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Keep quiet

Chapter Text

“Isn’t like I‘m looking forward to it either,” Spike grumbled as the vampire followed Xander. The boy seemed distracted and hadn’t snarked back once since they had left the watcher’s house. “Not like I’m gonna be staying at the Ritz, now am I.” Spike snarled. Still no answer from the boy.

They stopped outside a grey house. The front lawn was a sad patch of yellowish grass. The blond vampire snorted in obvious disgust.

“Look…Spike…” Xander began and then looked away, his eyes focused on the lights shining out from the living room and kitchen “When we get in you have to promise me that you’ll keep quiet, okay?”

Spike’s only reply was a snort.

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The way the boy unlocked the door and quietly opened it, made Spike think of someone defusing a bomb. The keys didn’t hardly jingle and the door only squeaked once. Xander froze when the door protested but then, after waiting motionlessly a second or so, the boy sighed in relief and pushed the door open all the way.

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Wasn’t much to brag about. The basement. Shite was standing all over the place. The whelp’s family must use it for storage as well as a laundry room. Xander was trying to find some clean sheets when Spike decided to rile him up a bit.

The vampire grabbed a glass, standing on the small table near the ugly couch, and flung it at the floor. The glass breaking against the concrete floor made a hell of a racket. Xander turned around so fast the sheets fell out of his hands. The scent of fear filled the small basement and Spike narrowed his eyes and watched as Xander’s entire attention was directed at the ceiling.

Footsteps were working their way to the basement door. The old hinges on the door leading to the house squealing when it was opened. Xander’s breathing sounded strangely loud and Spike couldn’t help feeling exposed and threatened. The light from the kitchen shone down the stairs and the shadow of a large man could be seen at the top of the stairs. Spike took a step back, making sure no one would be capable of seeing him from the stairs.

“Boy!” the man bellowed “You come up here right now!” Xander was shaking and he looked over at Spike for a split second before he started walking up the stairs. The door was shut behind the boy and Spike could hear the man, Xander’s father, yelling at the boy. Spike sat down on the couch and smirked.

A hard thud and Xander’s muffled groaning brought the vampire’s attention back to the stairs. The door opened and Xander slowly made his way down the stairs. Not once looking at Spike. The boy walked past the couch and over to the bathroom, where he closed the door behind him.

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So the boy got slapped around …not like Harris was the first kid to experience that. Spike reached out for the remote. His hand hovered over it. He should turn the TV on and crank the volume up to its highest setting. Would piss off the slayer’s boy some.

Spike looked over at the bathroom door. Boy was crying…quietly. The blond vampire let the remote stay where it was.

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When Xander came back out, Spike was sprawled on the couch. The blond vampire jumped up and leered at the boy.

“Well time the two of us got some sleep, yeah?” Spike smirked.

“There’s sheets and a blanket on the table,” was all Xander said as he gingerly crawled into bed and curled up under the covers.

“And Spike?” Xander said. Spike turned his attention back to the boy and put the folded sheets and the blanket back on the couch. “Don’t make any noise, okay?”

“Yeah,” Spike said and nodded, his eyes locked on the stairs and the door they lead to.

Chapter Text

The boy had been awful quiet all evening at the watcher’s. Hadn’t joked once.

The little witch had looked worried but hadn’t asked. She made sure he got the best donut and asked about the boy’s new job but soon stopped when she only got short answers back.

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“Um…look, Spike...” Xander started. He really wanted the vampire to listen and understand. Spike had been living with him for two months and knew what went on. “Could you maybe…um…go somewhere tonight…just for a few hours?” Xander asked and looked down at his feet.

“Why'd I need ta do that?” Spike asked and narrowed his blue eyes.

“Just for tonight…you can come back later. Maybe just stay away for a couple of hours,” Xander was looking at his shoelaces. “Just tonight.”

Spike opened his mouth as if he was going to say something. The blond vampire’s hand reached out and hovered over Xander’s shoulder and then disappeared.

“Right, mate.” Spike said and turned around and left.

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Xander stood outside his house. He could hear his dad yelling and his mother wasn’t much better. Who was he kidding?

The whole street could hear them yelling. And some of the things they said…Xander straightened his back and walked in. He just had to make sure his dad took it out on him and not his mother. She was much smaller than Xander and his dad never cared if he punched her in the face.

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Spike quietly opened the door to the basement and made sure not to make any noise. The lights were out so the whelp was probably sleeping. Spike tossed his duster on the couch and stopped when he heard noises coming from the bathroom.

He walked over and pushed the door open. It squeaked slightly and Spike winced. Without even thinking about it he looked up at the ceiling before his attention was drawn to Xander. The vampire flipped the switch and bathed the room in blinding white light.

The boy was throwing up. His hands clutching the sides of the toilet. Spike took a step forward and stopped. He had no idea what to do or say.

“What’d ya do this time?” Spike asked quietly and knelt next to the boy.

“G-got in the way…he lost his job,” Xander mumbled and started dry heaving.

Spike growled softly and let his fingers run through Xander’s dark hair.

“Where’d he hit ya?” the Master vampire asked.

“Punched me in the gut,” Xander wheezed and slowly tried to stand. Spike reached out and helped him. The boy looked pale and queasy. He was pushing his palms against his stomach.

“Shouldn’t have eaten that donut,” Xander lamely joked.

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Spike stood over Xander’s bed and watched him sleep. Xander had swallowed a few pills, saying that they’d take the edge off. Sounded like he knew what he was talking about, too.

Spike slowly pulled the covers off Xander and when the boy didn’t react the vampire gently lifted the boy’s t-shirt. The bruise was already forming. Big and red. And not only one. Bastard must have punched him more than once. There weren’t any other marks. Spike really wanted to take a look at the rest of Xander. He was almost sure there would be more bruises and scars.

Xander shifted in his sleep and Spike pulled the covers over the sleeping body. The Master vampire looked up at the ceiling and listened.

Sounded like Mrs. Harris was crying.

Chapter Text

Spike was pissed off. Well, he was more pissed off than usually. Xander was walking around with his Hey-I’m-the-loyal-goofy-friend mask even though he was limping slightly and hissed whenever he had to stretch his upper body too far.

The stupid git wouldn’t stay at home. And now they were patrolling. He was fucking patrolling with a hurt human that smelled faintly of blood. Spike didn’t mind all the demons that came looking for a fight. Hell, he revelled in the blood and gore of it but he didn’t like how Xander seemed to get slower and paler by the minute.

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“Need to take a leak,” Xander said quietly and stumbled into the bathroom.

Spike nodded and started looking through the fridge. He found some Chinese take-out from the night before and started heating it in the microwave. Wasn’t just for the whelp…he could dip it in his blood. Wasn’t like he was doing the whelp any…Spike looked up when he heard Xander gasp loudly.

“You okay there, whelp?” Spike asked and walked over to the bathroom. He pushed the door open and looked at Xander. The boy was looking at the toilet. Spike was about to step closer when Xander whispered

“B-blood isn’t good if it’s in your urine, is it?”

Spike shook his head “No, kidney damage’s usually the problem.”

“I think maybe I need to go to the hospital,” Xander said.

Spike narrowed his eyes and stepped over to the human and looked down into the toilet. The water was a deep red colour. He turned and gently pushed Xander’s shirt up. The skin over the kidneys was almost black. The bruise throbbed under the vampire’s cool fingers.

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“The damage isn’t permanent and it’ll heal on its own,” the young doctor, named Petersen, said and wrote something on a prescription pad. “You’ll need to take these for the pain and also some of these,” the doctor wrote another prescription and handed it to Xander “This is to make sure you don’t get an infection. You’ll have to rest for a few days.”

“I work…um…I work at a construction site,” Xander mumbled.

“Well, you’ll just have to take a few days off then.” Petersen said as a nurse came in and handed him a file. The doctor flipped through the pages in it and frowned. “Mr. Harris…I…How did you get these bruises?”

“I was um…” Xander looked over at Spike “I got mugged.”

“Really?” the doctor said and looked down at the file. He started spreading the x-rays and medical journals on the bed Xander was sitting on. “You get mugged a lot?” Petersen asked and held up an x-ray of a child’s scull.

“I…I…” Xander attempted.

“You broke your leg when you were three. Easily fixed. Then you broke your wrist, sprained your ankle very badly, had a tooth knocked out. Burned your hand…apparently you held your hand on the hotplate long enough to get second degree burns,” the doctor looked at the x-rays

“Broke your jaw…then just some cuts and bruises after that. Nothing really serious for a few years… then a few concussions and bruised ribs…and now bruised kidneys.”

Spike was looking straight at Xander, the boy’s attention fixed on his own shaking hands.

“I’m just accident-prone,” Xander mumbled.

“Yes. Your mother is quoted as saying that somewhere…” the doctor started looking through the papers on the bed “Ah…here it is. She said your jaw was broken because you fell on your bike…”

Spike snorted and the young doctor looked up at the vampire. Spike shook his head and the doctor said “I’ll just go get the release-forms,” he looked at Spike as he exited the room. Spike patted Xander’s shoulder and followed the doctor out.

“It’s a miracle the kid’s alive,” Petersen said and looked over at the door.

“Yeah,” Spike nodded and couldn’t help wonder how many times the boy had been injured.

“He’ll have to press charges,” the doctor said “He’s too old for me to call child-services.”

“Why didn’t anyone do that before…seems like there’s been plenty of evidence,” Spike asked.

“Yes well…some of the older doctors think it’s better to stay out of these kind of things,” the doctor ran a hand through his dark blond hair. “Was he mugged?”

Spike snorted and shook his head “No, his da lost his job.”

“Shit,“ Petersen groaned and rubbed his cheek. The doctor turned around and accepted the release-forms from an old chubby nurse. “Just get him to sign these and you can take him…” the doctor flinched “home.”

Chapter Text

Spike stopped before he opened the door. He could hear Xander moving around in there, shuffling around in the dank basement. Spike opened the door and walked in. The large room was empty. Bugs Bunny was silently tormenting Daffy on the muted TV-screen and the blue flickering glow provided the only light in the room.

Spike moved over to the bathroom door. He opened it and peeked in. Xander was in the bath tub. His eyes were closed and his feet were braced against the side of the tub. Spike was about to leave Xander alone, when the human groaned and sat up exposing his back.

The suntanned skin was crisscrossed with long red welts. Spike quietly walked in and sat down on the edge of the tub.

“What was it this time then?” Spike asked and touched Xander’s shoulder making the boy flinch.

“Disrespectful,” Xander let out a huff of air. He reached up and patted Spike’s hand.

“What’d ya do?” Spike reached for the cloth floating in the water and gently started bathing the welts. Xander looked up at Spike and smiled sadly.

“I told him to go out and get a job,” Xander shook his head “I need to learn to keep my mouth shut.” The boy wrapped his arms around his knees, arching his back. Spike clenched his jaw when a few of the welts started bleeding.

“Got the money ta move out yet?” Spike put the cloth away and let his fingers trace each wound. Xander shivered. The open door allowed cold air to enter the bathroom. Spike pushed the door closed with his booted foot.

“No,” Xander shook his head “Lost my job yesterday.”

“The one at the construction site down town?” Spike stood up and grabbed the towel. Xander nodded.

“Yeah. The foreman’s nephew needed a job, so apparently he got mine,” he slowly hauled himself up by bracing his hands on the edge of the tub and reached out for the towel. Spike looked the other way.

“I could send some fledges over ta the wanker’s house,” the vampire offered. Xander chuckled.

“Naw, that’s all right.”

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Spike was quietly singing when he finally reached the whelp’s house.

”Away to the Sons of ANACREON we'll fly,
And there, with good Fellows, we'll learn to intwine
The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS'S Vine.”

The vampire had a hard time making the key fit in the keyhole. Mostly because there suddenly seemed to be at least three locks, all floating around on the door. He finally managed to pick the right one and stumbled over the threshold and into the basement.

Something was wrong. He couldn’t really pinpoint it. He took a deep breath and stopped moving. Blood. Spike snarled. The bastard had done enough damage to actually make the boy bleed. Usually he just slapped Xander around but sometimes…Spike squinted and walked over to the bed. Xander was curled up under the covers.

”Pet?” Spike mumbled and sat down on the bed. ”Ya all right there?” Xander didn’t respond. Spike began pulling the covers off the curled up human, only to have them yanked out of his grip.

”Fuck off, Spike.” Xander mumbled and pulled the covers around him without looking at Spike.

”Not gonna…f-fuck off,” Spike stuttered and shook his head trying to clear it of the drunken fog.

Xander sighed ”Please Spike. I’m not up to you playing Florence Nightingale.”

”Piss off, wanker. ’M not Nightingale.” Spike leant in so he could look Xander in the eyes. ”Gotta check the bastard didn’t make ya bleed too much, yeah.” Xander cringed and moved away.

”Please, Spike. Just go away.”

Spike pulled the covers off the boy in one swift move and looked down at Xander.

”Don’t seem ta have any new bruises. Welts are healing up just fine,” he said ”Don’t know where ya bleeding from,” Xander looked away. ”Turn around on ya back, gotta check out ya chest.”

”No. Spike I’m fine just go away, please.”

Spike was leaning over Xander now, the vampire’s face inches away from the human’s warm skin. ”Can smell blood, yeah.” Spike said ”Not coming from those welts so it’s coming from some new…” Spike stopped talking and just looked at Xander’s boxer shorts. Dried blood drops were on the seat of them. The smell of blood and…

”Get up!” Spike snarled and looked at Xander.

”No,” Xander shook his head and a few tears escaped his closed eyes.

”Not letting ya stay here if he…If the bastard…” Spike couldn’t find the right words. The nice buzz he’d had only a few minutes before was completely gone and he felt…he had no fucking clue what he felt. Anger was in there somewhere. Anger and shame. Spike had been out there drinking his brains out while Xander had been…

Spike got up and walked over to the door. He looked back at Xander.

”If I leave now…” Spike looked over at the stairs ”If I leave now...will he…”

”No,” Xander mumbled from the bed ”He passed out…after.”

Spike nodded and left the house. He had a phone call to make.

Chapter Text

Humming quietly to himself, not wanting to wake his dad, Xander patted his pockets until he identified the right one. He dug his hand in and fished out his keys. Jangling them a bit, he found the right one and unlocked the door to the basement.

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Angel was tired of waiting for Spike to tell him why the blond vampire had called him and told him to get his ”arse to Sunnyhell”. He was especially tired of being forced to sit around waiting in Xander’s basement. In the dark, because Spike insisted on it.

”Look could you just…” Angel attempted.

”Shut ya bleeding mouth, Peaches.” Spike growled angrily.

”Couldn’t we at least go someplace that isn’t reeking of damp socks?”

”If ya don’t shut up…” Spike stopped and stood up, turned and looked at Angel slouching on the ugly couch ”Keep quiet!” the vampire hissed to his sire. Angel got up and scented the air. Xander was coming home.

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Xander sighed in relief when he managed to open his door without making it squeak. The oil he continued to smear the hinges with was working like a charm. He walked in, making sure he didn’t bang against the small table standing to the right of the door, and ever so quietly closed the door behind him. The lights were off and as he fumbled for the light switch someone pushed him and he landed on the floor on his hands and knees.

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Angel didn’t really know why Spike wanted him to push Xander. The blond vampire had even made it very clear that if the human got hurt for real, Angel would have to deal with Spike.

If it had been anyone else, if it had been Willow or Oz, he would have said no. But it was just Xander. The boy was a pain in the butt and honestly pushing him around a little wouldn’t make Angel worry too much about his own redemption.

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Xander was curled up on the floor. His knees hurting as they rested against the cold concrete floor. His elbows were taking the weight off his upper body and his hands were covering his head.

”Sorry,” Xander started to mumble while he fumbled with the buckle on his brown leather belt. ”Sorry…I…I know I-I’m late,” he gasped ”I’m really sorry about coming home so late. Okay?”

”Please Dad…I’m sorry,” He finally managed to unbuckle his belt and he pulled the belt off his jeans.

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Angel just watched as Xander curled up on the floor and then started to beg. The tall vampire turned and looked at his childe. Spike didn’t speak but walked over to Xander’s curled up body.

The boy held out his belt while his forehead was still resting against the cold floor. Spike took the belt and stepped away. Xander clearly had no idea who was in the room. He kept begging and finally reached up behind himself and started tugging at his ugly green shirt.

Angel looked over at Spike and was about to speak when the boy started rambling again.

”I’ll be on time from now on…promise…I-I will. Dad please,” and Xander succeeded in pulling his shirt out of his pants and pull it up, so the lower part of his back was exposed to the two vampires.

Angel couldn’t help gasping. Xander’s skin was zigzagged with small scars and bruises. Some old, some new.

”I’ve seen enough,” Angel rumbled and Spike knelt next to Xander and started petting the distraught boy’s dark sweaty hair. Xander seemed to freeze and Spike started to mumble reassurances.

”How’ll ya solve this then?” Spike asked and helped Xander over to the couch. The boy stumbled and Angel reached out and flipped the light switch bathing the room in harsh white light. Xander closed his eyes.

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”Best go pack ya clothes,” Spike said and helped Xander find a duffle bag.

”I don’t understand?” Xander mumbled. He hadn’t looked Angel or Spike in the eyes since the lights had been turned on.

”Peaches is gonna make sure ya have a good place to stay,” Spike said and filled Xander’s clothes into the bag. Xander just nodded not understanding much.

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Both vampires were standing on the curb by Xander’s house. They watched the boy sleep in the backseat of Angel’s car.

”Ya better be taking good care of him,” Spike said, not taking his eyes of Xander.

”I’ll make sure he’s okay,” Angel said reassuringly.

”Thanks,” Spike mumbled and looked away.

”You could come to LA too,” Angel said and looked straight at Spike.

"I'll help the Slayer with the hell god then I’ll come join him,” Spike smiled as Xander snuffled and smacked his lips in his sleep. ”His da’…” the blond vampire continued.

”I’ll be taking care of that. No need to worry about that, William.”

”Thank you…Sire,” Spike whispered as he watched Angel get into the car and drive away. Taking Xander with him.