16 December 2013 @ 01:35 pm
Fic: Pieces of A Puzzle Chapter One  
Title: Pieces of A Puzzle ( written for fall_for_sx )
Author: lusciousxander
Pairing: Xander/Spike
Setting: S7 Post-Selfless
Summary: Spike's stay at Xander's apartment proves to be more interesting than he ever thought.
Notes: This fic is a sequel to my fic "A Kick From the Inside," but you don't have to read it to understand this one.
Thanks to akasakasan for being my lovely beta.





~*~*~*~*~






Chapter One





Yelling, fighting, all I hear these days are loud voices attacking each other. One bloody row after another. They keep at it until one of them storms out of the room, leaving the issue at hand unresolved. It's the same song– every sodding day – and it's starting to get under everybody's skin. While the others are more pissed off by the shouting match, I'm more bothered by the rigid fingers pointed at me. They're doing it again, yapping as if I'm not in the room. That because I'm insane they think I won't understand what they're saying about me.

Weak. Evil. Pathetic. Insults tossed around, describing me from both sides. I pride myself for standing on my two feet instead of rocking in a fetal position on the floor, even though I lack the courage to look any of them in the eye.

I shift my weight to lean against the doorframe of the Summers' living room, wincing when Xander pulls Buffy close and whispers in her ear, reminding her that I tried to rape her last year. Those soft spoken words, whispered so no one but Buffy would hear, sting my ears more than anything he has ever yelled about me.

Dawn rolls her eyes again in an adolescent show of boredom. She throws a stabbing glare in my direction and walks past me out of the room. My leather boots have never looked as appealing as they do at the moment.

"They're at it again?" Willow's voice drifts from upstairs followed by the sound of her feet hurrying down. "Oh, Spike? You're out of the school basement?"

She looks exhausted, like someone who has been waking up every day to the same old tune: who's going to house me. I thought everything was settled when Buffy came over today and took me to her house– that is until Harris put a hole in the wall by slamming the front door with a grand entrance.

I watch them roaring at each other in numb silence. Here they are, deciding my life for me, and I've yet to feel offended. I just don't care anymore. The soul I fought for was for Buffy. Somehow I figured that everything will be magically fixed once I got it. But now that I have it, nothing seems to have changed: my presence still makes Buffy tense, Dawn distrusts me, and Harris is the same minging arsehole of the highest order.

There's nothing out there worth fighting for anymore. Buffy is fine on her own, much happier and content with me gone. None of her friends even like me. Best thing to do now is to just move on. Maybe leave Sunnydale altogether.

Perhaps I will. Once the insane episode is over.

"… you should know, you slept with him…"

"… hasn't been your business since you abandoned the fight…"

"… how could you let him touch you? How could you let him near Dawn?…"

"… where were you when we were rescuing Dawn from Glory?..."

Then again, maybe I'm sane enough to pack my bags and bid them all farewell. Anything but listening to the same squabble again. It won't sit well with Buffy though, not to mention the sunny sun outside.

This time it's getting uglier than usual; even Willow looks freaked out. As the peacemaker, she rushes into the room and tries to reason with the wildcats. Her interference seems to have calmed them down and for the next hour they are able to discuss the matter like a couple of human beings.

That's when it happens. Between the quarreling two, my vision blurs and the shape of my identical twin fills the empty space. I've yet to get used to looking at my reflection after all these years. Those blue eyes I haven't seen for more than a century are looking back at me with icy ridicule.

Fingers snap in my line of sight. "Yo, nut-case! You're coming with me."

I stare at Harris' pissed off face in confusion.

He shakes his head and looks back at his chums. "You owe me big."

Buffy's glare deepens. "I won't owe you a thing if you do as I say."

"Forget it, Buff." He shoves me toward the door. "Move it, dumbass!"

So, it's decided. I'm going to live at Harris' flat. The joy.

The sod would risk anything as long as I don't get near the Slayer. Even the privacy of his sacred home, which looks nothing like I expected. From the very few times I've come across the boy, I figured I'd find a dump of superman dolls and Star Trek merchandise. To my surprise and disappointment – I was counting on teasing him for entertainment – his flat looks like a boring picture from an Ikea magazine.

"You may think I'm gonna bore you with a list of rules, which I will, once I get around to framing them on the wall," Harris witters on as we walk across the flat to the door on the right, "but for now, there's only one rule. One vital rule. Break it and you'll find yourself swept under that rug."

He pushes the door open, revealing a dark haired child of about three or four arranging toy cars on the floor. "Never come near him. Do we understand each other?"

I stare at the silent boy inside his ridiculously decorated room – the car-shaped bed is overkill. So, this is the precious Harris baby I was never allowed to see. The one his father had handed over his Scooby badge for, before signing into his current life as an average Joe.

Harris walks inside the small windowless room and crouches down next to his son. "Hey there, Sam," he whispers tenderly. "That's Spike. He's going to stay with us for a while."

Sam doesn't even look at me, too absorbed putting his blue cars in line with the yellow cars.

"He's gonna be sleeping on our couch, okay?" Xander lifts the boy's chin to make him look him in the eyes. "Spike is gonna sleep on our couch. Okay?"

The boy jerks away from his father's hold and mumbles a soft, "Okay."

I watch him go back to what he's doing with mild interest. Thought boys his age were louder and more annoying. I'm going to like this one.

Xander rises to his feet and then points a sharp finger at my face. "If you touch a hair…"

"Can't. Chip, remember?"

He walks towards me until we're standing face to face, his hot breath burning my skin. "That chip of yours is the only reason I agreed to this."

Agreed to what? He was the one who demanded I stay here. My retort goes unsaid when he pushes me out and closes the door to his son's room behind him with a firm click. The lousy drawing of a little boy with glittering letters spelling "Sam" that is glued to the brat's door is sure to give me nightmares all week.




~*~*~*~*~






It's almost 5 A. M. Night time at Harris' nest wasn't so bad. I didn't have to interact with him or his little brat. Got the window blinds all shut and my mug of blood on the table next to me, all ready for a good morning sleep. I wiggle on Harris' surprisingly comfy couch and pull the blanket to my chest. My lungs itch for a good smoke, but that's on the top of the 'Don'ts' list hanging on the door. Guess I'll have to just settle for the comfort of the darkness to soothe me to sleep.

"Nooooo!"

On instinct, I jump off the couch and resume a fighting stance. Through the darkness I can see him clearly; the little figure running toward the window and trying to pull down the string.

"Sammy!" Harris hurries out of his room with a baseball bat. He punches the lights on with a fist and then swings the bat at me, missing as I duck out of the way. "What did you do to him?!"

"Nothing," I say from my place on the couch, staring with amusement at his bloodshed eyes and the trembling baseball bat.

"Light off! Light off!"

Xander lowers the bat and blinks his droopy eyes at his son jumping and screaming next to the already opened blinds. Seeing as Xander has calmed down, I venture to my feet and take the bat out of his hands; a dangerous item like that in a mother bear's hands would be fatal to a vampire.

"Light off!"

Xander turns off the lights sending the room into a dim state of darkness. "There, now stop screaming!"

The child is illuminated by the moonlight, looking like he just came out of one of those horror flicks. His eyes glisten with determination, daring us to defy his wishes.

"He's your son, all right. Wants me to burst into flames when Mr. Golden Sun peeks through."

Xander wearily messages his temples. "Sammy, honey, we have to shut the blinds while Spike stays here."

The boy stomps his foot. "Window open!"

"Spike hates the sun. We have to shut the blinds." Xander walks toward the window and closes the blinds.

"Noooooo!"

I scowl, cursing my vamp hearing. Some lungs on that tyke. To my horror, I witness for the very first time in a century’s worth of slaughter and mayhem, my first child tantrum. It's exactly as scary as it sounds. The boy literally drops to the floor, banging his head on the hard surface, while smacking his hands and kicking his legs everywhere.

Xander hangs his head. "God, I'm too tired for this."

One would think I'd enjoy watching my least favorite Scooby suffer. It's the soul no doubt. "Put your foot down and tell him your word is law."

"It's not that simple."

"This is ridiculous." I bend in front of the child, earning a few kicks at my face. "Listen, brat! Those blinds will be shut all night and day, got that?"

"WINDOW OPEN!!!!"

"Okay, okay!" Xander lifts his hands in surrender. "Spike will sleep in Daddy's room."

"Over my dead body," I object right away.

Xander opens the blinds and suddenly I've gone deaf. The child looks up at his father with a betrayed expression on his face. "Why close window, Daddy?"

"It's open now." He helps his son to his feet and plants a kiss on his forehead.

"Don't close window!"

"I won't. Now let's take you to your room." He scoops up his son and gives him a couple of kisses on his cheek.

"Don't see why I can't sleep in his room instead. It has no windows, a five-star room for a vampire."

"Not really in the mood for jokes, Spike."

"I wasn't joking."

He ignores me and starts making his way to the boy's room. The spoiled brat throws a few distrustful glances at the window through his father's shoulder.

Pausing before going into the room, Xander looks back at me with a fierce stare. "Go wait in my room. I'll be there in a sec."

With a sigh, I grab my mug and the blanket – figure Harris will hog the covers. The bedroom is pitch black, thank God, and has a king sized bed. It appears he was sleeping on the side closer to the door, so I walk over to the other side. I barely find a place on the nightstand for my mug with all the framed pictures taking over the space; an old picture of him, Buffy, and Willow in high school, another one of Joyce and an infant Sam, and more pictures of Sam at different ages.

I snuggle against the pillow and close my eyes, letting the silence loll me to sleep.

"What are you doing?"

So much for the silence. I open an eyelid. "Trying my hardest to sleep?"

"In my bed?

"You don't mean I'm to sleep on the floor?"

"You used to sleep in a coffin, Spike. What's the difference?"

I lever myself on one elbow. "There's a bed in Buffy's basement. Think I'll pack my bags of blood and have my slumber party there."

Xander huffs out an angry breath. "Fine!"

The bed shakes when the Harris bomb lands and suddenly I find myself without a blanket. I snatch it back and give the wanker my back, trying to ignore the sound of his raging heartbeat and the flow of his blood. It's been a while since I've slept next to a human.

"Uh, Spike, was I dreaming it or did you really reference Barney earlier?"

"Well, six or seven years ago I slashed the necks of vulnerable children in an orphanage. Bloody song was playing in the background."

"Serves me right for asking."






~*~*~*~*~





"Dear God!"

The sudden piercing exclaim sends me jumping into action. Fists brought up and knees bent, I take a fighting stance on top of the mattress with my eyes barely open. What the bleeding hell is wrong with this place? Can't a vampire sleep in peace?

"I'm really sorry, sir. You startled me," says the middle-aged woman who resembles a younger Mrs. Doubtfire. She adjusts her glasses and takes her time staring at me. "I did wonder why Mr. Harris never brought a woman over."

I blink my eyes at the strange woman standing by the bedroom door with a white basket filled with clean folded clothes tucked against her hip. "What?"

"I just came here to put away Mr. Harris' clothes." She walks over to the closet and starts arranging the clothes inside. "I don't usually do the ironing. Mr. Harris insists he doesn't want me doing any housework, but I get bored when Sammy starts watching Moon. That's what he calls his favorite movie."

I rub my eyes and then stare closely at her. No, this isn't a dream. "Who are you?"

The sweet lady flashes me a bright grin. "I'm Maggie. Sammy's nanny."

Right. Harris is obviously at his job right now. Can't leave his son all alone, especially not with a vampire in the house.

My head is banging from the lack of sleep since Xander had spent hours tossing and turning in bed; I couldn't doze off until he decided to make a trip to the loo. The git isn't used to having another bloke in bed with him and I had to suffer throughout the ordeal. I am getting out of here soon. Don't even care what bloody Buffy thinks.

I run a hand over my head and stand awkwardly on the bed as the woman puts away the clean clothes into the closet.

"I'm surprised Mr. Harris hasn't mentioned you before. He's usually very thorough about any changes in his and his son's life." She places the last set of folded shirts inside and then smiles knowingly at me. "Though I understand his reluctance."

"You do?" I can't believe that Harris would tell her about the creatures of the night and what not. Perhaps being a parent, it's better to give the person in charge of taking care of his son the full picture.

"I know at my age, you don't expect me to be understanding but I have no problem with Mr. Harris' lifestyle."

"Lifestyle…? WHAT?" I just notice her pointed stare at my bare chest and instantly wrap my arms around myself. Bollocks, I left my shirt and coat in the living room. "You think we're a couple of poofs? I'm just here because my house is burnt up."

She slaps her chest in shock. "Oh, dear, that must have been awful."

"It was," I mutter, trying to block the ugly memories of Finn and those bloody eggs that cost me my beloved crypt.

"So, you two…"

"Are as straight as a board. I can reassure you that none of us are happy with this arrangement."

A new piercing noise is attacking me from outside the room. I revert back to a fighting stance, but Maggie waves it off with a laugh. "Oh, it's just Sammy watching TV."

I follow her outside the bedroom to a sunlit living room. I remain standing behind the wall in the safety of the shadows, realizing in dismay that my coat and shirt are lying on the couch, sucking in the heat of the sun. I shift my gaze to the little Harris sprawled on the couch with a bottle of milk in his hand.

"Again!"

Maggie groans. "Oh, I forgot to fast-forward that part."

On TV, there's a fat man with a cat head explaining to a tiny kid with a dog head that Santa Clouse isn't real. Maggie takes the remote control and rewinds a bit until the little cartoon dog is on top of a pile of snow.

"Like father, like goof. Kid's got the goof gene in his bloodstream."

"There is too a Santa," the dog-kid on TV objects before he slips and falls down the mountain of snow.

Sam bursts out laughing. "Again!"

Maggie sighs and rewinds. Same twelve seconds are repeated. Same delighted laugh followed by "Again!" Now Maggie is mouthing out the lines.

This is ridiculous. She's even worse than the boy's father. I turn my gaze from the screen to the boy on the couch, but then I see me again. Myself sitting on the couch next to Sam's, bathing in the sunlight with a content smile on my lips. Something looks a bit odd about it, as if my body is floating over the couch and the sunlight seems to be shining through me.

"Again!"

Maggie notices me standing behind her and shakes her head. "Oh, he loves this part so much he's going to watch it over and over."

"Right." I blink when the figure on the couch disappears all of a sudden. "Think I'm going to head back to bed."

Lightheaded, I head back to the bedroom, feeling the numbness spreading in my chest. I bite my lower lip in distress when I see my reflection again, on bed, naked, smirking. I find myself being drawn toward the bugger, losing the will to fight, losing control completely.




~*~*~*~*~




Clad in black, I make my way out of the bedroom intending to head out for a good night stroll. Anything just to clear my mind off of the images of the devil wearing my face. My perfect stride is interrupted by Harris' brat sneaking through my moving legs. Thanks to vamp reflexes, I catch myself before smacking my face against Harris' scratchy carpet. I watch with wide eyes and mouth as little Sam paces around the room in a circle, listing tomorrow's daily activities to himself.

"Where do you think you're going?"

Behind me, Xander sits at the kitchen bar with a plate of chicken nuggets and begins cutting them into little pieces.

Squaring my shoulders, I go for cool nonchalant. "Out."

"Don't think so, pal."

What the hell? "You don't tell me what to do."

"Oh, it's not me. Believe me I would love to have you out of here in no time. It's Buffy's orders."

Right. She's worries about me, obviously. Dumping me at Harris' house of loons and controlling my life from afar. "I don't answer to anyone."

"Suit yourself. But the second you're out of the apartment, I'm calling her. Sammy!"

The kid plunges from mid-circle, still yapping, and snatches the piece of meat from the fork his father is holding out to him with his mouth before going back to pacing.

"And then…" chewing, "… I gets to watch Moon…" chewing, "… and then Maggie make macaroni…" chewing, "… and then I eats macaroni…"

"Sammy, chew first, sweetie."

After the second food launch, I catch myself and throw Harris a challenging stare. "I'll do whatever the bleeding hell I want."

Just as I'm about to open the door, I hear him calling his son, "Sammy, go get Daddy's cell phone."

I growl and yank the door open, but my determined stride goes as far as a couple of steps when an image of Buffy and her bloody stake flashes before my yellowing eyes. Knowing that I'll make a pitiful twat out of myself in front of her, I hang my head and retreat into the flat only to have my exasperation rising at the knowing grin on Xander's face.

I slump on to the stool next to his and curse under my breath, wincing when Sam slams the front door shut.

Xander keeps smiling as he holds out another piece of meat to his son. "I take it you met Maggie."

Making small talk, aren't we? Too desperate for adult company. Well, he can beg on hands and knees, I won’t give him the satisfaction of even acknowledging his existence. Ignoring the fact that Xander does spend more time with adults at work than at home with his son, I make my way to the fridge and grab a bag of blood.

I hear the wanker chuckle in amusement. "Giving me the silent treatment?"

Still ignoring him, I pour the blood into my mug.

"Buffy has a point, Spike. You can't go out while you're still insane."

I lean against the fridge and take a sip, watching Sam going on and on about tomorrow's schedule while pacing in circles. Sure, I'm the insane one.

"So, you have a soul now."

I heave a sigh and walk around the bar to sit on the stool. "Yes."

"How does that work?"

"Just like it did with Angel."

"That's the thing." He puts down the fork and looks me straight in the eye. "Is it permanent? Do you lose it when you have sex? Or is it something else for you."

"I won't lose it 'cause it's not a curse." I take a couple of swallows of my blood. "I asked for it myself."

Xander stares at me for a brief moment. "Because of Buffy."

"Well, that's just something between me and Buffy."

I expected him to get his angry face on and spit out a bunch of holier than thou nonsense but instead he smiles at me. A real genuine smile. "Guess we do the craziest things for love."

"We?"

His smile melts into a tender one when he looks at his queer son. I watch him spread out his arms to invite Sam into a hug, and the miracle happens; Sam stops pacing and throws himself into his father's embrace. It's an odd picture, never really expected that I'll think of Harris as anything but a sodding cockhead.

Right now, I see him for who he really is; a father.


~*~*~*~*~



Chapter Two
 
 
 
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
chaoskirchaoskir on December 16th, 2013 12:39 pm (UTC)
I like this first chapter! Thanks for sharing!
lusciousxander: Spander by Claudialusciousxander on December 16th, 2013 01:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you for commenting! :)
baudownbaudown on December 16th, 2013 09:37 pm (UTC)
Excellent start and an intriguing premise. I think I'll have to go back and read A Kick from the Inside.
lusciousxander: Connection by Moscow_watcherlusciousxander on December 17th, 2013 10:51 am (UTC)
Thank you! I hope you enjoy A Kick From the Inside. :)
Dragon's Phoenix: xmasdragonyphoenix on December 18th, 2013 04:03 pm (UTC)
This is delightful.
lusciousxanderlusciousxander on March 6th, 2014 01:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'll post Chapter 3 now. :)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )