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An Aurelian Court

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An Aurelian Court

An Aurelian Court

CHAPTER ONE
“Someone has to take Spike. I can’t have him here. Who’s going to take him?” Giles had asked, more like demanded really. And between one breath and the next, Xander had found himself with an armful of tied, bleached blonde and ticked off vampire. He’d put up a token fight before huffing, and grumbling how not happy he was about it. Then he’d pulled Spike out of the Watcher’s place and shoved him into his ice cream truck. It was after dark already but Xander had unceremoniously thrown Spike into the back of the van and shut him in ensuring the customer window was secured and locked from the outside as he walked past it. Then he got in behind the steering wheel and shut his own door behind him.

He turned around in his seat and looked at the vampire glaring at him from where he was leaning on the ice cream freezer.

“Something you wanna tell me? Like why I’m stuck back here, instead of sittin’ up front with you?” Spike’s voice was hard and brittle.

Xander winced. Spike had been sounding more and more brittle. He’d also been looking more and more fragile, if a vampire could look fragile. Xander bit his lip and made up his mind. He sucked in a breath. “I’ve got a few errands to run. I don’t know how long I’m gonna take, so, since I can’t leave you alone, you’re stuck coming with me. There’s a seat back there for you so might as well get comfortable.”

Spike turned his head to look at the old armchair. “That thing even going to hold me?”

“It’ll hold you. It’s even comfortable.” Xander told him. “Look, ah, I’m not sure how long this is gonna take me. I’ve got a bit of driving to do, but don’t worry about it. I’ve got a black out blind set between the driving cabin and the back of the van, and, and the canopy over the sales window won’t let any light in either, I promise. I’m not gonna get you dusted or anything,” Xander said quickly, before Spike would say anything.

Spike looked around him. He tapped at the window and peered around the sides of it, trying to see it he could see anything through the sides. Then he walked to the armchair and flopped into it. Digging around he pulled out a cigarette and lit it. He sucked in a breath and blew it out again, his gaze never leaving Xander’s. “What are you really planning, pet?” He asked quietly, head cocked quizzically to the side.

Xander scrubbed his hands through his hair, then shrugged. “I’m not really sure. Just a gut reaction maybe?”

Spike just kept looking at him, eyes narrow and smoke twirling lazily around him. He finally pointed his cigarette toward the windscreen. “Well then, off we go,” he grinned and said, almost flippantly.

Xander chuckled and turned forward. He slipped his key into the ignition and pulled out into the street. “Oh Spike? There’s a refrigerator under the bench on your right hand side. There are a couple of blood bags in there for you.”

“Bloody hell pet,” Spike exclaimed as he opened the small door and pulled out one of the bags there. “I could kiss you,” he said then Xander heard the sound of quiet drinking and figured Spike had quickly slid his teeth into the bag and was feeding.

“Yeah well. You can keep your lips to yourself blood breath,” Xander said weakly, then cleared his suddenly husky throat.

Xander drove through the night, watching as the street lights slipped past. He flipped through the radio stations. He glanced at the rear view mirror. Spike was still sitting in the armchair, but had pulled out a book from somewhere and was quietly reading. It was dark in the back so Xander wasn’t too shocked at seeing Spike in game face. He obviously had better senses when utilizing his vampire strengths.

Xander looked at his watch and judged it was just over an hour from sunrise as he sped past the ‘Welcome to Los Angeles’ sign. Hopefully he’d reach his destination before long. He didn’t want to try to get Spike out of the van in sunlight.

He checked street signs and road signs carefully as he drove ever closer to his destination, taking turns carefully. Spike couldn’t afford Xander getting lost. He cursed silently and reviewed his mental map. He didn’t want Spike you know what he was up to. Didn’t want to talk about it, argue about it, give Spike a chance to worry about it. So he kept driving. Hoping he wasn’t lost and keeping a close watch on street signs and names. Turn left here. Cross the intersection there. Stop at the stop sign. Oh look red light. Stop.

Now another right hand turn, the sky just starting to turn pink and yes, yes there it is. He drove past it. Then did a highly illegal u turn and parked right in front. He heard an almost subvocal growling coming from behind him and slowly, oh so slowly turned his head. Spike was standing almost within arm’s reach. Hands clamped tightly to bench and hand strap. His game face partially in shadow. Yellow eyes bright and deadly.

“You know. It’s only knowing you have a chip that’s keeping me from pissing my pants,” Xander squeaked.

“Don’t let that stop you,” Spike said softly.

“Ahh, yeah, right, but the smell you know. It would seriously stink up the place and then driving this bucket of bolts would be even more unfun.” Xander knew he was babbling. He bit his tongue to stop himself.

“Well if you’re not gonna piss yourself, you can turn us right around and drive home.” Spike said. But his face was changing back into his human form.

Xander breathed and relaxed. Turning more to face the vampire behind him. “You have to try Spike. You can’t live like this. It’s wrong. And yes I know how stupid I sound. You with the chip is safe for humans. Safe for me. But it still feels wrong. Maybe. Maybe he can help you. You brought Drusilla to him when she needed help. Maybe he can help?”

Spike slumped to the floor where he stood. “He won’t want to help pet. He can’t rightly stand me. Would dust me as soon as look at me. And I. And I can’t exactly fight him off right now. I’m too weak. Not enough blood. Too hungry. I’m a sorry state for a vampire. In that right Peaches?” Spike asked looking at the window behind Xander.

Xander gave an unmanly squeak and turned around. Angel stood at his drivers window.

Angel looked worried. Stressed and worried. He glanced from vampire to human and back again. Confusion practically written on his face. Then he huffed. Reached a hand through Xander’s window and unlocked his door. He pulled it open and motioned Xander out.

Xander scrambled out then turned to watch as Angel shook out a large, thick black blanket. “Come on Spike. We don’t have much time left. Get under this blanket with me and we’ll get inside.”

“How do I know you won’t just take the blanket and leave me to the sunlight?” And even to Xander’s ears that sounded like a terrified yet petulant three year old.

Angel growled softly and said one word. “William!”

Xander heard scrambling and in a second Spike was out of the van and under Angel’s arm. Both vampires were under the blanket and it looked to Xander that Spike was curled into and around Angel.

Xander followed the two as Angel hustled them into the large building. He stopped just through the large doors and stumbled forward when the door hit his ass as it closed behind him. Xander has an impression of marble, black and gold. 1920’s at it’s glorious Hollywood best. He saw beyond the shabby and right into beautiful history. “Wow. What I wouldn’t give to restore her,” he breathed.

“You could give your time, body and knowledge. But don’t expect us to pay you.” That voice cut through Xander’s thoughts and he looked across the foyer.

“Cordy,” he smiled and walked forward. Cordelia Chase. “Beautiful. Glorious. Queen C.” He said jogging up to the woman now rounding the desk. He didn’t stop. Just jogged right up to her and pulled her into a hug. She didn’t fight him either. They may have history. It may have been heartbreaking. Breathtaking. Emasculating and social standing destroying history. But. It was history. So she didn’t fight. And Xander held her gently and they rocked together for a few seconds.

She pulled back and threw her hair over her shoulder. “What are you doing here?” She demanded.

Xander shrugged and looked for Spike. He and Angel were standing feet from each other. “I brought the bleached wonder to see if Angel can help him,” he said.

Cordelia nodded once. “Okay, well. It’s almost Angel’s bed time. I’ve got an audition in a few hours and Wesley is out with Gunn tracking a book dealer. So I’ll leave you boys to it. Great seeing you Xander.” With that she bent over the desk, grabbed her bag and strolled to the door.

Xander shuffled his feet as he watched her go.

“This way Xander,” Angel called over to him

“Coming Dead Boy,” Xander said quickly, looking over at the two vampires standing at the foot of the large staircase. He chuckled and jogged over to join them. Angel had his eyes narrowed at him. “Ha ha Angel. You know I had to say it at least once.” Xander said when he stood in front of the stairs.

Angel grumbled something under his breath and headed up. “Come on both of you. Follow me. My rooms are upstairs.”

Spike blew out a breath he didn’t need and followed. Xander a step behind him.

Angel was sprawled out in an armchair when Xander entered the room. Spike leaned beside the door. Chewing on a thumbnail and trying to look nonchalant about it. Xander stood in the doorway. He stuffed his hands in his jeans pockets and shuffled his feet uncomfortably.

“Umm, well, maybe, I, I should go now?” He asked tentatively.

“What? You can’t-“ Spike exploded.

Angel just pointed at a chair in front of a desk and said “Sit.”

Xander swallowed and crossed the room. He sat.

“Somehow there have been things happening in Sunnydale I’m not aware of,” Angel said softly. “Xander, start from the beginning. Leave nothing out. Spike, William. I’m going to give you a choice. There will be no recriminations whichever choice you make. You have the choice of where to sit. You can sit on the bed. Or. You can sit at my feet.” Angel said seriously.

Xander gaped at the choices. There was no way Spike would sit at Angel’s feet. They’d be lucky if Spike even sat or at least sat still for five seconds.

Not surprised Xander watched as Spike strolled confidently to the bed. He fingered a lush red velvet pillow. Eventually picking it up and turning it over and over in his hands. Then he tossed it to Angel’s feet. He walked to it. His steps wary. Wary of what? Then he sank onto the red velvet so gracefully that Xander’s throat went dry.

Xander looked between Spike and Angel. Their gazes were locked to each others. Silent communication flowing back and forth. Then Xander saw Angel’s eyes crinkle slightly in a half smile and Spike simply melted and leaned his full body against Angel’s leg. Angel placed a hand on Spike’s head. His fingers digging into the heavily gelled strands until they parted for him.

“Welcome home William. I’m glad you’re here, where you belong.” Angel whispered.

Xander watched amazed as Spike rubbed his face against Angel’s leg, like a giant cat. “Thank you Sire.” Xander heard the words leave Spike’s mouth and thought he’d never heard the vampire sound so content.

CHAPTER TWO

Xander didn’t know what to think, but he knew this couldn’t be bad for Spike. For him? The rest of the Scoobies? People in general? He sighed quietly and hoped he’d done good. He pulled his gaze from a content looking Spike and saw Angel watching him. He swallowed nervously. He couldn’t remember ever being the center of Angel’s attention. It unnerved him, but he couldn’t deny it also gave him a shiver of excitement flying up and down his spine.

Angel’s eyes held his demand for knowledge. He wanted to know what was going on. He wanted to know now. He expected to be told and he was not about to ask again.

Xander cleared his throat. “Wow, you’ve ahh, you’ve changed since Sunnydale,” Xander mumbled. Then stifled a crazy giggle when Spike snorted. “Okay, well, where to start. Yeah. Okay the Buffster and Willow are off at College right? Anyway they meet this guy, only he’s not a guy not really. He’s ahh, he’s some sort of army type dude. His group, the call themselves the Initiative. They have a bunker under Sunnydale. They catch Demons, Vampires anything that’s not human I guess. They’ve been helping Buffy patrol. She and Riley that’s the army dude, right yeah, you know? Anyway, yeah, so, they catch non humans and do stuff to them. They caught Spike. They did something to him…” Xander stopped at the sound Angel was making. The Vampire was growling. His face had changed, brow ridges were exposed, his fangs were well past his bottom lip and his eyes appeared crazed and feral.

Xander whimpered in the back of his throat and it seemed as if the sound had snapped Spike out of his doze at Angel’s feet. Xander saw his head whip up and around then he was climbing into Angel’s lap and crooning at him. Angel lulled the smaller Vampire against him and, it looked to Xander like Angel was smelling Spike. Running his face and hands all over the blonde until both of them relaxed slightly. Angel pulled away a little and looked back at Xander. “Tell me what they did to my Childe,” he demanded, then pulled Spike’s head to his shoulder all the time rubbing the other Vampire’s back soothingly.

Xander swallowed hard. This was so not going to be good, he thought. “They put a chip in Spike’s head. It fires any time he tries or thinks about attacking a human. Its stopped him from hunting. Even looking after himself. He, he came to Buffy and Giles for help. They sorta try, but not too much. He can’t hunt. Has to rely on Giles and Buffy for everything. It’s wrong, but they won’t do anything about it. They think it’s okay, what they did to Spike. I got Spike to tell me about the cells under the Initiative, they are keeping Demons under there that even Buffy let’s slide. I didn’t like any of it. So when I got a chance, I grabbed Spike and brought him here. I thought maybe you could help him.” Xander stopped talking and started to wring his hands. He’d sat on them all the time he’d been speaking but they had somehow escaped in the final few seconds.

Angel was just watching him. Face frozen with no expression. Body inhumanly still. Then he tried to drive himself out of the chair, only to find Spike clinging like a limpet to him. He tried to shake the smaller vampire off but Spike held on tightly. He wouldn’t be shaken off nor removed from Angel by any other means. Finally Angel threw himself back in his armchair and glared all around. “William, get off me,” he growled in exasperation.

In answer Spike wrapped himself tighter until Angel huffed a sigh and relaxed under the weight. Xander relaxed the too tight grip he had on his own hands when Angel relaxed. His heart was beating a million miles an hour. His mouth was dry and his fear response was screaming at him to get the hell out and away from the crazy Vamp, yet he hadn’t left and felt like he couldn’t have left. Not for a any reason. Yes Angel was furious, but a tiny part of Xander knew he was still safe.

He listened hard and finally heard Spike whispering to Angel. “Not the boy’s fault Sire. He tried to help Sire. Not his fault. Not my fault. Not your fault. Not his fault. Not your fault. Not my fault.” Spike kept repeating the mantra until finally Angel just wrapped his arms around him again. He nodded for Xander to keep going.

Xander swallowed again. “Not that much more to tell. G-man needed his own apartment tonight. So Spike couldn’t stay tied in the bathtub. I got volunteered to be on Spike sitting duty. So I threw him in my van, took off his, you know, things that keep people tied up, ropes, yeah ropes and drove here. I figured, he brought Drusilla to you to help her when she was in trouble. So maybe you could help Spike?”

Angel nodded slowly. “We’ll talk more about this Initiative later. You were right to bring him to me. He’s very thin. His skin even feels brittle. He’s not feeding enough. How much blood have you been getting?” He asked Spike.

The blonde vampire shrugged, then answered reluctantly. “One maybe two bags every couple of days. Cow blood mainly. Sometimes pigs blood.”

Angel’s face did that morphing thing again, but he shook it off in seconds. Then he sighed and his hands reached for his shirt buttons. He slowly undid them. Big fingers being careful of tiny buttons. He pushed his shirt open and cupped his large hands around Spike’s face. “Feed Childe. Feed on Sires’ blood. Let my blood restore you to health.” Angel said almost reverently, soft and low.

Xander could see both Vamp’s faces. Both gazes were searching and questioning. There was some serious history between these two. He almost got up and left them in privacy, but knew Angel would have told him to leave if that was what he wanted. So instead he stayed. Stayed quietly seated on his desk chair and watched in complete fascination.

Spike’s face was a mixture of emotion. Fear, want, need, distrust all flirting over it. Angel in contrast just sat. His face calm and impassive. He watched Spike’s face with quiet eyes. When Spike appeared to relax he gave a tiny grin and raised his eyebrows. Spike chuckled and slowly leaned into the larger vampire.

Xander waited and watched, sure he was about to see Spike bite into Angel’s neck. Instead Spike licked the long neck. Then sort of scootched down. He fastened his mouth on Angel’s pectoral muscle and Xander knew the exact moment the blonde bit into Angel.

Angel moaned and arched. His back lifting off the back of the armchair they were both seated in as his arms pulled Spike further to him. Angel’s eyes were closed and his mouth open. Xander had never seen pure ecstasy on someone’s face. Well not until that moment. But he knew what he was seeing and gasped at the scene he was privy to. He doubted many mortals had ever seen something like this.

Xander swallowed, feeling his throat hitch at its sudden dryness. He watched fascinated at the pair. There was so much happening between them. Angel’s face took on a happiness and content he’d never seen on him. His hands had slowly released their hold on Spike and were running smoothly up and down the blonde’s spine. Spike seemed to press into the touch, like a cat, wanting and needing more. His head didn’t lift from Angel’s chest, yet he arched into the caressing touch. His hands moving restlessly from Angel’s chest to stroke at his neck and throat, into his hair and back again in a non ending circuit.

And Xander just kept watching. His head tilted to the side. And then something occurred to him. He should be finding this horrible, disgustingly bad bad bad, wrong on so many levels. But he wasn’t and that threw him for a loop. He found himself dissecting that little discovery. Why was he not finding this bad bad bad. In fact he found himself liking what he saw. There was a closeness, a need in these two that finally seemed to be fulfilled. Somehow. The act of feeding was healing not just Spike, but Angel too. And finally things shot into place in Xander’s head. Angel needed Spike as much as Spike needed Angel. When Angel had gotten his soul back, he’d lost his family. A toothy, creepy, violent, blood sucking and completely crazy homicidal family, but family nonetheless.

Now though, now Angel had Spike. For now at least. And Spike had Angel. Something shot into place for Xander too. Vampires in general lived in groups. A pack? Coven? Whatever it was. He couldn’t really remember vampires living, unliving alone. All except Angel and later Spike after Drusilla had walked out on him. Walked out and left. Just like Darla had walked away from Angel. He snorted then as the correlation made a point in his brain.

The noise however gained him the attention of the two vampires he’d been avidly watching.

“Yes Xander?” Angel’s voice was soft, but with a hard edge to it.

“Somthin’ to say, pet?” Spike asked, voice a soft and dangerous purr.

Xander blinked fast and swallowed hard, trying find something to say that would leave him alive after it left his mouth. Then he thought, fuck it, and decided to say what he’d been thinking. He cleared his throat. “I was just thinking that you two a kind of like twins or something,” he said.

The blank looks he got made him try to explain. “Okay, Angel. You got souled and Darla left you, high and dry. And Spike, Drusilla got well and walked out on you. You and Angel got left behind after all that time and everything you did for them. You two who have girls throwing themselves at you, you know gorgeous and sexy, you still get left behind, what the hell kind of chance do the rest of us have? Me especially, Zeppo, donut boy. Between Cordy in high school and Anya jumping me when she got non demonified, well the writing is on the wall for me. Demons, ex demons, Cordelia Chase, who could and has scared the living daylights out of demons, I’m so on loves screw you list,” Xander babbled and would have kept on babbling if his brain had not just caught on to what his mouth was saying. “And I so did not mean to put myself in with you two there, nope, nope, nope, so definitely not in your league there. Okay, I’ll, just leave now and pull my feet away from my mouth. Here’s me going…”

“Stay where you are,”Angel sighed.

Xander bit his lip and pushed himself back into the seat he’d been about to stand up from. He could feel he was blushing. His face was all hot and his chest felt hot inside his jacket. He suddenly couldn’t stand it at more and struggled out of it, eventually having to pull the damned thing over his head when the zipper got stuck. He balled it up in his hands and glued his gaze to it refusing to look up at the two others in the room.

Soft chuckling eventually made its way into his brain. He looked up to see both vampires grinning and chuckling at him. They were still wrapped around each other, but their gaze was on him. “Alright pet, you’re not wrong. Angel and I are both bitches for those we love or family. Same as you really. And actually, you’ve got worse luck than either Angel or I do. But we both admit you got balls, Angel and me would run a mile before even thinkin’ about dating Cordelia Chase. You not only dated her, you stepped out on her and lived to tell the tale,” Spike said admiringly.”

“What else were you thinking about?” Angel asked.

“Um, well. Vampires really and how you two are the only ones I’ve seen who live alone. Its like most of them live in packs? Is that the right word?”

“Yes and no,” Angel answered. You’re right, most Vampires don’t live alone. It’s very hard for us to be solitary. We live in groups. But their not packs. They’re Courts. Vampires live in a Court. A Vampire Court usually consists of the Master, the Right Hand or enforcer. The Consort if the Master is lucky. The Consort of the Right Hand, and the Master’s other Childer and their Childer. All the way down to minions. Between Childer and Minion there are the Specialized. They can be Vampire or human, all of whom have specific roles in the Court. A Court can be as formal or as relaxed as the Master wants it to be. Each Court makes up its own hard and fast rules for the most part.”

“All exceptin’ the respect of hierarchy that is,” Spike chimed in fingers stroking his bite marks on Angel’s chest absently.

“True,” Angel said, relaxing back in his armchair again.

“So, back in Sunnydale. The Master? That was his Court?” Xander asked.

Angel nodded. “The Master ran his Court like that for centuries. That was the last court of the Aurelius line be that I know of. In America anyway. Darla was the Master’s eldest remaining Childe. I’m her oldest remaining Childe. By all our laws I’m the rightful head of the Aurelian line. But, well my circumstances being what they are, I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the other Childer set up Court somewhere else. In Europe maybe?” Angel said thoughtfully, his hand now absently stroking through Spike’s hair.

“I don’t think so,” Xander piped up. “The Watchers tend to keep an ear open for that sort of thing. No ones mentioned anything about a new Court or anything about a new Aur-Aurelian Master.”

Spike scoffed. “What them Watchers don’t know would fill libraries, pet. They didn’t even know vampires held Courts.”

“That might not be them, Giles could have easily said something but I was maybe sleeping and not doing the listening thing,” Xander said, shrugging self deprecatingly.

“Xander. You listen. You pay attention. You care. Spike wouldn’t be here if you didn’t. But there are many things we don’t let the Watchers know. Yes we’d make sure they knew about a new gathering or a new Master. We use them without their knowing it. They keep amazingly accurate records of genealogy if nothing else. But we don’t tell them everything. We keep certain things private. Like the fact we call our formal groupings a Court.” Angel said patiently.

“Why a Court?” Xander queried.

Spike chuckled. “Always thought it was some ponce trying to make himself sound grand.”

“You would,” Angel said indulgently, pulling on Spike’s hair a little.

Spike looked back at Angel and grinning, snuggled into him. “The story I was told, was that centuries ago, probably before the Middle Ages, maybe even before the Pharaohs, a Queen was turned. She turned her favourites, she and her King kept ruling as usual. Before being turned they had a Royal Court and kept it afterward. The term stayed after that. Eventually only a Master would form a Court around them. Gather Childer, Advisors, Acolytes, Minions, Slaves and so on. Vampires don’t do progress well, so it’s basically stayed that way ever since.”
Angel told them.

“Huh. Makes sense I guess. Okay so. If everything is good here, maybe I should leave? Head back home?” Xander suggested. Not that he really wanted to go, but he didn’t feel comfortable hanging around like the proverbial third wheel. “You guys have each other now. You don’t need me around.”

“Xander no.” Angel said sharply

“No Pet.” Spike said half a second after Angel.

Xander blinked at the fast response and felt himself fall back into his chair.

“What we mean to say is, you drove all night. Why don’t you get some rest. You can drive back later.” Angel said smiling.

“Okay,” Xander said slowly.

Angel turned his attention back to Spike. “You haven’t drunk enough William,” he said, indicating the now healed bite marks on his chest.

Spike grinned and leaned forward a little. Then he stopped and using one hand pulled Angel’s face around so the light hit it at different angles. “You need to feed proper before I can take any more,” he said seriously.

Angel shook his head. “I’m fine. Keep drinking. You need Sires’ blood.”

“I need my bloody Sire healthy, so I can keep drinking Sire’s blood you great big ponce,” Spike snapped back.

“William-“ Angel began sharply.

“Don’t William me. I’m a Master in m’own right. Made me own Childer and all. So I know the signs of a Childe taking too much from his Sire. And you’re showin’ ‘em. So I’ll drink after you’ve had someone to drink.” Spike said, his voice calm and determined.

Angel huffed. “Fine. I’ve got some blood in the fridge. I’ll warm it up.”

“Nope. Bag blood won’t do for this. I’m beefing too much. You’re gonna need a livin’ donor. Preferably young. Strong. You don’t have to drain ‘em. If it’s a live meal and their healthy. They’ll be fine losing a few pints.” Spike said, almost reasonably.

Angel sighed and scrubbed his fingers through his perfect hair. “William, if you haven’t noticed it’s daylight. Not like I can head off for a walk and just find someone willing right now. So bagged will have to do.”

“Ah, well, what about me?” Xander said, then clapped both hands over his mouth, mortified at what he’d said. “Ah, That is…” He trailed off. Looking at his sneakers.

“You’d do that, Pet?” Spike asked getting up from Angel’s lap carefully and walking over to Xander. “You’d let Angel drink from you?”

“Umm, yes?” Xander squeaked. “But I don’t really know why,” he sounded confused and like he was grumbling, even to himself.

“What? No!” Angel exclaimed, jumping to his own feet. “No Xander, William, I won’t do it. I can’t drink from Xander. I won’t.”

Xander suddenly found himself furious. Furious at himself. Furious at Angel and furious he felt hurt at the rejection. He surged to his own feet and strode right up to Angel. Only stopping when they were plastered chest to chest. Xander gave an internal fist pump when he saw Angel’s eyes widening in surprise. His anger however had the reigns and his mouth was going for gold. “So I’m not good enough? Some random stranger off the street, that’s fine. Some random that makes blood donations that can’t be used because the guy was sick or something, and the blood has to be thrown out, that’s fine? But me? Oh no no no Xander isn’t good enough. I’m cool, broody guy, I’m too good to drink from Donut Boy, I might catch nerd cooties from his blood.” Xander was talking and couldn’t stop. “Oh look at me the strong, handsome, silent Master Vampire, I’m Angel, I was Angelus I’m too good to drink from Xander. I’m-”

A hand was suddenly over his mouth. The arm and body it was attached to was behind him and Xander could feel and hear Spike chuckle softly behind his ear. The feel and strength in that body, the sensation of Spike chuckling softly had Xander wilt into the blonde vampire and the fight left him. “Now look what you did, Peaches. You got the boy all flustered and upset. He’s feelin’ rejected and all. Angel didn’t mean to make ya feel bad Pet. He’s just an idiot that don’t know when to say yes to someone when they offer him a gift. A gift that he’s never offered to anyone else. Cause let me tell you Peaches, this boy didn’t even offer his virginity, that was taken from him. Not that he’d be complaining ‘bout that. But offer? No. This boy, well he ain’t no boy now. Not really. He doesn’t offer easily. Even his friendship and loyalty have t’be earned. So for him to offer you his blood, he must find you very important.” Then he turned his head, his mouth speaking directly into Xander’s ear. “Do you find Angel important, Pet? Is he important enough to you to make such an offer? Do you even know what yer offering here?” Spike asked.

Xander breathed. That was all he would make himself do. Breath in, around the hand covering his mouth. Breath out against it. Breathe in around it. Breathe out against it. It wasn’t even that Spike was holding him hard or tight. Xander knew he could have pushed out of the hold and moved away. But he couldn’t make himself do it. He was held there. Limbs locked. Brain frozen. He wasn’t afraid. No this wasn’t fear. He was confused however. Why had he made the offer? Yes he wanted Angel to help Spike. Yes he was willing to help Angel, help Spike. But why had he offered his own blood. Blood and biting were icky and bad. Always. So what the hell was wrong with him? Only it hadn’t looked icky or bad when Spike drank from Angel. It didn’t look painful. It looked like both vampires had enjoyed it even. And there lay the rub, there lay the center of Xander’s confused mental flailings. There had been joy and pleasure on Angel’s face. And a tiny part of Xander wanted to feel something like that.

“Xander? Are you sure?” Angel’s voice was soft. His hand was slowly removing Spike’s from over his mouth. Xander was dry mouthed, so all he could do was nod and swallow. Then Spike was pushing him gently and Angel was pulling him in slowly and soon Xander found himself straddling one of Angel’s thighs while leaning back on Spike who still stood behind him.

“Are you still sure Xander?” Angel asked again.

“Yes. I’m sure,” Xander croaked. Then he swallowed again and said. “Yes Angel I’m sure,” his voice strong and clear.

Angel nodded and looked up at the still standing Spike. Spike ran his hands over Xander’s chest until his fingers found the buttons of his Hawaiian shirt and followed them down, undoing the few that were done up as he went. He pulled at the hem of Xander’s T-shirt and inch by inch pulled it up until Xander had to raise his arms so Spike could slip both garment off over his head. Angel at some point had wrapped both large hands around Xander’s waist, just keeping him still.

Xander was breathing hard by now. His breath heaving in and out of his lungs. His brain was doing circuits like a gerbil on speed and getting nowhere fast. All he could fathom was that he was in Angel’s lap. Spike was behind him. He was naked from the waist up. He was alone with two predators and somehow he had never felt safer in his life. He wanted Angel to drink from him. He wanted a lot of things that he wasn’t about to even try to make sense of right now.

“Xander, Pet. Listen to what Angel is goin’ to explain t’you,” Spike said gently as he moved away from Xander’s back to straddle Angel’s other thigh.

Xander made to nod but his mouth had other ideas. “Aren’t we too heavy for us to both be on your lap?” he blurted out.

Angel smiled and huffed a soft chuckle. “It’s fine Xander. Vampire here. Stronger than I look. Now listen to me carefully. A few things can happen when a Vampire drinks from a human. Even when we drink from each other, but right now I’m going to explain what can happen between a human and Vampire feeding. The Vampire can make the human experience certain things and emotions. The most prevalent and easiest is of coarse fear. But lust is far more powerful and makes the blood stronger and sweeter. When a Childe and Sire drink, then lust is a natural state for us. What I’m trying to say is that there are going to be some very obvious reactions to this feeding and I don’t want you to be afraid. Do you understand?”

Xander had his face furrowed in confusion.

“Oh you great big ponce. Even I had a hard time followin’ that and I actually know what the hell yer talkin’ about. Let me try. Xan, I’m just gonna say it straight. We’re all gonna get turned on and hard over this. There’s nothin’ wrong with that. Peaches and me just need to know how you want us to handle you. At some point during this, Peaches and me are gonna be fuckin’ like bunnies. Its natural for us. Even when I forced him to help Dru. It happens.”

“But if that’s frightens you Xander,” Angel broke in. “If that worries you, William and I can take it somewhere else. You don’t have to be involved. You don’t have to see it or be a part of it.”

“Not that you joining us would be a hardship, right Sire?” Spike purred, running his finger tips over Xander’s bare shoulder.

“Definitely not a hardship,” Angel purred back, he gaze following Spike’s fingers as they mapped out the shoulder, then his gaze dropped to Xander’s flat stomach and back to his face.

Xander swallowed at the look of admiration in Angel’s eyes. Their depths a molten fire. He quickly glanced to Spike, his eyes a virtual mirror of his Sire’s. Xander blushed again and looked away. “Umm I’m I, oh God I-” he cut himself off and thought about it. Was he scared? Was he worried people might think him gay? Was he afraid of how it might be, would he like it? Would he like it better than straight sex? Was he afraid of being with two Vampires? Was he afraid he was a hypocrite, after all he’d been a jackass to Buffy when she’d been crushing over Angel. He quickly came up with several answers. Hypocrisy thy name is Xander, but he could live with that. He’d been a kid after all and so had Buffy. No, he wasn’t afraid of Angel and Spike, though he probably should be. And finally, straight sex or gay sex, who gave a fuck as long as good sex was good sex and between consenting adults. Mind made up he looked back at the two Vampires and met their eyes individually.

“I’d like to go along for the ride if you don’t mind,” he said with a shy smile.

Spike and Angel looked at Xander, then at each other, grinning.

“Well if you’re sure, Pet,” Spike said, running his blunt fingernails down Xander’s spine, making the human arch. Then Angel had his large hand was in the middle of Xander’s back and pulled him in.

CHAPTER THREE

Angel’s face nuzzled into Xander’s neck, gently licking and mouthing at it, first on the left, then slowly moving to the right side. Xander was held close, chest to chest. His arms were wrapped instinctively around Angel’s neck as he hung on, head thrown back and gasping for breath. He was hot and hard already and didn’t know how the hell that had happened. When the hell had he started liking being manhandled?

“You’ve always liked bein’ manhandled, Pet,” Spike chuckled and Xander pulled his head up to look at the blonde.

“Huh? How?” He finally got out.

“Thinkin’ out loud boy,” Spike grinned. “This is one hell of show. Boy looks good gettin’ ravished.”

Xander had a fleeting thought about being indignant, then he felt Angel’s face shift and fangs slowly slide into his throat. It should have felt painful. Should have felt wrong. Instead Xander clung harder to Angel. Pushing himself further into the larger Vampire. His breath was coming in pants and slight groans. There had been a fleeting pain, then pure unadulterated pleasure had rolled over him and he wanted, no needed more.

Xander moved his head, stretching his neck further. Inviting Angel deeper. He could hear sounds, moaning and eventually realised the sounds came from his own throat. He felt a soft stroking on his cheek and fought his eyes open. Spike was watching him. His face soft and peaceful. Tilted to one side, inquisitive almost. Spike’s hand lifted to Xander’s cheek. Fingers slowly stroking back and forth. Xander pushed his cheek into the touch. Rubbing his cheek against the caressing fingers.

Spike smiled back at him. “You’ll do just fine, Pet,” he said softly, then Xander saw his face shift and in a second he had his fangs embedded in Angel’s chest again.

Xander felt and heard Angel groan against him. The vibration causing Xander to moan. He arched further into the cool body holding him close. Xander’s eyes were half closed, head thrown back, but he had both Vampires in his vision. He couldn’t seem to look away and didn’t want to. No matter how much he had always argued and fought with Buffy about it, about how disgusting he thought a Vampire feeding was, this, this was beautiful, this was amazing and, dare he say it, he found it sexy. So, so sexy.

He moved his arms languidly. He wound one into Angel’s dark hair. The other one slid over Angel’s shoulder and found its way into Spike’s hair. The fingers working through blonde hair until he could run his blunt fingernails over Spike’s scalp. He scraped the blunt fingernails of his other hand over Angel’s scalp and relished the feel of both Vampires as they shuddered and trembled under his hands. He did it again. They shivered against him, and this time he felt and heard them moan.

“Good?” He whispered.

“Mmmm,” the muffled sound came from twin throats.
He smiled and alternated scrapes and strokes, enjoying the feel of the different hair around his fingers. He felt Spike jolt under his hand and focused his gaze in him. He just watched Spike, he saw and felt the next jolt. It was a touch weaker than the last one.

Xander licked his lips and searched for his voice. “Spike? Spike, you okay?” He asked.

He felt Angel retract his teeth and move away from him enough to look at Spike.

“William?” He whispered. “Is it the Chip? I’ve felt you jolt as you feed, but I think the jolts are getting weaker? Am I right?” Angel asked.

Spike withdrew from Angel with a sigh. He licked his lips slowly, eyes closed. Face unreadable. Then he shrugged.

Angel sighed and chuckled softly. He used one arm to pull Spike into him. Xander watched as Angel smiled then carefully brought their faces closer until their lips met. Xander could see everything from his vantage point on Angel’s other thigh. He saw when lips met. He saw as Spike opened his lips and Angel’s tongue swept in. He saw as Spike melted into the larger Vampire, his Sire. Angel pulled him in closer, bending him backwards and claiming the blonde completely. Angel pulled back slowly, leaving Spike looking dazed.

“You are mine, William. I’m not about to send you away, or throw you out. Not now. Not ever. You’re my Childe. Drusilla might have chosen you, but I consented to your turning and it was my blood that brought you over. So William the Bloody, whether you are healed, whether you eventually heal or not, you, are, mine. To train and train with. To care for, punish and cherish, until the time you leave me or leave your unlife. Do you understand me William? Mine,” Angel told him softly but firmly.

Spike nodded, then shyly rubbed his face against Angel’s collar bone. “I understand, Sire. Thank you,” he said quietly. Then he took a deep breath and sat back up. “Something is happening to me. ‘M not sure, but, the Chip feels, muffled? Maybe? The stabs of pain aren’t as painful as they were. And it fires at weird times. It started feeling off when I started drinking Sire’s Blood. Almost from the first mouthful. At first the pain was sharp, but a couple of mouthfuls into it’s and the pain got less and less. Now I can barely feel it when it arks up. I think it’s the jolt more ‘an anythin’ else.”

“I thought it didn’t activate if you weren’t trying to drink human?” Xander asked.

Spike shrugged. “Can’t explain it, Pet. Just tellin’ ya what its feelin’ like.”

“Hmm, so, what’s so special about Sire’s Blood then?” Xander asked.

Angel hummed for a second, then rubbed his cheek over Spike’s shoulder, before doing the same thing with Xander. “Sire’s Blood causes the first turning. Takes a body from mortal human to immortal demon. A Childe drinks almost exclusively from Sire for as long as the Sire let’s him. Until a Childe is strong enough fend for himself. William drank from me for more than a year after his turning. Yes he drank from humans, but he took from me as well. Perhaps. Perhaps drinking Sire’s Blood now is re-establishing those ties. Strengthening his blood. I don’t know, but if it works, then I’m not going to complain about it. I’m no scholar. William was more of a scholar than Liam ever was. Anyway it doesn’t matter now. If Sire’s Blood works, it works.” He looked back at Xander, eyes critical. “How are you feeling, Xander? Are you light headed?”

Xander shook his head. “No Angel, I’m fine.”

Angel ran a fingertip over the area he had bitten before. “I haven’t taken too much?”

Xander grinned at him and pulled himself toward Angel, angling the Vampire’s head to fit into the curve of his neck. “There’s plenty more where that came from,” he said cockily, then groaned when he felt Angel’s fangs sink into him again. He saw Spike watching them, grinning, then he turned back to face Angel and oh so slowly sank his own fangs into his Sire and drank.

Xander let himself sink into the feel of it all. The sensation of having blood drawn out of him. The feel of Angel’s mouth on his skin. He licked his lips and adjusted his position slightly. Only then noticing something. His pants were feeling a little tight. Around the crotch. Once he realised he couldn’t not pay attention. He was more than a little turned on here. His blood was pounding through him and his cock was hard as stone. He panicked and gasped.

He heard Spike chuckle and glanced at him. “Looks like our boy’s finally noticing somethin’” he said, one hand making its way to Xander’s knee. Xander blinked at him, his throat gone dry. He felt a huff of breath on his skin and Angel withdrawing his teeth from his neck. He almost whined in protest and only stopped as Angel’s hand dipped under his belt at his back.

“He’s been getting more and more turned on as I drank,” Angel said, his lips still against Xander’s skin. “His lust taste absolutely incredible. Addictive. Like strawberries and wine and sunshine. I wish you could taste him, William. You’d come just from drinking from him. I’m so hard it’s painful, I’m not ashamed to admit it. Between feeding from Xander and you feeding from me, I can’t remember ever being this ready.”

Spike’s hand moved further up Xander’s thigh. “Maybe we should move this to the bed then? What’d ya say, Pet?” Spike crooned at him.

“Yes, Xander. Do you want us to take you to bed now? Do you want us to make you feel so good all you’ll want to do is scream? We could. We would. We’d show you so much. Give you all the pleasure you’d ever desire. We’d kiss you. We’d touch you. We’d lick every part of you. We’d worship every inch of your warm skin until all you could do was shake apart and orgasm for us. Over and over again until you pass out from it all. Do you want that Xander? Hmmm?” Angel asked into his skin.

Xander was shaking apart already. Shaking in the Vampire’s arms. Did he want all of that? Angel made it sound like he’d be cherished and worshipped. He knew he didn’t deserve that, any of it, he was the Zeppo, the donut boy, he didn’t deserve what Angel appeared to be promising him. Deserve it no. Want it? Oh hell yes. He wanted all of that. He wanted it selfishly. Craved it even. Despite having no experience with men and especially no experience with Vamps. He still wanted. So mind made up, he looked at the two vampires and nodded. “Yes. Yes I want it,” he croaked out from dry throat and mouth.

“Good boy, Pet. Good boy,” Spike whispered. Xander watched Spike move out of Angel’s lap, graceful as a predator cat. He moved behind Xander and mouthed at his shoulders. His hands worked slowly around Xander’s ribs, to eventually play at his nipples. Xander groaned and somehow arched into Spike’s hands and mouth.

“Beautiful,” Angel whispered and picked Xander up off his lap, standing with him. He pulled Xander flush to him and Xander wrapped his legs around his waist. The larger Vampire walked them to the large bed and kneeled on it. Kneeing them forward until he lay Xander down slowly.

Xander felt the cool of the silk comforter against his back and moaned again. “God, this feels decadent,” he sighed, running his arms up and over the bed.

He felt the bed dip and then Spike was on one side of him. Spike wrapped his fingers around Xander’s chin and tugged gently. Xander turned his face slowly. Then his lips were being delicately licked at by the blonde. Xander shivered and opened his mouth to gasp in a breath. Spike took the move as invitation and sealed their mouths together. Kissing Xander with lips and tongue. His tongue moved sensually over Xander’s. Stroking and touching lightly and carefully. Spike’s lips pushed and pulled at Xander’s. Xander wrapped an arm around Spike’s neck, the other sliding hungrily over Spike’s chest.

Xander felt hands at his ankles, then his shoes and socks were gone and he heard them hit the floor. Then hands were at his belt and jean fastenings. Soon he felt his jeans and briefs sliding down his legs. He wondered if he should feel shy or worried. Years in locker rooms had not left him feeling great about his body, but the attention Spike was giving him didn’t leave any room for shyness.

Xander almost giggled when he felt lips at his instep. They kissed his foot and moved up. His ankle was licked and nibbled at. Soon his leg was being lavished with attention and Xander groaned into Spike’s kiss, while he arched into the attention Angel was giving him.

Spike pulled away from Xander’s lips and trailed kisses interspersed with licks and tiny nips along his jawline. The attention was sending Xander into spasms of trembling pleasure. He arched and moaned. When hands slip over his thighs, his legs spread all by themselves and his hands clenched into the bed covers.

Spike licked down his chest and latched greedily onto his nipple. The surprise of the suction made Xander buck on the bed. Then strong hands were on his hips and he felt himself pushed back to the bed and held there.

He fought to open his shut eye lids and looked down at himself. The sight almost had his hard cock blowing his load. One blonde head was moving hungrily over his chest. A darker head was moving over his legs and four strong hands were keeping him on the bed.

Then both heads moved and greedy mouths were attached to his hips. A Vampire claimed each hip and lavished attention on it. Xander moaned louder. His legs shifting all over the bed as much as he was able.

“William,” Angel said.

Spike reluctantly released his claimed hip and looked up at Angel. Then as if a light bulb went off in his brain, Xander watched him as Spike practically flew off the bed and headed to the bedside table. He pulled the drawers open and rifled through it. He slammed it shut and jumped over the bed to get to the other bedside table. Pulling that drawer open too. “Argh Peaches!” He exclaimed.

Xander looked from blonde Vampire to the brunette one. Their faces both a study of what the fuck. “Huh?” Xander asked, brain sex fogged.

Angel finally blinked and shook his head and snapped out of it. “Bathroom. In the shower or under the sink.”

Spike was a blur. They heard stuff moving in the ensuite, then Spike was back and handing Angel a tub that looked very similar to a tub of butter, while keeping a tube in his own hand.

Spike pulled Angel’s face to himself and the two kissed hungrily for a few seconds. Then Spike climbed back onto the bed. “How you feelin’ , Pet?” Spike whispered kissing Xander softly for a second.

“Ah,” Xander tried, not having any words.

“You ready for more?” Angel asked, hands stroking up and down Xander’s legs.

“Ah,” Xander lifted his head and let it drop back to the bed a few times. “More. Yes. Need. Fuck. More. Please!” He finally managed to gasp out.

Spike grinned at him and Angel smiled. Then Spike flipped the tube open and squeezed some clear gel onto his palm and Xander could see Angel dip his fingers into his tub. Then Spike was kissing him deeply again and Xander felt a slick hand wrap around his hard and aching cock. Xander arched fully off the bed. He was pushed down again carefully but then there was slickness at his entrance and his throat locked. His eyes shot open. Suddenly afraid. He shook his head. Pulling away from Spike’s kiss.

“Hush Pet. It’s okay. You’re fine. We won’t hurt ya. Ever Pet. Promise.” Spike whispered.

“Trust us Xander. Please. Trust us.” Angel soothed. His finger just touching Xander’s entrance lightly.

Xander sucked in deep breaths. Trying to figure out why he’d freaked out. He wanted this didn’t he? Didn’t he? Yes he did. Decision made. His body relaxed back into the bed. He smiled and used one foot to rub along Angel’s thigh. A very naked, turned on and rather endowed Angel. Xander gulped then grinned. “That for me?” He asked.

Angel chuckled, stretched over and kissed Xander breathless, then he pulled back and before Xander could blink, Angel had pushed a finger into him. As far as that very slick finger could go. Xander’s breath hitched and caught. He couldn’t breathe. Didn’t know how. His mouth hung open. His eyes huge. Then Angel moved his digit a little and Xander’s body released its stasis lock. The moan that worked its way out of him was long and loud.

“Like that, Pet?” Spike purred in his ear before he nipped at it almost sharply.

“Oh God, yes,” Xander sighed.

“Thinkin’ we should let him come like this Sire?” Spike asked Angel in a close approximation of a casual tone, until you noticed the husky undertone.

Angel hummed and kept sliding his finger in and out. Then he added a second and Xander bucked. His arms automatically reaching out. Spike moved into them. One hand still wrapped firmly around Xander’s hard cock, still stroking in a slow rhythm.

Spike licked Xander’s collar bone. He stopped at the hollow between bones and nuzzled there. Just licking and sucking greedily. Then he looked up. “What do you say Pet? Do you want to come just like this? With Angel’s finger deep inside ya, and my hand around yer cock? Just jackin’ ya in time with Angel’s fingerin’? Yer cock sliding in and out of my hand while Angel’s finger slides in and out of you? Huh, Pet?”

Spike’s voice, soft and husky. His hand carefully stroking up and down his shaft. Angel’s fingers, now a slick three inside him. Xander arched into the burn those fingers gifted him until he was arching into building pleasure and mounting pressure. His hands fluttered around, not knowing where to land, what to touch or grab hold of. His breath coming in fits and starts. Spike leaning over him, his weight on him, just enough to feel. Angel between his legs. One hand clenched around a hip, keeping him from moving too fast or too far, the other deep, deep inside. Two strong bodies keeping Xander from flying away on any little breeze. Spike’s voice, sexy and seductive. Angel giving occasional rumblings of pleasure and approval.

The question finally penetrated Xander’s sex addled brain. The words and voice coalescing into not just a sentence or question but a sexualization of the English language. Then Angel twisted his hand and fireworks exploded behind Xander’s eyes. And Angel did it again and again until Xander couldn’t breathe. He flailed both hands upwards and they were caught in a cool strong hand and held tightly. Then Xander couldn’t take anymore. His eyes flew open. His mouth opened gasping for breath. His body arched and thrashed as much as he was able and his orgasm was flooding through him like waves breaking on shore during a storm, leaving him gasping and groaning, weak and boneless.

He fell back to the bed. Destroyed and absolutely useless for anything. He could just barely open his eyes and what he saw would have left him speechless had he been capable of speech. Both Angel and Spike looked as wrecked as he felt. Both were nude. Both were hard and ready. In fact they were so hard it looked painful to Xander.

He blinked a few times then managed a whisper. “You two?”

“Are you ready?” Angel asked, voice raspy.

Xander nodded and Angel pushed his legs over his shoulders and in a single stroke had his cock buried inside Xander, even deeper than his fingers had been. Angel moaned and Xander joined him. He looked over at Spike, still beside them and saw his gaze was riveted to the point of joining. His lips parted, pupils dilated. His tongue occasionally licking his lips. Then Angel moved. He swooped forward and in a blink had Spike’s hard cock in his own mouth. He sucked and bobbed over Spike’s cock while fucking into Xander. The moves were synchronous from what Xander could see and feel.

Spike’s hands had instantly flown to Angel’s hair and buried themselves there. Not directing nor demanding. Just holding on. Xander watched, too spent to move. Too far gone on pleasure to do anything more than breathe and watch. He felt incredible from his own orgasm, but what was happening now was just as incredible. The feel of Angel slipping in and out of him, moving over his already sensitive prostate and past all the nerve endings at his entrance was sending Xander into spasms of pleasure. He could feel his cock getting hard again. The longer Angel fucked into him. The longer Angel sucked on Spike, the harder Xander’s cock was and the closer he came to another orgasm.

Xander watched Spike closely. The smaller Vampire was breathing hard, even though he didn’t need to breathe. His chest was straining. His hips were bucking in short, sharp bursts. His hands were getting tighter and tighter in Angel’s hair. Angel himself was having a similar reaction. His hips were beginning to stutter. His thrusts, were getting erratic. He was moaning louder and louder around his mouthful. He had one hand now clamped on Xander’s hip and the other on Spike’s. He was holding on to them both and not letting go.

With a sharp inhale, Spike’s back went rigid. His body stiff and straining, then he collapsed slowly forward. As he stiffened, Angel groaned and started to swallow fast and hard, all the while his hips pushed tighter in Xander. He stopped thrusting and ground himself further into the pliant body under him. His body hard, his hips straining, his throat working. He collapsed on Xander as Spike toppled over on him. Their combined weight on Xander’s lower body.

Xander sighed. The added weight felt good on him. Made him feel protected even. He knew he should feel trapped but really didn’t and couldn’t scrape the brain cells together to try to figure out why. His cock gave a valiant try to get some attention, but Xander knew none would be coming right now, so he told himself to relax. He’d come once already, harder than he could remember ever having come, so he had no reason to feel left out, he’d come first after all. So he lay back and enjoyed the weight. Then a tongue licked at him, quickly joined by another, and soon two tongues were sharing him and in seconds he was coming again. His spasms held down by the weight on top of him.

Xander’s hands went to the blonde and brunette heads, his fingers twining into the strands there. Each spasm that wracked his body would tighten or loosened the hold he had on Spike and Angel. He opened his eyes and looked at them when he felt them pushing against his hands.

Both Vampires looked thoroughly pleased with themselves as they started crawling up his body.

“Happy, Pet?” Spike asked.

Xander nodded with a dopey smile he felt plastered on his face. Then they both looked at Angel.

“Happy, Sire?” Spike asked Angel. The dark hard bobbed in a nod, then his eyes widened, and just before Xander fell asleep he could be sworn he saw Angel’s eyes flash a brilliant white.

CHAPTER FOUR

Xander woke to a bed moving slowly from beside him. He opened his eyes and was terrifyingly confused for a quick second. Where the hell was he? How? How? Why did his ass hurt? Kinda nicely too. Then remembrance of the previous day flooded him. He felt himself blushing when he remembered everything he had done with Spike and Angel. Well that examined why his ass hurt at least. The he noticed the soft sounds and movement beside him and turned his head. He moaned at the sight. Spike was in Angel’s lap, slowly riding his Sire. His face was buried in Angel’s neck, obviously drinking, while Angel drank from Spike’s wrist. Both Vampires were naked and very obviously interested in what they were doing.

Xander wondered if he should feel jealous. Were they deliberately excluding him? Should he leave them alone? But they looked so damned beautiful as they moved together that he couldn’t find any jealousy in himself, and if they’d wanted him gone they would have pushed him off by now, he had no illusions about that. So instead he watched them both slowly. Spike rolled his body in Angel’s lap, while the older Vampire thrust languidly up into that willing body. The sight was entrancing and additive. It called to him and Xander sat up and lifted his arms. He ran one hand smoothly down Spike’s back and the other into Angel’s hair. His touch caused the lovers to shift and look at him. Desire and heat filling their gaze. Xander got to his knees and got closer.

Angel disengaged from Spike’s wrist and after licking his lips thoroughly and swallowing he lifted his mouth to Xander who willingly gave him the asked for kiss. It was slow and sweet and lazy, just like what he imagined lazy morning sex would be like. When Angel pulled back, Xander sighed and let him. But his lips weren’t alone for long as another set were there immediately. Spike’s kiss was a little different. He pushed into Xander’s space, making Xander shift or lose his balance.

Xander’s hands flew to Spike to keep upright. One hand clenched his shoulder and the other wrapped around the back of Spike’s head. He felt a strong arm around his waist and knew Angel was steadying him. He leaned into the arm and let Spike control the kiss. The blonde’s tongue invaded his mouth and claimed him. His mouth tasted of copper and blood and Xander thought that should disgust him but really, it didn’t. The intensity though reminded him of desperation and he slid his fingers through Spike’s hair in an attempt to gentle him. While the sex might have looked lazy and leisurely it appeared that Spike was desperate for connection.

Xander opened his mouth further and kept carding his fingers through the short, blonde tresses. Then he felt something rub against his finger. It was hard and sharp in a way. It didn’t feel like it belonged in Spike’s hair, it most definitely wasn’t a part of Spike’s hair. So while Xander was being kissed he let his fingers search for the object, eventually finding it and drawing it out.

With a final lick to Xander’s lips, Spike drew away. He had a satisfied grin on his face.

“Mornin’, Pet. That has to be one of the best ways to get things going. With Sire’s cock in my arse and my tongue in your mouth. There are other ways for that combination of course, whenever you’re ready for ‘em.

Xander just grinned, then looked at what he was holding, while Soike went back to riding Angel. This time however Angel decided he was done waiting and flipped them over to pump his hips into Spike hard and fast.

“Guess the kissing made ya a bit crazy,” Spike said laughing and wrapping his legs high around Angel’s waist, just hanging on for a wild ride.

Angel growled and dragged a wrist near Spike’s lips. Spike bit into it happily. As he sucked, Xander could see the pleasure increase on Angel’s face. On an impulse Xander worked his hand between the two. Angel looked at him quizzically then nodded and made room for him when he realised Xander wanted to wrap his hand around Spike’s cock. He heard Spike mewl at the touch of his hand and made a tight tunnel for the Vampire to thrust into. In seconds Spike was throwing his head back and moaning loudly as his cock pulsed wetness into Xander’s hand. Then Angel’s thrusts went erratic and he thrust faster and faster until he buried himself as deeply as he could into the willing body under him. Falling forward Angel trapped Xander’s hand between them making Xander chuckle and resign himself to waiting a while before he could have the use of both hands.

He felt something in his free hand and realised he had closed his fist around it. He looked down at that hand and slowly opened it. “Oh my god,” Xander breathed out.

“Xander?”

“Pet?”

Two sex slurred voices asked him.

Xander carefully raised his hand and showed them his find.

“Xander, what is this?” Angel asked taking the small squarish item from his hand.

“I-I think it’s some sort of computer chip? It’s definitely an electronic chip of some type. But, the thing is, where I found it. Spike. The chip. It-it was in your hair. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t there before. Umm maybe-“ Xander stammered to a halt at the look on Spike’s face.

Spike was running his fingers through his shortly cropped blonde hair, ruffling it every which way in his rush. Then he dropped his hands. Gave a shrug. “Only one way to find out,” he said and shifted into game face.

Xander didn’t even have a chance to gasp as Spike lunged at him. Then a quick sharp pain at his throat and he felt glorious sucking for less than a second before Spike was gone.

Xander forced his eyes to focus on Spike who was running his tongue over his fangs before showing his human face again. “Always knew you’d be delicious, Pet and no pain. Looks like Sire’s Blood did the trick then. Gimme that thing,” he said holding his hand out to Angel.

“What are you going to go with it?” Angel asked.

“Smash it o’course,” Spike said.

“No William. I don’t think so. I think we’re going to let it be known that there’s a group out there that has tried to put a leash on us. Demons, especially the non violent or lethal need to be careful. They haven’t come here yet. And if they come to my town I’ll deal with ‘em but the local Demons need a heads up and to protect their bairns at least,” Angel said calmly.

Xander cocked his head at the occasional Irish lilt he heard but let it go, wondering if Spike would argue. But the smaller Vampire just shrugged and smiled a dazzling smile. “Anythin’ y’want. I’m just glad I can go after Happy Meals again.”

“Already done with Sire’s Blood?” Angel asked softly.

“Not a chance. I’ll take it any time it’s on offer, yeah. But I don’t wanna be a leach. Don’t wanna be sent away again. Or left behind,” Spike said slowly.

Angel reached out and pulled Spike to him, holding him close for a second before pulling Xander in too. “No ones being sent away or left behind. Not now. Not ever. Not happening. Now you’re mine, I won’t let you go,” Angel told them seriously.

Xander leaned into the cool strength. A grumbling had him groan and bury his face in Angel’s chest, mortified.

“I think someone’s hungry, Sire,” Spike chuckled, then he leapt off the bed before Xander could land a punch.

“Right. Breakfast for our human then. Everyone find some clothes. Kitchen’s downstairs and Cordelia, Wesley and Gunn are already here,” Angel said already looking for his own jeans.

They had just set foot down stairs when, “For you!” came at them.

Xander looked up from where he was trying to dodge a suddenly grabby Spike to see Cordelia sitting at the front desk, eyes looking at a magazine but with one hand raised imperiously in the air and holding out the telephone to them.

“Oh who is it Oh Queen of Couture?” Xander couldn’t help calling out, before Angel could take a step toward the desk.

She looked up, a smirk on her face. “Sunnydale.” Then her smile grew and Xander noticed her press a button, then Buffy’s voice could be heard.

“Look Cordelia, I don’t care what Angel is doing. Spike has done something to Xander and I need Angel’s help to find him. I swear when I find that beached menace I’m going to dust him so hard Darla will feel it.”

Angel was already striding to the phone, his Vampire showing and growling before Buffy had finished. “Y’ll not be threatening me Childe y’hus-”

Xander practically jumped on Angel’s back and clamped his hand over his mouth to make him quiet down. “Hi Buff,” he sang out cheerfully.

“Xander? Xander? What’s going on? Are you in LA? Why are you in LA? Who was that? They sounded like they were growling but with an Irish accent, what’s going on?”

“Whoa, whoa, Buff. Yes I’m in LA. Yes everything is fine. I don’t know about any growling, must have a crossed line maybe. And I ah, I brought Spike to Angel. Angel is gonna keep him here for now at least. It’s all good, promise,” Xander almost tripped over his own tongue as he tried to get it all out. It hadn’t helped that Spike had grabbed him from behind as he’d hung on to Angel’s shoulders and maneuvered him enough that Angel could turn around. Xander suddenly found himself with his legs wrapped around Angel’s waist, while a wet tongue was licking at the nape of his neck. He prayed for strength and control as one set of strong hands massaged his ass, and another set swept over his thighs, inner and outer. He was hanging between the two Vampires, holding onto his self control by a steadily weakening thread.

“Xander? Xander, why would you do that? We could have used Spike here,” Buffy said and that was a bucket of cold water thrown over his rapidly rising libido.

“That’s just it Buffy. We had no right to use Spike. Yeah he could be an ass. He could be a Royal pain in the ass actually, but he’s not a toy or a tool. He needed help and we couldn’t give it to him or wouldn’t. It wasn’t right, I made it right. I brought him to Angel. He’s Angel’s responsibility anyway. So yeah, that’s what I did,” Xander finished a little on the lame side.

“Xander, Xander, when are you coming home? Tonight?”

“Hey Willow. I was wondering if you were there. No I’m not coming home tonight. Might stick around for a bit and take in the sights, you know,” Xander told her. He really had no desire to return to his life in Sunnydale. The basement and dead end job having absolutely no appeal for him.

He heard a short argument then Giles’ voice was speaking. “Xander I hardly think that Angel and LA are a safe place for you. You should come home. Rather soon actually.”

“The boy’ll come back to you lot when he’s good an’ ready an’ not before, so you can all shove off,” Spike yelled across loudly. His hands now wrapped around Xander’s middle tightly while Angel crooned softly into his soft human neck.

Xander noticed Cordelia watching the closely. With a sharp nod she picked up the receiver again placing it to her ear. “Well now you know where he is. You can stop chasing your own tail. No I will not put him back on the phone. And you can keep out of LA too, you’re not needed. Xander is an adult and can make up his own mind. He’ll come back when he’s good and ready. After he’s taken me shoe shopping. Good bye,” and Xander watched her hang up. She looked back up at him. “Have you told your parents you’re in LA indefinitely?” She asked, hand hovering over the phone again.

Feeling like a ragdoll, Xander tapped Angel’s shoulder and wiggled, trying to get down. Twin growls met his efforts and Spike and Angel just closed him in further. With a sigh he nodded, then shrugged. “Sorta. I left them a note that I was heading to LA. You know my parents, you can never be sure of anything.”

She nodded and lifted the receiver, dailing from memory. Xander steeled himself to speak with his parents. They were not going to be happy about any of this.

“Hello, Mrs. Harris? Hi this is Cordelia Chase, a friend of Xander’s. I’m in LA and he’s come over to help me with some stuff. Just thought I’d let you know he was here and okay. No he didn’t say when he’d be back home. Hope you don’t mind. Yes, yes I’ll tell him and no I’m not pregnant. No he’s not likely to get me pregnant. You can tell Mr. Harris that’s not a problem. Goodbye then.” She hung up quickly and without looking away from the magazine again said. “You’re welcome. Angel I’ll need your credit card later. Giacomo is having a sale. I’ll take Xander with me. I’ll get him some decent clothes too.”

“Right then,” Spike said. “Kitchen? He’s not gettin’ any less hungry.”

Angel pulled his face away from Xander’s neck, the Vampire well under control again. He hefted Xander a little higher around his waist and walked off, Spike a half step behind.

CHAPTER FIVE

“What you up to, Pet?” Spike asked, draping himself over Xander’s shoulder and nuzzling his neck.

Xander gave a tiny shiver ad stretched his neck, letting Spike lick at his tiny bite marks.

“Just going through the adds in the paper. Can’t keep mooching off Angel like this,” he said, an absent quality to his voice, a spoonful of cereal along its way toward his mouth slowly.

“Oi what?” Spike demanded, spinning Xander’s chair around and straddling him.

Xander chuckled. “You going to sit on me to keep me here?”

“Darn right, if I have to. Oi Peaches! Get yer arse in here. Boy’s gone crazy!” Spike yelled.

Angel sauntered into the kitchen, carrying an old thick book under his arm. “What’s going on?” He asked.

“Boy’s searching the want adds. Says he needs to stop mooching or some shite,” Spike groused.

Angel furrowed his brows. “Xander? You’re not happy here?” He asked, sounding a little hurt. “Has anyone said something?”

“No, no Angel. I’m really happy here. Really. But I feel like I’m taking advantage, you know. I live here. I eat your food. You paid for my new wardrobe which Cordy chose for me. I just feel like I should be contributing more, that’s all,” Xander hastened to say.

Angel set his book on the table and pulled out a chair, sitting beside Xander who still had Spike seated in his lap. He ran his fingers through Xander’s hair, then through Spike’s. “Xander,” he said softly. “William and I like you here with us. There’s no reason for you to find work. I can afford to keep you.”

Xander shifted a little uncomfortably. “I-I don’t like feeling helpless Angel. I guess it comes from feeling helpless my whole life, or at least until the Buffy Years. Not that I wasn’t helpless then, but, well you know. And getting a job would mean I’m sorta grownup.”

Angel sighed. “What sort of job are you looking at?” Angel conceded, ignoring the protests from Spike.

“No idea really. Just looking to see what I’m qualified for. So far I’ve got shoe delivery, water boy and ice cream man.” Xander said.

Angel smiled softly, his hand still patting between Spike and Xander. “Let me rephrase that. What would you like to do?”

“What would I like to do? I don’t know. Haven’t really thought about it.” Xander demurred, rubbing a hand over the back of his neck.

Spike huffed and stood up getting out of Xander’s lap. “Don’t know why he has to do anything. I’d be happy to just keep him a’bed all day long, I would,” he said wiggling his eyebrows and giving Xander a comical suggestive leer.

Xander couldn’t help laughing and swatting at Spike’s hip as the blonde Vampire moved to take another chair. “As much as I really and I mean really, love all the sex we have, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do it all day, every day, you know?”

Spike just shrugged again and leered. Then he reached out and carefully picked up Xander’s wrist. He brought it to his mouth and bit into it gently, sucking up a small mouthful of blood. He swallowed slowly, savouring the flavour then licked the bite clean until it healed over.

Xander looked at his wrist then at Spike. He turned to Angel again. “You guys kinda do that a lot. You take about a mouthful of blood from me a few times a day. You both take more when we have sex, but you don’t really drink, you know? Why? Is it because you don’t think I can take it, or are you drinking more animal blood or bagged because I haven’t seen you do that. Umm, yeah,” he finished, letting his words trail off weakly.

After a few seconds of silent communication it was Angel who finally answered. “It’s sort of complicated. Taking a little from you throughout the day means that Spike and I don’t have a chance to get hungry. A mouthful here and there is enough. We take more during sex because we love the way you taste when you’re turned on, its exhilarating. When we drink from you at other times, your blood is full of your emotions, your happiness, humor, content, even your emotions for us. It all means that we are more satisfied and don’t need the amount of blood we would otherwise from bags or pig or even from a random guy off the street. Blood holds more than a life source for us. It has all the components of someone’s life in it and because you give it to us willingly we get to share it all with you. Its fulfilling in many ways. So yes Xander, in this case, it’s definitely you.”

“Huh, ahh, okay wow,” Xander said as his mind stumbled over what he’d been told. “So you know my emotions like? Like how I feel?”

Angel nodded once smiling softly. “Yes Xander, we know how you feel. For us.”

“So um, no need to tell a Vamp you love them, cause like they already know?” He asked shyly.

“Exactly. And we love you too,” Angel said still smiling the same soft little smile.

“Now enough of the soft mushy stuff, tell us what you like to do,” Spike demanded from his other side.

“Fixing things and building things,” fell out of his mouth before he could even think about it.

“Right then, let’s look for buildin’ classes and some such,” Spike said, pulling the news paper away from Xander and looking for schools. He shut it abruptly. “This paper is useless. We need that huge book with the listin’ of everything.”

“Yellow pages?” Xander hazarded a guess.

“Yeah, that.” And he stood up. “Oi Chase, where’s the Yellow Pages, you smart bint.”

“One day, she’s going to dust him,” Xander said.

“Yep. I think the only reason she hasn’t yet is because you like him. He’ll be a pile of dust in a blink if you ever break up with him,” Angel agreed.

“What’s the likelihood of that ever happening?” Xander asked, grinning.

“If William and I are really lucky? Never” Angel said.

Xander blushed and looked down. “Hey, ahh, why do you call Spike, William? I mean everyone always calls him Spike.”

“He’ll always be William to me. From the day I turned him. Doesn’t matter what other people call him. I tasted William all those years ago and as much as he tried to change himself to please me, he’s still my sweet William,” Angel said.

“Sweet? Can’t say as I’ve ever thought of Spike as sweet anything,” Xander wandered.

“He’s out there looking for the Yellow Pages so he can make a list of schools for you to study construction. He had a bar fridge put in our bedroom and keeps it stocked with snacks and drinks for you. He threatened to eviscerate Cordelia’s credit card if she didn’t stop treating you badly. Gunn was worried he should stop training with you because William kept watching him every session.

“William coddled and cared for Dru for over a hundred years. Pandered to her every whim. He was the type of young man that invested everything he had and was into whomever he loved. Even once turned that aspect of him hasna changed. He’ll love and protect with everything he has. That’s William, when he loves, he doesn’t have any limits.” Angel said softly, a smile curving his lips.

“Wow. I guess it didn’t click just how much of a romantic Spike is, William is. Ah, should I call him William too?”

“He’d sit on ye if ye did. He’s my William and submissive to me, in the Sire/Childe Bonding. But his demon won’t allow him to be anything but Dominant with you. You’re human and his Demon needs to feel powerful about you. You’re his to love, cherish and protect. His to possess. Even if you were changed he’d still need to be Dominant over you.”

Xander frowned. “Does all that Dominant crap mean I’m gonna find myself cuffed and chained one day? Cause I tell you. I’m not that kind, you know.”

Angel laughed. “Don’t knock till you try it. I’m pretty sure between us William and I could keep you chained and satisfied.”

Xander spluttered and felt himself turn red, the heat sheeting up over him from toe to hairline. Angel just kept laughing, then stood from the kitchen table and left the kitchen. Xander stared after him then down at his forgotten cereal. “Well, crap,” he muttered then adjusted himself on his seat and set about finishing his breakfast.

CHAPTER SIX

“How long do you think it will be before one of them gives up?” Xander asked Angel. They had been watching Cordelia and Spike argue about paint color all morning. Spike wanted the hotel rooms painted in shades of cerulean and cream. Cordelia had decided on shades of azure and off white. “Do they even realise they’re arguing for the same colours?”

Angel shrugged. “Probably. I think they just like arguing. William hasn’t had anyone to argue with safely for years. He likes it. At any other court he’d be jostling for position, but Cordelia is human. William’s position is secure.”

“And Cordy gives as good as she gets. She can eviscerate someone at twenty paces without even looking up from her nails,” Xander commented, a grin on his open face. “By the way, if you or some other Vampire ever decides to turn Cordy, warm me first. I’d need all the warning I could get so I could hop a plane to China.”

“The day she becomes a Vampire, is the day America gets her first Mistress of a Vampire Court. And that Court will take out every other Court, no exceptions. And she wouldn’t stop with just America, she’d go world wide. If I wasn’t the one to turn her, there would be dust in my future and most likely William’s too. She’d be viciously efficient, scarily competent and if she was turned without her permission and knowledge her first victim would be her own Sire. I’d even feel sorry for the suffering the idiot would go through before she was done with him I, or maybe her. But they’d get off easy in comparison to what she’d do to the rest of the Courts, Fledges and Childer,” Angel stopped speaking and Xander tore his gaze away from a happily quarreling Spike and Cordy to look at him. Angel’s face was almost slack and his eyes wide and staring.

“You can see it happening, can’t you? World domination?” Xander whispered.

Angel nodded for a few seconds. “Always keep your passport up to date and accessible. She wouldn’t be able to travel during the day, so take advantage. And we’ll get you some fake ID’s she won’t know about, just in case. Keep moving and stay ahead of her. The Vampire ya are is an exaggerated version of the human, remember that. Who and what we were as human just becomes more prominent as Vampire. If she’s scary now, she’d be terrifying then.”

“You sound like I’d be running alone?” Xander said quietly.

“Mo grá, William and I would do all we could to protect you and her from being turned against your wills. So, if Cordelia were turned and she wanted power, William and I would be dust either before her turning or very shortly after.”

“Angel, you’d be safe from me,” Cordelia called over, as if she’d heard every word of their conversation. “Spike on the other hand would have to grovel so hard. Of course I’d give Xander the choice of what he wanted, until I decided what would be best for him. Actually I might keep you two losers around just to keep Xander happy. He rest of the world? On my ever increasing to do list. Now as for you Spike, you know what I want. Now get off my desk and help your boyfriend make it happen. I’m a busy woman, shoo,” she scolded and pushed the bleached Master Vampire off her desk like he was a recalcitrant kitten.

Spike chuckled, dropped a kiss on her head and sauntered over to Angel and Xander on the sofa. He pushed himself onto Xander’s lap, straddling his thighs and stretched over until he could kiss Angel. Xander watched his Vampires kiss passionately for a few seconds, then Spike’s lips were on his and he forgot how to breathe. Hands were running through his hair and he knew one was Spike’s and the other was Angel’s. One hand larger than the other. Both hands strong, powerful and possessive. Both hands could and had killed, humans and demons. Both hands had vicious pasts that should terrify him. Both hands could inflict untold horror and pain.

Xander knew and understood all this, but these hands, these hands gave him unconditional love. These hands gave him incredible pleasure. These hands meant safety and home for him. So he trusted these hands and he trusted the men attached to these hands.

“We should take this upstairs,” a pair of lips whispered into his ear, then Angel sucked his earlobe into his mouth to play with it and Xander shivered, arching his body into the multiple touches wantonly.

“Oh my God, Spike? Xander? Mom!” The squeak of shock then indignation had the three men pulling apart.

“Dawny?”
“Lil’ Bit?”
“Joyce? Joyce Summers?”

Xander, Spike and Angel questioned in shock.

“Mommmm,” Dawn whined, trying to pull her mother’s hands off her eyes. “I wanted to see that.”

“I don’t care if you wanted to see that. You are too young to see that. I think I’m too young to see that. Ahh, hello Angel, Spike, Xander. I hope we’re not interrupting. Even though we could tell we were interrupting. Ahh. I think I’ll shut up now,” Joyce said floundering and flustered.

Dawn finally managing to remove her mother’s hands off her eyes looked at the three men still sitting where they had been. “Aww darn, shows over,” she pouted.

Xander recovered first. He shook his head and pushed at Spike, who reluctantly slipped off his lap. Xander stood and walked over to the mother and daughter, smoothing down his clothes as he went.

“What are you two doing here? Did Buffy come too? Willow? Is everything all right?” He questioned quickly.

Suddenly Dawn’s face crumpled and she threw herself at him with an “Oh Xander. Everything is just wrong.” She wrapped her arms around his neck and sobbed on him.

He looked helplessly around him. Angel and Spike looked back at him, just as confused as he felt. It was Joyce who came forward and gently pulled Dawn away and into her own arms.

“She’ll be fine in just a minute. Perhaps there’s somewhere private where we can sit and talk?” She asked.

Angel nodded and stood from the sofa. “Of coarse Joyce, just follow me. We can sit in the kitchen. Did you want a tea or coffee? Something cold maybe?” He led them all into the kitchen. Cordelia bringing up the rear.

They all settled around the kitchen table, each nursing a drink between their hands. Angel and Spike sipped carefully from warmed blood while the humans drank from teas or coffee. After a few minutes of silence Cordelia asked what was on all of their minds.

“Okay. I don’t have all day. Is it the end of the world or has Buffy just chipped a nail and needs help?”

Xander stared at her, wide eyed. “Geez Cordy. You know you just said that to Buffy’s mom right?”

“Joyce knows how I feel,” Cordelia said matter of factly.

“Yes I do, however…” Joyce sighed and let it trail off.

“However,” Dawn picked it up. “However, Buffy has lost the plot! She’s letting those stupid army boys run the show. It’s like she’s being drugged or something. The stupid Initiative are taking over. And Spike, Spike. They-they’re coming after you. They keep saying you’re dangerous. Telling Buffy she has to catch you. They’re making plans to come after you here. That’s why mom and I are here. We had to warn you. Oh Spike, you have to get away. Run. Hide. Don’t let them get you again,” Dawn was almost hysterical. She curled into her mother’s arms, tears running down her face.

Xander felt Angel stiffen beside him. He glanced from one stiff Vampire to the other. Spike looked somewhere between confused and terrified. It wasn’t a look he liked on his blonde. Angel, beside him had gone from stiff to vibrating and growling.

“William, come here,” he ordered and Spike vaulted over to them. Angel pulled him into his lap, a sub-vocal growl vibrating from his throat. “No one is going to hurt my William. Who are this Initiative? What do they want with my William? Why is the Slayer listening to them?”

Joyce sighed, her hand running over Dawn’s hair, trying to calm her youngest daughter.

“They’re the ars- ahh, their the blighters that chipped me. The soldier boys, remember?” Spike burst in.

Angel reached a hand up and thwacked Spike on the back of the head. “Stay. Calm. William. I remember what they did to you. I’m asking about who they are. What they are, objectives. That sort o’thing.”

Spike burrowed deeper into Angel. “I don’t like ‘em is all,” he muttered.

Xander reached over and found Spike’s hand, twining their fingers together. Spike looked over and gave him a sad little smile. “Thanks Pet,” he whispered then gently kissed Xander’s knuckles.

“It’ll be fine Spike. Angel will deal with this, right? Maybe we should call Buffy or-or Giles and talk to them? What do you think Angel?” Xander asked, worried at how quiet Angel had become.

“I’ll make phone calls, don’t ye worry ‘bout that. Maybe just not to Sunnydale. Tell me what you can Joyce. I know we havna been on th’best o’terms, but you wouldn’t be here now if ye weren’t worried,” Angel said softly.

“I am worried. It all feels very wrong to me. These ah, Initiative people seem very one sided. One dimensional even. Humans are good and if you’re not human you must be,” She floundered for a second. “I don’t even know what happens to the non humans. Neither does Buffy really. I just don’t like it. And Buffy is all Riley this and Riley that Riley Fin Riley Fin Riley Fin or else it’s “this is what Dr Walsh thinks, this is what Dr Walsh said. Riley Finn, Dr Walsh Riley Fin, Dr Walsh. It seems that’s all she can talk about. She trains with them all day every day. It’s a miracle she’s not failing out of school. She hardly even sees Mr. Giles anymore, not that that’s a bad thing necessarily, but it’s like her entire world is revolving around these soldiers,” Joyce huffed out a breath after blurting everything out.

“Well, tell us what you really think Joyce,” Cordelia said getting up from her seat and going over to the freezer. She pulled it open and removed a bottle. She poured a small amount into a glass and handed it to the older woman. “Vodka, I think you need it.”

Joyce looked at the glass for a second then downed the drink quickly, nodding once to Cordelia in thanks.

“Ha, right well. I can tell ya what they do to non humans down in that bunker of theirs. Experiments. They experiment on us. They chipped me ‘n I got off lightly. Some others weren’t that lucky. Poor sods,” Spike told them.

Angel nodded slowly, his fingers tapping lightly on the tabletop. His eyes half closed. He looked to be thinking and he didn’t seem to be enjoying any of it. Finally he sighed deeply. His face resigned he looked back up at them, then his gaze turned to Cordelia. “Call Wesley and Gunn home. We’re going to need them. And get me a phone. I have a phone call of me own to make.”

He patted down his pockets and finally pulled out his wallet. Spike got off his lap and went over to Xander’s chair, pulling the human up, he sat down then pulled Xander into his arms.

“Angel? What are you going to do?” Dawn asked in a small voice.

“I’m going to call in some favours, Sweetie. Then we’re going to pay these soldiers a visit and shake up their world,”
he said smiling.

“Are you going to kill them?” She asked.

Angel’s smile didn’t falter. “Kill them? No, no, no. But they might be lucky to survive a court martial.”

He took the phone Cordelia handed him. Rifling through his wallet for a few seconds, then pulling out what to Xander looked like an old business card that had been laminated.

“That looks kinda old,” Xander said his curiosity getting the better of him.

“It is. I’ve had to replace it a few times since it was given to me,” Angel said a little distracted as he dialed. Gaze flicking from card to the phone in his hand.

They all fell silent while Angel put the handset to this ear and waited.

“This is Blood Redeemer, please put me through to the relevant General. Yes that’s correct, Code name, Blood Redeemer. Thank you, I’ll hold.”

“What? Who?” Xander began only to have Spike put fingers to his lips and shush him. Xander looked at Spike, brows furrowed in confusion.

“Afternoon General, yes this is Blood Redeemer. I have a few questions for you. Yes it is really me. No your records are probably correct. Okay read me a few things and I’ll tell you if it’s accurate or not,” Angel said, his voice showing how much he did not want to be having this particular conversation. Angel listened for a few seconds then sighed. “Yes that’s accurate.” A few seconds later. “Yes. To all of those. Is that enough? Do you need anything else? No? Good. Now I need information about an operation you have running currently in California, Sunnydale, to be exact. The operation is apparently called The Initiative. Very well I’ll wait for your information. I trust your people have already traced my location? Good. Don’t keep me waiting long General, otherwise I might have to take matters into my hands. My family is in danger and you don’t want to see how I react when my family is in danger.” Angel hung up and tapped his finger on the table. “They’ll get back to us soon. Cordelia?”

“Hmm?”

“Did you get in contact with Wesley and Gunn? Are they on the way home?”

“Yes, they were already heading back. They found the books Wesley was after. They bought them and managed to stay under budget too,” she said absently. Then she reached over and pushed at the phone with the tip of her index finger. “Anything you want to tell us?”

Angel smirked at them. “I’m old and have had many adventures?”

“Ha! Good one.” Spike grinned. “So ya think yer General will come through?” He asked, voice somber.

Xander felt Spike wrap his arms around him tighter. He reached a hand into Spike’s hair and tugged his head down, kissing him gently, trying to impart some calm. When he pulled back Spike smiled at him slowly.

“Thanks, Pet. I’ll always appreciate yer kisses.”

“We both do,” Angel said. He reached out and ran his fingers through both Spike and Xander’s hair. “William, we’ll deal with this. No one is going to come after you. I promise, I’ll keep you safe. I’ll keep ye both safe. You’re mine n’I’ll no let anyone hurt ye”

“Ah Angel?” Dawn spoke up.

“Yes?” Angel turned his attention to the girl who had finally left her mother’s arms.

“Umm, have you noticed that sometimes you speak normal and sometimes you speak with an Irish accent? Umm, how…” she trailed off softly.

Xander looked around him them down at the table top. He’d noticed the same thing but hadn’t wanted to ask about it, worried a little about the answer.

Angel shrugged. “It’s nothing special, Dawn. Gaelic is a beautiful language, especially the endearments, or at least I think so.”

“Oh okay,” she said.

Xander looked up again, yeah, that made sense, Angel had been using non English words alot lately. He hadn’t realised they were Gaelic though, but now he knew.

As if proving a point Angel turned to him. “Mo grá, why don’t you order some food for everyone. I’m sure Joyce and Dawn are hungry and I know you and Cordelia haven’t eaten yet.”

“Food, yep, I can do that,” Xander said and scrambled off Spike’s lap. He grabbed the phone and headed to the refrigerator, plucking a take away menu at random getting ready to call their order in. “All right, pizza all around? Be here in about twenty minutes? Angel, card me,” he said holding out his hand for Angel’s credit card. It got handed over but as Xander reached for it he was grasped by the wrist and pulled into Angel’s arms, finding himself quickly kissed breathless and distracted. When he was set back on his own feet again he blinked owlishly until he felt someone take the credit card he still held from his hand. He glanced around to see Cordelia leave the kitchen waving the card over her shoulder.

Angel sighed and slumped “There goes my limit again.”

CHAPTER SEVEN

The pizza was nothing but crust and boxes and Xander could see Angel was losing his patience, his pacing around the lobby had gone from strolling around to stomping and growling. Spike had even placed himself strategically in a way that he could pounce on Angel before Angel could pounce on anyone else. Xander knew the older Vampire wouldn’t hurt any of them, but having Spike ready to run interference seemed to relax everyone else.

“So Dawny, how’s school?” He asked.

“Sux-ah,” she stuttered to a stop, glancing at her mother’s stern face at her choice of language. “Ah, okay I guess. No detentions for a few weeks anyway. What are you doing? I mean here in LA. Anything cool?”

“I’m really enjoying my Construction and Design classes. I’m really getting into it, you know? I can’t mooch off Angel forever. Besides I really want to do a great job of restoring this place. There’s stuff I can do without classes, but this old lady deserves the best I can do,” Xander told her, all excited about the prospect.

“Yer doin’ a great job, Pet. In that right Sire?” Spike called across to the other Vampire.

Angel stopped in his stomping and smiled. He walked over to them and gently kissed Xander’s temple. “Yes, mo chroí, a wonderful job.”

Xander smiled around at them happily.

“Is this the Hyperion?” A voice asked from the front doors.

They looked around. A man in an army uniform stood there. Men in army fatigues trooping in after him.

“This is the Hyperion. Who are you?” Angel growled. Spike strode forward and put himself between the soldiers and the humans. Angel strode over to him and set himself in front of Spike. The impenetrable wall between what was his and any potential threat.

“My name is Colonel John Casey. General Henderson sent me and my team to you. Are you the Blood Redeemer?”

Angel nodded once. “Call me Angel.”

Colonel Casey walked forward and offered his hand. Angel shook it then stepped aside and Spike was suddenly all in the Colonel’s personal space. He stalked round him, eyeing him and overtly sniffing him.

Xander could see the other soldiers tensing, ready to move and tensed himself. “You’d better tell your men to stand down Colonel, or this will be the bloodbath you and your men won’t walk away from,” Xander told him quietly.

Casey turned back to his men. “You heard the man, stand down. The General placed us under the Blood Redeemer’s orders. We do what he says. When he says jump we ask how high. If you have a problem with this you can march your asses back to base and explain your issues to the General. Understood?” He snapped.

“Sir, yes Sir!” Came from twenty strong voices as they first stood at ease then eventually relaxed.

“We’re going to need more pizza,” Cordelia murmured, grabbing the phone and dialing quickly.

“You’d better explain to me what’s going on,” Angel said softly.

“Yes Sir,” Casey said, turning back to Angel. “General Henderson has put you in charge of this operation. Myself and my team are at your full disposal. We have everything available about the Initiative. What happens to them is up to you. They are unsanctioned. The ones in charged have superseded their brief and orders. You have been awarded the rank of a full bird Colonel. In most respects I command the troops, you command me. Can I assume that the blonde is William the Bloody, Spike?”

Angel nodded. “William is my Second, my Enforcer. You’ll listen to him the same way as you’ll listen to me. He’ll also takeover your training. If you’re going to run with my Court, we can’t have you making us look bad. Think of him as your new drill sergeant. Your mean and blood thirsty drill sergeant. Actually your men can go with him now. William, run them through their paces. I want to know your opinions before sunset.”

Colonel Casey looked like he would object for a second, then thought better of it. “One request? Don’t kill any of them. The government has put a lot of money into my people and I don’t really want to face a Senate Review Committee to answer why a number of them died at one time outside of a war situation and on home soil. They can get really invasive with their questioning. I’ve got a few skeletons I’d like to stay in their closet.”

“William?” Angel asked.

“Yes Sire, no killin’ th’ happy meals. Got it. If they can’t keep up though I’m not carryin’ em,” he warned.

“Wouldn’t expect you to, William. Take them down to the basement. Colonel Casey and I are going to discuss all things Initiative.”

Xander started to turn, “I’ll just show the army boys the way to the basement.”

“No, ye’ll stay up here with me,” Angel ordered.

Stunned at being commanded Xander just stared at Angel.
Angel sighed and rubbed at the back of his neck. “Xander, chuisle, my pulse, come here,” Angel said opening his arms.

Xander didn’t hesitate and walked right into Angel’s arms. “William will need the time to establish his place. His position over them. As my second he’s my voice and my fist. He don’t kill any of them. He will however make them think bootcamp was a kindergarten.”

“Okay, well of that’s his position in all this, what’s mine gonna be,” Xander asked. “I mean when it was just us, Cordy, Wes and Gunn, I never worried about it. But now with soldiers around, I can’t really afford to look like your toy, you know? Does that make sense. I mean I shouldn’t even be hugging you in front of the Colonel. It does nothing for my manly points.”

Angel huffed. “Your manly points and general manliness might have taken a bit of a hit for now. But today, William will put the boys through their paces, they’ll be crying and throwing up. Questioning their fitness and abilities. They’ll probably try to annoy you, even push you around. Stay out of their way, but play up the helpless sex toy thing. Get them to underestimate you, William will enjoy that. Then tomorrow, William will let them sit in on your training session with him and Gunn. Once they see what you can do they’ll leave you alone.”

“Angel what are you on about? Those soldiers are not about to respect me. I foresee much humiliation in my future,” Xander sighed.

Angel pulled away from him enough to look Xander in the eye. “Alexander Lavelle Harris, you train with William, Gunn and myself on a daily basis. In no way, shape or form do either of us take things easy on you. You can take Gunn down in seconds. And hold your own against William and me for long enough to get away if needed. So don’t think you’re an embarrassment or humiliation. You are an exemplary fighter and they will see that tomorrow and respect you. Besides which, some of their training will be to try and hold their own against you. After you make them bleed a few times, they’ll get the message.”

Colonel Casey cleared his throat, getting their attention. “If I may, if any of my people get out of line, feel free to educate them. There are civilian women and children here and they know that I don’t tolerate bullshit or discrimination of any sort. Your relationship is none of their business. Your status within this Court is as their superior. If they can’t get on that page they need to be educated. If they’re too dumb to learn then I need to know because they need to go. I’ve worked with these men and women for a while though and I’ve yet to be disappointed in their ethics. Having said that don’t hide it from me if they fuck up or step out of line. I’ll need to know about it and deal with it.”

Angel gave his full attention to Casey. “I hate to tell you this Casey, if your people step out of line and fuck up, William won’t leave anything for you to deal with. It’s his job and position to protect the family, in any way he sees fit. I won’t ask him not to and I won’t sanction him for what he does, not in the protection of my family. Is that understood, Colonel Casey?”

“Yes Sir, understood. I’ll tell my people not to fuck up. I’ll wait until Spike has already given them an object lesson though. It’ll make it stick better once he’s already handed them their asses.” Casey said grinning.

“Oh god, he’s going to fit in around here, isn’t he?” Xander asked, a tiny whine in his voice.

Angel chuckled. “I think he will at that, Xander. I think he will at that.”

“Huh, okay, okay. You need to get to getting some information on the Initiative. Casey can give you what he’s got and I’ll tell you what he might have missed. But right now, I think I’d better go help Cordy get some rooms ready. I assume you and your people will be staying here for now? I don’t think Spike will want them out of his sight until he’s happy with them. So that means doing up some rooms. And Joyce and Dawn need a room too. It’s too much for Cordy. Not to mention she’s been giving me the death glare for a while now, so I’d better get going,” Xander said. He quickly stretched up and kissed Angel’s cheek before running off to follow Queen Cordelia Chase.

“Come on Dawn, let’s go and help. Angel doesn’t need us here right now,” Joyce chuckled and the mother and daughter followed Xander as he followed Cordelia across the lobby.

“So Colonel Casey. What do you have for me?” Xander heard Angel say. Then there was rustling and soft voices, but Xander didn’t have time for any of that. Cordelia had pulled out a ledger from God knows where and was slowly sliding her finger down one column, and writing down corresponding numbers on a small notebook.

“Okay,” she began, getting all of their attention. “I’ve got about fifteen rooms that are unrenovated but in good condition. We’ll put the soldiers in them. They’re all twin rooms so they can double up and be fine. Joyce, Dawn, you can have one of the renovated rooms. You can give us a customers’ review of the work Xander has done. See if we need to do anything else. I’ll show you up and to your room first. You don’t have to help us. You’re our guests. You came here to tell us something we needed to know, we can’t ask you to work.”

“Nonsense,” Joyce began. “Dawn and I would love to help. Besides many hands make light work and I’d like to get a look at your rooms, before and after. Now point me to the linen and the rooms.”

An hour later and Xander did not want to see another sheet, and that really sucked because being between the sheets had become his favorite place to be recently. But they had all fifteen rooms made up and Colonel Casey could decide who slept where. He could even award himself his own room if he wanted.

Between Cordelia, Joyce, Dawn and himself they had beds made, rooms dusted, towels folded on the beds, tea and coffee stations ready and stocked in each room. Currently he was in the process of carrying every spare mug they had in the place. Cordelia had ordered him to put two mugs in each room. She was still trying to figure out the food situation. Did they need to provide meals for everyone? If they did, someone had to get to shopping.

“Xander!” He heard Angel call for him. He dropped off the last of the mugs and made his way to the staircase. Looking down he saw Angel looking up at him.

“Hey, you called for me?” He asked, starting down the stairs.

“Yes, I did. Are you done?”

“For now. Cordy is trying to figure out the food situation and Joyce and Dawn are freshening up in their room. Is everything okay?”

“Everything is fine. Casey and I would like an evaluation from you of Riley Finn. What do you think of him?” Angel asked as Xander finally joined him.

“What’s Casey said about him? His opinion?” Xander asked carefully.

“Casey read his file. Nothing remarkable. A good soldier. But he hasn’t met him, so he can’t read anything beyond the paper reports. You’ve met the man. You know him. So we need your opinion of him. We can’t do anything until William says the soldiers are ready, so we might as well get as much information as possible.”

Xander finally slumped down in a chair behind the lobby counter. “You really want to take your life into your own hands don’t you. This is Cordelia’s space and we are intruding on it. Before we start, let’s go to the kitchen. Cordy will be heading here any minute now to make some calls.” Xander stood up and heard as one Master Vampire and one Army Colonel scrambled to pack up their files and follow him into the kitchen.

CHAPTER EIGHT

“Looks like you enjoyed yourself,” Xander observed as Spike sauntered back upstairs. The sun was setting and the blonde was grinning.

“Angel said he wanted my opinion by sunset. Where is he?”

“Right here, William,” Angel said, coming out of the kitchen, carrying a warm mug. He handed it to Spike who drank it quickly, after a sweet thank you. “And? What do you think?” Angel asked after running his hand over Spike’s neck.

Spike shrugged, and ducked his head, giving Angel a shy smile. Angel grinned back then gave Spike a gentle push and Spike walked over to lean against Xander, who was sitting on the reception desk. “They’re soldier boys. Probably better trained than the usual, but, nothin’ special. They take orders well though.”

“Spike, just curious, but ah, where are they? And before Colonel Casey asks, are they still alive?” Xander asked after shifting enough so his legs dangled either side of Spike.

“Alive and feeling sorry for ‘emselves.” Spike smirked, pulling a cigarette packet out of a pocket and tapping one out. He flipped it over his fingers then wrapped his lips around it.

“Should I call an ambulance?” Xander asked.

“If they need an ambulance, then they’re useless to us. They’ll be fine. They’ll pull ‘emselves together and crawl back up here in a few minutes or so.” Spike answered, looking closely at his black painted fingernails.

“What’s your opinion of them?” Angel asked, taking the cigarette out of Spike’s mouth. He slipped a hand into the pocket Spike had replaced the cigarette packet in and pulled it out. He slipped the cigarette back in and moved right into Spike’s personal space. Slowly he slipped the cigarette packet into Spike’s back pocket, squeezing Spike’s ass with his free hand.

“Much as I absolutely love the show, I don’t think Colonel Casey is ready to watch the two of you just yet,” Xander grinned at his lovers.

“Oh, gentlemen, don’t mind me,” Casey said.

Xander looked up to see the man leaning on a column and watching them grinning.

“Well Colonel, I didn’t realise you liked to watch,” Xander teased, brows arching.

“Beautiful is beautiful, kid. And I never say no to beautiful. I’m a Military man, not an idiot.”

“Isn’t there this whole homosexuality is bad thing in the Military?” Xander asked.

Casey shrugged. “You gotta get caught first kid and I have enough women in my history, an ex wife even, that no one looks at me to see if they can catch me at anything. Besides, the government spent way too much money on my training to waste it all on a court martial for who I may or may not invite into my bed.”

“An enlightened military man,” Cordelia said, standing from behind her reception desk and grabbing her coffee cup.

“Why thank you mam,” Casey said, effecting a western drawl.

She grinned at him then threw him a wink as she walked on over through to the kitchen.

“Well Casey, I’m not inviting you into our bed room and especially not our bed, but it’s good to know you find us beautiful,” Angel said grinning. “Now William, tell us at you think of Casey’s people.”

“I think they need some more training. If I work them hard and if they’re willing to learn, then I’m going to need at least a month before they’re not an embarrassment. And I sure as hell won’t trust them with Xander and our other humans’ safety until then,” Spike said, voice adamant and Cockney accent missing, showing his actual educated background.

Angel nodded. “Fine, you have four weeks to whip them into shape. And I want you to up your training of Xander, Gunn, Wesley and Cordelia. If the family is in danger we have to be ready.”

“Ready for what?” Another voice asked.

Looking to the front door Xander saw Gunn and Wesley walk through the doors.

“Yes, what’s going on?” The second voice was very posh and very English.

“Gunn, Wes! You’re back!” Xander exclaimed.

“Hey, kid,” Gunn walked over and high fived Xander from over Spike’s shoulder. Accepting a soft shoulder punch from Spike when he was close enough. “Cordy told us to high tail it back. What’s going on?”

“The Initiative decided they’re coming after Spike. Angel called a General, probably from the Pentagon, I don’t know the full story there yet, but I will. Now we have a group of army guys and a Colonel here that answers to Angel. Spike has beating the crap out of them in the basement, because he has four weeks to train them to Angel’s satisfaction. You, me, Wes and Cordy have to double up our training for our protection. When Angel and Spike think we’re all ready were probably gonna head down to Sunnydale and clean some clocks, kick some asses, fix some problems and teach a few lessons. How was your trip?” Xander said grinning like a loon at the flabbergasted look on Gunn’s face.

The darker man slowly slipped a gym bag off his shoulder and placed it carefully on the desk beside Xander, he snapped his fingers and took the bag a stunned Wesley offered him, placing it beside the other one. Then he snagged Wesley’s shirt sleeve and pulled him along. “Cordelia girl. You gotta explain to Wes and me what the hell is going on. We’ve only been gone three days for crying out loud.” He called out as they headed to the kitchen area.

“The loud guy is Gunn. The nerdy guy is Wesley,” Xander said, retroactively introducing the other men to Casey.

The Colonel nodded and watched as the two men walked through the doorway.

“Aha! They’re finally crawlin’ their way up stairs,” Spike smirked.

Nodding once Casey stood up and walked over to where his people would emerge. He stood straight and tall, arms behind his back and legs spread. An army man at attention, ramrod straight and hard as steel.

As the first men and women came out of the doorway, they blinked at him and painfully assembled themselves properly. He stayed silent until they were all there. They stayed silent in front of him, barely daring to breathe and trying hard not to groan.

“Well, well, well. Aren’t you sorry lot. We have four weeks to turn into something that our two commanders won’t be ashamed of. You will work your asses off to make them and me proud of you. To make sure that you can be trusted with the safety of the civilians involved. We have four weeks and we will be ready! Do you understand me?” Colonel Casey snapped out at them, voice hard and loud.

“Sir, yes, sir!” They answered him just as sharp and just as loud.

“Good. Now listen up. Any issues you have either leave them at the door or head on back to base. If you have a problem with homosexual relationships, head back to base. If you have a problem taking orders from Civilians, head back to base. If you have a problem being under the command of a Master Vampire head back to base. This will be your only warning, because if these issues show up after today, you won’t make it back to base. Master Angel or Master Spike will kill you for the insult. Do you understand?”

“Sir, yes, sir!”

“Good. Now drag your asses upstairs and find your rooms. I’ve got your room assignments here. Jackson, let everyone know where they’re sleeping,” Casey said and handed the other man a folded sheet of paper.

“Thank you, Sir,” Jackson snapped out as he took it then faced the troops and started calling out names and room numbers.

The lobby was clear within five minutes.

Casey turned to Angel. “I’d better go make my report to my superiors. I’ll let them know we’ll be moving out in four weeks or less, if my people and me shape up faster. Thank you for accepting the help offered and for offering help in return. I know this can’t be an easy decision for you. We’re essentially intruding on your family and that’s never an easy thing to allow to happen. We’ll try to stay out of your way and learn as fast as possible. We won’t be a liability.” Then with a nod he headed for the stairs and his own room.

“Well I like him,” Xander said decisively. Two Vampires turned to look at him. Two sets of eyes narrowed.

“Ye’d better mean that in a ‘he’s a good lad but I don’t wanna bed him kinda way’ me boy,” Angel growled.

“Cause if ya think I’m havin’ you or Angelus inviting’ soldier boy int’ our bed, yer bonkers,” Spike practically squealed indignantly.

“I’ll invite anyone I want into our bed, me boy,” Angel said, voice hard. “But I’ll not be invitin’ anyone else for a long time t’come. Understand?”

“Oh. My. God. You guys are possessive and quite possibly stupid. As if I could handled someone else in bed with us. Geez. I just meant think he’s a good guy, not I want to jump his bones. Sheesh,” Xander explained. “And no extra invites you. Just no.”

Angel smiled gently. “No, mhuirnín, no one but us,” then he walked forward and kissed Xander softly but insistently until he’d worked Xander into his arms and started carrying him to the staircase. He stopped mid stride to arrange Xander so the young man had his legs wrapped around Angel’s waist, while Angel held him with one arm. The other arm sought our Spike and then laced their fingers together. They slowly walked upstairs to their bedroom.

“I love when you talk Irish,” Xander sighed as he nuzzled into Angel’s neck.

Spike let out a bark of laughter. “He’s speaking’ Gaelic, love, not Irish. But yeah, it’s sexy as hell. Makes you wanna lie back and let him ravish ya, don’t it.”

Xander tightened his legs around Angel and reached over to pull Spike over to him. He felt Angel stop and then was between his two lovers. His legs wrapped around Angel with Spike at his back. Xander leaned into the blonde Vampire’s chest, craning his neck and begging for a kiss.

Spike didn’t leave him hanging. He slid his hands under Xander’s ass, over his hips and under his T-shirt, lightly scratching his fingernails over the sculpted stomach beneath. When he pulled back he licked at Xander’s neck then slowly sank his teeth into luscious skin. Xander felt the slow pierce, felt Spike’s mouth seal over his skin and then suck gently. He felt his blood rise languidly out of him. The sensation making Xander’s breath catch and a moan coming from deep in his throat.

He heard Angel groan then another set of teeth enter his neck on either side of the hollow in his throat and Angel slowly draw his own mouthfuls of blood from him. Xander stopped breathing for seconds. His mind in a spiral. He could feel blood leaving him, but blood was also rushing to his cock. Sending it from happy to achingly hard in the blink of an eye. He moved his hips trying to find some type of relief from the pressure.

Spike moved his hands from Xander’s stomach and cradled his ass. He pulled his teeth from Xander’s neck at the same time Angel did. The licking did nothing to change how turned on Xander was. Actually making him harder. He was panting and moving his hips restlessly.

“What do you want Xan. Tell Sire and me what you want,” Spike whispered into his ear.

“No fair. No fair. Angel talks Gaelic. Makes me hard. You talk real posh English. Just makes me want you to fuck me blind. Yeah that’s it fuck me blind. Please.” Xander begged.

“I like that plan. What do ye say William, d’ye like that plan?” Angel asked.

“Love that plan Sire. Great plan.” Spike said, voice husky and they were moving again.

Xander wrapped his arms around Angel’s neck as he was carried off. He glanced around and saw Colonel Casey just watching them from his doorway. Well they had been standing on the staircase, practically making love in public, so Xander couldn’t begrudge the man enjoying the show. Casey’s cheeks were pink and his lips parted as he obviously panted for breath, chest rising and falling quickly. Xander gave the soldier a contented smile and let himself be carried to the bedroom he shared with his lovers.

The first rooms Xander had renovated at the Hyperion hotel had been the rooms he shared with Angel and Spike. Of coarse he hadn’t planned on starting there but Cordelia have insisted. She had demanded he sound insulate the rooms, had even told him where to get the acoustic quality sound insulation from. Not being an idiot and wanting to wake up to none of them being castrated, he had done as he was told. The sex life had not suffered and Spike’s inventiveness had only magnified. The blonde Vampire had taken it as a challenge to make one of them scream so loud that Cordelia could hear it from downstairs.

So Xander was thoroughly blaming Cordelia for the predicament he found himself in. He was currently tied to the posts of the massive four poster bed Angel and bought them. He was standing at the foot of the bed and tied spread eagle, arms and legs each bound to a post. He had limited movement beyond swaying slightly. He wasn’t uncomfortable beyond the fact that he as feeling like a cross between jelly and molten lava. He was moaning and panting, sweating and begging all at once. And he loved it.

He loved it as Spike tormented him with his agile tongue. As it moved smoothly in and out of his ass hole. He loved it as Angel left little nips along his chest while his fingers slid along his ribs. He groaned when Spike’s finger nails traced their way from ankle of knee and back again. Xander was a mass of sensation. The soft and smooth, the hard and sharp, the gentle and forceful all tangling together in his sex addled brain until all he could do was throw his head back and scream, an orgasm crashing through him without anyone ever touching his cock.

Then he watched as Angel grabbed Spike viciously and threw him on the bed. Spike landed on his front and in a second had one knee pulled up to his chest. Xander heard him beg and whine then Angel was pushing into him, hard and fast. There was no gentleness in it. It was hard and rough, vicious and dominant and exactly what his two Vampires needed and wanted at that time. It was as if they had used all of their patience on him and had nothing left over for each other. As Angel thrust himself forward, he pulled at Spike’s hips, then quickly pushed him away only to do it all over again. Angel’s face had morphed, his brow ridges prominent, teeth elongated and eyes yellow. His unneeded breathes coming in gasps and grunts. His fingers clenched in Spike’s hips, digging in and holding tight.

Spike was moaning and begging. A new swear word with every gasp. Leaving Xander amazed that he even had the brain power for words. “Come on ya ponce,” he gasped. “Nail me right.” He groaned again. “Please, Angel, please,” he begged. Then started he cycle all over again, a gasp, an insult, a demand followed by a beg. His words coming faster as Angel increased his own speed and Xander watched it all. Mouth open. His breathing matching Spike’s gasped unnecessary breaths. His own hands wrapped and fisted into the silk scarves that tied him to the bed posts. Those flimsy ties the only things keeping him upright and off the bed. Then Spike was biting back a scream, unsuccessfully as it rang around their room, and Angel bit through his own lip as he grunted and groaned his own relief, and Xander whimpered wanting desperately to get to his lovers.

Spike and Angel collapsed on the bed, eyes closed for a few seconds, then as one they crawled over to Xander and used sharp claws to cut the scarves, quickly pulling Xander onto the bed and into their arms. Somehow getting the three of them under the sheets and tangled together. Xander had been pushed onto Angel’s chest while Spike was plastered to his back and feeling safely sandwiched between his lovers he fell asleep.

CHAPTER NINE

“Spike you fucking cheater!” Xander growled as he threw himself to the right, landing on his side, rolling and getting back to his feet in a second and spinning to kick Angel in the solar plexus and using that momentum to ram his shoulder into an advancing Spike. Angel doubled up and took a small step back. Spike folded over and tried to grab Xander but Xander snaked himself out of the hold and raised a knee to slam it into Spike’s nose, causing him to howl. Then Xander was throwing himself into a baseball slide and taking out Angels legs as he slid across the floor.

Quickly getting back to his feet he took a sharp breath in and accessed the situation. Gunn was now struggling with Angel, just barely holding his own as the two traded blows, but Spike was back up and stalking him. His face bloody from his nose, a smear on his cheek where he had wiped it, his eyes yellow and brows raised. Yep, Spike definitely meant business. So Xander set his feet, crouched a little and readied himself to fight down and dirty. Just the way Spike had taught him.

He didn’t wait for Spike to get too close. If he let Spike control the situation, then he’d find himself flat on his back in less than a second. So Xander took in a sharp breath and struck. He took two quick steps then moved right, just as Spike moved to intercept him, Xander bent himself double into a rolling somersault that only ended after he had taken Spike’s legs out from under him, while the vampire was on the floor he quickly straddled him and punched him, making his nose bleed again. A second later he was on his feet again, aiming a few hard kicks at Spike’s midsection and moving away again.

He kept a weather eye out for Angel. He knew Gunn wouldn’t be able to keep the Master Vampire out for long, so Angel was somewhere, ready to pounce. A slight breeze was all the warning he got before he was off his feet and flailing in the air as Angel lifted him off the ground. Xander struggled. Throwing himself left to right back and forth until he had no breath left. He was up in the air, he had no leverage, but he kept going, fighting, struggling. He couldn’t give up, wouldn’t give up. Angel and Spike would kick his ass completely if he gave up. So he tried to escape, already knowing it would be impossible, Angel was far too strong for him and his hold on Xander was too secure.

“Enough,” Angel finally said and Xander stopped immediately, just sagging in Angel’s arms and feeling himself draped draped over Angel’s shoulder. Then he was sliding down Angel’s chest until he could stand on his feet. Xander was breathing hard and his legs were jelly, so he leant on Angel even when he was standing, thankful for the arms wrapped securely around his waist.

Spike was helping Gunn off the floor where the man was sprawled, gasping for breath and not looking happy about it.

“Like the boy said, Spike, you’re a fuckin’ cheater,” Gunn grumbled.

“All Vampires are cheaters, mate. Hell, we cheated death by bein’ turned didn’t we?” Spike said, shrugging. Then he turned to Angel who was still holding Xander. “You good, luv?” He asked softly.

Xander grinned and nodded. “I’m fine Spike. I need a shower, but I’m fine.”

“Right then! You lot!” Spike called as he turned to face the military folks that had been watching the sparring session. “Xander there and Gunn here are as human and mortal as all of you, and they lasted longer than any of you did yesterday, and yesterday you only had me to best. Xander and Gunn held their own in a two on two battle against two Master Vampires. If Angel and me were normal fledges, we’d be dust by now. But you lot, you lot couldn’t even dust a fledge. By the end of the week, I expect ya to be able to be at least half as good as my boy there,” he pointed at Xander.

Xander gave a sheepish grin and a quick wave.

A woman Xander didn’t know raised a hand. Spike scowled at her before nodding once.

“Hansen, Sir. May I ask how long you’ve been training with Mr. Harris?” She asked.

“Mr. Harris? God please no. That’s totally my dad and he’s a loser like no-one else. So it’s just Xander,” Xander laughed out before Spike could answer.

A growl came from booth Vampires at the mention of old man Harris. “We’ll no be discussin’ tha’ man,” Angel said, voice soft a liltingly Irish.

Xander swallowed and rubbed the back of his head against Angel’s chest. “Pull your demon in Angel, we don’t want to terrify the baby soldiers. My dad is permanently off the discussion table. Okay, Spike. What’s next?” He called.

Spike shook his shoulders out. “Next? Next these would be wanna bes get to ask questions that we may or may not answer. They’re gonna need to have some idea of what they’re getting in to. I know Casey there,” he said cocking his chin to the Colonel. “He told you yesterday to decide if you were in or out. Today is the beginning of your schoolin’. See my boy over there?” He asked now pointing at Xander, who felt his face warming up. “Ya asked how long I been training him? Answer? A few weeks. Did I make him as good as he is? Short answer is, probably not. Xander here grew up on a Hellmouth. The same Hellmouth were about to go visiting soon. He’s been fighting Vampires ‘n Demons most of his life. In Sunnydale you fight or you’re a happy meal. Casey! His much have your lot been told about how things stand in Sunnydale?”

Colonel Casey stepped forward. Arms behind his back. “We’ve been given the basics. We have knowledge of the Slayer and the bare basics of the Vampire and Demon problem.”

“Sire?” Spike turned to Angel and asked.

With a sigh Angel nodded. “I’ll make the history of Aurelius available after training. They have to understand what we were to understand where we stand now.” Angel ran a hand over the back of Xander’s head then walked around him to stand beside Spike. He pointed at Xander and then at Gunn. “These two young men have grown up on a battleground. Fighting for their lives every night. They haven’t had a childhood. They are as much soldiers and warriors as you are, if not more so. So understand us now. These young men can and will break you if step out of line. Annoy Xander and if he doesn’t put you down hard then Spike or I will and we won’t show any mercy, then we’ll punish him, because his safety is our primary concern. However, you will spar with Xander, and you will not take it easy on him, just as he will not take it easy on you. All of your survival will depend on it. A Vampire or Demon will not fight fair, so neither will you. They will not fight clean, so expect to fight dirty. Expect to take advantage of everything and anything in your environment.” Angel stopped and looked at a young man who raised his hand.

“Sir, you mentioned Gunn?”

Angel turned to Gunn who’d been standing propped against a wall. He stood straight up now and walked forward. “What you wanna know white bread? Me and mine have been fighting the fang boys for years. My crew kept peace on the streets around here until Angel came, then he scared the others away. Now I fight the good fight with him. Stop the big bad, Apocalypse, the crazy gods and nuttier humans that want the crazy gods and demons. So yeah, I grew up a lot on the street. Had my friends and family turned or killed. I ain’t no friend of the monsters and things that go bump in the night. I fight and fight hard and dirty. No prisoners. Xan and me train and train hard. We all know Spike and Angel are gonna have you train against me and Xander so don’t expect us to play fair. Believe me, the bad guys don’t pay fair, so we won’t either.just like Spike said. Now Xan and me are gonna hit the kitchens. I’m starving. Come on kiddo.” Gunn turned his back on the soldiers assembled and headed to the door.

Xander shrugged, looked at Angel and Spike, he grinned and waved off their attention. “Don’t break the toy soldiers. Cordy will skin you both if she has to clean blood off the floor and walls.”

“Go eat” Angel growled.

Xander winked at him then grinned again. He watched for a few seconds as Angel and Spike started to stalk the room. He was still grinning as he walked through the door, he saw Gunn waiting for him.

“They started on scaring the soldiers yet?”

“Yep, doing that stalking thing they do. I’m pretty sure they want to scare them into running or peeing themselves.”

“Can’t say I blame them, Xander. I mean those guys are going to be our back up. Angel and Spike are going to have to trust that those soldiers are going to have your back when your Vamps are busy. This thing in Sunnydale, it has them worried. This Initiative, from what my sources can find out, it’s basically a rogue element. No one really knows what they’re up to. So Angel and Spike are going to train and research and make sure we’re as ready as we can all be when the time comes. Okay,” he said, clapping his hands together. “Let’s hit the kitchen. I’m more than starving.”

“No argument from me, we’re already late for lunch. Come on. I’m sure I saw some cold meats in there yesterday,” Xander said starting to walk faster.

“Ahha, and I heard Cordelia calling in an order to the local market this morning. I don’t know what she’s organised for meals but at least we can keep ourselves in sandwiches. Let’s move white bread,” Gunn grinned as he pushed past Xander and entered the kitchen first.

In quick time the two men had thick cold chicken and salad sandwiches in front of them paired with crisps and soda.

Xander was starting his second sandwich before he spoke again. He whipped his lips. “Why do you call me white bread?”

Gunn chuckled and ruffled Xander’s hair before standing and going to the sink with his empty plate. He rinsed it quickly and set it to drain. “If you don’t know kid, then I ain’t telling you,” Gunn said still chuckling.

“Did-did I say or do something to upset you? Cause I never mean that shit, it’s just foot in mouth, you know? Buffy and Willow always said I said the wrong thing, my mouth sorta runs away with my brain and-”

“Xander.” Gunn cut him off sharply. “Xan, man. Relax. You haven’t said or done anything. We are cool man. It’s just an expression, with you anyway. And you look all shocked and shit, like a puppy, every time I call you that. We, are, fine. Those soldiers though, they gotta prove themselves. When I call them white bread, I mean it. Even if some of them ain’t white. Okay, I gotta hit the streets and see what’s up. Talk to my boys, make sure they’re all good, you know? Tell Angel when he asks. See ya.” And Gunn was gone sweeping right out the door.

Xander shook his head and returned his attention to his sandwich.

“Can I say Daddy Issues?” A voice asked and Xander looked up to see Colonel Casey leaning in the doorway Gunn had just left through.

Xander chewed his mouthful and gestured to the seat across from him on the table. He watched as Casey strolled over and lifted an eyebrow when the Colonel took the last half of sandwich off his plate, taking a bite out of it then grinning. Xander swallowed his mouthful and chased it down with a gulp of soda.

“Daddy issues? Dude we all got Daddy issues. Especially in this place. Angel has them, Gunn, Cordelia, Wesley, me definitely. Actually the best adjusted of us all is probably Spike. I think he’s the only one without real Daddy issues. He does have Sire issues though, so, you know, six of one, half a dozen of the other? You know what that means, yeah?” Xander asked then stuffed another bite of sandwich into his mouth, chewed and swallowed.

Casey stared at him. “Spike? He’s the most adjusted? That scares me. Definitely scares me. Spike just comprehensively handed me my ass then kicked me out of training. Apparently Angel is going to take over my training, while Spike deals with my people. Angel also said he’d tell about the clan. Why would he decide to tell me about the clan. And what clan is he talking about. And while I’m at it, why are they going to make the history of Aurelius available to us all?”

“Wow, you don’t ask easy questions do you?” Xander said, dusting his hands of sandwich crumbs. “Not sure why. Not really. I think, well, Angel and Spike haven’t been clan in over a hundred years. Ever since the curse hit Angel really. So they’ve both been drifting on their own. Now they’ve come back together, they want to do it right. The Demon community put a lot of emphasis on the strength of their clans, family units that sort of thing.

“Technically Angel and Spike are only two vampires so they shouldn’t hold much power, but, they’re Master Vampires and everyone in the Demon community knows it. They have a reputation, even with the soul, Angel is one scary asshole when he wants to be. Then there’s the fact that the majority of their clan members are human. Which should again be a sign of weakness. But everyone knows that Gunn is a badass. Wesley is the magic man around here. And Cordy is just damned scary, no matter what. You and your guys are going to be connected to the Aurelius Clan, even if its tangential or for a limited time. Angel can’t afford for you to make the clan look weak.

“So Spike will kick your asses until you don’t embarrass him anymore and he knows you’re not going to be, what’s the word, oh yeah, canon fodder for the bad guys. And the bad guys might be the Initiative, but they might also be the latest monster of the week, you know. Anyway that’s what I figured that might all be about. The history and stuff, well I guess that’s pride. Angel and Spike want you to know who you are following.

“The Aurelius Clan is one of the original Clans. From what I read, it basically ran Europe for hundreds of years and they were powerful here in the States too. Until the Master got himself trapped on top of the Hellmouth, and then Buffy came along and dusted him. Since then the clan took a nap. The only ones strong enough and in line to be the new Master were Angel and after him probably Drusilla or Spike. But Angel wasn’t interested he only wanted to hide, from himself and everyone else. Dru? Well she’s nuts and Spike was too busy looking after Dru. So, you know, no Clan. I can’t really get how come they’re building it back up now, but, well as long as they’re safe and happy, it’s cool by me.” Xander blinked at the confused look on Casey’s face. “Damn did I lose you somewhere? I do that when I try to explain something. Maybe I can get Angel to explain?”

“No, no kid. I get it. You didn’t confuse me. I’m just surprised you don’t know why they’re so adamant about building the clan now?” Casey chuckled, his blue eyes crinkling in a friendly way.

Xander just finished his soda and shrugged.

“Kid, they’re building the clan and their strength to make sure you’re safe and protected. Everything those two men, Vampires do is to keep you safe. Safe and happy. Trust me. This is all about you. They’re only taking on the Initiative because it’s in your hometown and you want to be sure no one comes after Spike. So they’ll take down anyone that makes you feel unsafe, or probably gets in your way too come to think of it. Those two, they adore you. Love you like crazy. I’ve rarely seen that in anyone.” Casey stood from the table and went to the refrigerator, opening it he pulled out two sodas and handed one to Xander, keeping the other for himself.

Xander took it, he was blushing and he knew it. “They- they’re really important to me too,” he mumbled, looking at his soda.

“Oh, that’s obvious too. The way you look at them. Like they set the sun and moon. And you know, they’ll give them to you if you ever asked for them. Some of my men were discussing it last night. No don’t get upset about it. They were just jealous as hell, is all. Can’t say I blame them. We all want to feel adored by someone we adore. Hey, can I ask you some really personal questions?”

Xander was still blushing but nodded, after all he couldn’t get any more embarrassed.

Casey fiddled with his own soda. Eventually he looked back up and sucked in a deep breath. “I assume you’ve sucked them off before? What do they taste like?”

Xander choked on his own breath. “Damn Casey. That’s-that’s. I don’t even-”

“I’m actually serious. I’ve given head more than a few times. I like it, a lot more than I should admit too. I like the way a man tastes, the way he feels in my mouth. But I, the taste of him when he comes, that’s. I’m freaking you out, I know, but I can’t help it.” Casey floundered through his explanation.

Xander grinned. “I thought I was the only one that couldn’t talk right,” he chuckled, patting the soldier in the shoulder. “I can’t really compare. I’d never been with a guy before Angel and Spike, so I don’t know what other men taste like, but Angel is a little on the sweet and iron side, where Spike is definitely salty and irony. Irony? Is that even a word? Well crap, it is now I guess.” Xander shrugged. He knew his face was making itself weird, but heck, he’d never had this discussion with anyone before. Even Spike, who could and did make him blush on a damned near daily basis, had never asked him how he and Angel tasted, so Xander cut his face making some slack. He was confused and embarrassed and sorts of weirdly aroused by the whole thing.
“So, you interested in finding out?” Xander asked, grinning as Colonel John Casey turned the bright red of embarrassment.

“N-I’m not-I wouldn’t-” he started to splutter.

“Try not t’kill the Army Colonel, pet,” Spike said as he sauntered through the doorway, cigarette held lazily in his teeth and thumbs hooked into his belt.

Xander bit his lips almost bloody as he tried not to laugh at the expression on the human man’s face. He smiled right into the kiss Spike gave him before the Vampire pulled out a chair from the table, flipped it around then straddled it.

“So army man. You interested in somethin’ or what?” Spike drawled lazily. “Angel ‘n me are exclusive with our boy here, but we can probably hook ya up,” he said then took the unlit cigarette from his mouth to tap it lightly against the table.

Casey looked like a dear in headlights. His mouth open. His eyes wide. His cheeks crimson. “N-n-n-no. I d-d-d-don’t think so.”

Spike shrugged. “Your loss, mate.” He turned to Xander then. “Pet, Gunn’s takin’ the Watcher to the demon library. He wants to look somethin’ up. Angel thought you might like to go along. They’re holding a market of sorts there today. There might be somethin’ you’d like.”

Xander grinned. “Sounds cool. I’m all for the shopping and libraries. Especially the non school related variety. When is Gunn leaving?”

“As soon as you’re ready,” Spike told him.

Xander was up from table and through the door before either man or Vampire could say another word

CHAPTER TEN

It had taken almost four weeks but the Vampires had been true to their word, the troops Casey had brought with him were barely recognisable. Now they moved with quiet unconscious grace. They practically oozed from a one place to another. They walked quietly and confidently. Their fighting abilities had become second only to their trainers. Xander knew he and Gunn could hold their own, but the soldiers had been turned into a well oiled fighting machine by now. Xander grinned at some of them or waved to others as they acknowledged him as he walked through the lobby and into the kitchen where most of his family seemed to congregate most of the time. He stopped in the doorway when he saw Angel and Spike just staring at each other. With a sigh he walked in and shut the door behind him. “What’s going on?” He demanded. “It can’t be the soldiers, they’re doing great. So what’s up?”

Spike shrugged and Angel finally nodded, they turned to Xander and Angel pulled him into his lap.
“It is true, rúnsearc, beloved, they have been doing very well, however William and I are not comfortable leaving our family’s safety in the hands of those that have no loyalty to us.”
Xander sighed, he knew things were troubling Angel when he started speaking Irish to him and sorta formal like. He’d picked up a few things over the course of their relationship after all.

He rubbed his face in Angel’s shirt front. “Yeah, okay, I get that. So what were you planning?”

“Sire and I have sent out a call to the family. They should start arriving soon, the ones that can and want to, anyway,” Spike told him.

Xander stiffened in Angel’s lap. He felt Angel hold him closer. “Who? Who will be coming?”

Angel kissed his temple while Spike reached over and took his hand, slowly rubbing his fingers over Xander’s palm.

“I can already feel Penn, he is very close, and I think Sam and Theresa are just a few hours behind him. But Penn is coming in hard and fast. He’ll reach us before the day is out. Before sunset even. Drusilla is fading in and out of our connection so I’m not sure how far away she is but she’s not far out either. Spike?”

Spike drew himself up, a faraway look on his face, “I can feel three incoming. The strongest of mine. I’m not sure about any others though, I lost touch with most of mine when Dru got really sick.”

Angel nodded. “I’m lucky to still be able to differentiate between this many of mine. Lucky they haven’t perished. I neglected my responsibilities for far too long.”

“So, does that mean you’re forming the Clan officially? The Court even?” Xander asked quietly?

Angel hummed for a second. “I have something precious to protect,” he said. “The Clan can help me to protect it,” he finally said, voice matter of fact.

Xander nodded. “Well okay then, I can’t really argue with that, I suppose, and we’re expecting family to get here very soon too, so…hmm. I guess I’d better let Cordelia know we’re going to need a few more rooms. It’s a good thing the army guys have been helping me renovate the third floor in their down time. Looks like we might need it. I just have one more set of block out shutters to install and then I’m done,” he said thoughtfully. He made to get up from Angel’s lap but the Master Vampire held him closer.

“Are ye’ upset with us fer not telling ye’ sooner, rúnsearc?” Angel whispered.

Xander thought for a few seconds. “Upset? Not really. Just, well, these new guys don’t know me. Might not like me. Hell Drusilla and I weren’t exactly buddies either, you know? They might think I’m not good enough, you know. You know, I’m like Zeppo, doughnut boy, and well, yeah that too…” Xander trialled off when Angel wrapped him up carefully into his arms and tucked him in close under his chin. Then he felt Spike plaster himself along his back.

“You’re ours, Pet. And Angelus and me, we will keep you safe. We’d dust anyone that would try to hurt you,” Spike whispered, nuzzling his face into the back of Xander’s neck. Xander sighed and relaxed into their hold.

“Is that understood?” Angel’s question was directed above Xander’s head in so hard a voice that Xander instantly tensed, thinking he’d somehow done something to upset the older vampire.

“Understood, Sire,” said a new voice.

Xander startled, ready to turn around, but Spike kept him still. He kept his own back to the new comer, while Angel had on his full Vampiric face looked over both of their shoulders, easily showing who they each belonged to.

“You’re allowing Sire to protect you William?” The new guy asked.

“As is Sire’s will and right, Penn,” Spike replied in picture perfect English.

“I remember a time you would fight your own battles, William, and come crawling into my bed,” Penn said, and Xander heard him pull out a chair and sit down at the table with them. He felt Spike and Angel tense. He felt the low growl in Angel’s throat every time this Penn dude called Spike, William. He also knew that he really didn’t want to have to clean up the kitchen today.

Xander tapped Spike’s knee as it lay by his leg and felt both Angel and Spike relax their grip on him, so he was being given permission to do something. What? No idea, but he’d know what, just after he did it, as usual.

“Nothing to say William?”

And Xander just sighed. He angled his head to look at the new comer. “Dude, really? Are you that eager to get dusted? Cause I gotta say that’s where this conversion is headed. Either Angel or Spike are gonna get sick of those words dropping out of your mouth, or someone else will, cause dude, you, are, a, douche. Oh and stop calling him William, he hates that and only Angel has the right to call him that nowadays.” Xander carefully got himself out of Angel’s lap and stood. He looked the new guy up and down. “Well he’s pretty I guess, great hair too. Let me give you some advice, Penn, don’t piss anyone here off. If Spike and Angel decide you need to be dust, then you’ll be dust, but Angel didn’t call you here to dust you, so really, don’t piss anyone off anymore. I get you’re upset about a lot of things, I really do, but Angel wouldn’t have called you without a reason, so pay attention. Now I’m off to find Cordelia, we have some rooms to make up.” He looked shrewdly at his Vampires. “No breaking the furniture. I like this table and the chairs are good too. If you’re going to dust him, don’t do it in the kitchen.

“Yes Xander,” was chorused sweetly from two voices and Xander casually strolled out of the kitchen. As he let the door shut behind him, he leaned against the jamb and breathed slowly. A litany of fuck, fuck, fuck, fuckityfuckfuckfuuuuck, screaming through his brain. He pressed his hands to his chest, expecting to feel his heart pounding. Instead he felt it slightly elevated but not seriously pounding. He analysed that for a minute. He knew he should be freaking out and besides the mental fuckery, he felt sort of normal. He did not feel in any danger. Did not feel unsafe. He was minorly pissed off, because really Penn seemed like a multi chambered douchebag. But no fear. Only mild annoyance. And if one of those knuckleheads did manage to break either of his two men he’d skin them all alive, or dead whatever. And he fucking loved that table. He and Cordy had found it at an old thrift store, but it was solid mahogany, seated a dozen and was heavy enough that Spike had given them the side eye when they had gone to pick it up after sundown.

He straightened up, ready to leave. Voices started behind him. “He does not frighten easily,” said Penn’s voice.

“He grew up on a Hellmouth,” Spike returned, voice flat.

“He smells human, how did he survive a Hellmouth?” Penn asked, sounding almost impressed.

“He is human,” came from Angel. “Grew up fighting beside the Slayer. Do not underestimate him. Do not irritate him. And do not upset or endanger him.”

“And if I do?” Penn challenged quietly.

“Ye’ll find yerself staked out n’ waitin’ fer sunrise,” came an Irish purr that sent shivers of dread down Xander’s spine.

“He is more important to you then your own Childer, Sire?”

“He is the reason I called my Childer to me. He is the reason I called my Clan. He is the reason I will reform our Court. Not for the reason you think however. I don’t do it simply to protect him. He brought William home to me. He brought family back to me. I realised I wanted my family with me. As much of it as I can lay claim to at least. If it wasn’t for Xander, I would not have considered it. Not considered myself strong enough.” Angel finished so softly Xander wanted to turn around and go comfort his lover.

“Understood, Sire. He’ll not come to harm from me. Are you willing to share him?”

“No!” Was yelled from two voices simultaneously.

Penn laughed. “Understood, I’ll find my own pleasures elsewhere then. I smell many humans here, perhaps I’ll try one or two of them,” Penn mused.

“They are out of the question and basically permanently off the menu,” this time it was Spike’s voice. Xander shook his head and straightened up. He left them to it and headed off to find Cordelia.

Their next training session could only be described as wild. As usual it was Gunn and him against Spike and Angel in some form or format. Spike had already run the soldiers through their paces, so most of them were only hanging around to watch the show. Xander had noticed Penn roaming the room, but ignored him. Angel had introduced his Childe then left the whole thing alone. It had been Spike that told them all to play nice with no indiscriminate dusting and or feeding allowed, especially without invitation or permission.

“So, I can taste and nibble if invited?” Penn had asked.

“Only if truly invited. No using your Thrall or hypnosis,” Angel said quietly.

Penn had nodded. “I’ve rarely resorted to either with humans Sire. I’m rather pretty enough,” Penn answered then grinned around at the snorts and nods thrown in his direction.

Almost an hour later and Penn’s prowling had gone from random to purposeful. Xander just caught the Vampire’s reflection in the eye of a soldier. He shoved Gunn away from him and ran full tilt at Spike. He jumped up using his blonde lover as a springboard, changed direction in mid air, rolled himself tightly into a ball and hit the floor at a roll, taking Penn’s legs out from under him, all in the space of a second. He quickly righted himself and straddled the new Vampire, setting the wooden stake he always kept in his ankle holder, over Penn’s heart.

He was panting but his grip was strong and steady. “Say, Uncle,” he said.

Penn swallowed, eyes narrowed. Then he grinned and went lax under Xander. “Uncle,” he said.

Xander moved off him and held out a hand. Penn took hold and Xander pulled him to his feet. Penn gave him a nod then walked over to Angel and Spike. He dropped to one knee in front of them. “I understand. Your Consort shall have my full protection and that of my Childer. Do you wish me to bring them now or after we deal with your little problem?”

Angel ran his fingers through Penn’s hair then gripped it viciously and pulled his head back. His teeth were set at Penn’s throat and everyone saw as the canines penetrated. He pulled back after a second, blood dripping from the wounds he had created. “After,” he said shortly. “And you can count yourself lucky you still have your unlife. If you ever think to attack Xander again nor allow any other to attack him, your nights would end very painfully. Understood?”

“Aye Sire. Understood,” Penn panted.

Angel used the grip he maintained on Penn’s hair to angle his neck again. Then he step slowly around to Penn’s back, wrapping a hand around the younger Vampire’s throat carefully. Xander’s gaze was locked to the scene in front of them. From his periphery he could see the three Vampires were the center of attention. The training room quiet. Perfectly still but for Angel’s staking his claim like the apex predator he was.

Finally Angel stood still again, he looked at Spike. “William,” he whispered and everyone heard the intake of shocked, sharp and unneeded breath coming from Spike and Penn. Then Spike sank to his knees, carded his fingers into Penn’s hair, linking them with Angel’s and carefully fit his own canines where Angel’s had been. He drank from Penn, eyes closed. Angel moved a hand from around Penn’s throat and into Spike’s hair. He just held his two Childer together for long quiet minutes. Xander finally heard the almost subvocal purr Angel was making. It ran through him from the soles of his feet, up his legs and settled deep in his bones. Angel was content. Angel had family, Court, Coven, Clan.

The scene broke when both kneeling Vampires were released and Angel stepped back helping Spike and Penn to their feet. A throat cleared. “I don-don’t understand.” The voice was hesitant but husky and everyone turned to Colonel Casey as he cleared it forcefully.

“Daddy’s just making things clear to us,” came a feminine singsong voice as Drusilla strolled in through the assembled soldiers. “Penn challenged the puppy. The puppy bit back. Daddy let Penn know that sweet William is higher in the Court than Daddy’s first Childe.”

“Its Vampire and Court politics, GI Joe, you don’t need to know.” Xander turned to look at the speaker. He was young, maybe in his early twenties when turned, a dark blonde, and pretty. He sighed and stepped forward to where his Vampires were waiting for him. “Well, you do like them pretty,” he said and watched as Spike bit his lip before he could laugh out loud.

Angel didn’t have any such compunction, he chuckled than rubbed his cheek along Xander’s jaw line, allowing his fangs to just scrape the tender skin beneath. Xander shivered and leaned into the caress, loving the feel of fangs and ridges that Angel’s demon showed the group around them. He felt arms snake around him and then he was released into Spike’s embrace while Angel looked at the new Vampires assessing them. Xander leaned back into Spike and watched. He noticed Penn touch Angel’s hand then look between his Sire and Spike. Spike nodded once and Penn went to Gunn and took his wrist. He waited the few seconds it took for Cordelia to walk to them, then with a quick glance to Spike again, led the two humans to stand with Colonel Casey, placing himself as barrier between the three humans and the Vampires.

“Huh?” Xander queried softly.

“Shush,” Spike whispered into his ear, and Xander relaxed again. He’d get the explanation eventually.

It was Drusilla who spoke then, a small grin on her face. “Penn is Daddy’s original Childe. He should outrank all of us, William included. Penn challenged the Puppy, but the Puppy is stronger than he looks and put Penn down. Then Daddy drank from Penn. Not a lot. Just a bit to show dominance. But Daddy let Sweet William drink from Penn, from his own marks. that puts William above Penn in the Order, second only to Sire.” She strolled as she spoke, hands outstretched and fingers trialling through the air, occasionally flitting over the human chest or shoulder of a soldier. Not trying for more, she just kept talking and strolling. The soldiers themselves didn’t flinch once, just set their feet and held themselves ready for anything. Xander noticed and knew both Angel and Spike did too. These were not the same soldiers that had come to them weeks ago. Those soldiers would have balked at the crazy. These took it in stride but not for granted.

The new male hissed at her, showing fang and face. “The human does not deserve to kno-” before he finished Drusilla was at his throat. She had flown across the room and put him on his knees. Neck stretched out, head back, long nails at his jugular. She bent over him like the monster she was. Then her face morphed back to human and turned to look at Angel. “Can I play with him, Daddy?” She crooned.

Angel smirked and sauntered over to the two. He trailed his fingers through Drusilla’s raven locks then ran the same hand over the males blonde hair. He crouched down, taking the male’s face in hand. “Sam, meet your older sister, Drusilla. The deadliest of my creations. That is Penn, the eldest of my Childer. You know William of coarse. In the doorway is Theresa, she looks young and is young, behind her is Sheila, she’s one of Spike’s. The only one here so far.” He stood again, pulling Sam with him. “Childer, soldiers,” he began, the Irish accent dripping from his lips. “Ye know me as Sire and Master. Ye’ll all know and acknowledge William as our Hand of Justice, as Second, as my Voice. Xander is and always shall be our Right Hand. Mine and William’s and any disrespect ye show him will end with yer head rolling around the floor. The humans in my Court are strong, powerful, coveted and shall be protected. At all costs. These soldiers are adjuncts to the Court, for now, and Colonel Casey and they are under my protection. William will explain what we are doing here. Soon we battle. Make sure ye want to be here. Make sure ye’ want to be a part o’my Court. Learn m’ rules and abide by them. If ye canna work along humans and take orders from ‘em, ye have just hours t’leave an’ live.” With that he turned back to Xander and Spike, strode forward and took Xander’s hand from Spike, leading him away from everyone.

As they exited the room he heard Spike start. “Right yer lot…”

“Angel?” Xander asked soft!y.

“It’s William’s place to exert order and hierarchy. It would demean him if I stayed. Its assumed I’ve already told him how I want it to be. Now it’s his job to get it done. I dinna want to undermine him,” Angel told him, slipping in and out of accent.

“You’re upset,” Xander whispered, leaning in and rubbing his face on Angel’s bicep.

Angel sighed and pulled him in closer. “Not so much upset as…” he trailed off. His steps not faltering he led Xander to the kitchen. Where Xander watched him build a sandwich as thick as Xander’s hand was wide. Then he placed the thing on a plate, pulled a cold soda out of the fridge and set them in front of Xander. He tapped the plate twice with his finger then turned back to the fridge.

Xander watched Angel for a few seconds as the Vampire pulled a blood bag out of the fridge for himself, poured it into a mug and set it in the microwave to warm. Then Xander turned his attention to his plate. He cocked his head from left to right before stealing himself and wrapping his fingers around it. He picked it up, opened his mouth wide and attacked it like a caveman. He chewed and swallowed, took another mouthful before he heard the microwave ding and then Angel was sitting down across from him.

Xander looked up but kept eating. He raised an eyebrow however and watched as Angel gave a wry grin before taking a sip from his blood. The he shook his head and set the mug down. “I’m not upset. It’s a little overwhelming I suppose. Feeling all these Vampires around me, in my lair, my den, my safe haven where the most vulnerable part of me is, where I’m at my strongest, yet weakest, its putting me on edge.” He took another sip from his mug, sighed and leaned back in his chair. “My demon will settle as soon as the Childer know their place. I don’t envy William the power struggles. None of them will challenge me, but a few of them might challenge his position.”

Xander swallowed his mouthful and cracked open his soda, swigging a swallow of it quickly. “Who would challenge Spike?”

“Penn, Drusilla, Sam. Sam feels he has a lot to prove. If any are foolish enough to challenge William, and challenge him properly they’ll be dust on the floor before they can blink.”

“Is Spike really that much stronger than any of them? And what if they attack him all at once?”

“Please, Spike would wipe the floor with all of them in a second,” Cordelia scoffed from the doorway. She strolled casually into the room, followed by Gunn and Wesley. She sat at the table even as Gunn and Wesley went to the refrigerator and cabinets respectively. Soon there was a tray with sandwich makings and plates on the table and the three humans helped themselves.

“Unlike the other Childer,” Wesley began, “Spike has a lot to fight for. This is his base of operations. His turf, if you will. His power base and raison d’être are here. The others are still on shaky ground here. But if they are going to challenge, they have to do it soon. So, whether they like it or not, Spike has the upper hand.”

“But what if-?” Xander cut himself off and looked back at Angel.

Angel reached over the table and took Xander’s hand in his. “William is strong and powerful. Stronger than he has ever been. You are, in Vampiric terms, our Heart’s Blood. Our strength and reason. We feed from you every day, multiple times a day. That gives William and I strength and power. I have never been more powerful. Never been stronger than I am currently. Not even when I fed from humans exclusively in the Scourge of Europe days. Even if they all attacked at once, they won’t be a patch on William’s abilities. Now finish your sandwich and soda. By the time you’re finished I think William will be done and we should be able to coax him into a bath with us.”

Xander sighed and took up his sandwich again. “This is really good. Someone who doesn’t eat should not be able to make a sandwich that tastes this good. It’s really not fair.” Xander said here taking another bite and chewing happily. He still wasn’t very copacetic about anyone challenging Spike, but there didn’t seem like there was much he could do about it, not yet anyway. But he’d keep his eyes open and his stakes sharp. And if any of them even looked at Spike sideways, well they’d end up floating on the breeze, just see if they didn’t.

“I’m assuming you and Spike don’t really need to drink bagged blood any more?” Gunn asked.

“It’s not some we need any longer. Xander’s blood is more than sufficient but the act of heating blood and drop drinking it at the table from a cup or mug is comforting to the human memory of self we still have.” Angel answered his gaze always on Xander while he ate his sandwich.

CHAPTER ELEVEN

Xander was watching. He watched each and every Vampire in the Hyperion he could not lay claim to. So he noticed things. Noticed how each of them acted. He new when they fed. Could even tell now if they drank fresh human or the bagged blood Angel had made available to all of them at the hotel. For most of them, Xander figured drinking bagged blood was a new experience. The blood itself was human, but it wasn’t live. Xander noticed a vibrancy in Vampires when they fed from fresh, living humans that was missing from them when they fed from the bags for more than a day or so.

He’d been working under Cordelia’s reception desk for about an hour. Fixing the wobble Cordy insisted was there. It had taken him a half hour to find it. He’d been sure she was imagining things when he’d first agreed to take a look, and would have told her so too, but he was smart enough to know that one did not argue with Queen C and expect to escape balls intact. So he’d gathered his tools and gamely climbed under he thing. A half hour of swearing, grumbling and pointing his trusty flashlight everywhere he’d finally found the problem. A split in the wood that ran vertically up one leg. Shaking his head he’d gotten to work. A few dowels, carpenters glue and clamps later and one split leg was whole again. He carefully checked for others for splits or problems and he slid out from under the desk, ready for food.

Walking through the kitchen door he almost stopped, then forced himself forward. Colonel Casey sat at the table, finishing a sandwich. There was nothing unusual about that. Most of the military personnel treated the hotel like home by now. No what made Xander hesitate was that Casey wasn’t alone. Also sitting at the table was Penn. A mug in hand.

“Hey guys. How’s it hangin’?” He asked dropping his tool bag and belt on the counter.

Casey chuckled. “Slightly to the right kid, you?”

Xander smiled back and did a little full body wiggle. “Me too. Anything left in the refrigerator?”

“Yeah Xan. I made up a few sandwiches while I was making mine. Help yourself. I’m going to go and settle the bill with the market soon, Miss Chase has already given me the shopping list for the next delivery. I’ll drop it off while I’m there. Do you want anything?”

“Something not healthy. Cordy wants to turn me into a rabbit with all the salad she keeps feeding me. Every time I turn around she hands me lettuce. If Spike didn’t keep chocolate in our rooms I’d have forgotten what it tasted like,” Xander said walking to the refrigerator and taking out the plate with a huge sandwich on it. He sat it on the table and pulled out a chair.

Casey chuckled and wiped his mouth with a paper napkin. “No one would ever guess Spike was such a romantic. He regularly kicks our asses in training. A complete badass. Romantic is not a word I’d ever use to describe Spike. Either now or the Vampire he was in the past.”

“Oh no John, you’d be very wrong there. Wil-Spike has the very soul of a poet. One of the things we used to use to torture him as a newly turned Childe. Unfortunately. His poetry was all about love and loss. Sire, Drusilla and I used that romance against him, turned it into a love of blood and torture. We turned that beautiful angel into a beautiful and macabre killer. A scourge and a terror. He was a revelation as he hunted and killed. His angelic and cherubic face would lure his victim in, then he would shift and show his very demon. His glorious demon…” Penn trailed off.

Xander took a large bite of his sandwich and watched both men in front of him carefully. Penn still looked reminiscent, but his face was quickly changing to one of question and a little concern. Colonel Casey was watching Penn closely.

Penn turned to smile sweetly at Casey. “Yes John, even Vampires understand romance. We can be gruesomely romantic with others of our kind, however humans are different. Romancing a human can mean anything from roses to favourite foods kept on hand, or as in this case, in a small refrigerator in your rooms. Now gentlemen if you’ll excuse me, there is something I need to do.” And Penn got up and left the kitchen.

“So Colonel Casey, what’s romantic for you?” Xander asked, wiggling his eyebrows.

“Stop calling me Colonel Casey, kid. It makes me feel like a cartoon or something,” he grinned at Xander who smiled back. “Romantic for me? Well I usually go with giving a woman flowers, or cooking a great dinner-”

“No, no, that’s not what I meant.” Xander interrupted, then swallowed quickly. “I mean, what would you want for you. What do you find romantic when it’s for you? You know?”

Casey made a face then shrugged. “Never been the receiver, but I suppose, good food and a movie is always a good idea. But you know what? I really love just driving around at night. Nothing more than that. Just driving around in the dark with someone I care for and who cares for me, maybe even stop somewhere dark and quiet and get some old-fashioned necking done. Just someone making me feel special. Yeah, that’s romantic, for me anyway. Okay kid, I gotta hit the market. See ya later.” Casey stood from the table and left the kitchen through the back.

Xander grinned slowly to himself and kept eating his sandwich. He turned his head when he heard the door behind him open and Spike came into the kitchen. He smiled at Xander and ran a hand through his hair before sitting in the table beside him.

“Penn still out there?” Xander asked his softly.

“Was, left when I came in. Was just leaning beside the door. Looked like he was listening in. What was happening in here?” Spike asked.

“Tell you in second. First I gotta ask you a question. Your accent, you know your cockney English accent. You hardly use it with me and Angel anymore, like just now. But it still comes out with everyone else. What’s going on?”

“William isn’t afraid of showing his true self to us, Xander. He doesn’t have to put on a show. Not with us. Isn’t that right William?” Angel asked walking into the kitchen from the back door. He walked up to them both and ran his hands over their hair. Xander watched Spike push his head into Angel’s hand and knew he was doing the same. They both loved Angel’s loving touches.

Spike let his shoulders drop and relaxed where he sat. “I’m safe with you two. I can be Spike or William here. Out there I’m William the Bloody. With you I’m just me. Now explain Penn.”

Xander swallowed the last of his sandwich, then giggled a little. “I notice things you know. Things like, Penn. He hasn’t hunted since the first week he got here. He’s been drinking bagged blood, and, he keeps watching Casey. I mean all, the, time. If you ever need to find Casey, ask Penn. Anyway, Casey and I were talking about what he finds romantic, you know, in here? I asked him what he would, like, chocolates? Movies? Stuff like that? Anyway Casey was telling me what he likes, what he’d find romantic. I figured Penn would be listening at the door.”

“You think Penn is interested in the Colonel?” Angel asked slowly, pulling Xander out of his chair and sitting in it himself. He carefully sat Xander on his lap. Xander grinned as he watched Spike reposition himself so that Xander was sandwiched between his lovers.

“Penn and a human? Are you sure pet? I don’t think Penn has seen humans as anything more than a meal since he was turned.” Spike commented.

“Still with the Pet, huh?” Xander scoffed.

“You’ll always be Pet to me, Pet,” Spike smiled, swooping in for a kiss.

Xander smiled throughout the kiss, enjoying just now sweet Spike could be. He pulled back with a sigh then watched Angel crook his finger and claim a kiss of his own from his Childe.

“Now a ghrá geal, my bright love, explain about my eldest Childe and our Colonel Jonathan Casey.” Angel purred into his neck.

Xander settled back in his very comfortable and favorite chair and sighed. “Penn watches Casey, but it’s not like he’s hunting him or anything. He’s around him as much as possible too. All I can say is if Penn takes Casey out for maybe dinner and then takes him out for a long night time drive…” he shrugged and left it hanging.

“Hmm, this could bear watching.” Angel mused. Then his attention went to Spike. “How are our troops? How long before they are ready. Sunnydale is still an issue.”

“They’re ready, Sire. We could set out tomorrow. We’re still not sure what’s going on but we won’t know anymore until we get there.” Spike said.

“Hmm, very well then. I’ll speak with the Colonel when I see him again, tell him we’re ready. We could be in Sunnydale in a few days time. Xander, did you have any homework for classes you need to get done or hand in before we leave? You can stay home if you need to get some work done.” Angel said, sounding hopeful to Xander’s ears.

Xander turned just enough to smack Angel in the shoulder. “I’m all up to date with my coursework, and I am going to Sunnydale with you.”

“All right, all right.” Angel chuckled, taking hold of the hand that was lifting to smack him again and kissing it gently. “I know you’re coming with us, my own. I just would rather you stay here and be safe. If I could I’d leave you and William here. Gunn, Wesley and Cordelia too, but I know that it’s not about to happen, so I’ll just accept it and ask you to keep yourself safe and follow the plan William and I will lay out for everyone tomorrow.”

Angel pulled Xander around and pushed him back until Xander could feel Spike’s legs behind him. Xander sighed when he felt Spike’s fingers in his hair and sighed softly. “I know you two are worried. But Spike has spent a lot of time training me, a lot of time teaching me how to be sort of a bad ass. And even though I’m not some Superman or combat genius, I’m not an idiot either. If I think I’m out of my league, I’ll find somewhere safe and hole up until one of you can come and get me.”

Angel let his shoulders drop, his face resigned, but be smiled gently. Then he looked up at Spike who pulled Xander’s head back enough to look at his face upside down.

Spike’s eyes narrowed. “You just make sure you don’t get hurt, understand?”

“Yes Spike.”

“Are ye’ sure?” Angel purred, one finger on his chin pulling Xander’s attention back to himself.

“Yes, Sire,” Xander breathed and then gasped as Angel reacted. He sprang into action and Xander found himself on the table between Spike and Angel, his jeans being pushed off his hips even as his cock was swallowed by Angel’s hungry mouth. Xander gasped and bucked into that wet cavern. His hands were grabbed and pulled up over his head, while Spike’s legs wrapped around his own, keeping him exactly where his Vampires wanted him. Fingers pushed into him, somehow slick fingers that opened him easily. He didn’t understand how, he could barely understand how to breathe at that point, but somehow a hard large cock was carefully pushed into his slick and open passage.

At first he thought it was Angel. He thought Angel was fucking him, but Angel was still hungrily sucking him off. The groan in his ear let him know the cock filling him was Spike’s. Angel had gotten them both ready and then pushed Spike’s cock into him. Those thoughts flew through his brain at lightning speed. His breathing was fast and rough. His body hot and straining. He pulled against the iron bars holding him in place and relished the strength that kept him wherever they wanted him.

“I do-don’t understand-” he gasped.

“Y’called him Sire. Drove him crazy. Showed him how much you respect him. Showed him you trust him. Showed him he has power over y’” Spike gasped into his ear, then bucked up into Xander, hitting Xander’s prostate, making him moan and shiver in pleasure.

Xander wanted to buck, to thrust, to move. But he couldn’t. He was held still so everything doubled on him. Every sensation from Angel’s sucking mouth, his lips smoothly gliding up and down Xander’s now achingly hard shaft was increasing pleasure upon increasing pleasure. Every short and hard thrust from Spike just pushed him closer and closer to the cliff edge of surrender.

“Ang-Angel, Sire. Sire. I. I. I need to cum. Ppplease. I nnneed-”

Angel didn’t pull off, didn’t say anything. He pushed himself over Xander’s cock until his lips met Xander’s pelvic bone and growled in the back of his throat. The vibration hit Xander like a bus and somehow Spike had tagged his prostate just right at the same time and kept his cock there, keeping pressure on that button of ecstasy. Then Xander was straining and moaning and cumming hard and fast. And Angel was swallowing. Greedily swallowing everything Xander had. Spike was shaking under him, his hips stuttering as he pumped himself dry inside of Xander. Xander went limp and sought for breath. Spike still under him, cock just starting to slip out while Angel slowly released Xander’s cock from his mouth.

Angel nosed at the small patch of pubic hair before hovering over Xander. His face transformed into Vampire visage. Xander adored every sexy ridge. “In a minute, I’m taking you both upstairs and then I’m going to fuck you both mute. Understand?”

Xander nodded and felt Spike do the same.

“Not before you disinfect that table!” Cordelia yelled through the door before they heard her heels tapping away.

CHAPTER TWELVE

“If I had a working heart that bint would give me a heart attack,” Spike growled as he hurried out of the car to chase down Cordelia Chase.

“What does bint mean?” Xander asked Angel as they casually got out of the car after him.

“Always means girl or woman, used in the old days by the English. Probably came around after the crusades. Bint means daughter in Arabic, I think it does anyway. Was never too interested in it to research it though. Come on, let’s go save him from Cordelia,” Angel said around a grin.

“Right behind you. I not getting into her line of sight without a big strong Master Vampire to hide behind,” Xander told him, motioning Angel ahead of him.

Shaking his head Angel stepped forward. “She’s tapping her foot at him, maybe we should get Casey’s squad between us.”

“Huh, not even my people are that stupid. That woman has terrified everyone of them over the past month or so. They’re more afraid of her than they are of your Childer, and that’s saying something since most of your kids are kinda crazy creepy.” Colonel Casey said from behind them.

Xander was still grinning when they reached Spike and Cordelia. They had stopped saying anything, were just staring at each other, Cordelia’s foot tapping, Spike, his fists opening and closing. Xander didn’t stop, he walked on past them and knocked on Rupert Giles door. He had Vampires and humans at his back in less than a second. He grinned hearing both of his Vampires grumbling behind him.

The door opened and Xander prepared to call his greeting. It died in his throat. Giles did open the door, but his face was almost unrecognizable behind his bruises. Behind him an almost equally bruised Buffy Summers. “Giles, Buffy, what the hell happened?” Xander exclaimed pushing his way into the townhouse. “Everyone get your asses in here! Giles make some invitations, now!” He called over his shoulder. He heard the English man spluttering something and promptly ignored him as two Master Vampires and random others trooped into his living room.

“Are Joyce and Dawn okay? Willow?” Xander demanded relaxing a little when Buffy nodded her head wearily.

“They’re all fine. We just didn’t want to worry them, so, yeah. Anyway what are you doing here? We have a sort of an issue here, so, it’s,, ahh, not a great time for a social visit.” Buffy told them evasively.

“Not too mention I really do not appreciate any more military men in my presence,” Giles added.

Xander looked at Spike. “Call Joyce. Take some of Casey’s people and bring them here.”

Spike nodded and after a glance to Angel pulled out a black cell phone and flipped it open. He was out the door a minute later. And Xander turned back to his friend and her Watcher. “What’s going on?”

“Wow Xander, you’ve really changed,” Buffy said softly, sinking wearily onto the sofa, Giles following.

They looked at each other before Buffy huffed out a huge breath. “Something is going on with the Initiative. That’s. these-”

“We know all about the Initiative, mam. I’m Colonel Casey. Please tell us what has been happening.”

Buffy gave Casey a narrow eyed look. Xander knew that look well and stepped in. ”Casey’s a good guy Buff. You can trust him. I trust him.” Xander told her.

“That’s hardly a commendation nor a heartening character reference Xander, judging by who you are currently keep company with.” Giles muttered.

Xander glanced at Angel then with a sigh he elbowed him. Angel reluctantly let the wolfish grin fade. Looking around he walked to the armchair and sat down. Stretching slightly he snagged Xander’s open flannel shirt and pulled him into his lap. He snapped a finger and Penn was standing beside them, on guard duty apparently. What surprised Xander though was Casey who set himself on Angel’s other side, opposite Penn.

Xander shook his head at the antics. “Ignore the pantomime going on around here, and tell us what’s going on,” he said, waving his hand at whatever the Vampire Stooges were up to. He leaned back into Angel’s chest and wrapped the strong arms around himself. Then just waited.

Buffy and Giles were obviously troubled, looking to each other then at Xander for a few seconds. Buffy finally threw her arms up and flopped into the back on the sofa. “Well you sure have changed. You’re all sitting quietly and waiting, in Angel’s lap waiting. And Cordelia hasn’t said anything either. And my gut says you’ve picked up more vampires.”

“If my research is to be believed, that vampire there is Penn, one of Angelus’s firsts. As cold blooded a killer as Angelus and Spike,” Giles muttered as he carefully cleaned his glasses.

Angel inclined his head. “Indeed, this is Penn. Outside are Drusilla and Sam, and some other, younger Childer, but no less deadly. They are here under my claim. As representatives of Aurelius. They will fight for me, with me. I’ve already told them they can not hunt. Be grateful for that and be thankful. Do nea ask for more ‘en that.” Angel’s voice was soft and quiet, deadly cold even.

“The GI Joes and Janes are with the Colonel,” Xander spoke quickly, trying to diffuse the already volatile situation.

“Interesting accent you have there…” Giles trailed off but looked directly at Angel who shrugged.

“Yeah, the Irish is strong with this one, sometimes,” Xander quipped, smiling when Buffy choked on a laugh. Then she put both hands over her mouth and mimicked Darth Vader’s breathing for a few seconds. Finally Xander watched her as she deflated, growing smaller and younger before his eyes.

“It started a few weeks ago I guess. The Initiative were starting to give me the wiggins. No one would answer any questions. They were sending us after demons that were harmless, you know the ones, like Clem type harmless. Then if I questioned them they clam up or send me out with faulty equipment. Finally a couple of days ago I told them I quit. I wouldn’t be their hit girl anymore. And while they were at it, they could just pack up their crap and get off my turf, because really, right, the Hellmouth is my responsibility and they were trespassing on it.

“Well they didn’t take it well but they didn’t say or do anything. Not until yesterday. Riley-“ her voice broke a little in the name. “Riley was leaving with me. Quitting. Yesterday, yesterday we were out on patrol, in the west cemetery. We’d just sent off a group of fledges. We were heading back. Finn, Giles, Willow, Tara and me. They jumped us. A real military ambush, just like the movies. Two full squads. They hit us with tasers and electric weapons. Then when they had us down they started to get physical. We fought. All of us fought so hard. Willow and Tara hit out with magic, but eventually we were all overwhelmed, and, Riley, they took him.

“They left me a message. Either I do what they want or they torture him. They’re holding him hostage. The Initiative is keeping Riley as a hostage to get me to be a hit girl for them. And I don’t, we don’t know what to do. Xander, I don’t know what to do.” Buffy hiccuped and covered her face in her hands, shoulders shaking as she cried silently.

Giles carefully wrapped an arm around her shoulders and pulled her close. Xander looked up at Casey and Penn. He knew Angel was tense, could feel the tightness in the body he leant on. Casey’s face however was stony. Stony, tense and furious. All to be expected. Penn however, his face was a revelation. His eyes were half lidded. He watched Casey carefully now. The Slayer, whom he should have been watching, sat forgotten, his attention only for John Casey.

Penn finally cleared his throat and spoke. “This upsets you John, why does what has transpired here upset you so much?”

Casey purposefully rolled his shoulders to release some of his tension. “Finn and those men have dedicated years of their lives to the forces. It doesn’t matter which arm of the forces, it’s all the same in the end. We dedicate years of our lives, knowing our lives can be forfeit at any time. But we expect our lives forfeit to an enemy. Not our own. Finn was taken hostage by our own. That’s wrong. That’s a complete betrayal. That’s why I’m upset Penn, at the betrayal. Do you understand?”

“I understand. I’ll endeavor to never betray you,” Penn said softly.

Casey cracked a tiny smile and shook his head ruefully. “Right then, we need a plan. A plan of recovery and destruction.”

“Why are you here, Angel?” Giles asked.

“We got word the Initiative were a problem. SecDef gave me the Colonel and his people to come here to fix the problem. When William gets back with Joyce and Dawn, we’ll put them and anyone else that’s a soft target under protection. Then go through our plan and get the job done. In other words Watcher, the US Government have asked me and mine to come in and fix your little army problems,” Angel said smugly.

Xander groaned and dug his fingers into Angel’s thigh. “Stop sounding so happy about it. None of this is actually Giles or Buffy’s fault. Yes they should have done something about the Initiative when it all started, but you can’t blame them without blaming me too, I mean I was here then. So no pointing the finger at anyone. Get rid of the boxers of blame and get productive.”

Angel pulled Xander tightly in, his lips quickly finding Xander’s ear. “I’ll rid me self and ye of our boxers in t’blink of an eye,” he purred, then gave Xander’s lobe a lick. “But I think that might be a shock for our Watcher and his Slayer.”

“Yeah, they’re already looking a bit wigged out. Penn and Casey are fine about it though.”

“William and I are sure that Penn and Casey would enjoy watching the three of us.”

“What? Really?” Xander asked looking around shocked.

“Anytime kid, anytime,” Casey answered with a wink.
“Well, ah, okay, that made me suddenly very self conscious.” Xander said squirming in Angel’s lap.

“Don’t worry about it, a stor, my treasure, William and I are very selfish. No one sees you naked but us.”

Xander was saved from answering by the door opening and Spike ushering in Joyce and Dawn. Joyce stopped mid speech when she saw her eldest daughter. Then it was concern and demands for explanations and everyone else sat back and waited as the Summers’ women took center stage.

Spike came and sat on the arm of Angel’s chair and Penn moved around to stand by Casey.

“Someone is moving upstairs, Sire,” Penn whispered.

“I know. Willow and another young woman. A lover, I think judging by the kissing and concern.” Angel whispered.

Xander looked at him, eyes wide. Lover he mouthed, then blinked in stunned surprise at Angel’s nod. Spike had his head cocked to the side, the he grinned and nodded too. Wow, Xander mouthed back. Then all attention returned to the squabbling Summers’ females and they waited it out.

A few minutes later two women came downstairs. Both bruised but determined. Xander was out of Angel’s lap and hugging Willow in a second, checking she was fine and introducing himself to the young woman holding her hand. Then he pulled them over to where the Aurelian Court sat. He introduced Willow to Casey and Penn then waited for her to make introductions. Xander looked behind him when he started hearing silence.

Buffy, Joyce, Dawn and Giles were finally sitting quietly, watching the other side of the room. “I think they’re ready to talk tactics.” He said, then sat back in Angels lap and waved his arm imperiously. Hanging around with Cordelia had been useful after all.

“You making tea and coffee?” Xander asked Cordelia and Wesley in the kitchen.

Cordelia nodded. “Are they still arguing?”

Xander nodded back. “Giles and Buffy won’t admit that Angel is in charge here and his plan is the only plan. If they don’t admit it quick smart I’ll tell them a few home truths to shut them up. We don’t have all the time in the world to do this. We have stuff to get back to in L.A. The hotel, school, you know life in general. I’m going to push Angel and Spike into our caravan soon, dawn is coming fast and we all need our rest before we hit the Initiative tonight.”

She nodded and handed Xander a cup and cookie. He took a sip without looking, swallowing the warm liquid. He looked into his cup. The liquid was golden brown and smelled faintly floral, “What is this?” He asked.

“Earl Grey tea,” Wesley answered.

Xander shrugged and took another sip. “Nice,” he said and kept drinking.

“Alright Wesley, load the tray. I’m going to take it outside and Queen C at them until they fall into line. We’re all tired and need to get some rest, and we can’t until they all put on some big girl panties. Not. A. Word.” She threatened, pointing a lethal finger at Xander. Xander quickly held up his hands in surrender, shoving the last of his cookie in his mouth, just in case.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

Cordelia squared her shoulders and picked up the laden tea tray. She walked through to the living area where everyone was still yelling threats and insults at each other. Xander and Wesley two steps behind her. She needed to get through to the coffee table. Currently however it was completely surrounded. Spike stood directly in front of her. Xander really wanted to see how she handled that. He needn’t have wandered. She just walked right up to Spike’s back and used one high heeled foot to tap his ankle rather sharply.

Spike whirled around. If Cordelia hadn’t trained almost as much as Xander or Gunn, there would have been tea, cups and cookies everywhere. But she had stepped back as soon as she delivered her taps. Xander elbowed Wesley, nodding his head at Giles’s narrowed eyes. “Giles thinks Spike’s gonna smack down Cordy,” Xander snorted with a whisper.

“Spike is not an idiot,” Wesley whispered back.

Silence fell as the Sunnydale crew looked between Cordelia and a vicious Master Vampire. With one perfectly manicured and lifted eyebrow Cordelia held out the tray. Spike took it from her politely. “Thank you, Cordelia,” he said, voice and accent proper English upper crust. Turning, he placed the tray on the coffee table and without speaking anymore to anyone poured enough cups for every human in the room and added differing amounts of milk and sugar to each one. Just as silently Penn stepped forward and one cup at a time started to delivery cups of tea, with a small cookie on each saucer nestled right beside the cup.

Xander took his when it was offered and tasting it found it was exactly like he took his tea, when he drank tea, at home. He hid a slight smile in his teacup. If he knew Spike, and he did know Spike, then every cup would be exactly how each person drank their tea. And Penn had been delivering the cups to each person, neither Vampire speaking a word.

During the entire time they had been here arguing Angel had kept quiet. Spike, Penn, Casey even Xander had yelled and argued. Angel had just sat there, hands steepled and watching like the King of the castle. Now, as every human sipped from a cup in hand he sat forward and spoke quietly. He looked to Cordelia who gave him a sharp nod and raised her brow to everyone else she thought an idiot. 99% of them apparently. “Thank you, Cordelia.”

She smirked and kept eyeing the Sunnydale crew triumphantly. Xander didn’t quite understand what had happened but wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth. Angel snapped his fingers and Spike and Penn returned to flank him. To Xander’s shock both Vampires sank to their knees and Angel ran his fingers through their hair caressingly. Then he offered each a wrist and as one they sank their fangs into him and drank a few sips of Sire’s blood.

“Let’s get a few things straight.” Angel purred. “We don’t need you or your help here. We’re only telling you, or asking you any questions, because we have a shared past, and mainly because Xander would pout at us if we walked all over you to get the job done. I don’t give a damn about your boyfriend, soldier boy. He helped chip my William. So, whether he is alive or dead is of no consequence to me. He works for an entity that hurt was is mine. However, letting Riley die would upset Xander and also Colonel Casey. An upset Casey would lead to an upset Penn and I never want Xander upset because of me or my decisions. So here is what is going to happen.

“Tomorrow night, my people and I will enter the Initiative facilities. We will find and rescue your Riley Finn and get him out. We will give anyone who wants to, the chance to surrender to Colonel Casey. I know the Government would like us to not annihilate everyone in there. However, I will show no mercy to anyone that fights me and neither will anyone else with me. Right Colonel?” He asked not even looking at John Casey.

“Right. Sire,” Colonel John Casey answered voice hard as stone.

“By sunrise tomorrow the Initiative will be razed to the ground. Finished. Once that’s done we’ll get out of your hair and go back to L.A. So I suggest we all get some rest. Whether you come with us or not is your decision. If you do come you will do what William tells you to do. He is my Second.” Angel stood gracefully to his feet. He wasn’t about to hide what he was here. Spike and Penn followed his lead. Angel held out a hand to Xander who quickly handed his empty cup to Wesley and took Angel’s hand, noticing his wrist was mark free. Angel pulled him in and buried his face in Xander’s hair. Spike stepped in behind him and rested his forehead on Xander’s shoulder.

“Umm, Xander?” The timid voice was Willow’s.

“Yeah Will?” Xander asked back, quite content to stay as he was.

“Umm Xander. Are Angel and Spike snuggling with you?”

“Yeah Will they are,” Xander replied casual as you like.

“Umm. Okay…” Willow trailed off.

“Ah, Xander? I think what Willow is trying to ask is why are Angel and Spike snuggling with you?” Tara’s quiet voice asked shyly but with some determination.

Xander turned in his lovers embrace. Leaning himself into Angel’s strong chest. “I’m pretty sure we’re snuggling for the same reason you and Willow snuggle, Tara. Same reason Buffy and Riley do to.”

“It’s what lovers do, Witch,” Spike said stepping back from Xander and Angel.

With nothing else to be said into the stunned silence Xander waved goodnight over his shoulder as he was pulled out of the building and into one of the waiting RVs.

Gunn sat in the driver’s seats and started the vehicle as soon as they were on board. The vans had been his idea months before. His argument sound. If Angel and Spike needed to
travel for any reason, then waiting for sunset could be a problem. A couple of well modified RVs had solved that problem. Now the vampires travelled safely and in style. Maybe not at great speed, but at least in comfort and the blacked out windows kept the interior sun free during daylight hours.

Stepping into The Mansion, Xander looked around them. “Well it’s cleaner than it used to be,” he said looking at Casey. “Your people did great in the past few hours John.”

“Yep, they’re too terrified of Ms. Chase to do a half assed job. If she ever needs a change of career I’ll try and recruit her. We’d swing her up the chain of command until she was installed in the White House. One lift of her eyebrow and any President would think twice about doing anything stupid,” the Colonel said.

For her part Cordelia flashed him a bright and evil grin then walked off to inspect just how clean and livable the soldiers had made The Mansion in just a few hours.

Xander chuckled then yawned. He slapped a hand over his mouth and muttered an apology around it, feeling his cheeks go pink. “God sorry. I didn’t expect that to happen.”

“You’re tired. No big deal.” John grinned, throwing an arm around Xander’s shoulders. “We’re all tired.”

“Yeah. But. I didn’t really do anything. Just sat around. Mainly in Angel’s lap. Damn that can be so embarrassing when I think about it afterward, but at the time it feels kinda right. And seeing Buffy, Will and Giles’s eyes pop out was too good to pass up. But, yeah sitting and a bit of talking. I didn’t even do any training or cleaning like your guys did. I don’t feel like I have the right to be tired, you know?” Xander finished, shaking his head.

“You’re tired. No ifs or buts about it. You have every right to be tired. You’ve been training as hard as any of us. The trip here wasn’t that long but it wasn’t fifteen minutes either. There is a lot of stress on you right now. This is your hometown here, somewhere you grew up, so there’s bound to be emotions involved. Cut yourself some slack kid. If you weren’t tired, one way or another I’d think you were a sociopath or something.”

Xander blinked at the Colonel for a few seconds, then ducked his head and grinned. “Huh, alright then. I’m tired and that’s okay.”

“It is, Pet. Now it’s time for bed. Come on. You too Peaches-” Spike stopped mid stride, one arm around Xander’s waist as he pulled him toward the majestic staircase. His eyes round as saucers.

Xander snickered at Spike’s predicament. “Peaches? Oh boy. I think you’re just asking for a spanking.”

“You’d be right there, boyo,” Angel purred as he stalked over to them from an open doorway. “William,” he whispered into Spike’s ear. “Run.”

Xander couldn’t stop grinning as Spike tore out of the foyer and up the grand staircase. He doubted Spike would even slow down before he got to their bedroom. Angel smiled broadly at Xander who !eaned into the arm he was offered. “So spanking?” He asked his dark haired Vampire lover.

“Hmmm,” Angel answered. “William hates being punished, but he adores being spanked and I haven’t done that to him in far too long. Come along my love, I’m sure we’ll all enjoy the show to come.”

Xander was all smiles as he was led away. Behind him he heard John asking someone a question. Then Penn’s laughter floated over to them before his voice answering. “It just depends on how it’s done. I might show you one day. Perhaps you’ll even ask me to.”

John Casey didn’t make another sound beyond a splutter.

Xander wasn’t sure what to expect when Angel pushed open the door to what would be their bedroom whenever they were in Sunnydale, but a buck ass naked Spike standing beside their bed should not have been a surprise. Angel walked into the room on Xander’s heels. With a hand on Xander’s lower back Angel maneuvered him into the armchair before walking to stand in front of Spike.

“What did ye’ call me William?” Angel purred, his accent all soft and Gaelic.

“I called ye’ Peaches, Sire,” Spike answered quietly.

“And should ye’ have called me Peaches?”

“No,Sire.”

“So, what should I do about your dis-courtesy, William?”

“Punish me Sire? I think you need to punish me.”

“Yes, I think so too. Come here, boyo,” and Angel sat on the side of the bed, pulling Spike over his lap. Then to Xander’s surprise Angel offered Spike his wrist and told him to drink. Before Spike had taken half a sip, Angel’s free hand started to rain short, sharp smacks onto Spike’s upturned ass. Xander was shocked at first. The smacks weren’t soft. They were obviously meant to be felt, and why was Angel letting himself be fed on even just for a bit while he was punishing Spike.

Xander didn’t like the idea of being spanked. Had been on receiving end of many a spanking session as a kid and all the way through high school, so he knew what spanking was all about. Or at least he though he did.

But Spike didn’t react the way he knew would have. No Spike fisted one hand in the covers beside him and one hand around Angel’s ankle, all the while he drank from Angel’s wrist until Angel gently took his wrist back. Then Spike just let his forehead rest on the bed, panting and moaning, his ass raised high in the air and rising higher with every strike.

Xander gaped, he’d never seen anything like it before. Spike moaned, his ass rising to meet each smack before giving a shallow thrust into the V of Angel’s legs. Curiously Xander looked down, he could easily see Spike’s hard cock. Yes, his bleached blonde lover was definitely happy with the proceedings. Xander looked Spike over carefully, his body was relaxed. His face almost blissed out. His ass nicely red, probably because of the blood Angel had given him and his cock hard and proud. And suddenly Xander’s mouth watered. He looked away from Spike and found Angel watching him.

Angel lifted his free hand and crooked a finger. Xander scrambled up over to his lovers on the big bed. Angel looped a hand behind Xander’s neck and pulled him in for a hungry kiss. It was fast and fierce, leaving Xander breathless, even though it lasted only seconds. Then Angel pointed to the floor and Xander understood the order. With a grin he went to his knees and angled himself between Angel’s legs. In a perfect position to receive Spike’s cock into his waiting mouth.

Spike must not have been paying any attention to what was happening around him because the second Xander’s hot, wet mouth closed around him he howled.

“That’s right. Just like that,” Angel whispered. “Just keep going.”

Xander didn’t know if he was speaking to both of them or just one of them, but it didn’t matter. He sucked Spike into his mouth greedily while the blonde Vampire thrust into his mouth and rose to receive each smack from Angel’s hand. In short order Spike was shaking apart and coming into Xander’s waiting mouth. He waited then carefully licked his lover clean before crawling out and taking Angel’s proffered hand and climbing to his feet.

Angel was running a hand up and down Spike’s back as he lay there over his lap. A subvocal purr rumbling through Sire to Childe and back again. Xander reached a hand out and ran it through Spike’s blonde hair, feeling him push gently into his touch. A few minutes of this attention and Spike slowly stretched under their hands and smiled at them both, his face as relaxed as his body. With their help he climbed off Angel’s lap and into his feet, one arm automatically going around Xander’s waist and into his space to nuzzle at his neck.

Xander leaned in to enjoy the attention. Just arching this way and that feeling like a cat. He was smiling and melting happily. “I wasn’t sure sex was on the agenda tonight,” he whispered. “Not after all the stuff with Buffy and Giles.”

“Can you think of a better way to relieve stress?” Spike asked pushing Xander closer to Angel.

Angel’s hand swiftly undid Xander’s jeans and with a good tug had them around Xander’s ankles. Spike stepped on them and with tiny urgings Xander stepped out of them. He felt Spike’s hands roaming over his chest, under his shirt and t-shirt before they were pushed up and over his head and soon they were dropped to the floor. His briefs were tugged off gently, being carefully pulled over his jutting erection, before he felt them slither down his legs and pool at his feet. He stepped out of them too. He’d kept his eyes closed, enjoying the feel of Spike’s hand and lips playing on his skin. Relishing the feel of Angel’s gentle fingers skimming over his skin. Then he was being urged forward. He opened his eyes lazily. Angel was sitting in front of him, naked and waiting. A soft smile on his lips and love shining in his eyes. He must have stripped himself while Xander’s attention was otherwise thoroughly occupied. One more tiny push from Spike and Xander climbed into Angel’s lap. Knees one either side of Angel’s hips. Cool, slick fingers found his entrance and pushed in carefully while Angel held him steady, strong hands curled around his hips.

Xander arched into the differing touches. Pushing against both lovers in turn. Push onto Spike’s fingers and then into the body holding him steady. He was moaning before he knew it and panting. He felt Spike press into his back, giving him a strong body to lean on. His lovers didn’t rush him, they never did. They might push and strain at each other yet were content to go at his own pace with him. Xander adored them for it and felt adored in return.

With a happily little sigh he lowered himself to Angel’s waiting erection, hitching a breath when he felt himself breached. After a half a second he pushed onwards, slowly inch by careful inch until he was seated in Angel’s lap. He opened his eyes to find the Master Vampire’s eyes closed and bottom lip being bitten, fangs peeking out from under his top lip. Angel was obviously straining for control.

Xander leaned forward and licked at the lip still visible. Angel’s eyes sprang open. They were fluctuating between demon yellow and Angel’s own brown. “The demon doesn’t scare me Angel and you don’t have to fight for control. You can take what you need. You won’t hurt me.” Xander whispered.

“But I could. And sometimes I don’t know if could stop myself, if I let go. Not with you.” Angel told him, voice like rough gravel.

“We have Spike here. Trust him to stop you if you can’t trust yourself.” Xander said, smiling over his shoulder at Spike and running his fingers into Angel’s dark hair.

“Boy’s right. I’ll not let things ever go too far, Sire.” Spike told them, voice sure and confident.

“Do ye’ really think you’d be able to stop me William?” Angel purred dangerously.

“Stop you, Sire? Probably not. But I know I could slow you down enough until you came to your senses.” Spike answered, voice respectful but strong nonetheless.

Angel stopped and thought about it for a few seconds. Then, mind made up he nodded. He lifted Xander off him until just the head of Angel’s cock was still inside of Xander. Spike’s hands were still on Xander, keeping him safe and steady. Then suddenly Angel moved. He thrust up and into Xander. Angel thrust up and in, time and again, his hands strong on Xander’s hips, his grip not wavering once. Spike was still behind him and Xander leaned backwards loving how the movement changed their angle slightly, making it impossible for Angel to miss his prostate. The extra stimulus made Xander keen. The sound seemed to drive Angel onwards. His hips practically pistoned in and out of Xander, pushing him closer and closer to the edge. Then somehow Angel pushed up pressing himself into Xander’s channel completely, while pulling Xander into his arms. Xander arched and moaned. Two sharp point of pain at each side if his neck made him gasp, the he moaned louder. He felt himself spilling over Angel’s lap. Felt his lovers drink from his life’s blood. Then he was collapsing and they were pulling away from him gently. A little bit of floating and cool covering sheets and the darkness of sleep came for him. He curled into the pillow and the two bodies surrounding him. A smile on his lips and he was soon sound asleep.

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

After all the arguing the night before, Xander had expected the mission into the Initiative to be close to a Military sized and shaped clusterfuck with shades of Scooby thrown in. As a result, the actual mission was almost anti-climactic.

They had walked in under Colonel Casey’s credentials. As a whole, military grunts didn’t ask questions of superior officers. So, when Casey had given them orders they had obeyed. They had Riley Finn freed in very short order and the, so called doctors and medical personnel under guard in less than an hour.

The higher ranks and experiments were another matter. Xander was horrified at what had happened to Forrest. He’d never liked the man, but no one deserved to become half man half god knew what. Forrest hadn’t backed down either and Angel had had no choice but to rip off his head. It was a gruesome way to die. Forrest had left a trail of wounded behind him, both from ostensibly what were people under or from his command and from Angel’s group. Casey had even emptied a full clip into him, but the half man half killing machine had just kept coming. Finally, Angel had jumped on him to bring him down and before anyone understood what would happen had ripped off his head, tossing it across the corridor just in case.

Once Angel had relaxed a little, Xander, Cordelia and Casey himself had rushed past the now headless corpse to check on the men and women left behind in his wake. Broken bodies and bloody gashes had met them, but with good medical treatment they should survive and Cordelia had run off to organize the help needed.

Buffy was supporting Finn. The soldier was hurt, hungry and bloody from the treatment from his own unit, but had refused to leave without seeing what was to happen. He staggered over to his friend’s dead body and collapsed to his knees beside him. “We went through basic together, you know. He kept pulling my ass out of the fire. Even here. We were friends. Soldiers and buddies. He was a good man. They did this to him. Made him into this monster. I had known him for years, trusted him with everything I had, for years. But now? Now there was nothing left of the man I knew. They killed him. Not you Angel. It was them. With their experiments. With their thirst for power and knowledge. They did this. They need to be stopped.” Finn was sobbing by the end.

Spike nodded once. He suddenly lifted his nose high, then looked at Angel and Penn. Drusilla floated down the hallway, headless doll in hand. “Something doesn’t smell right,” she sang, the fingers of her free hand waggling in the direction the other vampires were smelling at. “Even the stars are scared Daddy. Something wrong is coming…”

Angel turned to her, his face transformed and eyes shining yellow. “Protect the humans Childe. All Childer of Aurelius are to protect the humans. Tell them that is my command.”

“Yes Daddy,” she said meekly and took up a stance between the humans and Angel. Spike and Penn soon joined him and, in a blur, they shot off down the hallway. Xander made to follow, Drusilla blocked his way. That was when he noticed the other Vampires there and surrounding them. “Daddy told us to keep you safe. We’ll keep you safe.” Drusilla said. It was that simple for her. Do what Sire said.

Buffy harrumphed and tried to push through. Xander stood in front of her. “Xander? Let me through.” She pushed at his shoulder.

“Buff, Angel wants us here.”

“Well I don’t care what Angel wants. He’s not my, Sire,” she said sarcastically and pushed a little harder.

“He’s not your Sire, no,” Sam said quietly. He was standing just behind Xander and Xander squeaked but stood his ground. With a tight little grin Sam poked Xander in the ribs presumably for his squeak, before turning his attention back to Buffy. “But he is ours and he’d skin us alive if we let you, any of you, get hurt when he told us to keep you safe. So, if you don’t mind, just stay here.”

“Now you listen to me. I am the Slayer. You are-” her building rant was cut off abruptly when Xander physically turned her around to look a Riley Finn as he still knelt by the body of what had been his best friend.

“Maybe you should let someone else fight this battle. You have bigger battles to win.” Xander whispered. Buffy seemed to deflate as she went to kneel by her boyfriend.

“Blondie isn’t as dumb as she seems,” Theresa whispered to him.

“She’s not dumb. She’s got a lot on her plate is all.” Xander said back. He understood Buffy. The duty of the Slayer and all that crap. There was a lot on her shoulders. Not to mentions crate loads of guilt for everything she had no control over and even more built in for what she could control. No, once he’d wanted to be like her. Wanted to be special like that. Thank god he’d grown out of it. And look at how well he was rewarded for that.

Theresa sidled up to Xander. He gave her the side eye until she huffed at him. “I met her mom earlier, you know. And I’ve got a really great sense of smell. Yeah?”

Xander just shrugged and shook his head at her, confused at the turn of conversation.

“Well it’s just that she sort of smelled weird to me. Not bad weird. Sick weird.” She finished.

Casey came over to join them quickly. “Mrs. Summers, Joyce smelled sick?” He demanded.

“Hey! The almighty Penn might have set his feathers for you, and let’s you talk to him like that. But you do not make any demands of me, human,” Theresa bristled.

Xander was suddenly very tired of Childer posturing games and flicked her on the temple with his finger, ducking quickly behind Sam as he did so. She turned, face vamped out to glare at him. Sam held her at bay with an indulgent look on his face and a flat hand on her shoulder. “Just calm yourself and explain Theresa,” he said softly.

She took several unnecessary deep breaths before she continued. “She smells sick. I don’t know what it means or what she has. She just smells sick. That is all.” She said finally.

Xander looked at Casey who had pulled out a radio. “Houston. Make sure Mrs. Summers is taken to the nearest base for medical tests. Take no nonsense. From anyone. It’s an order. She goes just as soon as we are done here. Understood?”

A tinny “Sir, yes Sir.” Came over the radio. Casey put it away again and came face to face with a concerned and demanding Buffy.

Xander was about to get her attention when Angel, Spike and Penn came back. They each had torn clothing and blood on them. They looked the worse for wear but completely elated. “You three look like you went and conquered,” he said to them.

Spike threw him a crazy grin and a sly wink. “We did, Pet. We did. We stormed the castle, and came away victorious.”

Angel chuckled then looked at the Colonel. “We’re done here. Time to get everyone out and shut this place down. Have all the prisoners, humans and demons been taken out of the facility?” He asked. Casey nodded once. “Good, then its time to bury the place. Get it done Colonel,” Angel said, taking Xander’s hand and leading them out of there.

With little fanfare the small group was bundled into a waiting vehicle. Their driver shot out of there like a bat out of hell. Xander craned his neck trying to see if he could see the flashing lights of a police car. “Ah Angel, last thing we need is a cop stopping us for speeding and asking some really uncomfortable questions.”

“Taylor?” Angel questioned.

“I have our emergency lights on, Sire. The police have been asked to leave all military vehicles alone as we are conducting a training drill. And Colonel Casey wants all of you safe at the Mansion before clean up gets here.” The soldier driving answered.

Angel hummed a thank you and looked at Xander. “It looks like the good Colonel is looking after us.”

“He is that type of man,” Penn said, his voice sounding almost far away, like he was deep in thought.

“Speaking of the Colonel. What was he saying about my mom?” Buffy now demanded from a seat behind Xander.

Xander spun in his seat, not having realised that Buffy, Giles, Finn, Willow and Tara were all in the vehicle with them. He himself sat between Angel and Spike. Penn sat beside the driver and he assumed the other vampires sat behind the Scoobies.

“Ah, I’m not really sure, but I think Theresa said she smelt something weird about Joyce ah, your mom, and John, that’s the Colonel wants her taken to some base or other for testing.” Xander answered.

“If Theresa says she smelt somethin’ wrong, then there’s somethin’ wrong to smell. She always had a good nose. Even in the young days. Could always smell prey before she even was close to it.” Spike told them.

“But, at, what, how? I-I-” Buffy cut off when Finn struggled out of her arms and pulled her into his own, kissing her temple gently.

“If the Colonel has ordered her tested then we’ll find out what’s going on. He’s a good man. I’ve heard about him before. He’s got the power to make things happen. Just let him do it. Maybe I can suggest we pick up Mrs. Summers and Dawn on the way to where we’re going?”

Angel nodded. “Taylor, you heard the Major?”

“Yes Sire, heading to the Summers residence as we speak.”

Xander snickered at Angel’s look of confusion. He knew, hell they all knew Angel did not have one clue why everyone and their dog from the LA group kept calling him Sire. Really it had been Penn’s idea. A few days before heading over to Sunnydale Penn had come looking for Xander with Spike and John Casey in tow.

Apparently, he and Spike had been discussing the intricacies of the Sunnydale Scoobies and wanted to throw them off their game. So Penn’s idea was to call Angel, Sire, as much as possible in their hearing and from Vampire and human alike. Putting everyone on an even keel with Angel above them all. A power play. Xander has seen first-hand how well it had worked the previous night. Between the Sire this and Sire that and all the kneeling The Sunnydale Scoobies has been left reeling, shocked enough and of kilter so things, important things could get done.

The whole thing would keep going until they were all back in LA. Then they’d see where they went from there. Xander had to admit, even if only to himself he liked the reaction he got from Angel whenever he called him Sire. This mouth-watering look of possessiveness just rolled all over Angel and flowed right into Xander’s heart. He patted Angel’s knee lightly. “Tell ya later,” he whispered when Angel turned to look at him.

Somewhat mollified Angel sank back in his seat. The drive to the mansion took around twenty minutes. Even with the detour to pick up Joyce and Dawn. Twenty minutes of complete silence. Xander had never known Willow and Buffy could be quiet for that length of time. He looked over his shoulder at them as they slowed down to enter the Mansion’s front gate. They were fast asleep. All of them except Giles and Finn. And whereas Finn looked tired and a little worried, but ultimately okay with it all. Giles looked peaked and pinched. As far as Xander could tell it looked like Giles had swallowed a lemon.

“You can relax G man,” Xander whispered.

Giles eyebrow lifted sharply. The ‘Are you serious?’ unsaid but loud and clear.

“We don’t bite,” Drusilla sighed in the back seat. “More’s the pity. But Daddy said no biting without invitation.” She pouted.

“If you want invitations, little one, make some friends willing to trust you and share.” Angel told her. “It’s not hard. Just ask Penn.”

“I-I haven’t, Sire. I promise.” Penn protested.

Angel smiled and looked at his oldest Childe. “I like this Penn. He reminds me of the young man, before I turned him. I’m glad I didn’t break him completely all that time ago.”

“You tried, Sire. Somehow, he hid from us both. Only now is he surfacing. I think I’ve missed him all this time.” Penn’s voice was quiet and reminiscent.

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

Xander stumbled into the kitchen stifling a yawn. He went to the refrigerator and pulled out the orange juice debating on whether to swig the drink straight from the carton or find a glass. Looking at his hands he saw the rose and decided a glass was the way to go. Taking the few steps needed he pulled down two glasses from the cupboard. Filling one with water and the other with orange juice he put one to his lips. Grimacing at the glass when he tasted water. With a sigh he put the water glass down, dropped the rose into it and drank from the orange juice instead. “Far out, didn’t realise I was that tired,” he mumbled to himself.

“It was a long night,” a voice said with a sigh.

Spinning around Xander found Buffy and Willow sitting at the kitchen table. They were hunched over, hands wrapped around chunky mugs. “Hi guys,” he squeaked, quickly checking he wasn’t in the kitchen in his shorts, or less, that had happened before, but he didn’t want to think about that, no no no. “You guys are up already. Couldn’t sleep? Anything wrong?”

They shook their heads before Willow answered. “New place, you know?”

“And I got, you know, memories of this place,” Buffy added, waving her hand over her head to encompass the Mansion. “But it was never fixed up this nicely. When did this happen? Why didn’t I know about it?”

Xander shrugged. “Angel ordered the place ready when we realised we’d be coming here for a while. Didn’t want to take a risk with where we’d stay. So he got Cordelia to organise it. I’m not sure how or who but I don’t think you keep an eye out for construction crews, or maid service or you know the, I think she calls it domestic something or other. Some of the army guys finished getting things ready the night we got here. They’ve been helping out at the hotel in LA, so they knew what her expectations are.”

“Glad it meets with Cordelia’s standards then,” Buffy said flatly.

Xander ignored it, he knew Buffy and Cordelia would never see eye to eye. They were just too alike and too strong to allow the other any slack. So he sat at the table and looked at their mugs. “Hey, are those empty?” he asked.

Willow nodded. “We wanted hot chocolate but didn’t see any and we were worried about looking through the cupboards. We took these off the shelf but then were too tired to put them back.”

“So you were pretending they had hot chocolate?” Xander grinned at the nods.

He stood back up and went back to the refrigerator, taking the mugs with him. This time he took out the milk. The kitchen was very similar to the one at the Hyperion, so he knew the cupboard beside the microwave held the tea, coffee station, hopefully it also held hot chocolate. Pouring milk into mugs he set them to heat in the microwave. About two minutes later he set down two mugs of hot chocolate with a few dozen tiny marshmallows floating on top. He gave them over grinning when eager hands were wrapped around them.

“Yummy, thank you,” Willow smiled. “Nice flower, where do you get it?”

Xander looked at the flower in the glass on the table, beside his now empty glass of juice. He traced a petal with a gentle finger. “Angel, he gives me a rose every morning. Always red. Sometimes dark, sometimes light red. But always a red. Sometimes long stem, sometimes a short one,” he said pointing at the one in the glass which had a stem maybe a finger long. “This one’s from the gardens here, but sometimes they’re from florists or those women that sell them from baskets in restaurants, they even come from neighborhood gardens. In the morning I always find a red rose somewhere in our bedroom.”

“That’s so romantic,” Willow gushed.

Xander shrugged with a soft smile and poured himself some more juice.

Buffy blew out loud breath. Xander sighed and looked at her. “Say it,” he said with resignation.

“Don’t you find it all like weird?” She finally blurted out.

“Do I find what weird?” Xander questioned back.

She waved her arms around, then pointed at him and let her hands drop looking confused.

“So, you mean Angel? Or Spike? Or me? Or all of us? Or the Clan?” Xander questioned sarcastically.

She nodded enthusiastically, not noticing Xander was not as relaxed as he had been. Willow did notice however and scrunched up her face, her eyes begging for his patience.

Xander sat back in his chair. “No Buffy I don’t find anything weird about any of it. Us. You know Angel gets me flowers every day, has since the first night. Spike makes sure he keeps snacks for me in our rooms all the time, whoopie pies, hohos, twinkies, soda, chocolate, sweet stuff, salty stuff. If I want it, he gets it. Angel listens to me all the time. Anything I want to talk about, he’ll listen to. If I’m curious about something, Spike will bend over backwards to find the information for me. No one in my life has ever cared so much about me. Not my folks. No one. They make sure I always feel special. Feel safe. Even when I know I’m not safe, like last night. I still felt safe. They spoil me Buff. Do you know how incredible that feels, how incredible that makes me feel? They’re always there for me. It’s like I’m something amazing to the both of them, not like I’m something on the bottom of their shoe. And Angel could have just taken Spike in when I took him to LA, kept him. Instead he wanted to keep us both, not like pets or anything but like we were precious. And forming the Clan back up, that’s all about keeping the humans around them safe, me, Cordy, Wes, Gunn. I think they even consider Casey, Colonel John Casey, I mean, I think he’s Clan too now. Look I know this doesn’t make that much sense but I can’t explain any better…” he trailed off with a frustrated sound.

Buffy and Willow glanced at each other then as one reached for his hands. They each covered one and smiled. “We get it Xan,” Buffy said.

“Yeah Xander, they love you and you love them. It’s all to the good. As long as you’re happy, we’re happy for you.” Willow told him.

He chuckled and shrugged. “Happy here.”

“One thing does bug me though,” Buffy began then stopped to take a sip of her hot chocolate. “The accent thing. The only time I remembered Angel talking like that was when he was Angelus.”

“Yeah, I know,” Xander nodded. “It started pretty much the day after, ah you know, he’d swing through the accents. It was really strong for a while, now it sorta cycles. Sometimes it’s all Irish like all the time and sometimes it’s just things like Gaelic for sweetheart, things like that. I figure it cause Demons are scared of Angel, but they are terrified of Angelus, so he pulls out the Angelus playing card when he wants the enemy to piss themselves. They usually do from what I’ve seen. Angel has a lot to protect now so he’ll do what he has to, to keep his clan safe.”

“I suppose, I suppose it makes sense, it’s just that sometimes the other night like, it was really hard to tell…” Buffy took another sip, her gaze far away.

“So, what’s next on your agenda?” Willow asked, all wide-eyed girl, making Xander grin.

“Well we’ll probably stick around until Angel is happy with the state of the non function on the Initiative front, then we head back to LA. We’ll probably have to say goodbye to our military crew, Penn will brood about losing Casey and Spike will tease him about it. I get back to my construction coarse work and life gets back to normal, or as normal as it gets anyway. You guys?”

“Back to school and coarse work I suppose, for all of us.” Willow said, but she didn’t seem too enthusiastic about it. She blushed at Xander’s lifted eyebrows. “I miss my best friend okay? You’re not here anymore and we’re not in the same school or anything. I can’t just grab you and complain about how unfair my professor is.” She grumbled.

Xander burst out laughing. “Who says. Just pick up the phone and call me. Complain all you want. I want to hear about it, not just the weekly phone calls we’ve been having that are so obviously fake, and if that was Giles idea so I wouldn’t worry or feel guilty or whatever then shut that train of thought down right now. I want to know. All of it. You two are still my best friends and just because I’m a couple of hours away that does not change. Got it?” He demanded.

“Got it!” They answered in unison holding up their chocolate mugs in salute.

“Great now that’s out of the way, how are Riley and Tara? Giles? Your mom Buffy?”

Buffy shrugged. “Riley, Tara and Giles are still sleeping. Mom was taken to the base for tests, Dawn went with her. Mom didn’t want either of us to go but settled for Dawn going so she wouldn’t bug me. Mom said I looked like I needed the rest. I think she just didn’t want me there to worry. Your Colonel and a few others went with them, Casey said they’d keep Dawnny occupied.”

The door opened and Drusilla floated through the room. “Hello little puppies. Can you hear the voices? They keep singing about Glory. I should tell Daddy. Yes I’ll tell Daddy about Glory. Glory wants a little girl, her blood is special, a sunrise, yes a sunrise. A sunrise bleeding to open a gateway to hell,” she sang as she left the room.

A shiver ran down Xander’s spine. “That can’t be good.” He muttered. He looked at Buffy and Willow finding them both pale.

“What,” Buffy cleared her throat. “What do you think she meant?”

“Who knows, most of the time she could mean anything, you know? I can’t listen to her much, it makes my brain hurt, but Angelus did turn her for a reason. Before he sent her wackadoodle, she was like physic. She saw stuff. Yeah even saw Angelus, just couldn’t do anything about him. Spike said she’s not as nutso as she used to be. Thought it was because she was part of a stable Court again and she’s close to her Sire. Doesn’t mean she’s got all her marbles though, you know?”

The door opened again, Penn stepped in with Angel and Spike.

“I’m glad you’re still up, Slayer. John has just called, your presence is requested at the base,” Penn said formally. No one would accuse the Vampire if being comfortable in the presence of the Slayer.

Buffy stood abruptly from the table. Her face worried.

“Here.” Spike said and threw her a bag as soon as she looked at him. “Clothes, you can’t go out looking like that. Looks like you’ve just gotten in a fight, yeah.”

She nodded once as she looked at the bag she was clutching.

“There’s some stuff in there for you too, Red,” Spike said casually coming to stand behind Xander while Angel and Penn made for the refrigerator. Angel pulled out a container, opened it and handed out three opaque bags. Spike took one and open a corner before upending it into his mouth.

Xander knew the bags contained blood. Horse blood currently, spiced with lashings of chilli and vodka. The spice made drinking cold blood palatable and the vodka added some much needed zing. This current batch came from a horse racing trainer friend and the exceptional racehorses who donated a few liters a week were incredibly healthy.

Angel smacked his lips a few times then looked at the bag in his hand. “Xander, can you call Russell and tell him Wild Jack is coming down with an infection. It’s still mild. If he’s lucky they can catch it early before the horse needs too much treatment.”

“Sure Angel, I’ll call him now. Perks of donating blood to a Vampire. Early medical interventions.” Xander grinned. Standing up he went to the phone on the wall. Dialing from memory he was quickly answered by the answering machine. He left the message and hung up.

Buffy was still standing where he had left her. Her eyes focused on the far wall and thoughts far away. Willow stood at her elbow uncertainly. Making up his mind Xander walked over and took her elbow. “Time to get dressed Buff. Willow and I are gonna come with. Let’s all go get dressed. One of the military guys can drive us over. Angel? Can you guys come over after sunset? It shouldn’t be too long till then yeah?”

“Not long a chroí, not long. That’s a good idea.” Angel said.

Nodding Xander started to take Buffy out of the kitchen and headed to the staircase.

Casey was waiting for them when they pulled up to the front gate station of the base. He looked worried, but put together. Xander had never seen the man flustered, except by Penn. He quickly walked over to the driver’s side and opened the door. The driver got out and Casey got in waiting just long enough for the other driver to get in the back.

“What can you tell us Casey?” Xander asked.

“Not much,” he sighed “I’m not authorized to know. I know they’re waiting for you, Ms. Summers before she has surgery.”

Buffy whimpered and shoved her knuckles into her mouth. Tears streaming down her face. “She, she has been having headaches lately. Is it her brain? Cancer? Tumor?” She asked, her voice breaking.

“They haven’t told me mam, but I haven’t been told they were bringing in a neurosurgeon either. I guess we’ll see soon enough.”

And he wasn’t wrong because in seconds he had pulled up in front of a building and got out. They quickly followed him and entered the building at his heels. The squeal of “Buffy!” had them bracing for impact and in a second Dawn had thrown herself at her older sister.

Xander heard her blubbering and sobbing, telling Buffy something but couldn’t make out any of the words. He looked away from them when a woman in a lab coat came over. She looked serious but not overly worried and some grey could be seen in her brown hair. She waited until Buffy got Dawn to calm down then held her hand out. “I’m Dr. Pierce, Mandy to my friends and Colonel to most people around here.

“I’m going to be conducting your mother’s surgery. She’s not in any real danger at the moment but it could have gotten to be a problem if we hadn’t found it so early. Actually it’s a miracle it was found this early. I’ve never heard of anyone ever getting checked before showing symptoms. Your mother has the beginnings of a twisted bowel. We’ll perform the surgery required and remove the damaged area. It was found early so hopefully not a large portion of it will have been affected. We didn’t want to start before you were here for your sister. Corman Johnson will show you all to the waiting area just as soon as you’ve spoken to your mother. She’s right through that door,” she finished and pointed to the door to her right.

Buffy and Dawn ran through the doorway in a second. Xander held out his arm and Willow fit herself under it. He hugged her close, then without thinking about it he pulled Casey to them and just leaned on the older man, letting his strength keep them up. Casey was stiff for a second then with a sigh he relaxed and wrapped both arms around Xander and Willow. “She’s a great doctor. A great surgeon and runs this base with an iron will. Mrs. Summers, Joyce, will be fine.”

“She’s more our mom than our real moms you know?” Willow sniffled.

“Yeah, I know,” Casey chuckled. “She made quite an impact on some of my people when we first met in LA. Don’t be surprised if half the squad turns up here eventually. By the way , is someone going to skin me alive for holding you two?”

Xander huffed a laugh. “Maybe Tara. As far as Angel and Spike are concerned, you’re already family, clan, whatever. And getting comfort from clan is always allowed. Now shut up and hold us.”

Casey chuckled once more then stilled and stayed quiet until Buffy and Dawn came out holding each other and Johnston led them to the waiting room.

Casey had been right of coarse. The waiting room had filled up to overflowing just after sunset. First had come in Angel, Spike and Penn. Followed closely by Tara, Giles and Finn and then it seemed like everyone else from their group was there. From somewhere food had been procured and what felt like days later but could only have been a matter of hours, Dr. Pierce was back with them, a smile on her face.

“She’ll be fine. She’s in recovery. Surgery went really well. We only needed to remove a tiny amount because the damage was minimal. Infection was just beginning to set in and we’re treating that as well. You can see her but only three at a time.”

Xander pushed Buffy and Dawn at the woman and leaned into Spike. “So what’s on the agenda tonight?” Xander asked facetiously.

Angel leaned around Spike and kissed him gently. “We were thinking sleep and rest, some quiet us time. Just the Clan. Tomorrow is soon enough to go looking for trouble. We’ll head home once we know Joyce is fine. Give Buffy a hand while we’re here and figure out what Dru is hearing.”

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

They headed home a few days later. Xander never did figure out what all the things Drusilla had been talking about meant. But the night before they drove home, all the vampires had gone out with Spike and Angel. They had come back bruised, bloody and in high spirits. Xander didn’t ask and they hadn’t told. Angel and Spike had wrapped themselves round Xander and the three had kept themselves very well entertained. And judging by the very dazed and happy look on Casey’s face it seemed that Penn had finally made a move on the Army man. How that was going to go Xander had no idea, but he hoped it went well. Penn had grown on him and he’d always liked Casey.

So now they trooped in the Hyperion and back to normal. Or as normal as things got. Cordelia made a beeline for her desk, muttering about how much she’d have to fix after her little jaunt home.

Spike stood in the middle of the foyer. “You lot!” He yelled and everyone military stopped what they were doing and went to attention. “Every last one of you. You all did good. Made Sire n’me proud. Don’t get cocky ‘bout it. Stow your gear and head down to the training room. You got minutes. Move yer sorry arses!” With that he turned and headed off to the training room himself.

Xander looked at Angel, eyes questioning.

“They did well. Better than expected even, but they’re still on a high, even the Childer. We don’t want any incidents. Spike will run them through their paces before letting them go for the night. Have you got things that need doing tomorrow around the hotel?”

Xander nodded. “I want to start on the third floor back rooms. Knock them into real suites. Why?”

“We’ll get the truly hyper ones to help you tomorrow. Just point them at a wall and say destroy.” Angel told him.

Xander laughed. “That would be hilarious.” He said. Then swallowed when Angel didn’t even crack a grin. “You are joking. Aren’t you?” Xander asked, jogging to catch up with Angel who was almost halfway up the stairs by now, a very evil chuckle floating behind him.

“Not even a little,” he whispered.

Xander tripped up the next couple of steps and fell into Angel’s back. His Vampire turned sharply and lifted him into the air when he should have fallen face first onto the step above him. “Thanks,” he gasped out. “That would have hurt.”

“More than hurt, a ghrá no chroi, ye’ could have broken your teeth on that step. Made yourself bleed. Only William and I should ever do that,” Angel whispered into his ear as he held him close to his body. “Make you bleed.”

Xander shivered and realizing he was held above the floor, squeaked and his legs around Angels waist and arms around his neck. “Maybe you should just take me to bed before I hurt myself then,” he suggested.

Angel sucked in a deep breath and with a growl against Xander’s neck headed for their bedroom.

“Ye’ll be the death of me,” Angel declared as he threw Xander on to their bed before ripping off his clothes.

Xander shimmied out of his own clothing stopping only long enough to taunt his lover. “Are you saying you’re too old to keep up with me? Should I call for Spike to help you?”

“I’ll show you too old,” Angel growled as he pounced and Xander found himself covered from head to foot by aroused Vampire.

He sighed and went lax under Angel, spreading his legs lazily as far as he could and turning his head to the side so Angel could drink if he wanted to. The pleasure pain of Angel sinking his fangs into his neck was amazing, then a few minutes later Xander felt Angel push into his body. He was shocked at the lack of preparation, expecting pain. But in only seconds he knew his body had already relaxed. It seemed that his body now equated the bite with mind shattering sex and did what was needed accordingly. Angel’s lubed fingers were perfunctory before his cock replaced them and Xander was fucked almost brutally hard and fast. Neither Spike nor Angel had ever been this unrestrained with him and he found he loved it as much as he loved everything else they did together. That’s not to say they weren’t rough with each other, Angel and Spike’s lovemaking was often rough and ready, fast, hard, dominating and brutal. They would push, pull and rip into each other relentlessly. Pushing themselves and the other to completion with honed and harsh focus.

Xander’s orgasm didn’t sneak up on him. Angel tore it out of him leaving Xander gasping and flailing. His brain floundering to catch up with his body. His breathing ragged and his body feeling gloriously used. His heart pounded in his chest leaving him sure he was on the cusp of a heart attack and not caring. Angel was softly kissing the area above the straining organ, one tiny kiss at a time and Xander’s heart slowly started to match the rhythm of the kisses bestowed on it.

“That was wild,” Xander whispered. Still not having the capacity for more.

“Not too much?” Angel asked sounding worried.

Xander wrapped him tightly in his arms and legs. “Not too much,” he answered reassuringly.

Angel sighed and flipped them over so Xander was on top, he pulled a blanket around them and kissed the top of Xander’s head. “Good. Now sleep for a bit. I’ll be right here.”

Xander nodded, feeling sleepy already. He wiggled to get a little more comfortable, finally noticing that Angel was still hard between them. “You ah…” he trailed off giving another wiggle of his hips.

Angel groaned and chuckled. “I’ll maintain. It’ll be good for me. Beside William will need some attention sooner or later. Sleep, my heart. This has been a trying and tiring time for you. So sleep.”

And Xander did.

He woke to the bed shifting slowly and rhythmically. He shifted his head to his right and lazily opened his eyes. He smiled seeing Angel beside him. His neck arched, arms over his head, gripping the headboard, he lay on his back and was panting unneeded breathes. It took Xander a few minutes to recognize what was happening. He often woke to find his lovers in a similar position. Usually Angel laying back while Spike rode him like a rodeo bull rider. This time however was different. Spike wasn’t riding Angel, he was making love to him. That was the only way he could describe it. The two Vampires constantly made love to Xander, fucking him slowly for hours. And that was exactly what Spike was doing, moving in and out of Angel, arms and body stretched out over the older Master to blanket him completely. Hands and fingers entwined on the headboard.

“Wanna give our Master a hand, Pet?” Spike asked Xander softly, he didn’t change his motions or rhythm, just turned his head and looked at Xander.

Xander looked to Spike’s eyes. The pupils were dilated. He looked as flushed as a Vampire ever got, his usually slicked hair was tousled and a glorious mess of tight blonde curls. Xander’s gaze swept over Spike’s all too pretty face, to Angel’s chest and finally landed on Angel’s hard and straining cock laying between them. Without thinking twice he reached out his hand, Spike shifted enough to give him room. He wrapped his hand around Angel’s cock and gave a couple of careful tugs. He was shocked at how soon Angel pulsed all over his hand and Spike moaned, falling on top of Angel and trapping Xander’s hand between them.

They just faced each other quietly for the next few minutes, two Vampires gazing at their human, one human gazing back at his Vampires. Xander finally cleared his throat, smiling gently and Spike snorted and in a second had rolled off Angel, over Xander and onto the other side of the bed, squashing Xander in short order in between. His hands automatically finding all the tickle spots he could while Angel held Xander still and laughed. Xander gasped and giggled. Kicked and bucked in helpless response, all the while squealing his head off, but he knew he had no chance. He was trapped between a proverbial rock and a hard place, had nowhere to go and loved every second of it. Spike eventually wound down when Xander thought he’d pass out from lack of oxygen and they curled around and on top of each other calmly.

“We don’t usually do this,” Xander whispered. “Not that I’m complaining or anything,” he added quickly.

“We’ve had a stressful time recently,” Angel began with a contented sigh, pulling Xander and thus Spike further into his arms. “The worry about someone coming for William. The training of the soldiers. The Childer coming home. Facing down The Slayer and then taking down the Initiative. It has been a hard road, but now, now it’s done. The danger to William is currently gone, at least from the Initiative. Other dangers will come up, but that one is gone. I have a Carte Blanche from the Government and immunity to deal with the supernatural here in LA as I please. I have my Childer and it seems they are happy to be here. And I have the two most important people in my life right here safe and sound in my arms. This feels like we’re winding down.”

“Yeah and great sex I’d say is the best way to wind down. Sex and a fag. But I couldn’t smoke in here so I could only get the sex. And before ya’ go askin’ why it was all soft n’ gentle like, it’s because, it’s because, oh hell,” Spike exclaimed and buried his face in Xander’s shoulder. “It’s because I wanted to show Angel how important he is to me. And I wanted to make love to you, Sire to show you what I feel for you, and how grateful I am for everything you’ve done for me since our boy brought me here you.” Spike said it all quickly and with his face hidden from Xander and Angel and into the meat of Xander’s shoulder as if he was embarrassed to show so much emotion.

Xander reached back and ran his fingers into soft blonde curls. “We love you too Spike,” he whispered gently.

Angel’s hand joined Xander’s in the petting. “Yes William we love you as well. I, love, you. Yer very important to me. Your safety and happiness. And I’ll do everything in my power to ensure you are safe and happy for as long as you wish it. For both of you. You’re my reasons for existence, my reasons for sanity. So thank you Xander. Thank you for bringing William to me. Thank you for your offer and your trust. Thank you for your willingness to accept me, us, and share yourself with us. None of this would have happened without you. If you hadn’t brought Williams here, I’d still be here in this hotel probably with Cordelia, Wesley and Gunn trying to covertly stop demons and other things from killing and general mayhem. At least until I chased the humans away with my self-flagellation and, what Cordelia calls, my tall dark and broody, when she thinks no one can hear her.”

Spike had pulled his head out as Angel spoke. “Tall, dark and broody, huh? Sounds like her highness. Okay, enough with the namby-pamby emotion crap. What’s next on the agenda?”

“Depends on the time,” Xander piped up.

“Oh?” Angel questioned.

“Well yeah. Depending on what time it is means we can order a butt load of pizza and get it delivered. It means dinner food, breakfast food or lunch food. That’s not to say pizza isn’t and all day food, but not everyone agrees with that.” Xander said enthusiastically.

Angel laughed softly then harder when they heard Xander’s stomach growl. Spike rolled over to grab the clock off the nightstand, then he reached again to grab the phone and in quick order had their usual ordered from their favorite pizzeria.

Spike strolled into the kitchen and Xander looked up. His eyes narrowed at the slightly smug look on Spike’s face. “Well that doesn’t, what’s the word, oh yeah, bode well for someone,” he remarked, grinning as Spike straddled the chair beside him.

Spike shrugged and pointed his finger at the books in front of Xander. “Watch’s doing?”

“Oh the good and ever glorious plumbing calculations. We’re up to plumbing at school. So math, math and more math. And they said you’d never need to use math again once you finished high school. They lied. Dirty rotten liars I tell you, dirty rotten liars,” Xander exaggerated then threw his pen on the desk just for emphasis.

Spike raised an eyebrow. And Xander giggled. He sighed when Spike wrapped an arm around his shoulders and rested his head where Spike laid it. “There, there. Spike will get rid of the big bad math monster,” Spike crooned, making Xander huff a chuckle and cuddle in closer.

“The big bad math monster won’t know what hit it once my big bad gets it,” Xander said sweetly into Spike’s shoulder.

“Exactly.” Spike told him, voice satisfied.

“This is nice. I haven’t seen you or Angel in a few hours, what are you up to?”

“Sire is plannin’ to heist some slumlord demon that’s hoarding gold but letting the places he owns run to wreck and ruin.” Spike rumbled.

“What is Angel planning?”

“Take the blighter and make him sign over the properties.”

“Then what?” Xander asked.

“Then, we have this construction guy we know that needs projects to help him pass his coursework.” Spike said.

“What, you mean, Angel is doing all this so I have buildings to practice on?”

“Not quite,” Angel said striding into the kitchen. “You need projects, but this guy needs to learn not to be an ass. He’s bad news. Demons have been complaining about his standover tactics for years. But I was never powerful enough to stop him. Now I am. Taking over his business and taking his money is a definite bonus. Plus, the buildings themselves are beautiful and I thought you’d like to bring them back.”

“Ah, okay. If you’re sure. I’m not qualified yet you know. But if they are anything like the Hyperion, I’d love to get my hands on them.”

“Classic old buildings. Some great architecture. It’s a pity they’ve been let go, but we can fix that.” Angel grinned.

“Okay, but that still doesn’t explain the smug look on your face when you walked into the kitchen Mister.” Xander said, poking Spike in the shoulder. “What were you smirking about?”

Spike snickered like the twelve year old he secretly was sometimes. “I heard a conversation is all. Our Colonel was on the phone. Seems he’s got new orders. He’s being pulled out. Sounds like most of his people will be staying, but they are pulling him to help in some CIA thing. Sending him in undercover as a sort of protection detail. Great for his career, you know. Inter departmental co operation or some shite.”

“So why were you snickering?” Xander asked confused.

Angel huffed a sigh and leaned back in his seat. “He’s behaving like a child because he knows how Penn is going to react. And I thought you two had gotten over your rivalries. Obviously not. You see when Penn gets in a strop it’s downright depressing. I’d send him out to ravage whole towns back in the day. Now I’ll probably have to send him to a psychiatrist, just to get him out from under foot. And the moping will be unbearable.”

“So Spike is happy because Penn is going to be miserable? Spike! How could you? How wrong is that, Spike? It’s all sorts of wrong.”

Spike just shrugged and looked a little belligerent. “Penn was never nice to me when I was first turned. Always made fun an’ such. I’m sorry we’ll be losing Casey, he’s good people. Good man. Good soldier. Good fighter. Penn is going to have to learn about the commitments of his human and not interference. I mean, don’t be surprised if he don’t come to you Sire and asked you to keep Casey here with us.”

Angel nodded. “Unfortunately I can’t demand anyone of Casey’s rank or training remain here with us. They’ll hand over the grunts, but a lot has gone into training Casey. Both time and money. He is valuable to the US Army. Well just have to help Penn along. Maybe have him head the team going after our Demon slumlord.”

Spike crossed his arms over his chest, face set hard.

Angel reached over and practically pulled him out of his chair and into Angel’s space. “I’m not showing Penn favor and I’m not about to. Yer mine William. Yer the only Childe I invite into bed. Into our bed. Penn was m’ first and ‘i’ll always be special, but you and Xander are my choice. My reason. M’sanity and life. I’ll not change any of that.” Angel said, Irish brogue lilting stronger and stronger with every word.

Finally Spike nodded and rubbed his face into the front of Angel’s teal silk shirt.

Xander watched them.

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

Xander had a thing. He could tile without really thinking about it. Sure he had to watch his cuts and lines, but otherwise it was akin to meditation for him. So as he looked over the bathroom splash back and shower he had just finished tiling with a critical eye he knew he’d done well, even if he barely remembered doing it. He thought the river pebble effect that ran from the base up the wall in one strip looked good and classic, even if it as the new thing in decor. Anyway he like it and more importantly it was what Cordelia wanted so he’d stay on her good side.

As he’d worked however his brain had been ticking on something. Something he really didn’t want to think about. Something he’d been trying to avoid for all the months he’d been here in LA. In a relationship with both Angel and Spike. Problem was, you can only run away and avoid your problems for as long as it takes for them to catch you. And this one had caught him. Had tried to catch him in Sunnydale, but had completely caught him now, here in LA at the Hyperion.

Buffy and Willow had asked about it and he’d explained it all away, but he wasn’t really sure he was right. He somehow half stifled a sigh and grabbed the bucket of tile adhesive, or as they called it in the trade, mud, and took it and small stack of tiles to the middle of the bathroom. Setting his burden down he returned to the bedroom and grabbed some more tiles. They were a random almost Moroccan pattern that did not have to be laid in any particular order. The colors were all in the shades of the river stone he’d already laid, so as Cordelia said they were all in the same family, with the odd pop of light teal blue gray here and there.

He set tiles from the middle always making sure he left an opening for himself while he noodled around his problem, poking at it here and there. Before he knew he was backing out the door and found himself standing in the bedroom. Standing slowly he stretched his legs, rubbed his aching knees and bent every way he could think of to ease his protesting lower back.

“Well ain’t that a sight,” a very familiar voice purred behind him and a pair of arms wrapped around his waist securely. Xander leaned back against a strong body and snuggled into the hold. He sighed and let his head fall to the side, shivering when teeth cut into the skin of his neck and a tongue lapped at the blood that welled forth.

“What’s the matter, Pet?” Spike whispered into his ear and Xander wrapped his arms tighter over Spike’s, making the Vampire tighten his arms reflexively. On instinct Xander turned and buried his face in Spike’s neck and held on. He knew he was shivering but couldn’t stop himself. He just clung on when Spike bundled him up in his arms and carried him over to the bed, currently covered in a painter’s drop sheet, and sat down, Xander cradled in his arms.

“Do you want Angel?” Spike whispered.

Xander shrugged “Yes, no, I don’t know?” He didn’t know. Suddenly it all was all too much and he felt lost. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me,” he finally sighed, but clung tighter.
He felt the bed dip and looked up to see Angel. “How did you?”

Angel gave him a sad little smile. “I tend to always have an ear on you Xander. I let Spike come see why you were sighing so much. When he asked if you wanted me, I came over. What’s wrong a chroí? You’ve not been yourself today.”

Xander pushed at Spike’s arms and pulled himself out of his lap. There was no way he could have this conversation while sitting in either if their laps.instead he paced. From one side of the room to the other, hands alternately in his pockets, then out again in w second. Rubbing through his hair or pulling at it as he thought and tried to force his scrambled brain to get some sort of cohesion. Finally he just starting rambling and hoped it made some sense.

“Angel, in the Sunnydale days, you never had an accent. Always spoke, you know, normal. Buffy and Willow noticed and brought up how you speak with an accent a lot now. You know, like just before. All the ‘a chroí’ and ‘a ghrá’. You were never like that back then. Not even when you and Buffy dated. But with me it’s all the time, not that I’m complaining, because god, I’m not. I love it. I love that someone thinks enough of me to call me those things, thinks I’m important enough in their life. I’m not just Xander, or Zeppo or Doughnut boy to you. I’m more, so much more.”

“And that’s a problem?” Angel cut in.

“No it’s not a problem. I love it and don’t interrupt,” Xander told him, huffing at the indulgent look exchanged by his Vampires. “Gah, you’re gonna drive me nuts. Maybe that’s it. Maybe I am nuts. Or maybe I’m dreaming. I always had great sex in my dreams,” he muttered, giving his ass an experimental wiggle.

“Oi!” Spike exclaimed, eyes narrowed and Xander shrugged and grinned remembering what they’d gotten up to the night before. His ass still a little tender from the exercise.

“Maybe not,” Xander grinned and blushed. “Some sort of make Xander’s dreams come true spell or pocket demon dimension? You know like the all singing all dancin…” he trailed of when he saw the serious look on Angel’s face as he stood up from where he had been sitting next to Spike and walked over to him.

Angel stopped right in front of Xander and carefully took his face in both hands, giving him a gentle kiss on his forehead. “Whatever it is Xander, just say it,” Angel said and went back to his seat. He reached over and took Spike’s hand in his.

“It’s just the accent, you know. Angel in Sunnydale, didn’t have one. Angel in LA when we got here, didn’t have one. Angelus in Sunnydale did have one. Angel in Sunnydale never wore leather pants. Angel in LA wears leather pants. Angelus in Sunnydale wore leather pants. Cordelia said you only started wearing leather pants after we, Spike and me, came to LA.

“When Buffy and Willow asked about it the other week, I told them it’s because, while demons and the assorted creepies in LA are scared of Angel, they are terrified of Angelus. But well it got me thinking. And now I’ve got to ask and I don’t want to ask because I don’t want to wreck everything and I’m going to-” he was cut off by the hand over his mouth and the arm around his waist.

Another hand came up and wiped at his face with a, was that a tissue? Then Xander noticed the box of them on the bedside table and Spike standing in front of him with one of them in his hand. That left Angel holding him close with his lips in Xander’s hair. Xander went limp and waited. Spike wiped more tears as they fell and Xander waited and slowly calmed.

An age later Angel pulled him over to sit on the bed between himself and Spike and Xander sat there quietly. Angel eventually straightened his shoulders. “You’re not wrong Xander, but you’re not right either. I’m still Angel.”

Xander sighed in relief.

“But I’m also Angelus.”

Xander stiffened.

“Before y’ go off half cocked, Pet. Think about it. Has Sire hurt you or anyone else? Has he let people die, tortured anyone? No? Well then, give Peaches a chance to explain, yeah?”

Xander turned to face Spike. “Did you know?” He asked. He wilted at the nod, not knowing whether to feel irrationally betrayed by Spike or really stupid for not noticing. “Am I just an idiot? For not noticing I mean? I-how-why…”

Angel pulled him into his arms tighter. “You’re not an idiot. William knows because there is no way he would not know. He can feel it. His demon is a part of mine, so he’d feel when my demon isn’t as leashed as it was. It’s the same with Penn and the rest of my Childer. They know it. They feel it. That’s why they’ve come back to me. They came back to Angelus, but, that doesn’t mean I’m not still Angel. Angelus isn’t an idiot. He knows what will happen if Angel is in full control. He doesn’t like the leash. So we’ve come to and understanding, neither of us are in charge. We share. We share a body. We share the responsibilities. The good and the bad. Do you understand?”

Xander shrugged and pulled away a little, enough to look at Angel directly. “So, you’re not the great good goof and you’re not the evil bastard? Is that what you mean. You’re not one or the other you’re sorta both? All the time?”

Angel nodded. “Both good and evil. Both trying to atone and trying to take over the world, but I’m trying to keep the megalomaniacal tendencies down to a minimum. You see, Angelus was always about family and pride, so yeah he’s still about that. His family, his clan mean status. His Childer and reputation mean respect. Angelus is all about respect. So everything we’ve done so far has brought him respect, so he’s content to go along for the ride. He sticks his head up every once in a while and takes the reins if need be, otherwise he sits back and enjoys the show.” Angel explained.

“What show?” Xander had to ask.

Spike leaned over. “The twenty four hour naked Xander channel if I had my ways about it,” he whispered suggestively.

Angel barked a laugh. “Yeah, well the three of us are in agreement there,” Angel leered at Xander comically.

Xander huffed and stifled a chuckle. “As if you don’t get that enough. God, you have me naked plenty, daily even, hourly if I didn’t have things to do or places to be. I’m not even sure having other people around would stop you from getting at my ass most of the time. Is that like a Vampire thing or just a you guys thing.’

“Vampire do like a bit of exhibition, don’t we Sire?”

“I remember exhibiting you at Court quite often back when Darla wanted to make nice with Hienrich. So yes exhibition is a thing we enjoy. It shows power and dominance and we get to shove how fantastic we are in other Vampires faces. It’s like saying look at how pretty how perfect my Childe, minion, whatever is. Don’t you wish you had something this perfect. But you can’t have it it’s mine. No one ever said Vampires were adult about anything.” Angel huffed and shrugged.

“Sounds like a Gothic version of high school,” Xander remarked.

Angel laughed. “I think I saw more adults in your old high school than in all my years at Court.”

“So why build a Court? Are they all spoiled like and jealous?” Xander asked.

“A Court, Clan whatever you want to call it, it gives Vampires stability. Gives Angelus stability. He feels he has a rightful place and doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone. He’s the head of the Clan. That satisfies him. If he’s satisfied he won’t fight me for control. And between us I feel more complete. All these years with the curse I’ve felt halved. Now I don’t feel that anymore. I’m full, whole. And I have love and acceptance too. I never thought I’d be able to have that.

“As a soulless vampire, I didn’t care. It was all about the battle and blood, fighting and pillaging. Take what I wanted and to hell with the rest. With the curse it was all about self-flagellation, punishing myself. I hated me and everything I was. It was wrong and the more I hated myself, the more I blamed Angelus. I didn’t take responsibility for any of my actions, it was all Angelus. But of course, Angelus was me. I’m the one that followed Darla and allowed myself to be changed. Me, so placing everything on Angelus, while making me feel better was a fallacy, because he is me and I am him. Different aspects of the whole.

“Now though I can’t blame anyone and I have to take responsibility for my actions. I may hate what I’ve done and who I’ve been, but I can not regret being whole again. I can’t regret any of this. I’m pretty sure I don’t deserve another chance, don’t deserve you or William, or to have any of my Childer back, but I’m not about to turn my back on anything. I did that before and it hurt more than I ever knew it would or could, so I won’t be doing that any more, not again.

“Now, now I’m going to accept my faults and failings. Strengthen the areas I know need shoring up and be as good of a Master as I can, as good a Sire as possible, better than any examples other Vampires set for me. I have reason to make myself better than I was. Did any of that make sense Xander?”

Xander nodded slowly, trying to take it all in. “Let me get this straight. You said you know you were an ass in the past. You want to do better and you will. Is that what you’re basically saying?” Xander asked. He was feeling a lot more comfortable about it all now. He wiggled out of Angel’s arms and threw himself backwards on the bed. “I don’t really know why I was so worried you know. I mean even after all this time, you haven’t really changed that much. You’re still like the sweet goof I fell in love with. You’ve never hurt me, or the people I care about. You look after me and basically mother-hen everyone around the place. You went to Sunnydale and only killed when you had to. Hell you didn’t even challenge the Slayer and I bet that grates with the vengeance of the seven hell’s. So okay it might be a bit creepy thinking there are two of you in there, so I won’t think of it that way. You are not Angel and Angelus, you’re just you. Like most people you have a good food side and a selfish one. In your case the selfish one could wipe out LA if it wanted to, but Mr. Selfishness has put himself in the backseat and as long as he feels respected and well treated and free-ish like he won’t make an issue. Meanwhile goody goof ball goes about the day to day, or I should say night to night of being your friendly neighborhood blood sucking superhero, out to save little old ladies and puppies. Am I right?”

Angel looked completely confused and looked to Spike for explanations. “William?“ he croaked.

“Boys just sayin’ he figures it’s business as usual is all. He’s not scared you’ll go off the deep end and murder everyone with the raspberry jam. You’re not crazy Angelus or Saint Angel. You’re a mix of both. And that’s where the fun starts. If y’ ask me, having the both of you is the better way. Peaches could be a right stick in the mud and Angelus liked pain too much. The way you are now means you know how to have fun and do it.” Spike said calmly, the fingers of one hand running over Xander’s T-shirt clad chest to hook lightly into his jeans’ waistband.

Angel grinned then his fingers joined Spike’s and they tugged gently.

“Does that mean you think it’s naked time again? Cause I gotta tell you, Cordy has told me this room has to be finished by tomorrow. Now I’ve laid the tiles, but I still have to grout the bathroom. And then I have to paint the walls and ceilings in the bathroom and this bedroom so she can get it furnished by tomorrow or the next day. And I know none of us could survive a pissed off Cordy out for our blood.”

Angel shivered. “Not even Angelus wants to go up against her. Infact he wants to be out of the country if she ever decides to be turned.”

Xander chuckled and clambered off the bed. “Yep that’s our Cordy. Terrifying in all the right ways. The boogeyman ain’t got nothing on her. She can scare the pants off any adolescent boy, a full-grown man or a Master Vampire. She really is something else. Now you two vamoose. I got things to do.” He made shooing motions and his Vampires stood to go. He let them get to the door before he snagged the backs of their shirts and pulled them back to him. “Where’re my kisses?” His voice was innocent, his grin was not. both Vampires were laughing as they showered his face with teeny tiny kisses. He smiled happily and pulled Angel into his arms. “I love you. No matter what happens, I love you and I’m pretty sure I always will.” Then he pushed Angel away and shucked Spike under his chin. “And I love you too, my bleached blonde avenger. You’ve been my rock and I’m grateful for your strength in everything. You’ve taught me I’m stronger than I thought I was and can handle anything.” He pulled back to see two stunned faces looking back at him. With a whistle and grinning he turned his back on them and headed back into the bathroom, he had tiles to grout.

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

“What’s up with Penn, he looks like someone stole his puppy.” Xander remarked to Angel a few days later. They were curled up together on one of the loveseats.

“It’s because Casey left. This is what William was gloating about the other day. Penn’s going to be like this for a while. Thank you for organizing the farewell get together for Casey, by the way. We all enjoyed it.”

“John’s a great guy. I’m gonna miss him too. Can’t you ask for him back?”

“I already have. The Pentagon knows he has an open invitation here. That doesn’t mean we’ll get him back though,” Angel sighed.

“I hope we do get him back. For Penn’s sake if nothing else.” Xander mumbled, his gaze following the pacing Vampire. Penn’s shoulders were drooped, his face long and sad. His steps were shuffled. He barely reacted to anyone, not to Spike’s taunts or Drusilla’s teasing. No, for days, nights now he’d been like this. Withdrawn from the Clan and ignoring the world. It couldn’t be good, for anyone. “So, what do we know about his mission?”

“Not much. A type of protection detail. Undercover with a small team. Working under the FBI or CIA, I can’t remember which.” Angel said.

“Does he have back up? Does he need help?” Xander asked, sounding worried.

“I’m sure he’s fine. And I’m sure whichever alphabet agency he’s working with will have set up contingencies and back up in case its needed,” Angel answered him rubbing his soothingly over Xander’s wrist for a few seconds.

“One can only hope,” Penn’s voice wafted over from the opposite side of the lobby. “Because if anything happens to John, I will go hunting.” His gaze lasered in on Angel as if gauging his reaction to the hunting part of the statement.

Angel shrugged. “Just make sure your captures are clean and they’re guilty of something at least. And invite William to go with you. You were always a beautiful pair when out hunting. Having the both of you will bring the hunt under the authority of the Clan too. It will offer some protection from hunters.”

Penn nodded, a tiny smile lifting the corners of his mouth and resumed his pacing. Xander tugged at Angel’s sleeve getting his attention again and motioned for him to follow. Angel’s eyes practically glittered with mischief and Xander sighed shaking his head. “One track mind,” he huffed making Angel chuckle and made a grab for him which Xander easily dodged with a twist and somehow ended up wrapped in Spike’s arms as the blonde wonder miraculously materialized right where he hadn’t been a second before. Xander giggled and twisted. He’d seen this move from Spike and Angel in training and in battle. Angel would feint at an opponent, when the guy, demon, whatever would dodge, just like Xander had, he’d end up squirming on Spike’s sword or get his neck broken. Plain and simple.

So Xander knew he shouldn’t have fallen for it but here he was wrapped very securely in Spike’s arms with Angel now plastered to his front. “Cut-cut it out, I wanted to talk,” he gasped out, still grinning madly and enjoying himself regardless. It was always good to feel these men’s arms around him. He sighed and gave up. Fisting his hands into Angel’s white shirt he pulled him in and let Angel claim his lips, quickly getting lost in the sensation of lust and love, ownership and devotion. It always amazed him how the Master Vampire could make him feel he was something that was priceless. When Angel pulled away, his chin was tilted back and Spike’s lips replaced Angel’s. His kiss sharper and wilder but dripping devotion into Xander’s very heart. Finally fighting for breath Spike let his lips go and Xander sagged between his lovers. “No matter how old I get I’m never ever gonna be able to take this for granted,” he whispered making his lovers smile happily. “Now some privacy please because I want to ask you something.” And he stomped his foot for emphasis, yes it made him feel like a child but the resultant chuckles were worth it.

He was carried into a back office that looked like it was in the middle of remodeling, funny thing was Xander wasn’t the one remodeling it. He looked around curiously.

“You like it?” Angel asked apprehensively.

Xander looked around carefully. It was old world but with modern touches. Dark blues and greys. Very masculine but not heavy. He smiled. “Yeah I like it. What’s it for?”

“We figured you’d need a place to work that wasn’t the kitchen table, Pet. So, we’ve been fixing you an office.” Spike answered and let him go.

Bewildered Xander walked around the space. It was big. Not massive but big enough. Now he looked he saw a drafting table in the corner, still wrapped in shiny plastic. The desk had to be antique mahogany. The carpet was plush but what looked like Persian rugs sat here and there. Leather armchairs and a seriously comfortable looking manager’s chair sat around the desk. “Its fantastic. I love it.” Xander threw himself at his Xampires and pulled them into a three-way hug.

When they let him go he was grinning. Spike picked him up and hitched him onto his new antique desk. Looking very suggestive. Xander swatted his chest. “No. We are not about to Christen my new desk. Get your mind out of the gutter. My office is a sex free zone.”

“Well that just dares him doesn’t it,” Angel muttered, smirking. Then he sighed and put a hand on Spike’s shoulder and the blonde started to look serious. “ What’s on your mind Xander?”

Xander hunched in. “Its Penn. I’m worried about him. This can’t be good for him. He’s still finding his feet here. All the new rules. Having you guys. He really had a thing for Casey. Everyone saw it. Now Casey is gone and Penn just looks lost and sad. If I lost either of you I’d lose it. I just want to know if he’s gonna be okay,” Xander finished, voice tiny.

Angel didn’t answer. Neither did Spike. Angel did however walk to the door they had closed and pulled it open. Penn leaned in the doorway. Hands in pockets and a resigned look in his face. “Your Consort is far too observant Master.” He sighed then looked at Xander. He walked into the room and took Xander’s lax hands in his. His cold fingers gripping Xander’s tightly. “I can’t promise anything Xander, but if I feel like I’m losing control I’ll speak to my Master and his Right Hand. I promise. Yes, I do miss John. But it won’t be too long before he comes back. At least that’s what I tell myself. I’m sure Angel or Spike will let me know if I’m about to become a danger to anyone and stop me. Sire knows me well enough. But thank you for caring Xander. It means a lot.” Then he surprised Xander by kissing his knuckles and walking out proudly.

“Umm, ahh, well…” Xander trailed off at the smiles on Angel and Spike’s faces. He ran his fingers through his hair feeling unaccountably ruffled. Then he shrugged and let it go. “So, I’m gonna need some more furniture.”

“Yes you are. William help Xander. I have some phone calls to make and maybe a Clan member to bring home.” Angel said, turned and left.

Xander watched as Drusilla, Theresa and four of Casey’s grunts, two women and two men sparred in the lobby, using furniture as barricades and obstacles. It had been Spike’s idea to spar outside of their training room and it was quite an exhibition. Dru fought like a cat. In and out, slash and turn. Hiss and strike. There and gone before you knew it. She had a female and male opponent. The woman quick and sure the man strong and stable. They worked as a pair against her each shoring the others weakness. They faced much the same. They were all rather evenly matched. Xander knew of course that neither of the Vampires was fighting to kill. It was sparring and releasing energy. It was like a game for them. He’d seen these particular groupings before. Each vampire had their favorites he supposed.

Penn stood in a corner watching, as did Sam. Sam actually leaned on Cordelia’s desk, a hand idly running through her hair. It made Xander blink. He hadn’t seen that coming. But then it appeared Sam liked having someone else in charge in all things, and Cordy was and would always be Queen C. His attention had shifted back to Penn when he stiffened and looked to the front door. Angel let out a low growl and everyone stopped. The front door opened quietly and two men entered. One familiar. One a stranger. And Penn flew from his position to wrapped himself around a familiar body dressed in an army uniform.

Angel relaxed and Xander sagged into him. “You knew? You were waiting?”

Angel shook his head. “I was hoping,” he said.

Eventually Xander and Cordelia corralled everyone. Into the kitchen. Once seated, humans drinking soda and Vampires tucked in close, Casey told them what was happening.

“This dunderhead is Chuck. He got whammied by a computer program. Literally he absorbed the damned thing. Now he’s part computer for all I get it. Anyway, he’s a government asset and everyone wants him. He wasn’t safe where he was. He’s not really safe anywhere. I was on protection detail with a CIA task force but it appeared we were about to be infiltrated so the powers that be needed a safe place to stash him for a while. Someone figured a Vampire Clan would be the safest place. So here we are.”

Chuck had gone from strained to pale to sickly as Casey’s words kept going. Now he looked like he was about to pass out. Xander reached a hand over the table and patted the other man’s tightly clenched fist. Chuck looked up into his eyes. Shock and fear pinwheeling head over heels in their depths.

“Don’t worry Chuck. You’re safe here. Trust me,” Xander told him.

Chuck shook his head like he was trying to clear it. He opened his mouth but he shut it again quickly. He tried but again nothing came out.

Casey appeared to notice and ruffled then younger man’s shaggy brown hair. “Stop worrying about it kid. You’re safe here, like Xander said. These guys don’t drink human .”

“What they’re vegetarian vampires? And did I just say vampires?” Chuck squeaked.

It was Penn that laughed first and loudest. He was happy again after weeks of misery and didn’t mind showing it. “No Chuck, we’re hardly vegetarians, but we also don’t bite without invitation. That’s one of the rules in Sire’s Court and we all follow those rules on pain of death. I’m Penn. Casey are you going to make introductions?” Penn nudged the Colonel gently and Casey chuckled.

“Sure babe. Okay everyone this is Chuck. Chuck this is everyone, well almost everyone.” Casey grinned around at the table looking very pleased. Penn huffed and Casey started to laugh. “Just kidding. Alright that over there is Angel, Sire and Master of the Clan or Court. Yes, he is a Vampire, a Master Vampire. The human next to him is Xander. He’s Angel’s Consort, boyfriend, the blonde is Spike, Angel’s enforcer and lover. Yeah, they are a threesome. This guy plastered to me is Penn. I guess I can call you my boyfriend, Penn?”

Penn sighed and nodded once.

“Great, good. That dark haired beautiful Vampiress is Drusilla, she’d kill ya before you knew it. Never underestimate any of them. They are walking death if they want to be. Therese is beside Drusilla and we have a couple of fangers missing but we’ll introduce them later. Now you would think all the Vampires were the ones to watch out for, but nope that would be wrong. See that gorgeous lady over there, her name is Cordelia Chase and she’s the most dangerous one here. Never ever cross Queen C. And she’s completely human.”

Cordelia grinned and waggled her manicured nails at them.

“Like Penn said,” Angel spoke up now. “None of my Vampires would bite without invitation. If you invite the attention you would not be denied, but it’s your choice. Spike and I drink exclusively from Xander and occasionally we drink bagged, more for the comfort of holding a warmed mug in our hands. Penn is pretty much faithful to Casey. Dru and Theresa have a few donors and supplement with bagged when they feel like it. The ladies in my Court like to vary their menu I believe.”

Drusilla smirked at them and ran a talon like nail over the table smugly.

Angel laughed softly. “Cordelia, Sam?”

“In the library with Wesley and Gunn, research. Sam is on human exclusive now. But I’m worried. He doesn’t take much,” she said running a finger over two faint marks on her neck.

“Is he drinking from you, Wes and Gunn?” Spike asked.

She nodded.

“That’s why,” Theresa spoke up. “Male blood is more filling than female. He’d drink his fill from your men and leave your blood as a treat or dessert. You smell sweeter. Wesley’s blood smells almost light but Gunn smells like a full banquet. I could feel jealous of what Sam is getting, but he needs as much strength as he can get. When Sire made him he didn’t have time to pour as much strength and attention into him as he should have. That makes a difference. Sire’s blood and attention makes a strong Childe.”

“We were in a sinking submarine at the time,” Angel explained. “Things had to be done quickly. But then I abandoned him with William. That didn’t help him. But he is still stronger than many Childer. Don’t ever mistake him for weak.”

“Of course not Sire. He is a Childe of Aurelius after all,” Drusilla said her eyes going unfocussed as she looked at Chuck. “Numbers float around the human puppy. Little little glowy numbers, ones and zeroes. Dots and dashes. So pretty, so pretty,” she said then stood and wandered out of the room.

The watched her go. Xander shrugged at Chuck when the young man looked at him. “She’s not nuts, but, well she’s not really here either. Angelus turned her because she is a Seer. But well he did a number on her and she’s a little cuckoo. Dangerous but definitely cuckoo. Oh, we’ll explain the Angelus thing later. You don’t have to worry about that for now.”

“Wait, did she say numbers?” Cordelia spoke up. “Like computers?”

Chuck shrugged. “Maybe?”

She strode forward to lean over him on the table, almost bowling him over with her chest. Penn pulled him back slightly, annoyed gaze darting to Cordelia. She huffed then ignored everyone except Chuck. “Do you or do you not understand computers?”

Chuck nodded.

“Good. You’re hired!” She exclaimed. Fingers wiggling excitedly.

“What?” Multiple voices asked.

“Chuck can earn his keep around here by bringing this old place into this century. Xander can fix it, I can run it, but neither of us can bring it forward in time properly. So, for as long as Chuck is here, he can get to work and keep busy. I don’t know what he’s going to need but he can make lists I guess.”

“Cordelia Chase, explain.” Angel demanded.

She huffed and with a few prods pushed Chuck out of his chair and somehow into Penn’s lap. Xander bit his lip to not laugh at the surprised look on both of their faces and the indulgence on Casey’s. This situation would bear watching apparently. He turned his attention back to Cordelia.

“The Hyperion is a great old hotel, and with us all living here it’s a great home, but it is a hotel and I’ve had people want to book rooms here. Not just human people, demons, monsters and everything in between. They want to stay in the Aurelean Court. Give tribute and tithe, whatever that means. Anyway, I keep saying no, because were not equipped yet. We have the rooms ready. Xander has done great. Especially when Casey’s people helped him. So we have the rooms already. But that’s it. We are so back in the dark ages I’m surprised we even have television and telephone. Chuck can fix that for us and I can stop turning away guests and money.” She explained. “This place does not pay for itself and we do have bills.”

Angel nodded his understanding. Then looked at Spike and Xander. Xander shrugged. Spike nodded once. “Chuck can you do what Cordelia wants? Do you want to?” Angel asked him.

Chucked shrugged and nodded carefully. “Probably? I have to look at what you have but, yeah I think I could. And I really don’t want to be bored and in the way. So yes? Yes, I probably could to it.”

“Fabulous,” Cordelia grinned triumphant. “We’ll work out the details later. Now I suppose you’ll need rooms. And since Casey is your protection, they should be close to his. And since his things are in Penn’s suite, you should probably take the second bedroom in the suite. That right with you Penn? John?”

“I have no objections,“ Penn said.

“Cool by me,” Casey answered. He stood. “Come on Chuck. Penn and I will show you the way. Grab your gear.”

Xander watched the three leave the kitchen. Then Therese huffed and with a chuckle shoved Cordelia’s shoulder and left the kitchen, just behind the trio.

Xander raised his eyebrows at Cordelia’s smug look.

“Penn moped around so much when John was gone that he was a distraction. He needs someone else to occupy his time in case John has to go somewhere else. Or else if Chuck has to go,” she said while examining her nails intently.

“You tryin’ t’ set ‘em up?” Spike drawled and she shrugged.

“A poly relationship seems to work for Vampires.” Was all she said. Then she stood up and left them alone in the kitchen.

Angel chuckled and pulled Xander into his lap, nuzzling at his neck happily. Spike moved over and went to work on Angel’s ear. “She’s not wrong,” Angel sighed.

Xander pulled away and ran his fingers through dark and blonde hair. “Looks like we’re all going to be alright? Between us and the Clan?”

Angel nodded. “The Aurelius Clan is strong and will get stronger. The Government thinks we are an asset and will do what they can for us. We have each other and are building strong emotional connections. We have Angelus and his experiences to draw on. Between us we are strong and smart. We’ll be fine.”

“Better than fine,” Spike piped up. “We’re Clan.”

Xander grinned. Clan. That was all that needed to be said