Repossession by Lazuli Kat



Chapter 12

The moment the sun set on the following day, the Merc was pulling out of the garage and Xander was giving a last wave to Willow and Dawn.  He’d always hated goodbyes and there seemed to be an ominous finality about this one – not from him, but from the women.  However much he reassured them that he – they – would be back, the gloom refused to lift and he fought against slipping into their depression.

Once on the road he felt ebullient, and he knew Spike was just as excited to be going home, showing it in his own outwardly-passive-but-with-gleaming-eyes way.

“Just you and me, baby,” Xander laughed as they hit the freeway and gentle pressure on the accelerator resulted in the Merc’s engine purring as seductively as a vampire.  Spike switched on the CD player and within seconds the car’s fabulous sound system reverberated with Elvis Costello pumping it up.  Xander sang along and danced in his seat while Spike watched with amused eyes and cocked eyebrow.  Track done, Xander glanced at his vampire.  “Hey, did I tell you today just how goddamn beautiful you are?”  Shake.  “Well, I’m telling you now.  Believe me?”  Pause.  “Uh-uh.  You don’t get to think about it for that long.  You just believe me, okay?”  Rock.  “No, none of that either.  You’re my Spike, my beautiful Spike.  We’re going home, you’re going to get better, I’m going to find a really cool way of introducing you to the people I work with just to see the looks on their faces when they finally figure it all out.  Okay?”  Nod.  Xander laughed at the vampire’s unquestioning acquiescence.  “Don’t mind me taking over the rest of your unlife then?”  Shake.  “Think we’ll move out of the apartment, get a house somewhere really private and quiet, just you and me.  Willow can visit.  You want Willow to visit?”  Nod.  “She’s pretty special, Willow.”  Nod.  “You are going to get better.”  No response.  “Spike…”  The vampire turned to look at him and, at a glance, Xander could see the sadness and doubt.  “You will be well again.”  He reached out to take the cool hand that lay closest to him, holding it as he drove, smiling as the fingers gradually curled around his.

The sun was up by the time they got home and Xander was highly grateful for both the effectiveness of the car’s new windows and the underground parking at his apartment building.  He carefully helped Spike out of his seat, too aware of the effects of the long journey on the damaged back, but the vampire was too sleepy to care about much other than home and bed.

Once Spike was tucked up and out for the count Xander went through his mail and browsed the TV guide that was still, pointlessly it now seemed, delivered.  Two back-to-back programmes on architecture caught his eye, starting in less than an hour, and he pined for a moment before making his decision and shifting the TV back into its pre-Spike position, finding the remote and pressing the power button with a satisfied sigh.  Life without TV was just another dimension of Hell.  He made himself some breakfast and settled down to watch, hoping that Spike was so deeply asleep that nothing could disturb him; once he’d never have questioned it, but now…  And he was right.  Ten minutes into the first programme the vampire appeared and, warily skirting the TV, came to Xander and huddled close to him on the sofa, eyes wide as he gazed at the other love of   Xander’s life.

Xander chose to ignore his pounding heart and give the vampire a chance to acclimatize: the programme was one-hundred-percent innocuous, after all.  Unless you had a perverse aversion to late 20th Century building design; despite Spike’s gothic preferences he could still be flexible, Xander smiled to himself.  When the commercials arrived he sent Spike to heat up some blood, finishing up his coffee as the journey began to catch up with him and wondering if he should just set the recorder and send the both of them to bed for some much-needed rest.  But then Spike was back, the programme was back, and his interest in both kept him conscious.  By eleven though, they were both dozing, stretched out and wound together on the sofa, Xander trying to find the energy to move but not really giving a damn where they slept as long as they were together.

Days and nights slipped by, often indistinguishable because of the heavily draped windows and Xander’s penchant for shopping as close to home as possible and rarely venturing beyond the mall in the basement of his building.  When he’d had to go to buy more blood it’d taken some figuring before he’d worked out if the four-twenty on the clock was am or pm.

Finally the call he’d been expecting came from work: Rafe’s desperate yet tuneful howling for Lexy on the answering machine said it all.  Patrick would grit his teeth and bear the wait, Jake would fret and pace but be too considerate to even think of exerting any kind of pressure, but Rafe was up-front and loud when necessary.  And if he had been given the task of calling Xander and luring him back into the fold then he was needed, no doubt about it.  Xander felt a little happier about leaving Spike alone now.  No noise to disturb him, he was eating well, could keep himself occupied for hours with his books and drawing and – for short and somewhat tense bursts – the TV.

Miraculously the newest damage to Spike’s back had begun to heal and although it fell a long way short of vampiric healing, it was more than Xander had come to expect and he was relieved and delighted.  He’d phoned Willow with the news, been passed to Dawn to repeat it, then to Buffy to repeat it again.  It wasn’t until Xander phoned Angel to let him know how things were that someone had the courage to ask about Spike’s mental state.

“He’s improving, like his vocabulary is growing and he understands more without extra explanation, he’s becoming more independent, can look after himself better; he can cook a meal if he’s seen me do it a couple of times, remembers every little thing…”


“No past memory.  And the fact he’s still absolutely silent freaks me out,” Xander admitted guiltily, feeling ungrateful and demanding.  “He’s happy and contented, and as more splinters come out the pain lessens…”

“But?” Angel repeated.

Xander paused before saying softly:

“He’s not my…our…the Spike.”

“I understand.  I’d find it difficult too if I were with him all the time.  Xander…I’d like to see him at some point.”

“Not yet,” Xander came back fast.

“No, not yet.”

“Why at all though?”

“If he stays like this I suppose I need to see and accept.  In my heart I have to say goodbye to William.”

Having learnt from Willow of the vampire’s recent history, of his personal losses, the gentle words sent a pang through Xander, just when he’d hoped to get through an entire conversation with Angel without bawling.

“Yeah, okay,” he agreed hoarsely.

“In your time, Xander.  I trust you to do what’s best for him.”

He was fucking doing this on purpose!  Xander nodded pointlessly and hung up without another word.  Still, you could do that if you were family.

First day by himself and William hated it.  Unable to settle he wandered aimlessly around the apartment, battered photo of Master clutched to his chest.  He couldn’t eat, couldn’t concentrate, just kept telling himself that time would pass and Master would be home again.  When the phone rang at midday he leapt for it, and the sound of the voice he loved brought some peace, but for far too short a time.  Then it was back to wandering.  The hardest part of the loneliness was the way the doubts crept back, the fear that he was going to be rejected, that Master had tired of his slow mind and ugliness.  And without his master he would cease to exist.  Because there would be no point.  No point at all.

First day back at work and Xander hated it.  He wondered what had happened to the enthusiasm he had felt when he thought of normality and routine and the security of the familiar.  His return was greeted with open arms, and he tried hard to be cheerful and positive, but his heart was with Spike and it showed.  He’d never been a clock-watcher since he’d joined this firm but now he couldn’t keep his eyes away from the steel and glass monstrosity on the wall of his office that just had to be running slow – no way a minute could take that long to pass.  He got to four and couldn’t stand it any longer, phoning through to Patrick and telling him he was leaving.  Before Xander was into his coat, Patrick was into his office.

“What’s happened?”

“Nothing’s happened.  I just can’t concentrate.  I’m gonna screw something up if I don’t get out of here.”

“When you said you were leaving…”

“Maybe it’s a good idea.  Gimme the sack and put me out of my misery.”


“I gotta go, Pat, I’m sorry.  I’ll be in tomorrow, on time, ready to work.”

“Give me five minutes.”

“I can’t.  I can’t.”

And Xander was gone.  Patrick stared after him, frown kinking his brow.  He had to do…something.


“Hey, honey, I’m home!  Come and get me!  All yours!”  Spike was there instantly, throwing himself into Xander’s embrace, and they held each other for a long moment.  “Fucking awful day, huh?”  Nod.  “It’ll get easier.  Think I said that once before.  Something like that.  Didn’t mean to lie.  It will get easier.  Wouldn’t be so bad if it was just another day, but it still feels like five years and another day.”  Nod.  “How the hell would you know?  You’re the lucky one who doesn’t remember.”  Nod.  “That’s it, you just agree to everything.”  Nod.  Xander laughed and pulled back.  “Eaten?”  Embarrassed shake.  “No, me either.  Are we pathetic or what?”  Nod.  “Right.  First things first…blood, heat, mug.”

Two hours later there was a knock at the door.  Spike jumped up from Xander’s side and backed away from the direction of the sound.

“Why don’t you wait in the bedroom, Spike?  I’ll see who it is.”  Spike started to move then hesitated, coming to touch Xander’s chest.  “I’ll be fine, nothing to worry about.  Go on, bedroom.”

Spike did as he was told and Xander answered the door to find Patrick standing there, best worried look on his face.  Xander invited him in and ushered him toward the living room, throwing a glance at the bedroom door as they went, wondering if Spike would stay hidden away or come out.  He didn’t have long to think as Patrick launched into an abject apology which finally arrived at:

“…and even if it was something we only trusted you to fix we should have coped and we shouldn’t have pressured you into coming back so soon.”

“I’ll be fine, I just need some adjustment time.”  Xander noticed Spike peer suspiciously into the room, focusing on the stranger.  Taking a deep breath, Xander held out a hand.  “C’mon, Spike.  This is Patrick, he’s our friend.  A friend, like Willow.  He’s okay.”  Spike came to Xander, grasping the offered hand with both of his.  “Pat, this is Spike.”

Patrick smiled and said hello, but Xander could see the shock on his face, a timely reminder of how frail and ill the vampire looked; he’d got immune to it, even the appalling scars on the twig-thin arms that Patrick tried not to notice.

“Can you go put the coffee-maker on for me?  Find the good coffee, the gold packet with the squiggle that goes…”  Xander drew the logo on Spike’s hand and the vampire nodded, gave Patrick another wary look, and left for the kitchen.

“Jesus, Alex, what’s keeping him alive?”

Xander smiled.  Umm…his state of deadness?

“He’s actually improved lately.”

“Fucking hell.”  Xander was impressed.  He’d never heard Patrick really swear before in all the years he’d known him.  “Fucking hell, who did this to him?  Sorry, it’s none of my business.”

“I can’t tell you anyway.  We never found out,” Xander lied.

Patrick sat heavily in an armchair.

“I’m so sorry.  No wonder you don’t want to be at work.”

“Don’t feel bad, it’s nothing to do with you, and…”  Xander ploughed on, refusing to let his boss interrupt.  “…work’s good for me, or it will be when we get used to being apart again.”

“Is there anything I can do?  What about a new apartment?  Somewhere a bit quieter.  You could be the first person into the Penciatti complex, you know how good the place is, really classy and you could have more space, a second bedroom.”

“Don’t…”  Bite the bullet, Harris.  “Don’t actually need a second bedroom, Pat.”

“Oh.”  Couple of seconds to sink in…  “Oh.  Well…  Doesn’t have to be a bedroom, make a fine study, you could work more from home.”  Nice catch, that man!  “How about it?  Install a computer link and you could spend less time in the office.”

“That’d be…”

“I’ll make the arrangements.”

“Pat, Pat, slow down.  I wanted to ask you…”  Patrick took a breath and looked expectantly at Xander.  “We got any houses available?  Bit further out of town would be good.”

“Buy or lease?”

“Lease.  For now.”

Patrick’s face did the screwed-up in thought thing that always made Xander smile: he could see this man as a child of five doing it.

“Mullery Place?”  Xander shook his head.  “Barncroft?”  Shake.  “How about…how about the show house for Cedar Grove?  Now the lots are sold it’s standing empty.  It’s a nice, solid piece of work, and it’s got extensive grounds where the car park and site units were: could have some nice privacy planting.  Just needs the sales office turning back into a room.  Want to know the best part?  Never sold it on, it belongs to the firm.”

Xander went to his dresser and dug through a pile of files that tried to escape from the right-hand cupboard the moment the door was opened.

“Study sounds like a good idea,” he muttered as he struggled to remove a single folder and push everything back into the cupboard.  Flicking through the file he sat on the sofa and patted the seat next to him as Spike sidled back into the room.  He put a photo of the house on Spike’s lap.  “What do you think of that?  Like to live there?”  The vampire tensed.  “With me, Spike, the two of us.  And Willow visits, remember?”  Spike took a more serious look at the attractive red-brick and cream stucco building, running his fingers over the picture before leaning against Xander and nodding, head dropping contentedly onto the human’s shoulder.  “Figure out a price,” Xander told Patrick with a smile.  “Well…that was too easy.”

Patrick’s gaze was fixed on Spike and Xander was deeply touched by the sympathy he saw there.

“I meant what I said about working more from home.  I know you have to spend time on the sites, but a lot of the paperwork could be done from here.  Or from there,” Patrick gestured to the picture.

Xander glanced down at Spike, seeing the closed eyes and nudging him gently.

“Hey, dopey, want to let me up for the coffee?”

“No, I’ll give that a miss,” Patrick insisted as he stood.  Xander repositioned the vampire and rose, following Patrick to the outer door.  “I’m sorry, Alex, I shouldn’t have barged in.”

“If the house works out it’ll have been worth it,” Xander countered with a grin, and Patrick affectionately rubbed his back, becoming serious.

“Any help I can give, anything you want, just call.  Remember to call.”

“I will."

“I don’t know how you’ve coped.”

“Truth is, I haven’t.  Not well.  But it’ll get easier.  That’s about the hundredth time I’ve said that today and you don’t know how sick I am of mindless optimism.”

Patrick gave him a rueful nod and opened the door, pausing before leaving.

“Alex…would this be about the right time to assure Beth you’re not going to spend the rest of your life miserable, lonely and starved of physical contact?”

“I think it would be a good time,” Xander agreed.  “At least…tell her I’m not lonely.”


Xander closed the door behind his boss and positively bounded back to Spike, grabbing up the file and skim-reading the details for the house.  He hadn’t wanted to appear too enthusiastic with Patrick there but the property was fantastic, and he knew he’d get a reasonable lease price because what he was paying for the apartment was a pittance: the firm was nothing if not generous to its Gang of Four.

“See this?  Better than I could have imagined, it’s got…”  Spike’s hand gripped his arm hard, stopping him instantly.  “Yes?”  The vampire gestured: you, me, house.  “Yes, it’s for us, it’ll be safe and quiet, it’ll be our home.  For as long as you want to be with me.  Because I want to be with you.  Always with you.”  Spike looked relieved – more than relieved – by Xander’s declaration, and he started to bring Xander’s hand to his brow.  Then he stopped, put the hand very deliberately down.  Feeling positively audacious, he caressed Xander’s face with a feather-light touch, leaning across to lay as tender a kiss on his cheek.

“Thank you,” Xander whispered, almost afraid to speak aloud and shatter the moment.

And Spike smiled.

Tears welling in his eyes at this amazing development, Xander pulled the vampire close, holding him, stroking him, loving him so desperately it caused physical pain.

The following days were so much easier than the first, and Xander was glad to find he hadn’t been lying every time he uttered what had felt like worthless platitudes.  It helped that Patrick had been as good as his word and a computer link had been established to allow him to spend more time at home.  The lease for the house had been agreed on, and it wasn’t going to cost much more than the apartment, which said an awful lot about the home he was about to give up.  The alterations and additional landscaping Patrick had opted for would take about a month, which felt like a good amount of time to Xander as he calculated how long it would take to organise himself for the move and maybe choose some extra furniture.

In a few dark moments Xander found himself pondering whether he could live in the house by himself.  Could he cope alone if Spike suddenly came to his senses and…  ‘Your loss, Xander.  Fuck you!’   …walked out?  The undisputed king of the answers was the simplest: wherever he was, if his Spike emerged and chose not to stay he’d be devastated and very possibly unable to carry on.  The apartment wouldn’t exactly stop him slashing his wrists.

This was better and this was worse, Xander accepted as he threw himself onto the sofa to rest his back after several hours hunched over the computer.  He watched Spike pottering around, methodically packing without the need to defer to Xander on every little decision, and he knew things were changing.  He’d wanted Spike to develop some confidence, to take Xander for granted inasmuch as he had to understand that their relationship wasn’t based on seeing is believing: Xander may leave but was always going to come home to him, would always care when he was away, was never going to go out and change his mind about them before he returned.  Up until now Spike could only be secure in Xander’s presence.  But things were changing.  Which was better and worse.

As Spike grew, Xander wanted.  The surer the vampire became the more he reminded Xander of his lost love, defining lines were becoming blurred, and Xander wanted.  Even now, at this very moment, as Spike threw a filthy look at the song which had just started playing on the radio, Xander saw the past and wanted to creep back there and offer himself unconditionally.  Spike turned off the radio and flicked through the CDs where they sat in their unsealed packing box: it was a longer job than it should have been because he couldn’t read the names on the spines, had to look at the pictures on each of the jewel cases until he recognised what he wanted, but three days ago he wouldn’t have done that.  He’d have left the radio playing because Xander had switched it on.  Or he’d have come to Xander to humbly ask for the music to be changed.  This was – should have been – such an insignificant occurrence but to Xander it was a huge deal: it was his Spike, somewhere beneath the neutral façade was his Spike, and Xander wanted.  He’d never been cleaner due to the amount of time he spent in the shower, jerking off, but how long before Spike figured out the scent and instinctively knew?  Before he would expect…what?  When Xander got home from work Spike would come to him and hug him, kiss his cheek, and the affection was very real, but it was platonic and there was no way Xander could corrupt that.  It would be terrible if Spike felt obliged to…  Xander shook the thought away.  I’m better than that.  I’m.  Better.  Than.  That.

Spike found the CD he’d been searching for and slipped it into the player, pressing play and listening with some satisfaction before wandering into the kitchen and coming back with blood and coffee, joining Xander on the sofa and handing over a mug.  Xander thanked him, received the almost-smile, and wanted.

He’d described it well to Willow .  He burned.  Inside he burned for Spike.  The vampire had been an obsession with him for so long now he sort of understood why wanting him had become such a major preoccupation.  But there was a little something more that Xander was uncomfortable acknowledging: Spike had been taken away from him and he wanted him back.  His feelings were about possession or, if he gave his memories free reign, repossession.  Spike had been his.  It didn’t matter whether or not they were a mated pair, whether he’d crawled, walked, jogged or sprinted away from the vampire, it didn’t give any other person the right to take what was his.  I sound like him now.  At least I didn’t call him mine in front of other people.  What was the moronic yellow demon with the fan tail?  Wouldn’t be told.  ‘That human is mine, no-one else gets to touch. One more step and I’ll tear your fucking head off!’  The demon had stepped and Spike had torn.  Ick.  ‘Xander is mine,’ Spike had reiterated for good measure as he pummelled the recently liberated head.  No wonder Buffy thought… 

Xander looked at Spike who, from the way he scrutinised the room’s contents, was figuring out what could be packed now and what should be left out in case it was needed; he was centred and beautiful and innocent.  Innocent.  That was how he would stay until he could understand what Xander’s wanting really meant and say – maybe say, oh, God, please say – yes.

Spike scratched absently at a finger before recognising the sensation and turning to Xander, offering the offending digit, asking for help.  Xander understood instantly, putting down his coffee and taking Spike’s hand, feeling for the splinter before gnawing it out of the skin below the knuckle.  They had this procedure down to a fine art, and seconds later Xander was spitting out the wood and shifting into a more accessible position so the vampire could cuddle up to him.  Splinters were always followed by comfort, they both knew that.  It was so familiar to them now: Spike purred, and Xander…wanted.

William settled in his master’s arms and allowed himself to be happy.  He felt good about being useful, and glad that he was able to understand Master’s instructions the first time he’d been told.  His mind was clearer lately.  Simply appreciating that his mind was clearer was a sign that it was: a week ago he’d have been too stupid to notice.  He’d also allowed himself to be convinced that he belonged.  It had taken a great leap of faith, but when Master said they were staying together William finally chose not to question, but to accept.  Acceptance allowed him a degree of contentment that was quite alien to him: living without fear – extraordinary.  He drew himself up and faced his master, leaning forward to lay several soft kisses on his face.  The resounding heartbeat began to speed, and William enjoyed the thrill of it, putting his hand over the area where the pounding was most pronounced.

“You do that to me,” his master murmured, and William decided that was a good thing going by the tone of voice and slight flush on the human’s cheeks.  The scent from his master made him feel strange inside – good strange, not bad strange – and he wished he knew what to do about it, how to ask for something to be done.  He kissed his master again before sinking back onto his chest and winding an arm around his waist.  There must be a right time for these stirrings to be dealt with.  A right time.  His trust was absolute: Master would know.