Chapter Title: 5. If I Had a Kuna for Every Demon
Warnings: a little language, a little angst, a little m/m, a little violence
Notes: I'll be posting the chapters all day. Lovely banner by zoesmith
Summary: Based on this prompt from reremouse: Post-Chosen Xander needs a place to live. It's Spike's turn to take Xander in. Why is he homeless? What happened? And why did he have to turn to Spike? (Extra challenge: The reason is something other than torture, captivity, slavery, abuse, or a falling out with the scoobies)
Previous chapters here.
Chapter Five—If I Had a Kuna for Every Demon
He was huddled on his side. He was hogtied, with chains binding his hands and ankles behind his back. He was naked. His pale, pale body was covered in scratches and gouges and bruises and small, circular burns. Both of his eyes were so puffy it was unlikely he could open them, his nose was broken, and the whole side of his head was matted with dried blood. His genitals were badly swollen, and a long piece of metal pipe was sticking out of his rectum.
Xander knelt and laid a hand on Spike’s shoulder. “Spike?” he whispered. There was no response.
Xander looked around the room. For all he knew, there were more demons lurking someplace. He needed to get Spike out of here.
Okay. Chains first.
With a grimace on his face, Xander walked back to where the Fyarls were. He went through the pockets of the first and found nothing but some rumpled kuna. With the second demon, though, he pit paydirt: a ring of keys. He took it over to Spike and was very relieved to find that one of the keys fit the locks that bound the vampire. Awkwardly, due to the useless arm, Xander unchained him. Then he carefully drew out the pipe, fighting nausea as a gush of blood escaped from Spike’s torn body.
Spike wasn’t a very big guy, but there was no way Xander was going to be able to carry him with one arm. He shrugged out of his jacket and, as gingerly as he could, rolled Spike onto it. Then he laboriously dragged it—and Spike—across the floor and to the door.
Another of the keys was for the Opel. Xander ran outside and unlocked the back, then, after some fumbling, managed to fold the seat down. He pulled Spike across the crumbling asphalt until he was flush against the car. Then, swearing loudly, and probably banging Spike up even worse in the process, he tugged and lifted and juggled Spike into the hatch. He covered him with his jacket.
In the driver’s seat, Xander was faced with another problem. The car had a manual transmission. He had to take his good hand off the steering wheel to shift, and he was thankful that there was very little traffic this time of night. He kept the car in second gear, coasting whenever possible and trying to avoid stopping altogether, and drove across the bridge and back to their building.
He parked haphazardly as close to the door as possible and considered how the hell he was going to get Spike up the stairs. And he’d better decide quickly, because eventually Zagreb’s finest were bound to come along, and he really didn’t want to explain why he had what appeared to be a brutalized corpse in the back of his car.
He got out, walked to the back, and opened the hatch. Spike still appeared to be unconscious. He wasn’t even breathing. Okay. He was just going to have to manage, that’s all. Tonight he killed three Fyarls; he ought to be able to handle one smallish vampire.
Xander slipped his jacket back on himself. He maneuvered Spike around and into his arm, wincing as the inert body bounced and flopped against the inside of the car. He took a deep breath and managed to heave Spike over his left shoulder, using his right arm to keep him in place. It was really unwieldy, but he just might make it upstairs.
And he did, barely. He knelt in front of the apartment door, cringing again as Spike rolled to the floor. He unlocked the door, tugged and rolled Spike inside, and then locked the door behind them.
And then he collapsed on his back on the floor, panting, not quite believing that they’d actually made it home.
Home, where he had a damaged vampire and a paralyzed arm.
“Do you know if there’s any cure for Fyarl mucous?”
“I’m tired, Angel. My arm won’t work. I’ve got claw marks across my chest.” As soon as he said that, they started to hurt. “And Spike—he’s a goddamn mess. I don’t want to talk about it right now. Just tell me. Do you know what to do about demon snot?”
“Where are you, Xander?”
“Passed out next to me.”
Angel swore under his breath. “All right. If you soak the mucous it’ll come off, and the effect will wear off pretty quickly.”
“Great. Any tips for doctoring vamps, other than lots of blood?”
“No. That’s it. Human’s best.”
“’Kay. Thanks. Gotta go.”
“Xander? Are you going to be all right?”
“I’ll call you later.”
Xander pushed the disconnect button and let his arm fall to his side. He rolled his head and looked at Spike, who was still in a small, bloody heap. He needed to get his act together.
He had just managed to wrestle Spike onto the futon when his phone rang again.
“Xander! What happened? Were there demons and was Spike there and are you okay?”
“Yes and yes and more or less.”
“He’s here, Will. We’re home. And please, please let me call you tomorrow, okay? I’m wiped.”
She was quiet for a moment. “Okay. But don’t forget to call, Mister.”
Once again he hung up and this time he turned the phone off. He didn’t have the energy to talk to anyone else right now. He really just wanted to sleep, actually. But he had to try to get some blood in Spike, and get rid of the crap on his arm, and do something about those wounds on his chest, and get Spike cleaned up. Shit.
Getting blood into an unconscious vampire was a problem. He tried pouring some in to Spike’s gaping mouth, but it just poured right out again, trickling down the white neck and onto the pillowcase. He dripped just a few drops in and massaged Spike’s throat, but at that rate it’d be the next century before enough got in there.
Xander sighed and fetched the last remaining silver knife. He couldn’t move his left arm yet, but he could cut it, and he did, slicing shallowly into the wrist. Then he pressed the wrist against those soft, slack lips. At first nothing happened. But then he felt a little more pressure against his skin, and a slight suction, and he heard the tiny sound of Spike swallowing. He held his arm still, watching carefully, finding the sight of Spike feeding from him erotic even under these circumstances.
Spike moaned quietly. Xander whispered his name, and he thought maybe Spike’s eyelashes fluttered a little, but it was hard to tell.
Xander was wondering how much blood Spike could safely take from him when the vampire moaned again and moved his head slightly, detaching his mouth from Xander. Without really thinking about what he was doing, Xander reached out and smoothed the hair on the undamaged side of Spike’s head, but Spike didn’t respond.
Xander dragged himself into the bathroom and painstakingly stripped off his clothes. Getting the pill bottle open one-handed was a pain in the ass, but he managed. He turned the shower on. The water stung when it hit his chest, but he stood there for a long time, feeling the dried mucous slowly loosen and wash away. It took forever to get it all off, and by the time it was gone, he was leaning wearily against the shower wall.
Finally he dried off. He stopped at the dresser to pull on some briefs, and then crawled into bed beside Spike. Everything else could wait until he got a few hours of sleep.
It was Spike shifting slightly beside him that woke him up. He looked groggily at the vampire, and was pleased to see that he looked better already. There were still quite a few nasty-looking wounds, but his eyes and nose had healed considerably.
Spike groaned and moved again. He was shivering. Automatically, Xander drew the battered body close to himself, wrapping Spike in an arm that was, blessedly, once again working. Spike didn’t open his eyes, but he sighed and nestled closer against him.
And then Xander froze, because Spike slowly nuzzled at his chest, and then he started licking at Xander’s claw marks, his pink tongue lapping against Xander’s skin like a cat’s. So Xander wasn’t completely surprised when he felt sharp teeth sinking into the flesh just over his left nipple. Now it was Xander’s turn to moan, because Jesus Christ.
Spike wiggled slightly against him, nursing from him slowly.
Xander had no idea how much blood he was taking. He didn’t really care. He could be perfectly happy dying like this.
Then Spike moved again and withdrew his fangs, but pressed himself against Xander even more. That was okay, too. Xander liked the cool hardness of Spike’s body, and apparently even unconscious, Spike enjoyed his body heat.
Xander fell back asleep.
“Xander? Oh, god, Xander. What did I do?”
Xander awoke to a pair of anguished-looking blue eyes, only inches from his brown one.
“Spike! You’re awake.” Well, that was brilliant.
“I bit you!” Spike was tracing his fingers lightly over the tiny puncture marks on Xander’s chest.
“Not the first time.”
“But you’re hurt, and…how did we get here? Those demons—“
“Those demons are dead, and everything’s going to be fine. Do you want me to get you some blood?”
“I fed from you when you were hurt!”
Spike was still nestled against him, and Xander could feel how tense his body was. But god, that body felt good against his.
“It’s no big deal. You were banged up a whole lot worse than me, and I wanted you to. It’s okay.”
Spike looked around the room in confusion. “How did I get here?”
“In the back of a car, and then over my shoulder.”
“You—you rescued me?”
Xander tried not to be hurt by Spike’s incredulous tone. Of course the vampire was surprised. Who expected the Zeppo to pull something like this off all by himself? “Yeah,” he said tightly.
“Bloody hell,” Spike whispered.
Abruptly, Xander pulled himself away from Spike and stood. He padded to the fridge and poured some blood into Spike’s favorite mug, then nuked it in the microwave and carried it over. Spike’s hands were slightly shaky, but he was able to hold the cup himself. Xander said nothing as Spike gulped and swallowed, quickly draining the container. Xander took it from him and brought him a refill, then another, and then one more. Finally, Spike said it was enough for now.
He still looked like shit. Bruised and bloody and weak. His head fell back against the stained pillow, and his eyes closed. “Let me rest a bit, yeah?”
Xander realized he had no idea when he last ate, and he was ravenous. He headed into the kitchen and drank most of a carton of juice, and then ate pretty much everything he could find.
When his stomach was pleasantly full, he checked on Spike, who was sleeping soundly. Then he picked up his phone and turned it on. He had seventeen messages. He checked the numbers. A bunch from Willow. A couple each from Giles and Angel. And even one from Buffy. Xander sighed and took he phone into the bathroom, shutting the door so he wouldn’t wake Spike.
He called each of them back, assuring them that he was fine and everything was okay. Only Angel asked how Spike was doing. None of them seemed quite willing to believe he’d successfully fought three Fyarls single-handed.
He had, though, hadn’t he? He’d done the spell correctly, he’d found the missing vampire, he’d offed the bad guys, and he’d gotten Spike home and on the mend. Huh.
When he came back out, Spike was propped up in bed, blinking sleepily at him.
“Want some blood, Spike?”
Xander was still wearing only his briefs, and Spike stared at him as he padded into the kitchen and warmed up a mug. He carried it over.
“Your chest. Are you all right, pet?”
“I’m fine. Mmm—maybe some disinfectant might be of the good. Are Fyarls germy?”
“First aid kit on the shelf in the closet.”
Xander doctored himself while Spike drank.
“How are you feeling, Spike?”
The vampire looked down at himself. “I’ve been better. Would have been a lot worse if it weren’t for you. But that was a really stupid thing to do, Xander.”
“What?” Xander growled. “I was just supposed to let them tear you apart?”
“They could have bloody well torn you apart, too. Nearly did.”
Xander shrugged. “Yeah, well, if I had a kuna for every demon that almost killed me….”
Spike shook his head. “You could have found another vampire, pet. Your friends could have helped you…control it.”
Suddenly, Xander was furious. “You think I saved your ass just so you could bite me? You think that’s all….” He couldn’t say any more. Snarling wordlessly, he stomped over to the dresser and started to throw on a pair of jeans.
“Shut up! Just shut the fuck up!” He didn’t look at Spike as he pulled on a shirt and his filthy jacket, and slipped his feet into a pair of Reeboks. The he left, slamming the door behind him.
It was late afternoon. He tramped aimlessly around, not even realizing until he was far from home that he wasn’t wearing the patch. Home. That was a joke. He had places he could stay—Spike’s apartment, Giles’s place, Buffy’s Slayer Headquarters near Bath, probably even Willow’s coven in a pinch. But he didn’t really have a home, did he? A quarter century of life, and all he had to show for it was some clothing, a small photo album, and some interesting scars.
Last night, he’d finally done something really right. He’d saved someone he—oh fuck. Someone he loved.
He sank to the curb, burying his face in his hands.
He’d fallen in love with Spike. And he had no idea what he was going to do about it.