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Devoured In Tears
by Claire

Xander slipped out of the bed, unmindful of waking the person next to
him. Spike slept like, well, the dead, and he never woke when Xander
left. Glancing back at the still form in the bed, Xander padded out of
the bedroom, gently closing the door behind him.

Heading across the room to the fireplace, Xander paused to scoop up
Spike’s duster from where it lay in a heap on the floor. Wrapping it
around him to stave off some of the cold that permeated the mansion,
Xander held the collar close to his face, inhaling the ingrained scent
of leather, blood and cigarettes. Reaching the fireplace, Xander
crouched down and stared at the dying fire that Spike had lit the night
before. Picking up the poker that was propped up against the wall,
Xander prodded at the fire, watching as embers slowly danced into the
air before settling back down into the ashes.

“S’no use, pet. I think you’re floggin’ a dead horse there.”

Nearly losing his grip on the poker in surprise, Xander stood and
whirled to face Spike. “I thought you were asleep,” he said softly.
Spike had never woken when he’d left before, so Xander wasn’t sure why
he’d woken now.

“I was,” the vampire replied. “An’ now I’m not.”

“I didn’t mean to make any noise when I left.”

A quick frown flitted across Spike’s face. “You didn’t. I just woke up
an’ you weren’t there. Wondered where you were, that’s all.”

“Oh.” Unable to look at Spike, Xander turned back to the fire, prodding
it gently. He didn’t know why it was so difficult for him to look at
Spike. It had never been like this before. Before, just the slightest
look at the vampire had had him hard and begging for attention, his skin
rippling at the thought of the bruises. But tonight, tonight had been
different. There had been no pain, no hurting. For the first time since
Xander had come to him, Spike had kissed instead of bitten, caressed
instead of scratched, licked instead of sliced. And Xander had liked it.
Arched up, pleading for more. Something had happened tonight; something
that had changed the rules of their relationship, and Xander didn’t know
if he was ready to deal with it. Pushing the poker back into the ash,
Xander wiggled it around, watching as the small flakes rustled slightly
before settling.


Xander closed him eyes, continuing the move the poker about in the still
burning ash.

“Xander?” The name was spoken with more force this time, but the tone
was still silkier than Spike usually used.

Opening his eyes, Xander slowly turned back to face Spike. The vampire’s
head was tilted slightly and he was studying the young man intently.
Feeling embarrassed under Spike’s stare, Xander flushed. Spike had
looked at him before, devoured him with his gaze, but this was...
different. Both more intense and yet softer, Spike’s gaze travelled down
the full length of Xander’s body before moving back to his face.

“C’mere, Xan.”

Almost on instinct, Xander stepped forward, closing the distance between

Reaching out, Spike gently took the poker out of Xander’s hand, dropping
it to the floor. Cupping Xander’s face in his hands, Spike steadily met
Xander’s eyes. “Right now, I’m no good at this, coz the only one I ever
said it to was Dru, and my Dark Princess didn’t have a damn clue what I
was on about anyway. I know that Slutty says vamps can’t feel anything,
but the bint’s wrong. Xanpet, I’ve never said it before, but I lo-”


Spike’s hands dropped from his face as Xander automatically turned to
face the direction his name was coming from. His eyes widened as he took
in the sight at the door. Standing in the entrance to the mansion, his
hand pressed against solid air was... “Angel?”

Angel was staring at him, but it was nothing like the look he’d had from
Spike. Whereas Spike’s look had been full of lust and another emotion
that Xander didn’t want to examine too closely just yet, Angel’s was a
gaze mixed of determination, anger and what looked like... sadness?
Xander lowered his eyes to the floor. Hadn’t they done this all ready?
He didn’t want to see Angel, not tonight. Not when he has so much to
sort out about Spike.

“Spike, what have you done?” Angel’s voice drew Xander’s eyes back to
the elder vampire, watching as Angel pushed against air and ripples
spread out around his hand. “Why can’t I get in?”

“Don’t be a wanker, Peaches,” grinned Spike. “First thing I did when I
moved in was get someone to reverse all the invitations and put blocks
around the place. I’m not havin’ any old vamp creepin’ in here when I’m
busy.” He leered at Xander.

Xander stared at the younger vampire in surprise. He’d had no idea that
Spike had done that. He knew it took some serious magic to stop a
vampire from being able to enter another vampire’s home. The usual
invitation rule didn’t apply when the tenant of the house was one of the
undead themselves. Xander knew that vampires would never enter the house
with the intention of hurting Spike. Chipped or not, and no matter what
he had done to the vampire community in Sunnydale, Spike was still a
master vampire, and none of the younger ones would risk angering him.
Which meant... Xander’s eyes widened in realisation. Which meant that
the only reason Spike had to have the protections put up was him, to
stop anyone from entering when Xander was there alone. Spike wasn’t
always there when Xander was at the mansion; when he went there to
escape his own home. He could remember the surprise on the blond’s face
when he’d come back from the butcher’s one night to find Xander sitting
on the couch, staring into space. The next night when Xander had gone
back, he’d walked in on a demon performing a ritual around the doors.
But when he’d asked Spike what it was, the vampire had simply waved a
hand and told him he was doing something he’d meant to do for ages but
never got around to, and not to be concerned about it. It was obvious
now what Spike had been doing, and why.

Angel growled, drawing Xander’s attention back to him. His eyes swept
over the pale features as Angel continued to push against the invisible
barrier holding him outside of the house. “It’s my bloody house, Spike!”

“Not any more.”

“Spike, let me in!” Angel roared, slipping into his gameface.

“Fuck off, Angelus. You don’t command me anymore.”

Xander hadn’t taken his eyes off Angel, but he knew that Spike’s face
now matched Angel’s with it’s ridges and glittering yellow eyes.

“You’d defy me, defy your Sire, over a mortal?”

Xander flinched at the anger in Angel’s words. He didn’t want to know
what Spike was going to say. He’d learned some things about vampire lore
in all the time he’d been researching for the Scooby Gang; learned the
emphasis vampires placed on the Sire-Childe bond. For vampires, there
was nothing stronger, nothing more important than the relationship
between a Sire and his Childe, between Angel and Spike.

Spike stepped forward, standing barely inches away from the door, from
Angel. “Defy you because of him?”

This was it. This was when Spike would defer to Angel and... and then
what? Angel would take him to LA, take him away from Spike?

“Without hesitation, mate.”

Xander’s head whipped around to look at Spike. Spike, standing there,
arms crossed, smirk on his face, defying his own Sire for a mortal;
defying Angel for him.

“Why?” Confusion and disbelief coloured Angel’s tone.

“Because he’s worth it.”

Xander’s head was spinning. He wasn’t worth anything, he was... tainted,
dirty. Why was Spike doing this?

“He’s not Drusilla, Spike,” Angel said quietly.

“Dru?” Spike replied. “Dru has *nothing* to do with this.”

“No?” Angel was adamant. “You’re acting exactly the same way as you did
with her. Taking what Angelus left and trying to fix it. Well, it won’t
work, Spike. It would be best for Xander if he came with me. I’ll take
him back to LA and get him some help...”

Angel’s words trailed off at Spike’s laughter. “One problem with that
little plan, Peaches. Xan ain’t broken. Twisted a bit, maybe,” grinned
the blond, “but not broken.” His voice dropped to a harsh whisper. “You
didn’t get him, Angel. He’s stronger than you think he is.”

“Then why is he here?” Angel asked. “Why did he run to you at the first
opportunity? And why can I smell the blood, *his* blood, permeating
every inch of this place? Doesn’t need the help, Spike? You’re wrong. He
needs it. And he needs to be taken away from here, away from you, and
away from this situation.”

“You’re not takin’ him away from me!” Spike took another step towards
the door.

“Try me, boy!” retorted Angel fiercely. “I will take him if it’s over
your beaten body.”

Xander looked at the two vampires, ready to go at each other, ready to
attack and all because of him. “Stop it!”

Both Angel and Spike turned to him, ridges melting from their faces.

“Xan? Pet?” Worried blue eyes were watching him.

“I’m not worth it,” Xander whispered. “Not worth this.”

Spike closed the distance between them in a couple of strides. Taking
Xander’s face in his hands, the vampire smiled softly. “Don’t believe
that, Xander. Don’t ever believe that. You *are* worth it. An’ you’re
worth a hell of a lot more. Don’t ever let the ponce make you think
anything different.” Tilting Xander’s head down, Spike rested his
forehead against the boy’s, the coolness seeping through Xander’s skin.
“If you weren’t worth it, then I wouldn’t love you.”

The words were so quiet Xander had to strain to hear them, and even then
he thought he’d heard wrongly. “You love me?”

Spike nodded. “Not quite sure how it happened, but there you go.”

“You love me,” Xander repeated, unable to get past that thought.

“Yeah, but don’t expect roses an’ chocolate, it would completely fuck up
my street cred,” Spike smiled.

“No, you can expect leather and pain instead.”

Angel’s harsh voice drew Xander’s attention back to the elder vampire.

“He loves me,” Xander said softly.

“No, he doesn’t, Xander. He *can’t* love you, he’s a demon.”


Angel ignored Spike’s outburst. “It’s unhealthy for you to stay here.
Please, Xander, come with me.”

“Xan, don’t.” The words from Spike were soft, almost pleading.

Xander’s gaze flicked between Angel and Spike. Angel with his commanding
presence and voice that sent Xander back two years to when a single word
would have him begging. And Spike, Spike who’d hurt him when he’d asked.
Hurt him, bruised him and fucked him. Spike, who tonight had held him
and caressed him. Spike, who loved him.

“Xander, please.” Angel held out a hand and Xander could see the
flattened tips of his fingers where his body met the barrier on the

It would be so easy. All he had to do was reach out and take the hand.
Angel offered so much of what he wanted. Reaching out, his fingers were
scant millimetres from Angel’s when he stopped suddenly, his eyes fixed
on the darkening bruise that circled his wrist. The bruise that Angel
had put there and only hours ago, Spike had kissed. Closing his eyes,
Xander dropped his hand. He couldn’t deny that although Angel may
represent some of what he wanted, he could never be what he needed
anymore. He wasn’t referring to Angelus, Xander had long ago accepted
that he would never get Angelus back, but he’d also realised that he
didn’t need him back, either. Everything he needed was right there next
to him in the form of a chain smoking, peroxide vampire. A chain
smoking, peroxide vampire who loved him, *loved him*. Stepping back, he
turned and smiled at Spike, before briefing turning his attention back
to Angel. “Go home, Angel,” he said, unconsciously mirroring the words
he’d said to the vampire earlier that night. “You’re not wanted- you’re
not *needed* here.” Reaching out, he slipped his hand into Spike’s, and
walked back into the bedroom.