Staying out of the way was one of those things Xander had always battled with. Even when he didn't want to be involved with a given situation, some part of him urged him to play the hero. So it was good that Spike was keeping him back when things started going crazy, because otherwise he'd have ended up dead.
These guys were not messing around, and when they brought out the metaphysical big guns, it usually ended with rooms painted with blood and gore. It seemed to be the natural evolution of the vampires of this world: Get Turned. Consolidate power. Kill a bunch of people. Become some power mad supervillain surrounded by fawning flunkies while making everyone around them miserable. Die, usually at the hands of one of their victims.
The fact that the humans on this world were walking around with forks stuck in them begging to be eaten made things that much worse to Xander's way of thinking.
With no warning, Anita Blake brought out her gun and started shooting--BAM! BAM! BAM!--until the air was thick with gunsmoke and Xander's ears were ringing. He kept behind Spike, knowing that as a vampire Spike would be fine if he ended up shot in the body, while Xander would die in a pool of his own blood.
"Discretion is the better part of valor," he panted, grabbing the back of Spike's duster and pulling him toward a shadowy corner and the heavy duty table he'd noted months before when it was added to the decor. It was thick enough that it would slow down a bullet, especially one that had gone through the body of a bad guy.
He wanted to run out there and rescue the girl that looked like a young Buffy, but there was no point in starting a hopeless fight. Getting Spike and himself killed wouldn't help the girl.
When the shooting stopped... Angelus laughed and clapped his hands. "Oh Jean-Claude, I like this one," he called in that tone of voice that just screamed "Asshole!" to anyone with ears. "She's much better than Asher's Julianna. I think she would actually keep trying to kill me until she died."
Jean-Claude's blond second-in-command growled, but stayed in position. He knew when to ignore an insult. Xander could respect that.
Anita Blake couldn't resist opening her mouth. "Who the fuck do you think you are?" she demanded angrily. "You come into our territory with an underage girl and kill people? I'm a US Marshall. Do you even know what that fucking means?"
Xander had heard she was tied to Jean-Claude's emotions in some weird vampy mind meld, so he figured she was being flooded with all of Jean-Claude's insulted anger. But while Jean-Claude was maintaining stony control and playing politics, she was upping the aggression in the room.
He could have told her that was a bad tactic to use with Angelus.
The cruel amusement didn't leave Angelus' face, but the air in the room felt heavy. Even in their unnatural slumber, the humans stirred and moaned, their minds crafting nightmares to match the oppressive feelings Angelus projected. Xander couldn't help a few shivers of his own, but just knowing where that horrible feeling was coming from let him push some of it away.
Spike's hand on Xander's wounded arm gripped hard enough to hurt, but Xander didn't try to pry him off. He knew Spike needed some kind of anchor when all the metaphysical weirdness happened.
There was something about this world that affected Spike's demon strangely. When the metaphysical power was being slung around to the point that Xander could feel it... Spike would already have lost it. Not in a happy feels kind of way either.
Xander got a creeping tingle under his skin that sometimes gave him embarrassing erections at inopportune moments. Spike went all "demon kill kill" psychotic rage-orgy where he enjoyed the idea of drawing blood a little too much and never mind the soul he'd fought so hard to get.
Xander had promised to help Spike keep his cool. From the tight grip Spike had on his arm and the heavy press of responding POWER flooding the room from Anita Blake, he had a feeling that it would be harder to manage than usual.
With just the bit of demon blood flowing through his veins, Xander was able to control the power high when someone unleashed the meta-bullshit. Spike went off like he'd been injected with pure methamphetamines.
"You all right?" Xander whispered concernedly. He didn't think he was up to holding Spike back if he went off the rails.
"I'm managing, pet. It's just a little..." Spike ground his teeth and pressed his free hand against his crotch. "Feels a bit like sexy lightning, yeah."
"I'm sure." Xander kept his tone normal, not letting any of his panic show. And he was definitely panicking. "You maintain our cover. We may have blown it a little, but we got to play at being normal Happy Meals."
"We'll be positively Stepford," Spike gritted. His eyes were flaring from human to glaring vamp yellow. It wasn't a good sign, though Xander was relieved he was still able to speak.
He followed Spike's eye-line and saw the Executioner in her rather impractical Fuck Me boots at the end of it. She was showing a lot of skin for someone that expected to be taken seriously. Someone with a sharp enough blade could slice her femoral artery before she knew what happened. She was like an open invitation to any predator and it was only raw power that had protected her so far.
"What is it with you and Slayers?" he wondered.
Even vibrating with destructive energy, Spike still managed to sound amused. "Sorry about that. There's just something about them. An extra kick in the blood."
"Except this chick isn't a Slayer," Xander said. "She's a necromancer. She could probably dust you from across the room"
"Ah, but I ain't really dead, am I? To be literal, I'm a host to a demon. I don't know what all her mojo can really do to me, but I ain't feeling nervous" There was a hint of a growl to Spike's voice as he added, "Probably makes her blood taste delicious."
Xander rolled his eyes. This was all he needed: Spike going all Big Bad and draining the Master of the City's girlfriend. The only thing worse was if he wanted to Turn her.
"Think she'd take orders better, pet, if she were a fledge?"
Xander bit back his groan. It was like he carried the Hellmouth luck with him.