Title: Mister Cellophane
Rating: NC17 for language, violence and smut
Spoilers: Up to beginning of Season Five
Warnings: hurt/comfort, Bloodplay, minor Scooby-bashing of a sort.
Summary: Umm, really hard to say without giving plot away. Everyone remembers how Xander was invisible in ‘Fear, Itself’ right?
Disclaimer: I don’t own Spike and Xander, Joss and other people and corporations do.
Author’s Notes: This…is odd. I got this bunny and it wouldn’t let go so I decided to write it for the Xander Ficathon for strchsr on Live Journal. She wanted blood and comfort but no non-con or spuffy. I really hope she liked this, cause I like this. So much so that it went from a ficlet idea into this monster length of a story. Please…let me know what you think. This fic starts after ADAM has been defeated but before Glory comes to town.
Should have been my name
'cause you can look right through me
walk right by me
And never know I'm there . . .
From Chicago the musical.
“Well, yeah, I would give anything to be able to turn invisible.
Well, I wouldn't use my powers to beat people up, but I'd use my powers
to protect the girls' locker room.” ~ Xander from Out of Mind, Out of Sight
“All right, which one of you lot are eating chocolate and not sharing with the vampire?”
“Shut up Spike, no one is eating chocolate! I think that chip has fried your brain worse than the peroxide.”
“Oh like Miss Clairol does you any better Slayer! Come on I know one of you do-gooders is holding out, I can smell it, vamp senses remember? It isn’t nice not to share with the class and all that.” Spike threw himself onto the Watcher’s couch and put his feet on the coffee table, much to the man’s displeasure. He loved getting the white hats riled up, they were too goody-goody to stake him, and it was something to do now that he had this fucking leash stuck in his head.
“Spike, I am quite sure we all care about sharing with you, and put your feet on the floor please before I decide a holy water foot bath is in order. And where did you put my glasses this time? I swear to god Spike you’re so childish, since you can’t kill us you’re going to annoy us to death by hiding our things.”
Spike stood up and faced the Watcher, he was tired of being accused of things he didn’t do. Not that he wouldn’t do it, evil here, but he’d admit it damn it.
“How many times do I have to say it Tweed Man? I don’t bloody well know where your glasses are, or Red’s spell book or the Slayer’s Mr. Pointy. If I did it I would say so! I admit to mugging the kiddies of their lunch money when they’re out at that hideous place you lot call a hang out, I admitted to helping ADAM, fuck I admit that the second this chip quits working I’m going to paint the walls in you lot’s blood. So if I’m going to do something so trivial and steal your bloody glasses I’d fucking well admit it!” By the time he was finished he was snarling in game face.
The witches had come out from snogging in the kitchen looking alarmed and ready to cast a spell and he could see the Slayer ready to start another game of pound on the helpless. Even the Watcher looked surprised at his anger.
And it wasn’t like he wasn’t a victim of whatever it was that took stuff around the Watcher’s house. Lost his favorite lighter, and a good knife. He’s maintained there was some sort of spirit haunting the place, except instead of cold spot Spike ran into warm ones.
Problem was he was the only one who noticed. He was the only one that heard whatever the fuck it was snickering, or felt the heat it radiated like a sun, or caught it’s scent. Like tonight, it was chocolate and salt and earth.
But did anyone listen to him? Fuck no. Just because he was evil. Well he was, and yes he’d lie but you think they’d at least give some thought to it. Ever since he’d come to the good guys for protection he’d sensed something, but they either didn’t believe or didn’t give a shit.
He turned to the door. “Fuck this I’m leaving. Get some other vamp to be your attack dog for the night!”
“You can’t leave Spike! We need someone for bait!”
“Fuck you and your ideas of me being bait Slayer. Wait, fuck yourself, I wouldn’t go after you with a twenty-foot pecker. Better yet why don’t you use your soldier boy as bait? Just because your four give me the odd bit of blood every once in a while you think I’m your pet. I may have a chip but I’m not tame. So the lot of you can go to hell.”
With that he left, making sure to slam the door on the way out. He might not be able to hurt the humans but he sure as hell piss them off by knocking pictures off the walls.
Later that night, while lounging in his crypt the scent is there again, more salt that chocolate this time. Whatever it is it wasn’t tied to the apartment the Watcher lived in because Spike had caught scent of it before.
“Who are you? Why are you hanging around that lot? Bloody well boring they are, if they aren’t killing something the bints are talking about school and boys. Can’t believe I hang around them. Maybe you’re like me, got nowhere else to go eh? Still wish you’d stop knicking things, I always get the blame.”
He stopped and listened and he could faintly hear the sound of laughter, as if it was being filtered through cotton. He got up and wandered around the crypt. Sure enough there by the door there was a warmer spot, and the scent was stronger.
Suddenly he heard a noise behind him and he turned around. There on his recliner was his lighter.
“Well guess that’s a start at saying you’re sorry. Can’t just talk to air though, should give you a name. But you probably have one already don’t you? Gonna tell it to me?”
He waited, straining his ears to hear anything. But the faint sound of laughter had gone taking the scent with it. He guessed he was alone.
“Fuck. Guess you’ll have to do with what I name you then, gonna call you Harvey. If you don’t like it let me know and we’ll find something else. And why the hell am I standing here still talking when you’ve gone? Could have said good-bye at least Pet. Next time steal the Watcher’s wallet will you?” He had raised his voice, hoping that whatever it was heard him.
He picked up his lighter and sat down, flicking it on and off to see if it still had fluid. Whatever it was wasn’t evil, just bored he would guess, bored and lonely. He could understand that, some nights he was so lonely he could tear his hair out. Couldn’t go play with the humans that well, too tempting. Wasn’t welcome to play with demons because he helped the slayer and her motley band.
And it was a pain in his undead arse to go and visit with the Scoobies. Most night he’d have to watch the Slayer and her boy toy go at it, and the witches being all cute and cuddly. He didn’t know how Rupert could stand it; you’d think the man would be grateful for having another bloke around. But no, he was treated either like a fucking child not old enough to be in long pants or like a rabid dog, sometimes both.
Yeah he could see how easy it was to get lonely. He’d sure like it if someone still would at least act like he was a threat, or snarked back. Maybe if he could find out who Harvey was. Had to be a clue somewhere. Weird spirits that were warm rather than cold didn’t just pop up. Maybe some snooping around the slayer’s groupies would help.
Making up his mind he got up to put on his duster. Something was in the pocket. A Chocolate Hurricane bar, something that was only sold in specialty shops anymore. He smiled to himself. Whatever Harvey was, he had good taste.
He found himself sitting at the counter, a cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows in front of him. He was lucky; Buffy was spending the night with her boyfriend. In fact the Slayer spent more time with her friends and her toy soldier than she did her mother, which was a bloody shame. Mrs. Summers was a lady to the tips of his fingers and was kind to anyone who needed to talk to her.
She reminded him of his own mother when she was healthy and able and was the one human he knew of that he’d would never hurt. In fact he came by the house a few nights a week to clear out the fledges that staked the house out hoping the Slayer’s Mother would be stupid enough to take out the trash at night. Wasn’t like Buffy did anything about it. And the woman was living alone.
“So what’s on your mind tonight Spike?”
They’d had their small talk; talk of the book she’s reading for her club or the latest gallery project. So now the only thing left was asking for information straight out.
“It’s like this Missus. There’s something hanging around the Scoobies. I can only sense it now and again but I know it’s real. I’ve tried to bring it up but they don’t listen to me. Do you know…know of anything like that?”
She sighed to herself and sat across from him, looking into her own cup of cocoa as if she was looking for an answer.
“Sometimes I hear things…footsteps or like the sound of someone singing to themselves but it’s so faded I can’t tell what. I think… I think its Xander. He used to be friends with Buffy and Willow but since last Halloween he hasn’t been around. Don’t tell Buffy but I’ve even gone to the graveyard looking for his headstone but I can’t find anything. It was like he was here one day and gone the next. I’ve asked but the girls and Mr. Giles just avoid saying anything really.”
Spike thinks back, remembers seeing brown hair and brown eyes staring hatefully at both him and the ponced-up version of his Grandsire when he first came to Sunnydale. They boy had smelled of fear but then again who wouldn’t be when in the grip of a master vampire and about to be handed to another.
But overwhelming that scent was the scent of anger, musky and sharp and he could almost hear the boy calling the older vampire an “undead liar guy.”
“Dark boy? More mouth and courage than sense?”
“Spike!” The woman reprimanded him and he found himself ducking his head in apology. “Xander was extremely brave and loyal to his friends. He used to do all of our yard work for me and wouldn’t take a dime, said he knew it must have been expensive for me to keep Buffy in clothes and to fix everything broken in the line of slaying. The boy needed money too, poor thing ate supper over here every once in a while and I swear I think he’d never seen a salad. From what little I could gather from him his parents were not the type to make sure he even ate, much less had a balanced meal.”
“So the boy was quiet then?”
“Xander, and no he could talk like you can fight. And yes I saw you out my window one night taking care of some of my…admirers, thank you for that. Xander could talk about anything and nothing just about, but he never talked about his home unless it was to make a quick joke about it. I met his Mother once in the supermarket. It was not the most pleasant experience I’ve had.”
Spike sighed and sipped at his cooling cocoa. The more he thought about his time before he was chipped the more he remembered about this boy, but he’d save that for later when he didn’t have anyone to talk to.
“Well I can’t help but wonder if it’s him.”
“I hope it’s not.”
He looked at the woman and saw she was serious. “Why not?”
“If he’d died and he’d just hanging around here, that would be sad wouldn’t it? If anyone deserved a reward it was Xander, he did more for me that he realized sometimes, especially when Buffy disappeared. Giles may have looked for Buffy, and Willow may have tried to reassure me she’d come back but it was Xander who told me the truth. Said he didn’t know if Buffy would come back or not but either way he’d be there for me. Sometimes…sometimes when I get that feeling when he’s here, you know like you know you’re being watched? Well I talk to him, tell him what’s going on with the girls or with my life. You don’t think that’s silly do you?”
“No Missus, I don’t. Was talking to the air earlier tonight. And your right if he was a white hat he should have moved on.”
“Will you…can you help him Spike? I’ve tried talking to Buffy but she gets so angry about it. I don’t even know how he died.”
Why should he try to help the spirit of some dead boy? Was just something to do? Maybe because they had something in common?
Or maybe because the one person, both living and undead that didn’t treat him like an idiot or mad dog had asked?
“I’ll figure something out luv, just you wait and see.”
A week later and Spike still hasn’t figured it out yet. As Joyce had said there were no stones in any of the graveyards with Alexander Harris listed. He’d tried to ask the white hats but they shoot him down every time. What’s odd is the scent he gets is anger and not sadness and if he died with his boots on why would they be pissy with the boy?
So he’d been trying to get information other ways, asking some of the fledges that were the right age to have known the boy. Not one of them knew what happened to him and what few memories they have were filtered through a demon’s point of view.
He’d been told the boy was a geek, a loser, a hanger-on, a leader, and a brave man for a human. One fledges even told of how the boy had tried to save her before she died, all on his own against four vampires. Not that she cared now, but what human memories she had were thankful to the boy.
He’d searched his own memories for Xander. Remembering the human when Peaches tried to fool him and use the boy as a decoy. How the boy fought by his Grandsire’s side even though he was pissed as hell. Course that was before he met up with the Slayer and got an ax upside his head courtesy of her Mum.
He remembered Halloween and watching the boy fight, arms bared and muscles flexing. Was a nice sight, too bad he wasted the night playing with the Slayer. Other memories, most of them while there was fighting going on and he had to admit the boy had balls. He’d called Angelus’s bluff at the hospital one night, while Spike was still trapped in that damned chair. It had been the first real laugh he had in weeks, the thought of a human boy making the great Angelus back down.
Tonight he was going to ask for him at home and see what kind of answers he got. He’d been watching the house he’d grown up in and can’t imagine anyone good coming out of that hellhole. Sure compared to Angelus and Darla the elder Harris’s were relaxed but for humans they were downright nasty.
He walked up to the front of the house. It looked normal from the outside, needed painting somewhat but not bad. Average house in an average neighborhood; but the sounds he’d heard while watching the place told a different story, one of alcohol and abuse and violence.
He knocked and listed to the sounds of a man dragging himself out of the chair he had collapsed in, heard the unsteady steps as he tried to make it to the door without falling. Even before the door opened Spike could smell cheap whiskey and beer and it was obvious the man was well and truly drunk off his ass.
“What the fuck do you want?”
Spike bit back a growl and tried to ask nicely. “Looking for Xander, met up with him when I was in the States last year and thought I’d look him up.”
“The little asswipe doesn’t live here anymore so fuck off.”
Charming human, nice how he cared about the fruit of his loins. “Where can I get in touch with him then?” Spike let the growl he was feeling out and the man flinched for just a second.
“Don’t know, don’t care. I don’t have to put up with the little shit anymore that’s all I care about, so buzz off faggot.”
A few minutes of discussion later and Spike was storming away from the house, lighting a cigarette and considering trying to use what little alcohol was in his flask to burn the place down with the Harris’s in it. Angelus might have beaten him six ways from Sunday but at least the elder vampire had cared in his own way. The human he’d just threatened with disembowelment really didn’t care about his son at all.
He felt like a complete and utter idiot but he was going to attempt to contact the spirit of the boy. Two weeks now since he’d set out to figure what had happened and all he knew was snippets of Xander’s life. Now he found himself sitting on the bed in his crypt with a fucking oujia board and a candle trying to talk to the little bugger.
Problem was he couldn’t let it go. He now remembered quite clearly the boy with brown eyes that sparkled and smelled of chocolate and sunlight and life. The boy was strong, had to be to grow up in that home, and brave and loyal and Spike thought he would have made a wonderful childe. He probably had a wonderful darkness under that white knight mentality.
It was sad, thinking that the boy couldn’t go on or even enjoy his unlife, or whatever it was he had.
He had run into the warm spot last night at the Slayer’s house, watched as one of the vampires attacking him tripped over nothing. After the fight he had made quite the arse out of himself talking to air and inviting the spirit over to chat, but it was the only thing he knew to do.
The scent of chocolate came to him once again and Spike heard faintly the sounds of someone climbing down the ladder in his crypt.
A few moments later and Spike found a warm spot that moved closer to him, not quite touching. Not that he was eager to touch, wasn’t polite to put one’s hand through someone after all.
“You’re Xander right mate?”
The pointer moved across the board and pointed to yes.
“Well I guess you know who I am, and why I’m trying to talk to you I don’t really know.” That wasn’t really true but it wasn’t like he was gonna declare his admiration to a dead boy now was he?
The pointer moved on it’s own, spelling out a word, J-O-Y-C-E.
“Well yeah, but it’s not like I’d do it just for her, not a nice vamp am I?”
He could have sworn he heard snickering. “Ha ha, very funny mate. Glad I can provide you with entertainment. You know those friends of yours keep blaming me for the crap you pull right?” No movement of the board but more laughter. It had a slightly insane sound to it, not much but like the boy was starting to go crazy from the lack of having a body to talk to.
He remembered the small amount of time he spent in the Initiative’s hands, alone and in the cell with no one to comfort or talk and he could understand somewhat. No wonder the boy went around stealing things from his friends, it was the only attention he got.
“Okay now, truth time mate. I want to know what happened? How did you die?”
The pointer moved around the board at a furious speed and suddenly Spike could scent the boy better than ever. Chocolate and salt and frustration and anger. He watched the pointer spelling words out.
“Not dead bleach job just not here”
Spike was confused, either the boy didn’t know he was dead or he was something else. “If you’re not dead then what are you?”
After of what seemed like hours of trying to tell him what happened the boy had given up, grew frustrated and Spike could smell more and more the acidity of salt and tears. Finally the boy had given the last message of the night, “Giles diaries” and had left.
For some strange reason Spike found himself even more lonely than before and feeling oddly bad for upsetting the boy that much. It was true he felt he had a lot in common with Xander from what little he knew of the boy. Maybe it was because he remembered so well what it was like to be ignored, at least Angelus had come by and taunted him while he was in that fucking chair.
After a few minutes of pacing and smoking like a freight train he put on his duster, gathered up the board and pointer and left. A few minutes later he was outside of the watcher’s house and was looking through the windows. Everyone was in but it looked like they were getting ready to go into battle. Good, that meant Rupert would be out as well and he’d be able to sneak in.
He waited till they had all gone and the street was quiet. He’d half expected the door to swing open all on it’s own but that he’d had to pick the locks. He made his way to the back of the living room where the Watcher kept his diaries locked up and picked the lock in the trunk as well.
All of the Watcher’s diaries were in there but he didn’t know where to start. He didn’t have time to sit and read all of them so he grabbed up the first one and set the board up so Xander could use it to talk.
“Xander? Mate you there?”
Nothing, no scent, no warmth, nothing. In fact the Watcher’s apartment felt as cold as his crypt and Spike realized how often he’d felt the boy’s presence there. Sighing he gathered up his things, grabbed the second diary and moved the others to cover the petty theft. He’d return them later and grab up the third.
He only hoped he’d learn something of use.
It takes him two days before he finds anything. Two days of reading script that’s too small in the dim light of his crypt. Of course the fact that Buffy burst in on him during the first day to beat him up for not helping enough set him back a bit, till the swelling in his eye went down.
The Watcher was precise, but unemotional in his recording. He noted the fact that Xander had to stake his best friend but not the probably mourning that followed. These are official Watcher Diaries after all, wouldn’t want their bloody council to known their people had feelings.
Spike had read how the boy had hated his poof of a Grandsire from the beginning and had laughed. He’d read how the boy had been almost eaten by first a giant mantis and then a mummy and how the boy had been possessed and almost taken the Slayer out and wished he could have seen that.
He would have loved to see the boy hunt; it had to have been a beautiful sight.
He’d read to the end of the two diaries, ending up where the boy, barely sixteen, had faced down Angel armed with nothing but a cross and forced the brooding vampire to help his own girl. Freaking coward. It was a sad day when a human boy had more balls than a Master Vampire, soul or no.
Still there’s no clue that he can see, but when he goes to leave to take them back suddenly Xander is there, tripping him.
“Damn it whelp! A little more warning eh? Whistle or something since I can’t bloody well see you!”
Again he goes to leave but there’s a tug at his duster. “What? There’s nothing in here about your…being gone! Damn it I looked!”
Before he can move again the books are knocked from his hands, spilling to the floor and he could hear the Watcher’s groan about mishandling books ion the back of his head. He watched, as the pages seem to flip by themselves before coming to a stop. He picks up the book, reading the entry.
“Whelp t his isn’t about you, this is about that…” Spike realizes then what has happened. “Invisible girl. You’re invisible aren’t you?”
He heard nothing but can almost taste the sadness radiating off the boy.
Spike dug out the last bottle of Jack he had and wasn’t it odd to see the bottle float all by itself as the boy had his share. But if anyone deserved to get roaring drunk it was Xander. As far as he could figure out for some strange reason the Hellmouth had fucked him over eve worse than that Marcie bint, his friends couldn’t even hear him. And it seemed they didn’t even notice when he moved their stuff.
Add to that he didn’t even get to go to his own funeral, no one had cared he was missing. Not his parents, not his so called friends, and the girl he had hooked up with left town right before he faded out so even she wasn’t around to miss him.
And Spike couldn’t help but wonder if anyone would notice he was missing if it happened to him. Probably not.
They don’t talk much, mostly because after a few drinks Xander is too drunk to spell. Still Spike finds himself in the odd position of wanting to comfort the boy but not knowing what to say.
So Spike offers the only thing he can. He finds the boy in the dark and can now feel the warm body and smooth skin. Drags him into his lap and rocks him like he used to Dru when she was upset and pretends he doesn’t feel the shudders racking the too-thin frame.
Spike growled as he was thrown against a headstone, the demon he was fighting hadn’t even been phased by his best kick.
It had been a month since he’d figured out what had happened to Xander. While the boy hadn’t gone totally round the bend like that Marcie girl, he wasn’t right either. There are times when Spike can hear him and even then he didn’t talk much, as if he’d forgotten how because he had no one to talk to.
The first thing that Spike had done was moved the boy into his crypt, for safety reasons of course. He’d been living in the ruins of the old school, and that proved he wasn’t all right in the head. Only someone who was touched would live directly over the Hellmouth.
The biggest problem with the boy had led him back to the Scoobies, hat in hand once again. Despite being invisible the boy was too much of a good guy to steal unless he had to. That meant for months the boy had been living off of what he could scrounge from dumpsters and bins and by the time he came to live with Spike he’d been rail thin.
He wouldn’t even eat food if Spike stole it, which was damned inconvenient. In the end Spike had swallowed his pride and called his Grandsire to release his family funds that had been put aside when Angelus actually gave a damn about him. Which led to helping out the sodding Scoobies once again. But it had been worth it listen to the scrawny boy eat damn near two pizzas before falling into a deep sleep now that Spike could hear him half the time.
Spike picked himself off the ground and charged the demon just as Buffy finally came out of her hiding place to get in the fight. Once again he was thrown like a rag doll and Buffy wasn’t doing much better. The two witches were doing their best but whatever it was they were fighting was armor plated and magick seemed to bounce right off. The Watcher had gone down with another head wound and it looked like the slayer’s toy couldn’t even keep up.
In short they were getting their arses kicked royally.
The first time Spike realizes that Xander is there is when invisible hands help him up and for a moment Spike faces a blinding fear for the boy. He couldn’t see the whelp, which meant he couldn’t protect him.
“Fire Spike, use fire!” The boy is shouting to be heard, usually he fades out worse around the white hats and Spike knows this invisibility has more to do with the boy’s head and self-esteem than just physics.
Still Spike doesn’t hesitate when the boy shoves a dried branch at him; in fact he goes directly for his lighter and sets it to flame before approaching the demon again. He waits till the Slayer has been thrown to the ground, partially so he doesn’t burn her but he can’t help the surge of absolute glee that fills him seeing her nearly unconscious. As soon as he has a clear shot though he shoves the branch at the demon’s face.
The demon roared and reared back. Spike used his speed to keep the fire in it’s face, and the suddenly the demon was collapsing, the armor around his head had softened from the heat. Finally the Slayer woke up enough to be of use and came over, using her stake to kill the thing but not before getting burned.
“Ouch Spike that hurts! Enough of the pyromaniac impression, it’s dead now. Fire bad, remember?”
Spike rolled his eyes; the girl could be so dense sometimes. “Yeah, yeah fire bad, especially for vampires. But fire is a good thing when it kills the sodding demon that’s waltzing all over us!”
“Buffy? Are…are you okay?” Red comes over to check on the Slayer’s bruises and Spike fades to the edge of the cemetery.
Now that the fight was over the bloody white hats would check everyone but him for wounds and comfort and congratulate each other without even looking at him. It’s times like these when he knows exactly what made Xander invisible; it’s hard to be seen in this lot when everyone is looking to her Blondeness.
He wants to light a cigarette but he can’t because the boy coughs from them, too much time sleeping where he can outside, and he can feel Xander behind him. He’d roll his eyes if it wouldn’t draw attention. An invisible boy hiding behind a vampire just because he was afraid of his old friends. Still it was nice to feel invisible fingers clutch at his duster, using it as a lifeline.
He watched as the witches bind the Slayer’s arm, a sprain only, and help the Watcher sit up. The former soldier boy had a limp, and Spike chuckled to himself. The man hadn’t even gotten the injury from fighting he’d tripped in an empty grave. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer Nazi.
“Giles, are you going to be okay? Do…do you need a hospital or something? Riley?”
Suddenly Spike couldn’t take it anymore, their convenient memory that let them forget he’d helped making him bitter and angry.
“In case anyone gives a damn I’m fine thanks for asking. Despite the fact that I met a headstone or two intimately. Is that is for tonight? Cause I’ve got places to be that isn’t with you lot.”
“Aww, does Spikey have a date? With someone that isn’t brain dead like Harmony? Right, like I’d believe that. You don’t have any friends even.” The Slayer’s voice is sarcastic and skitters down his backbone like nails on a chalkboard.
“Buffy let’s not fight…Spike did help.” Red, always the peacemaker, except this time he’s not feeling like being condescended to.
“Fuck ‘help’ Red! If it wasn’t for me finding out about the fire thing we’d be pieces in this bloke’s digestive tract right now!” He snarled at the shy girl and enjoyed the flinch before he turned his gameface towards the Slayer. “And for your information girlie I have a friend who is a fucking lot better than you people are! He actually gives a rat’s ass about me and I care about him. Unlike you ungrateful lot!”
“What? What’s that supposed to mean Spike?”
“What I just said Watcher! You lot don’t even care that one of your own has been missing for months! You know Slayer your Mum, she worries about Xander, and she’s the one who started me looking for him. Has even combed the graves looking for his resting place.”
He realized then he’d gone too far; the Slayer had that hard look around her eyes like she was about to try and stake him again. But he still doesn’t regret it because it’s the fucking truth and she didn’t even know it, didn’t care! He dismissed Riley and Tara with a glance, they never knew Xander before. It’s Willow, Buffy and Giles that he looks at in distaste.
What made it worse is that he could feel his boy behind him, shaking. He’d promised not to tell them, Xander didn’t want their pity and he didn’t want their friendship if it wasn’t real. Which made Spike even angrier, to know that his boy had been following this lot out of misplaced loyalty all this time.
“What the hell do you know about my Mother Spike? Have you been pestering her, cause if so I swear to god I’ll stake you chip or no chip!”
“Not bothering Slayer, I visit. Have cocoa in your kitchen, keep the fledges from having the Missus for a snack if she has to go out nights. Not like you care, you’re never even there. I thought after psycho-slayer came to visit you’d spend more time with her but you haven’t. Still haven’t answered our question though, what happened to Xander?”
Three voices arguing fill the graveyard but it’s the Slayer’s that has Spike snarling, ready to kill. Pain flashed through his skull just thinking of what he’d like to do to the stupid bint. He fell to his knees and could feel Xander rubbing his back, trying to soothe him.
But it was the feeling of hot tears on his neck that made him get himself together.
He stood up and looked at everyone. They had all fallen silent at the sight of him roaring at Buffy’s statement.
“You know Slayer, from what I know of the boy, and I’ve found out a lot looking for him on behalf of your Mum, is that Xander Harris has never been a coward. I remember the great Angelus coming back from a hospital roaring mad because a human child had bigger stones than he did, so I know what I’m talking about.”
“Then why did he run out on us last Halloween? One minute he was there the next he was gone, we looked around after we killed the fear demon and he wasn’t there.”
Spike felt a jolt of pity for these ignorant people, they’d missed out on a lot by not thinking better of Xander. He turned to leave, his boy a constant heat source at his back and Spike had to fix him, keep him from crying over these idiots any more. He started walking back to his, their, crypt, throwing a last comment over his shoulder.
“I don’t know Slayer, it is the Hellmouth after all. Perhaps something happened to him eh?”
“Shit Spike! Why did you do that! I didn’t need to hear again that they think I’m a chicken; I’ve heard it all before! And Buffy was about to kill you for talking about her Mom! You should just leave it alone it’s not important, I’m not important.”
They had walked back to the crypt in silence and Spike was glad to hear the tirade because that meant Xander was still with him mostly. He hadn’t been shocked further into himself till Spike couldn’t hear or scent him like the boy had been at first.
But that didn’t mean Spike had to like what the boy said. He walked around the sleeping area of his crypt till he found the corner the boy had retreated to, found his arms and shook him lightly.
“Don’t you ever fucking say that! It’s important to me because it is hurting you! And you are important to me! Fuck it all Xander you are one of the most brave, loyal, kind, smart people I know of! A lesser person would have gone insane with what you have to deal with! You’ve got me, Master Vampire paying for his cigarettes and smoking them outside out of kindness to you so that says a hell of a lot about how good you are! Those tossers aren’t worth the spit it would take to shine your shoes! If they could see your shoes. Don’t know why you haven’t just up and left the Hellmouth and left them to their fate and I don’t know why you followed them around like a little puppy, but you are better than they are! Don’t ever think you’re not!”
He could feel the boys heat and hear his heartbeat speed up. Feel the breath ghosting over his shoulder from where the boy was standing looking over it.
“Wasn’t following them.”
“No Pet? Then why were you at the Watcher’s all the time? I could feel you there.”
A small voice, so faint that for a moment Spike was worried the boy was fading out again.
“What was that whelp?”
“I said…I was following you.”
“Me?” Spike finds himself mostly speechless. That has happened more and more this past month, this human boy he can’t even see has made some observation that has stunned him with it’s clarity. Seems being invisible gave one a lot of time to think about life and how it worked.
“Yeah, I was…I kinda felt sorry for you at first, when the gang took you in with the chip and all. Then I realized you probably wanted pity even less than I did. And they just…treated you like an animal, it wasn’t right.”
The boy’s soft voice made him remember made him think back to when he was chained in the bloody bathtub and still had nightmares of white coats drilling into his skull. He would wake up smelling his own blood sometimes, even though he wasn’t in there anymore, wasn’t bleeding.
He remembered times when it seemed there was a soft voice, telling him he was safe, and warm hands rubbing his back.
“It was you, you’re the one who helped me after they…you’re the one who left the key where I could find it that night I was so bloody hungry I was biting myself in desperation. It was you…”
Spike couldn’t talk, and couldn’t see this lovely boy who’d cared about a soulless monster enough to try and comfort him. He reached out, found his shoulders and used his fingers, followed the line of them up Xander’s neck, stopping to feel the boy’s pulse racing. Moving up to feel the heat of the blush, using his fingertips like a blind person was to see Xander’s face. Feel the eyelashes flutter.
He cupped the side of the boy’s face and Xander leaned into it, nuzzling like a cat and Spike could hear the sigh, smell the pheromones beginning to fill the room from the simple touches. He used his thumb to trace lips that parted just slightly before leaning in, meeting those lips with his own and kissing them gently at first only to be met with a passionate heat from his boy as he opened his mouth and groaned.
Invisible hips thrust forward and Spike thrust back, thrilling in the feel of the hard cock covered in denim. Their tongues met and Spike closed his eyes, enjoying the feel of the two muscles slipping and sliding off of each other, their teeth grazing every once in a while.
Finally they had to stop, Spike could hear his boy’s lungs laboring for air. He walked backwards, bringing them to the bed and sitting down, dragging Xander so the boy was sitting in his lap.
“Xan…Xander, I can’t tell you how bloody important you are to me.”
“Why? You can’t even see me.”
“I can see you Love. I can see your soul and it’s beautiful. Coming from a vampire that’s saying a fucking hell of a lot. I can see you and you’re mine. And one day, one day I’ll fix it so everyone else can see you too.”
Three months with Xander, two of them as lovers and it was the most wonderful thing Spike could imagine. Sometimes, when they’re making love it’s almost as if he can see Xander’s outline. It’s as if Spike is filling the boy with love, making him whole, making him real.
And Spike does love him, as much as any demon can love a human if not more. He’d kill for his boy, in fact has plans to visit his parents first thing when the chip stops working. He’d die for his boy. Which makes what’s happening right now all the worse.
He’d gone out, gone to buy food, and chocolate for his boy, and ran into some of the leftovers from the Initiative. Boys playing soldier still that remembered that he was Hostile 17. He’d been beaten till even his strong constitution couldn’t take anymore and he was on the ground in the alley, trying to roll away from the worst of the kicks.
What makes it worse is the fucking chip firing, even when it’s the humans that are hitting because one broke his knuckles and another hurt his knee while kicking his stomach. Add to that the fact that at first he’d tried to defend himself Spike felt like someone had set fireworks off in his head and the pain is incredible.
As the darkness fell across his vision he hoped with his last thought that his Xander didn’t think he gave up on the boy too.