It didn’t take long for Spike to notice that something odd was going on, hell the only reason it took him so long was the fact that this was Sunnydale, strange things were the norm and Spike had fallen into the habit of seeing and not really seeing, much like most of the town’s residents. But unlike the humans that trudged through their short lives on top of the unseen Hellmouth Spike didn’t even have the choice of leaving, not with the bleeding chip still stuck in his head. It was bad enough that the Slayer and her bunch of scoobies, stupid bloody name if he’d ever heard one, knew about the damn thing, the point was the chip made Spike vulnerable. There was also the fact that Sunnydale seemed to be the best place for the extraction of the damn thing. So he’d been distracted but not enough to not notice the new supply of blood that Xander suddenly possessed. He wasn’t sure where the boy was getting his supply from but he was going to find out.
Xander shuffled out of his room, scratching absentmindedly at his stomach as he glanced around. Spike had fallen asleep with the television on again, the vampire was lucky that there weren’t any windows near the sofa or he’d have burned to death, well final death, ages ago.
Still half asleep, Xander ambled closer, flicking the TV off and pulling the blanket across Spike’s feet in a move that spoke of long practice.
Spike’s eyes slid open, just enough for him to observe the white knight without Xander realising he was awake. The boy picked the empty bottles from the table without any of the muttering that Spike was used to hearing whenever Xander had to clean up after him. Xander paused, his head cocked to the side as he sniffed and Spike held himself still as the boy’s gaze fell on him for a second before he turned away, heading for the kitchen.
For a second there Spike had been certain that Xander’s eyes had been a malevolent green but it had passed so quickly that he couldn’t be sure. A small hiss from the kitchen and the scent of fresh blood had Spike on his feet in an instant, keeping to the shadows until he could see Xander. The boy was hunched over something and Spike was about to turn away sure that the git had just hurt himself again but Xander groaned, the sound primal and foreign….captivating, and Spike found himself glued to the floor as the Scooby turned away revealing the glass jar clutched tightly in his right hand, the jar that was almost filled with blood, Xander’s blood unless Spike was mistaken.
There was no way that the boy could have filled the jar and still be on his feet, it wasn’t possible, not for a human. Xander set the jar on the table, shuffling away from it towards the sink where he switched on the pipe, sticking his left arm under the running water and Spike watched as the clear water turned a murky red when it came in contact with the boy’s forearm. The blood slid away revealing a jagged wound that was healing even as Spike watched.
As soon as the wound closed Xander switched the tap off, removing the jar from the table and shoving it in the fridge. Turning he slipped straight past Spike, his eyes still heavy lidded as he ambled back into his room and climbed into bed.
Spike leaned against the wall until Xander’s breathing slowed into the familiar rhythm of sleep before straightening and heading for the kitchen. Opening the fridge he frowned, counting the seven jars of blood waiting on the racks, each of them smelled the same, like Xander and something else. The scent reminded Spike of the months he and Drew had spent travelling through Africa, it was earth rich and strong, drawing him in like a moth to the flame and somehow it had come from the most human person he’d had the misfortune to meet. It was a mystery and Spike was nothing if not curious.
Xander strolled into the room, eyes flickering over the empty jar of blood on the table in front of Spike. Smiling softly he turned away, heading for the kitchen.
“Want anything, fangless?” he called back
“Got myself a bit of dosh the other night and packed something other than your usual piss-water in the fridge, bring one,” Spike drawled
Xander rolled his eyes, chuckling softly at the vampire’s petulant tone. He knew that Spike hated the nickname, hated anything that reminded him that he wasn’t the master vampire he used to be. But it was like Spike said he had to get his “jollies” somewhere and pretty soon he wouldn’t be getting them from teasing Spike.
Sticking a few slices of pizza from the night before in the microwave Xander ambled out into the main room, plonking the beer in front of the vampire.
Spike raised a scarred brow at him before grabbing the drink, twisting the cap off easily before taking a long swallow. Xander’s eyes roamed over the man’s bobbing Adam’s apple before he forced himself to look away.
Spike replaced the beer on the table “Aren’t you supposed to be at work, like a good little white hat?”
“Day off,” Xander called back, walking into the kitchen and pulling his heated pizza out of the microwave. “I didn’t expect you to be awake though, isn’t this past the time when all good vampires should be in bed…or coffin.”
Spike scoffed, swiping a slice of the boy’s pizza as he settled down beside him “And when have I ever been a good anything, luv?”
“Point,” Xander agreed, biting into the slice he’d rescued from Spike sticky fingers, he still didn’t get why the vampire ate, Angel only did it to act normal but Spike seemed to actually enjoy the food he got…stole, same difference really.
“Can hear the rats squealing from here, you might as well ask.” Spike sniffed, propping his leg up on the boy’s lap, ignoring Xander’s glare.
“First…” Xander began, shoving Spike’s feet off him and placing his plate on his lap to avoid any reattempts “Not your footstool. Also there are not rats, there might be mice down here but no rats, rats are nasty and evil. I’ve seen that Stephen King movie I know what evil lies behind those beady little eyes.”
“Wasn’t talking about your rodent infestation,” Spike responded, shaking his head because the boy had a strange way of thinking that surprised even him sometimes. “I meant what’s knocking around in your noggin.”
“Was that actually English?” Xander frowned
“What were you thinking, idiot?” Spike enunciated, barely resisting the urge to roll his eyes at the boy’s ability to make even the simplest thing seem difficult.
“And you couldn’t just say “Hey Xander what were you thinking?” instead of whatever the heck you actually did say?” Xander spluttered
This time Spike did roll his eyes.
“For your information I was wondering why your sticky fingers always targets my food.”
“Can’t bite, can’t eat. It’s like you don’t care about me anymore.” Spike teased, grinning when Xander’s lips quirked minutely.
“Shut up, I’ve been getting blood for you haven’t I?”
“Watcher been shelling out has he?” Spike queried, eyes glued to Xander’s face. The boy flushed and there was that interesting flash of green for a moment before he scrambled to his feet.
“You know I probably should get going, things to do, places to see, you know how it is? Well not right now because it’s sunny outside and since you don’t want to be ashes in the wind you don’t know how it is….but at night you kind of do…..and I should probably shut up now.” Xander sputtered all but fleeing the room.
Spike watched him go, there was definitely something going on here and he knew just the person to ask about it. Slipping his fingers into his pocket, Spike clutched the small vial of blood, whatever was in Harris was going to get one helluva surprise soon.
Spike rocked his seat backwards, watching the demons milling about Willy's bar. It was a quiet night and only a few vampires were a part of the crowd. None of them seemed to have the balls necessary to confront him and Spike was actually happy to be ignored. He had business tonight and he wasn't about to waste his time on some jumped-up fledgling.
Sipping at his blood, he replayed the events from the day before. There were a number of demons that were big on possession but none of them would have been happy with Spike lounging around, in what they would have seen as, their lair. And Xander hadn't seemed at all bothered by his presence, hell the boy had been feeding him and unless Xander's blood held some sort of slow acting poison Spike didn't see how the demon that was wearing Harris' skin figured that, that had been a good plan to get rid of him.
Not to mention that smell, ever since Spike had begun paying attention to the scent from the blood that the boy had supplied him with he couldn’t seem to get it out of his head. He recognized the smell from somewhere but the question was where? He hadn’t encountered many demons on his trip to Africa with Dru but Harris’ smell reminded him of the place for some reason.
One of the vampires in the room glanced over at Spike's table before turning away quickly and Spike's brow rose.
What the bloody hell was that about?
Before he could question the fledge’s action Clem stumbled into the bar, his eyes darting about the room before focusing on Spike corner.
Spike watched as the loose-skinned demon hurried towards his table, collapsing into the seat across from him Clem beamed.
"You've got to tell me how you did it, Spike!" Clement whispered, all but bouncing in his seat.
"Haven't got a clue what you're nattering on about, mate." Spike retorted, taking another sip of his blood.
Clem grinned "Trade secrets, I get it." he nodded and Spike rolled his eyes.
"Not much of a trade secret if I don't know what the hell you're on about, now is it?"
Clem stared at him for a second, his ears twitching in confusion before his eyes widened "You don't know whose blood you gave me?"
"Know the who, just not that the what." Spike shrugged "That's why I gave it to ya, figured your mom would know, old as she is."
"Hey! My mom's still got a few centuries in her," Clem protested, pulling the vial of blood from his shirt and placing it on the table.
Spike didn't doubt that for a second. Clem's breed of demon wasn't exactly appetizing, which meant no natural predators, as far as he knew they were probably as long lived as vampires.
"So did she know what that came from then?" he prodded when Clem just sat gazing at the vial.
"Oh yeah, you've got a baby primal on your hands, don't know how you did it but you just hit the demonic jackpot."
Spike's eyes narrowed because Harris wasn't a baby anything and Primals didn't go around making cosy with other demons, there was a reason why they were hardly seen. They were vicious, territorial and usually batshit crazy.
"Like I said, mate, I know who that came from and it sure as hell isn't a kid."
Clem nodded "Of course not, they'd have to be young though, the human I mean, not the primal. Usually people don’t do it right and either the primal takes over or the human dies but mom says that your primal smells about mature and pretty healthy too."
"And how does this whole thing work, then?" Spike queried, keeping his face intentionally bland. It was just Clem but he wasn't about to admit ignorance to anybody.
Clem scratched one of his flaps, "Mom said that Primals spirits need to be nearing the end of their spiritual lifespan before they're placed in a human body and the human has to be...open, like really pure of heart, neutral to a fault and all that Jazz." he explained "If it's done right the Primal’s death and rebirth will coincide with the human soul's maturation, that way the two combine kind of like your demon did. But it takes a while for the Primal part of the human to really wake up you know?"
"How much time are we talking about?"
Clem shrugged "Anything from a few months to a few years, it depends on whether the Primal imprints or not."
Spike could feel a headache building and this time the chip had nothing to do with it. "How the hell do they imprint and what do they imprint on?" he growled
"Well if this one gave you its blood I'd say it's imprinting on you, it's like a mate bond. Primals latch on to the strongest creature that they find desirable and presto instant relationship just with a little less bells and something blue and a bit more blood and mayhem."
"So the blood is a courting gift?" Spike frowned and Clem nodded.
"Pretty much." he grinned "So who's the lucky lady?"
Spike’s eyes narrowed “Ain’t a lady,” he muttered.
“Oh.” Clem blinked “Wow a female primal in a guy’s body and it gave you blood? Man, you’re even luckier that I thought.”
Spike tapped his finger against the table, there was no way Harris was courting him. The boy had that ex-demon bint hanging around, not to mention the fact that he seemed geared towards birds exclusively. “You keep harping on about the blood,” he pointed out, dragging his thought away from Harris’ sexual crisis.
“Yeah Primal blood freely given can heal just about anything. But that’s the kicker it has to be freely given, anything else and it’ll be about as useful as human blood not to mention you’re going to have a pissed off Primal on your hands. Which I personally would not want to deal with because let me tell you, I’ve heard the stories, they do not mess around.” Clem muttered, eyeing the vial like he expected it to grow fangs and lunge at him any second.
Spike ignored him, his mind riveted on what the demon had said, if Harris was trying to do what Spike thought he was, he might just have to change his whole opinion about the boy. After all it wouldn’t do to make his nummy treat feel neglected.
Spike spent the rest of his night going over his plan as he made his way through Sunnydale's cemetery. The night was quiet and Spike was almost completely alone as he strolled through the worn paths, staking the odd fledge that caught his attention as they dug themselves from their shallow graves.
He wasn’t sure why the idea of seducing Harris was rubbing his demon the wrong way. It wouldn't be the first time he'd used sex to get what he wanted though there was the fact that if Xander was really a maturing Primal the boy probably wouldn't be amused to find that he'd been used. Then again, taking the nummy treat as a mate wouldn’t be much of a hardship, especially with Dru gone.
Angelus had, had a bit of a hard on for Primals though Spike was fairly certain the pouf had never actually met one. That hadn’t stopped the older vampire from recounting tales of the carnage that were usually left behind by them; the awe in his voice had made the young Spike snicker madly. It wasn’t often that anything could hold Angelus’ attention and seeing his grandsire acting like some besotted maiden had been too much for his, then uncertain, self-control. It had usually earned him a whipping that left him with healing wounds for weeks because Angelus was nothing if not thorough but it hadn’t lessened the joke.
Pausing to lean against a tree Spike smirked, he wasn't sure if Angel would care but it would have rankled his demon to know that he'd had a Primal right under his nose. Hell if Xander had been infected before Spike came to Sunnydale, which was likely because he would have heard if had happened after, Angelus had given Spike the very thing he'd spent centuries trying to get a peek at.
Plucking a fag from his pocket, Spike lit up, exhaling the smoke slowly and watching as it curled in front of his face before dissipating in the night air.
If romance for Primals ran in the same vein as it did for vampires there were three acts that he'd have to complete before the demon would even pay any attention to his intentions.
The first gift was supposed to evoke delight but that was easy enough to accomplish, the boy’s wants ran between food and comics. Spike had enough of a pull over most of the vampire court that still existed to get his hands on what he needed for that one.
The second had to do with sires, if the intended was being abused by their sire then you could either get rid of them or make sure that any and all rights were passed over. But the entire concept revolved around gaining trust enough to be told of any abuse. Most vampires would skip that step since what Sires did was usually seen as their right.
But with the boy that was going to be a bit tricky. Spike knew that there was no love lost between Xander and the fat blob that had sired him but he wasn't so sure about the boy's feelings for his mother. Every time he spoke to her, the boy had come back with the scent of sorrow clinging to his skin. A bit of digging needed to be done there. Not to mention the fact that he needed to test whether Clem's theory about Harris' blood was actually right, after all it wouldn't do to have some minion off the boy's kin not when Spike could use them as his own experiment first.
The last rite was the hardest and it meant actually finding out whether the boy swung his way or if the demon was just riding his soul into the ground.
Dropping the cigarette butt, Spike ground it beneath his heel as he straightened. Whatever the outcome of all this it would be entertaining to see Xander's reaction, if nothing else.
Xander hummed, shoving the door open before slipping through it. The sofa was empty that meant that Spike was out again.
Cocking his head he stared down at the dark blanket that the vampire had claimed as his own. The frayed material smelled like smoke and leather...Spike.
Xander sniffed the air delicately, shivering as the scent wafted through his nose. Shaking his head he snorted, turning away from the sofa, it was bad enough that he had to deal with Fido yapping around in his head, even more than usual, now he was getting off on Spike's scent. He'd have to start some sort of twelve step program if he didn't want to be labeled a full blown pervert if this kept up.
Pausing he glanced at the blanket again, eyes darting from the fabric to the door before deciding fuck it and flinging himself onto the sofa. Giggling madly as his scent covered Spike's.
The sound of his laugh echoed eerily through the empty room.
Xander stretched, the sheets sliding along his cooling skin like a lover's caress. Arching his back he widened his legs, eyes still closed as the fabric shifted with him, clinging to his erection before slipping away as his legs moved restlessly beneath the sheets.
Sucking in a breath through barely parted lips he groaned, arms coming down to relieve himself only to find that his arms were bound. The instinctive panic that threatened to overwhelm him when he tried and failed to open his eyes was banked by a familiar scent.
A growl rumbled through his chest as cool hands slid against his heated skin, nails dragging across his pebbled nipples but his only answer was a dark laugh.
The hands moved, slipping across his stomach' to cradle his hips and Xander pushed up, trying to convey his need without words.
The words were soft but the steel beneath them had Xander stilling, even as the presence in his mind spread like it had only done once before when they hadn't been alone, when they had a pack.
Biting his lips, Xander fought the whimper that was weaved into his very breath as the fingers circled his turgid flesh, light enough to prevent any friction but still be acknowledged.
"You want it bad, don't ya?"
The voice was cocky, the accent heavier than Xander remembered but those were insignificant details, things that he didn't need to focus on now, not with the fingers tightening around him as their owner grew impatient.
"Tell me you want me, luv. Beg me for it." The voice coaxed and Xander arched, the plea lurking in his throat. His mouth opened....and he woke, sweating in his own bed. He could hear the TV in the background and the steady grumble of a car passing by on the street.
Blinking he glanced around the room as his heart slowed and frowned at the tin of chocolates wreathed in red roses lying on his sheets.
Xander waited until the others were distracted by their research before approaching Giles. So far he'd come up with two explanations for his surprise gift, either Spike had gone insane or Spike's demon had finally cracked under the pressure of the chip because there was no way that The William the Bloody had left Xander chocolates like a high school kid, nope, not happening and Xander had spent most of his morning trying to figure out whether he'd woken up in another universe.
This was Sunnydale, anything was possible!
But the morning had gone pretty normally, his dad had yelled at him about rent even though it wasn't due for another week, Spike had left his jar of blood on the table again and snipped at Xander when he complained about cleaning up after him. If Spike's eyes had lingered on him for a moment too long that was his business and nobody else's.
“Hey G-man.” He greeted the watcher, flopping down in the seat beside the man.
Giles sighed “How many times must I ask you to stop using that horrid nickname?”
“One more time?” Xander grinned before glancing at the others “So suppose I had a question about vampires, other than Spike who will not tell me anything without being promised my first born who I might want to keep, you’d be the guy to ask right?”
“I suppose so,” Giles admitted, flipping the page of the book he was reading “Though why the sudden interest in vampires?”
Xander shrugged ignoring the cackling echoing through his head. God he either needed a psychiatrist or a hyena whisperer because all the noise wasn’t helping him play it cool. “I just read something about vampire mating and I figured more info meant I wouldn’t accidentally get caught up in one because hello, demon magnet. I’m surprised it has happened before…..though there was that freaky thing with Drusilla….”
“I assure you that it is unlikely that you would not notice if a vampire was courting you Xander. There are three very specific gifts, one is a simple romantic gesture, the next is an ownership one whereby your suitor would either try to eat your parents or aid them dependent on your relationship and the third would be a claiming. Now since your parents are alive and well and you seem quite unclaimed I would believe that you are not being courted by a vampire…at least not at present.”
Xander blinked “Yeah…no gifts for the Xan-man.” He agreed, glaring at Spike, who had the audacity to smirk at him before flipping his book in front of his face.
The hyena gave a laughing growl as Xander bristled, just because Spike seemed to have cottoned on to what was happening didn’t mean Xander was about to back down. For the first time in a long time both sides of him wanted the same thing and the hyena wasn’t good with being patient so this just meant he could up his plans. The kid gloves were about to come off!
Spike had felt the boy’s eyes on him all night after the watcher had told him exactly what a vampire’s courting gifts were and from the way Xander’s eyes had glittered that pretty green he knew that he had understood the reasoning behind the first gift that Spike had left him.
In truth it hadn’t been hard at all, the most difficult part had been slipping the blood into Xander’s evening meal, from there it had been merely child’s play to direct Xander’s dreams in the direction Spike had wanted and from the smell of musk that had clung to the boy’s skin as he skittered into the bathroom Spike knew that his trick had paid off.
And he’d expected retaliation on the Primal’s part but waking to find himself bound in chains that were negating his strength was a bit of a surprise.
Xander smirked down at him, the brown of his eyes flecked with green as he twirled a small dagger.
“What’s all this then?” Spike prodded when the boy seemed content to simply watch him.
Xander’s grin grew, his legs tightening where they straddled Spike’s hips “You figured it out, not that I didn’t think you would but you figured it out and did something about it, which is really cool, by the way.” He babbled, the weapon in his hand at odds with the innocent expression on his face “She thought you’d know but she says a lot of things….” He frowned there, glancing away “I don’t listen to everything she says.”
Spike resisted the urge to roll his eyes at the boy’s babble; it was just his luck to find another crazy.
“Yeah, what does she tell you then?”
Xander’s eyes dropped to the knife in his hands “She doesn’t like the others, they tried to cast her out, you know? She really doesn’t like Buffy; sometimes she talks about how good the slayer looks bathed in blood….especially if it’s her own.”
“That’s thinking I can get behind.” Spike interrupted with a smirk.
“But you’re all demony, that’s the type of thing you’re supposed to think!” Xander protested
“From where I’m chained…” Spike cocked a brow when the boy snorted in amusement “You don’t seem all that human either and I’m pretty sure that your Primal friend doesn’t like being called human.”
“She’s gotten used to it, I think, but that not the point here, the point is you know what we are and you haven’t blabbed.” Xander mused, head cocked to the side as he stared down at Spike.
“ ‘M not an idiot, am I?” Spike retorted “A primal decides to court you; you don’t just blow up about it. You think, look at the angles and then you either run like hell or you say yes.”
The green in Xander’s eyes brightened, overwhelming the brown as the boy leaned closer “And what are you saying, Spike?”
“Depends on what you’re doing with that, wouldn’t want you to cut yourself now would I?”
Xander snickered and straightened. Flipping the dagger blade down he traced Spike’s shirt lightly, tongue peeking out as the material split beneath the dagger’s blade. “You know if you wanted me to drink your blood you could have asked, I wouldn’t have said no….well maybe if I didn’t have she-who-shall-not-be-named prancing around in my head I would have but not now.” He whispered, reversing the direction of the knife and watching as a line of blood blossomed across Spike’s chest.
Spike’s face rippled, demon coming to the fore as the boy ducked his head and followed the trail of blood with his tongue, leaving nothing but unmarked skin in his wake. Glancing up at Spike Xander grinned, small droplets of crimson still clinging to the pink tongue that flickered across his lips before vanishing.
Spike snarled tugging at his bonds before subsiding as the boy prowled up his body, all the pre-adult awkwardness smoothed over into a predatory sway. “So fangless, is that a yes…or a yes?”
Spike cocked his head, considering the body above him “I’ve got a thing, see? I like to sample the goods before I buy,”
Xander chuckled at that, the sound chilling and tinged with a thin layer of insanity. Bracing a hand on Spike’s chest he leaned forward, the other hand tangling in the chains that held the vampire in place “How about you give me an answer first?” he breathed, lips ghosting across Spike’s as he tugged at the chains.
“Let’s say I’m saying yes…” Spike started but the boy was already pulling back and rising to his feet. Spike shifted, glancing at his hands in surprise as the chains fell away from them before turning back to Xander “Oi I didn’t say that was my answer.”
The boy paused in the doorway and glanced over his shoulder, eyes glowing green “How about this, you get to sample the goods if you can impress me.” He taunted, slipping into the room before Spike could retort.
Spike gaped for a minute before a slow grin stretched across his face because that was an invitation if he’d ever heard one. Rising to his feet he made to follow his soon-to-be mate when Xander’s voice rung out again.
“And bleach-boy….don’t forget the chains.”
Spike’s tongue curled against his teeth as he smirked. “Wouldn’t dream of it, luv.” He whispered, grabbing the chains as he followed the sound of Xander’s laughter into the dark room.