The walk home from The Magic Box was
completed in much the same way as the walk there had been, quietly holding hands, the bond thrumming with emotions. But where
the walk to the shop had been playful, the walk home was tense with anger, fear, and apprehension. When they reached home,
Spike silently drug Xander into the apartment and straight into Xander’s bedroom, tumbling them down onto the bed. Spike
wound himself tightly around his lover and buried his face in Xander’s neck. “I don’t like it love, I don’t
want you to do this.”
Xander sighed and stroked his hands soothingly
along Spike’s back and arms. The proposal of Giles’ strategy and
the ensuing arguments had taken up most of the night. After hours of rehashing
the plan and arguing about details, with Spike voicing every reason he could think of not to put Xander in danger, it had
still come back to the original idea, Xander would be the crux of the attack and in the most danger. The meeting had finally
broken up an hour before sunrise, so they could go home and rest up for the battle to come.
“I know beloved, but we’ve
talked and talked about this, and there’s no other way around it.”
Spike stilled and looked up at Xander.
“What did you call me?”
Surprised, Xander reviewed what he had
just said. “Beloved, I called you beloved. Is…is that okay? I can come up with something else.”
“No! No, love, I love it. It’s perfect.” Spike’s
smile was watery as he leaned over and kissed Xander gently. “I’ve
never been anybody’s beloved before.”
“Well, you’re my beloved. Guess you’ll just have to get used to it.”
That earned him a soft chuckle, “Guess
I will, love.”
Spike buried his face in Xander’s
neck and breathed in his lover’s scent. He was terrified. Terrified of not being able to protect his lover, terrified
of losing Xander after just finding him. Xander’s soft, wavering voice broke through his brooding. “Spike?”
“Make love to me? Please?”
“Of course love, of course.”
Slowly, gently Spike began kissing and
tasting his boy, removing each article of clothing and exploring each bit of exposed skin with mouth and fingers. Xander trembled beneath him, shivering as Spike’s cool breath ghosted over him. Soon Spike had them both naked and he wound his body around the warmth of Xander, capturing his mouth in
a bruising kiss. They thrust slowly against each other, hands exploring every
inch of skin.
Finally Xander thrust the lube into his
hand and Spike obeyed the unspoken command, thoroughly preparing the writhing brunette. Even though Xander was still a bit
stretched out from earlier in the day, they were both new to this and needed the ritual to calm them, center them into the
moment and each other. When Spike entered Xander it was with a feeling of awe
and wonder that Spike hoped he’d never lose.
They drew it out as long as they could;
long, hard thrusts alternated with short, shallow ones. For a while Spike simply
pressed the head of his cock against Xander’s prostate and rocked into him, the intense pressure of his hips causing
bruises to bloom on the inside of Xander’s thighs. Finally, Xander’s
begging won out and Spike slipped his fangs into his mate’s neck, drinking down the taste of Xander’s passion
as the boy exploded into orgasm. Spike rode out the shakes and shudders, waiting
till Xander was coherent enough to sink his own, blunt teeth into Spike’s shoulder and drinking in Spike’s own
essence as the Vampire finally let go and emptied himself into his lover.
They lay panting, twined together, reluctant
to leave each other’s arms. Spike listened to Xander’s breath return to normal as he idly traced his hands along
his lover’s sweaty skin. “Love?”
Curious brown eyes met his. “What
“For everything, but mostly for
taking a chance on me, on us.”
Tear filled eyes blinked several
times. Finally Xander graced him with a small, shy smile. “I love you.”
Spike smiled and pulled Xander close.
“I love you too. Sleep now, love. We’ve got a busy night tonight.”
Twilight found them gathering back at
the Magic Box, loading up on weapons and rehashing their plan one more time. It
was a relatively simple plan, as plans went. Once they found the Master, they would attack as normal, Buffy and Angel taking
on the brunt of the physical assault, Willow, Tara and Giles attempting to get at the Master through magic. Spike and Xander
were to fight side by side. If it looked like they still weren’t able to get close to the Master, Xander was to allow
himself to be separated from Spike and work closer to the Master. Hopefully he wouldn’t be noticed until it was too
late. The stake Xander had was bespelled, he didn’t have to get a heart shot, just sink the stake in somewhere, and
Willow’s spell would do the rest. At least that was the plan. But they
all knew how their plans usually turned out, so all they could do was hope for the best.
Buffy hefted the sword she had chosen
for the fight and looked around at the gathered group. “Everyone ready? Okay, let’s head out.”
They found the Master in the third cemetery
they checked, waiting for his new minions to rise. The gang got there just in
time to see them rise. All thirty of them.
“You can say that again luv.”
“I would, but I’m too scared.”
Standing in the graveyard, under the
full moon, the Master stood surrounded by a rather large group of assorted demons, watching as his newly risen minions gathered
“Well, come on guys. So there’s
a few more than we thought, stick to the plan.” Buffy grabbed Angel’s hand and sprinted towards the group of demons.
“Easy for her to say.” Xander
quipped as he followed Spike towards the gathering minions.
Behind him, he could hear the Witches
and Watcher setting up the first of their spells, but the only sound Spike was focusing on was the sound of Xander’s
heartbeat, strong and steady beside him. With a holler, they slammed into the group of fledges. Spike lost himself in the
familiar rhythms of battle, keeping one eye on Xander at all times. They had been sparing together often of late and so it
was easy to fall into now familiar patterns of fighting side by side. Spike tore
through every fledge he could reach; they were so new that there strength was laughable, but still, thirty against two was
a rather uneven fight. Luckily, he and his boy seemed to be holding their own
for now. He was just finishing tearing the head off his fifth fledge when he heard a short cry and scented Xander’s
blood. Turning with a roar of anger, Spike pulled up short at the sight of the cloud of dust settling around Xander.
Xander wiped the blood from the side
of his mouth and grinned at Spike. “No worries, he just slapped me, now
he’s dust.” Spike grinned back and grabbed the nearest fledge, tossing him into the small group trying to advance
on the magic users. The group went down in a tangle of limbs and Spike launched himself towards them, trusting Xander to fend
for himself for a few minutes.
Xander watched the blonde Vampire launch
himself towards the downed fledges with loud war cry. He laughed and pointed
the fledge he held in a headlock towards where Spike was fighting. “See him? He’s my mate. Pretty hot, huh?”
The fledge nodded quickly, obviously
hoping that by humoring Xander he’d get to live, or un-live, whatever. Xander staked the fledge and dusted his hands
off. “Right, who’s next?” Glancing around the battlefield
he saw that Spike had deterred the group heading towards where Giles and the girls were casting. Willow screamed something and pushed her hand, palm outwards, towards a small huddle of demons. A fireball
streaked out of nowhere and hit the demons head on. Xander felt his mouth drop
open in shock. “Wow, cool!”
Hearing Buffy’s battle cry, he
looked to the other side of the battlefield where Buffy was taking on several different demons at once. She had a slash on
her thigh, bleeding slightly, but it didn’t seem to be hampering her. Angel had a few bruises and spots of blood on
him, and seemed to be steadily working his way towards where the Master stood; doing something complicated with his hands
that Xander guessed was magic related. Before he could decide where to help,
he was bowled over as something heavy slammed into his back. He went down and was immediately pinned. Trying not to panic,
Xander gasped for breath and slammed his head back, luckily hitting something that hurt his assailant. The pressure on his
back eased and Xander squirmed onto his back, snaking his hand down to grab the knife he’d strapped to his side. The demon sitting on his chest was smaller than him, but bulky and way stronger, plus
the slime was gross. Xander said a silent prayer that steel would hurt this thing
and stabbed it in the side. By the howling and the rolling around, Xander guessed
that steel did hurt it. He quickly scrambled to his feet and grabbed his axe off the ground, beheading the thing before it
attacked him again.
Xander didn’t have long to enjoy
his victory; suddenly Buffy’s voice was ringing out across the battlefield.
“Stop! Everyone stop right now.”
They were at a standstill. Most of the Master’s army was dusted, but the Master had a trick up his sleeve that none of them
had anticipated. Somehow, someway, he had Spike and Angel working with him.
They stood about thirty feet apart in
the graveyard. Angel and Spike stood in front of the Master, faces blank and stiff. Giles, Willow, Tara, Xander and Buffy
stood huddled in a group, whispering harshly.
“Giles? What’s wrong, what’s
he doing?” Willow's voice was thready with fear.
“Yeah Giles, why are Angel and
Spike helping that guy?” Buffy whispered harshly.
Giles was scrubbing furiously at his
glasses. “I have no idea what is going on, did either of them say anything about a change in plan perhaps?”
They all shook their heads.
Xander eyed Spike’s still form.
Something seemed off. Closing his eyes, he concentrated on the bond, opening it up as much as he could and reaching out to
Spike. //RAGE, PAIN, FEAR, HELPLESSNESS// slammed into him hard. He wasn’t aware of falling until he was on the ground,
being held by Buffy. “Xander, what’s wrong?”
“I tried the bond.” Xander
tried to regain his breath as Buffy helped him up. “They aren’t helping that guy, they’re being controlled
Giles drew in a sharp breath.
“Do you know what’s going
Giles nodded. "I believe so, it sounds
like a very rare power that only some of the oldest Vampire’s have been rumored to have. It’s called Necromancy
and it gives them the ability to control other, weaker undead. The Watcher’s council believed it to be extinct.”
“Not looking so extinct from here!”
“H…how can we stop him?”
Tara's eyes were wide and anxious.
No one had an answer to that.
The Master’s cruel laughter rang
out over the graveyard. “You can’t defeat me Slayer. With these two under my control I am undefeatable!”
Giles eyed the Vampy trio curiously.
“It is strange that he hasn’t done it before, in our previous altercations. Perhaps it is a drain on his power
to control two Master Vampires. If so, then perhaps we can distract him enough to break his hold on Angel and Spike.”
They were all silent, desperately trying
to come up with a plan. Suddenly Xander remembered their secret weapon. “Wills? What exactly was this magicked stake
thingy supposed to do?”
Willow blinked at him for a moment while
she processed the change of topic. “Um, it drains life-force. So, theoretically if we stake the Master with it, his
magic would get drained, making him vulnerable.”
Xander fingered the stake, the beginnings
of a plan forming. “Does it work only once?”
“N…no, you could stake lots
of vamps with it, but if it doesn’t stay in the vampire, it only drains a little before the spell peters out.”
Squaring his shoulders, Xander nodded.
“Right, do you trust me?”
The girls nodded. Giles placed his hand
on Xander’s shoulder. “Of course we do, but what do you have in mind?”
“Just follow along. Willow, Tara,
will you throw one of those fireball thingies at the Master?”
Her eyes were filled with questions,
but Willow just nodded and grabbed Tara’s hand as they started to chant. Xander tucked the stake back into his sleeve
and turned to Buffy. “Go threaten him, and be ready to grab Angel.”
Buffy nodded and walked towards the Master.
About halfway between the two groups she stopped and waved her sword in the air. “It’s gonna take more than the
three of you to take us down. I’m the Slayer, this is my town!”
As Buffy pointed her sword at the trio,
the Witches let the fireball fly. They watched as it zipped across the space and slammed into the Master’s shield, a
foot in front of where Angel and Spike stood, dissipating harmlessly.
As soon as the fireball hit, Xander put
all his fear for Spike and devotion to the blonde Vampire in the front of his mind, opened the bond as wide as he dared and
let out a choked cry, stumbling towards where Spike stood. “Master, no!”
Xander came to a halt just feet from
where Spike stood. He fell to his knees and reached out a trembling hand towards his bond mate. Vaguely he heard the girls
behind him, shouting at him to get away from the Vampires but Xander ignored them, concentrating instead on the Master Vampires
in front of him. Tears formed in his eyes and began to trickle down his cheeks. “Spike, Master, please…”
The Master looked at him with interest.
“Ah yes, I almost forgot. A consort, how interesting.” The Master placed his hand on Spike’s head, and Xander
felt something //darkcoldslimy// brush across the bond before withdrawing. “Fully bonded I see.” The Master eyed
him consideringly. “Well, it would be handy to have a human servant to assist us, very well, come here boy, approach
Whimpering in fear, Xander crawled towards
Spike. The shield the Master had erected around him pulled and stuck to his skin but it let him pass. Xander crawled up to
Spike and knelt in front of the blonde, grabbing on to Spike’s jeans and burying his face in the Vampire’s thigh.
The Master eyed the scene and laughed,
“Too bad Slayer, looks like I have one more of your allies under my control.” The gloating Vampire paced around
in front of Xander and Spike. While the Vampire gloated, Xander very carefully and very clearly formed a picture in his mind,
trying to let Spike know what was about to happen. He pushed the image through the bond along with a pulse of love, then sprang
into action. Leaping up, he shoved the stake into Spike’s side. Blue eyes went from glassy to wide with pain and shock,
but they stayed locked on his as Spike began to topple over. Spinning, Xander staked Angel in the shoulder and pushed the
brunette to the side as he faced the Master. The Master was fast, but Xander had the element of surprise on his side, that
and the famed Scooby luck. The Master turned right into the stake, taking it deep in his gut. Xander pushed it in as far as
he could and stepped back.
looked down at the stake in his gut, eyes wide with surprise, then he looked at Xander, grinning. “Do you really think
you can kill me boy? You’ll have to do better than this.” He grabbed Xander by the throat and lifted him into
the air. Xander grappled with the hand locked onto his throat, trying desperately to breathe, to get away. Suddenly the Master
froze, his eyes wide. “Wh…what is happening to me?” He began
to shake, and Xander could see the shimmering force shielding them from the Scooby gang begin to collapse. “You’ll
pay for this boy.” The Master snarled as he flung Xander aside. Dazed from adrenaline and lack of air, Xander bemusedly
watched the scene play out before him as he flew through the air. He saw Spike and Angel struggling to right themselves, Buffy
stepping up to the Master as the shield collapsed, raising her sword in the air, then everything fuzzed out as he slammed
into something solid and fell to the ground. Then all he knew was darkness.