He looked younger while he slept. Less a man and much more a boy. Lost boy, why are you crying? There had always been nightmares, before. Good dreams, too, where he woke up hard and hungry and slipped out to demon-girl’s place for a bit before work. But more often the nightmares. Tossing and curling up into a tight little ball, alone and afraid from the images in his mind. Murmurs and tears escaping a mask of I-can’t-hear-you and I’m-not-really-here, you-can’t-see-me.
There were no nightmares, now. Just deep, even breathing, childlike in his trust of the arms that held him. I could hurt him, now. Slip in, drain him an’ make him mine forever.
He’d never taken a Childe before. Minions, yes, fledges by the dozen to make sure he and Dru were properly taken care of. Never a Childe, though, someone to share conversations and memories, to make new memories with. It had never been a need of his. Drusilla had been jealous of his attentions elsewhere, and had filled his mind such that playing the father to some innocent vamp held little appeal.
He was the Sire in their happy home, to all but Drusilla herself. Her whims were immediately catered to, no matter how they clashed with his own. To the rest, though, he was the one who handed out orders, punished transgressors, generally making all the decisions. He was the Lord of their little court, and only his Lady held any sway over his actions.
Creating a fledge was like hiring on a servant, marking them as slaves, and ensuring the little things that held neither time nor inclination would be dealt with by someone else. Creating a Childe was an act of procreation. Newly risen Childer were stronger and smarter than most minions but still very weak and innocent. They had to be trained, taught, coached and coaxed into becoming something more than a two-legged animal.
His own training had been—interesting. Angelus had needed him to be intelligent and capable, since he was Drusilla’s protector and nursemaid. Drusilla had needed him to be observant and caring, her provider as well as her lover.
Angelus had used pain and humiliation to achieve his goals. Drusilla had used pleasure. Any pain at Drusilla’s hands had been mutually acceptable to both.
One taught him how to be powerful, the other taught him how to be devoted. No question which method he was using with this delightful human who slept in his arms. And it wasn’t because of the chip. Pain could be useful and he did want to introduce the boy into a bit of pleasurable pain—mm, smacking that bottom rosy and the fucking him while he still felt the sting—but pain was not conducive for inspiring devotion.
Xander would make a magnificent Childe. Give him a bit more in the way of viciousness and capacity for violence with the demon inside him. . .the damage we could do, drinking and fucking our way wherever we wanted. Focused solely on my pleasure, my whims. . .
I know, lets brood about the things I can’t do anymore! Don’t think about biting the boy. Can’t do it, deal, move on.
The bulk of the day had been spent in teaching Xander. The boy was put through quite a work out, soaked with sweat and cum. He’d done just about anything Spike could think of that would give himself pleasure and Xander no pain. The boy had been compliant, almost eager to do what Spike wished—except once, when he had violently protested his instructions.
It wasn’t unexpected, and Spike already had a plan. Thought he’d balk lot sooner than he did, an’ not over rimming. Know he’s eaten out demon-girl. Reaching into Anya’s bag of tricks, he’d pulled out a cockring, the vibrator, and plenty of lube. He’d tied the boy to the bed, stroked him hard, made sure the cockring was snug, and then applied the vibrator and his own talented tongue on the boy. It was the first time Spike had done more than jerk him or finger him, and after only two minutes Xander had been incoherently thrashing. After fifteen, Xander couldn’t move, could hardly gasp out the words promising that he would never disobey Spike again.
He’d passed out from cumming so hard, that time. Spike had let him sleep, sure that he’d made his point. They’d get to rimming another time. Oh, yes, we will. Think I’ve proved just how good it can feel. The boy had been exhausted, and a phone call sometime before had informed them of a scooby meeting that evening at eight. Spike was not invited.
Like that’s stoppin’ me. Where my boy goes, I’m goin’. Snagging the phone, Spike read the number written on the back of it and made a quick call. Stroking warm, golden skin, he debated waking the boy with a hand job—and blue-white lightening sparked over his vision.
He growled, grabbing at his forehead. Fucking piece of government shit! Okay, right, the boy’s too sore. Forgot, humans can’t keep it up that long, can they? Well, there were other rewards beside orgasm. Right now, though— “Luv, wake up. C’mon, that’s right. Wake up.”
Xander looked up at him blearily, eyes not very focused. “Wassat?”
“C’mon, pet, we need to shower.” Spike didn’t have the problem of sweat, but he’d been liberally doused with cum—an’ even those humans would notice us smellin’ like a whore house.
“Don’ wanna,” Xander grumbled. Pouting, he curled against Spike, nuzzling his face into Spike’s crotch, still mumbling something about school and sleep.
Okay, this is pushin’ even vamp stamina! Spike thought incredulously as he hardened under Xander’s warm breath. Well, don’t look to get any tonight, so. . . sure, why not.
Leering, Spike hefted the boy up into his arms. Ignoring Xander’s shout of surprise, he carried him to the bathroom and turned on the shower. Pushing the boy under the water, he was still surprised when Xander washed him, first. Not that Spike was objecting. Dropping to his knees, the boy washed slim, muscular legs and looked up at Spike questioningly.
“A quick one,” Spike said, leaning back against the tiled wall. Xander nodded, moaning when Spike dumped shampoo in his hair—which vibrated against Spike, making him grin evilly. Then he gasped. God, he learns fast! Spike thought as Xander nipped at the head, before tonguing the slit fiercely. Much too quickly Spike froze and came.
Xander was humming when he got to his feet, ducking his head under the water. As soap streamed down his face and body, he gave Spike a sheepish grin. “I was hungry,” he said.
“Oh! Bloody hell.” Quickly finishing, they tumbled into their clothes moments before someone pounded on the outside door.
“Um, Spike? What the—why are you giving me my wallet?”
“So you can pay for the food, dolt.”
“What—” more pounding “—right, that food. You ordered me food?!” Spike ignored him, pushing him towards the door as he prepared a mug of blood for himself. A few moments later, Xander clomped back down the stairs and began pulling out little white and red boxes of chinese food. “I’m very frightened. I can say that, right? That I am very, very frightened?”
Next lesson: work on the bloody babbling. I had a century with Dru rambling, I do not need it from this one. Least it isn’t ’bout the blinkin’ stars. Spike closed his eyes. “An’ why are you asking me permission for that?”
Oh. Guess that wasn’t what he meant. Wide, wide brown eyes stared at him, jaw hanging slightly in shock. Faint traces of actual fear sifted through the air, and the boy unconsciously angled his body as if expecting a blow. “Um. I, ah, I have to ask you for. . . permission?”
“If you weren’t, why’d you ask what you did?”
“Cause you got me fried dumplings, moo shoo pork without the pancakes, and crunchy noodles.”
Spike sighed heavily. “This is bad because. . .?”
“Because these are things I like.” When Spike raised his eyebrow, Xander blushed and began fussing with his food. The fear-smell was disappearing—why’s that a good thing, again?—but the kicked-puppy look was still there. So was the please-don’t-hurt-me-too-much body language.
That bothered Spike. A lot. Chip, remember? Little piece of sodding hardware that clipped my short and curlies? The reason I’m living in the antechamber of hell, also known as Harris’ basement? I can’t hurt him!
So why’s he so afraid I will?
Hiding his suddenly dangerous thoughts, Spike rolled his eyes and snorted. “How many times the past week’ve you ordered from this place? An’ what else do I have t’ occupy my time with, ’cept the telly? Which, by the way, you should get cable for. I want cable. That Passions show is ruddy brilliant.”
An interesting mix of emotions crossed the boy’s face, beginning with a speculative frown and ending with frustrated annoyance at Spike’s very purposeful comment about Passions. Not that it wasn’t a good show, and he did want cable, but that wasn’t why he said it.
“Could you be more of a mooch, Spike?” Xander demanded—but it was habit-driven, and lacking the boy’s usual acidic wit. The fear scent was fading and—changing. This is old fear, somethin’ he’s learned t’ live with. Not of me, neutered though I am now. This is something deeper.
“What, you don’t want cable? Telly all crystal clear?”
“Why are you being so nice to me?” Spike tried to catch his eye, but Xander was staring resolutely at one plump dumpling. It didn’t matter, Spike knew what he’d see. He could hear it in that little, whispered voice.
He’s the boy, again. I shock him any more, an’ it’s back to being a puppy. Christ. It had to be now, when they were due to go to the Watcher’s? Where people would actually care if the boy was hopping at Spike’s feet, shaking his ass like he had a tail attached. Ohh, now there’s an image—no, later. Right. Boy’s bein’ a boy again—what set him of, then? What set him off last night?
At the time, he’d thought it had something to do with touching the boy. He remembered smelling humiliation and tears and had reacted the way Dru had always needed him to—smoothing away the bad memories, using words and touches to be here, instead of the bad places inside her mind. He hadn’t even thought about it, just calmed the boy and given him a bit of physical pleasure to ground him and encourage him.
An’ that’s when the boy appeared. The puppy came later—when he thought he’d done something wrong. Okay. M’not stupid, though only Drusilla ever thought so. What the hell is tying those two things together?
“Eat your food,” he said absently, still trying to puzzle it out in his head. Xander hesitated a moment, sneaking a glance up at him, before swallowing heavily.
Spike responded with a growl, angry at the defeated tone of voice. What? No, just don’t like being interrupted. Tone of voice? Oh, sod it all. “Eat your damned food, whelp. You’re supposed t’ be at the Watcher’s in half an hour.”
“Okay.” The boy ate quickly, shifting between extremely uncomfortably and shyly pleased. “You’re coming with me?”
Spike thought about making a horrible pun and decided against it. “You got a problem with that?”
“No. It’s just. . . Riley’s going to be there.”
“Slutty”—ooh, look at the puppy pretend he has teeth—“mean, Buffy’s new boytoy? Tall chap, looks like a damned corn stalk?”
“Yeah. Riley.” Xander did not like Buffy’s new flame, if the sullen set of his mouth meant anything. “He’s part of the Initiative.”
“Seen me before, hasn’t he?”
“He—he’ll report you. I know he will. Buffy won’t be able to protect you.”
Not even one full day I’ve made him mine. Less than twenty four hours, an’ he’s stressin’ over me leavin’ and meanin’ it. He’s afraid for me. “Boy. Slayer’s not gonna let anyone but her have the privilege of stakin’ me. She’ll have him so wrapped up he won’t care about li’l ole me. Don’t fret. I’m not leavin’ you.”
Xander still looked nervous, but nodded and finished inhaling his food. Spike chuckled; the boy consumed an enormous amount of food. Gonna have a time keepin’ him fed. Makes a nice change from Dru. Drusilla, who had to be forced to eat regularly, and would waste away to skin and bone if he wasn’t careful.
Much as he had loved his Dark Goddess, there were drawbacks with someone built like she was. He smirked as he remembered thrusting into the boy’s thigh, right along the groove of his hip. Dru had never like that position; she didn’t get any stimulation out of it, and the feel of a too-prominent bone hadn’t given Spike much pleasure.
With Xander, though, it been damned near perfect. Holding onto a shoulder that had some give to it, pulling one long leg up to create a warm, snug channel, listening as the boy begged to be used, to be treated like a toy, a living sex-toy who’s purpose was to make Spike feel so good. . .
The smell of his arousal, the feel of his dick just barely brushing against me as I moved, and not one hint of humiliation, shame, or anger. He likes bein’ my bottom-boy. Bet he would even without the thing in his head.
“You, um, ready to go?” Xander held up Spike’s now empty mug. Only when Spike nodded did he rinse it out and place it in the sink. “Giles didn’t sound too worried, so it’s probably just research or basic patrol,” Xander said as they exited the basement.
The night was cool, and felt good after the stuffiness of the basement. They walked along companionably for a while, but Spike could tell the boy wanted to say something.
Time for more lessons, then. “Plug still in?” Spike smirked—he could hear the blood rushing to the boy’s face. “You should take it out soon. Don’t want you t’ get too sore.”
The sound of carefully measured breathing mixed with normal night sounds. “Now?”
“Nah, at the Watcher’s.”
Xander missed a step. “At—Giles’? I—” Gulping, Xander forced himself to nod. “Okay,” he whispered.
Delicious. If he was stripped naked before his classmates, he couldn’t be more embarrassed. But he said he’d do it. No promptin’, no cajolin’, just ‘okay’. An’ he reeks of arousal. Oh, you are a nummy little thing, aren’t you?
He felt like dancing, caroling his joy to anyone who could hear. He hadn’t felt this good since the flaming chip had buggered up his life. Maybe not even since Angelus had stuck his fat arse back in Spike’s life. Before he screwed things up with Dru, before the Slayer was something other than a passin’ amusement. Back when I was the Big Bad.
Which led to a question he’d been fighting since he realized the extent of the chip’s control. What was he now? Vamps are sex an’ blood an’ violence. Got enough blood t’ survive, an’ the sex is startin’ to look bloody fantastic, but the violence? Don’t give a rat’s arse ’bout what Slayer and her Watchers think. Vamps need the violence. Know Angel craved it, s’why he helped Slutty patrol half the time, an’ it is why he was off his fuckin’ rocker when the soul got evicted.
No human blood, no violence. Yeah, sex, but that’s not gonna be enough without the rough stuff Dru an’ I did when we couldn’t hunt. Three things make a vamp, an’ I can barely do one of ’em.
So what the hell does that make me? An’ why do I think so damned much just when I was startin’ t’ feel—
“S-Spike?” The boy flinched, taking a step back when Spike whirled on him with a snarl.
Fear-scent slammed into Spike. He blinked, shifting out of game face when he realized that the boy was practically cowering, huddled in the shadow of a mail box. The low-level arousal that had hung in the air for the past week was gone, totally. Wiped out under a wave of pure terror.
He’s terrified of me, Spike thought dimly, wondering why that didn’t make him feel good. I can’t hurt him, an’ he’s terrified of me.
“Shh, pet, easy now.” Xander held himself completely still as Spike approached him, breathing shallowly. He jerked once when Spike touched him, but didn’t move away. Spike took that as a good sign.
“S-s-s—” Hesitant, desperate, and horribly frightened, voice so tiny and little that it was barely more than a whimper.
This is the boy who stood up to Angelus. More than once, whether or not the Slayer was there to protect him. This is the boy who has never backed down from a fight, not even when he was screamin’ like a girl. This is the boy who’ll match me, insult for bloody insult.
Terrified. An’ I can’t hurt him.
“Don’t talk, luv. S’alright now. That’s right, come here. . .” Grateful for the empty streets, Spike sank to the ground and gathered the boy into his lap. Cradling the larger frame, one hand twisted in hair that was becoming too long while the other petted a warm, cotton-covered stomach. “Hush, now, precious. Hush.”
Xander burrowed his body into Spike’s, desperate for—something. Spike wasn’t sure what. The boy was sniffing him, mouthing along his collarbone, even while his body trembled and shook uncontrollably. Spike kept petting, whispering reassurances.
It took several minutes for the boy to calm down. Not because the fear was so strong, no, that had abated to something tolerable once Spike had tried to calm it. The tremors had started when Spike began petting him. Not before.
Bloody hell. What is wrong with this boy?
“Better now, pet?” Xander had his face pressed into Spike’s chest, licking at the bit of skin above the shirt but below his neck. He never went there. Little moans and whimpers escaped as he sucked. Spike wondered if the puppy had taken over again. “Luv? Boy, look at me.”
Innocent eyes met his. The puppy. Bollocks. “Y-you were angry.” Well, ’least he can speak, even if he sounds like a bloody two year old.
“Not at you, I wasn’t. Just thinkin’ about the mess of my unlife.” Why the hell is he shrinkin’ back like—oh. “The chip, idiot. You were mine before soldier-boys decided t’ play god.”
“So, you aren’t angry?” The boy still sounded young and scared, but there was more Xander this time. Enough that by the time they got the Watcher’s, no one should notice anything unusual. “I didn’t—I didn’t do anything wrong?”
Spike knit his eyebrows together. “Wrong? You think you did somethin’ wrong?”
“You were angry,” Xander whispered, toying with the collar of Spike’s duster.
“Not at you. Said that.” The puzzle of Xander’s psyche went from two dimensional to three. What was going on in the boy’s head?
“Stop apologizin’. Git.” That’s what he’d been trying to say before, too. Not ‘Spike’, like he’d thought at the time, but ‘sorry’. Sorry I was mad? Sorry he did somethin’ wrong? Sorry he was afraid? Hells, he’s worse than Dru!
“Better now?” Xander nodded, pushing up into Spike’s hands. “Right then, come on. Gotta get to the Watcher’s.”
For a moment, Spike was certain that the boy was going to pout at him. It passed, and instead he was looking chastised and sheepish as he helped Spike to his feet. Spike let him, watching the slumped shoulders and unconsciously bared neck. Whatever that had been, it was better but not completely gone yet.
“Don’t forget to take the plug out,” he instructed when they were inches from the apartment. “In about an hour.”
Flaming brighter than the sunset Spike never saw, Xander knocked on the carved door.