“I'll give you fifty quid for your neck.” The voice is cool, and british, and he recognizes it in a heartbeat. Recognizes the words too, but they make him hunch his shoulders and his blood freezes. Bad memories. Bad days.
“Are you hungry?” Angelus asked, solicitously enough. Spike had reason to be suspicious when his sire was kind or nice, or pretty much anything but kicking his ass and sneering; so he glared up at the older vampire and said nothing. Might just turn out to be a prank after all, and it wouldn't do to have the old man laughing at him in front of his own minions. “Come on, Will, we can order out. Have someone bring you something.”
Angelus probably thought he wasn't smart enough to catch the barbs. Just wait til he could get out of this damn chair. He'd show that tarted-up poofter who was man enough to go out and catch his own meals. Bastard.
Outwardly he schooled his expressions and continued to stare at the man blankly.
“We already had Chinese.” He said, plaintively, just to see what buttons that would push.
The older vampire shrugged, then leaned in, like he had some great secret to share. “I've been holding back a little. Something special, you know,” Angelus scrunched up his face in what he probably thought was some sort of clever look, and grinned. “For special occasions.”
Spike shrugged and settled back in his chair. “Oh, well, if thats all, I'll just go hungry. I remember that last time you-” His words on the subject of that odd night of hunting cattle and chasing farm girls were cut short by Angelus' meaty hand covering his mouth. He supposes it's better than having it wrapped around his throat, but those dead fingers reek of the slayer and that scent is enough to make Spike's skin crawl. Angelus notes this, and makes his mock-sorry face. Like he didn't do that on purpose.
“I think you'll like this one, Will. He's special.”
“Yeah. Sure.” Spike said, looking away. His tone held just enough sarcasm to make Angelus glare, but not quite enough to make him belt his childe across the face.
He walks across the room, pulling out a slim cell phone and pressing something on autodial. Spike watches with as little interest showing as possible, picking at his nails the entire time, though really, he was riveted. Evidently the person on the other end of the line needed a little convincing. Made him want to cheer the person on, standing up to the old man like that.
Half an hour later the minions began fafing about, looking nervous and unsure, popping in and out of game face like idiots. Evidently dinner had arrived.
The boy walked into the room, all hunched shoulders, fear scent, and eyes on the floor. He already looked broken, and here and there Spike could pick out fading bruises. His sire's handiwork, probably. The kid looked more or less unwilling, and he had to wonder exactly what was so spectacular about this downtrodden boy. Slim frame that might fill out with muscles, if he lived long enough, big hands, but oddly slim fingers. Reminded the younger vampire of his childhood piano teacher.
Shaking the memory away Spike continued his perusal. Dark hair with hints of gold, that awkward stance so common to teenagers. He spared a thought to the boy's age, and thats when the kid looked up.
He was one of the Slayer's pets. Her little helper.
He snorted. Well, that explained Angelus' big to do. Hell of a catch. He even said so, listening to Angelus' laughter, watching the boy shake at the sound.
“Just you wait, Will, just you wait.” Angelus nanced himself over to the terrified, but amazingly, holding-his-ground boy, and tugged at the too small jacket. The boy immediately slid it off, and when Angelus tugged at his garish tee shirt that came off too.
The sight made Spike wince, but what the hell, if the kid enjoyed it. His chest was covered in bites and various bruises. They circled his nipples, lined his shoulders, decorated his inner arms. About the only places unmarked were visible even with long sleeves, like the hands and neck.
“Thats my good boy,” Angelus murmured, probably meaning to be clever, or reassuring, but succeeding only in hiking up the boy's level of fear. “This is my childe,” He gestured to Spike, by way of introduction. “I want you to be very nice to him. Go sit on his lap.”
When the boy did nothing Angelus slapped his ass. Color drained from the kid's face, but he walked across the room with an impressive amount determination and pride, and sat in Spike's lap without making a sound. Spike admired that. He'd had his own battles of will with his sire; still had them in fact.
Radiating fear and about as stiff as a two day old corpse the kid was attractive, but not quite as attractive as he could be, willing and pliant. Spike had always been odd about playing with his food. He reached a hand up, and the boy leaned his head to the side, baring his neck. His eyes were tightly closed, mouth a fierce line.
Fucking terrified and obviously some sort of danger junkie. Well. It takes all types.
Spike traced his hand down the side of the boy's throat, admiring the way the pulse jumped at his touch, loving the way the heat singed his skin. His hand traced across the shoulder, and down an arm, coming to rest at the crook of the boy's elbow. Spike could feel a healing bite would pressed against his palm. From the shape of it it had to be Angelus. No other vampire would make such a large and obvious wound. Wanker. His sire was a total wanker. Nothing like scaring up a good piece of flesh.
“Hey, look at me.” Spike murmured, voice low and rough. His seduction tone.
The brown eyes slitted open after a second and he tugged the boy closer, away from his sire who stood halfway across the room and still felt too close. The teen settled against his chest, burning hot, but still uncomfortable stiff. He looked nervous, unsure. Like he'd only ever been tossed around and torn into.
Spike raised the other hand to pet the boy's hair, tracing the scalp with his fingers. Nice, warm, and that thundering pulse so very, very close.
“You gonna be ok?”
The question seemed to surprise the boy. Yeah, just like Angelus to scar someone for life and not even think of whether or not they could afford the blood loss. There were calculations to be made, things like that, to keep willing sources like this alive. Not that he usually cared but something in the boy's frightened mien reminded Spike of himself, of Druscilla.
“I'll... I'm fine.” He said, looking up and catching Angelus watching, something predatory in his face. The boy's tone went hard and quiet on the last two words and he went stiff again. Spike glared at his sire, who smirked, and made a hurry up gesture. Spike considered sending him the finger, but realized it might get broken off, or perhaps the boy might end up dead. “Can you just... Do it.” The boy said, voice low, broken, frightened.
Scalding fingers wound in Spike's hair and tugged at him, even as the boy shifted up, lifting his shoulder to meet Spike's mouth. If the boy wanted it that bad, well, who was he to deny him?
His tongue traced over old wounds, and fresh ones, and he felt the boy tremble at the touch. Lifting one hand he pressed it between those hard shoulder blades, the other arm circling the boy's waist, and pulled him closer, pulled him flush with Spike's chest.
Unwilling to take his Sire's sloppy seconds he licked his way up the boy's throat, feeling the boy melt against him, the fingers in his hair tugging harder as he urged Spike on. Finding a bare spot on the teen's neck, he tasted it, closing his mouth over the flesh and sucking, bruising the boy. When the boy pressed him closer he took it as permission and sank his fangs into the unmarked flesh.
He moaned at the taste of hot blood, and felt the fingers dig into his scalp as the boy arched against his body. The taste of the blood shifted as the boy felt relief, and he relaxed suddenly, as if going limp. Spike buried his head in the boy's throat, lapping up the rich blood, loving the taste of it even as the boy's fingers traced the back of his neck and curled around strands of his hair.
Lovely, lovely. So nice to have someone willing.
Angelus cleared his throat suddenly, and Spike's eyes snapped open peering up at the other vampire over the boy's shoulder. The teen went rigid as a board, hands clinging suddenly.
“I'm sure I taught you to share.” Angelus intoned, holding his hand out for the youth.
Spike felt his hands tighten convulsively on the hot flesh, a sudden feeling of ownership coming over himself. He wasn't going to share. Angelus glared. He pulled back a bit, nipping at his own lips and pressing the blood to the boy's wound, closing it. Marking him.
Angelus' glare could have melted stone, and with a vicious yank he pulled the boy away from Spike, dragging him out the door and cursing in three languages. Spike heard the door to his Sire's room open and slam shut, and he stared at the floor where the boy had abandoned his shirt.
No doubt his little stunt had damned the boy to an early death.
“Oi, Harris, I know you heard me. And I'm good for the money.” Spike yelled, advancing on the boy in the dark side-street. When he finally caught up the boy was just as stiff and frightened as he remembered. Tense as a wire. “Just cleaned up in a poker game.” He looked over at Xander's frozen face. “So? You interested?”
Xander sighed. “What are you going to do if I'm not?”
Spike shrugged and patted down his jacket pockets. He fished out his cigarettes and lit one, watching Xander dance from foot to foot. “Guess I'll let you toddle on home and drop by the all night butchers.” His voice held a surprised tone. What did the boy care what he did with his time?
“Fifty, you said?” Xander asked. Spike nodded, patting his pocket, which meowed. Xander blinked. “I hope you're not thinking of paying in kittens.”
“I've got dosh too, wanker.” Spike glared. “Unless you want a kitten?”
“Hardly.” Xander moved towards a nearby alley and Spike absently followed, doing his best to smoke up the cigarette before they got there.
It had been three months since he'd been bunking in Xander's basement, tied to a chair, and since then things had taken a drastic, but not unhappy, turn. During a furious thunderstorm the Harris house had been struck by lightning, and the chair Spike had been currently tied to had been far too close to a nearby wall socket. The resulting shock had left him shaking, teeth rattling, and free of the controlling effects of the chip.
He'd chosen to keep the change a secret, and fed inconspicuously so as not to raise the slayer's attention. Xander had kept his mouth shut as well, choosing to remember the secrets Spike kept for him, such as his ill treatment under Angelus' reign.
He threw down the cigarette but and turned to Xander, who's shirt hung from limp fingers. His chest was still peppered with scars and old wounds, the one Spike had made years before a beautiful silver. He stood much the same way as he had then, all unsure and uncomfortable, and for a second Spike was uneasy.
“You do this willingly, don't you?” He asked and watched as Xander's head shot up. “Back at the mansion...”
Xander looked away, fingers clenching in his shirt collar.
Spike stepped forward, fast, and leaned into Xander's space. “Well?”
“No.” He looked away. “At the mansion, never.” At Spike's piercing look Xander frowned and fidgeted. “He was... He caught me outside one night, and he... Worked me over, you could say. Said he'd do it again if he didn't do what I said. So I did what he said and he fucked me anyway.” Xander made to pull the shirt back on, feeling disgusted with himself.
He'd kept this secret long enough. Why couldn't he just keep his mouth shut? Why did somebody else have to know about his dirty little secret?
“Hey.” Spike said, cold hand settling on the edge of Xander's ribcage. He paused with the shirt, and looked up. “How do you think I wound up belonging to him? Wasn't no walk in the park, I can tell you that.”
Xander stared at the ground and nodded.
“Come on.” Spike said, after a minute, lighting up another cigarette. The glare shocked Xander and he looked up, old fear etched on his face, before shaking his head to clear the light from his eyes. “I'll walk you home.”
They walked. Silently, companionably. No vampires or other creatures of the night troubled them on their way back to Xander's basement, just their thoughts. At the door Spike stood around, and smoked quickly, ducking his head left and right, agitated. He grabed Xander's arm as the boy is about to duck inside for the night.
“Look-” He says, and gets cut off.
Xander's angry, and he shoves at Spike, trying to make him let go. “Don't-” The boy hisses. “Don't, please.” And in the dim light of the moon and stars Spike can easily see what could be tears gathering in Xander's eyes.
“Wasn't going to.” Spike murmurs, low, and Xander ducks his head down against his chest, letting his hair fall in his eyes and hide his face. It's obvious he's trying not to cry. He takes one last drag off the cigarette, then throws it to the cement at their feet, tugging at Xander gently until the boy kinda falls against him, and he can maneuver his feet to crush out the burning cherry. The boy ducks his head into the side of Spike's neck, and just stays there, trembling. “He wasn't good to anybody, Xander, and don't think I don't know what it feels like to be where you've been. I won't ask again- I thought... I thought, well, bugger all what I thought. But I won't make you do it, and I won't say anything to your mates.”
Xander nodded, and Spike felt him pull away, gently, and it was like that night years ago when Xander had been ripped from his arms. The boy moved towards the basement door, intending to go inside, and Spike turned away, done with his comforting, but far from done cursing his sire.
A tug at his coat stopped him, and he looked back to see that Xander had hold if his sleeve, and was stepping through the doorway.
“Come on.” The boy murmured.
And the night ended much like Spike would have wanted it to, years ago; warm, fragile body cradled against him, comfort given and received, and in his mouth, the old, favorite taste of blood.