“It’s nothing,” Angel called over his shoulder, pace quickening.
Which was of course a giant red flag. Or maybe that was dinner bell. Something that stood up and waved it’s arms around going ‘Me! Me! Pick me!’.
Xander jogged until he caught up, one hand still absently rubbing his neck. He was going to have bruises there, and on his chest, but those were at least easier to hide. “So, Sire,” he prompted as Angel obligingly slowed down. The vampire was so predictable in some ways, and Xander took advantage of every one. “What’s a Sire?”
“I should’ve let Spike eat you,” Angel muttered, stopped completely, and glaring at the helpless asphalt.
It was so easy to joke when Xander knew Angel wouldn’t ever really hurt him. Sort of. Maybe. Um? “Nah, then Buffy would’ve been pissed at you.”
“A Sire creates another vampire.”
Vague synonyms floated through his adrenaline-soaked mind. “Oh, gross. That better not mean what I think it means!”
Angel shook his head, still unable to meet Xander’s eyes.
“Okay, I can deal with you grabbing me like was a child and using me as bait because, well, you’re a vampire. You’re evil like that.”
“Don’t finish that because this Spike guy never laid a hand on me.”
The anger cracked out harshly, Angel visibly surprised when the affable, goofy mask dropped. Shock and realization, right on schedule.
“What’s a Sire, Angel? I’d like to know what I almost died for.”
The silence after that statement was thick and heavy, but Xander let it hang. Angel wasn’t going to run away, not now, and he could patient when he needed to be. The cut on his leg itched.
“You know how vampires are made? We drain humans until their almost dead, then feed them our blood to bring them back. A Sire is the one who did the draining and the feeding.” An odd lilt colored Angel’s voice, not quite a full on brogue but Xander had heard enough movies with Irish accents to place it when he heard it. “Sire is the closest thing a vampire has got a parent.”
“So you made Spike.”
“I did. In a manner of speaking.” When Xander just folded his arms, Angel sighed. “Dru—another vampire I Sire’d—wanted a play toy. I allowed it. But bein’ a Sire is more than just the turning, it’s also the training. Dru couldn’t do that.”
“So you did.”
“Yeah. I did.”
Xander let his hands fall back to his sides, shaking his head in wonder. “Wow. Really, Angel, is there anything you aren’t responsible for?”