by Gypsy Gray
Xander's first thought when he heard the stumbling feet on the stairs was of his father. His second thought was that both his parents were out of town for the next month. So that meant....
Xander was at the bottom of the stairs before he felt himself move. It was like it always was when he stopped thinking and let himself act on instinct. The soldier came forward and took over. He never told anyone how clearly he remembered that training. But Spike knew. Spike always knew.
The vampire half fell half walked down the stairs. Xander caught him before he collapsed and held him close. The blonde was near unconscious and blood was running in small rivers down his back.
"William, what happened? William?"
"Alex, you...safe...can't stay, not safe....She'll come...run..."
And Xander knew. He knew exactly what had happened to Spike. He knew exactly who was responsible. There is no word for the strength of the rage that filled him. The Slayer had tried to kill his mate. And know the soldier was pushed aside and the hyena was there. And this was something else that he had kept carefully hidden, and something else that Spike had known. The beast in him knew only two things. The Slayer had to pay, and his mate needed help.
So the mortal had no memory of carrying Spike up the stairs. He would never remember the ride to Giles', or what he told the ex-watcher when he got there. The next clear memory he had was of watching Oz wipe blood off Spike's back while Willow held a flashlight and Giles and Riley used tweezers to pull slivers of wood from his lover's back. And then the hyena was whispering to him again. A scent he knew was coming closer. He had a moment to put himself between Spike and the door before the Slayer came in.
"Giles, Spike attacked...."
If Bufy had been even half as clever as she thought she was it would have been obvious. But she wasn't, so she completely missed it. Oz didn't. He pulled Willow back and put himself between her and Buffy...and Xander. His sense of smell had picked up the shift in the air. Xander was putting out pheromones. Major alpha-male, I'm going to rip your throat out, don't come anywhere near my mate pheromones.
"Xander. How's your boyfriend?"
"Obviously a better lay than yours. What's the matter Buff? Riley didn't hit it hard enough to knock the psycho bitch out of you? Hasn't been anyone to do that since Angel has there?"
"You shut the fuck up! You pathetic faggot! Looks like you finally found your calling in life Xander...Spike's pussy boy."
"Shot you down didn't he?"
She charged him. It was a mistake. Adrenaline brought back the hyena and gave him the soldier's skill. Buffy was flat on her back with his hand crushing her windpipe between one heart beat and the next. Giles knocked Xander off her, but Xander wasn't about to let her get away. He threw Giles off and went for her. Riley tried this time. He was knocked cold for his trouble. And now Willow jumped in. Only Oz dragged her back. And his scent hit Xander. Alpha-male, protecting his mate, no threat, werewolf,...Oz.
And then the others were gone and it was just Xander standing over an unconscious Buffy. He remembered the whole fight. And then panic set in. Buffy was the slayer, and he couldn't kill the slayer. The world needed her. And he had been going to hurt Willow, and she wasn't his friend anymore but he didn't want to hurt her. And Giles was hurt. And he didn't mean that. He really really didn't. And Riley had never been mean to him, he had only been trying to help Buffy. And he had to go. They had to go. Buffy would kill them. Or he would kill her. And he couldn't take that chance.
Xander lifted Spike into his arms as though the blonde were made of porcelain. He carried the still unconscious vampire to his car and laid him on the backseat. He knew only one place that the two of them might be safe. The mortal started the car and headed out into the night. All he could think while he drove, was...
Please let Angel believe me...please let Angel believe me...please...