So, without further ado, here is 'grungefic' - and no, I have no idea why it's called that.
From outside the club seems dark and really dingy, and though Xander’s only sixteen and he looks it, the doorman waves him in without a pause.
Inside the sound assaults him, pounding bass and thrashed guitars and squealing amps. The vocals are unintelligible; screeches, growls and groans he’s heard a thousand times before inside his headphones in the basement. And just the thought of trying to listen to his music without jacking in makes his blood run cold. His dad would be down the stairs before the opening chords had finished, his fists both clenched in readiness for another bout of Harris re-education. And then he’d probably smash the third-hand stereo, just to be certain it never happened again.
So here he stands, two towns away from home, listening to his favourite kind of music played the way it should be played, for the very first time. And. It. Is. Fucking. Amazing! He can feel it in his flesh, that bone-deep hum that lets him know he’s still alive, and he wants more.
The barman serves him beer without a blink, and Xander wraps his shaking fingers around the sweating longneck, and struggles not to think about the last time he had beer. He fails, of course, and there he is, back in the tree house, sitting next to Jesse, and they’re planning out their trip, this trip, to finally hear their music, good and loud. Xander’s brought a bottle that he’d found behind the sofa, one live soldier in a whole platoon of dead ones he’d cleaned up that afternoon. They pass it back and forth between them, sipping, pulling faces at the bitter taste, and then coming back for more.
An elbow in his ribcage jolts him out of his maudlin reverie and he turns to see the bleached blond punk beside him.
“Cryin’ in your beer just makes it salty, luv, it don’t improve the taste. If salty’s what you want, maybe you’d like a margarita, or maybe something… creamier than that.” And Xander’s being towed towards the dance floor before he figures out he’s been hit on, and he’s stunned. But what stuns him even more is that he’s neither very horrified nor trying to pull free. Instead he’s half-aroused and kind of curious, and most of all he’s flattered that this person is the slightest bit attracted to the Xanman.
The guy is dressed in black and when he peels the leather duster off, Xander sees a red silk shirt, and tight black tee to match the jeans. And then the man is moving, rolling hips and flashing eyes and Xander knows he’s going to look like such a fool if he tries to dance.
One step back is all he manages before he’s caught by cool white hands locked tightly around his wrists.
“You’re going nowhere, Pet. You’ll stay right here and dance. For now.”
“Can’t dance,” he mumbles, but apparently he’s heard because the blond just grins and steps in much too close and nods, real slow.
“Everyone can dance, they just need the right incentive, and a teacher who knows exactly what they’re doing.”
There are hands upon his hips, a foot wedged between his, and suddenly he’s swaying to the music. His hands feel kind of empty but Xander doesn’t have the faintest idea what to do with them until his dancing partner reaches out and snags them up and wraps them around his waist.
So now they’re on the dance floor of a grungy little club where no one knows or cares or notices what happens. And just as he is starting to accept that he is dancing with a guy whose name he doesn’t even know and hasn’t thought to ask for, a few unwelcome facts become apparent.
The blond was wrapped in leather not five minutes ago, and yet his pale white skin is cool to the touch. And while he breathes occasionally, it’s really not enough to keep him anything but comatose. Which means he’s dancing with a vampire, and that thought twists round his ankles, makes him stumble, trip and almost fall, but hands reach out and catch him, pull him tight into a chest that has no living, beating heart tucked safe inside.
“Don’t worry, Pet, you’re safe for now. I had an early snack before I came out. I’m only here to dance; at least I was, till you arrived. So pretty, full of pain, you smell of Sunnydale, a Hellmouth taint that lingers on the skin.”
Xander finds he has no will to fight, to struggle free, and lets himself be held and rocked and danced with, while he tries to understand his apathy. He knows the bare mechanics of how to kill the demon hiding in this body. He’s done it once before and maybe that is why he’s loath to try again. One month ago he watched his closest friend in all the world, apart from Willow, turn to dust before his eyes. Everyone had told him that it wasn’t really Jesse he had staked but just a demon walking around inside his skin, but he’d known better. He’d looked into Jesse’s eyes and seen the boy he’d kidnapped Barbies with; the boy he’d traded punches, lunchtime sandwiches and comics with, and that was why he knew that they were wrong. The demon somehow made his Jesse more. A killer, yes, but who was he to argue, now that he was just the same.
Cold fingers tapping on his cheek draw him back to his present predicament, and he opens his eyes to find himself trapped in an azure gaze just barely tinged with yellow.
“I think I like you, Pet. Let’s take a walk and get acquainted.” And Xander lets himself be led out through the dancers and the bouncers, barely noticing his guide reach out to snag his coat and bottle from the table as they pass.
Too soon they are outside, the cold night air on his hot skin making him shiver, and he’s achingly aware of what he’s doing, courting danger, or is it danger which is courting him? Then his back is slammed against the wall and lips are on his lips and oh, that taste! Hands under his tee shirt claw his sides, his chest, his nipples and that mouth just keeps on sucking his last brain cells out through his tongue.
And then the demon is pulling back and frowning before moving in to do something that feels a lot more like being tasted than kissed. The hand that had curled around the back of his neck slides forward and is suddenly tight around his throat and Xander wonders if it’s time to die now.
“I can smell Angelus on you, boy. Who the fuck are you?”
Fingers tighten even as the question is asked, and Xander is on tiptoes, scrabbling at the fingers that are crushing his larynx, stopping his breath entirely. A tiny nasal squeak escapes, and the demon visage fades back to human as the fingers loosen but not let go.
“I… I don’t know any Angelus…” But even as the words are coming from his mouth, his eyes are opening wide in realisation, and the demon behind the human mask sees it and squeezes, just enough to make the point. Speak up or die.
“An… Angelus. Do you mean Angel?”
“Angel.” A pink, pointed tongue slides out and tastes the name, snakelike, before retreating. “Tell me about this… Angel, my pretty pet. Tell me how you know him, what you know, and I might keep you around a while longer.”
And even as one hand gives another squeeze around his throat, nails digging half moons in taut skin, the other is petting, stroking, tweaking, making Xander feel so alive so close to death. The answers fall from his lips without being censored and the demon pounces on them.
“Buffy… Angel helps Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.”
Magic words, powerful words, that send this creature backing away from him for just a moment, just enough of a moment for Xander to grab a taste of freedom, before it’s back, closer than before, mouth ghosting up the line of his throat and across his parted lips.
“You know the Slayer? The Chosen One? You are a prize, aren’t you? Keeping you, I am.”
A hard, hungry kiss leaves Xander panting and then he’s being dragged down the street, away from the only bit of town he knows, the half mile between the club and the second rate motel he can barely afford, but he still doesn’t panic, doesn’t struggle or cry out, because, really, wasn’t this what he wanted? Hasn’t he come here to remember Jesse? To maybe try and make things right between them again? So, he’s been accosted by a vampire who seems to know Angel. It has to mean something, it has to. And so Xander trails along as the demon stranger leads him to his fate.
Suggestions? Critiques? Sanity queries? I'll even accept wild squees of delight if you'll only tell me why, because it's driving me insane.