18 December 2013 @ 02:57 pm
Fic: Pieces of A Puzzle Chapter Two  
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.

Previous Chapters:

Chapter One





~*~*~*~*~






Chapter Two




Strong hands are holding my arms shaking me out of my dazed state – "Calm the hell down, Spike!"

"Wha- what?"

Wide hazel eyes glisten in the dark with shock and fear. I jerk my head left and right, frantically trying to familiarize myself with my surroundings. My nerves settle down at the sight of Sam's framed pictures on the nightstand – Xander's bedroom.

We're on the floor next to his bed and Xander is on top of me, pinning me down on the rough floor.

"How… what…?"

He loosens his tight grip on my arms and shakes his head wearily. "You've gone psycho all of a sudden."

"I…"

What's she doing there? Her green eyes gleam with a great sense of betrayal and hatred. Her arms are crossed as usual but with the stiffness of a woman who has endured eternal suffering. I hurt her. I hurt her badly.

My body begins to shake with tremors of guilt and shame and my soul burns inside me like a coal fire threatening to flare out of control. I'm desperate for the sweet release of escape. I bang and buck and scream; out, out, OUT! Get the bloody thing out of me!

"Spike, stop!" The hands holding me down tighten in a desperate attempt to keep me in place. "Get a grip!"

Tiny ants crawl all over my skin sending me to a blank state of madness. I can't stop banging my head against the floor. I want it to stop. This feeling that's eating me alive. I want it to just bleeding stop!

All of a sudden, I find myself buried in a warm embrace with soft spoken nonsense whispered in my ears. The shock of being held seems to have calmed down every other raging sense in my body. I blink at the woman standing by the door with my nose buried in Harris' shoulder.

"That ought to do it," Xander says, pushing me away gently. He tries to hold my gaze with his own unsuccessfully. "What the hell are you looking at?"

"Buffy?"

He looks at the door then back at me. "Don't start freaking me out. There's no one there."

"D-don't you see her?"

He looks at the door again. "Spike, for the last time, there's no one there."

"But, Buffy…"

"… is sound asleep at her house. It's too late even for a slayer." He gets up on his feet and stretches his arms, cracking a couple of knots in his back. "Now go back to bed, and please try to dial down the crazy until I leave for work."

Buffy is no longer standing at the door. That helps me get back to bed next to one pissed off Harris. I give him my back, hiding my face in humiliation. It's one thing to lose control in front of Buffy, but to do it in front of King of Loserville is beyond mortifying. I bite my lip, trying my hardest not to tremble or hiss in shock, staring right into Buffy's terrified eyes as she lies next to me with her naked and bruised body.

I don't want the wanker calling me crazy again.




~*~*~*~*~





I wake up to the unsettling feeling of someone staring at me. No, no, no! Is she back? Is she crying again? I force my brain cells to recharge their sanity. It wasn't Buffy last night. Never her. It was it. From beneath you, it devours. The bloody bugger out to get me again. I must keep calm, don't want loser Harris mocking me again.

The sense of being watched starts getting on my wick. I've had this feeling almost every day when Dru and I were together. While it was endearing then, it's nothing but creepy now.

I open my eyes to a pair of green ones that don't belong to Buffy. For one thing, these eyes are staring intensely at me from behind glasses. I jump back until my back hits the headboard. "Bollocks!"

Maggie adjusts her glasses and narrows her eyes at me. "You know, looking at you up close you do look a little too pale."

My nerves start to calm down, but my confusion remains extreme. "What?"

"Would you mind if I opened the windows a bit or do you combust into flames with the faintest light?"

Suddenly, sunlight is all over the place.

"What the hell…?" I bury myself under the covers, pulling my leg in when I feel my toes starting to grill.

"Oh. Sorry." I hear the sound of the blinds being shut but am too hesitant to venture a peek. "I just needed to see for myself."

"See what?" my voice comes out a bit muffled under the covers.

"If you were a vampire."

I blink.

Sitting up straight, I feel the covers sliding down my body. "A what?"

Maggie plants her hands on her hips. "Mr. Harris told me that you're a vampire. He also showed me the bags of animals' blood in the fridge."

I stare at her, speechless.

She starts tapping on her temple, a thoughtful expression on her face. "What types of food do you make using blood or do you just drink it?"

I stare at her some more and then give myself an affirmative nod. "I need a break."

Flinging the covers off of me and snatching my black shirt, I storm out of Harris' bedroom and into his son's room. I shut the door with force behind me and grin at Harris Junior. "Don't mind me hanging about, do you?"

The boy is too occupied with lining up his tiny cars by colors to answer me.

"Right. You're deaf," I mutter, putting on my shirt. Dropping on the large car-bed, I bring my arms under my head and stare up at the blue ceiling. So, Harris told Nanny Fine about me. I'm not sure how to take this. Those who go bump in the night have always been the Scoobies' dirty little secret. Did the rules change now that I have a soul? Not that Harris cares one way or another. He still sees me as a monster. The only reason I'm allowed in his home is the chip in my head; or else he won't risk having me anywhere near his precious son.

I lift myself on my elbows and stare at Sam lining up his itty bitty green cars in perfect straight rows. He does a good job making sure no car is ahead of the other. Must be nice having a quiet boy like that. Harris has always been a lucky sod.

I start wandering around the room; car-themed blue wallpaper, a vibrant orange bookshelf filled with ABC cubes and cars – little wheels are dominating the place – and children's books about cartoon characters, numbers, and of course, cars. On top of an orange study-desk – like a three-year old would need one – lie all sorts of toy cars and a long-nosed cowboy doll along with a big-chinned astronaut.

No wonder this boy is one spoiled brat. Harris obviously decorated his dream boy-room, one that he wished he could have had when he was a sprog. Not that he's grown out of his childish desires. He has the mental capacity of a five year old.

I stop by the large closet with number three stickers covering every inch of it. The bright, colorful shirts and jammies inside almost blind me. Does this kid have any shirt that doesn't have a picture of a cartoon character on it? Poor little nipper. He's doomed to relive his loser of a father's dateless school-years. He won't even have a Slayer chum to save his sorry arse whenever he'll run into bullies or Cordelia-like cheerleaders.

A sudden voice sings a tune that sends chills down my spine. My brows furrow as the voice gets louder and clearer. I can feel my grip on the closet knob tightening to the point of breaking it. Sodding hell!

… I heard a maid singing in the valley below…

A strange sensation takes over me, and I drown, deep, deep into a sea of obliviousness. My vision is nothing but a hazy dark color surrounded by dancing shadows that spin and spin and spin…

… O do not leave me
How could you use a poor maiden so?...


I snap awake by the piercing of a loud scream. Sam struggles to get out of my iron grip on his arms. I hastily let go of him and take a step back, unsure what has just happened.

Maggie dashes into the room and shakes her head at the brand new violent Sam tantrum. "Oh, did you try playing with him?" she asks with a knowing headshake. "He hates anyone touching his toys."

She tries calming the boy down fruitlessly, but my gaze is glued on the boy's neck where the nonexistent bite marks could have been.



~*~*~*~*~





Dinner time at the Harris flat; father feeding his son chicken nuggets again while I watch from my place on the couch. Instead of listing tomorrow's routine, Sam is counting numbers with all the glee of a robot. He's pacing around in circles and thrusting his hand in the air like an eager teacher in a classroom. He hasn't said a word about the afternoon incident to Daddy Dearest. If Xander knew I tried to nip on his daft kid, it's gonna be me against his broken baseball bat.

I reluctantly pull myself up on my feet and pad on bare feet to the kitchen area. My dreams of being cured are shattered when that bloody song rung in my ears earlier today. Seems that it isn't the school basement making me crackers after all. There has to be a way to stop this. I can't lose control of myself every time it decides to have me in its pocket.

I just notice the number-shaped magnets on the fridge. Those bloody numbers are everywhere. I never took Harris for one those elitist parents. Seemed more of a carefree, fun dad than one who cared about education and reinforced its importance in every possible way.

"Ouch! Ouch!"

I turn around and then roll my eyes; the spoiled brat is making a fuss over the silliest things. This time it's a couple of ketchup stains on his pajamas.

"It's okay, Sammy," Xander says in a calm voice, wiping off the ketchup with some tissues. "Eat your food first."

Sam prefers to freak out. "Ouch! Ouch!"

I could use some beer right now, but Harris has a rule about having any alcoholic beverages in the house. I grab a bag of blood and drink from it instead of pouring it into a mug, watching the little monster flapping his hands and screaming at the top of his lungs. Tears start streaming down his face; one would think those mild stains are tearing holes into his pajamas and burning his skin.

Xander gives up after realizing that the red stain won't wipe off the white head of the sailor duck on Sam's pajamas and slaps the dirty tissues on the kitchen bar. He heads straight to his son's room only to come out a few seconds later with a haunted expression on his face.

If my heart could beat it would have stopped at the moment. He knows. "What?"

"Shi… I mean, God! I haven't washed the other ones."

Looks like I'm in the clear for now. "What other ones?"

"He likes wearing these Donald Duck PJs every night, so I bought him another identical pair, but they’re also dirty."

I stare at him with my lips unable to produce words. His face looks like he’s seen a ghost and it’s all over a pair of pajamas? Says the vampire who almost fainted thinking he was busted just because Xander walked into the nearly crime scene.

"It's just a little stain, Sammy." Xander rushes to his son and resumes wiping the ketchup with a bunch of new clean tissues. Nothing he does stops the boy from wailing at full volume.

Xander jumps to his feet, rubbing his unruly shaggy hair with both hands into an even unrulier state. Can't blame him for losing his marbles; I'm about to pour the blood in this bag into my ears.

Suddenly, an invisible light bulb springs to life above his head. "I'll wash the other pair right now!"

"Tell me you're not serious!" I exclaim incredulously.

Xander groans in frustration and ends up shoving me against the wall. Ironically, he receives a few blood stains on his white shirt.

"Don't make this any worse than it already is!"

"I'm making it worse? He's just a tot. I've seen his closet, lots of unworn jammies in there."

The strong grip tightens on my shirt and Xander's eyes shoot fire. "What the hell were you doing in his room?"

"First off, no cursing in front of children. Second, I get bored. Trapped in this hellhole with nothing to do."

I get my head smacked against the wall for my trouble.

"Spike… just… damnit!"

Harris starts striding to the bathroom.

"Nice comeback. Very witty," I yell after him, rubbing the back of my sore head.

I don't know what I'm afraid of. I wish Harris knew about this afternoon. A stake to the heart is far more merciful than the crap I'm going through. Stuck in a flat with an exploding bomb and a moody parent. One more tired glance at the howling buster before I start dragging my feet to the bedroom.

I stop midway, hearing a strange sound drifting from the bathroom. Either the song is back again or I'm starting to hallucinate. I stand next to the bathroom door, and the faint sound of soft crying grows slightly louder, now mixed with the grinding noise of the washing machine.

For some reason, all the anger and annoyance that has been boiling inside of me seems so… childish.

I scratch my temple awkwardly and then hide my wimp arse in the bedroom. Pretending to be asleep sounds so appealing right now.





~*~*~*~*~






The stupid duck that was on the boy's pajamas last night is screeching nonsense on the TV. My eyes however are on Sam pacing around the room in circles, as always counting the numbers again – his version of a far-out nerdy hobby. While my ears are listening to the angry duck and my eyes are looking at Sam, my mind is somewhere else entirely.

The hallucinations, the song and losing control; there has to be a way to stop it all. I'm beginning to get really brassed off with all the stares and the whispers. Whenever I walk out of the bedroom, Xander will lower his voice when he's on the telephone and I'll know he's talking about me. But the worst of all are those bloody headshakes and the staring whenever I space out.

I take a swallow of my mug of blood and lower the volume of the TV. Bloody Harris. Smirking down at me from his high horse of normality. He should take one look at his little rug monkey before judging other people for being insane.

Speaking of the devil…

"What after ninety nine?"

I snap out of my thoughts and gaze at Sam's impassive face. "What?"

"What after ninety nine?"

"Uh… a hundred?"

"After that?"

"A hundred and one."

Sam nods and then starts walking in circles again. "A hundred, a hundred and one, a hundred and two, a hundred and three, a hundred and four…"

That boy is a hundred percent round the twist.

Oh, bleeding hell! I jump off the couch and glare down at the stains of blood in my shirt. I turn my gleaming eyes to the cackling boy pointing at me – you weren't laughing when it happened to you last night. Cursing under my breath, I place the mug on the table and make my way to the bathroom.

"I can wash it for you, Mr. Spike," Maggie says from the kitchen where she's washing the dishes.

"No, been dreading using that thing all my life. Think it's time to learn."

"I can't believe you never used the washing machine."

"Had my own minions doing it for me." I walk into the spotless bathroom with a nice odor wafting from a fresh summer lemon scented candle. Must be nice having your own nanny cleaning the loo every sodding day.

"But you haven't had minions for three years."

"I had a system," I yell back, scratching my head at the sight of the complicated machine. "Much easier than this one."

I have no idea what to do. I do know there should be some soap involved. I start opening the drawers searching for the right type of soap, but there's no soap in the lower drawers. Just a cluster of folded towels and bathrobes.

I open the top drawer and a small pink box falls on top of my head. My eyes grow wide with shock at the pink colored boxes lined up next to each other inside the drawer.

Tampons?!!

I recognize them from my time with Buffy last year. I grab the only blue box among the sea of pink and read, "Tampox Pearl, amazingly clean protection." I could swear Maggie mentioned that Harris never had a bird over. I don't suppose all those are for Maggie. The way he fusses about his precious boy, I don't doubt he even shops for the nanny.

Still, why buy all these boxes for a woman who only spends five mornings a week with his son? I return the blue box and the pink one on the floor to the drawer. Better not have the wanker get his knickers in a twist thinking I was snooping in the bathroom.

"Maggie! Need some help here!"

She walks in with a smug grin. "Told you so."

I take off my shirt and hand it to her. "Yeah, don't get all jolly over this."




~*~*~*~*~





"Are we doomed to watch the dog with the southern accent burn his bum on the oven for eternity?" Sprawled on the couch, I dip a potato chip in a bowl of blood and pop it into my mouth. On the screen, the bloody dog starts flying around the kitchen with his bum shooting smoke. If I hear his sodding laugh one more time, I'll stake myself on Sam's giant Number Three clothes holder.

"He's got a Midwest accent," Xander corrects absentmindedly. He has his construction site maps lined up on the coffee table and is holding a big yellow ruler and drawing a line with a pencil. "Besides, Sam loves this movie."

I gaze spitefully at the kid in question walking around in circles and wittering non-stop about numbers. "He's not even watching it."

Xander manages to throw me a swift glance while drawing another line on the map. "He'll freak out if we change it."

"So what?" I exclaim, sitting upright on the couch. "Can't you see that you've created one rotten spoiled ticking bomb who always goes off the second he doesn't get his way?"

Xander pretends he's too observed in his work to hear me, but I can see the stiffness in his jaw. He knows I'm right and yet he's doing nothing about it. I could care less how he raises his brat, but if I'm going to stay here I don't see why I need to put up with it.

One more daft laugh from the screen and I can't take it anymore. I snatch the remote from the table and switch from video to TV; the blissful sound of a CNN reporter drifts into my ears like a heartrending ballad.

Sam stops walking abruptly. Sound the alarm! "Moon! Moon!"

Xander curses under his breath and slaps his hands on his ears. "Put Moon back, Spike!"

With a childish glint in my soul, I hide the remote behind me. "Make me."

"Spike, I've got to finish this before tomorrow. I don't have time for your shi… shirt!"

"You've got to learn how to discipline him."

Through the deafening screams and wails of his son, Xander Harris rises to his mighty feet with fire shooting from his beady eyes. "Spike! This is my house, you do what I say."

"Don't want to stay a minute in your sodding home. But since I have no choice, I will at least teach you a thing or two about parenting."

Xander releases a high-pitched growl and pounces at me only to end up smacking his head against the couch. Droopy Boy forgot he's dealing with a vampire. So, the whole flat turns into a loud racket with two grownups running around like cat and mouse and a three year old screaming his lungs out and banging his head on the floor.

Eventually, Xander drops to his knees, breathing heavily, and holds up a hand that resembles a white flag. "Spike, please, just… put the freaking movie back on."

I fold my arms across my chest and smirk. "And why would I wanna do that?"

He gives an incredulous nod at the wailing boy.

I shrug. "Don't mind it."

"Spike…" Helpless sadness seeps into his eyes and his shoulders slump in defeat. He looks a few years older than his real age as he struggles beneath the weight of what he's going to say. "Sam is not a regular kid."

I scoff. "Sure, he's special."

Xander doesn't look a speck happy about it when he admits, "He is."

"What do you mean? He's not a demon, is he?"

"No. He's… he's just different."

"Different how exactly?"

"He's not your typical kind of kid."

"I got that, Harris. What is he?"

With a heavy sigh, Xander looks at his agitated son running around the room throwing and kicking anything at sight. "Sam is… he's autistic."

"And that would be?"

Xander's sadness dissolves into a look of genuine surprise. "You don't know what autism is?"

I shake my head simply.

"The term autism was introduced since before I was born."

"You say that like you're over sixty. You're only two decades old."

He's about to explain when Sam raises the volume of his yowls even higher. Wincing, he crawls toward him, grasps his flailing arms and holds them down, and then he pulls his resisting son into a tight hug. The scene looks so familiar that my chest tightens in disgust. Sam struggles in his father's embrace for a while as Xander whispers comforting words into his ears.

My disgust grows when Sam's loud wailing turns into soft hiccups and he hangs limply in his father's embrace.

"Seriously, you never heard of it? Even those who live under a rock have an idea of it from Rain Man."

Too engrossed with the sight before me, I barely notice Harris' stare waiting for my answer to whatever he just said.

"What?" I snap in annoyance, finding myself more interested in the sniffling child in Xander's arms than what his father is talking about.

"The Tom Cruise movie?"

"Don't talk to me about that wannabe vampire."

He rolls his eyes at me. "You do realize he was just acting, right?"

Sam looks at me with tearful eyes. "Why, Spike?"

I just stare at him. At that moment, he looks normal, like I did two nights ago after receiving that same hug. The magical powers of the Xander embrace. Like being smothered by a bloody snuggling bear.

I turn my attention from the boy to his father. "So, what is this auti… whatever it is your kid has?"

"It's a disorder. Look, I've got a lot of work to do. There's a reason why Sam is the way he is."

My lips curl lip in a show of repulsion. "A nutcase."

"You're one to talk." Xander jumps to his feet and snatches the remote control from my meek hand. He changes the TV back into video mode and just as the dense dog snaps into the screen, Sam springs to his feet and starts walking in circles.

"At least I don't go having tantrums over nothing," I retort. At his look, I add touchily, "There's a reason why it happens."

"Him, too," he replies dryly.

We stare at each other as the atmosphere around us thickens through the silly Christmas songs and Sam babbling to himself about my "misbehavior." I break the ice by marching to fetch my coat and slipping it on.

I hear him sigh and ask tiredly, "Where are you going?"

"I'm not your bloody kid," I answer coolly. "I can go wherever I want and I don't care if you're going to tattle on me to Buffy."

He doesn't try to stop me as I walk out of the flat and slam the door shut behind me.



~*~*~*~*~



Chapter Three
 
 
 
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
chaoskirchaoskir on December 18th, 2013 12:58 pm (UTC)
Oh! I do like this fic very much and I want to get my own magical Xander-Hug.
Thanks for the great update.
lusciousxanderlusciousxander on December 19th, 2013 11:43 am (UTC)
Thank you! Xander's hugs are the best.
scarbanditscarbandit on December 18th, 2013 01:35 pm (UTC)
More more more!
lusciousxanderlusciousxander on December 19th, 2013 11:43 am (UTC)
Thanks, thanks, thanks! :D
Dragon's Phoenix: xmasdragonyphoenix on December 18th, 2013 04:15 pm (UTC)
Must be nice having a quiet boy like that. Harris has always been a lucky sod. Spike totally doesn't get that Sam has autism. That'll be an interesting conversation when it comes up.

"There's a reason why it happens." / "Him, too," he replies dryly. Nice.

I like this story. The writing is very good and the plotline is keeping me interested.
lusciousxanderlusciousxander on December 19th, 2013 11:46 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. I'm working on the next chapter right now. :)
rachaelaghrachaelagh on December 18th, 2013 04:57 pm (UTC)
Loving it!
Really unique story, can't wait for the next installment!!

Edited at 2013-12-18 04:59 pm (UTC)
lusciousxanderlusciousxander on December 19th, 2013 11:46 am (UTC)
Re: Loving it!
Thank you! :D
baudownbaudown on December 18th, 2013 07:09 pm (UTC)
Eagerly awaiting the rest!
lusciousxanderlusciousxander on December 19th, 2013 11:47 am (UTC)
Working on it!
FemailoftheSpeciescafedemonde on December 22nd, 2013 01:43 am (UTC)
This is really kinda wonderful!
lusciousxanderlusciousxander on January 6th, 2014 04:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )