Title: The Man Who Stole the Heart of William The Bloody - Exclusive!
Fandom: Pairing: Buffy: Spike/Xander
Rating: Text: G, Graphics: Shirtless
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be. No harm, no foul, no money made.
Summary: Xander gets interviewed by the "No.1 Magazine for demon-human relationships"
Notes: The picture on the cover of the magazine has been
This artwork was viewed and critiqued at varying stages by literati, tabaqui, reremouse and outsideth3box. My undying thanks to you all.
Created for my day at spring_with_xan.
Click the images below to go to the full-size versions. The interview is 'real' and readable, and also reproduced below in text format for those with dodgy eyes/monitors/bandwidths. *g*)
This issue's interview in our "The Man Behind the Demon" series is with Alexander LaVelle Harris, longtime friend and confidante of the Sunnydale Slayer Buffy Summers, and, for the last five years, constant human companion of the vampire Spike, better known to some as the notorious William the Bloody, of the line Aurelius, get of Drusilla, get of Angelus, get of Darla.
Mr Harris, who immediately insists we call him Xander, ("Mr Harris was my father,") is currently the owner of a small but exclusive woodworking shop in Los Angeles, barely a Graal's-spit from Angel Investigations, the specialist detective agency operated by the soul-cursed Angel, formerly known as Angelus, sire of Drusilla, sire of Spike.
Q: Thanks for joining us, Xander. Our readers already know something about you after last year's in-depth look at Buffy Summers, "The Slayer Who broke The Mould", (Vol. 1, Issue 3) but I'm sure that they, like me, are gagging to know more.
Let's start with the basics. How did you and Spike meet? Was it love at first bite?
A: Ah... thanks. Love at first bite? Um, no. A thousand times no. The first time we met, Angel offered me up to Spike as a human juice box.
Q: So you were, what, a gift? One that Spike couldn't bear to destroy?
A: And again, no. Ten thousand times no. Angel tried to make out he was faking his good guy routine to keep Buffy sweet, but Spike didn't buy it. He was... pissed. I don't really remember all that much, except for the bit where Angel went to bite me and Spike punched him and I was suddenly free to run. So I did.
Q: Well that certainly sounds rather romantic. Protective instincts already?
A: No! Look, Spike was still gaga over Drusilla back then. He brought her to Sunnydale to try and fix her but it didn't work out. And then Angelus got loose and tried to send the world to Hell. Literally. So, Spike did a deal with Buffy so he could get Dru out of Dodge while she took Angel...Angelus down. And before you ask, the next time he came to town he was after a love potion to help him steal Drusilla back from the chaos demon she'd gone off with in Brazil. Add in some assault and kidnapping, desertion, the near-death of my then - about to be ex- - girlfriend and you do not have anything even remotely close to a romantic moment.
Q: O-kay. It sounds like you struck sparks off each other from the very start. When did the sparks turn to a real flame? When did you and William the Bloody realise you were meant for each other?
A: You guys know about the Initiative, right? The whole thing they had going on - behavioral modification chips, trying to create a perfect Frankenstein's soldier, that kind of thing?
Q: We dedicated an entire special issue to the subject, (Vol. 1, Issue 13a) yes. I'm sure all of our readers remember the interviews with survivors, not to mention the fold-out rogue's gallery 'Who's Who' centerfold spread. I bet there's more than a few of those still pinned up across the country. If y'all send in your photos to that effect, we'll see about publishing the best of them, along with a follow-up piece we already have in the works!
But, back to the subject at hand, you're saying the Initiative is responsible for getting the two of you together? Somehow, I'm thinking that's not the result they were expecting.
A: Yeah. After Spike got...chipped, he came to Buffy - to us - for help. He stayed with Giles* for a while, but that didn't work out so well, so he moved into my parents' basement with me.
We had some rough moments, and more than a few screaming fights, but we... We found we had more in common than we realised and we kind of fell into being friends. We'd go out for drinks, play some pool, hustle a few college students for some easy cash, then find a demon or two for him to fight. And then one night he got into it with a Kursiv who had a few more friends than he'd expected, and I got dragged into it. He went... Well, I'd never seen him that angry before. He ripped the hook-arm off the biggest guy and beat the rest of them to death with it. Then he carried me home and patched me up. By the time the concussion cleared and I could cut back on the pain pills, he was already well into his seduction. It was...intense. Nobody had ever made me the center of their world before. It scared the crap out of me at first, but, well, I was never a Kinsey zero, probably more like a two, and Spike is a very pretty - handsome, I meant handsome! Can you edit that bit out? Please? - guy. And he can do the most amazing things with his tongue. Haha!
Q: Now that's romantic!
(I have to tell you, folks, and you're not gonna believe this, but Xander was actually blushing right then. After spending five years in the close and personal company of William the Bloody, that has to be some sort of miracle. I think I can see why Spike is as possessive and as protective as he is. He sat right outside the door to our hotel suite so he could burst in and defend his man's honor if it was necessary. Isn't that sweet?)
Q: If we could just revisit the subject of the chip for a moment - is it true that you were instrumental in the removal of Spike's chip less than a year after the two of you got together? Could you tell us how?
A: Ah... No, and yes, in that order. The chip is still in Spike's brain, and it probably always will be, unless his vampire healing gets freakishly active and somehow shoves it out of his nose or ear or something. I'm not qualified to perform brain surgery and neither is anyone I know, but I do know some people who are good with computers and electrics and, honestly, it's not that difficult once you have the schematics.
(At this point in the interview, Xander passed an envelope across the table to me, an envelope that is, at this moment, with our research department. It contained detailed schematics for the Initiative chips and their method of implantation, along with an ingenious method of deactivation which, while it won't work on all affected demons, and does hold a certain amount of risk for certain species, could be the solution that so many of us have been waiting for.)
Q: We still have a few minutes left before our time is up so, I have to ask, why woodwork? With a vampire as a lover I would have thought that bits of wood lying around the house would be a big no-no.
A: That's easy. I started whittling stakes when I fell in with Buffy. She never remembers to pull them out before the vamps turn to dust so she's always running short. It was something I found I was good at, it kept me busy while Giles and Willow were doing the research thing and gave me a good excuse to not be doing the research thing with them. It just grew from there, I guess.
Buffy and Willow were at college, Giles had The Magic Box, and I...I finally decided to see what else I could do with my wonderful whittling skills. I found a halfway decent set of woodworking tools at the local pawn shop and started by copying stuff Giles had put on display in the shop.
I got my first commission while I was there, putting the finishing touches to a little rosewood box I'd copied from one that had come in with the previous week's delivery. I thought she was joking at first, I even tried to make Giles laugh by telling him about it after she'd left, but he didn't. Laugh, that is. He got really quiet, spent about five minutes examining my copy, running his thumb over the scrollwork and the tiny chain of runes, or glyphs or whatever they were, running around the edge of the lid, and then asked, very seriously, if she'd left me her card. She had, and he told me to call her. Immediately. Turned out she was the most powerful witch in the county and having her request my services would give me an in to a very exclusive, very expensive circle. By the end of the next month, we were in our own apartment and I was knee-deep in wood-shavings and 'special projects' and Spike was muttering about sawdust getting in his hair, in his boots and up his nose.
Q: Did Spike mind very much? Didn't he think it was taking you away from him, from your relationship?
A: What? God, no! He spent weeks bragging to everyone he could think of and kept coming home with potential commissions, half of which I couldn't accept and a few of which I wouldn't accept. But I still took on enough jobs that I ended up with a good rep in both human and demon circles.
When I was offered the LA workshop, I had a solid client base ready and waiting in the area, and I knew that Spike would enjoy being that close to Angel again.
Q: Oh! Spike and Angel have reconciled? They certainly kept that quiet!
A: Hahahaha! I... Oh, god, give me a minute, yeah? I just... Hahaha! Reconciled? Spike and Angel? That's a good one. No, Spike was happy to move that close to Angel so he could spend more time tormenting him. It's a love-hate thing. Spike loves to drive Angel insane, and Angel hates it. Spike gets to be an annoying bastard for hours on end and Angel gets to practice his stoic broody martyr act. Everyone's happy. Hahaha.
Q: Okay, one last question, and it's a biggy. Human-vampire relationships don't tend to last very long before turning into vampire-vampire relationships. Have you and Spike discussed the future at all? Do you have any plans, a timeline, maybe, as to when things might happen?
A: Um... Wow. That's... Yeah, that is a biggy. Have we talked about it? Yes. No. Um... maybe? If you can call it talking. Every so often we do the whole 'I love you, I don't want to lose you, I love you for who you are, I don't want to change you, I don't want to live without you' thing, and then we get drunk and screw like bunnies. Or vice versa.
Do we have a timeline? A plan? No. Neither of us do very well with plans like that and, to be honest, it would put too much stress on us both with the whole 'countdown to not being human any more' thing. Right now we're taking life, and unlife, as it comes, and we're...investigating our options. Vampires aren't the only immortals around, you know?
(*Rupert Giles, Watcher of Buffy Summers, who earned his own sidebar in the previously mentioned article "The Slayer Who broke The Mould" (Vol. 1, Issue 15). The longest surviving owner of Sunnydale's 'The Magic Box' magic shop, he is also the on-again off-again lover of our favorite chaos mage, Ethan Rayne ("Ripper and Chaos and Me, A Love Triangle Of The Ages." Vol. 1, Issue 38.
**Willow Rosenburg, lesbian witch and one time almost Vengeance demon, famous in certain circles for her flaying skills and her near-destruction of the world.)
"The Man Behind the Demon" series is written by Tzhurgann Kzliewicz, Dakjur of Prrrm. In the next issue he's talking to The Immortal and his pet, Andrew.
Photos by Xik Wrrztehly.
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