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The club that Spike led Xander to was on the far side of Sunnydale and the further they walked the stranger the people that they passed. There were fewer teenagers here and most of the people they passed were covered up despite the warmth of the night. As they walked Xander thought he caught the gleam of eyes watching them from the numerous alley ways that littered the street but Spike didn’t seem bothered so Xander simply stuck closer to the vampire as they walked briskly along the dark streets.


“Ok, I know that technically I asked to come with you but I really figured that you’d just grab someone off the street instead of going to....” Xander paused in thought because while he’d been following Spike he had no idea where they were actually going. “Wait, where are we going?”


“You wanted to see me feed...well I’m gonna feed.” Spike retorted and Xander shot him a speaking look.


“Well sorry for asking, Mr. Grumpy-Pants. It’s not like I’ve ever seen a Master feed and since you’re harping on about how different you are from minions, I figured I should see it with my own eyes...unless it’s not something you’re supposed to show people?” Xander queried, his brow furrowing as he considered that. “But minions feed in front of anyone...Oh my God! Is this like kids running around naked because they don’t know better? Did I just ask you to show me your special vampire parts....” he froze eying Spike speculatively. “Do you have special vampire parts?”


Spike stared at him for a long moment before scoffing. “Don’t know why they dropped you on the head as a baby but it’s shaken something loose.”


“Hey!” Xander protested, hurrying to catch up as Spike walked faster. “Nobody dropped me on the head...and don’t think I didn’t notice you didn’t say anything about your special vampire parts! Is asking you to feed in front of me like asking you to jerk one out?”


Spike’s lips curled into a sly smile. “If you wanted to see my cock, all you had to do was ask, luv.” he purred and Xander glared at him.


“Funny, you’re just a regular barrel of laughs.” he muttered, sniffing petulantly when Spike glanced his way. He should have known better than to expect a vampire to give him a straight answer, reformed or not.




Willow hurried after Buffy as the blonde strode along the dark street. She understood Buffy’s inability to trust Spike, after all the man was a vampire, no matter what he looked like and Willow wasn’t blind. She was well aware that Spike was one of the most handsome guys that had passed through Sunnydale and if it wasn’t for his problem Willow was sure that Buffy would have been after him for a whole different reason. 


Shaking her head Willow refocused on her friend. Buffy’s lips were drawn into a tight line and her eyes were little more than narrow slits as she watched Xander follow Spike into a strange club. Despite having lived in Sunnydale all her life Willow had never been to this side of town and the people milling around were giving her a serious case of the willies.


At the front of the club the bouncer had just stopped a stranger and as the young woman tilted her head up Willow caught sight of the gleam from her fangs. The bouncer had obviously seen it to but instead of running the man just nodded and stepped aside, allowing the vampire to enter the building.


“Buffy...did you just?” Willow stared and Buffy nodded, her jaw tightening as another person approached the bouncer and Willow’s eyes widened as something shifted beneath the woman’s skirt. As she watched a sinuous tail slithered from beneath the fabric, wrapping itself around her male companion’s arm as the bouncer waved them in.


“You know when people say there’s a bad side of town, they’re usually talking about drugs...heck I’d rather the drugs over a demon gathering.” Buffy growled.


“There’s no way we’re going to get in.” Willow whispered back and Buffy huffed.


“Not through the front door, anyway.” she responded, turning away from the crowd. “But every club has a backdoor; we just have to find it.”




Spike kept a hand at the small of the boy’s back as they entered the club, nodding at the bouncer as the vampire tilted his head in acknowledgement. He’d run across this place his second night in Sunnydale, a demon run bar that catered to everything from blood to murder, though he wasn’t about to let Xander know that much. The boy hadn’t started raining down fire and brimstone on his head yet and Spike rather liked the lack of judgment. Not that Xander’s opinions would have made him actually stop any of his activities but he could just guess the headache that would accompany the boy’s disapproval.


Thankfully the club wasn’t packed and Spike watched as the various vampires in the room stiffened and glanced his way. Paying them little mind he sidled closer to Xander, who didn’t seem aware of the attention they were garnering or maybe the boy was aware and just didn’t care.


Spike could smell that wildness in the boy’s scent that said the primal was close to the surface and Spike wasn’t surprised, with this many demons around the spirit was probably restless as hell but Xander didn’t show any of his discomfort as Spike led him to an empty table in the corner of the room.


As Xander sat down Spike tried to see the club through the boy’s eyes. The air within the main room was foggy with smoke from cigarettes and the many sticks of incense burning along the club’s walls. The dim light that shun on its patrons was a dull red and Spike had found the color fitting considering that at any given time he could find fangbangers being fed from in various crevices of the building. Xander’s eyes were fixed on one such couple. The two young women were wrapped around each other as they swayed on the dance floor. The vampire’s lips were pressed to her donor’s neck and from where he sat Spike could smell their arousal. Xander squirmed in his seat as one of the donor’s hand slid beneath her vampire’s shirt and Spike resisted the urge to smirk as the boy sunk further into his seat to hide his own arousal.


“Hot ain’t it?” Spike murmured and Xander glanced at him. “Thing is feeding ain’t personal but it can be intimate...just like sex, really. You’re letting someone into your body, letting them take a piece of you. Hell I’ve had sex that was less intimate than a feeding. It’s why the minions find it so hard to stop. Feeding is all tied up in emotion. It’s passion and want and it makes you want to crawl into that person and drown in everything they are. Makes you want to take them into you and never let them go...even if it means killing ‘em.”


Xander’s heart was pounding by the time Spike finished speaking and a part of him knew that if he made a move then the boy was so muddled by the primal and his own wants that he’d probably give in but Spike never looked for the easy way out. No, Xander was a puzzle wrapped up in the enigma that was the primal and Spike was going to enjoy taking him apart piece by piece until there was nothing left.


Pulling back reluctantly Spike took a deep breath to center himself. “Stay here, pet.” he murmured as he rose to his feet, catching the eye of a human girl sitting at the bar. “Gonna grab myself a bite and show you what I’m talking about.”




Xander’s eyes followed Spike as the vampire wove through the people on the dance floor, his dark cloak flaring behind him like bat wings and the light make his skin and hair gleam red, like Spike was covered in blood and the thought made something shift deep in his mind, like a flower unfurling beneath the sun but before Xander could poke at the feeling Spike reached the bar.


The bartender said something to the vampire, nodding at the brunette seated a few stools away and Spike flashed the man a quick grin as he changed route and headed straight for the woman. The two spoke for a few minutes but then Spike was raising one of her hands to his lips, his head cocked and his eyes meeting Xander’s as he brushed a soft kiss against the woman’s wrist.


Something sour curled in Xander’s stomach at the vampire’s actions but he kept his face blank as Spike led the woman back towards their table, letting her slide into the booth before him.


“Luv, this is Kyra, she’s gonna be sitting with us for a bit.” Spike introduced and Xander didn’t have to look at the vampire to hear the smirk in his voice. “Say hello, pet.” Spike prodded as he pressed himself against the woman and Xander glanced away, his face flushing with embarrassment.


“Hello,” Kyra whispered, her voice a husky purr that made Xander shiver even as Spike tssked.


“That’s not how we say hello, pet. Give our Xander a kiss, make him feel welcome. After all we’re doing this for him, aren’t we?”


Kyra’s hand rested on Xander’s shoulder and the teen tensed, his mouth opening to inform both Spike and Kyra that he was fine and ok without that kiss, thank you very much. But the woman was faster than he expected and he hardly had the chance to draw in a breath when her lips were pressed against his. Xander squeaked, his hands flailing for a moment but when he tried to reach out and push the woman back, Spike was already there, fingers tangling with Xander’s as he pulled him close, leaving Kyra sandwiched between their bodies but from the moan of pleasure she didn’t seem to mind much.


The woman’s mouth tasted sweet like candy and something else that Xander couldn’t place but any thought of identifying the strange flavor vanished as Kyra’s tongue traced the seam of his lips.


“That’s it, pet.” Spike coaxed, his cool fingers running along Xander’s arm before clasping his hand and guiding them to Kyra’s neck. “Never liked school, myself. Cause some things you can’t teach, you’ve got to feel and experience.” the vampire murmured and Xander blinked, his body tensing when fingers bushed against the leg of his jeans.


“Pay attention, luv.” Spike whispered and Xander inhaled sharply as the vampire pulled Kyra back against him, his hands still pressing Xander’s fingers against the woman’s neck as Kyra ran her hands across the bulge in Xander’s jeans. “Feeding is sexual; its life in a drop and no matter what you humans say about it, dying can feel bloody good as long as you don’t know it’s coming.”


Xander swallowed as Spike dipped his head, his tongue lapping at the tender flesh at Kyra’s neck and the woman moaned, her fingers digging into Xander’s leg and the teen couldn’t stop the groan that clawed its way out of his throat as his hips jerked up into the pressure. Spike flashed him a small smile before refocusing on the woman in his arms, his teeth sinking into her flesh and for a second the brunette tensed but as Spike began to drink she relaxed into his body with a heartfelt sigh.


Every swallow that Spike took made something coil in Xander’s chest, the knot growing tighter and tighter until he felt like he couldn’t breathe. His eyes were fixed to where Spike’s lips were pressed against Kyra’s neck and his own throat felt parched and empty, his fingers curling into fists as Spike drank.


Almost as if he could sense Xander’s scrutiny, Spike’s eyes snapped open, demon yellow and the ridges marring his face made him seem even more vicious but Xander still found himself leaning closer, his eyes locked on the single drop of blood sliding down Kyra’s throat. Before he knew what he was doing Xander ducked down, tongue tracing the scarlet path that the liquid left and a pleased growl rumbled from his chest as his eyes glowed green, the sound changing into a purr when Spike detached from the woman’s neck.


The vampire’s fingers tangled in Xander’s curls as he hauled the teen closer, pressing their lips together while Xander whimpered and lapped at the stray droplets of blood on Spike’s lips while a red haze descended over his mind.  



The alpha stretched as the spark of mother pulsed, reaching out for the fragments that it could feel in the vampire that was cradling the other close.




Xander groaned into the kiss, his finger reaching out to grab something...anything that could keep him grounded as his brain turned to mush. The kiss with Kyra had been good but this blew that completely out of the water because Spike’s tongue was doing things that Xander was pretty sure that not even a prostitute could and Xander’s dick was practically doing the cha cha because hands that weren’t his were still rubbing against the front of his jeans.


Breaking the kiss on a gasp, Xander’s eyes rolled to the ceiling as Spike licked one side of his neck, cool breath making Xander shiver as warm human hands slid beneath his shirt and if he thought it was hard to think before then he could definitely kiss his mental processes goodbye now.


Xander choked on a moan when blunt human teeth scrapped at his throat, sending shivers racing down his spine but before he could react to the sensation Spike’s lips trailed across his jaw, laying small kisses until he got to Xander’s lips, but this time the vampire didn’t press his against them. Instead Spike stared at Xander, the ridges of his demon long gone; leaving behind only the amber eyes as evidence that Spike was anything more than human. Xander swallowed as Spike rubbed their noses together, breath ghosting across Xander’s lips and for some reason this felt more intimate than anything else...even the hands still moving beneath his shirt and a thought fluttered at the edge of his mind but Xander swatted it away as he surged forward.


Xander swallowed the chuckle that rumbled from Spike’s chest as he bit at the vampire’s lips, the pressure in his head coiling tighter and tighter as Spike opened up for him and Jesus if someone had told him that just a kiss was going to make him feel like this Xander would have put much more effort into getting a girlfriend...or boyfriend as the traitorous voice in his head pointed out that he was kissing a guy and not just a guy but a vampire....ok this was officially the Twilight Zone and no matter how good it felt, Xander needed to stop...right now....any second now....Fuck!


Drawing back Xander gasped for air as he leaned away from the evil duo because seriously this had not been what he’d thought of when he asked to watch Spike feed!


Kyra was staring at them both with a look that said her Christmas had just come early and Xander was literally two steps away from banging his head against the table because two weeks ago he wouldn’t have been able to make a woman like Kyra look twice at him and now there was someone get all hot and bothered by the fact that Xander was being molested by a vampire.

Said vampire was still watching him, lips curled up into a smirk that was not all sexy because Xander didn’t find guys sexy and why did Spike keep licking his lips, just... gah!


“Something the matter, luv?” Spike purred and Xander tamped down on the urge to bare his teeth at him because he was civilized and civilized people didn’t do things like that. Civilized people didn’t try to figure out whether they could crawl into the lap of the vampire they were supposed to get information out of either but Xander wasn’t aiming for full marks on the civilization scale anyway!


Narrowing his eyes Xander focused on the bane of his existence...or sexual identity, but labels weren’t important here. What was important was making Spike understand that this was a fluke, something that wasn’t ever going to happen again!


“Is that so, pet?” Spike inquired and Xander froze, he really needed to stop thinking out loud.


“I thought it was hot.” Kyra murmured and Xander narrowed his eyes at her.


“Yeah, not taking advice from the person who signs up to be vampire food.” he shot back but she just shrugged. No shame, no shame whatsoever! “You shut it...” he groused glaring at the girl as Kyra settled back against the seat “And you....” he started turning to Spike who was watching him from beneath hooded lids. “You just keep your hands to yourself!”


“What about my tongue, nummy? Fair bit of tongue was being used; do I have to keep that to myself too?”


Xander gaped as his mind stalled on the images of just what Spike’s tongue had been doing. Blinking he shook himself to get rid of the mental images. “You are evil.” he growled but Spike just laughed, spreading his arms wide.


“I’m a vampire, pet. Evil comes with the package.”


“Yeah, well keep your evilness on that side of the table, ok?” Xander shot back, well aware that it sounded like he was whining but he really didn’t care. His head hurt, his dick was about to stage mutiny and just looking at Spike’s face was making his heterosexuality want to crawl into a corner and die!


All of this would have been so much easier if Spike had had boobs instead of a dick and the fangs....Xander could do without the fangs. He could do without the evil too but he didn’t expect miracles, this was Sunnydale after all!




Buffy stepped over the pile of ash that had once been the club’s cook...well at least she thought he was the cook though what she’d seen in the pot wasn’t anything that a human would want to eat anytime soon. Thankfully the vampire had been the only person there when she’s kicked the door in and the music from the club covered the clatter that they’d made as the vamp tried to add her to the menu.


Backtracking she pulled the door open. “Psst, Willow.” she called, making sure to keep her voice low just in case someone was passing by. A second later Willow’s head popped up from behind one of the garbage cans that littered the back alley and Buffy gestured for her to come closer.


“What happened? I thought you said you’d give me the signal as soon as you got in.” Willow whispered, her eyes darting around the grey kitchen and Buffy shrugged.


“I ran into the cook.”


Willow frowned, glancing around. “What? Where is he..or she?” she asked.


“He ran into my stake,” Buffy grinned before latching the door and shoving the chair that she’d found resting against the wall beneath the handle. It wouldn’t stop a determined demon but at least it would buy time if someone tried to get. “Come on, we need to find Xander.”


Pushing the door open slowly, Buffy paused. The kitchen was connected to the club by a winding corridor that seemed to pulse with the music leaking through the walls. The grey paint that covered the corridor was speckled with red least she was hoping it was red pain and she wasn’t going to think about the human hand that she’d seen the chef shoving into his pot.


This was what they got for listening to Giles’ stupid ideas! They should’ve stashed Xander somewhere far, far away from the vampire, not send him out to gather information from a creature that even Buffy couldn’t kill...not that she’d been trying her best, of course. That was the only reason why the vampire had gotten the drop on her; she hadn’t been expecting him to be that fast!


Glancing behind her Buffy met Willow’s eyes and nodded towards the door. The girl shot her a thumbs up as they crept along the corridor, freezing when the door rattled but as it stopped barely a minute later Buffy guessed that someone had probably bumped into it.


Pressing herself against the metal of the door, Buffy listened but she could hear nothing other than music. Taking a deep breath, she clasped the handle, turning it slowly. When nothing happened she pulled the door open and slipped out into the crowded club, glancing back once to make sure Willow was still following her.


The heavy base of the music pulsed through her body as she pushed her way through the crowd of people, her eyes scanning the room for Xander.


A flash of white caught her eye and Buffy’s lips twisted as she caught sight of Spike. The vampire was seated with Xander and a young woman and from where she stood Buffy could just make out the red bruise on the woman’s neck.


Reaching out she grasped Willow’s hand, knowing there was no way her friend was going to hear her over the music. Instead she pointed at the corner, waiting until Willow nodded in understanding before she started heading towards the trio.


Something Spike said made the woman smile as Xander glared at them but then the vampire was reaching forward, brushing his hands against Xander’s, where they were resting on the table and as Xander’s tongue darted out to wet his lips, Buffy’s eyes narrowed when the red tint that had coated Xander’s mouth vanished. Spike shifted forward, leaning across the young woman, who was watching the whole scene with interest, his fingers slipping from Xander’s arm to curl around his nape and Buffy gritted her teeth when Xander tensed, obviously uncomfortable and yeah this was not going to happen under her watch!




Xander’s eyes widened as Spike’s dropped to his lips, he’d been goading the vampire for a few minutes, pointing out that woman like Kyra were more than ready and willing to sleep with the vampire so there was no need to keep playing the game the man seemed determined to force Xander into and the thought of Spike with someone else didn’t make Xander’s chest hurt no matter what phantom pains his body thought it was experiencing.


“Thing is vampire and humans, we don’t make a good couple.” Spike purred, his fingers tangling in the soft hair at Xander’s nape and the teen stiffened, forcing himself not to lean into the caress because damn it he wasn’t attracted to Spike!


The vampire’s voice pulled him from his thoughts. “Humans are good, they’re warm and they’ve got all that blood just going to waste.” Spike continued, his fingers tracing Xander’s collarbone. “But they’re so fragile. Littlest thing and they kick the bucket, so we stick with our own kind because the other demons they don’t call to us like another does. But every once in a while something new comes along....” the vampire whispered, his cool breath ghosting across Xander’s skin and this time he couldn’t hold back the shiver that worked its way up his spine. Spike’s lips curled into a smile as he leaned closer until their lips were almost touching, amber eyes locked on Xander’s as he spoke. “...something fresh and wild. Something like you, pet and I’d be a fucking’ idiot to pass it up.”


“That’s so hot,” Kyra whispered and both men glanced down at her.


“You say hot I say disgusting but can’t exactly trust someone that runs around with vampires.” a new voice chipped in and Xander jerked away from Spike, spinning only to come face to face with a furious Buffy. Behind the girl, Willow was watching the scene with wide eyes.


“Slayer,” Spike greeted, voice shifting from the honey covered croon that it had been mere seconds ago to something cold, like the hiss of a snake and Xander shifted so that he was between Spike and his friend, even though he wasn’t sure who he was protecting.


“Buffy, Willow, what are you guys doing here?” Xander asked, cutting of whatever Spike seemed gearing up to say because knowing Spike it wasn’t anything good, not that Xander was claiming to have any insight into the inner workings of Spike’s mind but even the stupidest person could guess that a Slayer and a vampire weren’t going to be trading pleasantries if they stopped trying to kill each other long enough to talk.


“Can’t say I’m doing much...just came to protect my friend from Sir Bleachie.” Buffy spat, her eyes locked on Spike’s and Kyra shrunk back when a growl rattled from Spike in response to the Slayer’s unsaid challenge.


“If the whelp wants to be here, how’s it your business Slayer?” the vampire retorted and Xander cringed when Spike’s fingers tightened where they’d dropped to his thigh when Xander had moved away from him. Xander’s fingers twitched with the need to swat the vampire but he really didn’t want to draw Buffy’s attention to the fact that Spike was pretty much palming him.


“Protection? Nobody needs protecting, trust me Buffy. No protecting needed here. We’re just a club full of people where nothing bad could happen,” Xander babbled and Buffy shot him a look that Xander would rather not decipher because it either meant that his friend was fearing for his sanity or that she thought he was an idiot.


Neither option was a good one.


“They’re cooking people in the back, Xander!” Buffy shot back. “I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t bat an eye if he decided to off you!”


Willow nodded. “The chef was a vampire....” she offered up and Spike snorted, leaning back and thankfully removing his evil groping hand in the process.


“Course the chef’s a vamp. Vampires own this club.”


“Well that explains the lighting,” Xander chuckled, trying to break the tension but his joke fell flat as the glaring match continued.


“You mean he was a vampire,” Buffy smirked and Xander tensed, hoping that she didn’t mean what he thought she meant. Not that he would feel sorry for any vampire Buffy dusted but she was intentionally baiting Spike and Xander really needed the vampire calm and level headed...especially if he planned to get any more information out of him. 


Spike leaned forward, eyes flickering to amber and Kyra melded herself to the seat in an effort to avoid any attention being sent her way. “Wanna run that pass me again, bint?”


Buffy took a step closer, her smirk melting into a sneer. “He was a vampire, as in he’s now part of the ash family. Just like you’ll be if you don’t leave Xander alone.”


As the ridges rippled across Spike’s face, Xander kissed any hopes, of this not escalating, goodbye.



On the whole Spike liked gobby people. He liked gobby people who could back up their talk even more and Slayers that could trash talk usually climbed  to the top of his esteem ladder but this one....Spike was visualizing ripping her tongue out and making her choke on it, if she didn’t back off. Even the Slayers that he’d killed hadn’t been as annoying as the small, blonde creature in front of him and maybe that was why he disliked her so much. Something about the girl reminded him of Darla and the less time Spike spent thinking of Darla, the better...for everyone.


“You looking to take me on again, Slayer? Cause if I remember right, I handed your ass to you just a night ago.” Spike purred, grinning when the girl easy to rile up! He was surprised she’d lived this long with that attitude and lack of common sense because no Slayer worth her salt would just waltz into a club full of demons. Hell, all Spike needed to do was raise his voice and mention what she was and she’d be as dead as a door nail.


Standing Spike straightened his coat, clearing the table in one leap and the redhead gasped, skirting him and the Slayer to huddle beside Xander as the patrons spread out, clearing the space between the two of them. This wouldn’t be the first fight that had happened in the club though it would most likely be the least bloody because Spike didn’t need Xander in a strop if he beat the Slayer to a pulp.


The blonde stepped back, her hands slipping into her pockets as they circled each other and Spike scoffed as she gripped two stakes, her eyes locked on him.


“Gonna do something with those, darling?” he taunted and the girl bared her teeth.


“Other than stake you, you mean?” she shot back and Spike almost rolled his eyes.


“There is that....why don’t you try and stake me, worked so well for you the last time after all.” he retorted and the girl tensed before twirling the stakes so they were facing outwards and striding towards him.


“Maybe the second times the charm,” she snarled, lunging forwards and Spike spun out of her way but this time she was prepared. Whirling on her heel, she swung her left leg up slamming her knee into his chest and Spike choked on an unneeded breath as the force of the hit sent him flying backwards.


Skidding to a stop, Spike gritted his teeth. He’d been planning to take it easy on the chit but since she wanted to dance, he was enough of a gentleman to oblige.




Xander leapt to his feet as Buffy charged Spike again, only to have the vampire seize her arm using her own momentum to slam her into the floor and even from where he stood he could hear the groan of pain she tried to muffle as she rolled to her feet, just in time to miss the fist Spike rammed into the floor with enough force to split the concrete. Xander shivered as he imagined what would have happened had Buffy not reacted so quickly and the thought of his friend getting hurt because she was looking out for him made something bitter twist in his chest.


“Stop it!” he shouted but neither vampire no Slayer paid him any attention. Buffy plowed her fist into Spike’s face and the vampire rewarded her action with a backhand that had blood dripping from her lips.


The red liquid glowed as it fell to the floor and Xander’s eyes locked on it, the beating of drums humming in his veins as the single drop hit the floor...then everything went red.




The alpha shivered as the spark began to pulse, echoing the beat of their heart. The energy swirling through the nothingness made her long for the pack and the hunt. The scent of blood in the air caught her attention at the same time the spark flowed forward, washing over her and engulfing her other self’s mind in a blanket of crimson that made the alpha bare her teeth.


She paused, disoriented as she felt their body react to her actions. Glancing down she realized that the other had faded into the backdrop of the nothingness pulled away by the spark and she chuckled, the sound rising into a whooping laugh as her eyes fixed on the combatants before her.


The undead one that was her guardian was battling with a human that did not smell completely human but that stank of old blood....the blood of countless demons and the alpha’s lips pulled back as one of the humans at her side brushed her fingers against their skin.


The human was speaking but as she glanced up at the alpha’s face she froze, face paling in a way that made her crimson hair stand out more and the alpha took a step closer, fingers curling into claws as she imagined ripping the human’s throat out and bathing in blood that would be the same color as the hair on her head. She was mere inches away from the retreating human when an image from the other’s mind flashed before her eyes. It was the human, her other self and a child, huddled in a group as they whispered secrets, their fingers entangled and the alpha could feel her other self’s love for both humans, though the feelings attached to the smaller boy was tinged with guilt, regret and such soul-wrenching grief that it made the alpha’s heart hurt.


Shaking her head she pulled their body back from the redhead, who was pack and as much of a sister to the other as the alpha’s siblings had been to her.


Spinning she refocused on the blonde fighting her guardian. The other’s mind was muddled when it came to this one, she was tied into the grief for their lost packmate and something else...something like anger and want but there was not enough emotion to make this human pack and the alpha’s lips curled into a cold smile as the girl hit the floor, skidding backwards to bump against their feet.


The human seemed unaware of the danger at her back as she stumbled upright even as the guardian paused and the alpha knew that their guardian had seen the light in her eyes, she could feel the spark embedded beneath his skin reaching out to her, calling for her to run and hunt, to rip and plunder. The other’s mind stirred at that but she quickly quieted it as the call for the hunt grew louder in their ears, the pounding of drums blotting out the human’s cry of surprise as the alpha wrapped their fingers around her neck, leaving her dangling as she batted at their hand.


“Xander....” the human croaked but the alpha paid her cries little attention, ignoring the yells from her packmate as she held the eyes of her guardian, waiting for him to make a tell her yay or nay, this was her guardian’s hunt after all and the alpha knew better than to cut in without his permission. He was not yet part of her pack and yet she knew him on a level that went deeper than made her conflicted and her emotions had bled through into her other self’s actions. Pressing forward one moment and then retreating when the guardian pursued them but now she would stand her ground and wait for him to choose.




Spike eyed the spectacle in front of him, he was sure that the Slayer wasn’t expecting this....hell, he hadn’t been expecting it but Spike was used to rolling with the punches and this opportunity was one that he couldn’t pass up. Taking a step closer, his eyes darted to the redhead who was watching the whole thing with tears in her eyes but at least the chit wasn’t stupid enough to try and attack Xander. Spike had noticed the boy heading in her direction before turning away and he could only guess that the hyena had identified her as a packmate or else she would have been in the same predicament as the Slayer, if not worse. After all, Slayers weren’t fully human, a fact that their watchers usually tried to keep under lock and key, she could take much more damage than a human could and at the minute Xander didn’t seem to be about to rip her throat out so Spike was going to have some fun with the whole thing.


It didn’t do to let the others forget that he was evil.


The boy cocked his head, emerald eyes following Spike as he took another step closer but Xander held his ground, a curious rumble sounding in the silence that had settled over the club.


“Looks like you’ve caught yourself a pretty, mate.” Spike started, bobbing on his toes. “Whatcha plan to do with her, then?”


Xander snorted, shaking his head as if he was trying to dislodge a particularly annoying fly. “Hunt?” he asked and Spike smiled at the child-like quality in his voice, so like Drusilla in her more lucid moments. Spike really needed to examine the fact that he kept getting attracted to less than sane people though Xander was definitely a step up from Dru....mostly, though considering some of the things that the teen babbled about Spike wasn’t going to stake his reputation on Xander’s sanity.


“Yeah, you hunted her down, fair and square, luv.” Spike whispered, trailing his hand along the one that still held the Slayer’s neck, meeting the blonde’s eyes with a smirk as he circled Xander. “But now that you’ve got her, what are you gonna do?” Spike purred, grinning when Xander leaned towards him as he plastered himself against the boy’s back. “Gonna bash her pretty head in? Or are you gonna rip her up and play in her blood?” he queried, ignoring the gasp of shock from the redhead as the scent of Xander’s arousal clouded the air.


The boy tilted his head so that he could meet Spike’s eyes. “Your hunt?” he asked, brows furrowed as he waited for Spike’s response.


“Yeah was my hunt but the bint is your friend and you ain’t gonna be all that happy if you gut matter how much I want to.” he added petulantly, pressing his lips to Xander’s heated skin. “You’d better let her go, pet.” he prodded and no sooner were the words out of him mouth than the Slayer hit the floor as the boy opened his arms and spun, latching onto Spike like a limpet, green eyes staring into his and Spike shivered as magic crawled across his skin.


“Guardian.” the teen muttered, ducking his head to nuzzle at the soft skin at Spike’s neck. “My guardian?”


“Been your guardian for a while now, luv.” Spike responded and it was like the words had cut the threads holding the boy up because he slumped in Spike’s arms and it was only Spike’s quick reflexes and supernatural strength that kept Xander from taking a nasty tumble.


Hoisting the boy into his arms Spike glanced down at the Slayer who was staring at him in awe.


“You didn’t let him hurt me.” she spat, her expression fading from shock to confusion. “You could have...he was listening to everything you were saying. The books said you liked mind games and this would have been the ultimate win for you, turning Xander against his friends.”


Spike cocked a brow. “Just cause you know my name and some things that some wanker has written about me, doesn’t mean you know me, Slayer.” he growled, turning away from the two and heading towards the door. Behind him he could hear the two hurrying to follow and as Xander snuffled, nosing closer Spike grinned. The Slayer may have been too stupid to realize that she now owed Spike her life but he was damn sure that her Watcher was going to blow a gasket when she told him what had happened...just a few hours and now he had a Slayer in his back pocket because the pesky thing about the type of demons that shared blood with the Slayer was that they could be bound, all you needed was an act of charity and Xander had just given Spike the key to that particular bank.




The alpha resisted the pull from her other self for as long as she could, determined to stay with their guardian, to show him that she thought him worthy to be her mate but the other was strong and soon their struggle for power caused a backlash that forced them both into the nothingness. But instead of the familiar dark the nothingness was changed. A wide plain stretched before her, peppered with familiar trees and caves, it made the alpha tense because the other had never been able to change the nothingness and she didn’t know what it meant that he could so now.


The other was seated beneath the tree that in the same spot where they had devoured the foolish human who had tried to watch them, ignoring the warning from the tribes that knew that they were more than mere animals. The alpha sniffed the air but the other didn’t smell of anger or fear, he was just blank as he watched her with chocolate eyes.


“I’m guessing you’re the thing that’s been living in my head, huh?” the other asked and the alpha snorted. Of course she’d been living in his head, this was her body too. “I didn’t mean it like that,” the other assured her, before glancing away, picking at his sleeve and now he smelled like embarrassment. “Well, I did mean it before but....” he trailed off glancing at the cave and for the first time the other noticed the glow that surrounded the mouth of the familiar cavern. “There’s something in there you know. It’s not like you or me, it says it’s been here even longer but I couldn’t remember, it showed me everything. William and mother, it showed me us.” the other whispered and the alpha took a step closer as he bowed his head. “I didn’t want to be a monster. I didn’t want to hurt my mom or my friends but it’s says we aren’t a monster.” He breathed. “It told me that we were loved. That’s why she split us apart....”


The alpha’s head snapped up and she stared at the other....what did he mean she? Was it mother? Was she still......


The other shook his head. “It’s not really her, it’s like a ghost, a voice in your ear when there’s no one there and she’ll have to go soon but she wanted me to understand first.” he told her, climbing to his feet and she tensed as he took a step closer. She wasn’t afraid of him because whatever he could do to her, she could do to him as well.


The other dropped to his knees before her. “You’re the parts of me that I’m scared to know.” he smiled, his fingers tangling in the fur at her nape before moving upwards and she couldn’t stop the pleased rumble that echoed from her when he pressed his face to hers. “I want to know you now.” he told her and she laughed, the sound growing as the other echoed it, wrapping his arms around her even as the pulse of mother washed over them both.




“Where the hell are you going with him?!”


The Slayer’s voice made Spike roll his eyes, Xander was twitching in his arms and every so often he could feel the pulses of magic escaping his skin and curling in Spike’s chest like a warm kitten. The sensation had gone a long way to calm Spike as he gritted his teeth every time the Slayer opened her mouth and if she didn’t shut up soon he was going to slit her throat just for a moment of silence!


“Uhm, this is Xander’s street.” the redheaded one that the Slayer called Willow pointed out and Spike exhaled when that at least drew the bint’s attention.


If Xander was merging with the hyena the boy would need rest and familiar surroundings and Spike knew that Jessica Harris could provide both.


The closer to the house Spike got the more restless he became but he couldn’t see anything out the ordinary and the scent of Xander was so tightly wrapped around his senses that he couldn’t focus. The feeling lasted until he caught sight of the unfamiliar car in the Harris driveway. The scent of fear from within the house was sharp enough to draw Spike’s attention from Xander and the sound of faint sobs made his eyes narrow.


He stopped so suddenly that the Slayer almost ran into his back but he paid her little attention as he gestured for the redhead to come closer.


“Sit there.” Spike ordered and the girl dropped to the ground like he’d put a gun to her head. Lowering Xander Spike shifted so that the unconscious teen was leaning on the girl’s shoulder. “Don’t move.” he growled, turning towards the house.


The closer he came to the door the louder the scent of fear and the harder it was for Spike to keep his face human. Resisting the urge to just kick the door in, he knocked.


Someone shuffled behind the door but before the person came close an angry voice rang out.


“If that’s that piece of shit you call a kid, tell the brat he’d better sleep on that damn porch!”


Spike sucked in a sharp breath at the words but said nothing, knocking again and this time the door slid open slowly.


Jessica’s face was a battered expanse that made Spike see red and the tremors that shook her body had him yanking off his coat, pulling her out onto the porch so that he could drape it over her shoulders.


“That him?” Spike asked, gesturing towards the house and Jessica nodded.


“I was leaving, I knew he was angry and I was going to stay in a hotel with Xander tonight but Xander wasn’t here and I couldn’t just go....” she whispered, fresh tears streaming down her face. “He found the bags, said he’d kill me if I tried to go. He said he’d kill Xander.”


Spike’s vision flickered and he knew that his eyes had changed to the amber ones that struck terror into the hearts of his prey. “Go outside, Xander’s out there with his friends. I’m gonna get your bags....” he purred as he took a step inside but Jessica grabbed his sleeve.


“Hating someone is a human thing, just like loving them.” she murmured, her eyes hard as she met his. “But I hate him so much that I’d kill him in a moment, do you understand?”


Spike’s lips curled into a knowing smile. “I hear ya loud and clear, luv.”




Jessica watched as Spike stepped into the house, closing the door behind him before turning away and climbing off the porch. Every step made her limbs ache and the throb in her cheek was making her eyes water...that had to be the reason for the tears on her face because she wasn’t going to cry for herself, she wasn’t going to let Tony Harris win and she hoped that when the end came that Tony was terrified. She hoped that the fear he experienced was crippling, enough to make him forget who he was but not enough to wipe out all the things that he’d done to deserve his fate.


Holding her head high Jessica joined the teens on the sidewalk as the lights in her house went out and when the blonde girl made to go after the vampire Jessica stopped her. “Do you know that once I loved my husband?” she whispered, watching the way the girl’s eyes widened as she took in the bruises on her face and Jessica wondered if she’d cry if she saw the marks that her clothing hid? “I can hardly remember what it felt like....” Jessica continued with a small smile. “But I do know how it felt to fear hate him. Now Xander has explained that it’s your duty to protect the weak and innocent from the things that hide in the night but Spike? He’s protecting us from the monster that not even you could see.” she finished, turning away from the girl.


Jessica frowned when she noticed that Xander wasn’t merely leaning on Willow but slumped against the girl, eyelids closed though Jessica could see his eyes moving behind the thin layer.


“He’s ok....or I think he’s ok. Spike didn’t say there anything wrong with and yeah Spike’s the bad guy but he’s really good for a bad guy and I don’t think he’d let us just sit here of Xander wasn’t ok....” Willow babbled as Jessica shifted her son so that he was lying against her, head in her lap and from what she could see he appeared to be ok, if a little hot and whether the girl knew it or not, Willow was right. Spike wouldn’t let any harm come to Xander.


The thought made her pause, glancing back at the dark house and for a moment she thought she could make out a darker shadow through the windows but it was probably her imagination.




Tony Harris was not in a good mood. He’d been enjoying his week away from his wife and her brat when he’d met a gorgeous blonde who claimed that she went to school with Jessica....said her name was Dana or Darla, Tony wasn’t sure but the woman had been surprised that Jessica was married. Apparently some guy had been spending a lot of time at Jessica’s and she’d been about to move in with him.


The alcohol in Tony’s stomach had turned sour as he listened to the woman and he’d barely stopped himself from calling her a liar because a woman as pretty as she was probably didn’t need to lie, all she had to do was clip her fingers and men would be falling over themselves to do what she wanted. If it had been another day Tony would have been one of those men but he had to act the part of the concerned husband and any husband who thought their wife was cheating would head straight home to confront her. That’s exactly what he’d done.


Jessica obviously hadn’t been expecting him....the bags strewn around the living room said that much and the look of shock on her face when Tony stepped through the door made him see red.


Tony’s lips twisted into a pleased smile as he remembered the way she’d begged and crawled after he was done with her. He let the bags stay, let her see the evidence of the freedom that she’d never have because she was his and that screw -up of a kid was going to help him drive that message home even if he didn’t know it. Tony had noticed the way that Jessica spoke back to him, stood up to him like she didn’t owe Tony everything, like he hadn’t wasted his life staying with her and her brat. But Tony knew just how to fix that. The kid was Jessica’s weak spot and he was going to make sure she understood what would happen if she even thought of leaving him again.


Snorting he glanced at the door but he couldn’t hear a word. He was just about to get up and see what the idiot was up to when the door clicked shut and soft footsteps headed further into the house.


“Get me a beer!” he yelled after her, resettling in his chair.


There was no response but Tony was used to Jessica’s silence when she thought that he was in a bad mood and he’d bet that those shiners on her face had clued her in as to what kind of mood he was in...stupid bitch. He should have stayed with the blonde at the bar, at least that way he’d probably get to sleep with someone that didn’t annoy him.


The silence stretched on and Tony gritted his teeth. If Jessica made him have to get up she wouldn’t like what would.....


His thoughts trailed off as the house went dark.


“Didn’t you pay the fucking light bills, you dumb whore?! To busy fucking your little friend, I bet!” he snarled, getting to his feet and lumbering towards the kitchen. “Could have still been at Lenny’s but I had to come home to sort your nasty ass out and now I’m stuck in the fucking dark.” he muttered, feeling along the walls until he got to the kitchen. “Jessica, where the hell are you?!”


There was a flicker of light and Tony turned towards it, freezing when the flame illuminated a pale face that sure as hell wasn’t Jessica. Yellow eyes were fixed on his as the man brought the flame up to his cigarette, exhaling a breath of smoke that curled in the light before vanishing as the man shut his lighter with a click, plunging the room back into darkness.


“Looking for somebody, mate?”


The voice was much closer than the man had been a second ago and Tony spun to face it, fists clenched as he waited for the man to attack. “Who the fuck are you?”


“Just a concerned citizen....” the voice purred from right in front of him and Tony swung his fist but met nothing but air. “That wasn’t nice, now was it?” the man tssked and Tony hissed when something sharp sliced into his neck, stepping back he rammed his elbow into his attacker’s stomach but even though it was a solid hit the man didn’t make a sound and Tony took a step back as cool breath ghosted across his skin. “Try again, mate.” the man whispered at the same time something slammed into Tony’s chest sending him flying through the air. He crashed into what felt the TV table and the small structure gave way beneath his weight, sending him tumbling to the floor, splinters digging into his skin as he tried to regain his footing.


“What do you want?!” he spat and the man laughed, the sound cold and for a moment the lighter flickered again. The tiny flame illuminated something Tony had only seen in horror flicks, the man’s face seemed to bulge like there was something crawling beneath his skin, hardening into ridges while his amber eyes glowed bright, catching the flame from the lighter. His smile changed too, human teeth giving way to vicious fangs and Tony couldn’t stop the scared gasp that escaped him at the sight.


“Me? I want a lot of things. I want world peace.....” the thing paused before snorting. “Yeah that one’s a fucking lie. All I want, mate, is to fuck and feed and you really ain’t my type. Now two guesses what that means and the first one don’t count.”


“You’re going to kill me, aren’t you?” Tony whispered in a moment of absolute clarity and the thing’s lips stretched into a cruel smile.


“See, I knew you weren’t that stupid.” it replied as the flames flickered out. “You and I are gonna have a great time.”