Xander groaned as consciousness
returned to him. He let his eyes slit open then sighed with relief as his ceiling
stared back at him. At least this time I know where I am. Suddenly he
realized he wasn't alone. He turned his head slowly to the side. Spike was sleeping next to him. At least I think he's sleeping,
hard to tell with no breathing or anything. Xander didn't have time to ponder
what the Vampire was doing in his bed because he was immediately hit with the very urgent need to pee. He tried to sit up, only to find he couldn't do more than wiggle slightly.
Well, shit. This is going to be embarrassing.
"Spike?" he asked softly.
Immediately blue eyes flew
open. "Hello pet. How are you feeling?"
This was too bizarre. "Um, like my skin is turned inside out. Also,
I uh, have to go to the bathroom."
To his credit, the Vampire
didn't even blink as a red flush stole over Xander's face. He simply stood up,
walked around to Xander's side of the bed, and gently scooped the boy into his arms.
Xander gasped as he was moved, but then sighed happily at the feeling of the Vampire's cools skin against his hot,
angry burns. "Mmmm, you feel cool."
Spike raised an eyebrow at him,
Xander smiled, "Your skin is cool
and it feels good against my burns."
Spike just looked at him
strangely as he strode into the bathroom. "Right then, how do you want to do
"Can't you just set me down here?"
Spike eyed the boy in his arms, "Can you walk?
Or stand on your own?"
Xander blushed, "No. But I really don't want you to hold me while I pee. A guys
got to have some limits."
Spike rolled his eyes at the human's
squeamishness, then deftly pulled Xander's boxers down and set him on the toilet. "Right
then, I'll be back in five minutes."
Xander took care of business,
and even managed to wiggle and twist enough to pull his boxers back up before Spike came back in. Spike gathered him back up and headed towards the bedroom. "Anything
else you need why we're up pet?"
"Um, actually, I am kind of thirsty."
"Right. Sorry, forgot about that."
Spike detoured to the kitchen
and filled the largest glass he could find.
Xander eyed it suspiciously, "Just
"Sorry pet. Burns, dehydrated, sodas and stuff'll only make you sick."
Xander sighed and took the
glass handed to him, then preceded to drink half of it down.
Spike chuckled and pried the glass
from the human's hands, refilled it, then headed back to the bedroom. The Vampire
laid Xander down gently and grabbed the pot of salve. "orry luv, this'll hurt
a bit, but its got to be done."
Xander nodded and tried not to
whimper too much as the salve was spread over the worst of his burns and blisters. Once
the few worst were taken care of though, Xander found that the numbing affect of the salve in combination with Spike's cool
fingers felt absolutely wonderful on his raw skin. He let his eyes drift shut
and leaned into the touch, murmuring happily.
Xander heard Spike gasp, and he
eyed the Vampire questioningly. Spike's eyes were wide with a mix of emotions
that Xander couldn't quite recognize. "Pet?"
"There's, um, there's something
I need to talk to you about."
Spike set the salve aside and
Xander wiggled around a bit till he could look Spike in the eyes. "Okay. What?"
Spike fidgeted, eyes looking
everywhere but at Xander, hands worrying the blanket.
Xander was starting to worry now.
"Spike? What is it? You can tell
Finally Spike sighed and cursed
softly under his breath. "Look, I don't know how to say this, so I guess this'll
have to do. When that demon went after you, I...I've never been so scared in
my life, or unlife, or whatever. Anyway, I guess I didn't realize how much I'd
gotten used to this," Spike waved his hand vaguely, encompassing the apartment. "How
much I've gotten used to us." Finally Spike met his eyes, and Xander could see
an echo of the pain and fear Spike had felt. He ignored the heavy feeling in
his stomach as well as the need to ask a thousand questions, and instead reached over and clasped Spike's hand. Spike stared down at their entwined hands and continued. "I
know I can't be everything you need. But...I care about you and I want to protect
you. I can give you that much at least."
Spike grinned sheepishly at the shocked looking boy, "Maybe some day I can give you more. But for now, if you'll have me, I...Id like to claim you."
Xanders world was reeling. Spike cares about me? Spike wants
to claim me? "Y...you want to c...claim me?"
Xander couldn't make any
more words come, so he simply stared. He knew he was making Spike wait, but his
world was slowly reordering itself around him, and he wanted time to experience it.
Xander felt like all his dreams were coming true. Well, almost all. But we can work through that later, he already said maybe anyway. Xander was planning on saying yes. The word was bouncing
around inside his head, just waiting for him to part his lips so it could burst out.
But then Spike got tired of waiting, and leaned over. Xander's heart stopped. Spike leaned in and kissed him. Softly,
just the lightest brush of lips, but Spike kissed him. It only lasted a moment,
then the Vampire pulled away and whispered gently against Xander's cheek, "Please, Xan?
I can't lose you, I won't."
Xander's body melted. He flowed into opened arms, curled up against a cool chest, buried his head in Spike's neck, and began
chanting softly, "Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes."
Spike curled his cool body
around his human's, HIS human's!, and began stroking a hand through chocolate locks, holding on as tightly as he dared
considering the boys condition. "Mine." He growled softly.
Xander shivered, but not from
fear. They lay like that for a while, but eventually Xander voiced the question
foremost on his mind, "Spike?"
Spike sat up a little and looked
down at the fragile human in bed next to him. "In the afternoon, if you're willing. You're still pretty weak, but the blood exchange will help you heal a little faster."
Xander's hand rose and lightly
trailed down the side of Spike's neck, causing the Vampire to shudder. "Why not
Spike recovered and rolled his
eyes, "'Cuz that bloody Watcher of yours doesn't trust me not to drain you. He
wants to be here, make sure you're safe."
Xander froze and stared up at
the Vampire incredulously, "Giles knows? The others know? Spike, you're not doing this because they told you too, are you?"
Xander's voice broke on the last word, but he didn't care. The thought
that the others had put Spike up to this was too painful.
Spike shook his head vehemently. "No! No, luv, they had nothing to do
with it. I decided to ask earlier tonight, when we were in the tub. You were unconscious, and I was thinking over what had happened, and I realized that the second the demon
had gone for you, that my first thought was that it had touched something of mine and had to die. You see, in my head I'd already claimed you. My demon considered
you claimed territory before my heart ever did, it only remained for me to ask you.
After you were cleaned up and in bed, Buffy suggested the idea. She must've
seen in on my face or something. She suggested it as a way to help protect you,
and the others agreed with her. As far as they're concerned, this is a formal
arrangement between friends. But you and I know different, don't we pet?" Spike stroked a cool hand down Xander's face, and pulled the boy closer.
Xander moaned and leaned into
the caress, letting his eyes drift close. Spike curled up around his body and
continued to gently stroke his face and hair as Xander gave into his body's demands and began to drift off to sleep. Xander was almost asleep when he noticed something, he felt Spike shift against him
and realized that despite the words of love and the tender caresses, not to mention the kiss, Spike wasn't showing any signs
of arousal. Tenderness and love yes, and didn't that thought send shivers
down his spine?, but no arousal. Xander sighed softly to himself, What
kind of freaky arrangement are you getting yourself into Harris? But Spike's
hands were holding him and stroking his hair, and Xander felt Spike lay a gentle kiss on the top of his head, and suddenly
all that mattered was Spike. Xander let himself go and drifted off into a place
where he was held and loved and protected, and there was no pain.
Xander continued to doze throughout
the night and into the next afternoon, Spike waking him every three hours to reapply the salve and to bring Xander food and
water. Finally, Xander woke up and actually felt like he was truly awake for
the first time since his injury. He looked blearily around the room, realized
he was alone, then listened and heard the voices floating in from the living room. Two
male voices, quietly arguing, and he guessed that Giles was here. Xander tried
to sit up, but the movement pulled the tight skin on his back and he gasped in pain. Spike must have heard him, because seconds
later the Vampire came flying into the bedroom, "What is it pet? What's wrong?"
Giles came in on Spike's heels,
"Are you okay Xander?"
Xander smiled weakly at the men. "I'm fine, guys. I just tried to sit
up too fast."
Spike gently pulled Xander into
a sitting position, propping him up with lots of pillows. "There you go pet. I'm gonna go get you something to eat. Rupert
wants to talk to you."
Spike scowled at the Watcher
but left the room. Giles pulled up a chair next to the bed and immediately began
cleaning his glasses.
Xander sighed, "Okay Giles, talk."
Giles put back on his glasses
and coughed nervously. "Well, Xander, it's just that I'm not sure that this...claiming
is such a good idea."
Giles looked taken aback, "Excuse
"You say you don't think its a
good idea, I can respect that. You've been around longer and know more about
Vampires than I do, so I'd like to know what, exactly your reasons are."
Giles nodded, "That seems reasonable. Firstly, Spike is a soulless demon, and despite the chip and despite how helpful he
seems to have been to us, he remains evil at heart, I honestly don't trust that he doesn't have some plan to use you against
Buffy. Secondly, while some research has been done on human-Vampire bondings,
there is really no evidence of what being tied to a demon would do to your soul. Thirdly,
this claiming, even if it went no further than the initial blood exchange, would tie you to Spike for the rest of your lifetime. Do you really want that sort of thing, Xander?
If you decide, sometime down the road to part ways with Spike, he would always be able to find you, always be able
to manipulate you. You must see that this is a ludicrous solution. Surely with more combat training you would be just as safe."
Xander sat for several minutes
and mulled over the Watcher's argument. It was a very good argument, unfortunately
for Giles, Xander's heart had never listened to reason. "Giles, I really appreciate
your concern for my immortal soul, but I hardly think that living on the hell mouth has left it pure and untarnished. Also, I have to say, maybe it's just because I'm younger and more naive than you,
but after living with Spike these past months, I think of him as a friend. And
furthermore I trust him." Xander looked Giles straight in the eyes. "I trust him, Giles."
At Giles' slightly disbelieving
look, Xander motioned Giles closer. Giles leaned in and Xander leaned forward,
until his lips were almost brushing the older man's ear. He spoke quietly, barely breathing the words, mindful of Vampiric
hearing. "I love him, Giles. I'm
in love with him. Please don't interfere with this."
Spike stomped quietly around the
kitchen, furious at the Watcher for trying to talk Xander out of it and scared witless that Xander would listen to reason
and refuse the claim. He finally calmed down and started fixing Xander some soup,
listening to the conversation in the bedroom with half an ear. He growled softly
as he heard Giles' reasoning, admitting grudgingly that they were all good arguments, especially the one about the boy's soul. A feeling of warmth spread through him when he heard Xander say that he considered
Spike a friend, that he trusted the Vampire. There were several moments of silence,
then he heard the Watcher gasp loudly and choke off a reply. Deciding enough
was enough, he grabbed the bowl of soup and hurried back into the bedroom. "So,
you two finish your little chat?"
Xander nodded at the blonde, "Yup,
all chatted out."
Giles looked grim, and didn't
say anything. Spike wondered what in the hell the boy had said or done to put
that look on the Watcher's face. He'd have to find out, later. He shrugged it off for now and placed a tray with soup and juice on the bed in front of Xander. "Got to get some food in you, whelp. Eat up."
Xander grumbled but obeyed,
while Spike flitted about the room, straightening things, picking up clothes and basically just trying to not look nervous. Giles sat silently, seemingly lost in thought, but occasionally shooting Xander speculative
glances. Finally Xander finished and waved to Spike, who by now was pacing nervously. "All finished. Happy, nurse?"
Spike slipped into gameface and
stuck his tongue out at the boy, something he knew made Xander laugh. This time
was no different. He took the tray from the laughing boy and returned it to the
kitchen. Out of sight of the Watcher and Xander, Spike stopped and took several
deep breaths, attempting to calm himself down. He was incredibly nervous. He had never claimed anyone before, and it was very important to him to claim the
boy as his own, to do it right. Having to do so in front of the Watcher just
made his nerves worse. Sighing, Spike returned to the bedroom and sat down on
the edge of the bed. "Right, well, we better get on with it."
Giles looked sour, but Spike only
had eyes for Xander, who shot a happy smile his way. Spike arranged himself on
the bed so he was sitting against the headboard, and pulled Xander back to lean against his chest. Spike stroked a hand softly through the brunette's hair and laid a soft kiss on the boy's neck. "Ready pet?"
Xander nodded and leaned back
against Spike, tilting his neck to the side to offer the Vampire better access. In
reality, the mark could be given with little fanfare, but Spike knew that the Watcher in Rupert was expecting some big showy
ritual. Spike decided that to keep Giles happy he would have to say something
official sounding. Gently holding Xander's head to the side, Spike slipped back
into gameface and intoned in his best 'Master Voice', "I William the Bloody, Childe of Drusilla, Childe of Angelus, Master
of the Clan of Aurelius, claim you, Alexander LaVelle Harris as Consort." Spike
lowered his head and gently slipped his teeth into the thick muscle where neck and shoulder met. Xander's blood exploded in his mouth, a riot of flavors and emotions, imprinting Xander's essence in his
mind. The boy tasted like sunshine and life, sweetness with a spicy undertone
that Spike knew he would now crave. He swallowed a few mouthfuls, then raised
his head and tore into his wrist, holding it to Xander's mouth and urging the boy to drink.
Xander listened, slightly amused,
as Spike intoned the formal sounding words. He knew they were for show, for Giles. The book he and Buffy had read hadn't mentioned any declarations of any kind, just
the biting, and sex, but Xander was pretty sure the sex part wasn't going to happen.
Then, suddenly Spike's teeth were at his throat, and he had a brief moment of 'vampire, teeth, bad' before forcing
himself to relax. Then Spike bit, and all Xander knew was the sharp, bright pain
of Spike's fangs slicing through his skin and the sound of his blood rushing through his veins, rising to Spike's siren call.
The pull of Spike drinking from him overwhelmed his already overloaded senses. Electricity was thrumming through his body and he was instantly hard. He moaned softly and tried to lean back harder against Spike's cool chest.
Suddenly Spike's wrist was at his mouth and, following instinct, he drank. Spike's
blood was rich and spicy and dark as it flowed over his tongue. Xander sucked
greedily at the wound, whimpering softly. He had never expected anything like
this, and he wanted, needed more. Too soon, Spike tore his wrist away and all
Xander could do was try to remember to breathe as the powerful blood zinged through his system.
Xander's breath was coming
in small gasps and Spike knew that the boy was painfully aroused, luckily, since Spike's blood was fresh in his system, he
was also very susceptible to Spike's will. "Sleep Xander. Go to sleep now." Spike used his Master voice and within seconds
Xander's heart rate and breathing had calmed and the boy drifted into a deep sleep.
Spike was hard himself and hoped that the boxers and loose jeans he was wearing would be enough to hide his arousal
from the Watcher. As far as Giles was concerned, the claiming was completed. Spike knew better. Mates were claimed
with blood and sex, and until he took Xander, the need would be an ever-present drive in the back of his mind.. Unfortunately, taking Xander that way was exactly what Spike wasn't sure he could do. Until he did, though, the bond would be half completed at best, regardless of how much blood they exchanged,
and while most demons and fledges couldn't tell the difference, other Masters could.
But Giles and the rest of the
gang didn't need to know that. Licking any stray drops of blood from his lips,
Spike eased Xander back onto the bed and scooted over to the edge. He turned
to look at Giles, who was silent and looking decidedly pale. "Everything okay,
Giles nodded, then seemed to shake
himself out of whatever space he'd been in. "I thought that you wouldn't be able
to control Xander. How is it you were able to put him to sleep like that?"
Spike rolled his eyes. "Because the blood was fresh in his system and he's weak so he's more susceptible to my suggestion. If he weren't injured, and if I had given it a few minutes, I wouldn't have been able
to force him to do anything. Once he's at full strength again that won't happen. But Vamp blood is powerful stuff and I figured he'd be better asleep while it works
The two men walked out into the
living room. "Will your blood have any effect on his healing process?"
Spike shrugged. "Yeah, probably. The first dose will probably help get the
last of the nerve toxin out of his system, a second exchange in a couple of days should help the burns more."
Giles nodded. "Very well. I'll leave you then. I'm sure the girls will be by tomorrow to check on Xander."
"I expected as much." Spike breathed a silent thank you as Giles finally left. He poked his head in the room to see that Xander was still sleeping peacefully and then headed to the bathroom. He needed a cold shower.
Unfortunately, ten minutes in
a freezing cold shower wasn't enough to counteract the fresh blood flowing through his veins.
The demon was raging to claim his mate through sex as well as blood, so Spike turned the water up to hot and leaned
back against the wall, giving in to the demon's demands the best he could. Slicking
his hands with soap, Spike's left hand began playing with his nipples, teasing them into hard peaks as his right slid lower
to grasp his weeping erection. As he stroked his aching flesh, Spike tried to
imagine past lovers, soft and curvy with large breasts and wet cunts waiting to envelope him; but his mind kept coming back
to the brunette sleeping in the next room. He finally gave up and began picturing Xander in the shower with him,
Xander's warm, work callused hand stroking him, Xander leaning over to suck and nip lightly on his nipples. Spike moaned as the fantasy took over, thrusting his hips and ramming his cock into the slick tunnel his
hand formed. In his mind, Xander was standing there, stroking him and looking
into his eyes, chocolate eyes full of love, trust and passion. It was the look
in Xander's eyes that finally pushed him over the edge. Twisting a nipple sharply,
Spike bucked up one final time and came hard, hissing Xander's name as he shot over his hand and the shower wall.
soon as his shaking legs could hold him again, Spike rinsed off and climbed out of the shower.
He stared into the mirror, not really noticing the empty room that was reflected back at him. "I've got to figure this out."