Title: The Tea Party
Pairing:William/Pet Xander, Angelus/William implied
Prompt: tamingthemuse # 243 Rhinoceros
Warnings:Please note this is a William(Spike)/Pet!Xander fic but there is William/Angelus implied
Disclaimer: Not mine, all belongs to the wonderful Joss
Beta(s): none, all mistakes are my very own
Summary: Pet!Xander attends a party while William occupies his Sire
A/N: I had written a one-off Pet!Xander story for a prompt and have received numerous requests to continue with the story. Thank you! Therefore, I'll be adding to the Pet!Xander Verse. Again, thank you for letting me know you enjoyed the stories. :)
Xander entered the room when Sun gave him a small nudge to the small of his back. He wasn't afraid, exactly. He simply didn't know what to expect and he felt confused. He hadn't spent very much time in the company of Mistress Drusilla and when he did, it was never alone. He looked over his shoulder beseechingly at his minders. Moon only smiled and shook his head slightly and Sun lifted his arms and made shooing motions with his hands. He wondered if this was all a big plot to give him to a new master. Master William had been spending lots of time with his Sire. Xander's heart clenched painfully at the thought he might no longer be wanted and he tried to push it from his mind as he took slow measured steps into the room.
“Don't be frightened little kitten. I won't hurt you. That would make my William very sad,” said the ethereal, vampire from her seat upon a padded, velvet covered stool. The stool was before a beautifully carved dressing table with a heavy gilt mirror, the purpose of which Xander didn't understand. Mistress Drusilla was happily brushing her long dark hair, but of course, there was no reflection to be seen in the mirror, although this didn't seem to bother her in the least. Setting down her hairbrush, she rose from her seat and walked across the room to greet her guest.
“You're just in time for tea,” she said looping her arm over his and heading to a table on the far side of the room. “I do think proper manners are important. I always say please and thank you when I have a meal.”
The table was round and there was a chair for the hostess with pretty ribbons wrapped around the elaborate woodwork that made up the back and four other chairs for her guests. Three of the chairs were already taken and Xander waited patiently while she introduced the other guests.
“Xander, I would like you to meet Miss Edith,” she said indicating a delicate porcelain doll. “She is a good friend and very wise. And these two wonderful gentleman are Mr. Raffe and Mr. Cerous.”
Xander looked at the strange animals in the other two chairs. They appeared made of soft, fluffy cloth and had shiny buttons for eyes and a line of red stitches for their mouths. “Nice to meet you,” he said before taking the empty seat between the two animals.
“Sugar? Milk? Lemon?” Asked Mistress Drusilla holding aloft a delicate china teapot.
“Oh. Uhm. I'm not sure.” Xander looked over at the doll and had an idea. “How does Miss Edith have her tea?”
“With just a spot of milk.” Drusilla answered.
Xander smiled. “I'll have the same.”
Drusilla beamed with delight. “You are so very clever.” She leaned a bit closer before adding. “I think Miss Edith likes you.”
“I like her too,” he whispered back. After taking the offered cup, Xander returned to studying the other guests. Mr. Raffe was fairly thin with spots and had a very long neck and Mr. Cerous had a horn on his head and was very large. He realised Mistress had been trying to get his attention when he received a poke in the arm.
“I'm sorry Mistress,” he said blushing and rubbing his arm.
“It isn't polite to stare,” she said while holding out a small plate of biscuits. He took a biscuit with a mumbled thank you and set it down on the plate in front of him. He looked up when he felt a gentle touch on his arm. “What is it? Do you not like your tea?”
The mistress was clearly distressed and it brought out his protective instincts. “No. I mean yes. The tea is fine. I've not seen animals like that before,” he confessed.
Her eyes grew wide with wonder and disbelief. “You have never seen a giraffe or a rhinoceros?”
She looked at him closely for a moment as if to ascertain if he was lying before sitting back in her chair. Confusion caused a small crease to form between her dark, arched brows. “Did your parents not take you to see the animals when you were small?”
“My parents were slaves and I was taken away to live at the training centre when I was very small .”
“What was that like?” She leaned forward and placed a hand covered in finespun lace upon his arm. “Was it awful?”
“Not really,” he said with a small smile. “I learned how to do things and I had a place to sleep and food to eat.”
“Do you miss your parents?”
“I didn't know them and I was very busy learning all sorts of things. Do you miss yours?” Xander bit his lip worriedly. He'd become so engrossed in the conversation and in his enjoyment, he'd forgotten his place. He sighed with relief when Mistress Drusilla only looked thoughtful instead of angry.
“Not any more. There was a time but I have my Daddy and my William to watch over me,” she said sadly before suddenly brightening and clapping her hands like a small child in her excitement. “I will ask William to take us to the zoo and we can see the animals together.”
Xander nodded and tried to enjoy his tea and biscuit but the mention of his master brought back his feelings of doubt. He wondered what he'd done wrong. He knew his training had concentrated on the physical labour of a slave rather than the sensual training of a pet, but he'd tried so hard and Master had seemed pleased.
Mistress Drusilla's soft voice interrupted his thoughts. “You worry about things you needn't.”
He looked up and his eyes caught hers. He saw only kindness and understood why his master doted on her. She was like a child and yet there was something there, a knowledge he didn't understand.
“I wish Master was here with us and not- is this allowed?” he asked unsure.
She looked at him with sad eyes and shook her head. “I can keep a secret and so can Miss Edith. I like you Kitten. You make my William happy but you are sad. Why?”
“I miss my master. I try to understand that he must spend time with his Sire but I hardly ever see him any more. Sun and Moon tell me not to worry but don't explain.” He paused and took a deep, shaky breath before voicing his greatest fear. Not fear of being returned and the fate that would come with it but he was in love and his heart would be so shattered, he would welcome the fate Gregory spoke of when he saw him last. “I'm afraid Master is going to send me away.”
Mistress Drusilla drew in a sharp, undeeded breath and sliding from her chair she knelt on the floor next to his chair. She reached up a gentle hand and cupped his cheek in a glove covered palm. “No Kitten. He would never. He does what he must to keep you safe from our Sire's jealousy.”
“Really?” Xander asked, voice filled with hope.
She nodded her head and took his hand within her two small, dainty hands but her eyes were unfocused as if she was concentrating on something he couldn't see. Xander waited patiently until she came back to herself and looked into his face with eyes full of sadness. “Go to him now. He needs you.”
Xander wanted to go but he remembered the words of his minders. “Sun and Moon told me I wasn't to see Master until tomorrow.”
“They are trying to protect you from a truth you need to see.”
Xander rose from his seat and gently helped Mistress Drusilla rise from the floor. “Are you sure?”“
“Yes. Go. Quickly before they return for you,” she said urgently, rushing him towards the door.
“Thank you Mistress.”
Xander slipped out the door and headed for his master's chambers. Fortunately he did not meet either Sun or Moon, only the occasional servant or minion who paid him no attention as they were well used to his presence about the halls of the mansion. He knocked quietly before turning the handle and pushing open the door to his master's outer chamber. He looked around the large comfortable room but saw no sign of his Master lounging on the couch or reading in one of the large soft chairs where he could usually be found. His hearing picked up a soft sound coming from the sleeping area and he moved slowly and quietly to the nearby opening. He stiffened when he recognised the sounds as muffled crying. Alarmed he entered the room without thought to announce himself and saw his beloved Master lying on his bed, his face hidden amongst the numerous, large fluffy pillows. Xander's pace slowed as he neared the bed and a small gasp escaped his lips as he saw the bruises and welts that marred the usually perfect skin of shoulders shaking with sobs. Xander immediately went to his Master's side and reached out a gentle hand but stopped short of touching. He had first hand experience how marks of this type were inflicted and the hurting that went with them. He didn't want to cause any more pain. He felt anger as he realised how he was being protected. He was grateful and happy that his Master still wanted him but the price was too high. He felt wetness upon his face as tears of frustration, rage and sadness spilled from his eyes. His Master stirred and turned when Xander sat heavily on the bed at his side.
“You shouldn't be here,” he said sniffling.
“Maybe not but I am. Let me help you?” Xander pleaded, wiping the tears from his face.
“I'll heal,” William replied sadly.
“Yes but I can make it better. Please Master,” Xander begged.
William merely nodded his assent and Xander dashed off to the adjoining bath and gathered the items he needed. He returned and lovingly applied the soothing ointment to each bruise and lash mark. As he worked he tried to piece together what he had discovered.
“Is this because of me?” he asked. William had turned his face to the side so Xander could see his profile. He'd closed his eyes when Xander asked the question. It was all the answer he needed. “ I can't let you do this. Not for me.”
His Master moved swiftly and Xander suddenly found himself seated and staring into hard blue eyes flecked with gold, his wrist that had been working so gently moments before now caught in a tight grip. “You forget yourself. I am Master here,” William growled.
Xander sat rigidly, afraid to move. He'd seen his master's anger before but never directed at him. He wanted to squirm with discomfort under the intense gaze but kept himself still and his breathing shallow. He watched as Master William's eyes softened, returning to their usual pretty shade of blue. “I'm sorry Xander. Didn't mean to frighten you but this is my choice. I do this because I want to and I'll keep doing it. I'll heal and now that you know, you can be here to help me. And I do want you here.”
Xander saw the truth of his master's words even if he didn't like them. No one had ever cared for him this way. He'd always been a tool. Disposable. Something to be used and replaced when old and worn out. He would do as his Master wished, even if he hated it, simply because Master wished it. He settled Master William back on the bed and continued to apply the soothing ointment. His mind swirled with traitorous thoughts of ways to dispose of the Master Angelus. He knew it was wrong but it made him happier. Finished with his task, he leaned forward and placed a light kiss on a small bit of unmarked skin.
“Love you Master.”
Pulling back he saw a small smile appear on his Maser's face and that warmed his heart. Setting aside the supplies he curled up next to his Master's side and they drifted off to sleep, holding hands and finding comfort in each other.