Aurelian. Won't they want to kill you too." Spike asked.
"They'd have to find me first. The only reason they'd be able to find you is because the Aurelians out a hit out on you. And they want it paid Spike. With blood." Angel said.
"And let me guess a little bit of dust." Spike said sarcastically.
"Wouldn't hurt." Angel said.
"They want to kill him?" Xander asked.
"Yup. And the Anointed One wants to do it. He wasn't too pleased with your escape. He couldn't barge into Joe's either. It'd be bad. Whoever's backing Joe would seriously get their revenge." Angel said.
"So I guess I should... what run and hide. That's not my style, Angelus." "Yeah, I knew you'd say that. Now you've got this one thrown into the mix and you care about him."
"Don't even try to deny it. I know you care about him. You bit him Spike. That's not going to go over to well with Joe." Angel said.
"I've been paying Joe off so Xander doesn't have to work." Spike said.
"Yeah that sounds like something you'd do. Look I'm just warning you. I've been trying to keep Buffy out of this for as long as I could, but it won't work. Sooner or later all the balls that are up in the air are going to come crashing down." Angel said.
"Well, thanks for the warning." Spike said.
"You know, I'm here for you. Any time you need help." Angel said.
It was going against what his soul was telling him, but he couldn't help it. He had lost almost everyone in his family except Spike and he'd be damned twice over if he were going to let Spike die because of some stupid turf war that was brewing.
"Thanks. I might just take you up on that." Spike said.
"Good, now, get out of here." Angel said.
"Come on Xander lets go." Spike said.
Despite his confusion, Xander knew something fairly important had just taken place. Something that would define the next few weeks of his life.
'So much for normal', Xander thought bitterly.