Wrong Way Chapter 17
Spike could feel the sun rising.
Slow and steady and he dressed quickly and as fast as he has ever dressed in his life. He knew his duster would be able to protect him for the most part. The car had been blacked out for this very reason.
He leaned down very slowly, lips touching Xander’s before he shook him.
“Xander.” He whispered.
Xander stirred slightly, eyes opening slowly and blinking in the darkness and Spike smiled at him.
“What?” Xander asked sleepily.
“What?” Xander said with a jolt.
“Shh, pet, just to Angel’s. Don’t fancy the Watcher wanting me in his home for too long. Besides, I’d probably get bored, holed up here all day.”
“Sun’s almost up.” Xander said.
“Yeah, I noticed, but I can make to the car alright.”
“Do you know where Angel lives?”
“Gave me the address. Been around the place before. Should be relatively easy for me to find.”
“Can… can I see you? Later. Tonight?” Xander asked.
Spike smiled softly, leaned down again and kissed Xander’s lips. They were warm and pliant and Xander leaned into him and Spike knew if he didn’t break away now, he’d never leave.
“I really have to go, luv.”
“I know. I don’t like it, but I know.”
“I’ll see you later. I imagine the Slayer’s gonna want to keep tabs on me. That and she seems pretty chummy with Angel there. Don’t know how long we can plan for before they catch us and realize what’s up.”
“You think it’ll be soon?”
“Not too soon. We’re looking at a little while. Few months maybe. We did send a message.”
“What about Joe? The vampires killed him. Joe’s bosses are going to be getting involved soon.”
“We’ll have to see if they’re friend or foe.”
“Foe? What do you mean foe?”
Spike sighed. He’d been thinking about it all night, watching Xander sleep in his arms because he still couldn’t get used to sleeping during the night. Fledglings and minions may be stupid and ignorant, but even they knew not to attack places like Joe’s.
Joe’s bosses would have something to gain if the minions took over the show. They were the ones that frequented places like Joe’s and that meant more money for Joe’s bosses. If a few people had to get dead for the Master vamps to clear out, Spike would bet good money that they’d do it.
He didn’t think Xander needed to hear that right now. At least not so soon. He wanted to run the idea by Angel before he said anything.
“Just a phrase, pet.”
“Someone should call the cops.”
“I suspect Joe’s bosses will take care of that.”
“If… if the police come to talk to you today… you tell them that you had a fight with Joe. Make up whatever you want to make up, say whatever. There’s proof that you were out of the hotel at the time. You tell them that.”
“You think they will?”
“I think you need to be very careful. Vamps… vamps I can deal with, but humans… humans are different.”
“That’s what you mean by Joe’s bosses being foe. You think they may have been involved.”
Spike smiled at Xander. Too smart for his own good, Spike thought as he shook his head.
“It’s possible. We shouldn’t rule anything out. You tell the Slayer and her pals about this. They’ll be able to provide you with more of an alibi if need be.”
Xander nodded his head and took a deep breath. Spike pulled him into a quick hug, kissed the side of his neck and let out an unneeded breath.
“You have to go.”
Xander pulled away and looked determined.
“So, go. I don’t want you to hurt yourself unnecessarily.”
When Xander woke up, it was to the smell of warm coffee brewing and eggs frying on a pan.
He was a little disoriented, but for the most part he remembered where he was and everything that had happened the night before and in the morning when Spike slinked off into the dead of the morning. He got up and looked around the room.
There were bags thrown everywhere. Bags that contained his whole life, some clothes and books and papers and stuff, but nothing permanent, just stuff that Xander could throw into a bunch of bags.
He knew it was a bit sad, a kid like him should have a place to put his things and more things than he had, but didn’t really mind. He picked out some clothes and put them on. Looked down at himself and figured it didn’t really matter, he’d never cared about the way he looked before.
He made his way out of the room, feeling his way around the place before finding the small kitchen area. He saw Giles standing over the stove, mug of coffee in his hand and he smiled.
“Hi.” Xander said.
Giles turned to him and smiled.
“He left. Early this morning. Thought it’d be better.”
“I trust everything is… coming close to okay.”
“We… we found Joe dead. Joe and everyone in the hotel.” Xander said.
He surprised himself by how dead his voice sounded. He could still see the dead look in Joe’s eyes and he tried willing himself to cry, but all he feels is numb.
“That’s awful.” Giles said.
Xander wondered if he really meant that. They all knew what Joe did know. They think they know what he made Xander do, but Xander knew they’d never really be able to understand and he didn’t feel like explaining it to them.
“Spike says we should be prepared for Joe’s bosses. Big, lawyer types that are evil, at least that’s what Joe used to say. Spike thinks they might be on the side of the minions and set Joe up to try and get to Spike. The police might come.”
“And you don’t have a legal guardian?”
“I don’t think Joe took care of any of that.”
“Then you’re going to need one.”
“I don’t belong to the law firm, so I think we’re safe there. But I’m pretty much eighteen.”
“In three months, if I’m correct.”
“Yeah, I don’t think Sunnydale Social Services is going to make a big deal about it.”
“You might be right.”
“We’re just going to have to see how things go.”
There was some silence that passed between them, Giles serving the eggs on two plates and Xander smiled at him.
“Would you like some milk or something? There’s not much, but you’re welcome to it.”
“I’ll just have coffee.” Xander said.
Giles shook his head.
“I keep forgetting kids nowadays drink coffee.”
“You could always call it your thing.”
Giles laughed and handed Xander a plate, eggs and bacon and something that looked like hash browns, but was a little different. Xander took it gratefully, hungry from having thrown up most of his food the night before.
It was nice, to be eating with someone. The light conversation that fell easily between him and Giles over nothing at all and Xander knew that it had to be a bit weird for a kid his age to not have experienced something as normal as breakfast, but he hadn’t and it was good.
It would have been better if Spike were there.
“We don’t know anything.”
“Bullshit. They were coming in there for a set reason and you know that reason was either me or Xander. And Joe, being the stupid bastard that he is, got himself killed to protect the kid.” Spike yelled.
Angel just remained calm, sitting in his chair like it didn’t really bother him and Spiked wanted so bad to smack him.
“Okay, so what do you want to do about it? You wanna go in there, guns blazing not knowing the odds and maybe get yourself killed. Right now, you’re the best thing that kid has to being protected. Master vampires aren’t going to touch him. Blood rites will be sworn, oaths taken, you know how it works.”
“Oh that’s all bloody ridiculous. Even if it does happen, and he’d have to be recognized as a mate for it to happen, that isn’t going to keep him safe from a bunch of pissant blokes with too much money in their hands.”
“You’re still his best chance at being safe.”
“He has the Slayer.”
“Does it really scare you that much?”
Spike looked at him, confusion clear on Angel’s face and Spike frowned.
“Being remotely human.”
“I’m not scared of being human. Was always more human than was good for me, isn’t that what you used to say, Sire.”
Angel flinched slightly at the old title, the title that just didn’t matter anymore because they weren’t that anymore, Sire and Childe. They were Spike and Angel and currently making plans to take out a bunch of minions and act like Masters.
“Then what is it.”
“I don’t want him hurt. He’s special.”
“I never understood you.’
“Bloody understatement of many centuries.”
“You can have it.”
“Just because you’ve diluted yourself enough to think it’s possible, doesn’t mean I have to live it that nancy boy dream land. Xander deserves better. I want to give him better.”
Angel looked angry, Spike guessed it had to do with the dig on him and Spike would be stupid to think Angel’s never thought about how wrong his relationship with the Slayer is. Not just because they’re vampire and Slayer, but because he’s centuries older than her, knows things and he’s immortal.
“Funny thing about humans, Spike. They tend to demand their way and right now, that boy, he’s demanding you.”
“Yeah, and?” Spike said as he sat down on Angel’s couch.
“I guess the question is, are you man enough to demand him back.”
Xander fidgeted in his seat. Looked over at the policeman, detective, sitting across from him, stern look on his face.
They went to the hotel, anonymous call from Joe’s bosses no doubt. They had found the bodies and they hadn’t found Xander’s and now they wanted to know why.
“You weren’t there, all night.” The detective asked, his tone skeptical.
Xander wondered if he really thought Xander could kill dozens of people, people he has lived with most of his life. On paper, Xander looked like the best kid in the world, high grades, good job and on more paper that Xander has never seen, he looked even better. Reports about being employee of the month that had surfaced out from Joe’s bosses to cover their tracks had already made their way to the police station.
But Xander figured it was probably better than thinking about the obvious. Easier to think a psycho kid killed all those people than vampires and Xander pitied the guy just a bit for just not getting it.
“Right. I hadn’t been there for awhile. I… Joe and I… we disagreed.”
Xander tried not to think about how easy that came off of his lips, how easy it was to tell people because it wasn’t like it was a lie, per se.
“Your boyfriend?” The detective asked, his eyebrows hiking.
“Yeah, Joe didn’t like me seeing him, but… I love him you know. So I ran away. Awhile back, actually and I’ve been living with Mister Giles, the librarian since.”
He didn’t say he’d been living with Spike, too many questions that would come back to Spike.
“And… your boyfriend… how did he feel towards Joe?”
“Nothing, much. I mean, they’d never really meet. Joe just saw him, didn’t like the way he looked, didn’t like that he was older. You know, normal things parents nag you about.”
“So, last night?”
“I was here. With Mister Giles and a few other people. He allows study sessions after dark, Mister Giles that is. We were here studying.”
“And the other people, they can verify this?”
“Yup, Just ask them. Ask Mister Giles. He’ll tell you that’s what’s been going on.’
“You don’t seem so sad that your legal guardian is dead.”
Xander sighed. Closed his eyes and tried to keep himself from throwing up because he’d already been able to deal with it and he didn’t want to relive it with the detective right there.
“I am… I just… Joe… he was great and I loved him. It’s just a shock you know. To think that he’s dead. To think that if I had been there, if we hadn’t been fighting. All sorts of things you know.” Xander said putting on his best ‘I could have died’ voice.
The detective nodded. Xander guessed he bought it and even looked a little bit sad over Xander’s turmoil.
“I’d call Social Services…”
“I want to stay with Mister Giles. He said… when I left… he said that it’d be fine if I spent the rest of my time there. Until I’m eighteen. I turn eighteen in three months anyway.”
The detective nodded.
“We’ll be in touch, Mister Harris.”
“Sure.” Xander said.
He didn’t feel too sure about that. Joe’s bosses would find something to cover it up, something that would appease the police and get them off of Xander’s back inadvertently.
“And a lawyer will be in contact with you as well.” The detective said.
“Why?” Xander asked.
“He got a call that Joe Mercer had died. Said something about Mister Mercer being his client. He handled his will and such. He said that you were the beneficiary.” The detective said handing him a business card.
Xander studied the card, the name on it. Lindsey McDonald, Wolfram and Hart. Xander had a sinking feeling he worked for Joe’s bosses. Lindsey McDonald’s visit wouldn’t be a good one.
Of course the detective didn’t know that and Xander looked equal parts of shocked and sad, just to play the part, but it wasn’t hard.
“Thanks, doesn’t really help.” Xander said.
“No, it wouldn’t, but… it’s something.”
Xander nodded and watched as the detective left. Looked at the clock and saw that it was a little after three-thirty and the rest of the gang was waiting for him so they could wait for Angel and Spike and go over the plans.
Xander looked down at the card again and pocketed it. The detective was right, it was something.
Something that would help them with this war.