Word count: 2218
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer does not belong to me. Dragon idea belongs to TiffanyF.
A/N: The long awaited Xander/Spike Dragon fic. ^o^
Xander grumbled as he rolled toward the shrill nose that had woken him. Stupid clock. He rolled completely out of bed, smacking at the annoying thing to shut it up. He peered at the clock face blearily, the time was earlier than he'd like, an hour earlier than he usually got up, but he had somewhere he needed to be.
He showered and dressed so by the time he managed to get himself downstairs the coffee machine had finished its work and the room was filled with the scent of his favorite caffeinated beverage. A cup full of morning ambrosia, simply coffee to the plebeians, was in his hand and he sipped at it, glad he'd splurged on a machine with a timer.
Half the cup was gone before he managed to pull himself away from the life affirming drink to throw together an egg sandwich as his breakfast. By the time he was on his second cup he only had a bite left to swallow, which was when the phone rang. He gulped the last of his food down and grabbed the kitchen phone, a cordless he'd installed when he'd moved into the former Summers’ home.
Willow's voice came over the line, excited, nervous. “Are you still at home?”
“Yeah...you kinda did call the house Will.”
“Oh...I meant to call your cell phone. Oops.”
“Yes biggie, we have things to do Xan!”
He smiled. “Drinking the last of my coffee now.” He glanced at the wall clock. “We still have time Wills.”
“This is important!”
“I know, and it’s going to work out.”
“I wish I was as sure about this as you. I'm worried we'll lose this fight.”
“Never fear Willow-mine, we have this one in the bag.”
“Take deep a breath. Hug Tara and I'll see you there, okay?”
He could hear her take that deep breath. “Yeah. We'll be there.”
“Good. Positive thoughts.”
“Positive thoughts.” She repeated.
“See you soon.” He hung up, gulped down the last of his coffee, made a last dash to the downstairs bathroom before grabbing his keys from the key bowl and his files from the table and heading out the door. He was almost glad to be getting out of the empty house this early in the morning.
Originally he and Anya had asked Joyce if they could come up with a rent to own plan when she'd decided to move herself and Dawn to Denver. When Anya had left after the fight with Glory...Xander didn't back out of the agreement. He wouldn't do that to Joyce.
Still...living alone in the former Summers abode with all its empty rooms was lonely. Maybe he should get a dog?
Willow, Tara and Giles were in the parking lot when he arrived at City Hall. The girls looked nervous, heck; Willow was almost vibrating with energy, even with Tara holding her hand. Giles on the other hand appeared calm, composed, much the way Xander felt. He smiled at them and walked toward them. “Who's ready to kick some butt?”
Giles looked him up and down, smiling at the suit he wore in amusement. “We're not actually going into battle Xander. We certainly didn't dress for it.”
Willow nodded and prodded Giles' arm. “We've got a real cause here, an important one!”
“We can't let them do it Mr. Giles.”
Giles smiled at Tara. “I agree.”
Xander made a shooing motion with the folder he held. “Then what are we waiting for?” He led the charge, well actually he walked calmly like an adult into City Hall and the others followed. It was still a charge.
They found and entered the appointed conference room, took their seats and waited for the meeting to begin. When it was their turn to speak Willow's nervousness disappeared. She was calm and together they pulled out all the stops. They used their charts, their diagrams and every piece of documentation they had and hoped it was enough. They played up their roles as concerned citizens who only wanted the best for Sunnydale and its future generations. Their speeches were passionate, but not overly wordy, and they did their Scooby best. The committee thanked them, and asked for an hour to review what they'd been told before making a decision.
They trooped out of the conference room, along with the other groups that had come to speak and Xander suggested they go for an early lunch. Willow vetoed the idea, too nervous to eat. So they waited...and fidgeted...even when Giles glared at them like they were still in high school.
When the hour was up and they were allowed back in the room the committee announced their decision.
“We've listened to all sides of this debate, taken account all of your views...and I have to say that some of you were more compelling than others.” The chairwoman smiled at their group. “Congratulations Mr. Harris. We have voted against building the new High School on the site of the old.”
Willow pumped a fist in the air before hugging Tara, then Giles. They'd won. The new high school would be built at a different location and the construction company Xander worked for would handle the labor.
As they left City Hall, the chairwoman pulled Xander aside. “I never thanked you young man.”
Xander frowned. “Thanked me?”
“My grandson went to school with you and he speaks highly of you...General Harris.”
“Ah...you know about...”
She smiled. “I know.”
They shook hands and he smiled back. “Tell Jonathan not to be a stranger.”
“I'll pass along the message.”
With another grin Xander turned away and joined his friends, and they went out for lunch to celebrate before calling first Denver and then LA with the news. After all, they had promised to keep Buffy and Cordelia in the loop.
The rest of the summer in comparison was...uneventful. Quiet even. Heck, they still had hardly any vamps rising in the cemeteries. But that didn't me mean they slacked off.
During the day Giles ran the Magic Box with either Willow or Tara's help and if something came up and neither could be there then Jonathan came in for the day. Though Giles was thinking of hiring the guy full time.
Xander's days were busy, the construction on the new school already in full swing, and even with an active day schedule they kept up their nocturnal activities.
They patrolled nightly switching partners every night. One night Xander and Willow would patrol while Giles and Tara teamed up. The next was just the opposite, Xander and Tara, Willow and Giles. The next night the girls patrolled together while he and Giles went out into the night.
Once a week they patrolled early then met up at Xander's for Chinese, pop corn, and a movie. Willow called it family night and insisted they make it a tradition. When Giles had tried to object Xander had given him a look and explained later, in private, how important family night, the idea of it was to Willow, Tara too, and to an extent, him. None of them had had ideal childhoods. Willow's parents had been rather absent, always traveling. Tara's father had been well...none of them liked the man and her mother had died young. Xander's mom was in Vegas, happy at long last with her soul mate...and Xander had no idea who his real dad was. So family night with Giles...was important. He was the most caring and attentive father figure they'd ever had. Giles didn't cry as Xander spoke, but his eyes did water a bit. He didn't object to family night after that.
It was the last week of summer vacation for Willow and Tara, they made the most of their days, because they already had their classes picked out and their schedules set.
That particular night however they were patrolling with Xander, something they usually didn't do, but Giles and Jonathan were swamped with inventory at the Magic Box and Xander didn't mind having two powerful witches to save his ass should something try to eat him.
They were almost done sweeping their last cemetery of the night when they heard a voice call out to them. Xander saw the demon first.
Clem ran to them, breathing hard. “Man, am I glad I found you guys.”
Willow looked worried. “You okay Clem?”
“I'm fine, but Spike's back and he's not okay.”
They shared a look and Xander asked. “Where?”
“I just got back to the crypt, with some groceries you know? And he was there just...come on, I'll show you.” He led them to the crypt he called home, the one Spike had used before. It was brighter inside than Xander remembered, Clem had more lights rigged up than Spike had ever had, and the furniture was less ragged and in much better shape. Soft looking rugs covered the entire stone floor so it couldn't be seen at all. It was actually pretty cozy.
“Thanks. He's over here.” Clem led them over to the far corner behind a sarcophagus that he'd been using as a kitchen counter, bags of grocers setting abandoned on top of it. Spike was tucked into the corner beyond. Curled up on the floor...making himself as small as possible.
Xander could only stare at the huddled form, because no way was this the real Spike. This pitiful, terrified thing covered in filth. “Jeepers. If that's Spike Joyce is gonna be out for blood.”
Willow's voice was quiet, shocked. “Yeah...if we put her in a room with whoever did this to him...Joyce would kick their butt.”
Tara didn't comment, instead she moved closer, but her eyes conveyed that she was more shocked than anyone else. She knelt next to Spike and gently touched his shoulder. “Spike?” He flinched, but turned his face to her, his eyes were wide, wild even. But so...lost. Tara gasped. “Oh...my.”
Willow moved a bit closer. “What?” Tara held her hand out for her and Willow took it...and stared at Spike. “Oh my Goddess.”
Xander looked from the wretched thing on the floor to the girls. “What? What's going on?” His voice made Spike jump and whirl to see him. He cried out and shielded his eyes as if the sight of Xander blinded him for a moment...then...then he crawled to Xander and clung to his legs. Xander stared down at the vampire, face hidden against his legs. “Uh...what just happened?”
Tara's voice was an awed whisper. “He's different. He has an aura.”
Willow gave him a look. “Only living things have auras Xander.”
“Oh...wait...Spike's...alive?” He stared down at the blond hair in shock, it wasn't bleached to its usual whiteness, and it was free from gel and curled. Slowly he reached for that hair...and it was as soft as it looked...and something else was different. “He's almost human warm.”
Tara nodded. “It’s even more than that.”
Willow was still holding her hand and gave it a squeeze. “What do you see that I don't Tara?”
Xander froze; his hand still in Spike's hair. “How?” Spike coughed and Xander looked down into that lost blue gaze. There was something in those familiar eyes that he'd never seen there before, though he couldn't put a name to it. “We should get him out of here...can you walk Spike?” Spike just blinked at him. Xander sighed and wrestled out of the vampire...human...whatever he was, Xander slipped out of his grasp and Spike cried out in protest. “Easy. You're coming with us, but I can't walk with you attached to my legs.” He turned and knelt, offering his back. “Climb on, I'll carry you.” Spike latched on, like a monkey or a child, arms around Xander's neck. Xander slipped his hands under Spike's legs and stood. “Let's go...thanks Clem.”
“You're welcome. I figured if anyone could help him it would be you guys.”
They thanked Clem again and walked back out into the night. Xander carried Spike all the way home...and every few minutes...Xander could almost swear that he felt Spike's heart give a beat.
They got to the house without incident. Xander put Spike on the couch and the vampire...former...oh Hell...Spike looked around, confused. “Where?” It was the first word he'd spoken.
“Revello Drive Spike, you've been here before.”
“Girls.” Spike swallowed, eyes searching. “There should be girls here. It’s different. Where's the girls?”
Xander sat beside Spike...and instead of offering a comforting word; he ended up with a lap full of the other male. A lap full of crying Spike. He looked at the girls, almost helplessly, and they took pity on him and sat on either side of him. Crying girls Xander could handle...but this? He was infinitely glad they were there to back him up, even if it was only to huddle on either side of him on his living room couch.