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Putting Up With the Slayers
by Cinder and Gypsy
Part One Part Two Part Three Part Four

Part One

"I just wanna sleep."

"Don't you love me?" Anya pouted. 

"Of course I love you," Xander mouthed the platitudes. "I'd be a fool not to, and that's what I am, a fool for love." He sighed. "Wanna sleep now."

"Are you having trouble getting it up? Is that it?"

"No!" He frowned, unpleasantly awake now. "Some of us like sleep," he told her in that I'm talking to you like a child so I can be six times as annoying voice. "We sleep a lot. We sleep now. Good night." He turned over and she stomped out. The truth was, little buddy wasn't getting' up as often as he used to, but Anya did *not* need to know 

Okay, maybe that wasn't the absolute truth. Little buddy was as active as ever, just not for Anya. And that was something she definitely did not need to know. He was not prepared for boils in any place his boxers covered. Hell, he wasn't prepared for boils anywhere. And if Anya ever found out who his little buddy was exercising for, boils would be the least of his troubles.

The fact was they were the least of his troubles now. He didn't know whether he wanted to cry or scream or both. All he did know was that there was something wrong with him. There was something wrong with anyone who fell in love with a person who didn't even think enough of him to hate him. Especially when the person he loved hated everyone.

"Fuck! Why did it have to be Spike?!"

There was no sleeping like this. Growling, he threw off the covers and rolled out of bed. Xander yanked on a pair of jeans and a flannel shirt, shoved his feet into sneakers without the benefit of socks and went for a walk.  There was something refreshing about defying the icky powers of evil badness and wandering the streets of Sunnydale 
at night. It reminded him that he was not a weakling, he was not a looser. Xander drew himself up tall, fingering his stake lightly. He was a slayer, not some pansy-ass... or whatever else his father would come up with to call him. Fuck.

Worthless. Faggot. Mistake. His father's pet names for him. He'd grown up with those words running through his head constantly. He was so fucking tired of listening to that shit! He could understand why the first people Angel killed were his family. It was a point of sympathy he'd never confess to anyone else. One he rarely let himself 

After an hour of aimless wondering did nothing to make him feel better he headed home. He was lying on his bed staring at the ceiling when the thoughts he'd been trying to avoid since "it" happened swooped down on him. He knew Spike was a vampire. A soulless, heartless, monster who hated them all and wanted them dead. But...Adam. 

Spike had tried to help Adam kill them. In his more rational moments he knew why the blonde had done it. The chip. Adam had promised to get rid of it. And the truth was as soon as that chip came out Buffy would try to stake Spike. He couldn't really blame the vampire for trying to cover his bets, but that didn't stop the pain.

Then were the things he really didn't want to think about. The fact that Spike 
truly loved Drucilla. You couldn't love someone with out a heart. And Spike had 
been nice to him. When the blonde had been staying with him there had been no 
end to the arguments, but after the first week they weren't really arguing 
anymore. And he couldn't count the times he'd come home to find the basement 
cleaned and food in the microwave. 

He could never bring himself to say anything. The one time he'd tried Spike had told him about having to hide in the corner while his mother was in the basement cleaning 
up. He didn't tell the other man that his mother hadn't cooked for him since he 
was nine years old, and even then her food had been nowhere near as good as the 
food that magically appeared when he was too tired to get something for 


Xander jumped. The door at the top of the stairs was rattling. He knew the lock he'd put in was too flimsy to hold.

"Open up the fuckin' door!"

"That is not the way out," Xander whispered to himself. Okay, where to go. Grabbing his shirt, he bolted out the side door, straight into something solid. "Urgh!"

"Watch it!"

"Spike?" Dusting himself off, Xander pushed himself up. "What are you doing here?"

"I was...bored, all right? Is Anya here?"

"No, Anya is not here. Why do you want to talk to my girlfriend?"

"Well, we went out the last time, the two of us and I thought it was nice and all and I thought maybe she'd like to go get a beer."

"Anya is somewhere where I am not...and where you are not. And you and I, we are 
going to keep it that way or I will dust you. We clear?"

"You don't have to be all macho and all," Spike groused. "It really doesn't suit you." He paused, looking around thoughtfully. "So, you want to get a beer?"



"No. I do not feel like drinking it up with someone who likes to munch on my friends, or rather would like to be munching on my friends but can't, in his spare time."

"That was really not nice."

"Sucks to be you then." Xander started walking. His feet were going to be sore by 

"Ah pet. Don't be like that."

Xander whirled on the other man. His fist was connecting with Spike's jaw before he even knew he threw a punch. Spike was on his ass looking up at him with shocked hurt in his eyes. A trickle of blood rolled slowly down his chin from his split lip, if he'd been human it would've gushed all over his shirt.

In Xander's mind something frightening happened. It was as if he were standing a 
few feet away looking at himself and Spike. Only now, he was on the ground 
bleeding, and it was his father standing over him. And then he was back inside 
his body, like the snap of a broken rubber band.

"No! Oh, fuck no!"

And then he was on the ground. He must have fallen, his knees hurt. But he wasn't really sure. The only thing he was sure of was that he'd hurt Spike. He'd hurt someone he loved. He'd acted exactly like his father. The thought terrified more then any demon he'd ever faced. 

"All right," Spike muttered, "I'll take that as a no."

"I...I'm sorry. I didn't...go away, Spike. Just get away." Heaving for breath, he abandoned his walk and jacket. Facing his father in person was better than facing his father inside himself. 

Inside, all was quiet. The door didn't rattle, the floor above his head didn't thump, the dusts didn't even mote. Everything crept along in creepy silence. Without thinking about it, Xander stripped down and fell back into bed to stare at the ceiling again. 



"Spike," he hissed. "What are you doing?" For some reason, the vampire had 
followed him in. Stupid standing invitation! Have to retract that.

"Well, usually you don't attack so-called helpless things. I thought...I thought you might want to talk about it."

"Keep your voice down."

"Pet, there's no one here but us."

" dad...the door. He was at the door."

Strong arms wrapped around him. He was pulled against Spike and held like a child. For a moment he resisted, fighting within himself with his desperate love for the man holding him and a lifetime of conditioning by his father. In the end his heart won. He 
gave in the comfort being offered and let his mind drift away from his own 
fears. When he came to himself again he was lying on his bed tangled with and 
held by a fully clothed Spike. And the sun was up.

"Looks like I'll be spendin the day pet."


"Go back to sleep Xander."




"Good night pet."

And Xander lay awake, staring up at that door. Spike had to have heard it. His heart was beating triple time and his breath was scattered. Long white fingers traced his eyebrows, soothing away the tension, skittered down the bridge of his nose, traced his 
lips and down his chin. 


"Shhh, you need your rest, peaches."

"Why are you doing this?" He turned over to face his companion. "This isn't really very 
big and bad of you."

"I think the answer is fairly obvious."

"Really? I'm dense, remember. What is it?"

"I have a soft spot for whelps."

Part Two

When Xander woke up Spike was gone and he was late. He was supposed to meet the Scooby-gang at Giles' for a meeting, but he'd slept the day away. Side-effect of staying up all night and all day in order to feel Spike's arms around him. He'd drifted off sometime around ten a.m. and now it was 6:30 and Spike was gone. The blonde had to have just left, the sun had only been down for a few minutes.

Dressing quickly he all but ran to the meeting, not wanting to have to explain why he was late. He needn't have bothered. His friends ignored him like they always did. Despite the apologies and group hugs he was still on the outside of their happy little family. The scary thing was it didn't bother him anymore. He saw them banging their heads against each other trying desperately to be happy and good, and it left him
feeling nauseous from all the sugary bullshit they flung at each other in the name of sincerity.

Anya curled herself around him. He didn't push her away like he wanted to, but he didn't pull her close either.

"...big and vicious," Giles was rambling off key.

"Maybe we could call in Godzilla," Xander finally interrupted irritably. Six sets 
of eyes turned on him. 

"Just a thought. You know, get in the big guy and the rest of us go out of town 
on vacation like intelligent people."

"You never run," Anya accused.

"Now is as good a time to start as any. Who's with me?"

"Xander?" Buffy tried to feel his head for a fever, but he pushed her away.

"Sorry. I just...I'll see all you guys later." Extricating himself from the x-demon's embrace he pulled on his jacket and left in search of a certain blonde vampire.

He wasted three hours wondering the streets of Sunnydale. He was headed home and feeling miserable when he finally did run into a vampire. And it wasn't even the right one. Just some pissy little minion that decided he'd make a good snack.

"Well, looky looky. Lunch. Don't worry it'll only hurt...a lot."

"Oh fuck you!"


"You heard me plasma breath. Man, I am so fucking sick of dickweeds like you screwing up everything! What is it with you assholes and this cosmically shitty sense of timing you guys have?! You always show up in the wrong place at the wrong time and mess shit up!! Well, fuck that!!! I'm fucking exhausted cause I spent half this shitty-ass 
night walking around the most fucked up town in history looking for one of you pricks, and now you think I'm gonna run all scared from you cause you're too damn lazy to hunt for teenagers at the bronze like any other self-respecting vampire. Fuck that!! There is no way I'm...."

The vampire, who Xander had been steadily backing toward the street, screamed and 
ran. The brunette was left standing there with no one to rant at and the sudden 
realization that he had just caused a vampire to run away in fear of...a vicious 
tongues lashing by a pissed off ice cream vendor.

Faced with the reality of this situation he had no choice, there was only one thing to be done. That was how he wound up sitting in the grass with his back to a tree laughing so hard his sides ached. And naturally, that was how Spike found him.

"Care to share the joke, pet?"

"I can kill with my tongue."

"Really?" He stalked closer, the duster swirling about his knees. "Let me take a look." Xander opened wide. 
"Ah, I see. Quite a formidable weapon you have there. May I?"

Not giving the boy a chance to respond, Spike slipped his own tongue in for a closer look, sparking a moan from Xander. He felt around for a bit, sucked and pushed until his companion panted from lack of breath. Only then did he pull back. 

"I seem to be immune."

"Yeah," Xander panted, "must be them Master Vampire powers of yours."

The walk back to his house was completed in silence. And Xander had never been so glad his parents were out of town. Somehow he and Spike were standing next to his bed facing each other. Then Spike's hands started on his clothes. He was naked before he could protest, not that he wanted to. Laying flat on his back he watched the older man strip off his own clothes and when the blonde laid next to him and opened his arms the younger man moved into them without hesitation.

The first kiss was a gentle brush against his lips. The second was like someone stealing a delicate sip from a fine wine. The third was a light nip at his bottom lip followed 
by a lush tongue lapping at his mouth. Then he was being devoured. Spike's tongue 
and hands were everywhere and Xander felt his own cock harden with want. He
knew what was going to happen, he'd known when he left Giles' looking for the 
vampire. Even so, he couldn't stop the flinch when his thigh brushed the blonde's erection. Spike pulled back instantly.

"Last chance to stop pet. I won't be able to soon."

"It's okay. I just....I'm new at this."

"You sure you want this? Me?"

"Yes, oh yes." He dragged the vampire close enough to devour on his own terms. Spike moaned into him. He could feel the sound vibrate in his own throat.

"Right then," Spike finally surfaced, panting for air he didn't need. "Umm, we're gonna 

"Drawer," Xander panted out, lust and need catapulting him past any second, third, or sixteenth thoughts. Then Spike was kissing him again and his mind went hazy. Wrapping himself around his vampire, he purposefully pushed all thoughts of even 
the next second out of his mind. That's why it took him a moment to register as 
a slick finger pushed into him. Then he froze up. 

"Wait, I..."

"Shh pet. S'alright. Let me love you?"

Xander took a deep breath and relaxed. His body wanted desperately to push out the intruder, but he focused on the cool mouth kissing and nibbling his neck. The light graze of sharp fangs caused him to gasp and provided distraction for the entrance of a second finger. They began a slow scissoring motion and then eased forward to brush a spot inside him he hadn't known existed. An explosion went off in the younger man's body. He was shaking and sobbing as wave after wave of sensation rolled through 

Spike moved his fingers in gentle thrusts catching the boy's prostate each time. The third finger slipped in easily and the boy moaned and thrashed and wrapped himself tighter around his lover. The loss of those wonderful feelings registered at once and Xander all but cried. Spike held him closer soothing the younger man. The vampire moved into position and waited until Xander met his eyes. When they were focused on each other, the blonde pushed inside of his lover, and held his non-existent breath, 
shuddering. For so long, he held, waiting for it, waiting for it, that mewling breath and the push back before he thrust farther into his lover.  Xander thrashed and moaned low in his throat like a great jungle cat. His nails raked down Spike's back, drawing blood.

"More, Spike, please! More!" 

But the vampire would have none of it. Slowly, teasingly, he stretched it out until those mewling cries were all that was left of his lover's vocabulary. Only then did he take hold of Xander's cock, expertly jerking the boy off in time to his thrusts. Xander arched under him and dug his nails into Spike's hips. Using his new hold and his legs, the boy tried to speed the vampire's thrusts. Spike stopped moving. Xander wailed thrashed and finally held still. 

Spike began moving again. Slow deep thrusts that had the boy sobbing and growling. Spike felt himself slip into gameface. Soon, it had to be soon. 

"Xander. Look at me. Xander."
The boy opened his eyes and Spike expected him to flinch or try to move away. 
Not his Xander. The boy wrapped his arms around Spike's neck and pulled him
down for a deep kiss. Then he tilted his head back, exposing his throat to his 

"Do it, Spike. Give me what I need."

Sod it all, he's too lovely, Spike thought before sinking his fangs into Xander's jugular. The boy came with a scream. He could taste it in his blood and that alone spurred Spike to his own climax, howling out his claim. Exhausted, he collapsed on top
of Xander. 


Not good silence. Bad silence. 

The vampire finally raised his head to meet the boy's incriminating gaze. "What?" he growled.

"Was I not good enough?"

"You were wonderful, pet." Trying to soothe Xander, he put out some tentative fingers, but Xander pulled away.

"Was I not worthy?"

"What are we talking about?"

"I'm not even good enough to kill, am I? It, what, tastes bad or something? That's why you didn't drink it all? You were right all those weeks ago when you said I wasn't edible, huh?"

"What? Xander what are you..."

"You told Willow you'd kill her if you could. I was willing, the chip wouldn't have 
stopped you. Why didn't you..."

Spike put his hands over the boys mouth. Sitting up he pulled Xander into his lap and tilted the brunette's head up until they were looking into each other's eyes.

"Yes, I'd 'ave killed Red. But you're not her. I never want you dead pet. I want you alive in my arms. Even when Dru was here, I wanted you. You're beautiful and clever and if I could I'd turn you quicker then your heart beats. You're mine pet. Why would I want you dead?"


"S'not a debate pet. Soon as I find away I'm fixin' it so your with me forever. Get use to it luv. I don't let go of what's mine."

The blonde vampire looked into eyes that glowed with need and hope like the embers of a dying fire. He'd always thought they were lovely eyes, now he knew they were the most beautiful eyes in all creation.

"Mine. Always."

"You say that, you'd better mean it." Xander leaned close, his voice muffled in Spike's 
neck. "I'll stake you if you leave me. Got me."

"Not a danger, luv. Not scared in the slightest." And then he lay his love down to sleep.

The next evening they attended the Scooby meeting together, hand in hand. It was subtle enough for Buffy and her pet soldier to miss, but Willow shot Xander an uneasy glance. Nothing to report, the blonde told them. Not a lot going on, just that she had run into a big, smelly demon the night before, but dispatched it. Over. Toodalooo. She and Riley left, presumably to have, as Anya so fondly put it, orgasms.

This was, of course, the moment the ex-demon chose to arrive at Giles'. She walked in without so much as knocking. And immediately she noticed the difference in both Xander and Spike.

"Why are you holding each other's hands? And why haven't we been having sex? I called you after you left the meeting yesterday, but you didn't answer. And there hasn't been any orgasms since Buffy stormed the soldier guys. Why not?"

Xander blushed when Spike looked at him. The blonde was smiling and his eyes were sparkling. He touched the boy's cheek softly and when Xander met his eyes the vampire placed a soft kiss on his forehead.

"Not since thefirst night I stayed with you? You've been waiting since then?"

"I wouldn't have had to wait if you hadn't left."

Another soft kiss was the boy's reward. Only this time it was on the lips. The new lovers became so lost in each other that they didn't hear Anya leave, but as much as they would've liked to...they couldn't miss Giles' reaction.

"What in bloody hell do you think you're doin'? Get your bleedin' hands off 'im you 
blood-sucking bastard?"

"Whoa, G-Man!"

"Don't you G-man me," Giles stuttered back, obviously flustered. "Don't you realize the 
kind of mistake you're making? He's a killer!"

"Uh, maybe we should go." Xander stood, shoving Spike behind him, inching toward the door. "You calm down and I'll come over in the morning so we can - "

"Not bloody likely!" he huffed.

"Giles." Willows lips pursed in her trademark concern pose. "Maybe calm would be good here. I'm sure Xander has an explanation. Don't you?"

"Spike and I are in love." 

"An evil, undead thing cannot love," Giles spit. 

"Now you wait a minute," Spike cut in. "I know my own heart even if it don't beat. I luv Xander. That's the way it is between us. Has been for longer than either of us was willin' to admit." He grinned maliciously. "Ricki Lake says if you're his friend, you'll accept that."

"Fuck Ricki Lake and fuck you!! If you think for one minute that I'm going to let you hurt my son..."


Xander's voice silenced the watcher's screams. The boy was staring intently at the older man with a look of shock and hope on his face. Giles let himself calm down for a moment and then did something he'd been wanting to do since he met Xander. He hugged him. After a few seconds the brunette's arms wrapped around the older man and Giles spoke softly to him. 

"For a long time I thought that I would name you as my heir to the watcher's counsel, but you don't belong there. I used to believe that you were my protégé. I was wrong. 
Buffy is my charge, Willow is my student, the rest are my friends and compatriots. But you, you are my child. My son. I only want you to be safe."

Xander stepped away, but only far enough to look Giles in the eye. The smile on his face was full of happiness and in contrast to the tears rolling down his cheeks. 

"He makes me happy G...Dad."

"Why can't someone not a vampire make you happy?" he mumbled, crossing his arms over his chest. Xander didn't even bother to answer that one. "All right. But you hurt him," he spoke to Spike now, "and your next home will be a handy-vac."

"Oh, yes, sir, father sir," Spike teased.

"Don't push your luck," Xander admonished, shoving at his boyfriend playfully. Spike shoved back. "Think of it. Three people love me. Three whole people. That's amazing." Willow grinned, Spike hugged his Xander to him, and Giles turned away to clean his glasses. "We're gonna go home now," Xander finally announced, "unless
there's anything else."

"Not which comes to mind. Careful on the way and such." Giles held the door for them. 

"Don't worry," Spike shocked everyone by announcing, "I'll get him home safe and sound."

Part Three

Xander and Spike had been a couple for a few weeks now. They were happy, except for the occasional moment of insecurity. But considering the level of crap they had both been through it was completely understandable. They spent there nights in bed or helping the Scooby-gang and their bed. Spike had stopped bullshitting about his financial situation, at least to Xander. The blonde was very well off and had convinced his young lover that he didn't need a job. Giles and Willow knew that Spike was paying the bills, but Buffy was her usual cluelesss self. 

With Willow and Giles helping him, the vampire was slowly coercing his lover to move out of his parents' basement. Spike wanted his Xander to have a nice home with beautiful things, and not a dingy hole with two ogres living upstairs. A crypt might be fine for the blonde on his own, but it was nowhere near good enough for Xander. And Spike planned on giving his love everything he wanted and needed.

Things were going well for once. The new lovers were happy. Willow was happy for them, and was having snuggles with Tara. Giles was enjoying being able to treat Xander like his son, and Xander was having a blast calling the ex-watcher Dad. The Slayer was far to busy sucking face with soldier boy to bother any of them. And the Hellmouth was quiet, relatively speaking.  Obviously, something horrible was getting ready to happen. 

And happen it did, just like clockwork. In fact, very much like clockwork. Spike first noticed it one fine Saturday evening while watching the telly. Backwards. It was moving backwards.  Xander played with the remote, but no ammount of coaxing was helping.

"I want my TV," he pouted.

"It's all right, luv. But, we - "

"No, it is not all right. TV, lifeblood, good things, sunshine. World without sunshine. 
World without goodness."

Spike raised one irritated brow. "Will you quit blathering? It's not like passions is on."

"Oh, yes, and that's cinamatic genious."

"Are you insulting my soap?"

"What if I am?"

"You're gonna be awful lonely in that bed of yours tonight."

"You'd give up sex for a TV show?"

"This is not a TV show. It's "Passions." "

Before Xander could reply the phone rang. Spike picked it up and immediately locked his eyes with his lover's after listening for a few minutes, Spike hung up the phone and moved back to Xander. Pulling the boy into his arms he spoke in a calm casual voice. But Xander could hear the tension in it.

"What say you and me go on a vacation. How about a trip to L.A.? We could annoy Peaches for awhile?"


"That was the watcher. There's an emergency meeting."


"And nothing pet. Just a meeting."

"Spike. Tell me...please."

"I...I think....Xan, I think Dru's back."

Not knowing what else to do, Xander simply nodded. "Uh, think we should put some clothes on then?"

"Probably be a bit chill out there for you otherwise, pet." Spike looked relieved that Xander was allowing him to wallow in the mundane. He didn't relish facing this part of his past much, not now anyway. They both pulled on jeans and t-shirts. Xander found something properly atrocious to go over his, Spike grabbed his duster and they both left. The silence between them was soothing. 

At the watcher's residence all hell had broken loose, or at least Buffy-hell. She was in full tirade.

"Could someone please tell me what the point of being the Slayer is if I can't maintain
a decent wardrobe?!! Look at this!!! That thing ruined my new blouse!"

"Buffy, I think you may be missing the point."

"The point Willow, is that while I"m out there getting my clothes ruined you're all safe
and sound doing icky things with Tara."


"Giles, I..."

"Shut up. You will apologize to Wilow this instant. And then you will sit down, shut up,
and remain silent until we figure out what's happening."

"Sorry Willow."

Spike hid his sniggers behind Xander, but it didn't work very well when the boy was swept into a hug by the Watcher. Buffy's mouth hit her chest, Willow smiled, Spike smirked, Tara blushed, and Riley looked usual.

"Are you alright? Why didn't you call me today?"

"I'm fine Pop. Spike and I slept in."

"Indeed." Giles turned to the vampire and crossed his arms. Xander had to bite his lip
to keep from laughing when the vampire began shifting nervously from one foot to another.

"We were out late. Went to a movie. S'none of your business anyway."

"Really? Now look here you. Just because I allow you to see my son doesn't give you the right to paw him all hours of the day and night. You're moving back in here."



"Serves you both right for making me worry. Now get to the books. Both of you."

Spike grumbled his way to the bookshelf while a laughing Xander got another hug. Willow and Tara joined the lovers in their search for books about time. Riley sat there looking confused and Buffy turned the color of a tomato.

"It figures I'd end up with a watcher for a father-in-law. Why can't I have a normal vampire's life?"

"Because you're not a normal vampire," Xander teased. 

"Now, wait a minute," Buffy shouted. "What in the Hellmouth is going on here?"

"Xander is doing 'icky things' with Spike." Willow's voice dripped sarcasm. Trying to seem calm, she settled next to her girlfriend with a big, dusty tome. She checked to make sure Buffy was watching and then kissed Tara for all she was worth. Riley moaned his approval.

"Gotcha," Xander laughed. He settled in a chair opposite the girls, between Spike's spread legs. The sprawled vampire made a very pleasant cushion, Xander decided. "Dad," he looked up at Giles, "I don't think Spike is moving. I mean, if he did, think about it. You'd have to listen to us going at it all the time. Isn't it time to let your son fly free?"

"But I would see a lot more of you, wouldn't I," Giles countered, covering Riley's eyes so that he would stop gaping at the two girls making out. "Yes, lesbians. Get over it. Willow, stop that. There's research to do."

"It might not be such a bad idea pet."


"I mean if we both lived here. You'd be out of that nasty pit and somewhere safe."

"Spike is right. You and he will get your things and move them in to my spare room as soon as possible."

"Dad, won't mind? About me and Spike?"

"Spike and I. And no I wouldn't mind. Of course I would prefer it if your lover were human, but as the undead go you can hardly do better then William the Bloody."

"Ta, old man. Does this mean I can call you Dad?"

"Only if you want to become intimately acquainted with a dustbuster."

"Did you hear that, pet?" Spike complained. Xander snickered in response. "I'll take that as a yes."

"I just don't understand," Buffy moaned, flopping on the coach next to Riley.

"We can have more demonstrations though," Riley told her cheerfully.

"Thank you, but no." Giles plopped several dusty books into their laps. "Time, boys and girls.  Something like this has had to have happened before."

"Spike and I are gonna make hot chocolate stuff. Anybody else want some?" Xander asked. He took orders and then dragged the vampire into the kitchen with him. "Okay, spill," Xander hissed while putting the kettle on the stove.

"Spill what?"

"What made you think that Dru is back?"

"Not sure how I know. Just do."

"You can feel her?"



Spike pulled Xander into his arms and kissed him deeply. The vampire cuddled his love close and smiled when he felt the boy nestle against him. Resting his cheek on the head burrowed into his neck he tried to reassure his mate with the only thing he had. The truth.

"I was with her for nearly a century Xander. I'm tied to her through blood and pain. I
can't cut that connection. But...I never chose it for myself. You...Xander, you all think Angelus was my sire. And in away he was. But it was different then with a normal vampire. He only meant to make me a minion. One of those stupid cannon fodder fools the Slayer's dusting all the time.  It was Dru that changed that. Her and those damn dolls. But she screwed the whole thing and I nearly didn't make it. In the end Angelus became my sire fully just to see if I would pull through or go as wonky as Dru. I never wanted to be her's, and I never wanted her to be mine."

"I'm sorry Spike."

"I'm not. If things had gone different I might not be here with you. And you're worth all
of that. You're anything I have to do to be with you. I love you Xan."

"I love you Spike."

"Isn't that sweet," Buffy muttered sarcastically, leaning over the bar.

"Shouldn't you be researching, Buff?" Xander shot back.

"Just tell me straight. What is this..." She gestured vaguely in Spike's direction.

"You heard us. We're in love."

"But why? Willow didn't cast another spell, did she." Buffy and Spike gagged in unison.

"Not that I know of." 

"Of course," Giles announced. "A chaos demon can throw time into flux. The whole world is turning backwards a minute per second." He looked up. "We're de-aging."

"But not very fast," Riley amended. "How come everything still seems to be moving forward then?"

"Because our temporal reality is the same, just time is going backwards. We wouldn't even have noticed if it didn't effect electronic communications."

"A minute per second is pretty slow, Giles."

"That's one hour per minute. Every hour you lose two days. In a couple of weeks you'll all start to lose muscle as you regress beyond maturity. In a month you'd all be fifteen again."

"Dru left me for a chaos demon," Spike whispered to himself.

"Well, at least the psycotic vampire girl has better taste then Xander."

"Buffy, shut the fuck up."

"Wha...Xander have you lost your mind?"

"No. I've just lost the patience to put up with anymore of your shit. Spike and I are together.  Wilow and Tara are together. That's the end of it. So just shut up about it."

"Oohh, listen to Xander getting all defensive about his "alternative lifestyle." Excuse
me, if we normal people have a problem with freaks like you. At least Willow went with her own species. And we all know she can get a guy if she wants one, but you. The only people whoever wanted you were demons and psycho freaks who didn't give a shit who they screwed."

"Funny you should mention psycho freaks Slayer."

"You stay out of this Spike."

"I just thought you'd wanna know is all."

"Know what?"

"Why Angelus went after every Slayerette...except Xander."


"See, Dru was seriously losing it and Peaches wanted to replace her. Who better for the job then the kid he'd been lusting after back when he had a soul? That's right Bitchy, your precious Angel spent his days stroking off to images of my Xander. Wanna know something else?  Angelus told me that the only thing he regretted about losing his soul, was that he fucked you instead of Xander."

"Spike, stop teasing the slayer," Xander snapped.

"But it's true," he protested.

"Yeah, and I'm a monkey's uncle." He took a deep breath and shot his lover the dirtiest look in his repetoir to make sure he shut up. "Okay, you said Dru left you for chaos demon and Dru is in town. That means that we're on to something about the chaos demon, right?"

"Yes," the vampire grated.

"Then Spike can lead us right to her," Buffy concluded. "Oh, come here Spikey-poo. Let's see if we can get you killed tonight."

"Over my dead body," Xander hissed.

"Children!" Giles admonished. "Buffy you apologize this instant." She crossed her arms and clamped her lips shut. "Buffy! You're not too old to spank, you know."

"I'm sorry, Xander," but she didn't look at him.

"Can I spank her," Riley asked.

"I'd really rather not know about that," Giles told him, cleaning his glasses.

The meeting went on like that for another two hours. Finally, Giles couldn't take anymore and he sent Buffy and Riley on patrol. Willow and Tara left shortly after that, and Spike and Xander were sent to Xander's basement to pack. 

They were all but done. Everything had been packed into the back of Uncle Rory's car, and the only things left in the room were a chair, a bare bed, and an empty fridge. Spike was carrying the last bag slung over one shoulder, and was heading for the front door when he smelled Xander upstairs.

The younger man's parents were gone, so Spike climbed the stairs. He found his lover standing in the middle of his old room looking at the bare walls. The brunette walked slowly around the room, running his hands along the wood work and the closet doors. After a silent moment he turned to look at his mate.

"I spent my life in this room. I slept here. I hid here. I cried here."

"Luv, you have to let this go. There's nothing left for you here. You've cried enough."

"It's funny, I never imagined this is the way my life would go. And now I can't imagine
it any other way."

"Let's go luv. Your father's waiting for you. Let's go home."

Smiling, Xander turned into Spike's arms and let the vampire take him away, cuddled safely into the black duster. By the time they got back to the car, Xander was having very different thoughts all together. He spread kisses over Spike's chest, unbuttoning his shirt so he could at the pale skin.

"Pet," Spike warned.


"Plenty of time for that later. Need to drive now."

"Uh-huh." Xander found Spike's zipper and slowly pulled it down. Cursing softly, Spike shoved Xander into the passenger seat and then went round to his own side. Before he could even get the key in the ignition, Xander had his head in Spike's lap. 

"Pet, we shouldn't....Oh Fuck!!"

Xander had the head of Spike's cock in his mouth. Darting his tongue in and out of the
slit, he sucked gently and Spike saw stars. His lover was so good at this. Without warning, the brunette swallowed his blonde lover to the root. Spike screamed and arched his back. Xander's chuckle caused the vampire to moan, but it was cut short when the boy began raising and lowering his head in a familiar rhythm.

Spike was in heaven. His lover's mouth was nearly scalding in it's wet warmth, and it felt as though he were being eaten alive. Tangling one hand in soft dark hair, he gripped the car door with the other. The blonde couldn't stop himself from thrusting into that amazing mouth, and Xander hummed his pleasure. That was the last straw. Spike bellowed his release and shot deeply into his lover's throat. Xander swallowed every drop and then began licking the softening shaft clean. Finally finished, he sat back smugly, licking his lips like the cat who got into the cream.

"Proud of yourself, kitten?" Spike growled.


That gave the vampire pause. His Xander was so rarely happy. This one act of defiance had obviously changed him, given closure to the situation with his parents. There was a sudden peace about him. Spike found himself speechless in the wake of it.

"We'd better get to Dad's before he misses us and decides to ground me or something," Xander pointed out, smiling.

Smiling, that was nice. Spike allowed himself one last, long look before starting up the car and hit the gas in his usual manner. Xander, in a supreme example of his bliss, didn't even bitch at him to slow down.

Giles didn't comment on the fact that Xander's lips were swollen, or that Spike was in a much better mood. He simply helped them unload the car and settle into their new room. A few minutes of fussing over whether or not Xander had eaten a decent meal, with Spike biting the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing, and they were home. 

The bed was comfortable and just the right size for cuddling. Laying flat on his back with Xander snuggled to his side, the blonde vampire let himself relax. His love was away from those worthless bastards. They would never hurt his precious again. And if they came within fifty feet of him, he'd rip their hearts out and hand them to the fuckers...while they were still beating. No one fucked with his Xander. Not even Dru. 

Part Four

The next night Xander and Spike joined Buffy and Riley on patrol and
Spike set to quite literally sniffing Dru out. Xander yawned for, like, the
fifth time that night.

"What is up with you?" Buffy hissed.

"Just tired."

"You could have tried to get some sleep before a big, important..."
She gestured vaguely. "thing like this."

"I tried. We tried, but it's like I'm seventeen again." He stopped
for a moment. "I guess I am seventeen again. Weird."

"I soooo did not need to know that."

"Shhhh," Spike hissed. "She's in that warehouse over there. And
she's not alone."

"Who's with her?"

"The slimeball she left me for...and something else. Not sure what,
don't know the smell."

Spike eased back into the shadows and pulled Xander with him. If the
Slayer wanted to parade up and down in front of the windows that was her
business, but no way was he risking his Xander. The boy pressed against him
and stayed still. He could sense the vampire's disstress, and if Spike was
worried he wasn't taking any chances.

They were standing as still as statues, the dark leather of the blonde's
coat helping to hide them both, when the inevitable happened. Buffy was
noticed. Demons of the smelly slimy variety surrounded her and Riley. They
fought, but the bad guys had the numbers on their side. Buffy and Riley were
dragged inside. And Spike and Xander were left unnoticed in the shadows.

"Dammit," Xander swore.

"Not so loud, pet."

"We have to go in there after her."

"Have to? I don't see how we have to? We could ditch this git and
be in Accapolco by morning. You'll like it there. Beach, sand, lots of
alchohol. Unless we get held up by your teenage urges again." Spike stared
dreamily off into the darkness, licking his lips.

"Those teenage urges are gonna be come and gone by sometime next
weekend and I'm going to be a whiney ten year old if you don't help me free
Buffy, and believe me, you sooo do *not* want to see that."

"Oh, sod it all! Right, let's go get the Watcher and the Witch. No
sense in being as stupid as the Slayer."

They made it home in minutes. Getting Giles and Willow ready to go took
less time then the trip, but Spike hesitated as they were about to leave.
Pulling Xander into their room he kissed his lover deeply and desperately.
When he pulled away to speak his voice was hushed and full of emotion.

"I'll do anything you want if you stay here."


"Listen, please. I know you can look after yourself. I know you can
hold your own. But...I love you. I couldn't cope if....Please luv, stay

"And if I stay here and she dusts you? If I knew that I didn't have
your back? Then what?"

"You'd be alive, pet."

"Yeah, but I wouldn't care." He ran the backs of his fingers slowly
down Spike's cheek. "I've got your back. That's the way it is."

"I just... I have a bad feeling about this."

"Trust me. I intend to be your lover for a long time to come." And
Xander sealed the bargin with a passionate kiss. "Come on. Willow and
Giles are waiting." They both joined the rest of the Scoobies in the other
room and together they went out into the encroaching night.

The trip to the warehouse seemed to take forever this time. When they
reached their goal Spike pulled Xander into another desperate kiss. He and
the Watcher shared a look over the boy's soulder. Protecting their Xander
was the top priority for both of them.

The place was dark inside. And it stank. Finding Buffy and Riley was
actually pretty easy. They were in a cage hanging from a ceiling beam.
Surrounded by hordes of pissed off slimy critters doing freaky slimy critter
things. All in all, it looked like a scene from Gremlins.

"Ok, this is one of those moments you never wanted to actually

"I hate to say it, but I almost feel sorry for Bitchy."

"Spike, don't call Buffy Bitchy. At least not when she isn't here to
get pissed off about it."

"Xander. Spike. Behave yourselves. We have to get them out of there.
Much as it pains me to do it."

"Giles! That's Buffy. Our friend."

"Your friend Willow. My responsibility. And a major pain in my ass."

"Let's hear it for the Watcher. Now we've got that settled let's all
head home for Wheatabix and nachos."



"Just..." Xander held his head in his hands, looking for the
strength to deal with all this. Why weren't they going home for Wheatabix
and nachos? "We get them out of this one jam, okay. Then all bets are off.
So me and Willow can make this right for ourselves."

Willow nodded and smiled wanly, tucking her hand into Xander's. "Then
we can all go home and have Wheatabix and nachos and do icky things," she
teased. Her other hand she slipped into Giles. Then she leaned up and
pecked both men on the cheek. "Now, let's get them down and go kill the
big, bad thing."

None of them saw it coming.

Druscilla came out of nowhere. Giles and Willow went flying with one
sweep of her arm. Spike was sprawled on his ass being held there by the
small demons that now surrounded them. Dru was dangling Xander a foot from
the floor by her grip on his neck. She cocked her head to the side and
stared at him for a moment. Then she pulled him close and wrapped her arms
around him.

Xander was fighting with everything he had, but the mad woman was
stronger them ever before. A glance around him showed Spike struggling to
break free from the swarm of demons holding him down. He was in full
gameface and screaming for Dru to let Xander go. Druscilla watched him for a
moment and then she turned to Xander.

"You've been doing naughty things with my Spikey. Shame on you, he
belongs to me."

The beautiful face in front of him melted into yellow-eyed death, and
Xander fought harder. Spike was on his feet, gray bodies were lying broken
all over the place. The blonde was 15 feet away from his lover and fighting
harder then he ever had in his life. He had to get to Xander.

"I came back for my Spikey. Miss Edith said he found someone pretty
to play with. Now you'll play with me."

"Dru! Let him go!"

"We'll play with him now. And when he breaks we'll get a new one."

Spike was standing three feet away, covered in slime and blood. Giles
and Willow were on their feet holding the next wave of gray ghoulies back
with magic and automatic weapons. Xander had stopped struggling. He couldn't
get free, all he was doing was tiring himself out.

"Dru, let him go. He's mine. You can't play with him."

"You don't want to share?" Dru cocked her head to the side and
studied the blonde. Something she saw pissed her off, big time. "You don't
love me anymore. You love him. You can't!! NO! You are mine!!!! Daddy said

Shaking Xander like a rag doll she screamed at him, "He's my Spikey!

"Then you shouldn't have left him," Xander gasped out. Dru went
still. Spike was still fighting like a madman to get to them but every step
forward was accompanied by two steps back. Giles and Willow were
effectively pinned down. Xander was alone.

"Not another word, Xany!" Spike screamed.

"No, she left you. What did you expect? He'd pine for you
forever?" Xander struggled, but Dru's hold was still too strong.

"Daddy said he's mine."

"Too bad, so sad, finder's keepers, I say."

Enraged, Dru slammed Xander into a wall. Picking up a stake, she drove
it into his gut. Spike roared and went berserk. Demon bodies went in every
direction and Spike was pulling Dru off Xander before Giles and Willow could
even scream. But as fast as he moved, he was too late. Dru had already
bitten Xander. His blood dripped from her mouth as the blonde vampire
slammed her into the wall.

"Cunt!!! I'll kill you!" The stake that had been in Xander sunk into
the female vamp's chest, and Spike turned his back on her before the ashes
touched the ground. Gathering his mate in his arms, he searched frantically
for a pulse. Thin and shaky, but there. His Xander was dying. The blonde did
the only thing possible. He used his teeth to tear a hole in his wrist and
put it to his mate's lips.

"Drink, luv, please drink."

"No!" Giles screamed. "You'll turn him into a demon, Spike! He
won't be our Xander anymore!"

"I won't live without him!"


Willow held Giles back. "It's too late. Look." Xander was already
drinking, now gulping the blood from Spike's wrist. Then he slumped back.
Spike picked the unconcious boy up in his arms.

Without their mistress the demons seemed to have scattered. Giles and
Willow ran forward to peer at the bundle in Spike's arms. "We have some
time yet before he wakes up," Spike told them softly. "Maybe you'd better
let the twit and her boyfriend down and then we'll decide how much time
you'll give us?"

"Time?" Giles asked.

"A head start." Spike rocked Xander slowly. "I'm leaving and I'm
taking him with me. I know the slayer has a duty to slay us, but I think we
deserve a head start."

"Nobody is staking anybody!! Buffy can just get over it."


"No. How much time do we have?"

"An hour, maybe two."

"That's enough. Giles get Buffy and Riley. Spike take Xander to
Giles'. I'm going to get Tara. You have to hurry...we'll be cutting it

"Willow what are you..."

"Don't argue with me Giles. We have a curse to put on Xander. I will
not lose him. I failed him so many times this last year. And things were
just starting to get right between us. I'm not gonna let him down again."

"Willow, it's too great a risk. Too many things could go wrong."

"If it were Bitchy you'd risk it."

"Spike that isn't fair."

"Fuck fair!! Listen Watcher, you and me both know the world ain't
ready for what my Xander will do to it when he wakes up. You think Peaches
was trouble...he's a bloody saint compared to what Xan'll be if we don't let
Red do her thing. You know I'm right. You only beat Angelus because I helped
you the last time. Do you really think I'll help you against my Xander?"

Giles looked at the pile of ashes that had been Druscilla. Then he
looked from the determined tear stained face of Willow, to the desperate
anguished game face of Spike. Then he thought of a world without Xander's
laugh. The choice was easy after that.

"Get moving, both of you. We have no time to waste."

Willow and Spike scrambled into motion. They both jogged back to Giles'
so Willow could call Tara from there. That way she wouldn't lose any time
researching while Tara was on her way. Every moment was precious.

Spike sat on the couch, hugging Xander to him, rocking him, whispering
softly in the young man's ear that everything was going to be okay. Tara
got there just as Buffy, Riley and Giles did. Willow looked up, her eyes

"I want to do a binding spell."

"What?" Giles asked.

"I want to bind Xander to the calling of the Slayer. That way
there's no soul that can be taken away. If he's even half as dangerous as
Spike says - "

"I could take him out in a second," Buffy sneered.

"You are so bloody stupid!"


"I have had up to here with you and your ignorance. For once in your
arrogant little life you are going to listen to me."

"But I..."

"Shut up!!! You pissy twit! Even as a human, Xander had more courage
and strength in his heart then you could ever hope for. When he was the
soldier his skill was frightening, as the hyena you were only able to beat
him because he was weakened by his own instinct not to hurt his friends. If
he were ever to give himself completely to evil he would be unstoppable. The
Master himself would bow to Xander if he were still alive. When the council
found out about him they sent orders that if he were ever turned he was to
be destroyed before he had the chance to rise. You are dealing with power
beyond your conception, much less your ability to fight. Now you will shut
up, sit down, and let us save my son!!"

Cowed, Buffy did just that.

Willow didn't miss a beat. Taking Tara's hands, the two witches chanted
in Latin, the powerful magic exploding out of them in bright, white streaks.
Two teathers formed, one encircling Buffy's chest and the other tight around
Xander's neck. Then they dove inward and disappeared.

"What was that?" Buffy all but screeched.

"He's bound to you now," Willow told her, a little sadly. How had
she been friends with this girl for so long without seeing what a bitch she

"I don't see how that's going to help," Spike piped up.

"Xander is bound to the Slayer's calling," Willow explained, "not to
Buffy herself, or any Slayer after her. In effect, we've created another

"Sod it all!" Spike snapped.

"We didn't have a choice Spike. This is the only way to be safe. And
this way he'll still be Xander...not just Xanderlike."

Spike cradled the boy to his chest and ignored the rest of them. He felt
the stirings in the body in his arms. His Xander was coming back to him.

"Spike?" The voice was weak and cracking. The damage Dru's teeth had
done to the boy's throat wasn't completely healed.

"I'm here luv. You're safe. I 'ave you."

"Spike...I'm hungry." Xander curled himself even closer, nuzzling
Spike's neck. "Please..."

"Shhh, luv. Buffy's here. You can eat her."

Xander chuckled softly. "Tempting, but no. Kill Slayer bad." He
nuzzled his way into Spike's neck again.

"Hungry. Hurts."

Giles and Willow both released a breath they hadn't known they were
holding. Giles held out the mug of blood he'd warmed. Xander snatched it
out of his hands and downed it in three gulps, his fangs clanking against
the cup.

"More," Spike ordered. His childe finished off another three mugs
in quick succession before the hunger was sated, and through it all he never
moved an inch away from Spike. The elder vampire's pale hands stroked his
back, calming and soothing him.


"Yes luv."

"You turned me?"

"Yes luv."

"But I have a soul, but I'm not cursed...and why is killing Buffy
bad? I don't like her."

Spike couldn't help the smile that split his face from ear to ear. His
Xander was safe and in his arms and pouting like he always did when he was
unhappy and wanted Spike to make it better. And the blonde knew just how to
do that. Sucking on the puffed out lower lip, Spike waited for the moan.
When it came he slipped his tongue into his mate's mouth and kissed him deep
and hard.

"Eeew!! That is soo nasty."

"Fuck you cunt!" Xander's voice was a growling snarl. He rose to his
feet in full game face and pulled Spike to his feet. "Protect the Slayer
does not mean put up with Buffy's bullshit!"

Buffy pulled out a stake and went toe to toe with him. "You play by my
rules or you don't play."

"Hey, if I kill you another is called. Let's see if the rules

She raised her stake. He grabbed her wrist.

"Stop! Stop it right now!" Giles yelled. "You!" he pointed at
Buffy. "Sit down and shut up. You!" he pointed at Xander. "Calm down this
instant!" Xander hissed at him. Giles waggled a finger. Muttering, Xander
crossed his arms and sat back down on the couch between Spike's legs. Spike
traced his ridged brow until his human mask dropped back into place.

"That's some great spell you did there Willow. You and Tara are
world class witches."

"Actually Buffy, the spell worked perfectly. The problem is that
you're a ignorant bitch and Xander seems to have lost his tolerance for
bullshit. And just so you know, he's right about the whole other slayer
being called if you get croaked thing. So since he's the only back up you've nice to him."

"The only....Willow what are you talking about? And you so had
better be kidding with that bitch thing!!"

"I mean I can't help you anymore, I'll be too busy doing icky things
with Tara."

"Stop!" Giles screamed. "That's enough, children. I have listened
to you squabble and bicker your friendship away and frankly I'm sick of it.
Buffy, Willow's perfectly right. You're being a bitch. You have to accept
your friend's lives because they are your friends. They are in love, just
like you are. As you would say, deal. One more impolite word out of you
and I'm going to let Xander slap you.

"And you," he turned on Willow. "You're not going anywhere. We're
a team and we'll get over this. We've only been made stronger tonight, if
we don't let this tear us apart. If you can't be nice, at least you can be
civil." He paused for breath.

"No tough words for me, Dad?" Xander asked quietly.

"I think becoming a vampire is quite enough excitement for one
night." He smiled. "Don't kill the Slayer, however. Training a new one
would put me in a snit."

"Daddy's right luv. Besides, we need Red to work the spell on me."

"Spike?! What are you talking about?!!"

"Obvious innit? Can't let my Nummy go off defending the Slayer on
his own. I'll have to help him won't I? Which means the binding spell for

"You'd allow us to bind you to the Slayer?"

"Yeah. Don't hav' much choice do I?"

Giles loooked carefully at the blonde vampire. He was holding Xander
against his chest so tightly that if the boy were still human he'd have
bruises. The older vampire looked drained. It seemed to the Watcher that the
only thing holding Spike together was Xander's presence in his arms.

"Before Willow performs the spell, we'll need to remove the chip."

"You know how?" Xander locked his gaze onto the older man's, there
was nothing Giles could do...except

"And you haven't said anything?" Spike snarled.

Xander put a calming hand on his lover's arm, stroking the soft skin.
"It's all right, Spike. Everything is working out. If you'd had the chip
taken out we would never have gotten together."

Buffy snorted.

Everyone ignored her.

"I guess," Spike finally grumped. "Would have been nice to know
though, Pops." Giles smiled wanly. "Okay, let's get this show on the road.
I'm gettin' tired." He ran a long finger down Xander's cheek. "Want to
take you to bed and show you you're mine, Pet." Xander purred softly and
kissed Spike's palm.

"You go on to our room, I'll be there soon." Spike stole another
kiss then slipped off the couch. Xander waited until he left the room and
then turned on Giles. Walking over to the other man he hugged him and then
took a step back.

"You're my dad, and I love you. I'll never hurt you or let anyone
else hurt you. But...the was the shittiest fucking thing in the world you
just did. How dare you watch him suffer like that? What the hell is wrong
with you?!!"

"Xander, I understand how you fell..."

"No Dad, you don't know how I feel! You really are a rotten son of a
bitch sometimes. I really think you owe Spike an apology. But I know you
won't give it and right now I'm just really mad at you! So thank you for
saving me, thank you for finally getting around to helping Spike, I love
you, goodnight!"

Xander stormed out of the room, a moment later they heard the bedroom
door slam, and then Giles started cleaning his glasses while Willow bit her
lip to keep from laughing at the scolded Watcher.

"Not one word," he hissed at her.



Xander slammed the door behind him and then turned. Golden light bathed
the room. Spike had lit several candles and they blazed away merrily in the
corners. The blonde had already shucked off his clothes and was lying out
on the bed, waiting. With a deep throated purr, Xander yanked off his shirt
and toed off his shoes, wanting to join his love as soon as possible.

"Slow down, pretty. We have forever now," Spike admonished him.

"But I want you so badly," Xander whispered back, sliding his jeans
down his hips. He wasn't wearing any underwear.

Spike smiled at his beautiful mate and held out his hand. Xander climbed
into the bed and into his arms. Settling with his head against his sire's
silent chest, the newborn vampire relished the feel of his mate. For the
first time in his life he was exactly where he was suppose to be.



"Giles are you sure the spell will work on Spike? I mean if we take
the chip out and then can't bind him...."

"I have thought of that Willow. The spell will work, there's no need
to worry. For now, I think we all need to get some rest. Tomorrow promises
to be eventful."

Giles watched his charges file out in a ragged exhausted line and then
headed for his own bed. Their lives had changed tonight, and would change
again tomorrow. The watcher could only hope that his feelings for his son
hadn't clouded his judgment. Spike protecting all Slayer kind? That had to
be of the signs of an imminent apocalypse.


It was a much more subdued Slayer who met them at Giles' house the next
night, chasened even.

"I called Angel," she announced as soon as everyone was gathered.

"You what?" Spike was out of his seat in an instant. Similar cries
of indignation echoed about the room.

"Calm down, fangless. I just wanted to get his opinion. I trust
him." She sat up straighter in her chair. Behind her Riley was squirming
more and more as her announcement went on. "Anyway, he's coming."

"The poof is coming here? Whatever for?"

"He said he wanted to meet his new grandchild. I pointed out that
he's met Xander before and that he's not even technically Xander's
grandfather, nor does he even like Xander, but he said - "

"Soddin' poof has discovered family. Who would have thought?" Spike
cut in.

Angel's arrival was not a happy day for Xander. He stood beside Spike
and watched the other man greet each of the Scoobies. Then he turned his
attention to the other two vampires in the room.

"Hello Spike, this isn't like you...joining the ranks of the

"S'for Xander. Too dangerous for him if he has to protect the Slayer

"For Xander. How is my grandchild? Have you explained the way things

"You bastard!!" Spike was in full gameface and pushing Xander behind
him. Standing between Angel and the new vampire, he growled low and
dangerous. The threat was clear...Angel was not to touch Xander.

"Spike..." It was a very clear warning.

"What, you soddin' poof? Wouldn't be the first time you and I went
ten rounds, now would it?"

"I have the right."

"You're a bloody wanker!"

"Well, boy?" He focused his gaze on Xander.

"What are you going to do?" the young vampire asked nervously.

Angel glanced around descreetly. "I just want to say hello."


"Come here, Xander." He crooked his finger, his gaze dark and rich
with earthly delights. Xander realized it wasn't Angel he was looking at,
it was Angelus. Not that the vampire had turned evil, but that the demon
was the one concerned about his family tonight.

Xander stepped in front of Spike and then took another step until he was
right in front of Angel. The elder vampire peered at him through golden
eyes. He almost lowered his head. But then he remembered who he was. He was
the mate of William the Bloody. And he'd be damned to an eternity with Buffy
in full bitch mode before he did anything to shame his lover.

The younger vampire stared back defiantly. Angel was impressed. Every
instinct the boy had would be screaming at him to submit to a more powerful
vampire. But not this one. This one was worthy of his family. Of his
heritage. This one would be a true mate to his childe and would do their
line honor.

"Welcome to the family, boy." He yanked Xander forward into a rough
embrace and, in deference to the Sunnydale crew, only planted a fatherly kiss
on his forehead. Giles let out a ragged breath, loud enough to draw their

"You didn't think I was going to..." Angel chided, trailing off

"Let us say the watcher's journals can be overly informative from
time to time."

"Do what?" Buffy asked. "What did you think Angel was going to do?"

"Would anyone like any tea?"

"Giles!" Buffy pouted.

"Or perhaps a good, stiff belt of whiskey?"

"Yeah, mate," Spike called after the Brit, who was rapidly escaping
into the kitchen. "Could do with a double." He took another long look at
Angel. "Make it a triple."

"There's no need for that Wil, the boy's safe." Angel put a
comforting hand on his cjilde's shoulder. He frowned when Spike pulled away.
The blonde had maneuvered himself between his Sire and his mate again.
Despite the older vampire's reassurance Spike's body language hadn't
changed. He had no intention of allowing Angel anywhere near Xander.

"You keep your hands to yourself bleeder. They don't know all your
little secrets but I do. You will not touch him...Father."

As he spoke Spike's gutter drawl slipped away. By the time he was
through his true background was showing. Cultured and smooth, the voice of
sophistication and education made the words even more intimadating. This was
not Spike, it was William the Bloody and no one touched his mate.

Angel stayed to watch over Spike's transformation, an almost tender
smile on his face. They chained Spike to a wall. First Giles used a heavy
electromagnet to depolarize the chip. Now defunct, it would no longer
inhibit the vampire. Then Willow bound him to the calling of the Slayer.
Through it all, Xander held his mate, stroking his face and whispering words
of love and passion and forever in his ear. It kept Spike calm. In
retrospect, Giles thought, they probably hadn't needed the chains at all.

"Welcome to the good guys," Xander finally told him, letting his
mate go after the binding spell had done it's work.

"What? Don't like me chained up?"

"Only to the bed. How do you feel?"

"Tip top pet, but just to be sure..." Spike was a blur. He punched
Riley in the face, resulting in a loud crunch that told everyone the
soldier's nose was broken. Buffy charged forward and Spike slammed her into
the wall, two quick gut shots left her on her knees gagging and trying to
breath. No one else moved. "Well, looks like it worked luv."

Buffy struggled to her feet. The Slayer looked to the rest of the
Scoobies for help, but none came. Willow was closing up spell books and
tiding the mess, Tara was helping Riley hold a rag to his nose and mumbling
a spell that would slow the bleeding, Giles was cleaning his glasses, Xander
was hugging Spike, and Angel was smiling at them.

"Giles do something, he's evil again."

"No he isn't Buffy, the spell worked perfectly."

"But he...."

"You're still alive aren't you?"


"Then the spell worked."

Xander grinned. "I think I'm really liking it around here."

"It's about bloody time," Spike agreed. Dragging his lover to him,
he passionately kissed the younger vampire. "Should have done this years

"But you weren't a good guy then."

Spike snorted and turned away.

"Hey, there are perks to being a good guy?"

"Such as?"

Xander smiled, tracing one, lone finger down Spike's chest. "I'll make
some up."

And make them up, he did, rewards galore. And if Spike didn't ever
admit to loving his good guy status, he did admit to loving Xander's
rewards...vocally...and with great gusto, to the dismay of their neighbors.

The End