Wrong Way

Wrong Way

Wrong Way

Chapter 14:

Xander sighed and killed ignition to Spike’s car. He really didn’t want to go to school, but he knew it was important, in some weird twisted way. It wasn’t like he’d be doing anything with his stellar high school graduate status.

He has the grades, this is true. He’d been working long and hard for them so he knew that he had them. He could go to any college he wanted to go to, according to the guidance counselors. But the money would always be an issue.

He supposed he could get loans, work his ass off until he paid back every last penny. He never thought about having dreams. When his parents were around it just seemed like a way of getting hurt. He has thought about it, living in the hotel and doing what he does, it’s hard not to dream every once in awhile.

But to him, they’re just dreams. He knew they were never going to amount to anything.

So he thought about missing a day, maybe even two, never three though because then the school would call Joe and that would be bad. But one day. The weekend just didn’t seem long enough for him, especially after what he heard coming from that Angel guy.

Spike was in danger and by default he was in danger. Heck, even Joe and his place of business, if you could call it that, was in danger. Wars were never good for business. Vampires too busy fighting that they didn’t much turn to services.

He’d heard the whole thing from Joe. Knew how dangerous those kinds of wars were for people like himself and Joe. And they seemed to be headed for a pretty big one.

Xander wanted to just curl up in his bed or any bed really next to Spike and wait the whole thing out. That didn’t seem to be an option though. A decision was going to have to be made and Xander wasn’t entirely sure where he stood with all of it.

He knew Spike loved him. Didn’t need Spike to say it to know and his suspicions had been confirmed by that other vampire. You didn’t just claim someone if you felt nothing for them. He wanted whatever life Spike was offering, but first Spike had to offer it.

He opened the door to the car, pulled his backpack with him and got out. He was somewhere close to his locker when he came face to face with Buffy, Willow and Jesse. Buffy had her hands on her hips and looked a bit pissed. Willow and Jesse just looked hurt.

“We need to talk.” Buffy said in that nonsense voice.

“About?” Xander said.

He was trying to play it off nonchalantly, but he had to wonder what they were all so pissed about. He hadn’t been out of the hotel room that Spike had rented since they had gotten there.

“I think we should do this in private.” She said.

Xander looked at the three of them, Buffy torn between anger and confusion while Willow and Jesse just seemed hurt and sad.

They knew. Somehow they knew and he wasn’t so sure how much they knew, but they knew something and that was enough.

He’d gone over what he’d do if this situation ever arose. It was a risk, he knew it. Going to school with the Slayer and not expecting her to find Joe’s, find him being some snack to a vampire. He’d gone over it enough times to know how to make the cry story seem relevant.

Maybe shed a few tears and tell them that it was his parent’s fault, add that Joe was just going by orders, just doing what he thought would keep Xander safe from his bosses. He’d had it all planned out.

But Spike was in the picture now and if they knew about him, which Xander guessed they did, it was going to be hard to explain that away with the cry story.

“Fine. Let’s do this somewhere more private.” He said.

Buffy nodded her head and he followed her and the rest of them towards the library.


Spike wasn’t sure what he was thinking when he called Joe.

It was a risk considering he was probably being watched, but he had to call. Called Angel too and he was marginally surprised at how easy it was to get his Sire to come and help him.

“Could you stop pacing. It’s distracting.” Angel said.

“This is a big deal, if you didn’t notice.”

“I did. What you think the guy’s gonna turn you down? It’s money… a lot of money I might add.”

“You don’t know this guy. He cares about Xander.”

“If he cared about him, he’d take the money and let the get be free.”

“Doesn’t exactly like me.” Spike said with a smirk on his face.

Angel rolled his eyes.

“He may not like you, but this is a chance for Xander to get out of that life. You don’t think he’d take it. Even if it is with you.”

“I could be the greater of two evils.”

“Or you could be the lesser. I’m inclined to believe the lesser.” Angel said.

Spike cocked an eyebrow at that. Looked at his Sire questioningly and Angel rolled his eyes again.

“I’ve seen you… like this. You know, with Dru. You may be a vampire. You may have killed thousands of innocent people. You may still be soulless and not give a shit about anyone else, but you give a shit about this kid.”

He gave Angel a look. Studied him for a few seconds before he frowned.

“So you’re not worried?”

“Worried? About this? Not as of right now, no. I’m sure you’ll keep him safe. It’s the whole war I’m worried about.”

“Yeah I guess…”

Spike was interrupted by an angry knock on the door.

“Guess that’s him.” Spike said.

He made an attempt to move, but didn’t actually go anywhere.

“You have to move.”

“I know that.” Spike said agitatedly.

“I’m just…”

“Shut up. Okay… here we go.” Spike said.

He took a deep breath, closed his eyes and started walking over to the door. Opened it and move back to let Joe in.

Joe didn’t look at all happy. He looked agitated and Spike knew why. Xander hadn’t gone back to the hotel all weekend. Spike was surprised Joe hadn’t sent out a search party.

“What do you want?” Joe asked sharply.

“Just to talk.”

“About?” Joe asked.

He spotted Angel and sneered some more. Didn’t say anything about Angel being there, but Spike knew he was dying to.

“Xander.”

Joe’s jaw twitched.

“Alan you mean.”

“Alan to you.”

“Should be Alan to you as well.”

“Well it’s not.” Spike said.

Joe snorted and rolled his eyes. Walked over to an empty seat, opposite where Angel was sitting and glared at Spike.

“Yeah, I noticed that. Been paying to occupy all his time. Been fucking him during that time?”

Spike growled and advanced, but Angel stood between him in Joe.

“Spike.” Angel said placing a hand on Spike’s chest.

“What gives him the right to talk like that.”

“You don’t own Xander.” Angel said.

“Yeah and if I had it my way, you never would.” Joe said angrily.

“It’s better that you do?” Angel asked turning to Joe.

“That kid is better than that. Doesn’t need to be owned by some lousy vampire.”

“I’d watch my tongue if I were you. Talking about a Master for the Order of Aurelius like that.” Angel said a little intimidating.

“Certainly doesn’t act like a member of Aurelius.” Joe said huffily.

“Well he is. I’m sure you know how all that works what with you line of work.” Angel said.

“I do. Still doesn’t mean I like him hanging around Alan.” Joe said.

“You’d rather the boy whore himself off to nameless vampires that would just as soon kill him?”

Joe fidgeted a little at that. Didn’t say anything for a while, but let out a few deep sighs.

“I’d rather that neither were an option.”

“Well they are.”

“His contract’s up in a year. He’ll be free after that.”

“What makes you think he won’t go to Spike when that year is up?” Angel asked.

Joe looked uncertain and Spike knew that the guy didn’t honestly know. Xander would be free in a year, free to do whatever and if that included being with Spike then that’s what he would do.

“I don’t know.” Joe said.

“Wouldn’t you rather he be free now?” Angel asked.

Spike had to admire Angel’s keen way of dealing with difficult situations. It was the reason he asked Angel to come. He knew he couldn’t do this all on his own. He knew he’d end up getting pissed and that wouldn’t bode well.

“You want to buy him.” Joe said, his tone incredulous.

“It’s better that way.” Spike said.

“Better?”

“You have to know about the war coming up.” Angel said.

“Yeah, I do, but what’s being connected to a Master vamp gonna do for the kid?”

“He’d be out of it. I don’t get involved with that stuff.” Spike said.

“You might not get involved, but this involves you. You’re a Master. They want the Masters gone. Simple math.”

“I wouldn’t… I wouldn’t keep him.” Spike said.

This time Joe and Angel looked at him with incredulous face.

“I want him out of it. If that means away from me then… then that’s what it has to be. I’m not entirely selfish. I know he’s better than this. That’s why I’m offering.”

“You’d leave him alone?” Joe asked.

“Yes, if I had too. Not a moment before that, but… if I had too.”

“And you’d pay all this doe to make sure he wasn’t involved.” Joe said.

Spike took a deep breath. Looked over at Angel who was frowning like he couldn’t quite figure out what was going on. Took another deep breath and looked over at Joe.

“Yes. He’s worth it. I’m an old vamp. I’ve got money I don’t even know what to do with. He’s worth it.”

Joe studied him for a few seconds before sighing. He shook his head and rubbed his eyes.

“I don’t honestly believe you, but you’re right. A war is coming and I know those little spats I’ve seen are gonna be nothing compared to it. He needs to get out of this.”

“So we agree.”

Joe looked a little hesitant before sighing resignedly.

“Yeah, we agree.”


“So, is this like an intervention. Should we make I statements and everything?” Xander said.

“We just want some information.” Buffy said.

“I’ve got nothing to give you. It’s not like vampires get chatty with their food, you know.”

Both Jesse and Willow gasped at that, but Xander knew that they’d known. They couldn’t not have known.

“So it’s true?” Buffy asked.

“Yeah, it is.”

“Why were you wandering off with that Spike guy. I mean if you just do it for the money. Is he paying you?” Buffy asked.

“That’s really not any of your business.”

“You work for the enemy.”

“Not by choice.” Xander said.

“So… Joe… he’s not your Uncle then right. He’s your pimp.” Jesse said.

“Something like that.”

“Man I knew I didn’t like that guy. I always said I didn’t like him.” Jesse said.

“It isn’t his fault. He’s just doing his job. If I don’t perform then I get my ass tanned. Don’t exactly want that.” Xander said.

“Perform?” Willow whispered, her voice choked and raw sounding.

“Yeah, Wills, perform.” Xander said.

Buffy looked disgusted, Jesse pissed and Willow still looked very hurt.

“Why didn’t you say anything? Why didn’t you tell us? We could have helped.” Willow said.

“Do you have half a million dollars? Because that’s what it would take to get me out of the life I’m leading. You can’t just barge in and kill things. Everyone’s human. And Joe’s bosses would get seriously pissed if I just left.” Xander said.

“It’s horrible. That they could put a price on… on human life like that.” Willow said.

She looked as though she were close to tears and Xander felt really bad about that, but he wasn’t going to hide the facts because of it.

“Tell me parents that. It’s their number.” Xander said.

Everyone’s eyes went wide, as though they couldn’t comprehend how anyone could sell their own child into such a life. Xander couldn’t blame them. They probably had parents that would never even dream of it. He knew Willow and Jesse did.

“That’s terrible. I can’t say anything about it. If I could help…” Buffy looked conflicted as she said it.

Xander knew that she couldn’t kill people, even horrible people and he sure as heck didn’t hate her for that.

“I’m living with it. Only another year.”

“I wish…”

“Don’t worry about it Buffy. I’m fine. Really. Things have been improving.” Xander said.

“Because of Spike.” Jesse said.

Xander took a deep breath. He wasn’t entirely sure how to answer that. It was an awfully loaded question. One that could reveal what he knew and was sure they already knew. Angel had said he knew the Slayer.

“Yeah, because of Spike.”

“Angel said that… he said he wouldn’t hurt you.” Willow said.

“He was right.”

“But he’s still a vampire. Still kills people.” Buffy said.

“I imagine he does.” Xander said.

“And you’ve never once thought that maybe you should kill him?” Buffy said.

“Why mess up what I have? He’s paying so that I don’t have to be around other vampires. Not asking for anything in return. He’s a good… he treats me good.” Xander said.

He purposefully left out everything about actually being in love with Spike. It wasn’t what they wanted to hear.

“Perhaps we shouldn’t dwell on that part of the situation any longer.”

Xander looked up to see Giles sitting in a chair at the table. He hadn’t even really noticed him. Giles had been quiet throughout the whole thing.

It wasn’t clear what his thoughts were on the whole thing. He had schooled his features to reveal nothing, but Xander would have liked to know.

“Giles.” Jesse said.

“There’s nothing we can do about it. We have to trust what Angel said on the matter and hope for the best.” Giles said.

“We can’t just let…”

“Yes, Jess, you can. It’s my battle. I’m fighting it. Besides, you guys have one of your own, don’t you think.” Xander said.

Jesse’s mouth shut and he looked pinched. Buffy looked him straight in the face and sighed.

“What do you know?” Buffy asked.

“Probably about as much as you do. Upcoming war, Big Bads all around. Fight for dominance where you can’t tell who you want to be the winner.” Xander said.

“Sums it up. Angel wants to attack the Anointed One and his people.” Buffy said.

Xander shook his head.

“Sounds like a plan.”

“He wants Spike to help.”

“Whoa, I don’t… I mean there’s no lost love between them, but Spike… I don’t know if he’ll do it.”

Xander really hoped that he wouldn’t, even if Angel asked. The Anointed One and his people had been responsible for turning Spike’s face into hamburger meat. Xander didn’t want to go through that again.

“Angel said you’d be the key in convincing him. Said that if he and Spike attacked the Anointed One with us, the Order of Florentina would think he and Spike did it and think that Spike was asserting dominance over Sunnydale.” Buffy said.

Xander couldn’t find fault in that logic. If the Order of Florentina thought that Master vampires had taken control of the Hellmouth, they might not come down on Sunnydale. It was a pretty perfect plan. All there would need to be was a few mouths spreading the news and it would work.

“Sounds like a plan.”

“So you’ll convince him?”

He felt their eyes on him, waiting for him to say yes and he sighed.

“Sure.”


“Did you mean what you said?” Angel asked after moments of tense silence.

The transaction had been fairly easy. A few things signed and money transferred and Joe and his hotel was out of Xander’s life for good.

“About?”

“Leaving him if things got heavy.”

Spike sighed.

“He deserves better than me.”

“Wow, you really are nuts about this kid.”

Spike scowled.

“Yeah, well, don’t let him know that. He might never let go.”

“Would that be such a bad thing?”

“He deserves better. He deserves to actually have a life. He’d never have that with me. I… I bloody well love him and I’m not going to let him throw away his life on someone like me.” Spike said harshly.

“You’ve aged.” Angel said.

“Yeah, funny thing that aging. Only took me a hundred or so years.”

Angel smiled at that.

“Well I guess…”

“Spike you are not going to believe what went down… oh… Angel… hi.”

Spiked stared at Xander who just barreled through the door looking disheveled and tense, backpack slung on his back.

“What… um… what’s he doing here?” Xander asked.

“I was helping out family. I’ll be leaving now. You two have things to… discuss.” Angel said.

Spike nodded to him and watched as he left. Xander looked utterly confused, opened and closed his mouth a few times before sound came out.

“What’s he talking about?” Xander asked.

Spike sighed.

“Sit down, pet. I’ve got something to tell you.”

Chapter 15

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