Of Shadows and Silence – Chapters 1-5

Chapter One: Singing Silence
Summary: Old Situations and new acquaintances
Rating: PG

Time has a way of dulling memories, leaving them faded imaged of what has been. Faces become blurred, touches become ghostly caresses and scents turn to elusive traces on distant breezes.

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Xander turned over to look out the barred window of his cell. It had been nearly four years since his parents had him committed and now he could barely remember the life he’d had before these walls. He had been barely thirteen when he saw IT, and in his panic he had run home to his parents, babbling about IT. For once his parents had listened to him, but they didn’t believe his rambled story and, concerned, they took him to see a psychiatrist, who after a few sessions deemed him unstable and a danger to himself and others. That landed him here, in a psych ward in Los Angeles.

“Harris,” a voice called snidely from the doorway. “Time for walkies.”

With a sigh of resignation, Xander rolled off the bed and walked over to where the orderly waited for him. Trent had become one of Xander’s least favourite people within days of the man joining the hospital’s staff. He was cruel and rude, often treating the patients like children or animals and Xander had become his favourite victim. The added fact that Xander never spoke made the orderly gleeful and brutal in his treatment of the younger man since Xander would never report the abuse. Eyes downcast, Xander followed Trent through the hallways and away from the relative safety of his room.

“We got a newbie here today,” Trent stated as they moved along. “Pretty little bitch, just like you.”

Xander did his best to ignore him as he followed with feigned complacency. He didn’t really care about new patients, he never managed to get along with any of them and preferred to be by himself anyway

“Here we are,” said the orderly, pushing open the doors to the rec room. “Have fun and play nice with others and you just might get a treat later.”

Carefully hiding the shudder of revulsion, he waited until Trent had closed and locked the doors before lifting his eyes to glance around the room. He noticed the new patient right away, and Trent had been right about one thing, she was pretty. She was slender with long dark hair and dark eyes. Even in the pale orange of the hospital clothes, she was beautiful. Glancing around, Xander noticed that all the others were avoiding her, leaving her to sit alone in a corner talking quietly to herself. He moved to his normal spot and curled up on the beanbag chair, watching the woman and wondering exactly what about her scared the other patients so much that they wouldn’t be near her.

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Soft scuffling noises woke Xander from his sleep. Opening his eyes he searched the room, cursing the wan moonlight that was the only source of illumination. He tried not to flinch when he noticed the figure standing at the foot of his bed casting a faint shadow. When his blanket was pulled off he turned his head to the side and closed his eyes, doing his best to block out what was coming next. Forcing his mind back, he let his body be manhandled and positioned on the bed, barely registering his pajama bottoms being pulled off. Time had no meaning as he drifted in his mind and only the sharp sound of the door closing brought him out. Ignoring the pain, he pulled his pants back up and settled back on the bed, waiting for morning to come.

Xander began to shake as he heard his door open and he kept his eyes closed in an attempt to deny the horror of the situation. It wouldn’t be the first time that he came back, but Xander had been hoping that tonight wouldn’t be one of those nights.

“Poor Kitten.” The distinctly female voice startled him and his eyes flew open to see the new patient swaying in the faint light. “The nasty one hurt you, yes he did. But Miss Edith will make it better when Spikey brings her.”

Easing off the bed carefully Xander made his way over to her. Looking deep into her eyes he shook his head, trying to tell her that no one would be coming. A smile crossed her lips and she twirled around him, laughing softly.

“Oh, but Spikey is coming, and if you are a good Kitten we’ll take you with us,” she said laughingly.

He stopped her motions with a hand to her arm, starting at the cold feel of her skin, and once again shook his head in denial. She giggled and nodded before breaking away to dance again, singing softly. A sudden shadow in the doorway made him step back.

“See, I told you my Spikey would come,” she scolded.

“Dru, princess, what the bloody hell have you gotten yourself into this time?” the shadow asked, moving forward to reveal a lean man with blond hair and vividly blue eyes.

“I found us a Kitten.”




Chapter Two: Screaming Shadows
Summary: First impressions and breaking free
Rating: PG



Spike moved through the corridors with quiet ease, completely comfortable in the shadows. He wasn’t, however, pleased to be rescuing Dru from yet another situation that the mad woman had gotten into. A few months ago he’d had to break her out of jail after she had been caught stalking a young woman and then attacking her. Before that was the time she was caught breaking into a pet store to free the animals because the bloody stars told her to. This time she had managed to get herself locked up in an asylum for the insane, which while annoying for Spike, was fitting. Part of him was tempted to leave her there, but he wasn’t one to abandon family.

“Oh, but Spikey is coming, and if you are a good Kitten we’ll take you with us,” he heard Dru laugh from inside one of the rooms. Quickly he moved to the open door and looked inside, taking in the scene. His lovely Dru was dancing around a young man, singing a lullaby as she twirled and swayed to music only she could hear. “See, I told you my Spikey would come.”

“Dru, princess, what the bloody hell have you gotten yourself into this time?” Spike asked tiredly.

“I found us a Kitten.”

Spike looked carefully at him, noting the overly long hair and pale skin that spoke of a long stay within the asylum’s walls. Around the boy floated the scent of fear mixed with blood and semen. He wasn’t surprised that Dru had ‘adopted’ him, but the reality of bringing a human along with them was lost on the dark haired woman.

“Dru-luv, we can’t take him with us,” Spike said patiently.

“We have to, or the nasty man will finish the job and the Kitten will fade and the gourd will become hollow,” she countered solemnly. Spike stared at her for a moment before looking back at the young man standing in the centre of the room, arms wrapped around his waist. “He’ll be our Kitten, our little love and if we protect him great things will come.”

“Bloody hell, Dru, you’re making less sense than normal,” he grumbled. He turned back to the boy. “Guess you’re coming with us.”

The young man shook his head and stepped back, his arms tightening around his waist. He glanced between Spike and Dru and shook his head again.

“You have to,” Dru said, standing in front of him. “He’ll come back, and keep coming until there’s nothing left.” Still the boy shook his head. “He wants to hurt you, Kitten. His mind is like flies and maggots, all rotten and over-ripe. He won’t stop until you’re dead.”

“Dru, what are you nattering on about?” Spike snapped impatiently.

“The nasty man does to him like Daddy did to me before he became Daddy.”

“This bloke she’s talking about, he been raping you and you still want to stay?” he asked the young man who looked away. “Right, you really are coming with us then. Not giving you a choice in the matter.”

“We’ll protect you, Kitten” Dru said as she grabbed one of the boy’s hands and pulled him forward. “We’ll keep you safe. Come with us.” The boy looked into her eyes for a moment and then nodded.

“Got anything here you want?” Spike asked, glancing around the almost bare room. The boy shook his head again. “Fine, we’re off. Be quiet, no need to tell them we’re gone. Dru, Miss Edith’s in the car waiting for you.”

The blond headed down the hallway, using all his senses to track security and the two behind him. The trip out was made with relative ease, but Spike didn’t relax until they were safely in the car and driving away. Glancing over his shoulder, he watched as Dru introduced her doll to the young man, all the while calling him ‘Kitten’.

“Hey, Whelp, you got a name?” he asked. The boy looked at him, eyes wide and wild before he turned his gaze to the woman sitting beside him.

“Sh, sh, all’s quiet,” Dru whispered. “The shadows came, sneak sneak, and stole his voice away.”

“Bloody hell!” Spike shouted. “You don’t speak?”

“Not a word, a sound, a peep,” answered Dru. “Just thoughts that circle, round and round like a Ferris wheel.”

He reached under the seat and pulled out a bottle of whiskey, popping the top of he lifted it to his lips and took a long drag. This was turning into a bloody soap opera. “Well, what are we suppose to call you then?”

“His bracelet says his name is Alexander L. Harris,” Dru informed him, sounding oddly sane for the moment.

“So Alex?” Spike tried after another swig of whiskey. The boy shook his head. “Lex? Al?” Again no. “Xander?” That got a nod. “Good, we got a name. Next, we need to get you out of those fucking clothes.”



Chapter Three: Silence Speaking Softly
Summary: Shopping trip and new tortures
Rating: PG


A rush of fear flowed through Xander at the blonde’s words. He wondered briefly if he had left one bad situation for another. Beside him, Dru giggled and plucked at his top, making a disgusted face at the colour and texture of the cloth. Realization came and Xander understood that Spike meant to get him new clothing. That was something Xander had no experience with. He had been wearing the hospital clothes for so long; he had forgotten what regular clothing felt like. Smiling in thanks he snuggled down beside Dru and listened as she introduced him to the doll in her arms.

He looked up as the car came to a stop and saw the large mall before them. Glancing down at his clothes he shook his head. There was no way he would be able to walk in there looking like this. Someone would call the cops.

“Knock, knock. Empty eyes and open mouths, we just need the right key,” Dru giggled beside him. Xander looked at her in confusion.

“They ain’t open,” Spike clarified. “And the right key,” he hefted a tire iron from the floor of the front seat. “Come on.”

Xander slipped out of the car and followed behind Spike, the stones scattered across the parking lot digging into the soles of his feet. He stopped when Spike stopped and watched as the blonde lifted the heavy piece of metal and brought it down with a sharp crack. The window in front of them shattered, glass falling to the ground like silvery laughter. He was surprised to not hear an alarm sound, but shrugged his shoulders. Not much made sense to him anymore anyway.

The blonde stalked through the hallways, pausing here and there to peer into darkened stores, occasionally muttering obscenities under his breath. Finally he stopped in front on one store and grinned back at Xander. “Perfect.”

A sharp tug and the gate opened a crack, letting the two slip inside. Xander glanced around the dark store, seeing jeans, leather and mesh. Worried he looked back at the blonde, wondering just what he was going to be dressed in.

“Have faith,” Spike laughed as he moved through the racks, grabbing clothing as he went. “Here, try these on.”

Obediently Xander headed back to the changing rooms and began to try the clothes on, coming out to show the blonde how each article fit. Spike made noises of assent or negation and continued to hand over more clothes. Finally, one outfit caught the blonde’s eye.

“Oh, pet, that is so perfect for you,” he breathed, stepping closer to the younger man.

Xander turned to look into the mirror and stopped when he noticed only his reflection. Despite the fact that he could feel Spike at his back, only he looked back from the shiny surface.

“Turning into Narcissus on me, pet?” Spike laughed. Xander glanced back over his shoulder and then looked pointedly at the mirror. “Oh, I see. Noticed that did ya?”

Xander nodded as a flurry of thoughts began to swarm inside his head. He didn’t think they were going to kill him. One, they would have done it already and two, Spike was getting him new clothing. Not really the acts of someone about to murder you, or so he thought. But still, he couldn’t stop the shiver of fear that wracked his body.

“Relax, pet,” Spike whispered, running his hands over the younger man’s arms. “Not gonna hurt you. You’re ours now. We’ll protect you from everything, even ourselves.”

Spinning back around, Xander met Spike’s eyes, his own full of questions. The vampire nodded in answer to the plea of safety he could see there.

“Come on, before Dru comes in and sees you in the all together.”

With a smile and a nod, Xander went back to try on clothes, handing over those he wanted to keep. Half an hour later, he and Spike left the mall, their arms full of bags stuffed with clothing for all of them and a few treats for Dru. Crawling into the backseat with Dru, Xander curled up with his head on her lap and allowed himself to relax for the first time since that night. He was finally safe.




Chapter Four: Sobbing Shadows
Summary: Discussions and a Chance Encounter
Rating: PG


Spike stalked through the night club, watching the sweat slicked bodies on the floor writhe together in parodies of ecstasy. Somewhere in the smoke and din was tonight’s dinner, and he couldn’t wait to find her and a little something for Dru. He caught the eye of one girl, almost too young to be in the club but there anyway. She would do for his Dark Princess, now he only had to find something to satisfy himself.

He slipped through the crowds, rubbing up against lithe young bodies here and there, gauging who would best satisfy his appetites. Lost in his hunt, he didn’t notice the other vampire enter the club until the larger man’s hands wrapped around his neck and pulled him outside. Spike looked up into dark eyes in a pale face topped by darker hair that made his mind flicker to the young man waiting at the hotel with Dru before the man holding him gave him a hard shake.

“What are you doing, Spike?” the man growled as he moved them into a dark alley.

“Getting something to eat, Peaches,” Spike answered, pulling the hands off his neck. “What’s it matter to you?”

“I’m not going to let you eat people in my city.”

“Your city?” laughed Spike. “Sorry, but LA’s always been free territory, Angel. Anyone can feed here.”

“Not while I’m here,” ‘Angel’ said as he lunged.

“Angel, Angel, Angel,” Spike chided as he danced out of reach. “You really need to work on your temper.”

The larger vampire managed to hit him, a blow that would have knocked the breath out of him if he breathed. He grunted at the impact but managed to hit back, a quick riposte that sent Angel stumbling back. The dark haired man rushed forward and they exchanged a flurry of blows that rocked both of them. Finally Spike spun out of the way and stared at the other vampire.

“I don’t have time for this,” he said. “I need to get Dru fed and then get some food for my new pet.”

“Pet?” Angel questioned. “What have you done, Spike?”

“Had to rescue Dru from the loony bin,” Spike shrugged. “Happened to find a sweet morsel there, took him with us.”

“Spike,” growled Angel in warning.

“If I see you again, maybe I’ll introduce the two of you,” Spike laughed as he turned and ran from the alley.

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“Dru, princess, your dinner’s out in the hall,” Spike called as he pushed into the room. “And Xander, this is for you.”

The boy absently took the bag, his eyes on the bruised flesh of Spike’s face. He lifted a hand to carefully touch the edge of one, anger sparking deep inside.

“It’s alright, pet,” the blonde said, catching Xander’s hand. “I’ll be fine in a bit. You need to eat now.”

Xander nodded and sat down, his eyes still watching the vampire. Spike smiled and shook his head before going to check on Dru. He watched as she dabbed lightly at the smear of red marring the corner of her mouth before moving back to the room.

“You shouldn’t provoke Daddy,” she chiding softly, running her fingers over his face. “He’ll take our treasure away and the Kitten will go back to the bad place and be lost in the dark.”

“I’ll behave if I see him again,” Spike promised. “But he won’t take the boy; I’ll make sure of that.”

“Good, then we have time for tea before we leave.”



Chapter Five: Mything Shadows
Summary: A quick trip doesn’t go as planned
Rating: PG


“Hey,” a voice interrupted while a long boned hand plucked the book from his fingers. Xander looked up into Spike’s eyes, noting the amused look in them. “Been trying to get your attention for five minutes, mate.”

The dark haired young man shrugged his shoulders sheepishly and reached up to snatch his book back. Carefully marking his place, he turned his attention to the vampire and waited.

“Gotta go out for a bit,” Spike told him. “Need to talk to someone.”

Xander nodded and motioned for him to continue. It wasn’t like the blonde didn’t go out every night anyway. He was very aware of just what the vampire was up to on his jaunts, but he found he didn’t really care. Spike never ate someone in front of him, and he always left Dru’s meal out in the hall. It was those little things that made Xander feel safer in their company.

“– and parade you around in Times Square,” Spike continued. Xander blinked in confusion. “Are you back with me?” He nodded. “Okay, so I’m going to talk to someone but I need to take Dru with me to verify some stuff.”

With his breath stuck in his throat, Xander stared up at Spike in horror. He hadn’t been alone since the night they rescued him and the thought of being by himself for more than a few minutes filled him with terror. He started shaking his head in denial, his heart racing in fear.

“Not abandoning you,” the blonde promised, dropping to his knees. “Just running out for a few, shouldn’t take more than two hours. I promise.” Xander reached out and grabbed a slender hand. “Don’t worry. Keep the door shut and stay inside, you should be safe. I’ll even bring pizza back.”

Taking a deep breath Xander nodded and let go of the hand he had a death grip on. He reached out a shaking hand a picked up his book, hoping the words would distract him enough. Making a little shooing motion, he turned his attention to the pages, trying to ignore the vampire before him.

“Xander,” Spike cajoled. He looked over. “It’ll be alright, don’t worry.”

He nodded again and watched as Spike surged to his feet and went to get Dru. They left with Dru blowing him a kiss and Spike shaking his head in amusement. Alone, the silence of the room quickly weighed down on him and he suddenly realized how much noise Dru’s absent humming made. He also realized how much he missed it. Turning on the TV abolished some of the stifling quiet, but not all of it. Curling up on the couch, he immersed himself in his book and silently wished that they would hurry back soon.

Three chapters later a knock at the door brought Xander out of his book. Looking at the door in panic, he tried to figure out what to do. Spike would be beyond pissed if he opened the door, and he knew there was a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the handle. There was another knock and he huddled down in his seat as arguing voices floated through the door. One was from the desk manager who had checked them in a few days before. The other was deeper, darker and left Xander feeling more than a little afraid. The arguing stopped and the snick of the lock opening sound. Xander got up off the couch and backed away as the handle turned.

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“You’re sure that’ll work, pet?” Spike asked quietly as they headed back to the hotel.

“Like a fancy ball mask, hide, hide, let no one see what’s beneath,” she giggled. “Our kitten will look like a puppy and no one but us will know.”

He glanced at the charm Dru held; praying to whichever god watched over vampires and lost children that the charm would protect the boy. According to the maker, and verified by Dru, the necklace was suppose to change the boy’s look and scent, throwing off both mundane and supernatural means of tracking him.

“Can we go to Argos?” Dru asked suddenly, shattering the silence that had built in the car.

“Why would we want to go back to Greece? We hated it there,” he reminded her.

“Our Kitten should be blessed in the old ways,” she answered, her voice almost lucid.

“The old ways?” he asked in a carefully distracted voice. Spike was aware that if he paid attention to her all her thoughts would be lost and he had a feeling that this was important.

“Hmm, yes. Old and new twined about him, no one could hurt him then,” she mused. “Perhaps Bacchus, or even Asclepius. I could see him as a healer, could you?”

“I suppose I could, pet,” he answered.

“Could what?”

“You back with me, Dru?” asked Spike, looking over.

“Of course, silly, I haven’t gone anywhere,” she giggled. “But we need to get back to our Kitten before Daddy gets there.”


“No, not him, the other Daddy.”

“Angel,” Spike snarled, slamming down the gas pedal.

At the hotel Spike was out of the car almost before it stopped, flying up the stairs. He reached their room and shoved the door open with a sharp crack. The room was empty, Xander’s book forgotten on the floor and the scent of his fear filling the air.

“Sir! You are going to have to pay for that door,” a voice shouted as the manager came stomping up the hallway.

“Where is the boy?” Spike asked softly, eyes glittering gold with rage.

“You cannot go about breaking things in my hotel–” the tirade stopped as Spike grabbed the man’s throat, lifting him off the floor.

“Where is the boy?” he asked again.

“A gentleman came and got him earlier,” the bellhop answered timidly from his hiding spot around the corner. “He said the boy belonged in the hospital and he was taking him back.”

Spike dropped the manager after a quick snap of his wrist and turned toward the bellhop. “If you had nothing to do with this then I suggest you leave the building now,” he growled. The young man bolted, running as fast as his legs could carry him out of the hotel and back to his home.

“Are we going to get our Kitten back?” Dru asked.

“Yeah, princess, we are,” he replied. “But first, we need to punish the people here and then go see Angel.”

“Punish? Can I do it?”

“Yeah, you go punish them, I’m gonna go tattoo the word imbecile across the poof’s oversized forehead.”



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.”

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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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.”

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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.”

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“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.”


Previous – Next

Of Shadows and Silence – Chapters 11-15

Chapter Eleven: Wedded Shadows
Summary: The price must be paid
Rating: PG


Silence filled the room and Xander found himself glancing between the other occupants, wondering why the tension had skyrocketed. Sitting up carefully he brushed a hand over Spike’s shoulder, getting the vampire’s attention.

“S’okay, luv,” the blonde reassured him. “Peaches and his pet have to get married.”

Xander’s eyes grew large, shock written all over his face. He looked around in confusion, not understanding what was going on. When Spike said nothing further, he reached out and snagged the end of Dru’s dress, pulling her closer. He continued pulling her until she was seated beside him.

“It’s all right, Kitten,” she crooned. “Daddy was bad and the old ones are punishing him. Round and round until the sky explodes, bound by blood and magic.” She giggled and snuggled into Xander. “I’ve got the best present for them.”

He stared in shock and horror at the two men seated on the other side of the room. Angel looked defiant, ready to fight what was happening while the shorter man at his side seemed resigned to his fate.

“That’s Doyle,” Dru whispered in his ear. “The stars sing for him too. But his stars are naughty and they hurt him. Bad, bad stars. We’ll make it better.” He nodded and sat back to watch the drama play out in front of them.

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

Spike wrapped his arm around his boy, tangling his fingers in Dru’s hair on the other side. Everything was right in his world again. He had his boy, Dru and to top it all off, the over-gelled poof was stuck paying the price. Life was good.

“We shouldn’t have to do this,” Angel protested, standing toe to toe with Robin. “He’s Spike’s, why should we have to pay?”

“Oh, that’s easy, Peaches,” Spike drawled. He waited until the older vampire turned to look at him. “If you hadn’t fucked up in the first place and handed my boy over, none of this would have happened. Hell, we would probably have been out of the city already. But your playing hero put a kink in my plans.”

“This is all your fault,” Angel snapped. “If you hadn’t been in the city-”

“If I hadn’t been here, then Xander would more than likely be dead,” Spike replied coolly, tightening his grip on Xander’s shoulders. “They were well on their way to killing him in there, it was only a matter of time. I saved him, and I claim him. You, fuck things up like always. You fucked up as Angelus and now you’re fucking up as Angel. You’ll never change.”

The larger man lunged for the blonde, stopped only by Robin’s grasp on his arm. He turned shocked eyes on the legendary man and stumbled back at the fury in them. Spike sat up slowly, easing away from Xander and preparing to move as Robin seemed to expand, growing larger in the small room.

“Who’s at blame is not the issue here, though you are without a doubt guilty of causing the child harm. The issue is the price that must be paid,” Robin’s voice rumbled through the room. “The Elders have decided and whether you like it or not, they do hold power over you. Their decision stands. You will be bonded to the seer within seven days. Not even death will free you from your obligation.”

Angel sank to the ground stunned, and for a moment Spike felt pity for him. Only a moment though before common sense intruded. He glanced over at Doyle, taking in the sad look that the seer was giving the vampire. It hadn’t taken much to convince Spike that the half-demon deeply cared for his GrandSire, even if Angel didn’t return the feelings, and this utter horror that the vampire was showing had to be hurting the other man.

“The first part of the bonding will take place in two days. Do not try to run, you will not like the results. Spike,” he turned to the blonde vampire. “When I return I will bring protection for your boy as well as the address.”

The vampire nodded. He didn’t want to wait to avenge his boy, but he knew it was better to have protections on Xander first before enacting any of the plans he had made. He glanced up as Robin seemed to shrink down to normal size, seeming smaller and paler than before.

“I must return home for a spell,” the green man said. “I will be returning. Do not leave this hotel room. I have placed shielding spells on it. They are to keep those who may be searching from finding you.”

They all jumped as he disappeared with a pop, leaving them staring at the space where he had been standing. Spike looked down as Xander tugged on his arm, pointing to the spot with a look of confusion.

“Forgot to introduce him, didn’t I?” he laughed. “Have you ever read Shakespeare?”

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

A scream tore through the quiet of the room, startling everyone. Wide eyes turned to look at the writhing figure on the floor, caught in the grip of a vision. Xander eased out of Spike’s arms and inched closer to Doyle, reaching out a shaking hand to touch him. Just before he made contact, the seer’s body stopped trembling and his screams fell silent. A moment later Dru moaned low in her throat, her hands grasping handfuls of hair.

“No no no no no no no no,” she muttered. Xander stood and went to her, pulling her over to where Doyle still lay.



The two vampires glared at each other before turning their attention back to the two psychics. I’ve spaced these lines but ignore me if you wanted them all on one line

“Something bad’s coming,” Doyle managed to say. He lifted tear filled eyes to look at Angel. “Both parts of the bonding must be done when Robin gets back.”

“Why?” Angel asked.

“Because we need to be bound before the first day of the Virgin month.”

“Virgin month?”

“Mid August to mid September,” Spike said softly.

“That’s in three days time,” the older vampire whispered. “Why must it happen before then?”

“Because if we don’t, the world will end.”



Chapter Twelve: Wandering Silence
Summary: The Wedding takes place and someone wanders off
Rating: PG


Spike woke with start, noticing the warm body that normally slept beside him was missing. Cracking open his eyes, he glanced around the room, noting Dru having a tea party with Angel of all people. Turning to look at the other side of the room, he saw Xander and Doyle sitting together playing cards, a wicked grin on the younger man’s face. Rolling off the bed, he made his way over to them.

“Your boy’s a card shark,” Doyle accused when Spike got close enough. The grin on Xander’s face grew and he laid out his hand: a full house, kings full of aces. “See what I mean?”

“At least I know who to take with me to the next game of kitten poker,” Spike laughed. “You doing okay?” he asked Xander. The boy looked up at him and nodded, his eyes still haunted but slowly clearing. “Gonna check on Dru, I’ll be right back.”

Crossing the room, he had to bite back a laugh at the pained look on Angel’s face. The large man sat on the floor across from Dru and her doll, a teapot and china cups sitting between them. Spike listened carefully as Dru instructed her Sire on proper tea etiquette as she poured him a cup. Angel lifted the fragile glass with a look of distaste but took a sip of the bitter brew anyway, knowing that it was best to humour the insane woman at this time.

“May I have a cup, Dru?” Spike asked as he folded himself down on the floor next to them.

“Of course, Spikey,” the vampiress laughed. “Everyone should have a cup of tea, but we do not have enough glasses.” She pouted at him.

“S’okay, luv,” he soothed. “The other’s can have some later, okay?”

She smiled and nodded, turning to tip one of the cups to Miss Edith’s seam of a mouth. Spike noticed Angel watching her with sad eyes and shook his head. The older vampire would never understand, she may be insane but at least she was having fun.

“Dru,” Spike said suddenly. “Why don’t you bring some of the little cakes over to Xander and Doyle. There’s enough of those for them.”

“What a good idea, Spikey,” she smiled, piling several cakes onto a plate. She stood carefully and brought them over to the two playing cards, leaving the two vampires alone.

“You’re an idiot,” the blonde stated, staring hard at his GrandSire.

“Why is that?” Angel asked wearily.

“You’re being handed something precious on a sliver platter and all you can do is bitch that you’re being forced into marriage.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Bullshit,” Spike snapped. “I’ve been stuck with Dru since you took off eighty years ago, and as much as she might drive me crazy I’ve never complained about it or her, or denied my feelings for her.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. What feelings?” Angel blustered.

Spike tipped his head to the side and stared hard at his GrandSire. “I never figured you for a coward. And since you’ve become all soul-having, I never figured you for one to hurt someone needlessly. Yet here you are, running away and hurting someone who loves you more than life.”

“Why doesn’t the boy talk?” asked Angel suddenly, desperate to change the subject.

Smiling ruefully, Spike allowed the change. “Don’t know. Dru said something about the shadows taking his voice. Not sure what she meant, and Xander doesn’t want to discuss it either.”

“How do you manage to communicate with him?” This time Angel was truly curious.

“Dru and pen and paper,” Spike shrugged. “It’s sad, we’ve been here almost two days and you’ve just gotten around to asking that.”

“I haven’t been able to get near you to talk to you,” the older vampire replied. “You’re always with the boy and he’s still scared of me.”

“Do you really blame him?” Spike growled. “Whatever happened to him was bad enough that he won’t tell me, and neither will Dru.”

Angel opened his mouth to reply but a loaded crack filled the air. Turning they watched as a portal of swirling lights appeared and Robin stepped through.

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

Xander watched as Robin stepped out of the swirling lights with fascination. He couldn’t help but stare at the tall man, wondering if he could see Puck’s mischievousness in the man’s somber face. He stifled a smile as one bright green eye winked at him before turning toward Doyle.

“Are you prepared?” Robin asked the seer.

“I am.”

“Are you prepared?” he turned to the dark vampire.

“No,” Angel answered. “I still don’t think we should have to do this.”

“What you think is of no matter,” Robin told him seriously. “I ask again, are you prepared?”


“Then this will be done by force,” the green-tinged man sighed. “I had hoped you would be mature and reasonable about this. It will happened regardless of your feelings on the issue.”

“Force?” Angel squeaked.

“Simple spell that will make you do as I command,” Robin informed him. “I would rather not use it. I prefer you doing this on your own.”

“Just do it, Angel” Doyle sighed, laying his cards down and standing up. “Nothing’s gonna stop it.”

The vampire looked around the room, whether for escape or help, Xander wasn’t sure, but no reprieve was found. “Fine, let’s do this.”

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

“Good. I need both of you to come here,” he gestured, pointing to the spot in front on him. The seer and the champion made their way over, both fidgeting as they stood before Robin. The green man pulled a dagger and a chalice out of thin air. “The seer first.”

Doyle stretched out his hand, giving it into Robin’s keeping. Nodding his thanks, the green man made a quick cut on the small man’s hand, letting the blood flow into the chalice. Robin then turned to Angel and waited for the vampire to put his hand forth. When he did, Robin made a similar cut, once again letting the blood drip into the waiting vessel. He let the chalice hang in the air for a moment, leaning forward to snip off a bit of each of their hair, dropping the combined hairs into the cup. A tap to the side and a cloud of smoke rose from the chalice, fading quickly in the air. Robin handed the cup to Doyle, letting him drink before handing it over to Angel, watching with bright eyes as the vampire reluctantly lifted the cup to his lips.

“Now a kiss,” Robin said softly, moving close and brushing his lips over Doyle’s. The seer gasped as magic flowed through him and he couldn’t help but lick his lips as Robin moved away. He watched as Robin kissed Angel, almost seeing the magic that moved across the vampire’s body. “Now thekiss.”

Nodding in understanding, Doyle turned to Angel and pulled the taller man down for a kiss, feeling the magic in both of them meet and combine, changing and binding them. He pulled away reluctantly, refusing to meet his friend’s eyes, not wanting to see the loathing that would be in them.

“You must finish the binding as soon as possible,” Robin informed them, tossing the dagger and chalice into the air where they disappeared. “You are both still vulnerable to outside influence until you do.”

“Finish?” Angel asked, confused.

“He means sex,” Doyle muttered, knowing the other man would hear him.

“I can’t, we can’t, I mean. . .” Doyle didn’t wait for him to finish, he turned and fled the hotel room, trying to blink back the tears that wanted to fall.

“I think I’m gonna throw you a parade,” Spike sighed from across the room. “You deserve it for being the biggest idiot in the world.”

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

The half-demon stalked through the streets almost blinded by his tears. He had what he wanted at his fingertips and yet it was still so far away. All he wanted, from the time he’d first talked to Angel was to have the souled vampire as his own. Now he had him, but he would never have him. And that simple fact hurt.

He was jerked from his thoughts as rough hands came out of the darkness and grabbed him, pulling him back into the dark. He felt handcuffs snap around his wrists and cursed his impulsiveness. He hadn’t even taken his lockpicks with him.

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

Robin’s eyes grew distant as he stared at Angel with contempt. Spike watched as the tall man’s face darkened with anger and he turned that fury on the dark vampire. Angel went flying through the air, guided by some invisible force, hitting the far wall with a loud thump.

“I warned you,” Robin snarled, stalking toward his prey. “You were being commanded to do this by the Council of Elders, and still you balked at your duty. That alone would be enough to have you punished, but you compounded your guilt by hurting the one who holds the key to your unlife in his hands.”

“What?” Angel gasped.

“Your lives are bound together, life and death,” the tall man informed him. “Together you would have been unstoppable. The pain of his visions would have diminished and the two of you would have spent your lives together helping those in need. Now the other side has him, and they know he helped free the boy. They are not pleased.”

Robin stepped back, letting the large man fall to a heap on the floor. He turned to look at Spike, silently asking the blonde vampire for help.

“He risked himself for me and my boy,” Spike nodded. “S’only fair I repay the favour.”

“Thank you,” Robin said sincerely. “To sweeten the pot, I suppose I should inform you that your prey has him.”

A savage smile curved Spike’s mouth and his eyes filled with unholy glee. “Two birds with one stone, mate. This just gets better and better.”


Chapter Thirteen: Stricken Silence
Summary: It’s Doyle’s turn to be tortured and rescued
Rating: R for violence and torture


Everyone was tense, anger and hurt flowing around the room, wrapping around Xander and making it hard for him to move or breathe. Spike and Angel were snapping at each other, both blaming each other for Doyle’s abduction. Dru sat humming in the corner, Miss Edith on her lap, as she sharpened a wicked looking knife. The mysterious Robin was on the far side of the room, waiting patiently for everyone to quiet down. Hesitantly, Xander made his way over to the green man, stopping before him and meeting his eyes squarely.

“Can I help you, young one?” Robin asked.

Xander stared at him hard, putting all his feelings into his gaze. He needed Robin to know how much they needed everyone on this mission.

“You want to come with us?” Xander nodded sharply, his eyes never leaving Robin’s. “You need protection first.”

“Protection?” Spike asked, moving away from Angel and over to Xander. “You found something to protect him?”

“Yes,” Robin answered. He glanced away from Xander and met Spike’s eyes briefly. “I have something that would help protect him.” He pulled a necklace out of his pocket and handed it over to Spike.

“What’s this?” the blonde asked, turning what looked like a mass of melted rock over in his hands.

“Rocks from sacred spots around the world, charmed to protect and hide,” Robin smiled. “The Vatican, a temple to Bacchus in Greece, Ayer’s Rock, Ancient Babylon, etcetera, etcetera.”

“How does it work?” Xander stepped back as Angel moved closer, eyeing the charm.

“The protection charms will keep most harmful spells from affecting him, as well as blocking some physical wounds. The charms to hide him are the special ones. They will keep any scry spells from locating him, and they will keep those with less than honourable intentions from finding him. With the right keyword, it can also make him less noticeable, except to those that are keyed into it,” Robin finished, taking the necklace from Spike and carefully tying it around Xander’s neck. “You must wear this at all times. Do not take it off for anything or anyone.” Xander nodded, tracing the odd bumps and whorls in the rock.

“So what now?” Spike asked.

“Now, we retrieve our lost Seer.”

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

Trent smiled down at the defiant green eyes, laughing softly as the bound man struggled. While he’d had fun torturing Xander, there was something a little more satisfying about having your toy scream for you. With a happy little shiver, he placed the edge of the knife against the half-demon’s skin and watched as the flesh parted beneath the blade. He laughed again as the seer screamed in pain.

“I really like this new toy,” he commented to the shadowed corner. “Pretty, pretty screams.”

“Remember you only have him for a short period of time,” a dark voice rumbled. “He must be dead by midnight tonight.”

“Yes, yes,” Trent rolled his eyes. “He’ll be gone as soon as I’m done here.”


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

Spike watched his boy walk, sandwiched between Dru and Robin, smiling at whatever the vampiress was babbling about. He kept his eyes on the trio, ignoring the tall vampire walking beside him. He didn’t like the situation they were walking into, but he refused to leave Doyle to the other side’s mercy, not after the seer had helped rescue Xander.

“Spike,” Angel said from the side. “We need to talk.”

“No we don’t,” the blonde replied. “You need to get your head out of your ass and all of us together need to go and get Doyle. But we don’t need to talk.”

“William – ”

“Don’t call me that,” Spike snarled, turning to face the older vampire. “William died a long time ago, or don’t you remember? You helped kill him. And now with a soul, you’re doing the same thing to someone else.”

“I’m not killing anyone!” Angel shouted.

Spike stopped and stared. “Yes you are. And the pathetic part is you don’t even realize it.” He started walking again. “Let’s go, we have to get Doyle back.”

The blonde walked a little faster, pulling even with the trio. Smirking at Robin, he slipped between him and Xander letting the warmth of the boy calm him. There was silence for the rest of the trip, but Spike didn’t mind, it let him hear his boy’s heartbeat more clearly.

“Here,” Robin said suddenly, coming to a stop.

“It’s a bar.”

“Yes, but there’s an apartment below it. That’s where they are.”

“You’re sure?” Spike asked.

“Yes,” the green man nodded. “Are we ready.”

“Yes,” Angel answered.

“Let’s go then.”

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

Doyle watched as his torturer lifted the knife to lick the blood away from the blade. The seer had been cursing himself since he was grabbed. He couldn’t help but wish things had been a little different, or even that he had thought before he walked out. Rash thinking only got a person hurt in the end. He was proof.

“Hmm, guess the demon blood does make it taste a little different,” the standing man remarked as he finished licking the blood off. “Still sweet though.”

Doyle opened his mouth to reply, but a loud noise from the other room stopped him. He watched in fascination as the door flew off its hinges, hitting the far wall with a loud bang. Three blurs rushed into the room, one dark, one light and one green, all headed for the man with the knife. Two figures followed them in, walking more calmly, but still quickly. Doyle sighed with relief when Xander smiled down at him as Druscilla snapped all the restraints. Sitting up carefully, he turned to look at the massacre happening across the room.

Angel and Spike were ripping into the defenceless body, snarls of rage falling from twisted lips. Standing over them, Robin chanted something, the language strange but beautiful. An arm went flying across the room accompanied by a wail of agony and the other three could hear Spike’s chuckle of satisfaction. A sudden flash of light filled the room and when it cleared the ruined mess of the man could be seen on the floor, lying in a pool of blood. There was another flash and he was gone, leaving them staring.

“He’s been sent to the Elders,” Robin answered the startled looks. “He will live in pain in a hell dimension until the Elders are satisfied that he has suffered enough. At that time they will kill him.” He walked over to Xander. “He will never harm you again.”

“Thank you,” Doyle said, for himself and Xander.

“You are one of us, Seer,” Robin smiled. “And we protect those like you. As for the young one, he is a puzzle and the Elders love puzzles.”

“Are they going to come after him?” Spike asked, coming over to wrap his arms around Xander.

“No, they are leaving him to find his destiny,” Robin answered. “And so must I. I will leave you now. Remember to keep neutral until he is ready to decide.”

Spike nodded. They watched as a portal opened behind the green man and he stepped back with a smile, disappearing from sight.

“Let’s head back to the hotel,” Spike said to Xander, leading him from the blood soaked room. “We’ll pick up our stuff and then head out of town.”

“No,” Angel disagreed. “I wasn’t joking when I said we needed to talk, Spike. Go to the hotel and grab your stuff, but meet us back at my place.”

“Meet you back at your place,” Doyle interjected. “I’m going with them.”

The souled vampire stared at his friend for a moment and nodded. “Fine. Just be there.” He turned and left the room, not waiting to see if the others agreed or not.

“Come on,” Spike sighed. “As soon as we finish with him we can leave this city. I’m starting to think it’s cursed.”

Doyle laughed at that. “Hell, I’m starting to agree with you.”



Chapter Fourteen: Spoiled Shadows
Summary: A parting of ways


The streets were still dark as Spike guided the car through town. He had the sudden urge to turn and head out of town, taking Xander, Dru and even Doyle away from Angel’s reach, but he knew realistically that it wouldn’t work. If Angel didn’t track them down, then the Elders would and the punishment would be swift and painful. He pulled the car into a parking spot and looked over at the dark-haired man sitting beside him. Doyle stared back at him, green eyes dark with suppressed emotion, then he sighed and slipped out of the car heading for the door to Angel’s apartment.

“Let’s get this over with,” Spike said, exiting the car. He held a hand out to Xander as the young man closed the car door and followed Doyle to the door, knowing that Dru would be right behind them.

Despite the darkness of the main room, Spike could clearly see the older vampire sitting with slumped shoulders. Angel didn’t look up as they entered, didn’t even flinch at the sudden illumination when Doyle flicked the light on. He just sat, staring down at his hand clasped loosely between his knees.

“I really fucked up this time, didn’t I?” he said softly.

“Yes,” the voices answered and Xander nodded.

“I thought I was doing something right,” Angel laughed bitterly. “Some champion I’ve turned out to be. Get an innocent captured and tortured, get my seer, my friend captured and tortured. Can’t seem to do anything right.”

Spike felt a brief wave of pity at the dejected look on the older vampire’s face. He didn’t want to feel sorry for the sod, but sometimes it was unavoidable, and this seemed to be one of those times. The souled vampire was trying, they all knew that and that fact was the only reason he wasn’t a pile of dust on the carpets. Angel’s efforts in rescuing Xander were the only reason for Spike sparing the vampire’s unlife.

“Angel,” Doyle began softly, moving to stand beside seated man. “Angel, look at me.”

The dark haired vampire lifted his head to meet Doyle’s eyes and even Spike could feel the charged emotions in the air. Angel grabbed the smaller man and pulled him close, burying his face in Doyle’s shirt. Spike could clearly hear the muffled sobs from across the room.

“Okay, enough of this,” spat Spike, striding over to knock some sense into the older vampire. “I want to get out of this town, soon preferably. That means the talk you want to have has to happen now.”

“You’re right,” Angel sighed as he pulled back and wiped his eyes. “Take a seat, everyone.”

Spike grabbed Xander and Dru, pulling them over to the couch away from the dark-haired man and the seer. He sat on one side of Xander and sat Dru on the other side of the boy, keeping the vulnerable one of their trio safely between them.

“One by one, two by two, little soldiers behind you,” Dru sang softly. “Night and day, clean, clean, clean.”

“Dru?” Spike questioned.

“Family matters,” she replied.

“Angel?” the blonde turned to look at the dark vampire.

“She’s right,” Angel answered. “I’ve been thinking since this whole damn thing started. Doyle and I are okay working alone, and we will do what’s right, but we might not always do what’s right. We need someone who’s willing to see the other side of the situation and make sure we do what’s truly right for everyone.”

“So you want me to stay?”


“What about my boy and Dru?” Spike asked. “Would you let them stay as well?”

“I figured that you were a joint deal,” Angel said ruefully. “It would mean more protection for Xander as well.”

“Give us a minute,” Spike said. He turned and looked at the two at his side, meeting both sets of dark eyes. Xander nodded, smiling slightly and Dru giggled, winking at him. “Guess that’s a yes then.”

Angel let out a sigh of relief. “We’ll need to find you some place to stay though. Unless. . .” he trailed off.

“What, Peaches?” Spike smirked. “Unless we stay with you? I don’t know, you are on your honeymoon.”

“Spike,” the dark vampire said in warning.

“You can’t stand me, why would you want us to live with you?”

“Like Dru said, family,” Angel answered. “Even when you’re driving me crazy, you’re still family, William, and I want you near.”

“Okay then, what’s the boundaries?” Spike snorted at Angel’s hurt look. “I know you, you won’t let me cry havoc or run around unchecked. So what’s my leash?”

As Angel opened his mouth to answer, a tightly rolled scroll popped into existence on the table before him. Glancing around the room with startled eyes, he met equally startled gazes. He reached a shaking hand for the scroll, wary about any trap that might be laid on the innocent looking parchment. When his fingers touched the ribbon holding it sealed a bright flash of light lit the room and the scroll lifted into the air and unrolled.

Reminder from the Council of Elders, sounded through the room. Seer Doyle, Champion Angelus, your bond must be consummated by the first fingers of day. A suitable punish shall be found if our commands are not met. Let this be your warning.

Angel flinched at the name used for him, but met a blushing Doyle’s eyes squarely. Doyle nodded and then looked away, his face still red. The vampire wondered briefly if Spike had been right about Doyle and the whole situation. While in Sunnydale he had begun to fall for the blonde, perky Slayer and her death at the hands of the Master hurt almost more than getting his soul. The thought of facing a similar situation with Doyle had kept him from acting on the attraction he felt for the seer. He didn’t want to loose anyone else. But Robin had said they would be bound forever, until one dies at which time the other would too. Confused, he turned his attention back to the scroll.

William the Bloody, you are charged with keeping the mortal, Alexander Lavelle Harris, safe and neutral. To complete your task, you must meet a balance between the light and dark side of your nature. We will leave the method to you.

Druscilla, Immortal Seeress, Mad Witch, to you we charge the task of teaching the Seer Doyle to control his gift. Use what means you deem necessary, but do not harm him.

Alexander Lavelle Harris, Mortal, to you we say learn. Strive for knowledge until the time comes for you to use your gifts.

Remember, we will be watching.

The scroll disappeared as it had come, leaving them looking around at each other in shook.

“Guess I won’t need a leash then,” Spike laughed.



Chapter Interlude: Silent Duty
Summary: Consummation of the Bond
Rating: NC-17
A/N: This is Angel and Doyle’s Wedding Night


Doyle avoided looking at the bed, instead focusing on the other furniture in the room. A large wardrobe stood on one side of the room, its doors open to show the dark clothes hanging inside. A low dresser sat next to it, the top covered in hair gel and books. Across the room was an armchair, big and plush and definitely not something he thought Angel would have. Glancing around he noticed there was nothing else other than the bed. Swallowing nervously he turned to look at it and the vampire sitting there.

“Doyle,” Angel started, staring hard at the still standing man. “Are you okay?”

Doyle met dark eyes, noticing that there was fear and uncertainty reflected back at him. He wondered exactly what Angel was so worried about; the vampire was getting the short end of the stick being stuck with him.

“Doyle,” Angel said again, a smile gracing his lips as he startled the seer out of his thoughts.

“Sorry, kinda got lost there,” the seer apologized, running a hand through his hair. “How do you want to do this?”

“Doyle,” the vampire said a third time, a note of exasperation creeping into his voice. “Can we talk first, please?”

“What’s there to talk about? Who’s going to be on top?” snorted Doyle, anger coursing through him at the vampire’s stall tactics.

“Please, let’s just talk about everything,” sighed the seated man. “We need to work the details out before we go on.”

“We don’t have the time to talk,” Doyle reminded him. “This all has to be done before dawn. Might as well get it over with and talk after.”

“I don’t want-” Angel begun.

“I’m well aware that you don’t want me or this,” Doyle snapped. “But we haven’t been offered a choice in the matter. So let’s just fuck and finish it!”

“No!” Angel surged to his feet. “There’s been a lot of misunderstanding around this whole situation. Now come here and talk to me for a few minutes. Please.”

“Angel,” Doyle sighed, all his anger rushing out. “I was serious. We don’t have the time to talk. Dawn’s not that far off.”

“Just for a moment,” the vampire pleaded, reaching out for his friend, no, his husband.

Doyle stepped closer letting the larger man pull him near. He sat on the edge of the bed gingerly, a strange fluttery sensation starting in his stomach. He tried not to flinch as Angel sat down beside him, the vampire’s eyes fixed on the floor between his feet.

“Do you care for me?” The question broke the accumulated silence. Doyle turned shocked eyes on the man beside him.

“Of course I care for you,” the seer assured his companion. “You’re my friend.”

Angel laughed. “Not quite what I meant.”

“Oh.” Doyle felt the red wave of his blush creep up his neck and into his face. “You mean, do I care for you.” He paused. “Yes, I do.”

“I care about you too,” Angel told him, lifting dark eyes from the floor to meet stunned green.

Doyle opened his mouth to ask for clarification but a pair of cool lips interrupted him. They settled over his own warm ones for a few moments before Angel pulled back, a slight smile gracing his face.

“Dance with me,” the vampire whispered, leaning across Doyle to flick on the radio.

The seer stood at Angel’s urging, listening as the soft strains of music filled the room. He raised an eyebrow as the song registered and couldn’t help but smile at the sheepish look on Angel’s face.

“I like this song,” the vampire apologized, stepping into the smaller man’s space. “Hello darkness, my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again, because a vision softly creeping, left its seeds while I was sleeping, and the vision that was planted in my brain still remains within the sound of silence,” he sang softly.

They swayed together to the music, bodies briefly brushing. Nervously Doyle moved closer, letting his body rest fully against the taller man. A shiver ran through him, part from fear of rejection and part arousal. Angel wrapped long arms around him and lowered his head slowly, giving Doyle the chance to move away. Doyle didn’t though, instead he tilted his head up and met Angel’s lips with his own, tasting the other man’s mouth. The taste of fear, desire, regret and need all jumbled together with a taste that was pure Angel. He lost himself in the kiss, letting the larger man control it. He blinked dazedly when Angel pulled away but quickly regained his thoughts when Angel began to pull off their shirts. The sight of Angel’s bared chest made him uncertain and left him feeling small and pathetic next to the pale, muscled frame.

“Beautiful,” Angel murmured, running a hand down Doyle’s side. “Just beautiful.”

“I’m not,” he protested, reaching out to touch the pale expanse of perfect flesh.

“Yes you are,” the large man corrected. “Beautiful and mine.”

Their lips met again in a fierce kiss, tongues battling and teeth clashing as they tried to devour each other. Doyle wrapped his arms around Angel’s neck, pressing himself into the cool skin. He could feel the hard length of Angel’s erection against his stomach and ground his own against a muscled thigh. Their moans met and merged, filling the air around them.

Gasping, Doyle shivered as fingers plucked at the fastenings of his pants, deftly popping the button before slowly lowering the zipper. His breath caught as Angel’s larger hands pushed against the fabric, helping gravity lower the loosened pants. He stepped out of them at Angel’s urging and turned his attention to Angel’s belt. Quickly he divested the other man of his slacks, moaning as their naked skin met.

“On the bed,” the vampire ordered quietly, pushing away.

Blushing, Doyle climbed up and laid down, resting his head on the pillows. He watched wide-eyed as Angel rummaged around in the drawer of the night stand, coming up with a small jar. Brown eyes met green and held them mercilessly as Angel crawled up the bed stopping crouched over the prone figure. The larger man lowered his lips to Doyle’s neck, placing soft kisses on the delicate flesh. He trailed his lips down, over the collarbone and across Doyle’s chest. Doyle gasped as Angel’s cool mouth closed over one nipple, drawing the quickly hardening flesh in. The vampire moved over to the other one, giving it the same attention before moving further down to dip his tongue into the shallow dip of navel.

“Angel,” Doyle breathed as his lover continued downward, brushing his lips over the straining flesh of Doyle’s cock.

“Let me.”

The seer surrendered, letting his body go limp. Angel’s mouth and hands started an assault on his groin, licking, sucking, and caressing him into ecstasy. He moaned as his cock disappeared between cool lips and a finger pressed between the cheeks of his ass. Spreading his legs, he let Angel explore the tender flesh and managed to refrain from flinching as the finger worked its way into his hole. He moaned as the mouth on his cock sucked hard for a moment before Angel pulled away.

“Please,” he whimpered as he stared at the pale perfection. To him Angel looked like a marble statue come to life, all hard planes and white skin.

“Shh, I’m not going anywhere,” Angel promised.

He reached over and snagged the jar he had placed on the bed, unscrewing the top and dipping his fingers in. Doyle watched as those fingers pulled back, coated in a shiny substance. He spread his legs as Angel moved back into position and moaned as two fingers worked their way into his body. Twisting and thrusting, they stretched him slowly allowing Angel to push a third in. Doyle winced at the momentary pain but relaxed as Angel began to carefully move them. A sharp gasp left him when the thrusting fingers brushed over his prostate and his eyes closed on the wicked smile on Angel’s face. The next thrust of Angel’s fingers scored directly on the sensitive bundle of nerves and Doyle shuddered at the intense pleasure.

“No more, Angel,” he begged, reaching out for his lover. “Now, please.”

Angel removed his fingers and slathered the lube over his own straining erection before taking his place between the splayed legs. He held Doyle’s eyes as he pressed into the welcoming body, connecting them in the most primal way. They moved together, soft sounds escaping both of them as the pleasure climbed. Doyle pulled his lover down for a hard kiss, pouring all his feelings into it as the need became overwhelming. Their movements became more frantic and Doyle cried out as his orgasm hit, tumbling him into darkness. Angel followed a few moments after, closing his eyes against the intense pleasure. Neither noticed the flash of light signaling the formation of their bond.


“Shh, we’ll talk in the morning.”



Chapter Fifteen: Routine Silence
Summary: The crew looks for a place to live
Rating: PG


Spike watched Angel walk off with Doyle, hoping the over-gelled vampire didn’t mess up the perfect situation he had been given. He glanced over to Xander, noticing the worried look on the young man’s face.

“Xan? What’s wrong?” he moved closer to the trembling youth.

The boy’s eyes flickered between him and the door the newlyweds had left through. Spike wrapped his arms around his boy, wondering what had Xander so spooked.

“Red, red, red. Rain and pain drowning the world,” Dru whispered as she glided over.

“Oh pet, it’s not like that,” Spike promised. “They’re not going to hurt each other.”

Xander shook his head and burrowed deeper into Spike’s arms. The vampire held him tightly, wishing he could assure the young man that Doyle and Angel would both be safe with each other. The boy’s only experience with sex was at the hands of that torturer, skewing the boy’s views totally and making it hard for Spike to explain the situation.

“Soft and sweet like cotton candy melting,” Dru hummed, cuddling close to Xander. “Trip to Heaven’s Gate to greet St. Peter with a smile.”

Intent brown eyes lifted to meet serious blue ones and Spike nodded at the silent question. Tension ran from the thin body and Spike tightened his arms as Xander sagged in his grasp. He steered the boy and Dru over to the couch, easing them down and following. Xander stayed close, the aftermath of his fear leaving little tremors racking his body. Spike sighed and tucked the dark head under his chin, meeting Dru’s solemn gaze. The seeress smiled softly before lying against the boy and singing a quiet lullaby, encouraging the boy to drift off to sleep. The blonde waited until the thin body had relaxed totally and the boy’s breathing had deepened before he slipped off the couch and started pacing, thoughts racing through his mind.

“Should we stay?” he asked Dru, voicing his topmost thought. “Robin didn’t say we needed to, just that we had to stay neutral.”

“Daddy needs help,” she whispered. “There’s too many angels for him to save alone.”

He sighed. “So you think we should stay.”

“Yes,” she nodded.

“All right then,” he said, stopping to look down at them. “We’re gonna have to find a place to live. Some place nice for the boy.”

” Ask the eyes that peer into the dark,” suggested Dru. “He knows many things.”

“Yeah, good idea. He’s already shown he has contacts in the city,” he said as he knelt in front of the couch. “I’ll ask him when they come up for air.”

“That may take awhile,” Dru said with a sly grin.

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

Cool bodies on each side of him greeted Xander as he rose from the depths of sleep. Yawning, he stretched contently and moved further into the arms around him. Opening his eyes, he smiled up at the pale face looking down at him. Dru smiled back and brushed a lock of his hair back. The body behind him shifted and he turned his head to look into brilliant blue eyes.

“Awake there, pet?” Spike laughed.

Xander shook his head and closed his eyes, pretending to go back to sleep. His mouth opened in silent laughter as Dru’s fingers attacked his sides, tickling him until his breath caught and tears leaked from his eyes.

“Having fun?” Doyle’s voice broke through their fun and Xander glanced up to see the half-demon standing beside the couch holding out a plate of food. “I made breakfast since we’re the only ones that eat.”

“Hey, I eat,” Spike protested.

“Okay, we’re the only ones who need to eat,” Doyle clarified.

Xander accepted the plate with a smile and eased into a sitting position, still pressed against Spike. The food was heavenly after the horror of the past couple of days. He savoured each bite, letting the simple flavour of bacon and eggs fill his senses. Scraping the last bits off the plate he offered Doyle another smile of thanks and brushed away the other man’s hand when he reached for the now empty plate. Reaching out a quick hand, he snatched Doyle’s plate and stood, heading toward where he had noticed the kitchen the night before.

“You don’t have to do that,” protested Doyle, trying to take the dishes back.

Xander shooed him away with a gentle smile and started washing up the dirty dishes, glad to have something to contribute. He could hear the others talking quietly over the sound of the water, their voices winding around each other in soft murmurs. He had some curiosity about their conversation, but he trusted Spike to do what was right for all of them. Once the dishes were done he dried his hands and moved back to the living room, stopping when he saw Spike and Angel standing toe to toe, both growling lowly. He glanced over at Doyle who was pale and Dru who was more than a little angry.

“Always trying to control things,” spat the blonde. “Can’t let someone make their own decisions, live their own lives.”

“Hate to point it out, but you don’t have a life, Spike, you’re dead!” Angel hissed back.

“That has nothing to do with it, stop trying to change the subject,” Spike smirked. “We’re not talking about my life or unlife. We’re talking about control, remember?”

“I have the control and you’re staying here where I can keep an eye on you,” commanded Angel. “I’m not letting you run around town.”

“Already promised I wouldn’t go around randomly attacking the population,” Spike reminded the older vampire. “Was going to ask your husband if he knew any nice places to crash.”

Xander noticed the minute flinch Angel gave at the word husband and shot a quick glance at Doyle, seeing the pale face and shaking hands. He moved closer and touched the other man’s arms, bringing the green gaze to his face. Doyle gave him a sad smile and patted his hand before turning their attention back to the argument.

“Besides,” Spike shrugged. “You don’t have enough room here for all of us.”

“All of us?” Angel asked, his brow furrowed in confusion.

“You, Doyle and the three of us,” Spike said slowly. “You don’t think they’re gonna let you two live apart do you?”

“Didn’t really think about that,” the older vampire admitted absently. He glanced around the room. “Maybe I should get a bigger place.”

“I know a couple of places,” Doyle said quietly. “Some apartments and such. A house or two.”

“Can you make some calls?” Angel asked. Xander blinked at the soft tone and the warmth in his gaze as he looked at his husband. Doyle flushed and nodded, hurrying out of the room.

“You want to stay, pet?” Spike asked, crossing the room to stand beside Xander. “Can you live with them? With Angel?”

Xander looked carefully at Angel, seeing the regret and remorse in the dark eyes. He turned and looked up at Spike, nodding slowly. The blonde sighed and rolled his eyes.

“Fine,” he sighed. “We’ll be one big happy family.”

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

“Not bad,” Spike said, eyeing the house Doyle led them up to. “How many rooms does this place have?”

“Six bedrooms, four bathrooms, state of the art kitchen, a living room, a family room, an attic and an attached garage,” the seer said proudly.

“Does if have a basement?” Angel asked.


“How much?”

“Only 20.”

“Why so cheap?” Spike was suspicious.

“Well,” the seer started, licking his lips nervously. “About two years ago a family lived here. Guess the wife snapped one day and killed everyone in their sleep.”

“You want us to move into a house where murders took place?” Angel asked. “Something like that leaves a taint.”

“Scratching, whispering, shadowed in the dark,” Dru said softly, running a hand over the door. “Baby cries, never dies. Mama wants it to stop.”

“Okay, fine, maybe this isn’t the right place,” Doyle sighed. “But you guys have shot down all the other options.”

“Are there any others left?” Spike turned to look at the smaller man.

“Just one, but it’s worse.”


“The old Hyperion.”

Spike watched out of the corner of his eye as the souled vampire stilled, his face blank. “The Hyperion Hotel?” Angel’s voice was soft.

“Yeah, well I considered it ’cause we’d need some place that we wouldn’t be on top of each other, and it’s got a lot of room,” Doyle justified.

“What’s wrong with it then?” the blonde asked, glancing between the two.

“I’m not quite sure what happened,” the half-demon admitted. “Just that something bad went down a couple of decades ago.”

“Daddy,” Dru called softly, moving over to stand next to the still frozen vampire.

“Angel?” Spike questioned curiously.

“The Hyperion’s perfect,” the old vampire said finally. “We just have to kill the demon living there first.”

“Demon?” Doyle squeaked.

“Why do I have a feeling there’s a long story there,” Spike sighed. “Oh well, at least I get some violence out of it.”

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

The building stood before them, large and intimidating. Xander felt a chill skitter down his back as he looked up at the darkened windows. He could tell something wrong, something evil resided within the walls of the old hotel, calling them forward. With fear settling into his bones he began to back away from the brick monstrosity, only stopping when his back met the solid wall of Angel’s chest. He tipped his head up and looked into the taller man’s face, his fear of the vampire eclipsed by his terror of the building.

Angel’s eyes looked down at him, full of understanding and compassion before the vampire gave him a little nudge toward Doyle.

“I think Doyle and Xander should stay out here,” the vampire said, looking over at the two other undead. “It’ll be safer for them.”

“Yeah,” Spike agreed. He turned to look at Xander. “You okay with that?”

Xander nodded and settled into a spot next to Doyle, watching as the three vampires strode into the building, repressed violence shimmering off them. He shot a look sideways, seeing his own fear and worry shining back out of green eyes. The whole situation left a bad taste in his mouth and filled him with dread. Something was really wrong in the building.

They sat in silence as they waited for their vampires to return and each minute that passed increased Xander’s worry. About an hour later his head snapped up and his eyes locked on the flickering light he could see behind the drawn blinds of one window. He stared intently at the light before surging to his feet. Grabbing Doyle’s arm, he pulled the seer with him into the hotel, bypassing the elevator and racing up the stairs. Reaching the floor he wanted, he ran down the hallway searching for one particular door. Finding it, he burst through, startling the old woman and the demon leaning over her. Without a second thought he threw himself between them, putting his back to the demon and burying the woman’s face in his chest. He shuddered as he felt the demon’s hands brush against his back. He heard Doyle enter the room and felt the air rush past as the seer tackled the demon, raining blows down upon the startled monster. Moments later Dru, Spike and Angel rushed into the room, joining the seer in the destruction while Xander checked the old woman for injuries.

“Are you okay?” He looked up into Spike’s eyes as the vampire rose up from the now dead demon. Smiling, he nodded and threw himself into the strong arms, letting his vampire protect him.

They watched as Angel spoke softly with the woman, everyone aware that the woman’s time on the Earth was nearly over. Xander smiled at the tenderness the older man showed, seeing a part of him that sparked some more trust.

“Seems we got a new home,” Spike said later that night, strolling around the dust covered lobby. “Lot of work though.”

Home, Xander thought wistfully, leaning against Dru, that sounds very nice.


Previous Next


Previous – Next

Of Shadows and Silence – Chapters 16-20

Chapter Sixteen: Starving Shadows
Summary: The facts of life get explained to Angel
Rating: R


Doyle scowled into the bare cupboards, trying to conjure food by glare alone. Slamming the door he moved over to the fridge and peeked inside, noticing the distinct lack of food. Growling, he closed the door and went searching for his husband. They needed food.

“Angel,” he said, tapping the taller man on the shoulder. “We’ve got a bit of an issue.”

“Something’s wrong?” the vampire asked, glancing down in worry. “Is it a demon?”

“Only the one growling in my stomach,” Doyle answered. “We have no food.”

“Oh,” Angel blinked.

“I need money to go get food,” Doyle said slowly. “You have the money.”

“Oh, yeah,” he laughed sheepishly. “Hold on.”

Doyle shook his head as his husband walked away, wondering if the latest demon had hit the vampire just a little too hard. Sighing, he walked over to where the trio were curled up together, watching some old movie. He smiled at the peaceful look on Xander’s face, happy that the boy was finally comfortable. They had been living in the hotel for three weeks and it had taken almost the whole time for the young man to relax.

“Heading out to the grocery store,” the seer said in greeting. “Anyone want to come with me?”

“Sure, we’ll come,” Spike said, pushing Xander up. “‘Sides, I need some. Weetabix™.”


Doyle looked at the blonde for a second before shaking his head. He really didn’t want to know what the vampire wanted cereal for, really he didn’t. They grabbed their stuff and waited patiently for Angel to come back, wondering what was taking the dark vampire so long.

“Sorry,” Angel apologized as he came down the stairs. “I didn’t know how much you’d need.”

Spike snorted, Xander shook his head and Dru giggled as Angel shoved a handful of cash at the stunned Doyle. The seer took the money gingerly, blinking down at the wad of money he held. There had to be almost a thousand there, definitely more than they needed.

“I think Peaches should come with us,” Spike said suddenly, a grin on his face. “Give him an understanding of buying food.”

“Yeah,” Doyle answered absently. “That might be a good idea.”

Angel protested as they pulled him out to the car and headed for the all night Wal-Mart. It was obvious that the vampire hadn’t bought food in recent history, but he would learn.

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

There were certain things in the world that Angel was not prepared to deal with. After half an hour in the store, he decided that Wal-Mart was definitely one of them. As soon as they had entered the doors, the others had split up. Spike dragging Xander to the toy section, Dru heading off for parts unknown and Doyle going to the food section. Angel followed behind his husband, absurdly frightened by the bright lights and brighter displays scattered around the store. He watched in awe as the smaller man shopped, grabbing things seemingly at random and throwing them in the cart.

“Do we really need three loaves of bread?” he asked as Doyle kept filling the cart.

“Yes,” the seer said patiently. “We actually go through a lot of bread during the week.”


“Why don’t you go find Dru,” Doyle sighed. “I’ll finish up here and then come and get you.”

“All right,” Angel nodded, happy to find something else to do.

He walked through the store searching for his wayward childe. A while later he finally found her in the children’s section, talking very seriously to a bunch of balloons. He listened as she asked them questions and waited patiently for the answers.

“What are you doing Dru?” he asked, coming to stand beside her.

“Talking to my new friends,” she smiled. “Aren’t they pretty?”

Angel nodded and looked around for any help in dealing with the demented seeress. He sighed with relief when he noticed Spike and Xander up the aisle, their arms loaded down with toys. He caught Spike’s eye and gestured the younger vampire over.

“Hey Dru,” the blonde said, shoving the items in his arms at Angel. “What do we have here?”

“I made some new friends,” Dru giggled. “Can we take them home with us?”

“Sure, I don’t see why not,” blue eyes met brown and Angel glanced away from the fierce look in Spike’s eyes. “All of them or any particular one?”

“All of them,” Dru clapped.

“Okay then.” Spike untied the balloons and handed them over, making sure that Dru had a firm grasp on the strings. “Let’s go find Doyle and get out of here.”

“Good idea,” Angel muttered as he followed along behind them, wondering when he had lost control over everything.

“Doyle, come see my new friends,” Dru shouted when she spotted the seer.

The half-demon smiled at her. “They’re very nice.”

“But they’re afraid,” she pouted. “They think that they’re gonna be pulled down and fall.”

“Barophobia,” Doyle said.

“What?” “Huh?” Spike and Angel both stared at him.

“Barophobia. It’s a fear of gravity,” the seer explained.

“That’s a fucked up fear,” Spike laughed. “How’d you know that anyway?”

“I used to be a teacher,” Doyle shrugged. “Learned a lot of odd things.”

“A teacher, eh?” Spike eyed him seriously. “I might just have a job for you.”




Chapter Seventeen: Dreaming Shadows
Summary: Presents and Dreams
Rating: PG
Note: Time jump in this chapter. It’s just over a year later.


Xander smiled as the candle-laden cake was set before him. Taking a deep breath, he made a wish and blew out the flickering lights, laughing silently at Dru’s clap and giggle. Doyle pulled the cake away and Spike placed the first gaudily wrapped box in front of him. Excited, Xander ripped the paper off and carefully opened the box, his mouth dropping open in shock at the contents.

“We’ll teach you to use them,” Spike said as Xander turned pleading eyes on him. “You’ll be training with me and Angel with them.”

Xander ran a careful finger over the dagger set, noting the protection runes etched into the silver blades. He pouted as the daggers were removed and another present set in their place. He opened this box and stared in glee. Inside was a leather duster, just like Spike’s. Lifting it out of the box, he stood and slipped into it, smiling at the feel. It didn’t carry the same feeling of safety and comfort that he got when he wore Spike’s, but it had it’s own comfort. He lifted questioning eyes, glancing at everyone.

“The old man got it for you,” Spike drawled, loving the look of shock on his boy’s face and the embarrassment on his Sire’s.

Turning, Xander met Angel’s sheepish gaze and moved closer to the older vampire, wrapping him in an unexpected hug. Angel patted the boy’s back for a moment and then hugged the boy back when he realized Xander wasn’t letting go. Finally, Xander released him and stepped back to the table, leaving the confused vampire to stand by himself. Both Doyle and Spike snickered at the flummoxed look on Angel’s face while Dru handed Xander his next gift.

Once the latest gift was opened, Xander clapped his hands in glee at the assortment of video games that filled the box. He knew without a doubt that they were from Spike and he graced the blonde with a brilliant smile. Opening the next gift, he mock frowned at the books. He had grown an appreciation for the written word under Doyle’s tutelage.

“We can start on these later,” Doyle told him. “I noticed Spike sparked an interest in Shakespeare. That’s his completed works.”

Xander reached up and hugged him, giggling silently at the wave of red that crept over his teacher’s face.

“I’ll help you read them,” Spike offered. “Be just like hearing it straight from the dead guys mouth.”

Xander and Doyle paused and looked at each other, strange expressions on their faces. Turning together, they each bestowed Spike with his trademark ‘raised eyebrow’, wicked grins stretching their lips. It took Spike a second to realized what was amusing them before his statement hit him.

“Ha ha,” he said sarcastically. “Ain’t it time for cake.”

The humour of his words was forgotten in favour of the cake and they all sat down to enjoy the treat. The cake was finished quickly and they cleaned up before heading off their separate ways for the day. Doyle dragged Angel upstairs, muttering something about rewarding sentimental fools. Dru headed toward the kitchen, talking to Miss Edith about having a tea party. Spike led the sleepy young man up the stairs to their suite, helping the boy strip down and tucking him in.

“Happy birthday, Xan,” he whispered, leaning down to brush as chaste kiss over the sleeping man’s lips. “Welcome to the adult world.”

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

He could hear screaming, hoarse and uncontrolled, full of fear and fury. After a startled second he realized that he was the one screaming. The shock of hearing his own voice silenced him and brought the world into focus. The scene around him made him lean over and retch.

The hotel lay in ruins around him and the streets surrounding were on fire. Afraid, he began to search the wreckage for his family, sobbing when he found Miss Edith laying in a pile of ashes. There were two more piles not far from the first and a short distance away a bloody, broken body lay almost unrecognizable. Tears skewing his vision, he reached out and touched one of the arms, snatching his hand back at the sensation of cold skin.

From the shadows laughter came, chilling him deeply. He looked around but his sight couldn’t penetrate the darkness and the laughter rose in volume, echoing wildly around the rumble.

“Just say yes,” a voice whispered from nowhere. “Say yes and this will all remain a dream. Just a dream.”

He clamped his lips shut and shook his head, willing himself to wake up.

Say yes!

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

Spike gathered his boy into his arms as sobs shook the tense body. Holding the trembling young man tightly, he vow to kill anyone who was messing with his boy. Anyone.




Chapter Eighteen: Unusual Silence
Summary: Now for Something new and different
Rating: PG
A/N: Introducing a new character


Something was wrong. Angel stared hard at the lobby, desperately trying to figure out what was amiss. He knew part of it was that he was alone in the hotel, the empty rooms and corridors felt desolate without Doyle’s laughter, Dru’s babble, Spike’s bragging and Xander’s smile. The other part was the almost peacefulness that had descended upon their lives. Other than the demons they fought and the occasional spat between him and Spike, life was idyllic. That alone worried the vampire. Everything was nice and sweet, and Angel knew it was only a matter of time before disaster struck.

Sighing, he leaned against the counter and propped his chin on one hand, staring at the doors. The others had left him home once again while they went shopping, Doyle stating he only wanted to deal with one whining child at a time. Not that Angel actually wanted to brave the horror that was Walmart. Truthfully, the five times he had in the past year were more than enough to last him for the rest of his existence. Still, while he didn’t want to do shopping, he didn’t want to be left home alone either. He had become accustomed to having someone around him at all times and being alone felt strange.

The doors started to open and he straightened up, trying to look like he was doing something important. He slumped a little when he saw it wasn’t one of his family coming through the doorway but someone else instead. The stranger was young woman, pretty with long dark hair, dressed in designer clothing.

“Hello,” she greeted him as she walked regally into the room, glancing around the lobby briefly before turning to look at him. “I was told that someone here could help me deal with some strange things.”

“Probably. Depends on what sort of strange things you need help with,” Angel told her.

The door behind her opened, letting the missing four enter before she could speak again. Doyle looked at Angel who shrugged. He didn’t know what was happening yet anyway. The seer nodded and dragged Spike off to the kitchen to help him put stuff away. Angel smiled as Dru headed over to one of the couches, a balloon gripped in one hand and Miss Edith in the other, carrying on a conversation only she could hear. Xander closed the door and skirted around the young woman, coming to stand beside the taller man.

“Do I know you?” the woman asked, staring hard at Xander who tipped his head to the side and really looked at her then shrugged. “Where are you from?”

“He’s from a little town not far from here,” Angel interjected.

“I didn’t ask you,” she snapped. “He can talk for himself.”

“Actually, he can’t,” Spike said from behind her, making the woman yelp.

“Oh,” she blinked. “Anyway, I’m here looking for some help.”

“Help with what exactly?” Angel asked.

“I’m not sure you’ll believe me, but I’m telling the truth,” she began. “See, vampires and stuff are real and I’m sorta being stalked by one”

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

Xander watched the woman carefully, wondering why she produced such a confused feeling in him. It felt like he knew her, or someone like her. Even her name, Cordelia Chase, sounded familiar but his memories before the hospital were foggy and he couldn’t really remember anything. He listened as Angel and Doyle assured her that they believe in vampires too and could help her. She had seemed so shocked when they didn’t dismiss her right away and instead asked her a series of questions about the vampire stalking her.

“Wait, didn’t you use to skulk around Sunnydale?” Cordelia asked Angel.

Xander started and stared at her in shock. He hadn’t heard that name in years, and hearing it now sent little shivers of fear down his back.

“I didn’t skulk,” Angel protested. “And yes, I was in Sunnydale.”

“Wow, no wonder you believe,” she laughed. Her eyes darted over to Xander and a knowing look crossed her face. “Xander Harris.”

He nodded slowly, still staring at her. She obviously knew him but he still couldn’t place her.

“It’s okay if you don’t remember me,” Cordelia told him. “It’s not like we were friends or anything.”

Suddenly the image of a younger girl staring down at him imperiously entered his mind and he blinked in shock, remembering the vicious girl she had been. She was correct though, they hadn’t been anything close to resembling friends. Cordelia Chase had been pretty and popular, he was just Xander.

“You disappeared years ago, what happened to you?” she asked bluntly.

He shook his head and shrugged, hoping to deflect her questioning. Looking over at Angel, he silently begged the vampire to start questioning her again so he didn’t have to answer. Nodding, Angel directed her attention back to him and Doyle, letting the young man breath a sigh of relief.

“Are you staying some place safe, Ms. Chase?” Doyle asked politely.

“I’m staying in a very nice hotel downtown,” she replied, smiling at him.

“Hotel’s aren’t really that safe,” Angel told her. “Vampires can come and go as they please.”

She paled. “Really?”

“Yes,” Doyle nodded. “Do you have any other place to stay? Family or friends?”

“N-n-no,” Cordelia stuttered. “I don’t know anyone in town yet.”

Spike sauntered up and leaned over, whispering in Angel’s ear. The blonde glanced over at the young woman before saying something softly to Doyle as well before turning to Xander. “You okay with her staying here?”

Xander looked up at him and nodded, smiling softly at him. Spike gave him a quick hug and walked off, whistling softly under his breath.

“Ms. Chase, would you be willing to stay here until this is resolved?” Angel asked.

“Here?” She glanced around and sighed. “I guess it would be okay.”

Doyle smiled at her. “It’ll take a few for us to get a room ready for you. Would you like something to drink while you wait?”

“No, I’m okay,” Cordelia said. “But can I ask a question?”

“Sure. What did you want to know?”

“Why is there blood on the carpet over there?”


Chapter Nineteen: Frisky Shadows
Summary: Xander meets someone new
Rating: PG


Xander peeked around the corner, sighing with relief that Cordelia was not in the lobby. In the week she had been there, she had stalked him around the building, constantly asking questions. Most of the time he wouldn’t have answered her even if he had been able to. Glad to finally be away from her, he sank down on one of the couches and finally relaxed. Doyle had sent Angel and Spike off to search for information on Cordelia’s stalker and the seer must have been keeping the woman occupied. Dru was napping in their suite and Xander was alone for the first time in over a year. Squirming further down into the couch, he let his mind drift into other random thoughts.

A soft sound broke him out of his daydreams and he looked around in confusion. The lobby was still empty, but he could hear the sound again. It was a soft little whine and was coming from the office. Curious, he sat forward and peered in that direction, hoping to catch a glimpse of whatever was making the noise. From his vantage point he couldn’t see straight into the office and with a sigh he pushed himself to his feet, walking slowly in that direction. The closer he got to the office, the louder the sound, but when he stepped inside the noise stopped. He searched the room visually, looking for anything out of the ordinary. A small ball of something on the floor by the desk stood out and he cautiously approached it, stopping when it moved. The lump stretched, becoming a small grey creature that looked a lot like a kitten with little black wings. Carefully, he reached down and picked it up, cradling the shaking body against his chest. He started to pet the creature, marveling at the soft fur and the leathery feel to the wings. A quiet, rumbling purr started and he grinned down at the creature.

Walking slowly he headed out of the office and started searching the hotel for Doyle, hoping the seer could tell him exactly what his new friend was. He had reached the top of the stairs when the front doors opened, letting Spike and Angel in. Still smiling, Xander headed back down, silently extending his handful to his vampire.

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

Grumbling, Spike pushed the doors to the hotel open, hoping to get away from Angel as soon as he could. Their search had been a bust and the darker vampire had started brooding. The last thing the blonde wanted to do was deal with a morose, remorseful Angel. Better to let Doyle handle his own husband.

Spike grinned when he saw his boy on the stairs, the sight of the dark haired youth enough to calm his nerves. When his boy reached the bottom of the stairs he held something out and the vampire nearly screamed when he saw the hell cat curled in the palm of the young man’s hands.

“Xander,” he started quietly. “Where did you find that?”

Xander pointed to the office and then started stroking the small form, still smiling. Spike shook his head and looked at Angel for help, but the older vampire was laughing too hard.

“That’s a hell cat, pet,” he said patiently. The boy shrugged and continued to pet the creature. “You can’t keep it, Xander.”

The boy’s smile faded and a pout came into effect. Dark brown eyes grew large and damp as Xander stared at him, clutching the hell cat to his chest. Spike felt his resolve melt and sighed in defeat. Nothing could withstand the boy looking like that, not even him.

“Fine, you can keep him. But you’re taking care of him and we’re finding a way to keep him from calling others into the building,” Spike said finally.

Xander smiled widely and placed a quick kiss on Spike’s cheek before running up the stairs. Snarling, Spike turned to glare at Angel.

“A lot of help you were!” he snapped.

The older vampire stopped laughing. “Doyle found it yesterday,” Angel told him. “It’s already been warded. We thought it would be good for him.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” growled Spike.

“And miss the look on your face?” Angel laughed.

“I really hate you,” the blonde grumbled, heading off after his boy.



Chapter Twenty: Fragile Shadows
Summary: Xander’s Growing Up
Rating: R


Three weeks. The stalker vampire was dead and still the bloody bint was with them. For some reason, Doyle and Angel agreed to let her stay, giving her a job as a secretary. Spike wasn’t sure why they needed a secretary in the first place, but he grudgingly agreed to leave the girl alone if she left him and his be. So far, the truce was holding up and an uneasy peace hovered over the hotel.

The introduction of Xander’s hell kitten into their lives had been a interesting one. Spike grinned as he thought about the kitten. Hella, as the kitten had been named, was like any other cat: mischievous and devious. The ability to fly just made the animal’s attacks more interesting. She dropped things on them from the ceiling, giving little kitten smirks when they jumped. Cordelia and Angel had become her favourite targets, leaving the others laughing in the wake of her attacks.

A soft, wet touch to his ankle snapped Spike out of his musings and he looked down at the black lump of fur and wings rubbing against him.

“Hey there,” he crooned, bending down to pick up the kitten. “Where’s your daddy at?”

The hell kitten purred and rubbed against his cheek, batting the side his head with a wing. Spike laughed, scratching the kitten’s head as he went looking for his missing boy. He searched the bottom floor, finding Dru in the kitchen with Miss Edith. Pausing to give the loopy vampire a quick kiss, he continued his search, heading toward their rooms. Their suite was empty and Spike growled in annoyance. He hated when he didn’t know where Xander was. How was he to protect the boy if he couldn’t find him?

Still growling, he knocked on the married couple’s door, hoping one of them had seen Xander. Doyle opened the door, smiling in greeting and letting a wave of laughter flow into the room. Peering in, Spike could see his boy curled up into one of the armchairs, a wide smile on his face. When the boy looked up and saw Spike his smile grew and the blonde felt his anger at the boy flow away.

“Have a meeting and forget to tell me?” Spike snapped in mock anger.

“Angel was just telling us about his last case,” Doyle told him, pulling him into the room.

“Oh really,” he arched an eyebrow. “I don’t remember this case.”

“You had taken Dru out for the night,” the seer reminded him. “It was last week.”

Spike nodded, remembering the fit the insane seeress had thrown, prompting him to take her out for a night on the town. “What happened then? Must have been good with the way you’re all laughing.”

If vampires could have blushed, Angel would have been bright red, as it was, the vampire ducked his head and muttered under his breath until his husband made him continue.

“This woman was certain there was a demon in their house and it was targeting her daughter. She made claims of strange sights and noises. I agreed to go check it out. I searched all the rooms, but there was nothing. So I figured that it was just their imaginations since they had just moved into the house.

“The mother wouldn’t let me leave. She kept saying that there was something and I had to find it. She led me up to the girl’s room and told me that most of the strange things had happened in there. All I could think was it had to be the girl. There were bears everywhere. Piled on the bed, the floor, in the closet. There were posters of bears and little figurines around. I was almost certain it was the girl,” Angel paused.

“I take it that it wasn’t?” Spike smirked.

Angel shook his head. “As I turned to leave the room, one of the bears jumped out at me. It turns out there was a demon. It was a shape shifter and there were so many bears that it wasn’t noticed among them.”

“Okay, while somewhat amusing, I don’t see what’s so funny.”

Doyle laughed. “Seems the girl was fond of that bear. She made Angel go with her to a Build-a-Bear shop to make a new one.”

The image of Angel surrounded by half made teddy bears and being led by a little girl popped into Spike’s head and he joined the others in laughing at the older vampire’s misfortune.

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

There were hands on him, but they didn’t hurt. They stroked down his sides, tickling and making him feel warm, but there was no pain. Soft lips brushed over his, barely there kisses and he lifted his head to get more. But the mouth didn’t linger, instead it travelled over his cheek and down his neck, leaving little biting kisses in its wake. The hands moved lower, sliding down his hips and trailing over his thighs. He sighed as the lips came back up, pressing harder against his and a wet tongue laved over them, encouraging his lips to open. A strange feel grew inside as he let his lips fall open and the tongue slipped inside, mapping the contours of his mouth.

“Xander.” His name was whispered in a familiar voice, sparking new sensations deep inside.

“Spike,” he breathed.

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

His heart racing, Xander sat up quickly. He looked around the room and noticed he was alone, though the presence of Spike’s duster on one of the chairs stated that the vampire wasn’t very far. Sliding off the bed, he padded over to the bathroom and looked at himself in the mirror, wondering if he dreams would show on his face.

He was confused. The memory of Trent had dimmed, but the fear still remained. Yet he was dreaming of Spike touching him in a way that should make him afraid but there was no fear. Rubbing a hand over his face he struggled with what to do. Finally he headed back into the bedroom and grabbed his notebook and pen and went looking for the one person who wouldn’t judge him. Beside, Doyle always had answers.



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Of Shadows and Silence – Chapters 21-25

Chapter Twenty One: Surprised Silence
Summary: Life continues on. Spike gets a shock
Rating: G/PG


Spike watched his boy with a fond smile as the young man poked his tongue out in concentration. Doyle had been working Xander hard with school work, enlisting the aid of Cordelia who it turned out wasn’t as much of an airhead as Spike originally thought. Together the two of them kept on the boy’s case, urging him to learn more and faster. So far they had caught him up to the point where he was now studying for his SATs. Thankfully the normal pressure that accompanied the test was absent and Xander wasn’t aware of what he was studying for. Still, the boy did all the work Doyle put before him, soaking up the knowledge as it was presented.

“Hey pet,” he murmured, sitting down beside his boy. “Having fun?”

Somehow Spike managed to keep his face straight as Xander shot him an evil look before turning back to his work. Grinning inwardly, he nudged the boy until he looked up again, ignoring the angry look the boy shot him.

“You didn’t answer me,” he pouted.

Xander shook his head and pushed Spike away, trying to ignore the vampire. Grinning outwardly now, Spike reached over and pulled Xander’s workbook over. He read over the words on the paper, startled to the familiar writing in print.

Your name I speak aloud
Your scent I breathe each day
Your face I see in cloud
And this I need to say

Now to you I promise
My heart forever more
All I ask is this
Never close the door.

He dropped the booklet, his fingers numb. When Xander touched his arm Spike barely reacted, his mind replaying the words, remembering the feel of pen and paper.

“Spike?” Doyle’s voice broke through and he turned dazed blue eyes on the seer, noting the panicked look on Xander’s face.

“Where did you find this?” he asked hoarsely.

“What? The poem?” Spike nodded. “It was in a small book of poems I found a few years ago in a used bookstore.”

“What was the name of the author?”

“William Bradshaw, I believe,” Doyle said slowly. “Why?”

The vampire laughed bitterly, dropping his head into his hands. He ignored Doyle and Xander, desperately trying to reign in his feelings.

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

Xander raced away from Doyle and Spike, running as fast as he could in search of Angel. His vampire’s reaction to the poem worried him and he hoped the older vampire could help figure out what happened.

“Xander, what’s wrong?” Angel asked as he nearly fell into the office. The boy tugged on the vampire, urging the man to follow him. They moved quickly through the hotel to where Spike sat unnaturally still with Doyle standing over him. “Spike? What happened?”

“William Bradshaw,” the blonde whispered.

Angel flinched and Xander glanced between him and Spike, noticing both looked a little peaked. He met Doyle’s eyes, his own worry reflected back at him.

“Angel, who’s William Bradshaw?” Doyle asked for both of them.

“We were in London, Darla, Dru and I,” Angel started softly. “Dru had slipped off somewhere while Darla stalked some socialite and I watched. We found her about an hour later in a barn with a newly turned vampire in her lap.”

“Do you mean-?” Doyle stopped, trying to find the words.

“William was a sweet natured young man, soft spoken and well mannered. He wanted to be a poet despite his family’s wishes but he lacked the truly creative spark,” the vampire paused. “William didn’t last long, not with the cruelty that Darla and I heaped on him. One day he took off, was gone for about a week. When he returned, the soft-spoken man was gone and in his place was a gutter rat.”

“William died and Spike was born,” the blonde finished.

“How did your poems get published?” Doyle asked.

“I don’t know,” Spike looked up. “I thought I had killed everyone who read them since they all mocked me.”

“All but Cecily,” Angel objected.

“You don’t think she published them, do you?” Spike snorted. “I was beneath her.”

“It’s the only explanation that I can think off,” the older vampire shrugged.

“You still got that book?” Spike asked Doyle.

“Yeah, hold on.”

Xander sat beside Spike and leaned into the blonde, giving silent comfort. The vampire gave him a small smile and wrapped an arm around his shoulders, pulling him closer as they waited for Doyle to return.


Spike took the book and opened it to the dedication page and read quietly. “Published posthumously for William Bradshaw. May death grant him the love that life could not. Cecily Adams.”




Chapter Twenty Two: Sad Shadows
Summary: Spike tells Xander a story
Rating: PG

Xander’s writing


“Hey, pet.” Xander looked over as his vampire settled next to him. “What ya doing?”

Thinking, Xander wrote.

“‘Bout what?” Spike asked curiously.


“What about him?” he asked, wrapping an arm around Xander’s shoulders.

I was wondering why he always looks so sad, Xander scrawled.

“Hmm, that,” Spike nodded.

You know why, don’t you?

“Yeah, I know,” Spike answered. “I take it you want to know too?”

Xander nodded. Please.

“Okay then,” said Spike, wiggling to get comfortable. “Way back when, Dru, Angel and I along with Angel’s Sire Darla, were called the Scourge of Europe. We basically went wherever we felt like and killed whoever we felt like. Until one day things changed. Angel, or Angelus as he was known by, had found some sweet young girl and eaten her. Normally, that wouldn’t have been a problem, except she was a gypsy princess, a favoured daughter.”

That doesn’t sound good.

“No, it wasn’t. Her whole clan got very upset; there was a hue and cry from the whole encampment. They decided that killing him wasn’t punishment enough, so instead they cursed him. They gave him a soul. He tried to stick around, but I think the soul was driving him crazy, and it didn’t help that Darla was a bitch who just made it worse. So Angel took off,” he said softly, eyes distant as he remembered.

Xander nudged him. The soul’s why he’s sad?

“Near as I can tell, the soul made him feel remorse for every single kill,” Spike replied. “He’s been trying to make up for that ever since.”

But that was a long time ago, he must have repaid all his sins by now?

“I’d agree, but I’ve heard about what happened in Sunnydale,” Spike said. “Seems he was helping a Slayer, but she went against a vampire called the Master and died. He didn’t help her since the Master is of our line.”

Xander stared at his whiteboard for a moment. That is sad. But he shouldn’t dwell on it. Life goes on and he has Doyle and us now.

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

Angel looked up as Xander stopped before his desk, the boy’s knuckles white around his board. He watched as the young man quickly wrote something out before handing the board over with a firm look.

We love you. Doyle loves you. Soul or no soul, you’re our family and we want you to be happy.

“It’s not that easy, Xander,” Angel began. “Sit and I’ll explain it.”

Xander quickly sank into a chair and stared at the vampire, waiting for the explanation.

“I take it Spike told you about the curse.” Xander nodded. “There’s something Spike doesn’t know about it though. There’s a clause on the curse that can make me lose my soul.”

Reaching out Xander snagged his board. Clause?

“Yes, a happiness clause. If I have a moment of perfect happiness I lose my soul,” the vampire explained.

What qualifies as a moment of perfect happiness?

“I don’t know,” Angel admitted. “That’s why I never let myself get too close to anyone.”

That’s why you keep pushing all of us away, especially Doyle.


You’re an idiot.

“Hey! I am not an idiot,” Angel protested.

Have you tried to find a way around the curse? Find some solution instead of hurting your husband.

“Okay, that’s enough,” the vampire snapped. “I’ve looked, there’s no loophole on the curse. And what happens between Doyle and I is personal and none of your business.”

“While I agree on that last part,” Doyle said from the doorway. “I totally disagree on the first.”

“Doyle, I-”

“Save it Angel,” the half-demon shook his head. “Xander’s right, you are an idiot. I found out about the clause on your curse from a vision a long time ago. And when the Elders joined us they took it away.”

“They did?” Angel was shocked.

“The clause was for you to find a moment of perfect happiness and it was to be with someone you loved,” Doyle told him.

“So I would have lost it during our bonding night,” Angel finished. Doyle nodded. “They didn’t tell me?”

Doyle shrugged. “They have a sick sense of humour,” he said before turning to look at Xander. “Thank you, but next time, stay out of it. I’ll handcuff him and remove the idiot’s head from his ass on my own.”

Xander smiled. I don’t like seeing either of you sad, he explained.

“That’s nice,” Doyle leaned down to hug him. “Now, don’t you still have homework to do?”
Pouting, Xander stood and left the room, leaving the married couple to kiss and make up.



Chapter Twenty Three: A Silent Halloween
Summary: Halloween Comes Once A Year
Rating: PG


“We should go out somewhere for Halloween,” Spike said suddenly, breaking the comfortable silence.

“Go where?” Doyle asked, putting his book down.

“Dunno, but I bet we could find a party some place,” shrugged Spike.

“There’s a formal dress ball happening,” Angel offered. “We could go to that.”

“How formal?” Cordelia asked. “I don’t have really formal clothes.”

“I have a better idea,” Spike said, sitting up. “What plays every Halloween?”

“Thriller?” Doyle guessed.

“No, though that would be fun to dress up as,” mused the blonde. “I mean corsets and fishnets, over-the-top make-up and men in drag.”

“No, no, nonononono,” Angel moaned, shaking his head violently. “No!”

“What?” Cordy asked, looking between to the two vampires bewildered. ” It doesn’t sound so bad.”

“See, she doesn’t know it, and I can guarantee that Xander doesn’t,” the blonde pointed out. “It’s something everyone should experience once in their lives.”

“What are you talking about?” Doyle asked finally.

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” Spike grinned.

The seer’s eyes widened in shock and he joined his husband in shaking his head in denial. “No, please no. I’ll never get the songs out of my head.”

“Come on, it’ll be fun,” Spike cajoled.

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

Xander teetered down the stairs, unsteady on the heels Spike had insisted on dressing him in. Looking down he made a face at his outfit, wondering why he’d let his vampire talk him into this. The corset just managed to cover his nipples and the tiny underwear kept creeping up his butt. The stockings were the strangest feeling piece of clothing he had ever worn and the high heels hurt his feet. The make-up Cordy had liberally applied made his face itch and the hairspray in his hair made his head feel odd. Overall, he was uncomfortable, but he would do just about anything to see Spike grin like he was now.

“Damn, pet, you look good in that,” the blonde vampire said, somehow managing to still look graceful as he stalked circles around the young man. “We’re so going to be a hit tonight.”

A few moments later Cordy glided down the stairs, looking spectacular in her costume. Her long, dark hair had been pinned up under a short red wig. She wore a gold jacket over a black sequin laden outfit finished by bright red tap shoes. She grinned at Spike when he whistled and did a little spin for their viewing pleasure.

Doyle came down the stairs after her, dressed in a black leather jacket decorated with snaps and buckles, a black torn t-shirt, black jeans and black boots. His hair was gelled and messed up and a fake sax hung off his neck. Angel followed behind his husband, dressed conservatively in a tux with a white flower on one lapel. Spike snorted at his outfit and yelled up for Dru to come down. The vampiress walked down, looking fairly normal in a maid’s outfit, her hair a bushy mess around her head.

“We ready?” Spike asked, looking around at them. They all nodded. “Let’s go then.”

“I have a question,” Doyle spoke up as they headed toward the car.

“What’s that?” Spike said, turning to look at him.

“Where did you get the clothes?”

“Bangkok,” the blonde replied.

“Better question,” Cordelia interrupted. “Why did you get the clothes?”

“You never know when corsets and stockings are going to be needed.”



Chapter Twenty Four: A Different Shade of Silence
Summary: A different point of view
Rating: PG


There was something that Hella found absolutely perfect about her home. She wasn’t sure if it was the large expanse of territory that she controlled, the hotel and the surrounding areas belonged solely to her. It could have been the heaps of hiding spots all around, nooks and crannies in the hotel itself and the myriad of alleys around it. Or possibly it was the group of humans to cater to her every whim. Why it was perfect didn’t matter, only that it was.

Purring happily, she flapped her wings and leapt into the air, circling around the lobby idly, letting the slight breeze flowing through aid her flight. She loved her home and she loved her main human, though he did take a lot of nurturing to get to the right point. She had put so much training into the silent boy, making sure he knew the proper way to adore her magnificence. Thankfully, he was a quick learner, and he was older. The thought of trying to teach a human toddler proper etiquette was enough to scare the evil out of her.

With a sigh she came down for a landing, plopping lightly on one of the couches. Everyone was out, gone to some event that made them dress up in funny attire, though her human and his bright-topped mate had both looked wonderful in their clothing. Still, with everyone gone, she was lonely and bored. There was nothing fun to do without someone to play with. Hella curled up in the corner of the couch and fanned a wing out over her body, making sure to cover her head. If she couldn’t play, she’d do the next best thing, sleep.

She drifted in sleep, dreaming of bright colours and vivid screams until the sound of the door opening woke her up. Moving her wing a bit, she cracked one eye and watched as the unfamiliar figure crept into lobby. Using a bit of the magic she had been left, she made herself unnoticeable and watched the dark clad figure move around the lobby and into the office. From there she followed him up the stairs, barely containing a furious hiss when he rudely walked into her human’s room and poked around through the private items.

The stranger checked the hotel over quickly and then headed back down the stairs. Feeling more than a little ticked off, Hella leapt into the air and spread her wings, letting them catch the slight breeze. The air carried her over to the doors and she landed softly in front of them, canceling the spell to make her invisible. The stranger yelled as she appeared and stumbled back, tripping down the few stairs and falling to the floor, knocking his head on the marble. Checking him over, she noticed there was no blood or signs of serious injuries, so she curled up beside his head and waited for the humans to get home. They would do something about the interloper in her domain.




Chapter Twenty Five: Fighting Silence
Summary: The Mysterious Invader is Revealed
Rating: PG


Spike pushed open the doors and ushered his boy in, trying not to laugh at the disgruntled look on Angel’s face. Everyone had laughed at his prudish costume. Still, the blonde was well aware that they had been the best dressed there, their costumes perfect and every hair in its place. They received looks of envy the whole night. Most of the looks at been at his boy and Cordelia, who both shone brilliantly.

His satisfaction with the night ended as they walked into the lobby and noticed the darkly dressed body lying still on the floor. Hella’s position by his head stated her involvement in the intruder’s state of unconsciousness, but didn’t explain how or why he was in the building to begin with. Spike flashed into his demonic guise and rolled the insensate man over, snarling down into the lax face.

“Back off, Spike,” Angel said in a deadly quiet voice. Spike moved back, sliding back into his human face. “Doyle, get some water so we can wake our uninvited guest up.”

The seer hurried off and returned quickly with a glass of water, splashing it over the prone man’s face. A low moan sounded and then green-grey eyes fluttered open as their owner looked around hazily. Realization and fear dawned in the startled gaze and their guest scrambled away from them.

“Who are you?” Angel asked. “And what are you doing in our home?”

The man glanced around, looking for a route of escape until Dru darted forward, startling a squeak out of him. “I’m sorry. My name is Wesley. I got lost and stopped in. I was just looking for a telephone. And then that cat thing attacked me.”

Spike raised an eyebrow at the distinctly British accent coming from the man. “You got lost a long way from home, mate.”

“A very long way,” Angel agreed. “And Hella wouldn’t have attacked you for no reason. She’s protective, not aggressive. So what did you do to upset her?”

“N-n-nothing,” he stuttered. “I didn’t do anything.”

The scent of fear filled the air and Spike turned a questioning look on his GrandSire. Angel nodded and Spike sprung forward to grab their invader. The man struggled until Spike tightened his hold, briefly cutting off the man’s air supply.

“Why don’t you tell us the truth now,” Angel suggested, strolling forward. “Who are you and why are you here?”

The man looked between all of them, before finally submitting and answering the questions. “My name is Wesley Wyndham-Price,” he said quietly. “I work for the Watcher’s Council. They sent me to ascertain if you were a threat to us.”

Spike shook his head. “Hella wouldn’t have attacked you if you broke in. She would have just run you out. What did you do?”

“We’ve heard about the boy,” he gasped as Spike tightened his arms again. “We needed something of his to scry him properly.”

The blonde vampire growled and sent the Watcher stumbling forward with a harsh push. Wesley fell to the ground with a grunt and stilled, waiting to be attacked. When no attack came, he carefully turned over to look at the people standing over him, all glaring down at him except for the young, dark haired young man who huddled into the blonde’s arms with an expression of fear.

“Can I kill him now?” Dru asked, bouncing up to her Sire. “Please, Daddy?”

“No, Dru,” Angel said patiently.

“Are you calling the cops?” Cordy asked, sneering down at the frightened man.

“No, the Watcher’s Council would easily get him out of jail,” he shrugged.

“What are we going to do with him then,” Spike snarled.

“We’re going to hold him, and question him until we get all the answers we need,” the older vampire said with a nasty smile. “And then we’ll send him back.”

“Your soul’s still attached, right?” Spike asked, carefully pushing Xander behind him.

“Yes,” sighed Angel. “But no one hurts my family. Let’s get him down stairs and start the tor – I mean, questions.”

“Goody,” Dru crowed. “We get to play games.”



Previous Next

Of Shadows and Silence – Chapters 26-30

Chapter Twenty Six: Dark Shadows
Summary: Some Plans are Revealed
Rating: PG


Xander sat encircled in Doyle’s arms as their intruder babbled in fear while Spike, Dru and Angel stalked around him, all of them in their demonic guise. The stench of fear filled the air, making the young man blink. Questions fell from the three vampires, piling up around the bound man. Across the room, Cordelia cleaned her nails with a small dagger, the knife looking wicked in her hands.

“What scrying spell were you going to use?” Dru hissed, wrapping her fingers in Wesley’s hair and pulling his head back.

Dark Sight,” he whimpered, staring up at her from wide eyes.

Dru stepped back from, pulling her hand back quickly. She made a soft keening sound, grabbing her head. “The stars, they scream.”

Xander shrugged Doyle’s arms off and stood, walking over to the vampiress. He pulled her into his arms, glaring at the Watcher. Spike spun away and wrapped his arms around both of them, absently crooning to the dark-haired woman.

“What’s wrong, Princess?” he asked, freeing one hand to tip her face up.

“They scream and burn and fade away,” she whispered. “It hurts, Spike, it hurts.”

Xander tapped her shoulder, making her look at him. Dru smiled wanly and buried her face in his neck. The young man cast a questioning look at his vampire, begging for some answers. Spike brushed a hand down Xander’s face, silently promising to get to the bottom of it. Xander leaned into him briefly, letting him hold the weight of the two of them. Spike could feel both Xander and Dru shaking, each for different reasons.

Snarling, Spike whipped around and lunged for the bound man, pulling the gibbering fool up. “What is the Dark Sight? And what do you want with Xander?” his voice was deadly quiet.

“Dark Sight is an arcane spell, meant to find out every little detail about a person, down to the thoughts they are thinking,” Angel said quietly, staring intently at the Watcher.

“What do you want with Xander?” Spike asked again.

“The Demonic Council took an interest in him,” Wesley finally managed to squeak. “The Watcher’s Council wanted to know what was so special about him.”

“And what would you have done with him when you found out?” Doyle moved off the couch and came closer, a look of anger on his face.

“I-I-I don’t know,” the man stuttered.

“We would have studied him to find out if he would be of any use to us,” a voice said from the doorway. “And if he wasn’t, we would have killed him.”

All eyes turned to look at the older man standing there, a younger couple standing right behind him, crossbows trained on Spike and Angel. Both vampires dropped into fighting stances while Dru pushed the vulnerable Xander behind her. Cordelia moved behind the desk, readying herself to drop out of range at any moment.

“Who the bloody hell are you?” Spike demanded.

“Travers,” Wesley gasped as he fell from Spike’s grip to land heavily on the floor. “Quentin Travers. Current head of the Watchers Council.”





Chapter Twenty Seven: Common Shadows
Summary: Trading Pawns
Rating: PG


A deep growl rumbled up from Angel’s chest, startling those who knew him. He remained motionless though, the threat of an arrow enough to keep him still. His eyes flashed golden as he watched the British man walk confidently into the lobby, his minions a few steps behind.

“None of that now,” Travers chided. “You don’t want my companions to get the wrong idea and have an accident.”

Still growling, Angel let his eyes darken back to their normal brown. “What do you want?”

“The boy, of course,” shrugged Travers as he sat down on one of the couches. “We really need to know what he’s capable of doing.”

“Sorry to disappoint but you can’t have him,” snarled Spike.

“And how exactly do you plan on stopping me from taking him?” the Watcher asked, arching an eyebrow. He waited a moment before continuing. “You can’t. We’ll be taking him when we leave. And to be nice, we will even give you dear Wesley here. A trade if you will.”

The tied Watcher blanched at the rather offensive way his future had been handled. He knew Travers was ruthless, but he never thought the older man would turn on another Watcher. Looking around the room, he noticed the expression of fury that the others wore and briefly wondered if he would be able to get out of the line of fire when all hell broke loose.

“Doesn’t seem like a fair trade,” Doyle said, walking closer to the young Watcher. “After all, Xander has talents and abilities, but we know next to nothing about Wesley’s.”

The Council head waved a hand dismissively. ” He has some magic abilities and language skills. I’m sure he could be used as stress relief in the dungeon.”

“Still doesn’t seem quite fair,” the seer replied, his hands hidden as he loosened the ropes around the younger man. “What else are you willing to give us?”

“What else would you want?” Travers asked, leaning forward intently. “Money, books, perhaps some of the older girls who’ve aged out of the Slayer line?”

“You know, that sounds a lot like human trafficking,” a new voice said from the still open door. All eyes turned to look at the blonde woman standing just inside the threshold, a gun held loosely in one hand. “And last time I looked , slavery was still illegal. That means you are under arrest.”

As she finished talking, several uniformed police officers entered the building, heading over to arrest the people she pointed at. Travers started shouting threats as he was dragged away and the cops smirked as they recorded every word he uttered.

“Kate,” Doyle smiled, moving away from the now freed Wesley to hug the woman. “How the hell did you know we needed you?”

“Cordelia called,” she answered, pointing to the young woman behind the counter. Cordy smile and waved a hand, going back to cleaning her nails. “Where the hell did that piece of slime crawl out from anyway?”

“England,” Angel told her. “Hopefully he’ll be going back there soon.”

“Don’t know, depends on the DA and if they find anything over there to convict him of,” Kate shrugged. She looked around, stopping Wesley. “Who’s that?”

“Wesley Wyndham-Price,” the Watcher introduced himself. “I used to work for Travers.”

“Use to?” she asked. “Why did you stop?”

“Probably because the bloody bastard just tried to trade him for Xander,” Spike answered. He turned to look at the ex-Watcher. “What are you going to do now?”

“I don’t know,” admitted Wesley. “All my family have been Watchers. It’s what I was raised to be.”

“Travers said you know magic and languages,” Angel said, looking carefully at the young man.

“Yes, I do.”

“We could use the help on the magic front,” the vampire began. “We only have Dru. Plus the language skills could always be an asset. If you want to stay.”

The ex-Watcher looked around the room, meeting all of their eyes before finally nodding. “I think I might stay,” he said softly. “If only for a little while.”

Kate watched them, glad she only had to deal with them occasionally. She would have gone insane if she had to deal with them every day.


Chapter Twenty Eight: Broken Silence
Summary: Someone gets sick and nearly everything falls apart.
Rating: PG


Doyle watched as Xander curled into Spike’s side, the normally lively boy listless and lethargic. The seer worried about his young friend. The abnormal behaviour had been going on for over a week and didn’t seem to be getting any better. Truthfully, it was getting worse. It was a chore to get Xander to even eat a few bites of food, a task only Spike and Dru managed, and most of the time the young man just lay curled up somewhere in the building, Hella laying beside him.

“What’s wrong with Xander?” Angel asked, coming to stand behind his husband.

“What do you mean?” Doyle looked up at his lover.

“He’s always tired, he never eats and the other day he was shivering even though it was almost ninety in here,” the vampire said, staring hard across the room at the young man.

Doyle scrubbed his hands over his face. “I think he’s getting sick. Or is sick. I just don’t know what it is.”

“Take him to a doctor,” commanded Angel.

“It’s the middle of the day, I doubt Spike’ll let him out of the hotel,” Doyle countered. He paused in thought for a moment. “Wait, I have an idea.”

Angel watched as his husband walked quickly off, muttering under his breath. Shaking his head, he went back to watching the youngest member of their eclectic family. Xander burrowed further into Spike’s side and the blonde glanced down, worry etched into his face. Angel hoped that they would be able to convince the younger vampire to let the boy out of his sight for a few hours to get him checked. The oddness of Xander’s condition was a concern for the elder vampire.

“Here,” Doyle said, reappearing at Angel’s side. He thrust a coiled length of rope at Angel. “For Spike.”

The taller man blinked. “This isn’t going to hold him.”

Doyle blushed and cleared his throat. “Um, it’s been spelled to be vampire proof,” he said softly.

“Do I want to know why?” Angel asked, giving his husband an assessing look.

“No, doesn’t matter now anyway,” Doyle told him. “Get Spike restrained, Dru too if you can and I’ll take Xander up to the emergency room.”

Nodding, the vampire darted across the room and snatched Spike up, quickly binding him with the rope. Another fast movement and Dru was bound with him, giggling softly.

“What the bloody hell are you doing?” Spike shouted, struggled to free himself.

Xander pushed himself slowly off the couch and went to untie his vampires but Doyle stopped him, pulling him easily away.

“Xander’s sick,” Angel said, pointing at the young man who was leaning on Doyle to remain upright. “Doyle said he would take him to the hospital.”

An expression of fear descended on Xander’s face and he struggled weakly in Doyle’s grip. The seer easily restrained him, trying to calm him down. “Xander, what’s wrong?”

“You’re taking him to a hospital, you bloody wankers, what do you think the problem is!” Spike growled.

Doyle groaned. “Not a hospital like that, Xan, I promise. We just need to find out why you’re so sick.”

The young man kept fighting and managed to break free of the half-demon’s grip, immediately heading over to Spike. He half hid behind the bound vampire, burying his face in the blonde’s neck.

“Can you wait until tonight?” asked Spike, trying to remain calm for his boy’s sake.

Doyle shook his head. “It’s best he goes now. If it’s something major time could be a fatal factor.”

Spike growled and looked around in thought. “Xander?” he said softly, coaxing the young man out from behind him. “Would it be alright if Cordy went with you? She could protect you and she won’t leave you there. Maybe Wes would go too.”

Xander lifted his head and stared into Spike’s eyes before nodding.

Sighing in relief, Angel went off to find the other two humans while Doyle untied Spike and Dru. The vampire wrapped his arms around his boy, hiding his extreme worry in the need to keep Xander calm.




Chapter Twenty Nine: Slipping Shadows
Summary: No news isn’t necessarily good news
Rating: PG


Xander flinched away from the noise and smell of the hospital. He could feel his mind slipping back into the horror that had been his life before Spike rescued him. Memories threatened to overwhelm him and only Doyle’s tight grip on his arm kept him centered in the here and now. Shaking, he followed his friend to the registration desk, listening with half an ear to the information the nurse was being given. Behind him, Cordy and Wes stood, quietly arguing over who would stay and who would report back to the hotel. Neither wanted to leave the damaged young man, even if Doyle would still be there with him.

The seer led him over to the plastic seats and sat beside him. Cordy sat on his other side, a constant torrent of words falling from her lips as she tried to distract him from their environment.

“… after that we’ll go clothes shopping. I definitely need someone there with me,” she scrunched up her face. “If only to keep me from buying everything in sight. Then maybe we can convince the old fogies into taking us to the beach.”

He gave her an incredulous look at that suggestion.

“Not during the day,” Cordy shook her head. “But it would still be fun to go at night. We could have a bonfire party and all that fun stuff.”

Xander smiled at her suggestion and nodded. He liked the idea of seeing the ocean at night, with Spike and Dru with him, as well as the rest of their odd little family. It would be nice to do something family-like. Something you see the perfect families on t.v. doing.


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


Spike paced the length of the lobby, worry for his boy evident in every motion he made. His face was in its demonic guise and his duster snapped around his legs as he moved. Every once in awhile a low growl would sound from his throat.

“He’ll be alright,” Angel tried to reassure him. “Doyle will take care of him.”

Spike snarled. “It’s not Doyle I’m worried about. I trust him, and the other two, to take care of Xander. It’s the doctors that worry me. All the ‘what ifs.'”

“I know,” the older vampire sighed, slumping. “But there’s nothing we can do until nightfall.”

With another growl, Spike threw himself down on one of the couches beside Dru, letting her cuddle into his side. The seeress had been quiet since the others had left and Spike could feel her worry weighing down on his own. Hella dove down from the ceiling and curled up on Dru’s lap with a soft cry, her dark grey body shivering.

Silence filled the room as they all wondered just what was happening with Xander, Doyle, Cordy and Wes. A moment later soft humming filled the air. Spike glanced down at Dru, noticing the vacant look in her dark eyes.

“Hush little baby, don’t you cry,” she sang quietly, her thoughts miles away on a dark haired young man.


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


Squeezing Doyle’s hand, Xander followed the nurse into the examination room. He curled into the older man as they waited for the doctor to come. Doyle ran his hand through Xander’s hair, trying to keep the young man calm. They both jumped as the door opened as an older man in a white lab coat enter.

“Hello, I’m Dr. Evans,” he introduced himself. “Which one of you is Xander?”

Xander raised his hand slightly as he moved to stand a little behind Doyle.

“And what exactly is wrong today?” Dr. Evans asked.

“He’s been cold, even when it’s hot. It’s been impossible to get him to eat and he hasn’t been sleeping,” Doyle told him.

“Hmm, okay then,” the doctor looked down at the file and then back at them. “If you’ll just wait outside, I’ll check him over and see if we can figure out what’s wrong.”

At the doctor’s words, Xander felt a spike of fear. He began to hyperventilate and his eyes darted around the room. Tears sprang up in his eyes at the thought of being left alone with a stranger. Doyle wrapped his arms around the shaking young man, whispering words to calm him, but Xander struggled in his grasp. As he tried to run, a soft voice whispered through his mind, singing lowly. He recognized the voice as Dru’s and let the quiet song soothe him. The song aided Doyle in calming the young man and once Xander had finally calmed down the seer turned to glare at the doctor.

“I stay,” he said firmly.

Eyeing the two of them, Dr. Evans looked thoughtful for a moment before nodding. Keeping his motions simple, he checked the young man over, noticing the things that weren’t right. Finally he stepped back and sighed.

“Okay, I know what’s happening and it is fixable,” he told them.

“Well?” Doyle asked when he didn’t continue.

“Xander has tonsilitis,” Dr. Evans said. “Has his throat been hurting him, or his voice going in the past couple of days?”

“I don’t know about the throat,” Doyle said, turning to look at Xander who nodded. “Okay, it has.”

“And his voice?”

“He doesn’t talk,” the seer shrugged.

“Alright then,” the doctor said slowly. He was silent for a moment. “I’ll prescribe him some antibiotics, and if it doesn’t clear up in a couple of weeks, we’ll send him in to have his tonsils out.”

“That’s not going to go over well,” sighed Doyle.

“Why not?” the doctor asked, worried that the young man would be denied the surgery if he needed it.

“He’s the baby of our family,” Doyle smiled. “And the thought of him going under the knife is going to make everyone upset.”


Chapter Thirty: Sunny Shadows
Summary: Bad news and new hope
Rating: PG


Spike stared a Doyle as if waiting for the seer to say he was joking, but Doyle just stared back, his green eyes serious and solemn. He didn’t want to believe the half-demon and kept shaking his head in denial.

“Yes, Spike,” Doyle said. “If it doesn’t start to clear up soon, they’ll have no choice. Tonsilitis is dangerous.”

“So’s going under a bloody knife,” the blonde vampire snarled. “Find some other way.”

“There is no other way,” the seer sighed. “Surgery might be the only option.”

“There’s no spells or anything?” Cordelia asked, looking up from the magazine she was reading.

Doyle shook his head. “Not for something like this. I really wish there was, I don’t like it either.”

“But you don’t like it for different reasons than Spike does,” she shrugged, looking back down.

Spike glared at her but Doyle looked at her intently. “What do you mean by that?”

She looked back up. “Oh, that’s easy. You don’t like it because any surgery can be dangerous and you’re worried what’ll happen when Xander’s under,” she nodded. “Spike’s worried because he won’t be able to be there. Just like when we took Xander to the hospital.”

Blinking, Doyle glanced over at the suddenly still vampire, noting that Spike was still glaring at Cordy. “Is she right?”

“Yes,” the vampire snapped. “I won’t be there to keep him safe.” He ran his hands roughly through his hair, musing the gelled locks. “I’m supposed to keep him safe.”

A strange look descended on Doyle’s face as he gazed thoughtfully at Spike for a few moments. Suddenly he smiled and patted the vampire’s arm. “It’ll be okay,” he promised. “You’ll see.”

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

Rubbing absently at his throat, Xander wandered aimlessly around the hotel. It had been two weeks since they had made him go to the hospital, and there hadn’t been a change. He knew what that meant, and he dreaded it. Despite the hospital being nothing like the one he spent years in, it still frightened him and he knew that he would be going without his vampires. That was what scared him the most. Spike and Dru were his anchors, his guidelines that kept him safe and sane in the wake of the horror he had faced. Without them it seemed like the memories would rise up and overwhelm him. He didn’t want to face surgery without them, but he didn’t know how to bring them with him.

“Hey Xan,” Spike said, appearing as if Xander’s thoughts had conjured him. “Feeling better?”

With a silent sigh, Xander shook his head and moved gratefully into the open arms. He let Spike’s strength soak into him and melted into the embrace.

“Guess that means it’s surgery for you,” murmured Spike as he ran a hand over Xander’s back. “I’ll talk to Doyle about setting it up.”

Xander lifted his head from its place on Spike’s shoulder and met bright blue eyes, letting his own reflect his fears and worries. Spike nodded and pulled him closer, helping ease some of the fears with his presence.

“I don’t know, pet,” he said softly. “I can’t be there with you.”

“Yes you can,” Doyle interrupted from the side.

He walked forward and held out something the vampire. Spike reached out and took the object, holding it up to look closely at it. It was a bracelet made of some reflective material that looked somewhat like silver, but didn’t feel like it. There were three stones set in it, two a dark blue and the third, the middle one an emerald green. Curious, he looked over at Doyle, seeing the smug smirk on the half-demon’s face.

“I pulled in a few favours with my contacts to find that,” Doyle told him. “A Shaman found it while trying to climb Mt. Everest.”

“What exactly is it?” Spike asked.

“There were three pieces made. A ring, a bracelet and an earring. The ring is believed to be in Sunnydale, and we’re all hoping the Master doesn’t find it. The earring was destroyed by the Templar Knights. And the bracelet is currently in your hands.”

“That doesn’t really bloody help,” Spike snapped.

“All three were made by the same sorcerer name Amara,” grinned Doyle.

Spike nearly dropped the priceless piece of jewellery he held. Hugging Xander tight he begged Doyle silently to be telling the truth. The seer nodded.

“Each held different powers,” Doyle said. “The ring made the wearer impervious to harm. The earring gave slight telepathic abilities. No one’s quite sure just what the bracelet does, but they all have one thing in common.”

“They let vampires walk in the sun,” Spike breathed. He reached out and pulled Doyle into a hug, squashing his between them. “Thank you.”

“Wear it well, and keep him safe,” Doyle smiled, hugging them back.


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


“Occupation?” Spike blinked at the forms he had to fill out. “Why the hell would they need to know what his bloody job is?”

“So they know what sort of restrictions to place on him,” Cordy said patiently. “Put down private eye.”

“Yeah, whatever,” Spike said, writing that down. “Didn’t know people lied on these.”

“It’s not a lie,” shrugged the wanna-be actress. “Wes got us all our licenses. He said it would be better the next time we had to call Kate in about something.”

“Wow,” Spike said, blinking again. “Didn’t know the Watcher had the balls.”

Cordelia sighed. “Just fill out the forms, Spike. The sooner you do, the sooner they can get him in and we can get him home.”

Glancing down at the dozing young man leaning against him, Spike nodded and quickly finished filling out the number of forms. Once done, they waited for Xander to be called, walking him to the prep room. Giving the young man a brief hug, Spike left him in the care of the nurses, threatening them with bloody deaths should his boy come to harm. Used to death threats, they assured him Xander would be fine and shooed him out of the room.

Filled with worry and fear, he followed Cordy back to the waiting room where they sat in silence, praying to gods light and dark that Xander made it through safely.


Previous Next

Of Shadows and Silence – Chapters 31-35

Chapter Thirty One: The Silence In Between
Summary: Spike has some realizations
Rating: PG


The world was crumbling, shattering into millions of pieces beneath his feet. Buildings were falling into tiny shards, piling up around him. Raising his hands he watched as his fingers crumbled, landing amongst the ruins around him. He opened his mouth to scream, but even the sound fell apart, tumbling down.

“Hey, wake up,” a soft voice cajoled, making the horror fade away. He forced his eyes open, wondering why they were so heavy and looked up into worried blue ones. Spike leaned over, brushing his fingers down Xander’s face. “Are you okay now?”

Xander managed a weak nod, wincing at the pain in his throat. Raising a hand, he touched the swollen flesh of his neck. He remembered the nurses leading him into the operating room and helping him onto the table. He remembered someone coming in to put him to sleep, inserting a needle into his arm. Then there was a soft fog that emptied his mind, save for the brief flash of some ancient map, and then he drifted. And then there was nothing. Finally, there was the world, falling apart around him.

“Doctor said we can take you home in a few hours,” Spike told him, taking Xander’s hand away from his neck.

Smiling, Xander squeezed Spike’s hand. Once again feeling safe, he let himself fall back to sleep, content that Spike was there to protect him.


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


Watching the young man sleep, Spike let himself relax. His boy would be fine now. With a needless sigh of relief, he leaned back in his seat, still holding on to Xander’s hand with an iron grip. The hours of the operation and the time waiting for Xander to wake up had dragged on him, leaving his nerves tense and tight. But once his boy had smiled up at him, lucid if groggy, he had set most of his fears aside. He was aware there was still danger until Xander healed completely, but the true peril had passed.

“Sir?” His head snapped up at the soft voice and he relaxed when he saw the nurse standing by him. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you. Has he woken up?”

“Yeah,” Spike nodded. “Drifted back off though.”

“That’s good,” she smiled. “Come get me the next time he wakes up and I’ll give him his next dose of pain medication.”

“Thank you,” he said. She patted his shoulder and walked off, leaving him staring down at his sleeping boy.

He spent the next little while watching the minute twists and twitches Xander made as he slept. Finally the boy opened dazed eyes and looked at him, a half smile on his lips.

“Hey, pet,” Spike whispered, brushing curls away from Xander’s face. “Have a nice nap?” The young man nodded, then paused and shifted a little. “What’s wrong?”

A wave of red washed over the boy’s face and realization dawn on Spike. Smiling, he helped Xander slip from the bed and supported him on the walk over to the bathroom. Leaning against the wall, he waited as the young man used the facilities. Glancing over he caught the nurse’s eye and she nodded. The sound of the toilet flushing and sink running snapped his attention back to his boy on the other side and he waited for the door to open. Xander stepped out of the bathroom and Spike led him back to the bed, catching him when he stumbled.

“Hey there,” the nurse said as she walked over to the bed. “Are you feeling any pain?”

Spike wanted to smack her for the stupid question, but he could tell by the look on her face that she didn’t really want to ask it. He looked over as Xander nodded and the nurse smiled.

“Okay then,” she said, placing the tray in her hands on the table over the bed. “I have something that’ll help with that.”

She handed him a small cup filled with clear liquid. Spike took a quick sniff as it passed him, checking for anything harmful. Flicking a brief glance at Spike, Xander took the medication and gingerly swallowed it.

“Would you like anything to drink?” the nurse asked. “Water, juice, maybe some pop?”

Xander shook his head and then nodded. “Pop,” Spike translated.

The nurse smiled and then went to get the drink, handing it over with a small pat to Xander’s shoulder. Once she was gone, Spike turned his full attention back to his boy, using all his senses to check Xander’s condition. Satisfied that the boy was okay, he smiled, relaxing fully. They spent the next while like that, Spike watching as Xander drifted in and out of sleep while the nurse popped around to check on the young man. Finally, Xander was deemed fit to leave.

Spike helped the still slightly unsteady Xander get dressed, easing the young man into his clothing. As he helped pull each article of clothing on, he got strange flashes of heat through his body, centering in his mid-section. Something about the way the clothing covered Xander’s pale flesh made him feel odd and out of sorts. Pushing it to the back of his mind, he helped Xander finish dressing and walked the slightly dazed young man out to the parking lot. The feelings were not something new to him, though new to the situation, but he wasn’t going to rock the boat and ruin the trust the young man had in him. Xander’s past would always make the young man uneasy of anything to do with sex, and Spike had spent too much time keeping the boy sane to ruin that.


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


Xander glanced at Spike out of the corner of his eye, wondering just what had his vampire so riled up. Normally Spike was easy going, but at the moment he was tense and jittery, as if something or someone bad was coming. Spike said nothing on their ride back home, his hands clenched around the steering wheel. Feeling desperate for something to shatter the silence building between them, Xander leaned over and flicked on the radio. Spike jumped and shot a startled look at him before giving him a strained smile. The young man wiggled in his seat to the music, moving as much as his battered throat would let him. Suddenly Spike leaned forward and turned off the radio, his other hand gripping the wheel tightly.

Wondering just what was going on, Xander curled up in his seat, holding himself still as possible. Spike flicked a glance over at him, and the hands clenching the wheel loosened slightly.

“Not mad at you, pet, I promise,” Spike said soothingly, reaching over to run a hand over Xander’s arm. “Just not in the mood for music, okay?”

Xander could feel the truth in the first part and the lie in the second and he wondered just what was bothering his vampire so much that he would lie to him. To keep the peace, Xander nodded and let his body unwind some, staring out the window as the buildings passed.


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


They reached the Hyperion fairly quickly, though Spike was not driving anywhere close to his normal speeds. The vampire led his boy inside, only to have him pulled away by the concerned members of the eclectic little family. Seeing his boy safe and where he belonged, Spike made his way into the office, heading for the stash of liquor he knew Angel kept in there. Bottle in hand he sat at the desk, his feet on the top and took a healthy swallow, relishing the burn as it slid down his throat. A quiet cough made him lift his head and meet the worried green eyes staring at him.

“Is everything all right?” Doyle asked, venturing close to the desk.

“Xander’s fine,” Spike told him. “Doc’s said as long as he took it easy for the next few weeks, there’d be no problems.”

“That’s good,” nodded the seer. “But that’s not what I asked.”

Taking another swallow, Spike leaned his head back, avoiding the intent eyes. “For the past several decades things have been pretty constant. Darla left us and it was me and Dru against the world. And then I meet this boy, and everything changes. Mostly for the better. We have family, a steady supply of food and violence and a bloody great home. And this boy, this boy I’ve been charged with guiding. A boy I saw as my little brother, my little shadow. . .”

“You don’t see him that way anymore, do you?” Doyle’s voice was soft as he crept closer, carefully removing the bottle of fine scotch from Spike’s fingers. “How do you see him now?”

A half laugh half sob broke from Spike and he tilted his head to look at the half demon, his eyes haunted. “I still see him as family,” Spike said slowly. “I still see him as my little shadow, but now it takes on a whole new meaning.”

“What are you going to do?”

“Oh, that’s easy,” Spike smiled sadly. “I’m not going to do anything.”



Chapter Thirty Two: Sheltered Shadows
Summary: A kiss and a change
Rating: PG


Xander’s Writing


Angel followed the sound of thumping to his and Doyle’s bedroom, finding his husband seated on the floor and banging his head off the wall in a measured beat. The half-demon paused and glanced up at him before restarting. He slid down beside Doyle, pulling the smaller man away from the wall.

“What’s wrong?” Angel asked, rubbing a soothing hand over Doyle’s back.

“Spike,” the seer muttered, turning to bury his face in Angel’s shoulder.

“And what’s new about that?” Angel asked dryly.

“And Xander,” Doyle added.

“Okay, that’s new,” he said, easing Doyle back a bit. “What’s going on?”

Doyle sighed. “It’s more like what’s not going on,” he said. He scrubbed a hand across his face. “Spike has developed some feelings for Xander.”

Angel nodded. “I noticed that,” he admitted.

“Yeah, well it would be fine except he’s practically avoiding Xander which is making him feel rejected and making Dru mad,” explained Doyle.

“I do understand why he’s avoiding Xander,” Angel said. “He probably doesn’t want to scare him.”

“Oh, that’s not the fucked up part,” Doyle shook his head. “Xander came to me a while back because he was confused by his feelings for Spike. He also thinks that Spike would never see him as anything other than a little brother.”

Angel stilled and blinked slowly. “Oh,” he managed to squeak. “You’re right, this is fucked up.”

“I don’t know what to do,” Doyle sighed, snuggling deeper into his husband’s arms.

“Maybe you shouldn’t,” the vampire said softly. “This is their problem to work out.”

“Yes, but with the way Spike’s been acting Dru might dust him and either way Xander will end up hurt.”

“Do you want me to talk to him?” Angel asked.

Doyle blinked up at him. “Would you? That would be great. Hopefully you can get through to him.”

“But not right now,” Angel said, tightening his arms.

Doyle grinned, pulling Angel’s head down for a kiss. “No, not right now.”


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


Spike sat beside his boy, noting the minute flinch Xander gave. He sighed and turned so he was facing his boy, ignoring the way Xander refused to look at him.

“I’m sorry,” he said, reaching out to touch his boy’s shoulder. Xander pulled away and shook his head. “As Angel pointed out, I’ve been an idiot.” This time Xander nodded, still looking straight ahead. “Got a reason for it,” he offered.

Xander turned to look at him, blindly grabbing his pad of paper and scrawling something across it. What reason?

Spike sat for a moment, trying to find the words to explain it. Finally, he leaned over and brushed a chaste kiss over Xander’s lips. Pulling back, he watched as the young man raised one trembling hand to touch his lips, brown eyes full of confusion.

Is that why you don’t want to be around me? Xander wrote.

“It’s not that I don’t want to be around you,” Spike said. “It’s actually that I want to be around you a little too much. I didn’t want to scare you or make you feel uncomfortable.”

A strange look descended on Xander’s face and he scribbled something furiously before thrusting the pad of paper at Spike. So instead of making me scared or uncomfortable, you made me feel like I wasn’t worth anything to you. That you didn’t want to be around me anymore.

“Shit, pet, I’m sorry,” Spike said, pulling the young man into his arms. “I never meant to make you feel that way.”

Xander wrote something again, looking away when he handed it over this time. I didn’t avoid you when I figured out I had feelings for you.

Spike blinked and reread the words. “You have feelings for me?” he asked, turning Xander back to look at him. Xander nodded. “Why didn’t you say anything?”

Because I thought you saw me as your little brother or something like that, Xander scribbled.

Smiling ruefully, Spike leaned forward to brush another kiss over Xander’s mouth, this one a little less chaste. “We definitely need to talk about all this,” he said when he pulled back.

Xander nodded and settled firmly into his arms, turning so Spike could read the paper over his shoulder. You start, he wrote.


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


A furious look on her face, Cordelia stormed through the hotel, grabbing Wesley as she passed him and pulling him along. She burst into the main office, interrupting Angel and Doyle’s conversation.

“Cordy?” Doyle asked, noting how angry she looked. “Is something the matter?”

Too angry to speak, she thrust a piece of paper at him and paced the length of the small room. Doyle read the letter, his mouth dropping open in shock.

“What?” Angel asked.

“Her parents are suing her. According to the summons, she stole from them amongst other crimes,” Doyle said, handing over the letter. He turned back to her, reaching out to pause her frantic pacing. “Why are they doing this?”

She sat down on a chair and sighed. “When I was sixteen the IRS showed up and audited my father. It seemed he hadn’t paid his taxes in about ten years.” They all winced at that. “We lost everything. When they were going through his papers, they found a proposal to,” she stopped for a moment, her face twisted in disgust, “sell me to the highest bidder. There were some that were offering almost a million.”

“What?!” Angel snarled, vamping out in rage. Doyle laid a calming hand on his shoulder and motioned for the young woman to continue.

“When I found out I petitioned the courts for emancipation,” she told them. “I won shortly after my seventeenth birthday.”

“Why are they suing you?” Wesley asked, sitting on the chair next to hers.

“When I left I took all my belongings that hadn’t been seized yet and the pieces of jewelry that my grandmother had left me,” she said. “The jewelry is worth a lot of money. Truthfully, I’m surprised they waited this long.”

“What are you going to do?” Doyle asked.

“Only thing I can,” Cordy said. “Fight them.”

“We’re behind you a hundred percent, princess,” Doyle told her, moving over to give her a hug.

“Good,” she smiled brightly. “Does that mean you’ll hire me a lawyer?”

Angel smiled a truly evil smile. “I know a lawyer that might do it.”

“Is that a good idea?” Doyle asked, turning concerned eyes on his husband.

“Probably not,” Angel admitted. “But he does owe me.”

Doyle shook his head. “I hope you know what you’re doing.”




Chapter Interlude Two: Bemused Shadows
Summary: Strange Things Blossom between Wes and Cordy
Rating: PG


There was a pleasant, flowery scent near her, luring her into wakefulness. Blinking dark eyes open, Cordelia stared at the single flower lying on her pillow. She reached out and touched it with one finger, wondering if it was real or a figment of her still sleepy imagination. Her finger encountered cool petals and she carefully lifted the flower, bringing it up to breathe in its smell. Climbing out of bed, she quickly dressed and headed down to the lobby, hoping someone could tell her who had given her the flower. All the while, she cradled the bloom carefully in her hands.

She reached the bottom of the stairs to see Spike and Xander curled up on one of the couches, watching something on the t.v. they had convinced Angel to buy. Angel was behind the counter, reading something and she could see Doyle behind him in the office. Only Wes and Dru were missing.

“Morning,” she greeted. “Did any of you leave this for me?” She held up the flower. They all made motions of denial. “Did Dru or Wes?”

“Dunno,” Spike shrugged. “Who knows what Dru does. She is batty after all.”

Seeing she would get no help from them, she left the lobby in a snit, heading off to find the two missing members of their little family. As she traveled down the hallways, she could hear an almost ghostly voice singing, the words inaudible. Moving up into the unused floors, the voice got louder and the words started to come through stronger.

Mistress Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And marigolds all in a row

She followed the singing to a suite and gently pushed the door open. Inside, Dru sang and spun around, her doll cradled in her arms. Wes was sitting on a divan, a matching flower twirling between his fingers. Cordelia paused when she heard the Englishman speak softly.

“Do you really think she’ll like it?” he asked, breaking into Dru’s singing.

“Like mini-sunrises, glowing red and yellow and orange, little suns in a row,” Dru giggled.

He shook his head with a little smile. “I don’t even know how I should give it to her. Should I just walk up and hand it over? Place it by her plate before a meal?”

Dru giggled again. “Shh,” she whispered, leaning down to peer into his face. “It’s a secret. Edge of dreams, like wisps of smoke. Can be real. Can be not.”

Wes blinked, confused by her words. “I don’t understand, Dru.”

She only laughed and went back to her spin, her voice once again picking up the song.

Mistress Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And marigolds in a row
,” she paused. “Or side by side, such pretty little suns. Aren’t I right, Cordy?”

Wes leapt off the divan, his hand almost crushing the flower. “Cordelia?” he squeaked.

Smiling slightly, the former cheerleader pushed the door open further and walked into the room. She looked at Dru, dark eyes meeting and exchanging information. “Thank you, Dru,” she said. The vampiress giggled again and floated out of the room, her work done. “Is that one for me too?” Cordy asked, pointing to the floor that Wes still held.

“Y-yes,” Wes stuttered, holding it out with a blush. “How. . .” he trailed off.

“She left it on my pillow,” Cordy told him, stepping closer.

“Oh,” he managed to say, his blush deepening. “Um. . .”

Moving closer, she leaned in and whispered in his ear. “Any way you wanted to give the flower to me, I would have taken. I’ve been waiting for you to make a move.”

“Really?” he squeaked.

“Really,” she said.

“I wasn’t sure my attentions would be welcome,” he confessed quietly.

Cordy kissed him. “They’re more than welcome.”





Chapter Thirty Three: Forgiving Silence
Summary: Dinner and fun
Rating: PG


Cordelia walked out of the court house, a wide smile on her face. Tilting her head, she let the sun shine on her for a moment before climbing into the specially tinted car waiting by the curb.

“We won. When we left they were grovelling,” she told Angel, her smile still splitting her face. “Lindsey said he’ll show up later, after he’s finished filing the paperwork.”

“That’s good,” he nodded, starting the car up and heading back home. “We should celebrate tonight.”

“We should,” she agreed. “Where though? Not many places would be able to deal with us.”

“Hm, not sure,” Angel shrugged. “Doyle or Spike would know.”

“True,” Cordy laughed, settling back into the seat as the scenery passed by.


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


Xander finished the last bite of his food and pushed his plate away. The celebration of Cordelia’s win had taken them to a high end demon restaurant that Doyle knew and they had plans on heading to a club after.

“Where should we go?” Cordy asked, taking a sip of her wine.

“I know one,” Lindsey offered. “It’s demon run and violence free.”

“Caritas,” Doyle nodded. “I know that place. Not a bad idea.”

Xander stared at the man. He wasn’t sure if he liked the lawyer or not. There was something charming about the man, but he did work for the firm that had kidnapped Xander, and he didn’t like the reminder.

“Xan?” He looked over at Spike who looked back, concern shining in his eyes. Xander smiled and leaned over, brushing a soft kiss over Spike’s mouth. Both smiling, they turned back to the debate taking place. Once everyone agreed, the group of them headed for the bar, deciding to walk the short distance instead of taking cars.

“Lindsey,” Angel called, falling back a bit. “I want to talk to you.”

The lawyer slowed until the vampire caught up with him, letting the others move ahead. Xander strained his ears to listen to their conversation, knowing that Angel’s proximity to the handsome lawyer was bothering Doyle.

“Are you going back to them?” Angel asked finally.

“I don’t really have a choice,” the lawyer replied. “The contract had a soul clause.”

Angel scoffed. “I know you aren’t stupid enough to have signed it. And I’m fairly sure you know a loophole out of the contract. So why go back? They’re going to kill you some day.”

“I don’t have anything else,” Lindsey admitted softly. “They’re all I have, all I know.”

The vampire sighed and looked away from the younger man before glancing back. “I’d offer you a place to stay-”

“But your husband would probably kill me in my sleep and your psychotic childer would help,” laughed Lindsey ruefully.

“Yeah,” Angel smiled.

“I’ll be all right, Angel,” the young lawyer promised.

“Not if you stay with Wolfram and Hart,” Angel shook his head. “But I can’t force you.”

“We’re here!” Doyle yelled back from the front of their little parade.

Xander turned his attention away from the drama happening behind him to the plain door they were approaching. Doyle pulled it open and they all filed in, stopping in shock at the Polgara demon singing horribly on a small stage.

“Welcome to Caritas,” a bright green demon greeted them.

“A karaoke bar,” Angel whimpered.





Chapter Thirty Four: Truthful Shadows
Summary: OMG, some sex, finally
Rating: R/NC-17


The night was dark, hot and humid, weighing down on him. Spike stalked through the dark alleys, skirting the sprawled and curled bodies of the homeless, evading the cunning pickpockets and murderous muggers. He had a single intent thought, and nothing was going to sway him from it. He moved through the dark like he was part of it, meshing with the shadows, edging around the pools of light cast by the street lights.

Slipping down another alley, he kept all his senses open, tracking his prey through the night. Suddenly, the shadows deepened, darkened and he had only a second before a warm body collided with his, forcing him into the wall. Spike started to fight back, but a familiar scent teased him and he relaxed into the body pinning him to the wall. Wet heat latched on to his neck, teasing and tasting and Spike let his head fall to the side, encouraging the mouth to do more. Teeth entered the equation and Spike moaned as the sensation aroused him beyond all thought. He let the other turn him and smiled into warm brown eyes. His attacker leaned forward to kiss him and he opened his mouth, letting the warm tongue invade his mouth, letting the other man set the pace of their encounter.

“Xander,” Spike whispered as the young man stepped closer, pressing their bodies together in all the right spots. The vampire groaned as his boy rocked forward, their erections pressing and rubbing together with delicious friction. Spike reached out and pulled Xander closer, running his hands beneath the shirt the young man wore, teasing all the skin he could touch. Each of their movements sent tendrils of pleasure through Spike’s body and he could feel the need tightening in his stomach, heralding his orgasm. Xander pulled his mouth away and brought his head down to Spike’s shoulder, biting into the flesh there. The pain mingled with the pleasure, rocketing the blonde over the edge and he yelled his pleasure into the night.

The warm body sagged against his, hot breath passing across his neck as Xander panted out his own pleasure. Spike wrapped his arms tightly around his boy. This was perfection, utopia. His boy in his arms and both of them sweaty and sated.


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


Blinking slowly, Spike gradually made his way into awareness. The memories, the sensations of his dream stayed vividly with him, encouraged by the wet, sticky mess centered on his groin. Turning his head, he gazed at the still slumbering Xander curled up next to him, the boy’s expression peaceful. In deference to Xander’s past, Spike had been taking his seduction of the boy slowly and it was starting to wear on him.

“Soon, my Spikey,” Dru whispered, leaning up to peer at him over Xander’s sleeping form. “Slow and steady wins the race. The kitten will be yours, body and soul, but be like the stream cutting its way, slow and steady.”

Spike stared at her as she lay back down and cuddled into Xander, drifting off to join the young man in sleep. Slow and steady. It may well be his final death, but he would do it.


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


Xander kept his breathing and heartbeat steady, letting both vampires believe he was still asleep. Listening in to the cryptic words Dru was saying, he wondered just what they were talking about. He wondered if it had anything to do with the way Spike would pull back when their kissing got too heated. The vampire would push Xander away with shaking hands and sit there, panting slightly before pulling Xander back in and holding him, nothing more. Truthfully, it was driving the young man crazy. He knew he wasn’t ready for everything, but he did want something more than the sweet kisses Spike would give him. Letting sleep drag him back down, Xander decided to enlist the aid of the two who would get him his vampire. Spike would be unable to stand against the forces of Xander, Dru and Cordy together.



Chapter Thirty Five: Purrfect Silence
Summary: Spike gets some startling news
Rating: PG


Spike carefully brought blade and whetstone together, the soft sound filling the empty lobby. Everyone had gone off to do something, leaving the blonde, hyperactive vampire by himself and very bored. Xander had grabbed Cordelia and Dru, dragging them upstairs. Wes was researching something in the library, while Doyle and Angel were playing newlyweds in their room. Utterly bored, Spike had decided to pass the time sharpening the multitude of knives, swords and axes they had in the building.

Submersed in his task, he didn’t notice the faint shimmering that formed a few feet away. The slowly forming shape finally caught his attention and he placed the whetstone to the side, gripping the newly sharpened sword in one hand. Finally the shimmering shape solidified into the tall form of a familiar green-hued man.

“Robin,” Spike said in greeting, offering his empty hand to the other man.

“William,” Robin smiled, grasping the vampire’s hand in a warrior’s clasp. “It is good to see you again.”

“So, are you here for business or pleasure?” Spike asked bluntly.

Sighing, Robin sat down on one of the couches. “Unfortunately, I’m here on business,” he looked intently at the blonde. “And you’re not going to like it.”

Spike sat back down and placed the sword on the table, giving his visitor his undivided attention. “What’s going on?”

“Some of the Elders have learned of plots to take young Alexander,” Robin began. “One of the groups is Wolfram and Hart, who had the boy before.”

“We can protect him,” said Spike. “They’ll never get their hands on him.”

“True, if they were planning a physical attempt you could keep him safe, but they’re not,” the emissary from the Elders pointed out. “They plan on using the legal system to get him.”

“We’ve got proof of what he went through. No judge would give him back to them,” countered Spike.

“No human judge,” Robin nodded. “But they plan on using the Demonic Courts.”

“Bloody hell,” Spike whispered, slumping down in his seat. “Do you know what case they’ll try to make?”

“One of my sources informed me that Wolfram and Hart are using the fact that Alexander’s parents signed custody of him over to the hospital.”

“Which they own, which gives them custody of Xander,” Spike growled. “And he wasn’t formally released so they can still claim custody.” Snarling, he picked up the sword on the table and hurled it across the lobby, listening with satisfaction as in landed point first in the far wall. “What do we do?”

“There is a way to protect him,” the green-hued man said softly.


“You must mark and claim him.”


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


Hella arched into the hand petting her, purring softly as she listened to half of the conversation happening above her.

“What was so urgent you had to drag us up here?” the loud, dark one asked. There was a moment of almost silence, the scratch of pen on paper the only sound. “More what?”

Rolling over, Hella peered up at her human charge through narrowed eyes, watching the rushing of blood that rolled over his face. He paused to write something else, handing the paper over.

“Oh,” the loud one said, her face turning a bit red as well. “Do you want to go all the way?”

Hella’s human shrugged, looking down as he pet her. The look on his face was so flustered that the hellcat wished she could laugh.

“Have you tried to go further?”

The boy nodded and wrote something quickly.

“So he’s being noble,” the loud one sighed.

“Silly Spikey,” the pretty, cold one giggled. “He doesn’t see his kitten likes to be pet.”

The boy blushed again, looking at the two females intently, silently asking their advice.

“It’s okay, Kitten,” the pretty one crooned. “The stars are spinning faster now. Time is drawing to a close and the pace must be picked up.”

The loud one shot a searching look at the other female, opening her mouth to ask a question before shaking her head. She turned back to Hella’s boy. “Maybe you should just talk to him,” she suggested. “Tell him you want more.”

The boy shook his head, then nodded, then sighed and cuddled Hella closer. He looked over at the pretty one who only smiled, humming softly to herself. Sighing again, he pushed to his feet, still carefully cradling Hella and leaned over to kiss both human females on the cheek before quietly leaving the room.

“Spike is such an idiot,” Hella heard the loud one say as they left.

The hellcat snuggled into her human’s chest, silently laughing at the silly humans that lived in her castle.


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


“Are you bloody insane?!” Spike growled, launching to his feet. “With everything the boy has been through, you want me to mark and claim him? Marking I can do, but claiming as well?”

“If it was anyone else pushing this, I’d say to just mark him, that alone would keep him safe,” Robin said soothingly. “But they know how to work around a mark. It won’t be enough.”

“He’s not ready!”

“Have you asked?” Robin countered. “If you can’t suspend disbelief in my words, talk to the boy and ask him. You might be surprised.”

“I don’t want to hurt him,” Spike said, flopping back down on the couch.

“I’m not asking you to hurt him,” Robin said softly. “I’m asking you to protect him in a way that can’t be broken, not even by time or death. I’m asking you to keep him safe forever.” He stood and stared down at the blonde for a moment. “You don’t have a long time to think about this, William. A few days at the most.”

“You’ll be back?”

“Yes,” smiled Robin. “Farewell for now.”

Spike watched as the green-tinged man shimmered out of view. He sat, thinking about the situation and what a claiming entailed. He didn’t want to hurt his boy, but if Robin was correct, then a claiming was the only way to proceed. Lost in thought, Spike jumped as a warm body leaped on the couch. He looked up into the smiling brown eyes of his boy and opened his arms, letting the young man cuddle into his side. The warmth and trust made him realize that he would do anything to keep his precious boy safe.


Previous Next

Of Shadows and Silence – Chapters 36-40

Chapter Thirty Six: Protective Silence
Summary: Dru does some magic and Spike has a problem
Rating: PG


She twisted the stone around in her fingers, letting magic flow into it. The yellow, almost clear, stone flashed for a moment, before slowly changing into a lightly blue colour. Smiling in satisfaction, Dru walked out of the hidden room in search of her boys. It only took a few minutes to find them, curled together in one of the family rooms watching something on the television. She cuddled down beside them, humming absently as Xander turned to let her lay against him more comfortably.

“Got a present for you, Kitten,” she murmured.

Dark eyes looked down at her and she grinned, reaching up to touch the necklace that adorned his throat. Her other hand brought up the newly enchanted stone, pressing it against the necklace. A bright flash filled the room, and when the light finally died the stone had fused in with the rest. It glowed briefly before settling in.

“What the bloody hell?!” Spike shouted, turning Xander so he could look at the changed piece of jewelry. “What did you do?”

The dark vampire pushed her insanity back, clinging to the brief bits of lucidity as she met furious blue eyes. “Even if the courts side with you, they will attempt to take our Kitten any way. This will add on to the protections that Robin placed on him,” she said seriously.

“Dru?” whispered Spike.

“Not long,” she whimpered, then shook her head. “You must keep him close to you, at all times. And you must do as Robin suggested. It is the only way.”

Xander reached out a hand to touch her cheek and she leaned into the warmth, feeling the sanity slip away. She sighed as Xander pulled her closer and wrapped his arms around her tightly.

“Spikey,” she whispered after a few moments of silence.

“Yeah, Dru?” the blonde asked quietly.

“I see ashes,” Dru said softly. “Pain and ashes and shadows falling down.”

“I won’t let it happen,” Spike promised, reaching around Xander so his arms were wrapped around her too. “I promise.”


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



Angel lifted his eyes from the paperwork in front of him to look at the figure standing in the doorway. The normal brash attitude was gone, and he could see shy, uncertain William in the defensive posture. “Did you need something Spike?”

“Can I talk to you for a few?” the blonde asked, coming further into the room.

“Sure,” the older vampire shrugged. “Anything to get away from these forms.”

A small smile graced the pale features before in disappeared again. “I’ve got a dilemma.”

Angel blinked. “Okay?”

“Robin was here a few nights ago,” Spike began quietly. “He said that Wolfram and Hart are going to try again to get Xander.”

“We can keep him safe,” the dark vampire interrupted.

“I said that too,” the blonde grinned quickly. “But it seems they’re going the legal way, and through the Demonic courts.”

Angel hissed, leaning back in his chair. He had only dealt with the Demonic courts once, during his time as Angelus and he had hoped he’d never have to do it again. “We need to get a lawyer.”

“Yeah, and the only one we know is out of the question,” Spike snorted. “But that’s not my issue.”

“What is then?” Angel asked, beginning to get really worried.

“The jolly green idiot said there was a way to protect Xander and make it harder for W&H to get their hands on him,” the younger vampire said softly.

“How’s that?”

“Mark and claim him.”

Briefly, Angel wondered if this was what a stroke felt like. He had gone numb and his brain had stopped and he was almost certain he had heard his Grand-childe wrong. “Mark and claim?” he squeaked.

“Yeah,” Spike ran a hand through his hair. “I don’t know what to do. Marking is fine, but claiming is sexual and I don’t want to hurt Xan.”

Angel leaned forward, staring hard at the blonde. “Do you want to claim him?” he asked. Wide blue eyes met his and Angel could see the answer there. “Perhaps you should talk to him. Find out how he feels about it.”

“Yeah, that’s the problem,” Spike admitted. “I don’t know what to say to him.”

“Hmm,” Angel thought for a moment before an idea hit him. “Bring Doyle with you.”



Chapter Thirty Seven: Freeing Shadows
Summary: Spike and Xander take a trip
Rating: R
A/N: Brief cross with CSI happens here


The wide, bright smile his boy sported eclipsed even the brightest and gaudiest of lights around them. Happiness and awe shone from brown eyes as the young man bounced down the street. Even the most hardened of people couldn’t help but smile in return as Xander passed them. Spike had decided that leaving the city for a few days was a good idea, so after snatching money from his GrandSire, he’d grabbed his boy and headed out, driving them through the night to one of the brightest places on Earth. And seeing his boy under the garish Las Vegas lights, he never would regret it.

“Having fun, pet?” he asked, brushing a hand through the dark curls.

Xander smiled wider and nodded, pulling Spike along with him as they moved down the strip. Everything was so bright, so different than his life had been before Spike and Dru. He loved the vast difference between Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Here, in the city of lights, everything was up front, straight in your face.

“Come on, our show starts soon,” Spike laughed, tugging him toward another casino. Xander went willing, excited to see what the blonde had planned for them. Their escape from L.A. had come after the revelation of what Spike needed to do and the arguments that followed. Finally Spike had snapped and told everyone in a quiet voice that he and Xander were taking a vacation and the rest had no say in the matter.

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

“Do you think they’ll be okay?”

“They’ll be fine, Angel. Spike can take care of both of them.”


“Trust me, they’ll be fine. And we’ll set all the plans in motion when they get home.”

“You’re right, I just worry.”

“Hm, I have something to take your mind off of Spike and Xander.”

“Really, what’s that?”

“Why don’t you come up to our room and find out?”


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


Spike led a bouncing Xander out of the showroom, grinning at the young man’s antics. Being here had relaxed Xander and gave Spike a sense of hope that the marking and claiming would go well. They walked back to their hotel close together, nearly holding hands as they made their way down the street.

“William Angel?” A voice asked as they entered the lobby.

Spike turned to look at the slightly aging man standing there with another man who was clearly a cop. “Yeah.”

“I’m Gil Grissom, with the crime lab, this is Det. Brass. We need to ask you a few questions,” the man said, stepping closer.

“Questions about what?” Spike asked suspiciously.

“First, we need to know where you were two hours ago,” Gil said.

“We caught a show,” shrugged Spike.

“And before that?” Det. Brass asked.

“I was teaching Xander to play poker.”

“And you would be Xander?” Grissom asked, looking at the young man. Xander nodded. “So neither of you have been in your hotel room in the past two hours.”

Spike stared intently at him for a moment. “We haven’t been back in around four hours. What the bloody hell is going on?”

“There’s been a murder,” Grissom started. “It took place in your hotel room.”

“And of course, we’re suspects,” Spike snorted.

“Until we can prove your alibi, yes.”

“Would you mind giving us your prints and DNA?” Grissom asked.

“Not a problem, mate,” Spike nodded. “But I got to ask one thing. How was the person killed?”

“A rusted railroad spike was used.”



Chapter Thirty Eight: Moving Silence
Summary: More. Just more.
Rating: R/NC-17
Warning: Minor character death
A/N: Still crossed with CSI here. Plus some more progress.


Spike settled Xander into their new hotel room, cursing quietly about their confiscated bags. The brief questioning by the police had knocked the younger man out of his happy daze and now he felt off-centre and lost. Xander knew about Spike’s past and how he used to torture and kill people. He was well aware of the use of a railroad spike as a tool for the torture, but for one to be used in their hotel room was mind-boggling.

“Hey luv,” Spike said softly, sinking down on the bed beside Xander. “Are you okay?”

With a small smile, Xander nodded and moved closer to the vampire, settling against his side with a sigh. Without a word, Spike wrapped his arms around him and held tight, both lost in their thoughts as they lay there.

“Come on, we need to get up,” said Spike after a few minutes. “We still got things to see and do.”

Xander shook his head and held on tighter, keeping Spike from moving. When the vampire finally relaxed back down, Xander moved up a little until he was face to face with Spike. Keeping his eyes locked on bright blue ones, he leaned forward and kissed Spike, tracing the seam of his lips until they opened. Still kissing Spike, he rolled back until Spike was on top of him, pressing him down into the bed.

“Xan?” Spike pulled back and looked down at him. Xander just smiled and pulled him back down, kissing him hard. “Okay, no questions then. Just tell me when you want to stop.”

In answer, Xander attacked the buttons on Spike’s shirt, pulling the fabric away from his body. Spike sat back to help, stopping only to remove Xander’s top before leaning back to kiss him again. The feel of flesh against flesh made Spike groan. He trailed his hands over Xander’s exposed skin, feeling the silent gasp he gave. Smiling into the kiss, Spike zeroed in on small nipples, rolling and tugging the sensitive flesh. Xander arched into his touch, breaking away from the kiss to breathe. Moving down, Spike laid soft kisses over Xander’s neck and down across his chest, briefly stopping to tongue the slightly swollen nubs. He moved down again, teasing Xander’s stomach, stopping to toy with his navel. He could hear the panting breaths Xander was taking and he glanced up to see the pleasure etched across the younger man’s face.

His lips stopped at the waist of Xander’s pants and he pulled back. “Can I Xan?” he asked softly, tugging a little at the button.

Trying to catch his breath, Xander nodded and reached down to open the button before laying back. Spike paused, humbled by the trust Xander was showing. He could still feel the fear Xander had and he knew that he would only be able to go so far tonight. Smiling to reassure Xander, he pulled down the zipper and tugged the pants off Xander’s legs. To help, Xander lifted his hips and his boxers came down as well. A light blush spread across Xander’s face and Spike moved back up to kiss him.

“Beautiful,” Spike whispered, trailing his fingers across the expanse of flesh. He stayed away from the swollen flesh between Xander’s legs, instead focusing his attention on finding all of the younger man’s hot spots. He watched as Xander writhed on the bed, his back bowed in pleasure. Finally Spike gave into the temptation and wrapped his hand around the fairly substantial erection. Xander’s legs fell open further and he lifted his hips into each stroke of Spike’s hand. Giving a feral grin, Spike moved so his face was lined up with Xander’s cock and took the head into his mouth, tasting his boy for the first time. He looked up to see the utter shock and pleasure on Xander’s face. It took only moments for Xander to orgasm and Spike drank down each shot of it, loving the taste. He cleaned up any missed traces of cum and moved back up to lay beside Xander, smiling at the wide eyed look of shock and awe.

“Like that?” Xander kissed him in answer, moaning silently at the new taste. “I’ll take that as a yes.”


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

“Mr. Angel,” a voice said quietly at his side. Spike looked over to see the CSI Grissom standing beside him.

“Something I can do for you?” Spike asked, motioning Xander to fold his cards.

“Yes, do you mind answering a few more questions?” Grissom asked.

“Go ahead,” Spike shrugged.

“Do you know this man?” Grissom handed over an autopsy picture.

Spike stared at the picture. “Yeah, that’s Lindsey McDonald. He’s the one that was killed?”

“Yes,” Grissom took the picture back. “Can you tell me anything about him?”

“He was a lawyer. Worked for Wolfram and Hart,” he stopped when Xander tugged on his sleeve. “Oh, yeah. He had recently quit. Something about a clause in his contract. He knew our boss better than us though.”

“Any reason someone would want him dead?”

“He was a lawyer. Mostly criminal law. Plus he walked away from one of the darkest law firms around. Take your pick.”

“Would there be any reason you would want him dead?”

“No,” Spike nearly snarled. “He worked on a case for a friend of ours. For that alone I’d give him a free pass. If you want someone with motive, check his past employer.”

“We will,” Grissom nodded. “They are known for playing loose with the law. Thank you for your cooperation.”

“Yeah, whatever,” Spike said, turning to walk away. Xander smiled briefly at Grissom before following.



Chapter Thirty Nine: Mated Shadows
Summary: Spike surprises everyone
Rating: NC-17
A/N: Still crossed with CSI


Gil Grissom looked at the results the DNA tech had handed him. The tests ruled out either of the men renting the hotel room, but he couldn’t shake the feeling that they had something to do with the case. Suddenly he remembered the rape case with the man who had chimerism and wondered what the possibility that either Alexander Angel or William Angel were victims of the same disorder.

“Jim!” he called to the passing figure. Jim Brass stuck his head in the office. “Can you bring William and Alexander Angel in please?”


“I think they might have more answers then they’re letting on,” Gil shrugged.

“Yeah, I’ll send a patrol car for them.”

Gil nodded his thanks and turned back to the other results the lab techs had given him.

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

Spike looked around the small room he was in, fingering the bracelet around his wrist lightly. A patrol unit had picked him and Xander up ‘just to talk.’ So far, he had been sitting alone in the room, waiting for someone to come in and wondering where they had Xander at and if his boy was doing okay.

“I’m sorry for keeping you waiting, Mr. Angel,” Grissom said as he walked into the room, followed by a youngish man with spikey blonde hair. “This is Greg, one of the CSIs. I was hoping you would be willing to give us a few more samples.”

“What sort of samples?” Spike asked suspiciously.

“Hair, blood, semen and another cheek swab,” Greg said with a small smile as he opened the case. Spike met his eyes and saw the honesty reflected back at him.

A wry grin flitted over his face. “You think that some of my DNA won’t match up to the others,” he said quietly.

A look of shock settled on Grissom’s face. “Yes, how did you know that?”

“You’d be surprised at what I know,” laughed Spike. “But I can already tell you that my spunk will match the cheek and hair but the blood will come up with multiple types.”

Greg looked confused but Grissom got a knowing expression. “How are you in sunlight?” he asked.

“Neat little piece of jewellery,” Spike answered, lifted the wrist with the bracelet. “Let’s me have a reflection too.”

“You really didn’t do this, did you?” Grissom said slowly. “There was too much blood.”

“I kinda liked Lindsey,” admitted Spike. “I wouldn’t have tortured him and I’d probably have turned him.”

“And your companion?”

“Xander couldn’t have done it, it’s not in his nature. Besides, he was with me the whole time,” Spike shrugged. “I generally don’t let him out of my sight.”

“Does he have the same affliction as you?” Grissom asked curiously.

“Nope, and he never will if I have a say in the matter.”

Finally Grissom smiled. “You can go. I’ll have Xander meet you in the lobby.”

“Thanks,” Spike grinned, standing up from the table. “I really hope you do find who did this. For a lawyer, Lindsey was a good guy.”

As he left the room, Spike heard Greg asking what was going on, his voice thick with confusion.

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

The police had spent the past twenty minutes asking him a flood of questions. Xander only smiled serenely and clasped his hands on the table in front of him. They had taken his paper and pen away, therefore he couldn’t answer, even if he wanted to.

“Aren’t you going to say anything?” the detective asked, glaring at him.

Xander shrugged and shook his head.

“You know, we can keep you in lock up over night for not cooperating.”

That made him freeze and he could feel the blood drain from his face. The cop smirked and leaned against the table, crossing his arms.

“Just answer our questions and we’ll see about letting you go.”

Xander wrapped his arms around himself and hoped that Spike would show up to rescue him soon. The door opened and a head poked in.

“We’re letting them go,” the new guy said before closing the door.

Glaring at the cop, Xander stood and headed for the door. Grissom was outside and he smiled at him, handing over Xander’s things.

“He wouldn’t answer anything,” the detective said, coming out of the room. He glared at Xander, only looking away when Grissom glared at him.

Xander quickly opened his notebook and jotted down a statement.

I can’t speak and they took my notebook and pen from me. How did they expect me to answer the questions they were asking? He ripped off the page and handed it over to Grissom, watching as he read it. Grissom handed the page to the cop shaking his head and walked away with Xander in tow.

“I’m sorry about that,” Grissom said quietly. “William is waiting for you in the lobby. Hopefully next time you come to Vegas it will be better.”

Grinning his thanks, Xander walked over to where he could see Spike waiting for him, pacing restlessly across the room. Wrapping his arms around Spike he let the comforting feel and smell wipe away the fear he had felt. Feeling free and light, he pulled Spike out of the station and into the warm air. They still had a lot of things to do before they headed home.

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

“Spikey’s changing the words, making the stars sing a different song.”

“What do you mean?”

“A step beyond the task set for him. Two to one, one to two, entwined until the stars don’t shine.”

“You can’t mean-”

“Yes. My dark prince is so smart.”


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


“Xan?” Spike said quietly once they were back in their room. Xander turned and smiled at him, eyes lighting up with happiness. “Do you want me to claim you?”

The smile slowly faded but the happiness remained as Xander crossed the room to stand before him. Staring hard into Spike’s eyes, Xander searched for a moment before a radiant smile lit his face and he leaned forward to kiss Spike hard, saying everything in his own silent way.

“May I?” asked Spike, his hands on the hem of Xander’s shirt.

Xander raised his arms and let Spike pull the shirt off, his own hands moving to remove Spike’s top. He ran one hand over the tense muscles, watching as Spike’s eyes fell closed. Stepping close again, Xander pressed them chest to chest, letting Spike know without words that he was more than ready for what was to happen next. Finally Spike smiled slowly and pushed Xander back to the bed, following him down to the soft surface.

“You’re sure?” he asked one last time, raising up slightly to look down into warm brown eyes. Xander nodded and pulled the lean body down against him. “There’s no going back once I start.”

In answer Xander shucked off his pants and underwear, lying naked before Spike’s hot gaze. Spike nearly tore off the rest of his clothing and moved to lay next to Xander, pressing against the hot skin. He wasted no time, diving in to kiss Xander, nipping at the warm mouth. He trailed wet, open mouth kisses down Xander’s neck and quickly across his chest. Nipping at the quivering stomach muscles he smirked as Xander shifted under his touch. He licked a slow strip up the waving erection between Xander’s splayed thighs and grinned as the long legs opened further. Moving away for a moment he reached into the drawer beside the bed and retrieved the bottle of lube he had stashed there. Looking at Xander he got ready to ask again if it was okay but Xander stopped the question by lifting his knees and exposing himself to Spike.

Slowly Spike began stretching Xander’s small opening, moving gently and checking to make sure he was okay every few minutes. He added a second finger and then a third, watching as Xander arched into his touch, lifting his hips into each motion. Leaning forward he took Xander’s hard cock into his mouth, sucking hard. Once Spike thought Xander was ready he moved up to lay between the splayed thighs. Locking his gaze with Xander’s, Spike began the slow glide into the tight heat of Xander’s body.

When he was finally all the way in he stilled, letting Xander become accustomed to the feel. After a moment Spike began to move, slow sweet thrusts, gentling Xander to the movement. The need to pound into the tight body welled up in Spike’s veins, but he ignored it, instead focused on the look of pleasure on his boy’s face. Picking up the pace a little, he moaned as Xander sank short nails into his back. As the pleasure crested he leaned down to lave the prime spot on Xander’s stretched neck. Sliding a hand between them, Spike stroked Xander’s cock hard and fast, pushing him along the road to orgasm. As Xander’s body tensed around him, Spike bit down on Xander’s throat and tasted the sweet blood for the first time. He came a moment later, slumping down on the panting body beneath him.

“I love you,” Spike whispered, levering himself up to look into Xander’s eyes. Smiling sweetly Xander pulled his head down for a deep, loving kiss, answering back.

After giving them a few moments to come down, Spike rolled them so Xander was on top. “I’ve made you mine,” he said quietly, running a finger over the bite mark decorating Xander’s neck. “Now I want you to make me yours.”


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



“It’s perfect actually.”


“They can’t separate a mated couple. So even if they manage to get Xander they’d have to take Spike with him. And no one can control the little shit.”

“Huh. Dru was right, Spike is smart.”



Chapter Forty: Blank Silence
Summary: The boys head home in time for new problems and the court case
Rating: R


It was with new confidence that Xander walked back into the hotel days later. Spike sauntered beside him, a smug look on his pale face.

“You screwed all their plans,” Angel said to Spike by way of greeting.

“I know,” Spike grinned at his grandSire. “Think they’ve got wind of it yet?”

“Not that I heard,” Angel shrugged. “We’ll hear the yelling when they do.”

“How was Vegas?” Doyle asked, coming to stand beside his husband.

“Pretty good until someone killed Lindsey,” Spike answered.

“Lindsey’s dead?” Doyle blinked. “What happened?”

“Someone killed him, in our hotel room, using a railroad spike,” he said quietly. “I’m thinking they were hoping to frame Xander and I. Didn’t work. The head of the crime lab knows about vampires.”

“Gil Grissom,” Angel said with a half-smile. “Fascinating man.”

“Yep, him. We pointed them at W&H.”

“How’s Xander?” Doyle asked.

“He’s good,” Spike leered.

“Not quite what I meant,” Doyle snorted.

“He’s happier,” Spike answered. “He’s more confident, more sure of himself.”

“Secure now that he’s mated to you,” Angel offered softly. “He knows he has you always.”

The blonde nodded. “It’s nice to see him like that.”

“Hopefully we can keep him that happy,” Doyle sighed.

“Have they set the date for the case yet?” Spike questioned.

“Two weeks.”


“Rome,” Angel groaned.

“How the hell are we suppose to get to Rome?” growled Spike.

“There’s a portal that leads there, made just for the Demonic Courts,” Doyle told him. “We have to be there a few days beforehand. I’ve already made hotel reservations.”

“Who’s all going?”

“Just the four of us,” Angel said. “I thought about bring Dru, but I’m not sure how she’d handle being there.”

“Plus it would leave Cordy and Wes open to attack,” Doyle added with a grimace.

“Everything’s set though?” Spike looked between the married pair.

“Yep, all set,” Doyle confirmed.

“Good, I’m going to shag my mate through the mattress now.”

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

Xander laughed as Cordy made a disgusted face at the gifts Spike and Xander had brought home from Vegas. She held the t-shirt up, reading the “Diva” written across it.

“I am not!” she yelled, glaring at Spike.

“So you don’t like it?” the vampire asked with an innocent look while Xander hid a smile behind one hand.

“It’s okay, love,” Wes said quietly, smiling at his gift of an eyeglass cleaning kit.

“I’ll get you for this, blondie,” she growled, throwing the shirt at him. “What did everyone else get?”

Dru ripped into the paper, revealing a new tea set. Cooing in pleasure, she threw herself at Xander, hugging him tightly. “Tea tonight,” she sang.

Laughing, Doyle opened his own gift, smiling at the books he had been wanting. “Thanks guys.”

A low groan had all of them turning to look at Angel and the strange expression on his face. Without a word, he held up the tube of hair gel and threw it at Spike’s head with perfect aim. The gel bounced off the blonde’s forehead and he shrugged, tucking it into his duster.

“If you don’t want it, I’ll take it.”

Xander shook his head at their antics. This was what he wanted. This was the perfection the made all his nightmares fade away. A knock at the door had everyone turning to look in that direction. Doyle glanced at them all before levering to his feet and crossing to the door. He cracked it open and stared at the person standing on the other side.

“Can I help you?” Doyle asked the man.

“Yes, I’m looking for Wesley Wyndam-Pryce,” the man said with a British accent. “I was told I could find him here.”

“Wes,” Doyle called, turning slightly to look at the ex-Watcher. “Someone here to see you.”

Looking confused, Wes stood and made his way over, stopping in shock when he saw the person standing there. “Rupert?”

“Hello, Wesley,” ‘Rupert’ said quietly.

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

“Is there something wrong?” Cordy asked quietly once their visitor was gone.

“Y-yes,” Wes stammered, sinking down on the couch beside her. She shifted, cuddling into his side and giving him a bit of comfort.

“And?” Spike asked, his face blank but concern for his friend in his eyes.

“The new Slayer is on the Hellmouth,” Wes said quietly. “Somehow she’s ended up with a sister.”

Ended up?” Angel questioned.

“She just appeared and was inserted into most of their memories,” Wes explained. “It seems the only reason they found out was because a spell on Rupert prevented memory tampering.”

“Is she dangerous?”

“Yes and no,” Wes shook his head. “Rupert said he would be back and explain everything in detail tomorrow.” The ex-Watcher looked around at them. “He’s here to ask for help. He knows you worked with a Slayer, Angel. He’s hoping we can help.”

“Help with what?” Spike asked. “Is it a small problem, a medium problem or a big problem?”

“It’s a potential apocalypse.”

“So a problem of gargantuan proportions,” Spike nodded. “Just what we needed with what we already have on our plate.”


Previous Next

Of Shadows and Silence – Chapters 41-45


Chapter Forty One: Sorting Shadows
Summary: Helping new friends
Rating: PG

The denizens of the Hyperion Hotel watched with wary eyes as the Watcher seated himself on an available sofa and removed his glasses, furiously cleaning the lenses. Rupert Giles did his best to give the impression of being totally at ease in the presence of three of the most famed vampires in the world, but his nervousness was more than visible. Spike hid a grin as the man jumped when Dru gave a little hiss.

“Behave,” Angel admonished absently. ” Do you care to explain the situation to us?”

“I remember you,” Giles said, his head tilted slightly. “You followed her.”

“I was there to try and help her,” Angel replied steadily. He had made peace with Buffy’s death and nothing, not even the man who had been her Watcher could change that. “Unfortunately I couldn’t. But that is the past. So let’s deal with the present.”

Doyle pressed lightly into Angel’s side and stared hard at the Watcher. “Why did it take so long for the new Slayer to get to the Hellmouth?”

“She’s not the one that was called directly after Miss Summers,” Giles explained softly. “That Slayer and her Watcher came to Sunnydale, but the Master was ready for them. Faith Lehane is the newest Slayer. Like Miss Summers, she is not a Council raised Slayer.”

“She’s not a puppet then,” Spike snorted.

“No,” Giles smiled evilly. “She’s not. She, and her Watcher, came to Sunnydale just after the New Year. Faith is…” he trailed off.

“I’m different,” a husky voice drawled from the doorway. Everyone turned to stare at the dark haired young woman casually slouched against the door jam. “Not one for rules, regulations or any of that bullshit. Drives the bastards overseas buttfuck crazy.”

Spike looked around at everyone and grinned. “I think I like her.”

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

“So you’ve suddenly got a little sister?” Doyle tried to clarify.

“I can remember her being born,” Faith nodded. “I can remember hiding her from my Mom’s friends. All these memories and feelings that ain’t mine. But she’s a good girl. Does what she’s told and stays out of trouble most of the time.”

“So, what is she exactly?”

Giles sighed, removing his glasses to clean them again. “She’s the Key.”

Angel choked and Dru giggled. “Pretty, sparkly green lights.”

“Y-yes,” Giles stammered slightly. “She’s an artifact of great power, capable of opening portals between dimensions. The Key was being guarded by a group of monks. They have been protecting and hiding the Key’s power. Unfortunately a very powerful being who needs the Key’s power found them. To hide it better, they made it into a young woman, gave it flesh and memories and sent it to Faith.”

“Charity has no idea,” Faith added quietly, all the brashness they had been subjected to gone now. “In her eyes, she is my sister, born and raised. And I’ll do just about anything to keep it that way. I don’t want her to know what she is, was. I want her to be a normal teenage girl.”

“Do you know who this person who wants her is?” Angel asked.

“Yes,” Giles’ voice had gone hard. “She’s a HellGoddess.”

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

Arguing and insults flew around the room, but Xander ignored them in favour of watching the Slayer. She wasn’t that tall, but somehow managed to see she was. Faith was slender and covered in lean muscle, her hair dark and falling in loose waves around her equally as dark eyes. To Xander she looked almost as if she could have been his sister. She was brash and blunt, ready to tell anyone exactly what she thought. Like Spike, Xander liked her. As if she felt his gaze, Faith looked at him and winked one dark eye. He grinned and turned his attention over to the mix of loud voices.

“Okay, shut up!” Doyle yelled, effectively silencing everyone. Xander snickered silently as Angel smiled up at his husband affectionately. “Mr. Giles and Miss Lehane have come for our help. The only real question is, are we going to help them?”

Xander quickly scribbled on his board, a gift from Cordy, and thrust it at Doyle. There’s a child involved. She might not have been real before, but she is now and she needs our help. End of story.

“Good point, Xander,” Doyle nodded. They ignored the strange looks they were getting from the Watcher and Slayer. “Angel?”

“Guess we’re helping,” the older vampire sighed. “Pack up, we’re heading to Sunnydale.”


Xander was shaking slightly and was pleased to hear Spike disagree. Sunnydale was how he’d ended up in the hospital in the first place. Spike’s arms came around him and he gratefully snuggled in.

“Excuse me?” Angel’s voice was soft and dangerous.

“Are you forgetting that Xander is not to go back to Sunnydale? That the Elders demanded it?” Spike’s voice was just as soft but still hard, like velvet over steel. “Plus, the trial is coming up. Most of us need to be there for that.”

“Shit,” Angel groaned. “I forgot. I’m sorry Xander.” Xander nodded, still huddled in the safety of his mate’s arms. “We can’t go to Sunnydale.”

“There has to be something we can do,” Wes said, looking around.

“What all do we know about this HellGoddess?” Doyle asked, reaching out to absently run a hand over Angel’s arm. “Any weaknesses?”

“There’s something about a host,” Giles said, reaching for the book he had brought with him. “We don’t understand what it means.”

“What does it say?”

“Her host is her weakness.”

“One shell, two forms, two spirits, fighting to win,” Dru murmured from beside Xander. “One wants to go, One wants to stay. Kill one both die.”

“That works,” Spike smirked.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t understand,” Giles said, looking at the vampiress.

“To kill this HellGoddess you have to kill her host,” Spike clarified. “Find out who he is and off him.”

“Slayers don’t kill humans,” Giles protested. “It goes against everything that they are.”

Spike shrugged. “Then you do it.”

Giles spluttered, looking extremely indignant. “I could never!”

“Fine,” Spike snapped. “Figure out who the host is, call us and I’ll come kill whoever it is for you. That work?”

Xander pinched his lover. When Spike glanced over at him, Xander gave him a disapproving look, all the while knowing it wouldn’t change his lover. Suddenly an idea popped into his head and he reached over, snatching his board back. A quick swipe erased the previous words and he quickly jotted down his thoughts, thrusting the board impatiently at Doyle when he was finished.

Bring her here. Maybe we can hide her like we did me. The others are staying when we go to Rome, they can help figure out who the host is and we can deal with the HellGoddess together when we get back.” Doyle read aloud. He blinked and then smiled. “That’s a great idea! Might have to call in a few favours to ward her, but it would work.”

“Can someone explain what that meant?” Giles asked, his gaze shifting between them.

“And why doesn’t BoyToy there talk?” Faith added, leering a little at Xander.

“Xander has a powerful law firm after him. They’ve taken the case to the Demonic Courts and we have to be there in two weeks,” Doyle explained. “When we first got him away from them, an ally of ours brought a protection amulet for him. It hides him from being found. Especially from those with less than pure intentions. The same thing just might work for your sister. I’m going to contact some people, see if we can do it.”

“Xan doesn’t talk because he can’t,” Spike told her. “And he’s no one’s toy!” The last part was snarled. Xander laid a calming hand on his mate’s cheek, forcing the vampire’s attention away from the Slayer.

“Sorry,” Faith shrugged.

“Wait! You’re going to the Demonic Courts. Are you sure it’s not a trap?” Giles asked, concern and worry colouring his voice. “It is possible they are luring you there to just take the boy.”

“Can’t happen,” Angel assured him. “Though thank you for your concern.”

“Why can’t it happen? I’m sure you’re all very strong and smart, but it is dangerous there.”

“Can’t happen because we’re Mated,” Spike smirked. “They grab one of us and they get both.”

“Dear Lord!” the Watcher exclaimed.

“What?” Faith asked, eyeing him carefully.

Giles removed his glasses and cleaned them. “I actually feel sorry for them now.”

“Us?” Spike asked archly.

“No, the idiots you’re up against.”




Chapter Interlude 3: Shadows Stealing Moments
Summary: Brief Moments in Time
Rating: G-PG
Warnings: A bit of swearing.


Giggling filled the large room, interspersed with the sounds of slight slaps and great tickles. The group of adults on the other side of the room glanced over occasionally, smiling at the sight of three dark heads bent together.

“What are they playing?” Mr. Giles finally asked.

“Some card game,” Spike shrugged. “They explained the rules to me, but I still don’t get it.”

“I think you have to be a child or nuts to get it,” Faith replied with a bemused smile.

“Which spot does Xan fall into?” he asked archly.

Faith laughed. “I’m not naive enough to fall for that. Come on, back to work.”

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

Xander placed his card in position with infinite care and stared at the two girls, daring them to call him out. Dru only giggled and set her next card down on his. Charity snorted and pointed to Dru, picking up the card and giving it back.

“They think we’re nuts,” the young girl said as she played her next card.

“Spinning, spinning, spinning,” Dru laughed.

“Yep, exactly,” Charity nodded. Xander grinned.

He liked Charity Lehane. She was a lot like her sister. Brash and bold but with a core of soft steel. She lacked the uncertainty Faith had, but Xander figured that was because Faith did everything to care for and protect her little sister. The young girl liked to tell jokes and play pranks, which made her friends with Spike almost right away. She only shrugged when she was told Xander didn’t speak and thought it was cool that Angel was a vampire.

The woman they had called to bring Charity to LA was almost totally the opposite. Her hair was long and blonde and she used it as a shield, hiding her face and blue eyes from the world. She was beyond quiet, speaking softly and often stuttering. But there was a core of hardness within her that spoke of seeing bad things. And the power that radiated off her was nearly blinding.

“Tara,” Charity called to the blonde woman. “Come play with us.”

Smiling softly, Tara walked over to them, sitting close to Charity. She watched the game for a few minutes before picking up a stack of cards and joining in, catching on to the rules immediately.

“How come she understands the game?” Spike almost whined. Xander grinned.

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

“Are we sure this is a good idea?” Mr. Giles asked, slumping in his seat.

“No, but it’s the best one we got,” Angel pointed out. “And it’ll keep Charity safe until we can figure out how to beat this HellGoddess.”

“But to take her there,” he protested.

“The Courts are run by high level demons,” Doyle reminded him. “These aren’t the type you’d run into on the street. They’re the rulers of realms and dimensions. There’s no way she can break in to steal her. To get Charity at the Courts there would have to be a petition and it would have to be on file for over three months.”

“And since we’ve just thought of it there’s no way for her to get one on file,” Faith finished, nodding a bit. “I agree. It’s the best plan but I want Tara to go with you.”

“Why?” Angel asked.

“‘Cause she’s strong,” Spike said before Faith could answer. The Slayer nodded. “She’ll be added protection if Wolfram and Hart try something.”

“And I’ll stay here with Giles and your crew,” Faith continued. “We’ll be watching over the city and all that shit. Keep the hotel safe until you get back.”

“Guess that’s that then,” Spike said, standing to stretch. “I’m gonna go grab my boy. Been to long.”

“TMI!” Faith shouted. “Definitely too much information. But have fun.”

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

Dru smiled at Charity and Tara. “You’re going on a trip.”




Chapter Forty Two: Serious Silence
Summary: The boys head to the Demonic Courts with a few new friends
Rating: NC-17


Arching into the touches moving over his skin, Xander opened his mouth in a silent moan, panting for breath. Spike chuckled, reading the signs of his body and upping the pleasure until all thought left Xander’s head. He pushed up into Spike’s touch, reaching up and dragging the vampire down until their lips met in a hard kiss. Taking pity on him, Spike sped through the preparations and sank inside his body in one smooth move. The twinge of pain was forgotten as the pleasure of being connected with his mate rolled over him and Xander slid his legs open wider, pushing his hips up.

Grinning wickedly, Spike started up a steady rhythm, a slow one. Beneath him Xander writhed and twisted, trying to urge his mate to move faster, harder, just more! Finally Spike sped up, stroking in and out with sure quick strokes that managed to hit that perfect spot nearly every time. Xander slid a hand between their bodies, wrapping it around his own cock and stroking to match Spike. Meeting vibrant yellow eyes, he tilted his head a bit, giving Spike access to his neck and he gasped silently as razor sharp teeth sliced into his flesh sending him over the edge and into bliss. Stiffening and groaning, Spike held still as his own orgasm ran over him before carefully removing teeth and cock from his lover’s body.

He stroked a hand down Xander’s side. “Sleep now, we leave in the morning.”

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

“Why do I have to go?” Charity whined, glaring at her sister.

Xander hid a grin. He knew the girl was only playing the brat to bother her sister, but it was still funny to him. He watched as identical stubborn looks descended on their faces as they stared off over the breakfast table. At the other end of the table he could see Angel’s face getting darker at what he saw as a problem to their plan. A quick word from Doyle calmed him back down but left the vampire looking confused. Xander shook his head and kicked Charity lightly, making her lose her focus.

“Ha, I won!” Faith declared. Xander had a brief flash of her sticking her tongue out.

“Only because Xander cheated,” Charity pouted.

“Enough,” Mr. Giles said finally, removing his glasses and cleaning them. “Charity you are going with them. Faith will be staying here to help out. This is not a discussion.”

“I know that,” Charity shrugged.

“Then why-?” the Watcher blinked.

“Because it was fun,” she grinned. Faith and Dru cackled, the Slayer nearly falling out of her chair.

Angel pushed away from the table. “As fun as it may have been, we need to get going.”

“How are we getting there?” Spike asked, helping Xander to his feet. ” Is it on another plane?”

“Part of the trial is they have to have a way for us to get there,” Doyle answered. “There’s a portal waiting for us at Lorne’s.”

“So the sewers it is,” Spike sighed.

“For you and Angel,” Doyle grinned. “I’m taking Xander and Charity by car.”

“Not fair!”

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

The swirling vortex of power almost repulsed him and if it wasn’t for Angel’s stern look Spike might not have gone through. Traveling by portal wasn’t his favourite activity and he was certain there had to be another way of getting to the Demonic Courts. He exited the other side and caught Xander as the young man came through. Charity was next and she moved to cuddle with Xander, both bothered by their trip.

“We’re going home another way,” Spike announced once Angel and Doyle were through.

“Sure,” Doyle shrugged. “We need to go sign in and head to the hotel.”

Angel led the way through the Court, twisting and turning down half-remembered paths. They stopped at the reception desk and filled out the necessary paperwork, Spike grumbling all the while.

As they headed to their hotel, Angel pulled Spike aside. “You do know they’re going to try for him, don’t you?”

Spike sneered. “First come, first killed. No one touches my boy.”

“Good,” Angel nodded. “Our attorney should be at the hotel when we get there. We need to have everything set out before the trial starts tomorrow.”

“No matter what, they won’t separate us,” Spike vow, eyes flashing yellow briefly. “And if they kill me, I know you’ll take care of Xan if he survives.”

“Family,” Angel agreed.




Chapter Forty Three: Frightened Shadows
Summary: A brief talk with the lawyer
Rating: PG

The lawyer asked question after question, little and big. Spike did his best not to snarl at the little man. He hated lawyers on principle and this was just another one, even if he was helping them. Every question Xander was asked made the young man curl in on himself a little more and all Spike could do was hold him.

“Are we done yet?” Doyle asked softly, glancing slightly at Xander.

“Just one last question,” the lawyer smiled. “When did Xander lose his voice? With you or before?”

“Before,” Spike answered. “Dru said something about a shadow taking his voice.”

A man came, Xander wrote quickly. When I first was sent there. He said he was doing it to protect me.

“Bur you didn’t know him?”

Xander shook his head.

“Do they know you can’t talk?” the lawyer asked shrewdly. Xander shook his head again and smiled a little. “Ah, they think you won’t talk. That is an advantage to us.”

“How so?” Angel asked.

“Because that means they were lax in their care of him,” the lawyer explained. “That is something they should have noticed despite the actions of their orderlies and nurses. Especially since they want something from him.” He put his papers in order and closed his briefcase. “The trials start first thing in the morning. I’ll send someone to get you. Spike, I’ll be calling you first since you know Xander the best. I’m going to try to keep Xander off the stand but I make no promises and I don’t know what W&H are going to pull. They want him enough that they called in the New York office.”

The blonde nodded. Doyle let the lawyer out while Spike led Xander back to where Charity and Tara were watching TV. He let Xander curl up next to the girls, smiling at the way he moved to curl around them and went to speak with his GrandSire.

“Do you think this is going to work?” he asked softly.

Angel sank back in his seat, wrapping an arm around Doyle when he sat beside him. “Legally, I think we’ll win,” he replied seriously. “With everything that happened to Xander while under their care it’ll swing in our favour. But, I know they’re going to try something. Something to split the two of you. Keep close to him no matter what any time we’re out of this room.”

“What about in the room?” Doyle asked.

“Because of the nature of the Courts, all the rooms are shielded and warded. Nothing can get in without our permission.”

“Meaning they can howl at the door all night,” Spike finished with a smirk. “Good, I like that.”

“Don’t get cocky,” Angel warned. “This isn’t going to be easy.”

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

Spike pushed open the bedroom door and stopped, flummoxed. The room was dim, only a few red candles burning on various surfaces. The sheets on the bed were red and black, beautifully highlighting the man sitting on them. Xander stared at him, a small smile on his lips and his eyes wide. Spike crossed the room quickly, pulling his mate up and into his arms, taking his lips in a deep kiss.

Xander pulled back, breathing heavily and used a finger to trace something on the blonde’s chest. Concentrating, Spike grinned as he realized what Xander was writing.

“I love you too,” he growled in to Xander’s ear. “Now, we have this lovely room and way too much clothing on.”

Giggling silently, Xander pushed away from him and started stripping off. Spike stripped off his own clothing and picked up Xander, dropping him on the bed and crawling in to wrap his arms around his mate. He held on tight and buried his face in his lover’s hair. Xander looked up at him, worry shining in his eyes.

“No matter what happens,” Spike said fiercely, tightening his hold. “Remember I love you.”



Chapter Forty Four: Callous Silence
Summary: The Trial pt 1
Rating: PG for a moment of swearing


The court room was filled with demons, making Xander move until he was sheltered between Spike and Angel, Doyle following closely behind them. Tara and Charity had stayed at the hotel where they would be safer. Many of the demons here would notice just what Charity was and some would be tempted to mug her and use her for the power she contained. She was safer locked behind the warded doors of the hotel room.

They slipped into their seats and waited, all steadily ignoring the W&H lawyers sitting not that far from them. Xander could feel himself shaking and gripped his board tightly to hide it. This was not the place to show weakness. The court room finished filling and the bailiff call the court into session, introducing the judge presiding over the case. The judge looked like a large owl to Xander as it stared down at them. He met the judge’s eyes fully and the judge nodded.

“It seems the basis of the case is who Alexander Harris belongs with, correct?’ the judge asked.

“Yes, Your Honour,” both sets of lawyers replied.

“If the prosecution would like to start.”

“Your Honour, Alexander Harris was given into our custody several years ago,” Wolfram and Hart’s lawyer began, standing and looking at the judge. “He was a patient at one of our hospitals until he was kidnapped from there three years ago. We have been trying since then to return him to a hospital, since the original one was destroyed.”

“Why?” the judge asked.

“Why was it destroyed?” the lawyer asked.

“No,” the judge said patiently. “Why are you trying so hard to get him back into a hospital?”

“Mr. Harris was admitted to the hospital because of delusions, Your Honour,” the lawyer explained. “It is best for him and society that he is kept in a secure facility. We are here today because William the Bloody kidnapped Mr. Harris from the first hospital, putting everyone in danger.” He sat back down.


“Thank you, Your Honour,” their lawyer said, standing. “Despite what the prosecution may say, not only does my client not have delusions, he is not a danger to anyone. Yes, Mr. Harris was a patient at their hospital, but I have evidence that shows the only danger was the hospital itself. Mr. Harris is better off where he is than in the hands of Wolfram and Hart or any of their subsidiaries.” He sat down.

The main lawyer for the prosecution stood back up. “We call the shade of Lilah Morgan to the stand.”

A shimmer started and slowly morphed into the shape of a pretty blonde woman. Xander recognized her and shrunk back.

“Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?” the bailiff asked.

“I do,” Lilah smirked.

“Miss Morgan, you briefly had Mr. Harris in your care, correct?”

“Yes,” she nodded.

“Can you tell us about it?”

“Nothing much to tell,” she replied. “I asked him a few questions but he refused to answer. It was quite rude.”

The lawyer asked a few more question, mostly about nothing, just filling the time before turning it over to their lawyer.

“Miss Morgan, you said he didn’t answer, correct?”

“Yes,” Lilah answered. “He didn’t say anything the whole time he was with me. Like I said before, very rude.”

“Thank you, no other questions.”

Looking confused, Lilah faded from view. A few more shades of employees of the hospital were called up, all saying that Xander was a loner and never spoke to anyone. Their lawyer always asked about the never speaking part, confusing W&H’s lawyers.

“Does the defense have any witnesses to call?” the judge asked.

“Yes, I’d like to call William the Bloody to the stand.”

Spike stood and sauntered up, swearing in and waiting.

“William the Bloody, you and your Sire removed Mr. Harris from the hospital, correct?” their lawyer asked. “Why did you do this?”

“Yes, we took him out of there,” Spike said with a bit of a sneer. “We took him because that place was slowly killing him. He was beyond pale and bruised, smelled of blood and semen.”


“He had been raped just before I got there,” Spike told him.

“You are certain about that?”

“Since he smelled of pain as well and wasn’t standing properly, yes I am.”

“So you took him with you. What have you done for him since then?”

“Helped him heal. Made him gain some weight since he was too thin. Gotten him up to date in his schooling. Taught him how to defend himself,” Spike shrugged. “He’s family, I treated him as such.”

“And have you ever seen any signs of delusions from him?”


“Has he ever been a danger?”

“No. He doesn’t like to cause others pain.”

“Thank you.”

W&H’s lawyer stood up. “You admit you kidnapped him from the hospital.”

“No,” Spike said coldly. “I rescued him from that hospital.”


“I asked him if he wanted to come with us. I didn’t force him. So no, not kidnapping.”

The lawyer glared at him and sat back down, letting the bailiff dismiss Spike. He smirked suddenly. “We call Alexander Harris to the stand.”

Spike gave him a hard hug and let him make his way up to the stand, still trying to hide his shaking.

“Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?” the bailiff asked.

I do, Xander wrote.

“Excuse me!” W&H’s lawyer shouted, surging to his feet. “What is going on?”

“Mr. Harris cannot talk,” their lawyer answered, smirking slightly. “It actually is part of our defense. Something your employees should have caught a long time ago.”

The other lawyer trembled with anger. “Fine,” he spat, shrinking down when the judge glared at him. “Mr. Harris, how old were you went you were admitted to the hospital?”


“What was the reason you were sent there?”

I saw something that scared me. I told my parents and they sent me away.

“So your parents signed custody of you over to the hospital?”

I was thirteen, I don’t know. All I know is that a day after I told them what I saw I was locked up.

The lawyer stared at him for a moment. “How long were you there?”

Almost four years.

“How often did you interact with people there?”

Not often. Not being able to talk makes it difficult.

“When did you lose your voice? Before the hospital?”

No, a few days after I was there. Someone came into my room and used magic. POOF! Can’t talk.

“Someone used magic on you within the hospital walls?” the judge interrupted.


The lawyer blinked, that wasn’t where he wanted it to go. “No other questions.”

“Xander,” their lawyer began. “What was it like in the hospital?”

Lonely, Xander wrote. The only person who paid attention to me was Trent.

“Tell me about this Trent.”

He used to come into my room at night. Sometimes more than one time. He would fuck me then leave.

“Language, Mr. Harris,” the judge chided. “Even if you’re only writing it.” Xander nodded.

“And no one did anything about this?” their lawyer asked.

No one cared.

“What’s your life been like since William took you from there?”

Happy. They love me. They protect me. I’ve been happier than I’ve ever been. Even when I was younger.

“I have a question,” the other lawyer said. The judge nodded. “Are any of them using you in a sexual manner?”

Do you mean am I having sex with any of them? Yes I am. And no, no one is using me.

“Which ones are you having relations with?”

Xander smirked a very Spike smirk and pulled down the collar of his shirt, showing the vivid scar. I am the acknowledged Mate of William the Bloody, Childe of Drusilla the Mad and GrandChilde of Angelus. No one would dare use me and Spike would rather stake himself than hurt me. Any other questions?

A murmur ran through the crowd and Xander just knew the gossip would be hitting the streets in minutes. Everyone would know he was Mated to Spike and no one would be able to touch him, even look at him wrong without it getting back to the vampire.

“No,” the lawyer stuttered. “That’s all.”

“You may step down,” the bailiff said, a slight grin on his face.

Nodding in thanks, Xander headed back to his table, sinking into Spike’s embrace.

“Proud of you, luv,” the vampire whispered.




Chapter Forty Five: True Silence
Summary: The Trail pt. 2
Rating: PG


Xander ignored the voices around him, concentrating on the warmth he could feel, warmth somehow coming from Dru a world away. The world faded away and he calmed. Beside him Spike shifted slightly and Xander wondered if the vampire could hear and feel Dru like he did.

“You good pet?” Spike leaned over to whisper in his ear.

Opening his eyes, Xander flashed him a small smile. He was actually fine despite the fact his life was being exposed to everyone and the Courts were going to decide his fate.

“Your Honour, I really don’t understand why the prosecution wants my client so much,” their lawyer said finally. “It is has been several years since he was in their care and he has not been violent or delusional. Instead he has worked to get an education and find a life outside of the hospital walls. So why are they trying so hard to get him back? Could it be to cover up some of their less than savoury actions?”

“What do you mean?” the judge asked, glaring down at him.

“A few months after Mr. Harris left the hospital he was brought back,” the lawyer replied. “During his time there he was beaten, raped and tortured both physically and mentally. It was through the actions of William the Bloody, Angelus, the Seer Doyle and one other that he was freed.”

“Lies!” the W&H lawyer shouted.

“Control yourself, Counselor,” the judge snapped. He looked at their lawyer. “Do you have proof?”

“Better,” the lawyer smirked. “I have a witness. I call to the stand the Council’s representative, Robin Goodfellow.”

Xander perked up at hearing his friend’s name. Having Robin on their side was a big advantage. The tall, green-tinged man walked serenely into the court room, ignoring the wide mouth look from the Wolfram and Hart lawyers. He took the stand and was sworn in, giving Xander a brief grin. Xander ignored the line of questioning, having already lived through the experience, he didn’t need to hear it again. Instead he watched the others in the room, noting that the opposition’s lawyers were awfully pale.

“We will break until tomorrow,” the judge announced once Robin was allowed to step down from the stand. “I will have my decision then.” As he left the room a flurry of sound started.

“Come on,” Robin said, coming to stand before them. “Let’s head back to your rooms. We have much to talk about.”


“We’re going to win, aren’t we?” Spike said to Robin.

Robin nodded. “Everything is stacked in your favour and all their actions speak against them. But that is not why I’m here.”

“They’re going to try something,” Doyle stated.

“Yes, they already have a ship waiting. There is no set destination for it so I wouldn’t even know where to look if they managed to get a hold of Xander.”

“Do you have any idea of how they’re going to try and snatch him?” Angel asked, settling beside his husband.

“They’re going to cause a riot and in the imbroglio they’ll grab him,” Robin told him. “You must make sure one of you is with him always. For obvious reasons I suggest Spike.”

“I can do a spell,” Tara offered.

“What kind?” Robin asked, turning his head to look at her.

She blushed and ducked her head, hiding her face behind her hair. “I can make it so that where ever Xander goes Spike will go too. It’s like a handcuff spell but harmless.”

Spike blinked. “You can do that?”

“Yes,” she answered, blushing brighter. “It’s fairly easy.”

“Do it,” Robin decided. “We can remove it later.”



Previous Next

Of Shadows and Silence – Chapters 46-50

Chapter Forty Six: Shocked Shadows
Summary: End of the trial and learning the news at home.
Rating: PG

Spike could feel the bounds of the spell tying him to Xander. It was a strange feeling, like Xander was beside him even when he wasn’t. Robin kept staring at them, as if the green man saw something in them, something other, and was comparing it to the reality. It spooked him a bit, but he didn’t mind. Robin was good people in his book

Testing the pull of the tether, Spike shuddered. When he was too far away from Xander, the tether would send warnings out to him, starting with a light tickle running up and down his spine until finally it would send a burst of pain and transport him to Xander’s location. The fact that something had that much power over him was unnerving, but he would put up with it for Xander’s sake. After all, it was one more way he could keep his mate safe in these troubled time.

The trip back to the court house was silent. Everyone was on guard. W&H were going to try something, that they were sure of, but no one knew what or when.

They filed into the court room and awaited the judge, the opposition’s lawyers looking smug.

“I’ve looked over everything and thought carefully about this,” the judge began. “With the evidence presented, the only compassionate thing I can do is allow Alexander Harris to remain where he is. It is obvious his family loves him. It is also obvious that the Council of Elders wish him to remain there. I am also ruling that Wolfram and Hart are to take no actions against Alexander Harris or anyone he considers family and/or friends without just cause. If you are found in violation of this I will punish you to the full extent of this court. I’m sure you know what that means. New houses are so hard to come by these days.”

The W&H lawyers paled, one dropping into his seat. All nodded.

“Good. Case closed. Have a good day.”


“I wasn’t expecting that,” Robin said as he followed them out of the court house.

“The judge’s ruling against the idiots?” Doyle asked. Robin nodded. “Neither were we. I figured we’d win and have to spend our time still fighting them off. That was kind of shocking.”

“No really,” Spike said, walking with his arm around Xander. “He must know what they’re like if they don’t get their way. So he just preempted anything they might try.”

“They’ll still try something,” Angel added.

“Yeah, but not yet,” Spike said. “They’ll wait until they’re not being watched as hard anymore. Especially since they’ll think we’ve lowered our guard at that point.”

“Definitely not going to be lowering our guard,” Angel growled. “We’re going to work on the protections around the hotel and the ones on all of us. I don’t think they’ll hesitate to take one of us out to get to Xander.”

Xander shivered and pressed closer to Spike. He didn’t like this, but it was true.


“Why couldn’t we go home a different way?” Spike groused, holding onto his trembling mate.

“Because this way we could be assured you arrived at your destination,” Robin explained. “Despite the judge’s words, I wouldn’t put it past the senior partners to divert your journey to a place of their choosing. This ensures that you get home since the portal was created by an Elder.”

“Well, at least it’s a short trip,” Doyle said with a shrug as he landed on the ground outside the Hyperion.

“That too,” Robin laughed, reaching down to help the seer up.

As the others exited the portal, the front door to their home opened and a black blur slammed into Xander, nearly knocking him over. Smiling widely, he hugged Hella to his chest, letting her rumbling purr sooth him. He had missed his little hellcat. He had missed his home. Noise at the doors caught his attention and he watched as Angel and Spike stared at Cordy, identical expressions of shock on their faces.

“Hi guys,” Cordy grinned. “Surprise.”

“What? How?” Angel stuttered.

“If you’re asking that then Doyle’s falling down on the job,” Spike snarked as he walked up to Cordy. “Can I?” She nodded and he placed his hand over her stomach,concentrating. Xander realized he could feel an echo of what Spike was experiencing and vowed to talk to the others about it, but for now he focused on the fluttering beat his mate could feel.

After a moment Spike dropped his hand and stepped back. “Congrats.”

“Thanks,” she whispered, throwing her arms around him in a hard hug. “Dru says girl.”

“She’ll probably be right,” Spike nodded. “I can’t tell yet though. A few months and I will.”

Spike stepped back over to Xander and wrapped his lover in a loose embrace, both watching as Angel strode over to Cordelia, staring hard down at her. When she started to get that irritated look, he pulled her into a hug, whispering too softly for even Spike to hear. She sniffled and hugged him tight before he handed her back to Wes.

“We’re going to have to do some renovations,” Doyle said contemplatively. “Not quite safe as it is.”

Angel groaned. “I have to spend more money?”



Chapter Forty Seven: Skittish Shadows
Summary: Things start to heat up and heat up
Rating: NC-17

Xander’s Writing


There was a strange feeling swirling around the hotel. It was more than just the new magic being worked in. Much more than the construction happening to update the building. It had nothing to do with the construction workers and the caterers called to feed them. Instead, it was a feeling that left Xander twitchy and jumpy, only feeling safe snuggled down between Dru and Spike in their suite. He had mentioned it to the others, but Doyle wasn’t seeing anything, Angel and Spike promised to be on the look out and Dru was strangely silent. Overall, he wasn’t comfortable. Something was going to happen and he had a feeling it wasn’t something good.

“What’s wrong, luv?”

Xander looked up at his Mate, shrugging slightly. He didn’t know how to explain his feelings more than he already had. Just feeling strange.

“Still?” Spike asked, sitting down and curling around Xander. “I’ve had Wes look and see if anything was coming up, but there’s nothing other than that idiot Hellgoddess in Sunnydale.”

Maybe that’s what I’m feeling, Xander wrote. That hadn’t even occurred to him. The presence of Charity, Faith and Mr. Giles had become common place and he had forgotten they were actually hiding from the insane demonic deity.

“Good chance,” Spike agreed, hugging him tightly. “But we’re working on it.”

Do we know who her host is yet?

“No clue,” the vampire admitted. “But we’ve got it narrowed down. Whoever it is works at the hospital.”

We need to figure it out soon, Xander scribbled. Or we’ll all be in danger.

“We will, luv,” Spike promised. “We will.”


Warm and cool flesh slide together, followed by ragged moans and breathy gasps. Shivering, Doyle arched into his husband’s touch, almost desperate. Angel chuckled, pressing the smaller man down into the bed as he tormented pale skin with teeth, lips and tongue. Red marks sprung up in his wake, littering that fragile skin with his claim. The demon in Angel loved seeing his husband wearing his marks, ownership visible for all to see. Hot hands tangled in his hair and pulled him up so their mouths met in a needy kiss. Doyle wiggled until Angel was settled between his legs, hard flesh meeting between them.

“Angel,” Doyle gasped, rocking up into his husband’s solid body. “Please.”

Angel didn’t reply verbally, instead he slid a hand down and under, fingers somehow already slick finding and breaching the guardian muscle. It was only moments before Doyle was begging, body writhing under Angel’s as the larger man carefully prepped him. It wasn’t really needed with how often they made love, but Angel still took his time, showing his love with careful touches.

Fed up, Doyle snarled and pushed hard, rolling Angel off. Before the vampire could react, he was slathering a layer of lube over Angel’s cock and sliding himself down on it. Moaning and shaking, Doyle paused when he reached bottom, the stretchy burn almost more than he could handle. He loved that part. The borderline between pain and pleasure when he took his husband into his body. Cool hands curved around his hips and he met Angel’s eyes, smirking as they flashed between gold and brown. Slowly he began to move, easing up just a bit before sinking back down. Beneath him, Angel panted needlessly, hands still gently cupping his hips. While Doyle loved how gentle his husband could be, he rather wished Angel would lose control and just take him. Other than the quickly fading marks the vampire left, Angel was never rough, never harsh and Doyle was set on changing that.

With a wicked grin he rose up farther until Angel was barely connected to him. He waited until Angel’s hands tightened slightly as the vampire fought for control, then he slammed down, nearly screaming as Angel’s cock managed to hit just so on his prostate. Angel’s hands convulsed on his hips, sure to leave bruises. Still the vampire held on to his control. So Doyle did it again, and again, until finally Angel snapped, flipping them back over and pounding into Doyle’s body. The half-demon reveled in the feeling, knowing he was going to be feeling it for days. But he didn’t care. At that moment it was the most perfect sensation in the world. Then Doyle was screaming as his orgasm hit and sharp teeth sank into his neck and the world whited out.


“Took you long enough,” Spike remarked from the doorway.

Angel glanced up at his Grandchilde, growling a little. “What are you talking about?”

Spike only smirked. “Remember it has to go both ways.”

The dark vampire watched as the blonde walked away, the door shutting softly behind him before he looked down at the dazed man in his arms. Then he realized what Spike had meant. There on Doyle’s neck was a Mate bite. For them to be fully Mated, Doyle had to mark him as well in blood and semen. He met serious green eyes and wondered what was going through his husband’s mind.

“My turn now?” Doyle asked huskily.

Angel shivered and nodded. Spike was right, they had taken long enough.


“She knows,” Mr. Giles whispered, staring in shock at the phone in his hand. “She’s on her way here.”

“The Hellgoddess?” Angel asked, taking the phone from the Watcher and hanging it up.

“Yes,” the mortal blinked. “She’ll be here soon. That was my contact back in Sunnydale.”

“Well, guess we don’t have to look for her host anymore,” Spike shrugged.

“She’s powerful,” warned Mr. Giles. “And strong. It won’t be an easy fight.”

“Three vampires, a slayer, a witch, two Watchers who can do magic and a half-demon,” Spike listed. “It won’t be a stalemate fight. We’ll win.”

“Don’t get too confident, Spike,” Angel told him. “I’ve researched her. She’s a higher level demon goddess.”

“Not too confident,” Spike replied seriously. “We won’t get out of it unscathed, but we will win.”

Mr. Giles bounced his gaze between the two of them. “While that is all good, we need to find some protected place for Charity.”

“Caritas,” Doyle offered, walking into the room. “Lorne’s got a anti-violence spell on the bar. She’ll be safe there.”

“You already asked him?” Angel asked, smiling down at his Mate.

“Yep,” Doyle smiled back. “Didn’t tell him the particulars, but did say I had a few non-combatants I needed to get out of the way.”

“Thank you,” Mr. Giles said, sagging in relief. He straightened up. “We should send them over soon. She’ll be here within a few hours.”

“I’ll take them over,” Spike stated.

“Tell Lorne we’ll call when we’re done,” Angel told him.

Spike nodded and headed to gather Xander, Cordy and Charity. Caritas would be the safest place on this realm for them. And if it wasn’t, Lorne would know where else to send them.



Chapter Forty Eight: Saddened Silence
Summary: Things go terribly wrong
Rating: R (for fighting and language)
Warnings: Hightlight for warnings.Character Death Remember though, not all is what it seems.


Some inane pop song pumped through the club’s speakers, and a slime dripping Chaos demon warbled along on stage. Xander ignored the off-tune singing, instead focusing inward and along the link between him and his Mate. He could feel everything Spike felt, from the slight hunger to the pre-battle nervousness. He kept his own emotions in check, knowing now was not the time to distract his Mate. Beside him, Charity bopped along to the music, humming quietly.

“Honey buns, we should head to the back room,” Lorne said suddenly, his red eyes staring intently at the young girl.

“What’s wrong?” Cordy asked seriously, glaring at the green demon.

“Nothing, nothing,” Lorne rushed to reassure her, his voice cracking slightly. “I just think it would be best if we moved somewhere a little more private.”

Staring at him suspiciously, Cordy nodded and urged Charity up and into the back room. The sound of the music cut off as the door closed behind them. Once in the room, the ex-cheerleader turned on the Host.

“What is going on Lorne?”

He glanced at them, then pulled Cordy off to the side. Xander strained to hear what they were saying, but they were talking too low. Cordy’s gasp of pain and shock told him clearly that all was not well. He glared at them, waiting for them to come back over. Cordy’s face was pale and her eyes large and damp. Lorne gave her a quick hug and then left them alone.

What?, he scribbled sharply.

“There’s going to be a death,” she said quietly so Charity wouldn’t hear.


“Lorne doesn’t know,” she half-sobbed. “All he knows is someone is going to die.”

Blinking heavily, Xander turned back to the link, locking his worry down and paying all the attention he could. From the spike in Spike’s emotions, he could tell that She had gotten there and the fight was going to start. Then there was fear, anger, an orgy of emotions, and then a deep pain that echoed deep in his heart, all followed by a wave of pure rage. His mouth opened in a silent scream as Spike lost all control. And the world went black.


Cordy held Charity as the young girl cried softly. Xander’s seizure had shocked both of them and when he passed out both had nearly screamed. Somehow they managed to get him on one of the couches where he now lay too still. Part of her wondered just what had happened to make Xander lose it like that while the rest really didn’t want to know. It had to be something terrible, something to do with their family fighting that Hellgoddess. A reaction like that meant something really bad.

Time passed as they waited, Charity moving from Cordy’s arms to curl up next to Xander. The lack of news was beginning to stress the ex-cheerleader and she swore she’d smack all of them when they finally got there. More time passed and she began to wonder about the nature of the universe and if anything other than the thoughts in her own mind were real. Shaking off the odd thoughts, she focused on the two across from her.


The door flying open startled her and she toppled off her chair. Sitting on the floor, she watched as a blood smeared Spike raced across the room, pushing Charity aside and gathering Xander into his arms. She noticed absently the bloody tears rolling down the blonde vampire’s cheeks as he rocked his Mate.

“Angel?” she asked quietly when the vampire entered the room. His eyes were just as wet as Spike’s, the faint tracks of wiped away tears on hischeeks. Doyle, Wes, Faith, Tara, and Mr. Giles filed into the room after him. Cordy rushed over to Wes, checking him for injuries. Then she noticed their missing member. “Dru?”

Tara began to cry, deep body wracking sobs and Faith gathered the witch into her arms, leading her over to a chair.

“Dru didn’t make it,” Wes said softly. “She came up with an idea.”

“Didn’t tell the rest of us,” Doyle added quietly.

“She and Tara switched features,” the ex-Watcher swallowed. “Glory went after what she thought was Tara, thinking her a weak target. She put her hands into Dru’s head-” He turned green and ran to the bathroom hidden off to the side.

“It seems she can suck energy and thoughts from people’s minds,” Doyle said emotionlessly. “But it doesn’t work right on vampires. It weakens her instead of strenghening her. Dru knew it somehow.”

“Where is Dru?” Cordy whispered.

“One of Glory’s minions saw what was happening and staked her,” Doyle told her flatly. “Enough damage was done that we could easily force her back to her host form and kill him.”

“Xander felt it,” she told them, watching as they all paled underneath bruises and blood. “He had a seizure and passed out.”

“Every member of the Aurelius family felt it,” Doyle told her.

“No, I mean he felt it,” Cordy stressed.

“He felt me,” Spike said hoarsely. “Told him to keep the link closed. Told him it was too dangerous. Silly boy.”

“Will he be okay?” Charity asked timidly.

Spike tried to smile to reassure her. “In time.”


He was standing in a field of flowers, the sun shining brightly down on him. Movement from his left drew his attention and he turned to watch a familiar figure dance among the multitude of blooms. He blinked in shock and stared in wonder at the way the sun brought out the highlights in Dru’s hair.

“Hello Kitten,” she smiled, coming to a stop in front of him.

“Dru?” he whispered, jumping at the sound of his own voice.

She giggled. “Who else?”

“Where are we?”

“Dreamland,” she told him, swaying slightly. “They’re letting me have a few minutes with you.”


“The Powers,” she smiled.

“You died, didn’t you?” he whispered, reaching out to touch her face.

“Someone had to,” she sighed. “I chose myself. It’s all for the best.”

“But Spike-”

“Has you and Daddy,” Dru told him. “But don’t worry Kitten, I’ll be coming back.”


“Sooner than you think.”


Chapter Forty Nine: Living Silence
Summary: The group begins to deal with the aftermath
Rating: PG


Spike held on to his Mate as the young man slowly regained consciousness. After losing Dru, he wasn’t going to let Xander out of his sight. Burying his face in Xander’s neck, he listened to the steady heartbeat and felt the pulse beneath his lips. Here, at this moment, he knew somehow that everything was going to be alright.

“Spike,” Angel called quietly. “We need to be getting home.”

Sighing, Spike sat up and loosened his grip on Xander, letting the young man sit up as well. But Xander made no move to rise, instead he reached for his notepad and began scribbling out a frantic message.

I saw Dru.

“Where?” Spike asked, wondering if the young man had lost his mind. Dru was gone, dust covering the ground.

Dream. Spike, she said she’s coming back.

“What?” he yelled, pulling back to stare at his Mate.

She told me she’s coming back. Sooner than we think, he paused and glanced slightly at Cordy. Can we have Lorne check how, just in case.

Spike caught the look, eyes widening. “Angel, go get Lorne please.”

“Why?” the older vampire demanded. “We don’t need Lorne, we need to go home and rest.”

“Angel, if Spike thinks we need Lorne, maybe we do,” Doyle said quietly, touching his husband’s arm. “Go get him.”

Huffing, the dark vampire headed out to find the green demon, muttering under his breath. A few minutes later he returned with the Host in tow.

“What can I do for you, honeycakes?” Lorne asked Spike.

Xander shoved the notepad into his hands, letting him read what he had told Spike.

“Is this a problem?”

Xander snatched the pad back. Depends on who she comes back through.

Lorne blinked and paled to a lighter shade of green. “Oh hell,” he whispered. “Sing something Spike.”

Softly, Spike began singing a lullaby that Dru often sang when Xander was first with them. The young man smiled at his Mate and snuggled into his arms, listening to the quiet words.

“Enough,” Lorne said after a lines. “She is coming back, but no worries on that front. I’m not exactly clear on the how, but it’s not that way.”

Xander slumped and Spike sighed in relief. That was one problem down. “You don’t know how?”

“Sorry, honeycakes, but that’s hidden even from me.”

“If it’s hidden that well, then it means someone higher is in charge,” Doyle said. “Could be the Powers or it could be the Elders.”

“Yep,” Lorne nodded. “Either way, she is coming back and fairly soon.”

“That’s…” Angel trailed off.

“Creepy,” Cordy offered. “But I’m glad.”

“So am I,” Wes added, hugging his lover close to his chest.

“Thank you,” Spike said, rising off the couch and pulling Xander with him. “Thank you for a lot.”

“No problem,” the Host grinned. “As long as I’m not doing the fighting, it’s all good.”

Xander grinned and hugged the green demon before following his Mate out the door, leaving the others to say their own goodbyes.

“So the flowers will be over there and the arch will be there,” Cordy pointed. She was standing the main lobby of the hotel, one hand on her belly as she made the final plans for her wedding. “The caterers will be setting up the reception in one of the upper rooms.”

“It’ll look beautiful,” Wes said, kissing her softly. “Now, go rest for a bit before they start setting up.”

“I love you,” she whispered, kissing him back.

“I love you too.”

“Enough of the sap,” Spike said as he walked by. “Go lay down, princess. You have a lot to do today.”

“I will,” she promised, giving Wes one last kiss before heading to the elevator.

“Is everything ready?” Wes asked, once his bride-to-be was out of earshot.

“Of course,” Spike smirked. “When she comes down, everything will be already set up.”

“Good,” Wes smiled. “Thank you, Spike.”

“Hey, she’s carrying the first baby in the family, she deserves the best for her wedding.”


Xander smiled at Cordelia as she danced the first dance with Wes. The wedding had been beautiful, even out doing all the plans Cordy had made. She had almost cried when she came down to see everything all ready set up for her. Now, she danced happily in the arms of her husband and Xander couldn’t wish anything more for her.

“Do you want this?” Spike asked, coming up behind him.

Xander shook his head. He didn’t want a public wedding. They were married, hell, beyond married. He didn’t need to show the world with a party. Anyone that mattered could see the bond between him and Spike and their family knew, that was all he cared about.

“Okay, but if you ever do,” Spike left it there.

Smiling, Xander turned and pressed a hard kiss to Spike’s lips, sending waves of love and happiness down their bond.

“Break it up,” Doyle intruded, laughing. “This is Cordy’s big day.”

Spike only flipped him off before turning Xander around so they could watch as she danced with the father of the bride. Angel carefully led her around the dance floor, all the while whispering something to her. With the squeal she gave, it must have been about whatever present the dark vampire had gotten her and it must have been a good one.
Spike stepped away from Xander and held out his hand as more and more couples began to crowd the dance floor. Beaming, Xander took his hand and they moved to join the crowd, dancing to the slow song, content in what life had brought them, despite the pain and loss they had suffered.



Chapter Fifty: Silence Fading Into Shadows
Summary: An end to things and new beginnings
Rating: PG


Angel and Spike paced the lobby, each shrill scream echoing down to them. Every sound had them wincing and restraining themselves from rushing up the stairs. There was nothing they could do up there. No, they were needed down here, making sure none of their enemies used this chance to attack.

Xander brushed dark hair back from Cordy’s forehead, pressing a gentle kiss to her temple. The ex-cheerleader screamed again as another contraction ripped through her, cursing at the top of her lungs about the need to kill all men. Beside the bed, Doyle laughed and offered her another spoonful of ice chips. She took the melting ice gratefully, leaning over to kiss his cheek before settling back against Xander’s chest.

Wes stood on the other side of the bed, his hand being constantly crushed by his wife as the pain of childbirth hit her. He wanted a way to ease the pain, the drugs the healer had given Cordy had only dulled it at bit. The healer had told them that pain was necessary during birth, ensuring all was going well. Cordy, of course, didn’t take that well and had berated the poor demon until he was nearly cowed, but he stood firm on that point. Now, hours later, Wes wished he had given in and given Cordelia something a little stronger.

“Perfect,” the healer proclaimed, glancing up from his position between the pregnant woman’s legs. “It is time to push now, Mrs. Wyndam-Pryce.”

“Finally,” she snarled. As the next contraction hit, she did as she was told and pushed, wanting to finally hold her little girl.

More pushing, and screaming, and Cordy was finally handed her daughter. From over her shoulder, Xander smiled down at the red, wrinkled little face, easily seeing the beauty she would be when she grew up.

“Her name?” the healer asked, cleaning off his hands and reaching for the certificate.

“Abigail Cheri Wyndam-Pryce,” Cordy declared quietly, stroking a finger over one plump cheek.

“She’s perfect,” Doyle told her. “I’ll go let big brave men know that’s it’s over.”

She laughed. “Tell them to get their asses up here.”

“You make beautiful children,” Wes said, taking Xander’s spot behind Cordy.

“We make beautiful children,” she corrected.


I wonder when?

“When what, luv?” Spike asked, looking down at the young man resting against his chest.

When Dru’s coming back. I miss her.

“I don’t know,” Spike answered. “But I miss her too.”

Think Robin would know?

Spike grinned and shook his head. “We never even thought to ask. We can do that tomorrow, okay?”

Xander nodded and placed his notepad to the side, turning to place a kiss on Spike’s lips. Asking Robin could wait.



“I was wondering when you were going to call,” the masked man said, exiting from the portal that opened in the lobby.

“Took Xan saying something for any of us to think of it,” Spike admitted drily.

“He always sees to the heart of things,” Robin remarked, giving the young man at Spike’s side a hug. “I’ve also brought presents from the Council for the new baby and mother.”

“Cordy will love that,” Spike smirked. “Glad to see ya.”

Robin smiled. “So you have a question for me?”

“About Dru,” Spike nodded. “We were wondering when she’s coming back.”

“Hmm, I heard the Host told you,” the green-tinted man said, tilting his head to the side.

“All Lorne said was soon. We were worried about her coming back through Abigail,” Spike told him.

“No,” Robin stated. “Abigail is a new soul. The PTB and the Elders decided that would be for the best. Otherwise you would have been given the second last Slayer reborn.”

Spike blinked. They had never thought of that. Slayers were often reborn if they had unfinished business. And from what they heard, that Slayer had a lot of unfinished business.

“Druscilla will be back,” Robin told them, leading them over to the couches. He sat down. “She is being brought back in a very special way. There is not much I can actually say about how she’s being brought back.”

“We figured as much,” Angel said, coming down the stairs. “But when is important.”

“Why?” Robin asked, looking up at the dark vampire. “Why is it so important?”

“What if we’re not here?” Angel retorted. “What if there are complications that need special help? We can plan better for her return if we have some idea when she’ll be coming back.”

“All good points,” Robin admitted. “I cannot give you an exact date.”

“How about a general idea?” Spike asked. “Maybe what season? What month? Something like that.”

Robin smiled at the blonde. “She will be back in the winter, but before the Earth’s turn.”

“So some time in November or December?”

Robin nodded. “Yes. But that is all I can say.”

“That’s good enough,” Spike told him. Xander grinned beside him. “We have some idea now. Thank you.”

Xander bounced off the couch and over to hug the Council representative.

“You’re welcome,” Robin said, hugging Xander back.

“It’ll be good to have the whole family back again,” Angel said quietly. “Cordy really wanted Dru’s opinion on clothing for Abigail.”

“That is not the only reason,” Robin said.

“No, but it’s the only one she’s giving,” Angel smiled. “So, this winter. That’s not that far.”

“No,” Robin agreed. “You will have her back soon.”

“Thank you.”

Robin stood, handing over two packages before calling up a portal. “Just remember, not all is what it seems.” And with that he walked into the vortex.

“What’s that suppose to mean?” Spike shouted after him, but only laughter drifted back. “Really, what does that mean?”

Angel shrugged. “We’ll find out this winter.”