TITLE: Wrong Way
"Xander. Xander wake up. Xander come on, wake up." Xander could hear his name being called, but he couldn't tell who it was. The soft voice sounded familiar, but Xander couldn't recall who exactly it was.
"Xander come on. I know he didn't clock you that hard." Xander groaned and felt soft cool hands on his face.
"Shit, maybe I should take you to a hospital." The voice said and Xander tried to shake his head, but it felt like someone was using a jackhammer on his brain.
"No, no hospitals. No hospitals." Xander murmured.
"Okay, okay, calm down. Does your head still hurt?" the voice asked.
"Y... yes it still... it hurts." Xander said and he couldn't keep the whine out of his voice.
"Okay, I'm not really sure how to handle that. Does your jaw hurt?" the voice asked.
"It's a little sore." Xander said wincing as he moved his jaw a bit.
"Tell me what happened." The voice said and Xander realized in his head he was just referring to whoever was in front of him as the voice. He also realized his eyes were closed preventing him from finding out the identity of the mysterious voice in front of him. Xander squinted one eye open and saw the blurred vision of Spike.
"Sp... Spike?" Xander said.
"N...nothing. Um... I don't really remember what happened. I was doing that Parent/Teacher thing, then vampires came and there was fighting and stuff and it all happened so fast." Xander said.
"Why were you out in the hallway? Did they grab you?" Spike asked and Xander didn't miss the concern.
"No, I... I was beeped. Joe was sending out an alert and... oh shit! I was supposed to call him. That's why I went out of the room. I... I got out with my necklace thing, but then that... vampire grabbed me and..." Xander's voice trailed off.
"It's okay. He's dead." Spike said his voice devoid of emotion.
"He's... okay, but I got to get to a phone. Joe's going to flip if I don't call soon." Xander said.
"Yeah okay. Did you eat yet?" Spike asked.
"Um... no. I munched on some chips and stuff, but no real food." Xander said.
"Hmm, okay. We'll get you something to eat." Spike said as he ushered Xander to sit straight in his seat and closed the door. Xander didn't even realize he was in a car. He looked out the window and realized he wasn't in front of the school.
"Did we move?" Xander asked when Spike came into the car and sat in the driver's seat.
"Just a bit. I wasn't sure what to do. I thought about taking you back to your place, but then I thought it might freak out that Joe bloke. So I thought I'd take you to the hospital, but then I realized that maybe you weren't insured or whatever. So I decided to stop and try and wake you up." Spike said as he started the car.
"Oh." Xander said as he curled up in his seat. The heat was on in the car and his seat was pretty warm and cozy. The pain in his jaw was just a dull ache, but it was still throbbing.
"Maybe I should stop off at a drugstore or something. So you know you can get some pain pills or whatever it is you take when you've got pain." Spike said.
"No, it's fine. Just a little dizzy, but nothing I can't handle." Xander said.
"Tough, bugger, huh. Guess I should get you some food then." Spike said and he began to stare straight ahead.
The truth was he had been panicked after he carried Xander to his car. His anger had dissipated altogether after he was faced with the prospect of taking care of Xander. He had no idea what to do. So he panicked, as a million thoughts ran through his mind none of which were helping. So he pulled over at the side of the road a few minutes away from the school and decided to try and wake Xander up.
He tried to hide the immense relief he felt when Xander finally answered him and prayed to whatever God that would listen that Xander's eyes weren't open to see the relieved look on his face. Spike didn't know much about humans and he wasn't sure how they took care of themselves or what they ate or where to find such eating places, but he only had to drive a few blocks before coming near a fast food place.
"That place good." Spike said pointing to the big building with its fluorescent lights and processed food.
"Yeah, it's been awhile since I've had a real burger." Xander said as though he was happy with the idea of the cardboard crap they undoubtedly served at the place.
"The Doublemeat Palace. Sounds kind of..."
"Gross. I know and it is. Gross fast food which if you can find me a fast food place that isn't gross and cardboard I'll give you a shiny nickel." Xander said.
"Not really a fast food bloke myself. Well unless... never mind." Spike said realizing that tales of blood and gore really wouldn't sit well with the kid.
"Right 'cause of the blood. I remembered. Vampire grr argh and sharp fangs. I remember. I'm not stupid. I do work with vampires on a daily basis." Xander said huffing slightly and he threw open his car door.
Spike took an unneeded sigh and followed suit. Xander was already half way to the entrance before Spike had locked all the doors and made sure his Desoto was neatly tucked in it's parking space. Spike jogged to catch up with Xander and trailed behind him.
"Well, it's not exactly fancy, but it's a place to eat and... I'm starved. Getting hit in the head and knocked out really works up an appetite." Xander said.
"Well neither of us is exactly dressed for a night out on the town."
Xander looked over at Spike. It was almost as if the vampire wore the same clothes everyday. Same red shirt, same black pants, same scuffed shoes, same black leather coat. Xander looked down at his own clothes. Baggy pants, baggy shirt, dirty shoes.
"Yeah you're right. Really not dressed for a night out on the town." Xander said.
"Well the main thing is you eat. You're too skinny." Spike said so flippantly it made Xander's head turn.
"Yeah, really. I never really thought about it. It's not like freakishly anorexic he must not be eating properly skinny, is it?" Xander asked.
Spike looked Xander up and down. Xander was wearing pretty baggy clothes, but Spike knew just how it felt to hold that warm body against his own room temperature one.
"Well, what with those big sunk in eyes, those baggy clothes, and the slightly pale skin, the fact that you don't have enough meat on your bones isn't what you should be worrying about. Surprised someone wasn't shipped you off to some foster orphanage place yet. People most care less then I think they do." Spike said.
"This is Sunnydale. Home of the Hellmouth. People have demons to worry about rather then some poor kid like me that 'slipped through the cracks'. All they're worried about is if I go to college or not." Xander said.
"Were you thinking about it?" Spike asked.
"Please I gave up that hope even when I was living with my... parents." Xander said and Spike didn't miss the venom that was put into that last word.
"You must be smart."
"Oh, I guess. Smart little Xander living with his Uncle Joe and has so much potential. Well, according to my principal he just thinks I'm a waste of space and not 'college material'." Xander said angrily.
Spike couldn't help feel angry either. Xander seemed like a really smart kid. A little bitter, but look at what life threw at him. Spike was more interested in finding out what exactly happened to Xander's parents to force the kid into the life he was living.
"Why don't you go order some food? I'm not going to be eating anything so I'll find us a place to sit." Spike said handing Xander a twenty.
Xander nodded and watched as Spike looked for a nice booth to sit in. The Doublemeat Palace was fairly busy despite the fact that it was a school night and almost nine o'clock. It was mostly kids from his school on dates or out with their friends. Xander quickly ordered his food, a Doublemeat Medley, and walked over to Spike to wait for his number to be called. Spike was lounging quietly on one side of the booth, an unlit cigarette in one and the other nervously tapping on the table.
"Where's your food?" Spike asked when Xander sat down on the other side of the booth.
"They give you a number and you have to wait for it to be called." Xander explained the simple rules of eating at a fast food restaurant.
"I thought it was fast food. Shouldn't it be... faster?" Spike asked.
"Well, if you go through the drive thru it is, but when eating at the place it takes a bit longer. Shouldn't be too long though." Xander explained.
"Oh." Spike said quietly realizing just how old he sounded. Fast food chains had been around for a while and the only time Spike had ever been to one was to eat some poor defenseless teenager.
"So... um, I have to get to a phone. I think there's one out there. The number's thirty-five. If they call it can you get my food? I want Sprite." Xander said and Spike shook his head not really understanding what that last part meant. He watched as Xander made his way to the nearest phone booth and relaxed a bit knowing that if anything happened he would be able to know.
Xander walked over to the phone booth. He pulled out the small change that was in his pocket and dialed the number to the hotel. It rang only once before a tired and anxious 'hello' came through on the other end.
"Hey, Joe. It's me, Alan." Xander said.
"Jesus Christ, Alan you scared me half to death! Why the hell did it take you so long to call?!" Joe's angry but relieved voice said.
"I... um... I sort of got knocked out." Xander said sheepishly.
"What!? By that damn Order of Aurelius. They should know better then to mess with one of mine. Didn't you show them the medallion?" Joe said his voice still on edge.
"Yeah, but... they just didn't seem to care. Look it's been taken care of so... don't alert your bosses." Xander said.
"It's been taken care of? How could it have been 'taken care of'? Was it the Slayer, because if it was her I don't have any problems? She'll have to deal with them and not me." Joe said.
"Um... no, she was busy taking care of the other guys. Look I'm not sure what went done, but a bunch of them showed up at the school. She was taking care of some other ones." Xander said.
"Well then who took care of your little situation?" Joe asked.
There was a long pause on Xander's end. Xander knew he couldn't tell Joe the truth, but he couldn't really think of a lie to tell him either. As it was, Xander had a huge headache and he wasn't thinking well on his feet.
"Um... Spike was kind of... there. He said he dusted the vamp." Xander said.
"And what you just believed him!? You were knocked out at the time. Look, Alan, I don't like this. I don't like it one bit. Now you get your ass back here right now." Joe said his voice back on the edge it had been on before.
"Joe, Joe can you listen to me." Xander said trying to get a word in edgewise.
"No, look you don't know what you're doing. The Order of Aurelius just happens to show up at your school when you're there and then this Spike guy just happens to show up. This screams trap. Big fat trap!" Joe said.
"Joe, listen it's not a trap. I think he's being really genuine here. I mean he was all panic-y when I wouldn't wake up and then he was all nice about it." Xander said.
"Yeah, so he could take you and make you his little fuck puppet. Well, I won't have that. Now get your ass back here." Joe said.
"Hey, you're not my father okay. You're my boss. No worse then that you're my pimp. I know you mean well but just cut the fathering nurturing bullshit. I'm old enough to take care of myself okay. I know the fucking score. So back the fuck off and let me live my life all right. Now I'm not going to get my ass back there because I have the night off and I can do whatever the hell I want and I'm going to eat a hamburger and I'm going to enjoy it." Xander said hanging up the phone to cut off any protest from Joe.
It didn't feel good telling Joe off like that and Xander was beginning to feel guilty. Joe only meant well, but Xander just couldn't take the coddling. Like he couldn't live his own life and make his own decisions. It would only be another year or so and then he could just get away from it all... hopefully anyway.
Xander walked back into the Doublemeat Palace to see Spike staring confusedly at the soda dispenser. Spike was looking from the machine, to the empty cup in his hand and back at the machine shaking his head all the while. He was gaining a line behind him of angry teenagers.
"Hey, what's the problem?" Xander asked.
"I don't get it." Spike said in an annoyed tone. Xander guessed it was because he was a Master Vampire and should be able to figure something as simple as getting soda from the machine.
Xander held back a chuckle as he took the cup from Spike, pushing the ice button to get some ice, and then filled the cup up with a clear liquid Spike assumed was Sprite. The crowd behind them let out a sigh of relief as Xander began to usher Spike away from the machine when he was done. Spike's ears picked up a teenage boy saying, "Guess Special Ed needed his little boyfriend to help him out. Stupid faggots." Spike turned around and glared at the boy.
There was a time when he would have ripped out the snot's vocal chords for no reason at all. Part of him was screaming to. Part of him was screaming for blood and mayhem and all the things Master Vampires loved.
Part of him was screaming to massacre ever last person in the restaurant and torture the teenager he was glaring at just for the heck of it. It had been so long since he had that kind of blood. The kind of blood that was tainted with fear and desperation and all the nice scents the teenager was giving off just by Spike glaring at him.
"Hey, can we have the massacre after I eat. Only I don't think the sight of blood is going to make me all that hungry." Xander whispered to Spike and instantly the feeling to rip, tear, kill had almost disappeared. Spike nodded resolutely and followed Xander back to the booth they had been sitting at.
"Sorry about that. Stupid annoying little shits like that... well they get on my nerves." Spike finished lamely.
"Yeah I saw. You looked ready to bathe in his blood or something. Not a sight I was willing to see on an empty stomach." Xander said.
"Not a sight for your eyes." Spike muttered.
"Oh come on. Given my 'profession' a little blood massacre... well okay I don't condone it, but what can I do. That's the world for you." Xander said.
"You are one messed up kid you know that." Spike said. Xander looked at him oddly before unwrapping his burger.
"No I mean it. Never met a human like you before... it doesn't fit you." Spike said.
"What, why?" Xander asked almost choking on his burger.
"I don't know. You don't seem like the bitter let the world go to hell in a hand basket type. Seems like you were forced to be like that." Spike said.
"Well, yeah that's how anyone ends up how they are. Upbringing." Xander said.
"It still doesn't fit you. I can sense it."
"That could just be because every other teenager you've met... well I bet they were screaming and begging for their lives actually."
"No, you seem... I don't know what I'm saying. It just doesn't fit you." Spike said.
"Oh, well, I don't know how to be any other way." Xander said grabbing a few fries and stuffing them in his mouth.
"What happened to your parents?" Spike asked and he watched as Xander tensed at the mention of his parents. He finished chewing and swallowed a bit too hard for Spike's liking before he looked back over at Spike.
"They... they left me with Joe. Collected some money off of me and last I heard they had moved to Florida." Xander said.
"They just... left you with him. He isn't a relative is he? Joe I mean, he's not really your uncle right?" Spike asked.
"No, and they knew the score, Joe didn't. They were playing him. Making nice with the new guy. Pretending they just wanted in on the business. Then they left me with him and cashed out. Joe didn't have a choice but to put me to work. It was either he paid them for me or I ended up on the streets. Joe persuaded his bosses to buy me off of them." Xander said.
"Those bastards. I'll kill 'em for you if you like. Stupid pieces of shit just give up their son to a vampire pimp. If they didn't want a kid they shouldn't have had you." Spike said.
"I don't think they wanted me in the first place. I don't know much about my other family... I think they either don't care or they live somewhere far from here. My parents never talked about them. My mom was like sixteen when she had me and I think they had one of those shotgun weddings." Xander said as he went on eating his burger.
It didn't seem to affect him anymore. He had a tone as though he thought of it as someone else's life. That he was telling a story of people other then his parents or himself.
"They could have given you up for adoption when you were born. That seems more practical." Spike said.
"No, I think my grandma or someone like that was giving my parents money if they kept me. There was never anything concrete or anything but my parents would always talk about how stupid my grandma was for believing in God and all that. I think she talked them into getting married and settling down with a family. Just so God wouldn't look at her daughter as a baby killer. She died right before my parents left for Florida. I think that was the reason why. My grandma left my mom nothing and they didn't have any use of me anymore." Xander said.
"No wonder you're so bitter. Betrayed by the very people that are supposed to love and nurture you." Spike muttered.
"Yeah, well, I'm better off without them. They were pieces of shit like you said. I don't need that." Xander said. Spike realized they should head away from the conversation they were having.
"So, what did that Joe bloke say?" Spike asked.
"Oh, well he was worried. Guess he heard about your little raid."
"Jeez, they really suck at planning raids and keeping them a secret." Spike said. Xander saw the look of total on edge suspension Spike was wearing on his face.
"Hey, is there something wrong. You kind of look like you've seen a ghost." Xander asked. Spike looked up at the boy and smiled softly at him.
"Sort of. I saw someone from my past tonight. My Grandsire, Angelus, only he's not so Angelus anymore." Spike said.
"What does that mean?"
"Well, he went off and got himself cursed with a soul." Spike said bitterly.
"A soul... so what he's different then how you remember him."
"It's difficult to explain. A soul... well it's part of the reason people are inherently good I guess. It's a conscious really and that's what keeps people from going off the deep end. Vampires lose their souls the moment they're turned. It enables them to be more of a killer. If a vampire like Angelus who killed hundreds maybe thousands of people gets a conscious after all that, the guilt can be crushing. He's sort of a do-gooder now." Spike said.
"Oh, well, I mean I guess that's... bad. I'm not really sure what's the appropriate comfort here." Xander said.
"It's okay. I came to grips with it a long time ago. It's just... seeing him... it brings back old memories of the times when we were a family. With him and Darla and Penn and... Dru... those times still kind of haunt me." Spike said.
"Were they happy times?" Xander asked.
"Yeah I guess they were. They were certainly filled with some happy moments... for a vampire anyway."
"Well then they shouldn't hurt you so much. Be happy you have a few memories of good times." Xander said and he wasn't sure if he sounded angry or not.
"I'm glad to have them, but it just brought back memories of... Dru." Spike said.
"My Sire. The one I told you got killed. It was about five years ago. Angry mob in Prague got the best of her. I've just been kind of... wandering around not sure what to do with my unlife. It's all just a big pile of shit. I've never been alone like this before and it's weighing down on me." Spike said.
"Oh... I guess you're about as fucked up as I am." Xander said.
"Yeah I guess so." Spike said.
They were quiet for a few moments. Spike was trying not to let his memories crush him and so was Xander to some extent. Tonight had been just so weird like the rest of the nights had been for Xander since meeting Spike. He didn't know how to explain it to Joe, but for some bizarre reason Xander knew Spike wouldn't hurt him and wasn't out to kill him. Spike was just... lonely and Xander was there and knew what it was like to be... lonely.
Xander was still a little freaked out by it, but more then anything he was interested in finding out just what was going on. It felt like something. Like some little connection between them was forming every time they were together. They were so much alike it was scary and it made Xander feel even more hopeless.
If a one hundred plus year old vampire is as screwed up as I am what kind of hope is there? Part of Xander's brain thought.
Spike had lived a long time and although it sounded like he had some happy memories, he was sitting here with Xander in the local Doublemeat Palace trading sob stories. They were both messed up and lonely and just seeking the other's attention because the other was willing to give it.
Spike didn't know what to make of what was going on either. He certainly knew he shouldn't feel anything for the boy sitting across from him, but Spike couldn't help it. Every time he saw that look on Xander's face... the one that said 'No I don't really wanna be like this, but what choice do I have'... Spike just wanted to take him away from everything that made his life so miserable.
He wanted to kill everyone that made Xander feel unworthy and pushed him to this bitter outlook of life. Life wasn't supposed to be a dark abyss for a boy his age. He was supposed to be living blissfully ignorant to anything bad about the world. Instead he got it all dished out on him and had seen the worst side of humanity and Spike couldn't believe that he was still standing ready to face another day.
"I snapped at Joe. I don't know why I did it. He kept acting like my father, but he is so the farthest thing from my father that it's not even funny. I told him to stop acting like he was my father and to just let me live my life. God that was stupid. Joe's the only thing that I have that even resembles some sort of weird family. He's good to me and I know that he wishes he could let me live a normal life, but I know he can't. Jeez, I don't know why I'm telling you this. It's just... you're here and I have to tell someone. I feel terrible and..." Spike got up from his seat and without even thinking about it slid over to Xander's booth and wrapped his arm around the boy's shoulder.
"Shhh, it's okay. I'm sure he knows you didn't mean it." Spike said in what he hoped was a comforting tone.
"I don't know. I never tell him that it means a lot to me that he even cares. I just... I can't let him get close and be my father figure because it'll turn out badly. I know it will." Xander said.
Spike held Xander closer to him and rocked him as much as the booth would allow. Xander wasn't crying, but his voice sounded chocked and distant. Spike wasn't sure if he was saying the right things or doing any of it right. He'd never comforted a human before.
"It's okay. He knows. I'm sure he knows. If he's got half a brain he can see right through that bitter wall you put up." Spike said.
"I don't know. Not a lot of people can."
"It's pretty impressive that's why. That and they're not bothering to look properly." Spike said.
"Are you looking properly?" Xander said as he turned to look Spike in the face.
Their faces were inches away from each other and Xander had to gulp. Spike watched as Xander stared nervously at him and watched as Xander gulped his Adams apple bobbing up and down slightly.
"Yeah, I think I am pet. It's like I can see through walls." Spike said and his hands came up to cup Xander's face. Xander sniffed a bit to keep himself from crying and getting all emotional.
"What is this?" Xander asked quietly because like this with Spike hands cupped around his face and that warm look in Spike's eyes, Xander definitely felt that connection. Spike looked at him as though he wasn't sure, but he was trying to figure it out. Finally after a few moments Spike answered.
"I don't know. All I know is I can't stop thinking about you are those kisses when you came to the factory. I can't... I don't have any answers for you and this is probably a bad idea but..." Spike trailed off as he looked at Xander's face.
He watched carefully as Xander took in little breaths and his eyes fixed to Xander's lips. Spike knew what it was like to kiss those lips. It was just a small kiss, but Spike remembered just how those lips tasted and how Xander's skin tasted and how dizzying it was to be so close to all that hot blood and know that he could rip and tear and kill and drink and Xander would love every second of it.
"What do you want it to be? What is it to you?" Spike asked Xander who was so drawn in Spike eye's that he almost didn't hear him.
"I'm not sure either. I feel something. Something I've never felt in my entire life and I like it, but I'm not sure what it is." Xander said.
"You willing to find out." Spike asked quietly and Xander wasn't sure how to react.
Did he want to find out? Did he want to figure out what the hell was going on between Spike? Did he really want to give Spike that kind of power over him?
"Yeah, yeah what have I got to lose?" Xander said.
"Hmmm, I guess we'll find out." Spike said as leaned in to kiss Xander.
Xander pushed himself closer to Spike and waited for the feel of Spike's lips on his. Xander too remembered the small kiss Spike had given him when he showed up at the factory. This kiss was more... intense. There was so much need and want and desperation in this kiss. There was... passion, which was something Xander had never experienced before in his life.
Spike pulled Xander as close to him as their small surroundings would allow. Xander was practically sitting on Spike's lap as Spike kissed Xander with lustful abandon. Xander's mouth was so wet and hot and Xander was being so responsive. Spike wrapped his arms around Xander's waist and desperately tried to pull him closer.
For some reason the closeness they had wasn't enough for Spike and by the way Xander was wrapping his arms around Spike's neck it wasn't enough for him either. Xander was enjoying the kiss. It felt so right and so good. He wanted nothing more then to have Spike's mouth on his their tongues battling and their hands seeking out the other for the rest of... however long this was going to last. Xander almost didn't care that they were in a booth at a very public restaurant. Almost.
"Spike, Spike, we have to stop this before we get thrown in jail for public indecency." Xander said when Spike finally let him come up for air.
"Hmmm, don't care... more snogging." Spike said and he began to dip his head in for another kiss when Xander placed his hands on his chest.
"As much as I'd really love to continue this... and I would cause wow you're a great kisser... maybe we should uh... go somewhere um... more private." Xander said.
Spike understood exactly what Xander meant, but he wasn't sure if he was ready take it that far. He wanted Xander and the mere thought of Xander was getting him hard nowadays, but he wasn't sure if Xander really wanted this. For some reason it was important to Spike that Xander want it as well.
"Yeah sure you're ready for a private setting pet. If you want we can wait and see where this goes before rushing off for a shag in the middle of the night." Spike said.
Xander thought about it for a minute. Spike was doing things to him... invoking emotions Xander thought were long dead. It was actual lust and passion Xander had for the vampire who's lap he was sitting on and Xander sure as heck was willing to see what that felt like.
To see what it felt like to have sex with someone that made him feel all warm and nice and wanted. His job required him to have meaningless sex with whoever paid the right price and Xander wanted, just once just this one time if only for one time, to feel what it felt like to have sex with someone that made him feel... alive.
"Yeah I think I'm ready for a private setting. Look Spike you're not just some vampire I'm having sex with for cash. I want this so bad... I don't know how to describe it, but I've never felt anything like this before. Never felt like... I never felt this... want before. I can't describe it, but I know that I'm ready for more 'private settings'." Xander said and Spike could see Xander was telling the truth.
"Right then we best be off." Spike said taking Xander off his lap. Xander didn't have a chance to sit back down before Spike grabbed his hand and dragged him out of the booth.
"Where are we going? We can't go back to the hotel. Joe's not really keen about you. There's no way I'm going to the factory." Xander said.
"Don't worry luv. We'll figure something out. I'll take you... some place fancy. You'll like it. Come on let's get out of here." Spike said and he didn't give Xander a chance to answer before Spike dragged him out of the Doublemeat Palace and off into the night.