lusciousxander: (Connection by Moscow_watcher)
[personal profile] lusciousxander
Fic: Teenage Dirtbag
Author: [livejournal.com profile] lusciousxander
Pairing: Spike/Xander
Rating: PG 13
Setting: Starts during Lover’s Walk, S3. Spike's POV throughout.
Summary: Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life.
Note: This fic is written for the Reviving Spander Ficathon.

Super thanks to [livejournal.com profile] devo79 for being my awesome beta.


Previous Chapters






Part 22





Made by Tickyboxes









It all comes rushing back; the stench of liquor and blood intermingling with the smell of old metal that lingered in the old factory. The peaceful pacing of an unconscious Xander’s heartbeats clashing with the raging drumming of Willow’s. The box of supplies, the broken bottle, and the ugly face of the demon. Those last minutes as a vampire, dead and unfeeling, come bolting by like a blur.

It’s hard to remember how I was able to function without breathing. How I craved the foul smell and taste of blood. I don’t miss it. I don’t want it. But it seems that soon I’ll have to go back.

My death sentence is about to be carried out.

They’re all looking at me with a mixture of different emotions on their faces as I laid it all out. The whole sodding story.

“So you were cursed by a vengeance demon for kidnapping and abusing Xander and Willow and she sent you here as Mr. Giles’ son.” A fascinated Wesley recaps with his eyebrows so high they created three folds in his forehead. “In that world William exists as a hundred and forty-nine-year-old vampire, and Mr. Giles is childless.” He sits back in his chair, crossing his fingers and nodding in absolute captivation.

“A world where Giles doesn’t have a son.” Buffy ponders that idea with a headshake. “Sounds too weird to me.”

“That Giles must be really lonely.” Willow looks at me for confirmation. I turn my gaze to Rupert, the only one not seated at the table, standing by the counter and mindlessly rubbing the earpiece of his glasses with his thumb.

“Wait, if William didn’t exist in your reality…”

“William exists,” I interrupt Buffy urgently. “He’s me, but I was born a century earlier.”

“Still, the William who is Giles’ son is the one who told us about the spell to restore Angel’s soul.”

“Right,” Willow chimes in. “William and Miss Calendar worked together on it. Unless she didn’t die?” Her face lights up with hope.

“Angel killed her there, too.”

“Oh.” Brief moment of disappointment passes when she starts snapping her fingers. “Wait. How did the other Willow in that reality save the other Xander and the other Cordelia from the other Angel when he locked them up in his apartment?” She looks at her boyfriend. “Whoa, too many ‘other’ in that question.”

“Four,” Oz provides helpfully.

“Look, aren’t there more urgent stuff we should focus on right now?” Xander asks, sounding slightly miffed. “Like Buffy’s ‘aspect of a demon’ thing?”

“Buffy reads minds.” Willow beams.

Xander looks at Buffy in awe. “Professor X style?”

Buffy smiles. “I was so freaked out last night when I kept hearing your thoughts. It’s still happening now.” She narrows her eyes at him. “Right now you’re thinking if I can learn foreign languages by reading the language centers of the brain of an expert.”

“Awesome,” Xander laughs.

“No, it’s not ‘awesome’,” Giles snaps and makes his way back towards the table, clutching his glasses so tight I won’t be surprised if he breaks them right then. “It’s appalling how you three can joke about when William’s life could be in danger.”

The three in question shrink in their seats, heads downcast in shame. The lump in my throat isn’t getting any less painful.

Wesley nods along with Rupert’s speech, a glint of triumph glistening behind his tedious glasses.

Rupert leans forward against the table, eyeing the guilty faces sternly. “So far, we have no means of knowing William’s whereabouts.” Then he directs his gaze at me for the first time in a while, his bare eyes glacial and intimidating. “You were going to summon the demon that brought you here. How were you going to do that?”

I force that lump down my throat. Those eyes which used to be bright with love and warmth, now cold and uncompromising. Don’t think I’ll ever get those pesky flutterings in the pit of my stomach anymore. His dad stunt is officially over.

I swallow thickly and lower my gaze to my tightly closed fists. “There’s a book.”

“And where is that book?” His impatient demand causes me to flinch.

It’s hard to breathe. Air is too thick to swallow. Bleeding… fuck my eyes are starting to sting. Blood gathers in my cheekbones and a sense of belated dignity is finally catching up with me.

“In a treehouse,” Buffy says suddenly.

All eyes are on her. She shrugs. “Xander thought it.”

Xander slams his hands on the table. “You’re not supposed to read my thoughts without my permission! Consent, look it up!”

Rupert looks between the two. “And where is that treehouse?”

Xander shuts his eyes and grinds his teeth together. Buffy recoils. “Ew. Xander, gross!”

“Serves you right for reading my thoughts.”

“It’s Jesse’s treehouse, right?” Willow asks feebly, earning a glare from Xander that makes her sink in her chair.

“Willow, go get the book,” Rupert orders without a second’s pause.

She darts her wide eyes at me, both filled with pity. “But, Giles…”

“At once.”

I push my chair back and stalk away from the table. “Yeah, Red, why don’t you get the book? Can’t wait to be rid of you lot.”

“Spike…” Xander exclaims in shock. I turn around to face the astonished girl with a casual grin. “You won’t miss it. It’s under a cover. The biggest thing in that tiny playhouse.”

Willow takes an unsure step towards the door then looks at me in sympathetic hesitation.

“Don’t bugger about. Snap to it!”

She springs ahead with Oz trailing after her.

“Spike, what are you doing?” Xander’s in my face now, eyes aghast, stiff with hurt and confusion.

“You thick? I’m going home.”

“But…”

“But what?” A glitter of malicious cruelty seeps into my voice. “Think I’d rather stay here and play school boy with a ham-fisted geek for a friend? Lost your marbles there, mate. I was a widely-feared vampire, known for killing two slayers, and you lot cower before my presence. Think I’d trade that for…” Nastily looking the boy over, “This?”

Dismayed, Xander stares at my implacable face. “You don’t mean that.”

“Oh I bloody well mean it,” I flare angrily, distancing myself from him. The hurt in his eyes is awful. Last thing I want is to upset him, but what choice do I have? They’re sending me away. Rupert will do anything for his son to be put to rights. None of them want me here, might as well show them I don’t either.

“He doesn’t,” Buffy’s voice cuts through the air calm and distinct. “He’s just acting like a jerk because it’s easier.”

Nasty little slayer! Can’t get past her. She turns me around, her face firm and adamant. “Look, it’ll take Giles hours to figure out how to summon that demon. We’ll hit the books. Find a way for you to stay here.”

I stare right into her determined eyes. This isn’t a joke. She’s serious.

“She’s right.” Xander attempts a comforting smile. It works. Until Wesley clears his throat.

“Are you sure this is the best way to exercise your efforts?”

“As sure as I’m gonna exercise my fist in your face,” Xander shoots back.

Wesley winces at the sudden hostility and adjusts his glasses. “Giles won’t rest until he summons that demon. A task well within his capabilities now that there’s a book. I’m afraid you won’t have time to find a solution to Spike’s problem.”

As if on cue, Rupert marches out of his office with his jacket on.

“Giles, where are you going?”

“I already have the ingredients. I’m off to get them,” he answers Buffy in a rush, and the library doors swing back behind him. My chest tightens as my mind flashes back to the night Rupert answered the phone call from the magic shop. He had agreed to receive the package of the rest of the supplies since I already paid for it. He’s got them all. He’s all set.

“How did he get the…?” Xander asks, bewildered.

“We don’t have much time. Step on it.” Buffy, already read my thoughts, leads the way to the staircase.



~*~*~*~*~




Books scatter about in the stack level. I rest my back against the empty book shelves – as much rest as a bloke can get from a shelf pressing hard against his backbone – and observe the two devouring the large volumes in their laps. Xander’s eyes skim through the text searching for a key word. He’s plowed through three books in the past thirty minutes clearly without comprehending a word. Just hope he didn’t skim over something important.

Buffy is a slower reader, mostly because she keeps glancing Xander’s way. She shifts, her shoulder brushing against his, and she eyes him warily.

I lower my gaze to the book in my lap. There’s nothing that addresses the possibility of two individuals with the same essence existing in one reality. It’s the wrong book. They’re all the wrong books. Rupert alone knows the right ones. The poetic irony of it all. I muffed my chances with the man and now he can’t stand the sight of me. ‘Cause taking over his boy’s body and lying about it for months isn’t a good enough reason, eh Spike?

“Why did you cut yourself?” Buffy’s question drifts soft and timid.

Xander’s jaw clenches. “We have more important stuff to deal with, Buff.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” The hurt slips into her voice with a touch of unveiled guilt.

He shrugs, his eyes fixated on the page he’s reading.

“How are…”

Xander heaves a sigh and snaps his book shut. “Look, I’m okay, really. I’m even seeing this guy. He knows what he’s talking about.” He opens his book again with a groan. “See what you did? Now I lost my page.”

Buffy turns her gaze back to her book. “Good. Counseling is good. Just hope he doesn’t get killed when you’re ready to open up.” I tilt my head at her wistful tone. Sounds like our slayer dipped into the world of therapy but it didn’t take.

Buffy smiles up at me. My cheeks warm up in embarrassment. Silly little eavesdropper.

“Well, this is Sunnydale, so fat chance.” Xander casts Buffy a reassuring smile when she glances his way. “I promise to make the most of it before that happens.”

She smiles back. Sappy moment comes to an end. Buffy lifts an eyebrow at me. I go back to reading right away. Not going to think it, slayer.

Willow and Oz show up together to join the research party. “Giles has all these ingredients down there,” Oz comments, seizing a book.

Willow sits cross-legged next to Buffy and grabs a volume. “How did he know what to get before reading the vengeance demon book?”

“William tried to summon the demon before and Giles caught him so he kept everything.” Buffy looks up apologetically. “Sorry. Not William. What was your name again?”

I roll my eyes. “I am Willia…” I give up with a sigh. “Spike.”

Willow frowns in curiosity. “Why did they call you ‘Spike’?”

“Because he used to torture people with railroad spikes.”

“Can you bloody turn that off?”

“Really can’t. And it’s so distracting. Can’t you guys not think very loudly. It’s hard to concentrate on this boring book as it is.” Buffy nods to Xander. “Yeah, I wish I paid more attention to Latin, too.”

Xander shakes his head in complete admiration. “This is so cool.”

Buffy grins.

And there they are; little adolescent scouts trying to solve a mystery. My mystery. Never seen myself as the slayer’s helpless client. From forming an alliance with the slayer to stop Angel’s mad plan to end the damn world – straight up macho stuff as Xander would say – to sitting about waiting to be rescued like a defenseless pipsqueak.

That doesn’t stop the nagging question; why do they want to rescue me? I get why Xander does it, but the rest of them, not like we had some heart to hearts in the past months. They should be down there with Rupert setting up for the spell, not up here noses stuck in books just because I look like their little chum.

“Getting rid of you doesn’t feel right.”

Growling as a human doesn’t have the same affect. Buffy responds with a crooked smile.

“It feels ookie,” Willow gives her two cents. Xander and Oz nod in agreement.

Everybody got used to Buffy’s new skill they’re catching up quick on her sudden remarks. Should pipe down the thought train. It isn’t safe to think with nosy parker there prying on every brainwave.

She frowns. I wiggle my eyebrows.

Wesley makes his unwanted presence known, clearing his throat again by the top of the stairway. “Mr. Giles wants your presence downstairs.”

Xander sits up in alert. “He’s done already?”

“It appears so,” Wesley answers uncertainly, trying to avoid eye contact with me. “He’s already seated in the middle of the circle.”

That’s when I smell a whiff of burning in the air.

“I’ll talk to him,” Buffy assures me, sprinting to her feet and striding down the stairs. We follow her, solemnly ascending to the library’s main floor. Rupert has cleared away the table and chairs and painted an uneven red circle on the floor. He’s sitting inside the circle with a large golden goblet already smoldering and surrounded by several bags and bowls of various herbs and powders.

Buffy crouches next to him. “Giles, how about you give us till tomorrow morning? If we don’t find a solution, we do it your way.”

“William could be in grave danger, Buffy.” He takes a bowl and pours some of its powder into the goblet. “I won’t waste a second.”

A hand suddenly grasps my shoulder. Xander looks more disturbed and frightened than I feel.

That’s when Rupert sits back holding the book open with one hand. He looks up at me, face deprived from emotion. “What’s the name of the demon?”

“I don’t know.”

His eyes darken. “You’re lying.”

“He’s not, Giles,” Buffy says quietly, rising up and exiting the circle.

With a heavy feeling in my chest, I tell him what I know, “There are names of vengeance demons mentioned in the book. I also found Anyanka, the one who cursed Xander.” The boy’s hand squeezes my shoulder. “But I couldn’t identify the one who cursed me. I don’t think she’s in there.” If my suspicions are right, those familiar features could belong to Cecily. I don’t suppose she was turned into a demon when I was alive, perhaps a few years later. The book in Rupert’s hold is three centuries old, Cecily wouldn’t be in it.

“Then her name is Cecily,” Buffy says, biting her lip when I release a heavy sigh.

“I’m not sure it’s really her,” I explain. “And most demons try to detach themselves form their human interspecies, preferring to be addressed with a new name.”

“Like you and Angel,” Oz says.

I give a small nod, detesting the comparison with Angel.

“Oh, Cecily, I breach thee.” Rupert’s chant startles us all. He adds more herbs into the goblet and proceeds, “Come before me.”

My heart skips a beat as I wait for a hideous demon to appear, but nothing happens. No hideous demons afoot.

“Maybe Cecily doesn’t exist in our reality?” Xander suggests, his hand finally leaving my shoulder. He starts waving his fingers in circles. He usually does that when he explains a Star Trek plot point. “I don’t know all the facts, but I’m assuming you knew her before you were turned into a vampire, right? Who was she? Your sister? Were you two related?”

Lost for words, I don’t feel like explaining what meant Cecily to me. But if I don’t, Buffy will and I’ll be damned if she does. “She… she was someone I had feelings for.”

Xander purses his lips, considering his theory. “And once again ladies and gentlemen, Xander strikes, but he doesn’t score.”

“Don’t sell yourself short.” Oz holds up a hand. “Cecily may exist, but maybe she doesn’t turn into a vengeance demon. Maybe Spike’s existence drove her to become one.”

“What a comforting thought,” I retort. Xander pats my back for support.

“Could this meaningless discussion come to an end?” Rupert barks in frustration, flipping through the pages in the book.

“Perhaps you could try one of the names in the book,” Wesley points out. “It doesn’t have to be the same demon who did the original curse.”

Rupert seems to approve because he’s scanning the names and descriptions the same way Xander scans movie titles in the paper, very seriously and thoroughly. He points his finger on a particular name and places the book on the floor.

“Oh, Zephyra, I beseech thee,” he recites the ritual and adds more herbs to the fire. “In the name of slighted paternities, appear before me.”

The sudden puff of smoke startles me, my mind flashes back to the appearance of ‘Cecily’ in the factory. This demon version isn’t prettier. She’s more wrinkled and repulsive.

“You have called upon me, wronged father,” her resonant voice a tad less deep than Demon Cecily’s. “How do you wish me to discipline that ungrateful child?” She glowers at me, flicking her dark cape behind her.

“You curse children?” Willow asks in shocked abhorrence.

“Only the disobedient and churlish. Do right by your parents and you shall be safe.”

“What about bad parents?” Buffy challenges with hands on hips. She reconsiders all of the sudden. “Not saying that my mother is bad. She’s great. She’s…”

“Buffy, please.” Rupert turns to Zephyra. “A vampire has taken over my son’s body due to a vengeance demon’s curse. The vampire and the vengeance demon are from a different reality.”

Her glare for me dissolves into a look of compassion to Rupert. “Was your son insolent?”

“My son is innocent,” he whispers, the pain in his voice makes me feel about two inches tall. “I am a wronged father because my son was taken away from me.”

“It’s not Spike’s fault, Giles.” Xander’s voice as pained and low as Rupert’s.

Jaw set on steel, Rupert jams his eyes shut. “Xander, I don’t think it’s wise for you to open your mouth this instant.”

“I know. I just… you can wish William back without getting rid of Spike.” Xander does the unwise and approaches Rupert whose fists are stiffly closed. “This was done to him. He didn’t wish for this to happen.”

Rupert doesn’t punch him. He wearily stares at Xander’s despairing face. “But he lied to me. To all of us.” He pinches the bridge of his nose with a tired sigh. “This isn’t easy for me to let slide.”

“I know I don’t deserve to be asking you for favors, but Spike was there for me. He saved my life,” Xander’s voice wavers slightly and suddenly I realize this isn’t just about me and Rupert. What would happen to Xander if I’m to disappear? He’s not one for sharing and showing weakness. He needs someone to notice, to take his hand and force him to deal.

“He… I need him, Giles,” Xander pleads in the most heartbreaking voice I ever heard. “I don’t think I can… not without him. Please.”

A long moment in heavy silence passes as Rupert stares pensively into Xander’s rueful face.

“It’s your call,” Zephyra urges, appearing disinterested in all the drama. “You make the wish, I grant it.”

“Giles, please,” Xander begs once more.

Rupert moves his gaze to Buffy and Willow who look distraught as well. His gaze stops at me, the eyes behind the glass dark and unreadable. He turns to the demon at last, his head slightly downcast, and icy fear begins to trickle down my body.

“I wish for my son to be here.” Short, precise and to the point. Softly spoken. Quietly delivered. I can see Xander about to breathe a sigh of relief when Rupert’s head shoots up. “And for the vampire to go home.”

“Giles, no!”

Breath caught in my throat, I whip my head to the demon’s twinkling eyes. “Wish granted.”

“Spike!” Xander wraps his arms around me, holding me tight, desperately trying to keep me in his world. But my body starts to fade, growing transparent with each second, I frantically look around at Buffy’s stunned expression, Willow covering her face with her hands, Oz’s parted mouth, and eventually Xander’s petrified tearful eyes.

All fading away into white. Cold, freezing white presses against my face like a clobber, and a gasp escapes my lips at the rapid cooling in my skin. Panic overtakes and the frozen stabbing pain sends my heart raging.

Until it halts to a stop.

My heart, doesn’t pump, it stops.

I suck in as much air as I can. Make it work, make it pump.

Nothing. White fades and my heart doesn’t work. I want it to but I can’t think with all the noise.

Loud, loud drumming. Strong smells of sweat and blood. A broken bottle in my hand shaking next to a frightened face, wide green eyes pleading I let go of the red locks in my fist. That very familiar sensation; fear. Agonizing fear. I can feel it. I can smell it. Everything is back as it once was. Pounding, orders, blood swishing in veins.

I grab my head, the bottle slips and crashes on the floor, and I scream.

I scream to block it all.

The noise and the smells… the dominating sensation of panic and fear.

I’m trying to breathe. I inhale and it shoots out, but… nothing. The hands grabbing my head are too strong they’re about to crush it.

I look up, and Willow is eying me warily, inching closer to…

I leap to my feet, dismissing her cry of fear, and check the unconscious Xander’s pulse. Still alive, but that gash of blood on his temple. Must get a move on. Get him to a bleeding hospital.

I race up the stairs and kick the door open. Then jump from the top to the floor only to dodge a sudden swing of a spade. I snatch it out of Willow’s hands effortlessly and bark in her alarmed features, “I’m on your bloody team!”

I haul Xander up to my arms and start running for the door, stopping temporarily to glare down at the shocked redhead. “You coming or not?”

Still shocked and dazed, she compels and apprehensively steps up the stairs.

“On with it!”

She sprints to my side in a second. I heave an aggravated sigh. I fling Xander on my shoulder and grab her hand, then stride down the empty dark streets.





~*~*~*~*~



Part 23

Date: 2016-08-13 12:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chaoskir.livejournal.com
Oh my oh my! This was great, exciting, wonderful and soooo touching written. Thank you for the both new chapters. It was such an enjoyable reading time you gave me. Great!
And I can't wait for more. After this evil grandiios cliffhanger!

Date: 2016-08-13 12:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lusciousxander.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed both chapters. I'm writing 23 at the moment.

Date: 2016-08-14 01:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] forsaken2003.livejournal.com
This broke my heart. I have tears running down my face. Will Spike be happy back in his own reality? Will Xander ever forgive Giles for sending him away? I can't wait to see what happens for them!

Date: 2016-08-14 04:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lusciousxander.livejournal.com
As a writer I feel so happy that you were so moved by my chapter. We will see what will happen with Spike in the next chapter with his reality's Scoobies.

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