When Xander had thought about how he would die he hadn't imagined that it would happen while being groped by a fledge. Although, come to think about it, it was par for the course.
"Hmm," the vamp murmured against his neck. Xander could feel the cool breath puffing across his skin. He cringed as far away from the rancid breath and sharp teeth as he could. He couldn't believe this fledge had gotten the jump on him. The smell must have overpowered him.
"You do smell sweet. No wonder he wants you. I wonder if you taste as good as you smell?"
“Anything's better than how you smell, buddy. Dental hygiene is important for the modern vamp,” Xander gasped out. The vampire tightened his grip on his arms, hissing in anger.
Way to go, Xan-man. Antagonize the demon trying to eat you. Perhaps not his smartest move.
Xander had only a moment to cry out in shock as the vampire threw him into a tombstone. His back collided with a solid smack and he fell forward onto his stomach. He wrapped his arms around his chest, groaning as he felt his ribs shift. Oh, yeah. Definitely cracked a rib there.
The vampire picked him up by his shirt bringing him close to his fangs. Xander struggled wildly, trying to escape the vampire's hold. His eyes darted around the cemetery looking for help but he had been thrown too far away from the main fight. Buffy was closer than Giles but she was fighting off two vampires. She staked one and whirled to block the other's fist.
He knew that if he didn't get their attention he was dead meat. Or undead meat.
"Buffy!" he shouted, hoping she could hear him. She staked the last one and moved on to drag a vamp off of Giles. Neither one looked in his direction. Xander felt his heart plummet and real fear set in. There was no Buffy to save him. He was going to die alone.
The vampire chuckled darkly. "No one can hear you, little mouse. Now," he purred, scenting his throat again, "shall I drain you or turn you so we can have some …" He broke off suddenly, his features twisted in confusion before disintegrating into dust.
Xander had a split second to look into brilliant blue eyes before falling through the dusted hands to the ground. He cursed as his ribs were jostled yet again. The pain was so intense his vision whited out for a few seconds.
“Up you get, pet.” Gentle hands pulled him from the ground. Okay, he thought dazedly, make that broken ribs.
“Spike?” gasped Xander as he swayed dangerously. The world stopped spinning long enough for the two blonde vampires to merge into one.
Spike wrapped an arm around his waist, the only thing keeping him upright. He leaned gratefully into his side as he tried to manage the pain. He stood there for a few minutes lulled by Spike's thumb rubbing a soothing pattern over his hip. A distant yell snapped Xander's head up. He tensed as his eyes darted around nervously as he looked for his friends. He started to pull away but Spike had him in a gentle but firm grip.
Spike pulled him over toward a mausoleum and carefully propped him up against it. He prodded at Xander's ribs, chuckling when Xander slapped his hand away. Even the gentle touch was still too much on his aching ribs.
"What the hell, Spike?" he hissed still trying to see if anyone had seen them. There was no way he could handle Buffy right now.
"S'all right, pet," Spike smirked. "The Slayer and Watcher are a bit busy right now. Didn't see a thing," he said, smirk turning to a frown. His hands returned to Xander's ribs. "Bloody prats."
"Whose fault is that?" Xander scowled at him, slapping his hands away again. Xander absolutely did not find the mother henning adorable. Nope, not at all. "And what exactly was that, Spike?" He gestured to the ashy pile.
Spike rolled his shoulders and dug out a cigarette. "Crossed the line, didn't he? Minions got orders they can fight with ya, rough ya up a bit but not hurt you
," he said angrily. He scowled back at the pile of ash, lighting up his cigarette.
Xander stared at him for a moment before he groaned and put his head in his hands. How did his life get so ridiculous? "Spike, you can't... I mean it's..." He straightened and looked Spike in the eye. "You can't treat me differently just because we're ... friends."
"Can to," said Spike defiantly, glaring at him. "My minions."
Okay, that was it. Xander had had enough of this crap.
"I'm perfectly capable of defending myself." Xander snapped. "Stop it with the fray-adjacent crap."
"Fine," Spike snarled, eyes flashing gold. "Next time you're about to become a meal, I won't bloody save you."
Xander scowled at the ground. He couldn't deny that he was, okay, maybe a little pleased that Spike was looking out for him. He peeked a glance at the blonde vampire.
Spike was furiously puffing on his cigarette muttering under his breath.
Xander sighed. "Thank you."
Spike turned back to him with a smirk. "What was that, pet? Did you say something?"
Spike was such an ass.
He scowled at him. "Don't press your luck, Spike. I still haven't forgotten that I'm mad at you." He shoved at his shoulder.
Which was a stupid move. Worst move ever.
Xander clutched at the shoulder he had just shoved and sucked in shallow breaths.
"Pet?" Spike questioned anxiously. He once again put steadying hands at Xander's waist.
"Ribs," Xander wheezed.
"You need to get those taped up, luv. Think you're gonna have to sit out a few rounds," he said, frowning in concern. He looked away. "I guess Demon Girl'll be happy to have ya at home."
"Ahh," Xander winced and took a small step back from Spike. "Actually, she's packing up her things tonight. We, umm, broke up." He risked a quick glance at Spike. "Nobody knows yet."
"Oh." Spike looked shocked for a moment before he cleared his throat and looked down at the ground. "Well, isn't that interesting." He looked up at Xander, a little smile playing around his mouth.
Xander's gaze was riveted on his mouth. "Yeah. It wasn't fair to Anya. She knew when we started dating that there was someone else," he ducked his head, "but I was too scared to do anything about it." He brought his head up to look Spike in the eyes. "I'm not scared anymore."
"No?" Spike questioned quietly. He slowly swayed toward Xander.
"No." He leaned in, lips hovering only inches from Spike's."XANDER! WHERE ARE YOU?"
The two men jerked away as Buffy's bellow rang through the cemetery. Xander whined in pain and frustration while Spike snarled in game face.
Xander put a gentle hand on Spike's face, tracing the ridges as he calmed down. He nuzzled Xander's hand for a moment before sliding back to his human face.
"Best get you back to the others, pet. Don't fancy explaining to the Slayer just yet."
Xander sighed and dropped his hand. "No. That would be of the bad." He could hear Buffy and Giles' voices getting nearer. He walked carefully to the edge of the mausoleum before turning back to Spike. He took a deep breath. "Anya's going to L.A. tomorrow. Come by tomorrow night?"
Spike smirked at him. "Couldn't keep me away," he said as he walked backwards into the shadows and disappeared with a twirl of his duster.
Xander stared after him for a moment before rounding the corner of the mausoleum into Buffy and Giles' path. He let them fuss over him as they led him to Giles' car aware of a pair of blue eyes tracking his movements from the shadows. He cast a glance over his shoulder, a shiver going down his spine. He couldn't believe that he had finally done it. Tomorrow couldn't come soon enough.