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When Spike had first taken Xander under his wing, so to speak, he’d been saddled with that thrice-damned chip. While at first he’d been so… stunned by the horror of his predicament that he’d been willing to go to his own worst enemy for protection, he’d soon learned that there were ways to get around that piece of plastic and wire in his head. Once he got out on his own, and was less closely watched, he’d found that he had options, as long as he kept his wits about him. That was when he started watching Xander – the boy blunder – and he had bumbled about so disarmingly that even Spike had taken him for granted at the beginning.

It hadn’t taken long for Spike to come to the conclusion that there was more to the boy than met the eye. He didn’t give up, no matter the challenge, and his little group took that for granted, the way they took everything he did for granted, good and bad. They expected him to make a fool of himself, and he stumbled over his long legs and big feet to prove their expectations. But when he was encouraged, he could do better, and Spike went out of his way to offer him opportunities to succeed.

At first, he was just playing the odds – picking out the weakest link, and easing his way into Xander’s good graces in case Spike happened upon a chance to do some mischief to the Slayer’s little cadre of do-gooders without getting caught at it. Besides, it had its upsides: free beer, a dry place to doss when the rainy season hit, cable – even if the wanker didn’t have any of the really good channels, it was a hell of a lot better than Spike’s little TV with his rabbit ear antennas and three fuzzy channels.

But the longer Spike stuck with it, the more he realized the potential there, waiting for someone to take him in hand, and show him there was more to life than trailing around after people that had no real regard for his efforts. So Spike started urging him to think for himself, and not follow the party line, subtly, of course. He was smarter than he let on, even if he did have some horrible gaps in his schooling. Spike blamed that on the American education system, if you could call it that.

He started showing Xander a few moves when they patrolled together, and although he was a clumsy dolt in the beginning, he stuck with it, and he improved with practice. Every challenge Spike set for him he conquered, and it didn’t take long for his efforts to start to show. Spike wanted to snarl his disgust at the Slayer when she seldom, if ever, had anything encouraging to say to the lad when he’d shown some new move that had even impressed his teacher Spike. He decided to let it go, though. It would be her loss in the end – and her blind arrogance would be her down falling, if Spike had anything to do with it.

It was worth it to see Xander’s face light up with pride when Spike offered a quiet, “Not bad, Harris.” It didn’t take much. And it warmed Spike up inside to see that bright smile aimed his way.

It was official – Spike may have won Xander over, but Xander had won Spike over, as well.

So when it happened, one night on patrol, that they were overwhelmed by a larger than normal nest of vamps, he worried himself sick until he won a moment’s breathing space, and could hunt for his human. Half hidden by a large monument, a hulking monster of a vamp had Xander, arms wrapped around his chest from behind, his mouth pressed to Xander’s bleeding neck. Spike exploded into action, the like of which those bloody fucking bastards had never seen. The three left were ash before they could strike even one blow, and he was across the clearing in seconds, tearing the vamp who dared to touch Spike’s own a new hole.

He wasn’t certain that Xander was a gonner, but the holes were large gashes in his pale, white throat, and Xander’s blood called to Spike. He had no choice but to answer, now did he? He drank Xander down, the hot blood rushing into his mouth, the taste like the finest ambrosia. Xander’s hand came up, pressing Spike’s mouth to his throat, and although he was certain Xander didn’t know what he was doing, he took that as a sign that he’d made the right choice. Spike was determined – Xander would be his forever.

He’d torn his wrist and held it to Xander’s mouth as he’d breathed his last breaths, and those warm lips pressed to Spike’s cool skin had set him flying, soaring into an orgasm that shocked him with its ferocity. Spike had tucked Xander in a hotwired car, and they’d left the Hellmouth that night. They’d never looked back.

Xander leapt into the air, all preternatural grace and agility, honed to a fine edge by sixteen years of hard work and determination. Perhaps it didn’t mean as much these days to take a Slayer, with so many of the little buggers about, cluttering up the landscape, but when his boy finished this one off, it would make his twelfth. It couldn’t hold a candle to Spike’s twenty-one and counting, but it was bloody well worth a celebration. Their blood didn’t have the power, or the zing, of one of the old Slayers, back when they were the one girl in all the world, but it was still one hell of an aphrodisiac. They’d be flying all night, and most of the day as well.

They were doing their part to stem the tide of Slayers the white hats had let loose on the world, and they had a reputation no one could match. The Slayers of Slayers. Spike didn’t mind sharing his title with Xander, they were both his, after all. In a few more years, Xander would be ready, and he and Spike would go after the last of the “Great” Slayers – the final test of his boy’s skills. They’d heard tell she was still living in Rome, still the general in charge of the troupes, leading her baby Slayers in the good fight. They’d show her a good fight, all right.

Spike had lost the chip only a year after they’d left Sunnyhell. It had hurt like a motherfucker while it was fizzling out, but once it was gone, he’d decided to delay his revenge to give Xander a chance to get all that youthful fledgling wildness out of his system. Buffy was old for a Slayer, but he had no doubt she’d give Xander a run for his money. She’d have an extra edge, seeing as how it’d be her little buddy she was fighting. She’d think she had to take him down to do right by her long lost Scoobie.

That didn’t worry Spike any, though. His boy was up to the challenge. He always was. And if he started to fail, well Spike wouldn’t lose his love for anything. They’d tag team her, if need be. He preferred a clean fight, and Xander agreed, but what the bloody hell, they were evil. Who said they had to fight fair?

With one last roundhouse kick, Xander’s pretty little Slayer tumbled to the concrete, and didn’t get up again, the blood at her temple slick and shiny against her dark skin. Xander swaggered over to her, and picked her up, holding her against his chest in a pose very similar to the one that had led to his own last breaths. He bit, deep and true, his eyes on Spike the whole time, and she shuddered once, and was still. Xander cocked one eyebrow at Spike in invitation, and Spike joined him, biting on the other side, feeling that tingle rush right through him as he and Xander shared their favorite treat.

By the time they’d drunk her down, they were humping each other right through her. They barely noticed her dead body slipping away as they kissed, sharing their passion through the taste of her blood.

Forever. Xander would be his forever. Their love was never going to end.