Remember, this is not mine (I still have no idea where it came from), it will be NC-17 eventually, and it is set some time in Season One, though I'm not sure exactly when. (Time for a marathon DVD watching session, methinks...)
Previous parts are here.
His pet's not gone, he's doing... things, that human bodies need, and that's okay, Spike thinks, but then he hears the sobs. Three great strides and as the door flies open Spike goes stalking in, without a care for who might see his shocking non-reflection in the mirror on the wall. The cubicle the furthest from the sink is where he crosses to, the sounds of misery and sad despair act like a beacon. The door resists his tug and is summarily ejected from it's frame, is tossed away so Spike might sink down to the floor and pull his crying, shaking pet into his arms.
"I've got you, pretty. There now, hush." He sets them rocking, joyous as two weakly trembling arms slide round his waist and latch on tight. "I'll not leave you alone again like this, make no mistake. You'll never be alone again, I swear. I'll keep you safe..."
The crying jag goes on for quite some time, until their waiter slips inside and, with apologies, explains that others really need to 'go'. He enters bearing gifts: one glass of water, one of milk. He offers them an office, tucked away behind the kitchens, where no one would interrupt them while they 'talk', but Spike declines. His inner demon's howling with the need to take this pain and make it his; to take this boy and make him his alone, erasing all the memories that burn so very bright behind those eyes.
Instead Spike nods a thank you to the man and makes it plain that they will leave as soon as he can calm his boy. With murmured words and rhythmic rocking, gentle strokes and pats, Xander's wrenching sobs are finally reduced to hitching sighs.
"Let's get your coat on, Pet. We'll pay our bills and then we'll go. I should have had more sense than fill you up until you pop. I never quite remember just how delicate you humans really are." He sighs. "We'll pick some soup up on the way back home and get you fed. Again." Then, like a father with a child, he raises up the water to that pair of trembling lips and tilts the glass.
"Sip it, rinse and spit, eh, luv? I can smell the bile from here; it must taste foul." And Xander does exactly as he's bid, then drinks the milk that's held up just the self same way. He'd be content to stay there in the comfort of those arms but they shift and ease him back against the wall so Spike can rise.
He holds the purloined leather out and Xander sniffles, wipes his eyes and stares in blank confusion. His hand comes up to tug the thin lapels of his light jacket and his head begins to shake, not in refusal, just in puzzlement.
"I've g...got my jacket on, S...Spike. That's n...not mine. I've n...never owned anything li...like that." His breathing stutters wildly as he tries to stifle sobs that just wont die. Spike simply shakes his head and wraps his quivering stray in leather soft as butter.
"It's yours now, pretty, 'cause I say so, yeah? No need to fret. It'll keep you warm and fit you right, once we've filled you out a bit."
Spike holds out his prize again, expecting swift obedience. A flash of golden eyes is all it takes. Xander peels his threadbare cotton coat from his thin frame, and offers it up to Spike with a shy, expectant smile. The demon takes it, quite bemused, and makes a mental note to dump it, quick.
Then Xander slides his arms into the jacket made of finest dark grey leather, the silk-soft lining unbelievably sensuous on his skin. He shivers, pulls the body close around him and then spies the tiny hand-embroidered logo on the breast. The name is something foreign, unfamiliar, but the quality, the cut, is unmistakeably top-dollar. It probably cost more than everything he's ever worn. The kind of coat he's always wanted, always known he'll never have. And now it's his, but...
With a sigh, he thrusts his hands deep into silk-lined pockets, accepting for the moment that it's his, at least until life finds a way to take it back.
"Looks good on you, Pet, leather does. I'd like to see you wearing more of that."
Xander shrugs and blushes and looks down at his feet in mute dismissal of the unexpected compliment. Spike reaches out and tugs the collar up to frame the beautiful sweet face that is imprinted on his mind. And then he takes a tight grip on the jaw and squeezes hard, tilting back that face till Xander meets his eyes.
"You will listen when I speak to you. If I tell you you look good then you'll believe it or I'll know the reason why. I couldn't give a toss what those wankers in your past have made you think, but they aren't here now, Pet, there's only you and me, and I'm the one who'll tell you what you need to hear."
Fingers clamp down tighter. Fragile flesh of cheek and lip is mashed against resilient teeth and bone. The demon knows its vice-like grip could crush this jaw quite easily. It hungers for the so familiar feel and sound and rush. Spike controls the urge and eases up, but stops to watch, to hear, to smell the sweet hot blood come pumping in. His demon-sharpened vision lets him see the ink stain bruises that will probably be glorious tomorrow, and he smiles.
Xander doesn't move or blink, he doesn't say a word. He's been here in this space a hundred times or more and though he knows he's never going to win, he hopes and prays this time it's different, just this once, and then... it is.
No punches, slaps or kicks, no castigation follows on from that tight grip. Instead, those fingers, punishingly tight just breaths before, are ghosting, light as feathers, over lips and cheek and hair.
"My pretty pet." The words are steeped in pride, and Xander falters for a moment and then understands, the pride is meant for him. This preternatural creature's proud of him, and that's enough to finally ignite a tiny spark of dignity in Xander that he's never felt before.
"My pretty pet. I'll have you standing tall before you know it."