The Master – Prologue 2 – Getting Settled


The vampire being called winced as Cordelia’s voice hit a new pitch and rang through the office. With a suffering sigh, he pushed himself out of the chair and headed over to see what she wanted.

“Did you need something, Cordy?” Angel asked, staring down at her.

She thrust the phone in her hand at him. “Here. It’s your idiot, bleach-fried GrandChilde,” she snapped.

Confused, Angel took the phone and brought it up, blinking at the barrage of cursing on the other end. That was definitely Spike. He listened for a moment, trying to place the voice he could hear in the background.

I know you’re there,” Spike snarled.

“What do you want?” Angel finally asked, resisting the urge to hang the phone up.

You’re needed in Sunnydale,” the blond said shortly.

“Buffy-” Angel began, nearly crushing the phone.

Slayer’s fine,” Spike said darkly. “Not everything is about her. Now get your ass here!”

At the dial tone, Angel pulled the phone away and stared at it until Cordy noisily cleared her throat.

“What was that about? Buffy in trouble again?” the aspiring actress asked archly.

“No, not Buffy,” Angel said absently, hanging the receiver up. “Spike just said I’m needed in Sunnydale.”

“And you trust him?”

“No,” the vampire admitted. “But there’s something going on.”

“Fine,” she nodded. “I’ll call Wes and we’ll meet you in an hour.”

“Huh?” he blinked at her.

“You’re not going to Sunnydale alone,” she said, pointing at him. “You and her Blondness will start up your doomed romance thing and bad things will start to happen.”

“That’s not going to happen,” Angel protested.

Cordy just gave him a look and dialled the phone. Shaking his head, Angel gave in. There was no use arguing with her.

The ride to Sunnydale was filled with Cordy pointing out how much of a bad idea it was. Angel exchanged glances with Wes, both men well aware that she wasn’t going to stop any time soon. They pulled up in front of the apartment building Spike had given them the address for.

“Well, looks like Xander finally moved up in the world,” Cordy snarked, a strange look in her eyes. “Which apartment?”

“306,” Angel said, following her up the stairs.

Cordy knocked on the door impatiently, tapping her foot as she waited for someone to open it. “About time,” she snapped when it swung inward.

“You had to bring her?” Spike groaned, looking past the ex-Cheerleader to his Grandsire.

“Do you think I really had a choice?” Angel countered.

Spike smirked. “I won’t comment. Come in.”

“You live here?” Cordy asked as she brushed past him.

“Yep, better than a crypt any day,” Spike grinned. “And it’s got lots of perks.”

“Perks?” Wes asked as he walked in.

“Yeah, perks,” Spike leered, nodding to where Xander had just exited the bathroom, clothed only in a pair of jeans, love bites and the towel he was using to dry his hair.

“Spike,” Angel said warningly, looking between the blond vampire and the human.

“Wot?” Spike blinked at him innocently.

“Don’t bother, Blondie,” Xander laughed as he walked over. “You can’t do innocent.”

“Xander,” Angel began.

“Can it, Deadboy,” the human said, raising a hand to halt anything the vampire had to say. “Yes, I know what Spike is, I know what he’s like and I know what I’m doing. Does that cover everything?”

“Does Buffy know?”

“No, and she doesn’t need to,” Xander replied. “We’ll tell her in our own time.”

“Ashamed?” sneered the older vampire.

Spike growled but Cordelia beat him to the punch, literally. Angel rubbed his jaw and stared at Cordy in shock.

“That was uncalled for,” she snapped. “And coming from me that says a lot. Now apologize.”

“Cordy-” he started.

“No, Angel, you’re acting like a spoiled brat, I should know,” she smirked. “I doubt this is why they called us down. Now say you’re sorry and focus!”

The vampire sighed. “She’s right. I apologize.”

Xander shrugged. “Thank you, but we’re used to it.”

“Why did you call us down?” Wes asked, finally stepping forward.

Xander shot him a grateful look. “There have been a lot of problems in town.”

“Buffy can’t handle it?” Angel asked, sounding concerned.

“Not this,” Spike answered. “She’s good for killing, but this is more a management issue.”

“Huh?” Cordy asked, looking at them strangely.

“With Wilkins dead these past few years and all the shit from the Initiative, there’s no set power structure in town,” Xander explained. “A lot of the lesser and weaker clans are suffering.”

“And with the damn chip in my head I can’t take control,” Spike added.

“And you want what?” Wes asked.

“They want me to step into position,” Angel stated bluntly.

“You’re the best choice,” Xander said with a wry grin.

“And I’d just leave everything I’m doing in LA?”

“No,” Xander shook his head. “If we do it right we can set it up for us to take care of business here while you deal with LA.”

“Ah, you would act as his proxies,” Wes nodded. “That’s actually brilliant.”

“Was my pet’s idea,” Spike said, pulling Xander against him.

“Not in front of the single people!” Cordy yelped.

“Well, we could add you in,” Spike said with a leer.

“And I get told to focus,” Angel sighed under his breath. “I’m not certain I’m the right person-”

“Who then?” Xander asked. “There’s no one else. I can’t because I’m human; Spike can’t because of the chip, which leaves only you.”

“Xander,” the older vampire began.

“We actually looked for a way to disable the chip first,” the human said, “before we thought about asking you to step up. But the scientist in charge of it took off with the info just before the base fell.”

“You would trust an unchipped Spike to be in charge of the Hellmouth?” Angel gaped.

“I know his motives,” Xander replied coldly. “I know what he will do and why. Which means, yes, I’d trust him before I’d trust you and you’re unstable soul.”

“Xander,” Cordy began then shook her head. “This is messed up. Xander and Spike are right, and I can’t believe I agree with them, someone needs to balls up and take command and you’re the best bet, Angel. And with them here you won’t be doing most of the work anyway. You’ll be a figurehead.”

Xander nodded. “Yep.”

“It is for the best,” Wes added quietly.

“Damn,” Angel swore softly, looking at them all. “Fine. We’ll let the major players in town know that i’m taking over as Master of the Hellmouth.”

“That’s settled then,” Spike said, clapping his hands together. “They’re waiting over on 7th.”

“What? Already?”


Previous Next

The Master – Prologue 3 – Paying the Debt

Warning: This is a demons made them do it, sex pollen type story.  If that bothers you, don’t read.


Xander followed his lover and Angel through the sewers, happy beyond belief that Sunnydale’s sewers were fairly clean. He couldn’t imagine walking through one in L.A. or some other place like that. Then again, Sunnydale catered to its demon population and that meant the sun-sensitive needed safe passage through the city and the underground walkways definitely provided that.

He stopped when the two vampires halted and strained his sense to see what alerted them. In the distance he could barely hear the snarling, hissing language of the Kithan, the demons they were tracking. Grabbing his crossbow, Xander checked it quickly and then loaded a bolt and waited. It didn’t take long for the strangely feline reptilians to come boiling out of hidden holes, all snarling and snapping as they advanced. Xander took a step back and levelled his weapon, waiting to see what his companions did.

“You’ve broken a treaty,” Angel said shortly. He glared at the demons. “That is a punishable crime.”

“Who are you to decide that?” the lead Kithan growled as it inched forward.

“I’m the Master of Sunnydale,” the dark vampire replied calmly, though he slipped into a deceptively casual stance. Beside him Spike took up a similar stance.

“We don’t acknowledge you as Master,” the Kithan said defiantly.

“That doesn’t change the fact that I am,” Angel replied. “You broke the treaty you had with the Vroli. They have asked me to bring you to stand trial.” He grinned evilly, a very Angelus expression. “You can fight us, but you will stand trial.”

Hissing, the lead Kithan rushed them and Xander calmly shot it, watching as it reeled around and fell to the ground, keening in pain at the bolt sticking out of its upper chest.

“Anyone else want to try?” Angel asked urbanely.

A few more leapt forward and this time the two vampires meant the violence with violence. They moved in unison, easily tossing combatants at each other. Xander loaded another bolt and waited to see if any of the Kithan tried to rush past them. A couple eyed him but backed off when he raised the crossbow. It only took a few minutes for the vampires to subdue the more aggressive Kithan and the rest huddled together in small clumps.

“Now that that’s settled, you’ll accompany us back to the Vroli nest,” Angel commanded, gesturing for them to march.

The injured demons moaned, but obeyed and were followed by their kin. The whole trip to the Vroli nest, Xander kept his crossbow ready; he didn’t trust the defeated demons. The sentries at the Vroli nest beamed happily as the clan of Kithan marched sullenly past them and into the holding area.

“Thank you, Master,” one sentry said with a bow as the other ran to fetch the Elders. “We are in your debt.”

“While that is true, I am currently only trying to put the city back in order,” the vampire told the sentry. “I ask for no debt.”

“Be that as it may, a debt is owed,” the approaching Elder said serenely. “You have saved our latest clutch, and even if you were not the Master a debt would be due.”

Angel sighed and Xander hid a smile. The souled vampire hated having any of the peaceful demons indebted to him. The less than peaceful ones were a different story. Still, Xander knew there was no way they would get out of there without the Vroli paying their debt. The Vroli were very honourable demons and having a debt of any kind hanging over the nest was seen as a major sin. He wondered what they would give them. The last time it had been a beautiful set of swords that Spike was still trying to steal from Angel.

“Come,” the Elder commanded, heading toward the back rooms. “The others are busying trying the Kithan, I will pay our debt.”

Sighing again, Angel nodded to Xander and Spike and they all followed the Elder through the nest. It wasn’t the first time Xander had been in the Vroli nest, but he was always amazed at the simply beauty. The nest was a series of natural caves just within the borders of the town. Though natural, all the walls had been polished to a mirror shine and multicoloured crystals studded them, forming abstract patterns in the rock face. The last time he had been there, Xander had found himself in one of the further caverns staring at the winking crystals for hours, mesmerized by their beauty. When he had come out of his trance he had found several of the Elders beaming at him and declaring him kin.

“Sit, sit,” the Elder said, pointing to the scattered cushions on the floor. “We must decide what would be the appropriate gift to cover our debt.”

“Anything would do,” Angel began.

“Pah,” the Elder spat. “Not anything. Like must be paid with like. You have done us a great service today by catching those marauders. We must gift in accordance.” She looked at them critically and Xander felt a shiver of worry. “You are unbounded.”

“Yes,” Angel started.

“That will not do,” she interrupted. She studied them again. “That will work.” She then called out in the language of her people. From a distance someone answered and moments later several other Vroli entered the cavern. “We must pay our debt. Venish, begin the spell.”

“Spell?” Angel exclaimed, standing quickly. Spike and Xander stood as well, forming a united front.

“No harm,” she smiled. “Sit. We will pay.”

Xander blinked as magic washed over him and shivered as his skin became ultra sensitive. Beside him Spike growled a little and shifted closer, his eyes constantly changing from blue to yellow. Angel stiffened and a grimace passed over his face.

“You can’t do this,” he ground out. “The curse-”

“Will be changed,” the Elder nodded. “We fix. Relax. We pay.”

“What is happening?” Xander asked, looking at his lover.

“It’s a lust spell,” Spike replied, reaching over and pulling Xander closer. He glared at the Elder. “What are you doing?”

“You are not Mated,” she stated. “We fix.”

“No,” Angel snapped. “This isn’t right.”

“Relax,” she said again and the spell swelled around them. Xander groaned as a feeling of need settled into his bones. “Take them to the blue room; the young one likes it there.”

The other Vroli lead them off and Xander considered fighting, but the want in him made it difficult to concentrate. Spike kept a firm grip on him as they were lead to Xander’s favourite spot in the nest. Several mattress-like pads were laid on the ground and covered in sheets. Candles were lit, making the crystals shimmer and reflect the flame. A slew of items were laid out beside the makeshift bed, but Xander paid no attention to them, all his focus had turned to his lover as he became almost desperate for Spike’s touch.


“You know what to do?” one of the demons asked Angel.

“Yes,” he snapped. “But this is wrong.”

“Too late,” the demon shrugged. “The Elder has decided and it is started. There is no return. The pipe is there and oil for ease.” The demon glanced at Xander and Spike, the two now pressed together on the bed. “Do not hurt the young one. The Elders would be displeased.”

Angel grunted and turned his back on the Vroli. He bit back a moan at the sight his GrandChilde and Xander made, dark and light pressed so closely together. Idly, he noticed the Vroli left, but he could hear the spell for a Consort bond being whispered somewhere. He had hoped they could keep it to a lower bonding but that was not to be. Bowing his head in defeat, he gave in. There was no way to fight it. Vroli magic was strong and it seemed as if all the Elders were working together to create this bond.

He stepped closer to the make-shift bed and gasped as two sets of hands pulled him down. He could feel Xander’s warmth on one side and the familiar cool weight of Spike on the other. The two lovers exchanged a deep kiss over him before turning their focus. Hot lips covered his and Angel gave in to the kiss, letting Xander lead for now. Spike proved that he never forgot any of Angel’s hot spots in the decades they had been apart. At some point they moved, ending with Xander lying beneath the two vampires as they teased and tortured him.

Moving away Angel grabbed the pipe and checked to make sure it was full then lit it. Keeping his gaze on the other two, he took a heavy drag, letting the smoke fill his lungs. He leaned down and pressed his lips to Spike’s, letting the smoke escape into the younger vampire’s mouth. Spike then turned and kissed Xander, breathing the second hand smoke into the human’s mouth. Surprisingly, Xander didn’t choke but inhaled deeply then sat up and gave the smoke back to Angel. Taking the smoke that now tasted of the other two men in, Angel held it for a moment before exhaling, letting it drift up and around them.

As he put the pipe aside, Angel watched greedily as Spike moved between Xander’s thighs, one hand slipping down. The sounds the young man made were driving him crazy and he grabbed the small pot of oil the Vroli had left, handing it to Spike. The blond grinned at him before covering a few fingers in the thick liquid and adding the oil to the flesh he was stretching. There was another quick dip in the oil and Spike coating his erection and moved closer, pressing into Xander’s body. They way they moved together spoke clearly of the love they shared and the last lucid bit of his mind wondered just how close they had already been to a Claiming. The lust spell was raging and with it affecting them, it didn’t take long for the two lovers to come, both moaning each other’s names. When Spike moved away, Angel got into position. He met Xander’s eyes, seeing they were need fogged but there was still something aware in them. Xander reached up and pulled him down, sealing their mouths together in a long kiss. Gasping as cool, slick fingers wrapped around his cock, Angel reared back and stared at Spike. The blond vampire just smiled and then nodded towards Xander. Taking the hint, Angel slotted himself into the vee of Xander’s legs and thrust smoothly inside. The heat of the human body made Angel hiss and he paused as he bottomed out. Wrapping his legs around Angel’s waist, Xander thrust his hips up and Angel began to move.


His blood was on fire, but the cool thrust of Angel in and above him and the cool press of Spike beside him calmed the inferno. He moaned as each drive of Angel’s hips hit that sweet spot, sending him spiralling higher. He could feel the need to come rise up, but something was missing. A series of whimpers broke free and Angel pulled them back until Xander was sitting on his lap. Spike scooted up behind them, bracketing Xander between their bodies. Just before he came both vampires bit, driving sharp teeth into either side of his neck. Xander screamed as the pleasure overloaded and the world went black.


Spike opened his eyes and blinked at the darkness. There was no light at all, nothing to see which was odd considering he could normally see in the dark. Pausing, he catalogued what his other senses were telling him. Somewhere close was Xander, the deep breathing of his sleeping lover calmed him a bit. He shifted a little and froze when he brushed up against a body that definitely wasn’t Xander’s. Inhaling, he scented Angel and nearly jumped. What was his GrandSire doing in bed with him and Xander?

“What do you remember?” came Angel’s deep voice from the dark.

“Taking down the Kithan, bringing them to the Vroli, that Elder talking about debts and paying them,” Spike began. Then it hit him. “We’re bonded!”

He heard Angel sigh. “A Consort bond between Xander and me, and a reaffirmation of the bond already existing between us.”

“Consort?” Spike ground out. “You took Xander as your Consort?”

“It’s not like I planned it,” Angel pointed out. “And you have a Claim on him too. Not quite Consort level, but close.”

“What does that mean?” asked Spike, trying to keep from yelling.

“You’re mine, he’s mine and I’m yours,” Angel stated. “I don’t know how this is going to work with me living in L.A.”

“We’ll figure it out,” Xander said sleepily. He then said something in the Vroli language and a low light began to glow from the crystals in the wall.

“How didya do that, pet?” Spike asked, lifting up enough to look at his Mate.

“They declared me kin,” Xander reminded him. Spike watched as he sat up carefully. “We should get home and make plans.”

“You’re not upset?” Angel asked.

Xander shrugged. “I’m not happy with the Elders but it’s useless to worry over something that’s already done. We’ve got the future to plan for.” He stood. “Besides, some of the other clans might like this better. It gives a stable power base.”

“That’s my Xan,” Spike grinned up at him. “Always thinking tactically.”

“Yeah, well right now I’m thinking I want to eat,” Xander said, dressing quickly. “So let’s head home before the sun rises.”

“Home?” Angel questioned as he got up and dressed.

“My apartment,” Xander reminded him.

“No,” the dark vampire said, shaking his head. “If you’re my Consort you can’t be living in an apartment. I still own the mansion.” He looked a Spike who was pulling his clothes on. “How long would it take you to get everything moved there?”

“I’ll call Clem,” Spike smirked. “About two hours. Probably less.”

“Don’t I get a say in this?” Xander asked, glaring at them.

“He’s right, pet,” Spike shrugged. “If we’re to be the equivalent of Vampire royalty we’ve got to live like it. Plus, living in the mansion means some of the demons who look really strange will be able to come and plead their cases.”

Xander wilted at that. “Fine, but I’m redecorating.”

“Sure,” Angel agreed, ignoring Spike glare. “We’ll get Buffy’s mom to help and I’ll send Cordy down.”

Xander gaped at him. “That’s mean. Are you sure you aren’t Angelus?”

Angel smiled serenely. “I’m more. No more struggles between my demon and my soul. It’s peaceful.”

Spike stepped close and hugged his GrandSire, happy for the older vampire. He knew how much the constant fight was driving Angel insane and for him to finally have that ended without one side winning was a blessing. “I’m glad.”

“So am I,” Xander said, hugging Angel from the other side. “Come on. We have a lot of work to do.”


Previous Next

The Master – Chapter One

Xander leaned back against the mausoleum and watched as Buffy toyed with the newly risen vampire. He could hear her taunting the dirt covered man as she danced around him and he sighed in frustration. They had too much to do and they didn’t have time for her to play with still confused fledge.

“Hurry up,” Xander yelled, pushing away from the wall. “We still have to hit Restview and the Bronze tonight.”

“Chill, Xander,” she snapped, absently staking the fledge when it lunged for her. “We have plenty of time.”

“No we don’t,” he said, trying to keep his voice even. “I have work in the morning and you have an eight o’clock class, remember?”

“I can miss class,” she shrugged.

“Yeah, well I can’t miss work, so let’s go,” he growled, turning to head in the direction of Restview.

“Why don’t you just go home then,” she yelled, stomping a foot.

Spinning back around he threw a stake at the vampire sneaking up on her. “That’s why I don’t go home. And if you would just accept Spike’s help I would be home and sleeping.”

“I don’t trust him,” Buffy said. She glanced at the pile of dust. “Thanks.”

“Yet you trust Riley?” he questioned. “I’d rather trust Spike; at least I know his motivations.”

“I know Riley’s,” she protested. “He helps because he loves me.”

Xander smiled sadly. “He helps because he regrets what happened. But he won’t be sorry all the time. And where is he tonight anyway?”

She sighed, slumping a little. “I don’t know,” she admitted. “He didn’t come home last night.”

Stepping closer Xander asked the first question that came to mind. “Do you think he’s turned?”

Fat tears rolled down Buffy’s cheeks and he steeled himself against comforting her.

“I don’t know,” she whispered. “I had Tara do a warding on the house and the shop. I’m afraid to find out.”

Looking around, Xander sighed. “Hit the Bronze and Restview,” he told her quietly. “I’ll look for Riley.”

“And if-”

“I’ll take care of it,” he promised.

Buffy hugged him tightly. “I didn’t want to ask you. But I didn’t know who to turn to.”

“I’m here for you, Buffy, as much as I can be and as much as you’ll let me,” he told her softly. “Go finish patrol. I’ll call you when I know something or when I get home.”

“Thank you,” she whispered, heading off.

Shaking his head, Xander pulled out his cell and hit the speed dial button.

“What?” a familiar voice snapped on the third ring.

Xander grinned. “Have you seen Riley?”

“Not tonight. He missing?”

“Yep,” Xander smirked. “Need to see if he’s turned.”

“Bloody hell!” There was a moment of silence followed by inventive swearing. “I’ll have someone look into it.”

“Thanks, babe,” Xander said.

“Anything for you, pet. Love you.”

“Love you too, Spike,” Xander replied. “I’m gonna check the Rothans and Willy’s before heading home. Call me if you find out anything.”

“I will. See you soon,” Spike said then hung up.

Closing the phone, Xander heading to Willy’s first, hoping the snitch would know something so he wouldn’t have to deal with the information demons. He couldn’t stand Rothans. Their den smelled like decay and even the peppermint oil that Tara had found for him couldn’t cover the stench.

The bar was packed, but everyone moved out the way as he passed, letting him get to the front quickly. Willy said something to the patron he was with then hurried over.

“What can I get for you tonight, Consort?” the snitch asked nervously.

“Have you see Riley?” Xander asked, getting right to the point.

“The Slayer’s pet?” Xander nodded. “He was here last night. Left with a couple of succubae. I tried to warn him but he didn’t listen.”

Xander swore softly, smirking when Willy flinched. “Do you know where they took him?”

“The rent by hour hotel over on 7th,” Willy said. “That’s where they’ve been hunting from. Some of the Fyrals have been trying to get rid of them before they got noticed.”

“Thank them for me,” Xander commanded. “Last thing we need is Buffy realizing what’s going on in town.”

“She still hasn’t figured it out?”

“Her, Giles or Willow,” Xander said smugly.

Willy shook his head. “Some are intentionally blind. Did you want me to send someone over there?”

“No, I’ll go myself,” Xander answered. “Thank you though.”

“For you and the Master, anything,” Willy said sincerely. “And tell Spike I got that order he wanted.”

“I will, have a good night.”

Jogging quickly, he headed over to 7th street, only pausing to call Spike and inform him. When he reached the hotel Spike was waiting for him, several minions behind him.

“What’s the what?” Xander asked, coming to halt next to his lover.

“There’s five of them in there,” one of the minions reported. “He’s still alive, but weak.”

“Call Slutty,” Spike told Xander. “She can take care of him while we deal with the demons.”

Nodding, Xander placed the call. A few minutes later Giles’ car pulled up. Buffy, Willow, Tara and the ex-Watcher piled out, only Tara not staring at the massing minions.

“What’s going on here?” Giles demanded. “Why are all these vampires here?”

“We’re here because the Master told us to be here,” one of the vampires answered, looking at Giles like he was dumb. “We go where he tells us to.”

“And who is the Master?” Buffy asked. “Spike?”

Xander grinned. “Nope, sorry.”

“You?” she asked, palming a stake.

“Still human, Buffy,” he said, still grinning.

“He’s the Consort,” a helpful minion pointed out. Giles glared, making the vampire back up and hide.

“Then who?” she demanding, crossing her arms over her chest.

“How about we find out after we get Cornfed out of there,” Spike suggested.

Blushing, Buffy listened to them layout the problem and everyone’s positions. It only took minutes for them to break into the hotel room. Buffy and Willow grabbed Riley, dragging him outside while the rest of them sent the succubae back to their domain. Once they were finished the minions headed back to headquarters while Xander and Spike followed Giles and the others back to the Magic Box.

“Who is the Master?” Giles asked once they were settled around a table. “And I thought you were with Spike? How can you be the Consort if Spike is not the Master?”

“I am with Spike,” Xander said. “Just not only with Spike.”

“Who else then?” Buffy said, glaring from her position beside the groggy Riley.

“That would be me.”




Previous – Next

The Master – Prologue 1 – Edith

Prompt/Challenge: kissbingo Body: hands and Xander finds himself playing mom to a hellhound puppy and someone steps in to help, Spike! from The Spander Files


The bang at his apartment door woke Xander out of his half doze. He stared at the door in confusion for a moment until a second bang had him up and racing over. Grabbing a stake, he threw the door open and stopped, shock running through him. On the ground in front of his door was a tiny form. The tiny form of a hellhound. There was a hellhound puppy sitting in front of him. Gaping, Xander looked down both side of the hallway but there was no one and nothing there. He looked down at the puppy and sighed as it gave him the demonic version of puppy dog eyes.

“I’m going to end up bathing in holy water,” he muttered as he leaned down a picked the puppy up.

The hellhound yipped softly and snuggled into his arms and Xander carried it inside and closed the door. Snagging the blanket he kept on the back of the couch, he quickly made a little nest for the puppy and situated it on the couch.

“Are you a boy or a girl?” he asked. The puppy only stared up at him adoringly so Xander picked it up and checked. “A girl then. So what am I going to do with you?”

Xander resisted the urge to bang his head off the wall as the hellhound whimpered and whined. He had no idea what it wanted. Or what it needed. What did a hellhound puppy eat anyway? He picked the puppy up and cuddled it, crooning softly in an attempt to get it sleep. It still cried at him, shaking a little.

“Fine,” Xander sighed. He put the puppy down and grabbed the phone, dialling the one number he never thought he never call. “i need your help.”

“Really? Doing what?” Spike asked.

“Just get over here, Bleachy,” Xander snapped before hanging the phone up. The puppy looked at him. “Yeah, I know, not the best way to get help.”

It wasn’t that long before Xander heard Spike pounding on his door and cussing. Giving the puppy one last glance, he opened the door and let the vampire in. Once inside Spike zeroed in on the hellhound, eyes flashing gold before he turned to glare at Xander.

“What is that doing here?” he snarled, pointing at the whimpering, shaking puppy.

“I found it abandoned on my doorstep,” Xander told him.

“Abandoned on your doorstep?” Spike echoed, disbelief loud in his voice. “Only you, Harris.”

“Yeah, demon magnetic, I know. But I need help taking care of her,” Xander said, turning his own version of puppy eyes on Spike. “Help?”

The vampire groaned. “Have you fed it?”

“No,” Xander sighed. “I know don’t what it eats.”

“It’s still young, it eats like a normal dog at this stage,” Spike informed him. “Dog food should be fine, water and the like.”

“Okay,” nodded Xander. “Can you watch her while I run to the store?”

“Got beer?”

“Of course.”

“Fine, but don’t take forever.”

“And he’ll help you grow up to be a big, bad hellhound,” Xander heard Spike say as he opened the door. “You’ll probably only get to eat bad guys, but they can be tasty. Oh, you’re back.”

Xander grinned at the sight of Spike sprawled out on the couch, the puppy curled up on his chest. He wished he had a camera to preserve the moment. Still smiling, he carried the bags full of food and toys into the kitchen. Opening the food bag, he poured his puppy a bowl and filled another with water. Tucking one of the toys under his arm, he carried the bowls out into the living room and placed them on the floor by the couch and put the toy on the table. Picking the puppy off of Spike’s chest, he put her down in front of the bowls and grinned happily as she attacked the food. Reaching over, he grabbed the toy and hissed as the cardboard it was tied to cut into his hand.

“You okay?” Spike asked, sitting up.

“Just a cut,” Xander shrugged, examining the injury.

“Let me see,” Spike commanded.

Xander showed the vampire his hand, stilling when Spike caught it in his own. Spike turned Xander’s hand this way and that as he stared at the cut. Finally he dropped a kiss over it.

“My mother always said kisses make hurts heal faster,” Spike said softly.

There was a small smear of red on Spike’s lips and Xander watched as Spike’s tongue darted out to taste it.

“You can if you want,” he said softly, holding his hand up a bit higher. Spike stared at him in shock. “Really.”

Holding his gaze, Spike brought Xander’s hand up to his mouth and slid his tongue across the small cut, lapping up the tiny amount of blood. Xander felt his breath hitch at the eroticism of the act and shifted a little as arousal burned in his gut. After placing another soft kiss on Xander’s palm, Spike let his hand go.

“Thank you,” the vampire whispered.

Xander opened his mouth but was interrupted by his puppy jumping into his lap and barking excitedly. Smiling down at her briefly he looked back up at the vampire. “You’re welcome.” He looked down the puppy then back at Spike. “Stay and help me?”

“Yeah, pet,” Spike agreed quietly. “I can do that. So, have you thought of a name for her?”

Two months later

“Spike, where’s Edith?” Xander asked, looking around the apartment.

“She was on the bed last I saw,” Spike answered from the kitchen.

“Damn. Edith. Edith, come here,” Xander called as he headed toward the bedroom.

When he entered the room he didn’t see their puppy anywhere, but there was a sheet of paper lying in the exact middle of the bed. Picking it up, he read it.

Alexander and William,
Thank you for taking care of my puppy for me these past months. I unfortunately was called away on business and couldn’t take her with me. I hope she was well behaved for you. Since you went through the process of naming her (which I hadn’t done yet), I’ll leave the name you gave her. Edith she will be. She will visit when she gets the chance. Thank you so much,

“Spike?” Xander squeaked, bringing the paper to the vampire. “Who is Belonire?”

Spike quickly read the note and then looked at Xander with startled eyes. “Belonire is the demonic version of Cupid,” he managed to say.


“Yeah,” Spike swallowed. “He’s said to match demons with their, well not soulmates, but the demonic equivalent. He makes perfect matches.”

“So we’re perfect matched for each other?” Xander stepped closer with a smile.

“Yeah, pet, we are,” Spike said, reaching out to pull them together.

“Why use Edith?”

“Probably a fast way to get us together,” Spike shrugged. “Does it matter?”

“No,” Xander said, leaning against his lover.

They stood together in the middle of the apartment, arms wrapped around each other, both happy than they could ever remember. Occasional soft kisses were passed back and forth.

“I miss Edith.”