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19 November 2012 @ 12:17 pm
The Hive, Chapter 8  

THE HIVE

By Fangstress

CHAPTER 8

Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer crossover Angel the Series

Warnings: Violence, Slash, Rating R, Spangel, Eventual Spander, Vamp!Xander, Post Series, Ensemble Cast, Angst, Hurt/Comfort

SUMMARY: Xander's life changes forever when he tries to help a deranged Slayer...

To read Chapter 1, click here:  http://fangstress.livejournal.com/10764.html

To read Chapter 2, click here: http://fangstress.livejournal.com/11426.html

To read Chapter 3, click here: http://fangstress.livejournal.com/11695.html

To read Chapter 4, click here: http://fangstress.livejournal.com/12097.html

To read Chapter 5, click here: http://fangstress.livejournal.com/12826.html

To read Chapter 6, click here: http://fangstress.livejournal.com/13435.html

To read Chapter 7, click here: http://fangstress.livejournal.com/13968.html

LAST WEEK:

Angel gazed down at Xander with something fiercely protective-- loving, in his expression. “Alright.” He murmured, lifting his wrist to his mouth. He allowed his demon face to come to the surface, slashing his wrist with razor sharp fangs to allow the blood to flow freely. "Let's get you fed, Xander."

Xander's own demon rose joyfully, gleefully. And, ohhh, it knew exactly what to do; Xander felt his face shift and crunch, and with both hands, he gripped Angel’s bleeding wrist in his trembling hands and drank.

AND NOW….



THE HIVE

By Fangstress

Chapter 8

Xander drifted up out of a haze of bloody dreams and intense, fey light that hurt-- to shockingly normal surroundings. He... didn't feel any different. Had he been dreaming?

But this wasn't his old flat back in London. No lumpy mattress on the floor, no dingy walls-- well, okay, these were dingy, too-- but the wrong color. Not a 60's ochre, filthy with decades of dust and grit, but a faded ivory, mellow and peeling. There was a jagged hole in the wall adjacent to his bed-- as if someone had punched a fist through it.

So, here he was, was in a actual bed, in a room he didn't recognize, which looked like it had once been a classy hotel, what with all the shabby Art Deco touches around the room; lamp which he turned on, carpet, work and faded.

There was blood and bits of plaster and plaster dust on the carpet. It looked like someone had been fighting. More like a hurricane had touched down in it. It was wrecked. Had it been him? Xander stared, then swung out of bed, realizing a moment after he'd done it, that he was naked.

That's disturbing.

Who undressed me?

Angel…

The room…I did this.

Xander sank to his knees as a maelstrom of memories hit him, and he moaned, shaking his head.

No, no, no--

**

It took him awhile to pull himself together, but Xander thought he'd done a reasonably good job of it. He didn’t break anything this time. Now, he stood, hips draped in a decadently fluffy towel.

His abdomen was a mass of scars, but the skin had knitted together. He wondered if the scars would ever fade. He decided he was just glad to be ambulatory and vertical. He rummaged through the bathroom cabinet, finding a fresh toothbrush and toothpaste. Even mouthwash.

Xander’s overlong hair dripped all over the linoleum, and he relaxed a little, enjoying the delicious warmth of the steamy bathroom, brushing his teeth. On impulse, he let his demon out, feeling the bones in his face move and crunch. He tested the fangs with his tongue. Sharp. He shrugged and brushed them, too.

Wish I could see myself, because that? Would have been funny. Xander grinned a little to himself.

"It's really weird at first. Having no reflection."

Xander jumped, nearly dropping the towel, whirling to face the vampire behind him. "Yikes, man! Make some noise!"

"You would have heard me coming, if you hadn't been so--" Angel looked almost endearingly puzzled and embarrassed at the same time. "--preoccupied."

"Angel!" Xander gritted. “Bathroom! Boundaries!"

"Ah." Both hands raised, Angel backed out of the bathroom quickly. “Sorry, sorry.”

Xander slammed the door after him. "Uh, and Deadb—err, Angel? Clothes?” Xander called through the closed door.

Xander stood still for a long moment. Time to face the music.

**

Much better, Xander mused, happy to pulling on old sweats and his battered, comfy t-shirt, still wishing he had a reflection. He opened the bathroom door to find Angel sitting in a chair by the bed. Angel regarded him patiently, as if he were a new employee or something. Or maybe... more than that? Did that mean that Angel thought he was responsible for Xander, now? Of course he did. He was Xander's Sire-- everything Xander did would reflect on Angel. As he thought about this, he felt the response of the demon, and had to fight himself not to hunch over, to bow, to beg for his Sire's mercy. It made him sick to his stomach.

And isn't it nice that I can still feel nauseous about Angel? He forced himself to stand up straighter and moved to the bed, sinking down to sit. He sank.  "So. This is my life - err--Unlife...now."

Angel's voice was grave. "Yes. How are you feeling?  You were pretty badly wounded before.”

"You Turned me." Xander said numbly.

Angel sighed."Yeah."

“It was my choice.” Xander said with finality. It was an affirmation, and acceptance of where the blame truly lay. Angel sighed again, but didn’t touch Xander. He seemed almost …skittish, or worried that he might do or say the wrong thing, and inadvertently…break him.

 They sat together like that for a while, each silently lost in his own thoughts. Xander tried stretching a little, wincing from the ache that, while greatly faded, still hadn't gone away. Vampire healing, right. His voice sounded rusty when he spoke. "I feel... so tired. Weak and tired. I still hurt. She tore me apart."

Angel nodded sympathetically. Eventually he reached into his pocket, and pulled something out, handing it to Xander.

"Oh, wow. I thought I'd lost it." Xander smiled a little as he gazed at Spike's lighter in the palm of his hand.

"I thought you might want to have it back." Angel said, carefully.

"Yeah. I did." Xander said. "Thanks." He noticed that the lighter was clean, polished to gleaming. Like his bright, shiny new--"I have my soul?" Xander asked. "You actually got it back? Because, I don't feel particularly evil. I don’t feel that different. Just kinda…cold.”

"Yes, but you can thank Wesley for that."

Angel was still being excessively kind, and it was kind of creeping Xander out. "Uhmm. Angel? Is Wesley a ghost or something?"

"He prefers De-Corporealized Person", Angel chuckled, “But yeah."

Xander looked at Angel with dismay. But that would mean… of course, he was dead. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be a ghost, right? Xander mentally thwapped himself upside the head.  "How did that happen? And why is he still here?" He chewed his lip a moment. "I mean, obviously I'm glad that he's-- still here-- sort of--"

Angel leaned forward in his chair. "Wes was...killed, during our last fight with the Senior Partners, but Illyria managed to keep him - his essence -on another plane of existence, another dimension. He can act in our dimension when she opens an interdimensional portal-- otherwise; he's pretty incorporeal, with no more power than your average poltergeist."

"Illyria?" Xander asked, remembering. "The Blue chick? Stilted language patterns?"

"Yeah that would be her." Angel said. "She's sort of a Primordial Hellgod. Sort of. She's getting better.  Sort of." He looked tired, Xander noticed. As if he’d been up for days. Nights. Whatever.

Xander stood stiffly, winced, and even more stiffly eased back down again. "Didn’t I get the whole Vampire Super Healing thing? I thought I'd be better by now." He kicked at plaster dust on the torn up carpet, winced again, pressing his hand to his belly. He reached for his bag.

Stopping him with a raised hand, Angel snagged it and handed the duffle to him. "Easy. You're, new, you’re a fledge.  It'll take you a while to get up to strength, and you've got a lot more healing to do."

Xander dug around in the bag. Ah. Clean socks. Blessedly clean socks.

 "You'll feed from me some more. That should help." Angel gave him a sideways glance.

Xander really wasn't sure about how he felt about that one. On the other hand, he wasn't killing anyone else, was he? Light dawned. "Because it's Sire's blood?"

"That's true, but it's also Ancient Blood. Aurelian. We're an old, old lineage. There's a lot of power in that. If there wasn't that strength inherent in our line, I couldn't have saved you."

"Gotcha." Xander said, remembering. “Blood from the Master."

Angel moved from the chair to sit on the bed next to Xander. Not too close, but close enough that Xander actually felt the urge from his demon to purr... or something. Angel seemed oblivious, but Xander knew that he couldn’t be. But the elder Vampire went on, as if nothing was unusual. It was... actually calming.

"The Master was ancient when he made Darla." He said. “We’re not sure just how old he was. He'd been a visionary once during the Renaissance. A Philosopher. He loved the Arts and Sciences, such as they were in his day. Aurelian Vampires have always been the most human of all the Vampire Lineages. The most quirky, odd, and gifted. You may find gifts you had that were dormant or weak when you were human-- becoming  much more powerful. It happens with us.  It happened with all of us. Drusilla, Darla, Penn... They’re all gone now."

Xander kept digging around in his bag. His fingers finally closed over the strap of his patch. Finally. The Vampire healing hadn’t extended at all to his eye. Oddly enough, it reassured him somehow. He’d lost the eye--earned that scar in battle, fighting with the Scoobies, at Spike’s side. It reminded him of who he was. He never wanted to forget that; who he was.

I fought at Buffy’s side, too, he thought belatedly, guiltily. And Willow, and the others…

They betrayed me. He had to clench his hands into fists to keep back the roar that bubbled up in his chest.

Angel’s knowing gaze flicked over him, then he stood and walked over to the bureau to lean against it, arms crossed, staring at nothing. “There were only two of us left, me and Spike.  And we became Souled."

Xander bowed his head, to slip the patch on. His hands shook with tightly controlled rage.

"And now there are three of us." Angel said. "A Triumvirate, Wesley called it. Three Aurelian Vampires with Souls.  He thinks it's important, somehow. That maybe it's part of a prophecy."

Xander spluttered incredulously, “Me? Part of a prophecy?  Wait. You said Spike? Bu t he's dead. Died on the Hellmouth! Burned up-- he---"

Angel gave a little smile. "Spike's here.” He came closer to stand before Xander, facing him. "He's my Seer. My liaison to the Powers that Be."

Xander's mouth hung open with shock for a moment. Then he pressed his hand to his heart. "Angel, O, Sire of mine--I don't know if I can keep handling all the shocks you keep dishing out. My undead-non-beating-black still heart can't take it! There; did I get all of the clichés?"

Angel gave him a flat look. "There are a few you missed." After a moment, he snorted, amused. "Spike's here and he's alive.”

Xander shot to his feet, ignoring screaming muscles and torn flesh. “So, when can I see him?”

Angel abruptly looked old, so old.  “This really isn’t a good time, Xander. There’s a lot—a lot you don’t know.”

**

So that’s it for this week— see ya next Monday!



 
 
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