Of Shadows and Silence – Chapters 6-10

Chapter Six: Silence in All Things
Summary: Someone gets trapped in memories and another someone gets what they deserve
Rating: R, possibly NC-17


Spike jerked the steering wheel, sending the car screeching around the corner. Beside him Druscilla sat stiller than a statue, her normally mercurial nature calmed and focused on one point: getting Xander back. The death and destruction they had caused in the hotel did little to satisfy their rage and Spike had a feeling only dusting Angel would. He slammed the car to a stop when they reached Angel’s office and looked over at Dru.

“Daddy mustn’t drift away tonight,” she said solemnly, turning dark eyes on him. “He still has games to play, but we can play our own if we’re careful.” Her face shifted into its demonic form as she slipped out of the car.

Spike followed her up the sidewalk, almost calmed by the thread of growls falling from her lips. He watched with a smirk as she forced the door open, startling the brooding vampire on the other side. He moved toward Angel, ignoring Dru as she blocked the room’s other occupant.

“Where did you send the boy?” he yelled, grabbing the larger man by the throat and throwing him into the wall.

“What does it matter?” Angel snarled, coming to his feet in a fighting stance. “I saved that boy from you, he was terrified.”

Spike growled and attacked, letting his fury and worry rain down upon Angel. His movements were quick and fierce, leaving no room for the other man to retaliate. “Where did you send him?” he asked again as he beat the other man down to the floor. Angel glared up at him, gasping a little in pain. “Where is he?”

Dru lifted her head, her burning into her sire. “Darkness,” she hissed. “Our Kitten is back in the darkness.”

“What”? Spike asked, his voice deathly quiet. He gave his lover a searching look before glaring back down at his victim. “What did you do?”

One fist lashed out when Angel shook his head, refusing to answer, and nearly shattered the older vampire’s jaw. Dark eyes stared at him defiantly and two fists hit the dark vampire. Spike kept hitting until finally Angel was limp below him.

“Back to the hospital,” Angel finally spat out. “The one you kidnapped him from. It’s where he belongs.”

“No it ain’t,” snapped Spike. “Now we’ve got to get him out of there again.”

“Leave the boy alone, Spike,” the older vampire told him. “He doesn’t need you messing up his life.”

“You know nothing, Angelus,” Spike said softly. “Nothing about me and definitely nothing about Xander. And if he’s hurt, I will make you suffer.”

A choked cry had both of them turning to look at Dru who was seated on the floor with the other guy’s head in her lap. “The stars talk to him too, Spikey. But they’re not nice about it.” She stroked her hand over his hair.

“Doyle?” Angel called softly as he moved away from Spike and over to the duo. “Are you okay? What did you see?”

“You, Angel, are a moron,” Doyle muttered. “You really messed up this time.”

“What did I do?”

“That boy, he’s a free player and you just sent him back to a place where he’ll either turn or die.”

**** **** **** **** ****

The straps on the bed were done up too tight and he could feel the loss of circulation in his hands and feet. Opening his mouth, Xander tried to scream, but again nothing came out but a soft wheezing noise. He slumped back on the bed and let the tears come. He had thought he was safe, that nothing would be able to get him but he was wrong. There was no where safe.

“Ah, Xander, such a naughty boy,” a familiar voice said from the door. Xander turned his head to watch as Trent came into the room, followed by a beautiful woman with long red hair. “I think we’re gonna have to change your treatment, make sure you don’t run away again.”

The woman moved closer and Xander noticed the needle in her hand. He tried to struggle, but the too-tight straps held him firm and he flinched as the needle sank into his arm. He looked up at the woman, hoping to earn some pity from her but stopped in shock. Her eyes were a yellow-green and had vertical pupils, like a cat or reptile. When she moved back he noticed her lowered half was snake like and covered in small scales. He tried to scream and struggle again but it was useless and he could feel whatever they had given him drag him down into unconsciousness.

**** **** **** **** ****

He watched as Jesse walked off and then turned to head down the shortcut home. It was still light enough that he didn’t have to worry, but he didn’t dawdle in the alleys. He was almost to his own street when something large and dark stepped out of the shadows, looming over him. A scream ripped its way from his throat as the creature reached for him. Scrambling back, he looked around for an escape and darted through the opening when he saw it. He ran as fast as he could, legs burning and breath wheezing. Up the stairs and into the house, slamming and locking the door behind him. Frantic, he turned to his parents, trying to make them understand what he had seen. He didn’t notice the rare sobriety or the look they exchanged over his head.

**** **** **** **** ****

“The kid’s from Sunnydale,” Doyle told them. “He was suppose to help the Slayer but something happened and changed everything.”

“Monsters come and monsters go, monster stepped from the shadow,” Druscilla sang.

“Yeah, well that changed the course of his life,” the seer shrugged. “Now, the other side has access to him and if they can’t get him to join them, they’ll kill him.”

“From what I could tell, they’d do both anyway,” Spike snorted. “Boy’s being tortured in there and the over-gelled idiot sent him right back to his tormentors.”

“I thought I was doing the right thing,” Angel protested.

“You didn’t think, you just acted because it was me and Dru,” Spike said quietly. “You better hope that he’s okay and that pillock hasn’t gotten a hold of him again.”

**** **** **** **** ****

A noise woke him and he looked around the dark room. There was nothing there, but he could still hear something moving. He opened his mouth to call out but something soft drifted across his lips.

“Sh, sh, no need to fret,” someone whispered quietly. “I’m doing this to protect you.”

He tried to scream as pain raced through his throat but only a whisper of air emerged. Blinking tear-filled eyes, he looked up at the figure leaning over him.

“Don’t worry, soon your Prince will come.”



Chapter Seven: Wispy Shadows
Summary: Plans are made
Rating: R


The door opened with a sharp bang, startling him awake. Confused he looked up to see him in the doorway, a leer on his face. He had only been there for two weeks, yet every night he appeared to torment. No matter how much he cried, he wouldn’t stop and sometimes the tears only made him want it more.

**** **** **** **** ****

The room was cold. That was the first thing he noticed when he woke. Despite the blanket thrown over his body, the chill of the air still prickled his skin. He dragged heavy lids open, glancing around the room through blurry eyes. Sighing silently, he recognized the solitary room, meant for unruly or dangerous patients. A quick tug of one wrist confirmed his fear that he was still restrained; there was no hope of escape that way. He closed his eyes and journeyed deep into his mind, letting the past week of freedom enfold him.

“Now, now, no sleeping when we’re just starting to play,” Trent’s chastising tone threatened to bring Xander out of his daydreams. “Wake up Harris, don’t make me punish you.”

Xander retreated further into his mind, fondly remembering being curled up with Dru on a couch, watching some old black and white movie. He did his best to ignore the bolts of pain radiating up from his fingers as Trent snapped them one after another. A small wince broke free but he stuffed down all other reactions. Xander refused to give Trent the satisfaction.

“Why do you make me hurt you?” Trent leaned down to whisper. “We could be such good friends. All you have to do is say yes to whatever I ask.”

The image of Dru and Spike started to fade from his mind as more pain flowed through his body. Trent had moved on, leaving his fingers a ruined mess. Now he randomly hit tender areas, each sharp jab making Xander want to cry.

“Just say yes.”

**** **** **** **** ****

Three sets of eyes watched the blonde pace the length room. No one spoke as Spike walked to and fro, his mind on the problem. “How are we going to get Xander out?”

“How did you do it last time?” Angel asked snidely.

“I walked in,” replied Spike dryly. “But I doubt it’ll be that easy this time. They’ve probably beefed up security, especially if they want the boy that badly.”

“He’s right,” Doyle agreed. “It’s not gonna be easy getting him out of there and we can’t do it without help”

“Help?” Spike turned to look at the seer.

“Yeah,” Doyle ran a hand through his hair. “I might know someone who could help us.”

Spike stared at him for a moment before giving a sharp nod. “Good.”

“Gotta warn you though,” the seer said, “it’ll come at a price.”

“For him, I’d pay anything.”

**** **** **** **** ****

“Come on, Harris, why can’t you just say it?” Trent cajoled.

Xander ignored the words as another wave of agony raced over his body. He could feel the tears soaking his hair and at some point he had bitten through his bottom lip. He wasn’t sure what Trent was using on him now, but the pain was almost more than he could stand.

“Just say it!”

Part of him wanted to say yes, wanted the pain to stop and was willing to do anything for it, but the rest of him knew something bad would happen if he gave in. Instead he shook his head continuously, refusing to bend to the other man’s will.

“Well, if you won’t say yes, I’ll just have to play a little longer,” a strange little smile appeared on the man’s lips. “Just until my employer gets here.” His hands went to his belt, deftly opening it and his pants before yanking Xander’s down as well. “Gotta get something out of this.”

Xander squeezed his eyes shut as the familiar pain washed through him. This he could deal with. This he could ignore.

**** **** **** **** ****

“Where exactly are we going?” Spike asked as he followed Doyle down the dark streets.

“Chinatown,” came the faint reply.

“Gonna see some old mystic?” he muttered sarcastically.

“Something like that,” Doyle said coming to a stop. He looked at Spike, seeming to weigh his worth. “There’s a conclave of higher level demons happening this weekend, I know some who will be there.”

“And they’ll help?” snorted Spike. “It’s doubtful.”

“They will for the right price,” he said, walking again.

He halted at an unmarked door, knocking briskly. The door opened with a grating sound and Doyle slipped in the small sliver of space, beckoning Spike to follow him. The vampire stepped inside, glad that his demon allowed him to see in the dark. The room they were in was tiny, barely enough space for both of them to stand together.

“Halfling, why are you here?” a rumbling voice echoed through the room.

“To ask a boon of you,” Doyle answered respectfully.

“What do you ask of us?”

“There’s a boy in one of the local hospitals. We need help breaking him out.”

“And why should we aid you?” another voice asked from the darkness.

“Because neither side is playing fair,” the seer stated. “The boy’s a free player but he’s not allowed to make a free choice.”


“He’s from the Hellmouth, Elders. He was suppose to aid the last Slayer, he would have prevented her death and the Master’s release.” The derision in Doyle’s voice was apparent when he spoke of the Master of Sunnydale.

“He is a lynchpin?” The voice was soft, but something about it sent shivers of fear up Spike’s spine. He began to wonder just what was in the room with them.

“Yes, Elder.”

“Which side has him now?” the rumbling voice asked.

“The other side. Wolfram and Hart have employees that work in the hospital,” Doyle answered.

“And what is your companion’s part in this?”

“He claims the boy as his, to remain neutral until the boy makes an informed choice.”

“Is this true, vampire?” the soft voice asked.

“Yes,” he answered simply. He could work with that.

“Then we will help. Expect a representative to appear within the hour,” the rumbling voice told them. “He will extract the payment.”

There was a flash of light and they were out in the street once again. Spike glanced over at Doyle who was looking a little pale.

“That was hard,” the seer admitted.

“What was?” Spike asked, confused.

“They were testing me in there,” Doyle sighed. “Be thankful they didn’t test you too.”

“Whatever,” Spike shrugged. “When’s this person gonna show up?”

“Now,” someone said from behind him.

Spike whirled around to see a tall man standing there. His face was covered by a multicoloured mask, hints of green flashing from beneath it. He was thin, with long dark hair and something about him screamed powerful at Spike.

“Thank you for helping us,” Doyle greeted. “What would the Elders like in payment?”

“A drop of blood, a lock of hair and a kiss,” the man laughed.

Doyle paled further and moved back. Spike turned to face him. “What’s so bad about that?” he asked.

“It’s the basis for a binding spell,” the small man gasped.

Spike looked back at their helper. “Binding for whom?”

“For the one who made the plea. The seer to the champion, life to life and grave to dust.”

“Mate, you’re making less sense than Dru.” He glanced back over at Doyle. “What’s he mean?”

“Me and Angel,” Doyle said slowly. “For eternity, or until one of us dies.”

“Thought I was going to be paying the price,” Spike looked at Doyle, confused now.

“Things aren’t always what they seem,” the man laughed again.

“Just who are you, mate,” the vampire snarled.

“I’m sorry, I forgot my manners.” The man made an elaborate bow. “My name is Robin. Robin Goodfellow.”


Chapter Eight: Forgotten Silence
Summary: More torture and a clash of personalities
Rating: R
A/N: This chapter will contain POV’s other than Spike or Xander’s


Angel watched as Doyle and Spike walked back into the room followed by a tall, thin man. Spike had a puzzled look on his face and Doyle was pale and shaking. Neither of them spoke as the seer headed for Angel’s liquor cabinet and poured himself a drink.

“What did they say?” the dark haired vampire asked after a few minutes of silence.

“They said that they’d help,” Doyle said as he downed the glass of scotch.

“Sent Robin here to help,” the blonde gestured over his shoulder.

“Robin -?” Angel asked, waiting to be introduced.

“Robin Goodfellow,” the man said with a courtly bow. “At your service, for a price.”


“Yep,” laughed Doyle humourlessly. “There’s always a price.”

Angel looked over at his friend, noticing the shaking hands and still too pale cheeks. The younger man looked as if he was going to faint at any moment. “What’s the price?”

“A drop of blood, a lock of hair and a kiss,” he recited.

The vampire felt his knees give way and Druscilla laughed as she came from the other room. She bobbed a curtsey at Robin before twirling around the others, still laughing delightedly.

“We’re having a wedding,” she giggled.

“Who?” Angel managed to gasp out.

“Us,” the Irish man replied softly, staring hard into the vampire’s eyes. “The seer to the champion.”

The insane vampire continued to dance around the room, humming the wedding march softly. “I’m getting a new stepdaddy.”

**** **** **** **** ****


Trent stared down at the bruised and bloodied body on the bed. Hours of his most creative torture and the kid still had yet to break. Anger at the boy’s resilience almost overwhelmed his pleasure at being able to use his skills but he pushed it aside and went back to work. His knife sharp, he carefully carved flesh from the boy’s side, smiling as his mouth opened in silent screams.

“All you have to do is say yes,” he murmured, trailing a finger through the flowing blood. “Just say yes and the pain will end.”

Harris shook his head and fixed his gaze on the ceiling. Snarling with the beginnings of frustration, Trent sank his knife a little deeper into the boy’s side.

“I read your horoscope this morning,” he said conversationally, ignoring the boy’s incredulous look. “It said you would have to deal with some pain today. But I don’t think this is quite what they had in mind.”

He looked up from his work as a tingle of magic filled the room. When he looked back down he noticed that the wounds he had inflicted were healed. He was beginning to hate that little feature of the room. Only so much damage could be done before they were healed. But on the bright side, it just meant he got to play more.

**** **** **** **** ****

The new man made the stars laugh and sing loudly in her head. They were so loud she couldn’t even hear Miss Edith over them. But she could still hear her Kitten. His screams echoed so much, coming again and again to fill her mind. She wanted to scream back and to find and save him, but she couldn’t alone. Maybe the new man could help her.

“Do the stars sing for you too?” Druscilla asked, stopping in front of Robin.

“Sometimes,” he admitted. “Do they sing often for you, little one?”

“Always, like little birds in trees,” she whispered. “Sometimes they bring other songs.”

He stared intently at her. “Other songs?”

“Yes, sometimes pretty song that make me dance,” she laughed before her face turned somber. “But sometimes the songs aren’t so nice.”

“And what not nice songs do they bring?”

“My Kitten, screaming in pain,” her voice was soft. “I don’t like those songs, they’re not nice.”

“And what are you going to do about it?” he asked.

“Punish the stars of course,” Dru said seriously. “And the kill those who hurt my Kitten.”

“I’ll help you, little one,” Robin promised. “We’ll make them scream.”



Chapter Nine: Walking Silence
Summary: Plans are made and set in motion
Rating: PG – R at most
Warnings: More torture of Xander (subtle this time)


Growling slightly, the blonde refused to look at anyone else. Anger and fear churned within him, making him flash in and out of his demon face. He hated having to wait. Patience was far from his strong point, and knowing that Xander was in danger while they sat around was driving him insane. Pacing across the room, Spike shot glares at Angel, Robin and Doyle as they worked out a plan to get into the hospital. He listened as they detailed each person’s responsibility and tried not to laugh as he imagined all the things that could go wrong.

“Do you understand what you have to do?” Angel asked with a sharp glance at Spike.

“Yeah, yeah, got it all memorized,” he snapped back. “Can we go now?”

The three looked at each other and nodded, separating to grab weapons and such before heading toward the door. Dru stepped forward from the shadows she had been hiding in.

“Step lightly on the toadstools,” she murmured. “Don’t wake the dragons and the Kitten come for the cream. And then we will set the forest on fire.” She spun and disappeared back into one of the rooms, setting up food and bandages.

Robin laughed delightfully and Spike snarled at him. “Don’t get any thoughts.” Robin only shook his head and followed the Champion and the Seer out the door.

**** **** **** **** ****

The distinct lack of pain was what brought Xander back to awareness. He tried to move an arm but found he was still tied down, but the lack of pain was welcome anyway. Turning his head to the side, he noticed he was in a different room; this one looked like an office, filled with bookshelves and a heavy desk. Behind the desk sat a pretty blond woman, her head bent over a folder on the desk. He must have made a noise, because her head came up and a feeling of dread filled him as he met her eyes. Something about her screamed wrong and Xander struggled against his bounds.

“Now, now Xander,” she chided. “Is that anyway to react to a guest?”

Xander stared at her with a mixture of horror and confusion. He didn’t understand what she was talking about and he had a feeling that in the long run it didn’t matter. This woman was dangerous and he was alone with her.

“How rude of me, I forgot to introduce myself,” she laughed. “My name is Lilah Morgan. I work for Wolfram and Hart.”

He blinked. He still had no clue what she was talking about.

“It’s okay if you don’t know who we are, that doesn’t really matter,” Lilah said, standing up from the desk. “What we need you to do is what really matters.” She moved around the desk and perched on a corner of it. “I understand that Trent has been trying to get you to join us. Just like a man, he forgot to explain why we need you.”

A hand reached out to touch him and he flinched back, heart racing when he could barely move. He desperately wanted to get away from her, but his bonds held him tight and he could only shudder as her soft hand stroked over his face and down his neck.

“You have some very special gifts,” she murmured. “And we’ll be willing to give you anything if you would share them with us.”

He shook his head and turned his gaze to the ceiling, hoping if he ignored her she would go away.

“You can be like Aladdin finding the genie, but you won’t be limited to three wishes. Anything in the world, anyone in the world.”

He shook his head again and shut his eyes tightly. Whatever they wanted him for could not be good if they used torture to get him to agree. He wouldn’t give in, not for anything. Not even for Spike and Dru.

“Fine,” Lilah sighed, pushing off the desk. “Play it your way then. I’ll just have to let Trent convince you.”

**** **** **** **** ****

“So, you really gonna make them marry?” Spike asked the tall man walking beside him. “Or is this another one of Puck’s jokes?”

“They will marry,” Robin laughed. “That price has nothing to do with me. The Council decided it. They felt that the Champion was too unstable without a shackle around his ankle.”

Spike laughed at that image. “Then what’s your part?”

“And what makes you think I have a part?”

The blonde looked up at him for a moment before turning his eyes back to the street. “Once, a while back, Dru dragged me to a concert in the park. Spent the night snacking on drugged out fans and listening to the Grateful Dead. As we were leaving I noticed a flyer to A Mid-Summer’s Night Dream. Came back the next night to watch it. Always loved that play, loved the sheer mischief that Puck got into.”

“You can’t always believe what you read, or see and hear,” Robin said softly. “We can sometimes be like the legends and myths, after all they are based somewhat in truth. But we are much more. I can be serious if the situation calls for it.”

“And does this one?” Spike asked just as softly.



“I don’t know. Something about the boy caught the attention of the Elders. They make the rules and where they point, I go,” the taller man told him. “With both sides interested in the boy, he must be something very special.”

“He is,” Spike agreed. “He’s mine.”



Chapter Ten: Wicked Silence
Summary: The rescue party arrives
Rating: Rish I guess
Warnings: More Xander torture, violence and more violence


Trent was bent over him again, some strange device that sent shockwaves of pain through his body in the man’s hand. Xander could almost taste how much Trent was enjoying his victim’s pain and it made him sick. He sobbed silently as the pain began to overwhelm him and then like a flick of a light switch it stopped, leaving only an echo remaining to remind him.

“Hmm, I think time’s almost up,” Trent said as he straightened up. “Seems our playtime is going to have to wait a while.”

Xander shuddered in fear of what the next day would bring. He wondered if it would all be spent at Trent’s mercy, or would he be subjected to Lilah again? He really didn’t want to be in the same room with that woman again, he would rather deal with Trent and the pain than the slimy feeling she left on him.

“See you tomorrow.” Trent bent down and placed a mockingly tender kiss on Xander’s lips before sauntering out the door. Xander listened to him hum tunelessly as he left, missing Dru’s absent-minded humming. He really wanted out, in any way that he could.

The door opened and the strange snake-like woman came in again, pulling a laden IV pole behind her. He blinked the tears out of his eyes as the realization of his situation truly hit him. If they were willing to feed him, albeit intravenously, then they more than likely planned to keep him alive for a while. Which meant more torture by both Trent and Lilah was in his future.

**** **** **** **** ****

The building loomed in front of them, dark and dreary. Spike pulled his duster tighter as a chill seemed to set into his bones. He really didn’t want to think about Xander alone in that building, left in the hands of the obviously sadistic staff. He glanced at the souled vampire and received a nod, before the dark haired man strode purposely up the stairs. Doyle followed behind, shoulders bent and hands full of papers as he played his part. Spike slipped into the shadows, using them like he had before to move virtually undetected through the building. His eyes widened when he looked back at Robin. The tall, thin man had flowed into the shadows, becoming part of the dark and seemed to ooze along the walls and the floors. Shaking his head, Spike moved along, using his advanced senses to track the boy he had come to care for. Despite the serious nature of their task, Spike managed to feel like a unlikely hero on a quest.

In the distance, he could hear Angel berating the receptionist over some imagined slight. The noise and spectacle enough of a distraction to let him cross a shadow-thin area without being noticed. He followed the scent of tears, blood and pain, all Xander’s to an elevator and snarled at the machine when he saw the card slot. Briefly he considered jumping some random staff member, but that wouldn’t guarantee that he would get the right card.

Robin reformed from the shadows to stand beside him. The taller man looked critically at the device before smirking and sliding one green-tinged finger over the reader. There was a muted ping and the doors slid open, allowing the two to slip inside.

“Which floor?” Robin asked, his hand hovering over the buttons.

“Not sure,” admitted Spike. “Stop it when I tell you.”

The other man nodded and the elevator moved downward, eerily silent. Spike kept all his senses open and finally motioned to Robin when the scent of Xander’s blood grew stronger. “Next floor.”

The elevator slowed to a stop and the doors opened to a sterile, white hallway. Spike was almost overwhelmed by the scent, taste and sound of Xander. His boy was definitely on this floor.

“There’s only three beings on this floor,” Robin murmured quietly. “Two human, one other. One of the humans is immobile.”

“Xander,” Spike breathed.

“More than likely.”

“Ready?” Blue eyes met rich green before both turned their attention to the hall. They moved quickly, heading for the room that housed the boy. As they neared it, a figure came barrelling out of one of the other rooms.

“Lamia,” Robin spat in disgust. He stood tall and stared down at the creature. “Do you really think you can stand against me?”

The half-woman scrambled backwards, taking in the sight of an ancient one and the vampire sporting his demonic guise. There was no way to win. She bowed before the ancient one, baring her neck and waited for the killing blow.

“As fitting to your crimes,” Robin began. He place a hand on her head. “You shall know the pain you’ve dealt.”

The lamia screamed as agony raced through her and Robin stepped over her twitching body. “Get the boy,” he ordered Spike. “I’ll deal with the other human.”

Spike nodded and hurried into Xander’s room, growling at the sight of his boy bound to the bed. Carefully he pulled the IV out and quickly undid all the straps. Xander remained unconscious through all of it, even when a new series of screams echoed down the corridor. Spike carefully gathered the boy in his arms and headed out, meeting a blood splattered Robin in the hall.

“I promised your lady that blood would flow this night,” Robin explained.

“What about the other one?”

“The other one?”

“Yeah, the bloke who tortured him. I don’t smell him anywhere on this floor,” the blonde growled. “But I could tell he had been there.”

“Hmm, he will have to wait until we get the boy to safety,” Robin told him. “I took the human woman’s memories, I’m sure we can find him wherever he may try to hide.”

The two shared a feral grin as they headed back to the elevator. They met Doyle when they reached the main floor, the seer waiting impatiently for them.

“Where’s Angel?” Spike asked.

“Headed back out, he’s supposed to be getting some more papers,” the seer shrugged. “I think he’s really getting the car.”

“Good,” Robin smiled. “Spike, take the boy outside and wait, there’s something I need to do before we leave.”

Spike wanted to ignore the order, but the precious burden in his arms decided the debate for him. Shooting the green man a suspicious look, he led Doyle out into the parking lot. Once outside a question began to form in his mind. How had they managed to get out without being noticed?

“Shift change,” Doyle said from beside him. Spike glanced at the smaller man. “Perfect timing. People don’t always pay attention to what’s going on during shift change.”

Before Spike could formulate an answer, Robin strolled out of the building, a smug smile on his lips.

“What did you do?” he asked. The green man grinned and pressed a finger to his lips, his head cocked to the side. A low rumbling started, the ground shaking beneath their feet and they all watched as the building slowly crumbled. “How?”

“What about the other patients?” Doyle asked, always a good guy.

“How? I am part of nature. The patients? Any that did not harbour needless and unwarranted malicious feelings were transported to a new area, one that would help them. Very few of the staff were innocent. Most tortured the patients physically, mentally and sexually. A few of the patients were criminally insane. Those suffered the same fate as the ones who took the boy. The rest will go on with their lives,” Robin explained. He turned to Spike. “I could not find him in the building, but I do have the memory of his address.”

Spike grinned in thanks. His boy would have his revenge.

**** **** **** **** ****

Xander struggled to stay asleep as the world began to intrude on his peaceful dreams. He had begun to realize that there was a thin line between sleep and death and it would be so very easy to slip over that line. Giving in to the inevitable, he slowly opened his eyes and nearly jumped. Dru leaned over him, brushing one hand over his face.

“Wake up Kitten,” she sang softly. “The stars won’t sing until you wake up.”

He blinked at her before slowly turning his head to look around the room. Spike was sprawled in the chair beside the bed, blue eyes staring at him intently. Xander tried to smile, but he knew it didn’t work by the furious look on the blonde’s face. Glancing over he noticed a tall man with a mask covering most of his face. He noticed the man’s skin was almost green coloured, but he filed that oddity away for another time. Turning his head more he saw two more people in the room. When his eyes fell on the taller of the two, he began to panic, memories of being taken from the hotel and given back to them fresh in his mind.

“Shh, pet,” Spike whispered, moving out of his seat to sit on the bed. “Angel’s sorry about what happened. The wanker thought he was doing something good.”

Xander moved closer to the blond vampire, hiding his face in his friend’s shirt. He didn’t care that Angel had thought he was doing good, he’d still given him over to them, to pain and fear.

“Perhaps we should leave.” The new voice had Xander raising his head. He looked over at the small man standing beside Angel, his eyes full of compassion. “We’re hurting him by being here.”

The simple words of kindness shook Xander and he turned beseeching eyes on Dru as he shook his head.

“Can’t play games if you leave,” Dru chided as she walked over to them. She pushed the small man down into a seat. “Kitten’s want milk and toys and friends to share them with.”

The two turned confused eyes to Spike. “For some reason he wants you to stay,” he clarified. Xander nodded his agreement and snuggled further into Spike’s body, letting the scent and feel of his friend ease some of the memories of Trent from his mind.

“Besides,” the tall man spoke up from his corner. “There’s still the matter of the price.”


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