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[personal profile] devo79fanfic
Title: Childe, part 1
Author: Devo79
Characters: Angel, Xander
Rating: PG13


“Peaches,” the completely unwelcome voice on the other end of the line said.

“Look, Spike,” Angel tried to keep his voice calm, “I don’t have time for your stupid prank calls, all right.”

“It’s the boy,” Spike explained it as if it was supposed to mean something.

“What boy?”


“Xander? What about him?” Angel tried to conjure up the image of the boy but had to admit that the only image he had stored in his brain was that of a lanky snarky teenager.

“Git’s been turned,” Spike’s words sounded as if they were forced out through gritted teeth.

“That’s…how’s Buffy handling…” Angel immediately got up from his chair and walked over to look out at Cordy. She was writing something on the computer and if Angel was really lucky it would in some way be connected to the job he was paying her to do…only…he doubted it.

“Don’t bloody care how she’s handling it. Something went wrong. He’s…I don’t know…” and Angel could swear he heard concern in Spike’s voice.

“Spike?” Angel turned his back on Cordy and walked further into the little room he had been using since a problem with the plumbing had flooded his other, much more comfortable, office.

“Look,” Spike sighed. “‘S not like there’s any love lost between me and the donut boy but…this just isn’t right.”

“Spike, I haven’t got a clue what you’re…”

“They have him chained to a wall in the basement,” Angel felt a shiver run down his spine at Spike’s words.

“Who’s got him chained to a wall?” Angel managed to ask.

“The watcher and Buffy,” Spike snarled, “Like some damn animal. They won’t put him out of his misery and they won’t give him his soul back…some shite about it being in heaven…”

“I’m sure Buffy’s doing the best she…” Angel tried to convince the both of them.

“He’s starving! You telling me that’s the best she can do?!” Spike was yelling now. Every word shouted into the receiver.

“Giles knows how much blood a fledge needs,” and even Angel could hear the doubt in his own voice.

“Right,” Spike said, “Then he’s just biting his own wrists for the fun of it, yeah?”


“What’s all the…” Gunn managed to ask before he was pushed out of the way by Angel.

“I’m going to Sunnydale for awhile,” the vampire said and looked at the two stakes he was holding. One in each hand.

“You gonna hunt vampires?” Gunn eyed the stakes. They were both beautifully carved with a small lizard crawling up the side of one and what looked like an angel wrapping its wings around the other stake.

Finally deciding on bringing both stakes, Angel put them in the duffle bag on top of a black t-shirt.

Gunn was about to ask again when Cordy pushed her way past him and entered Angel’s room, “I’m coming with you,” she said without so much as noticing the black man.

“No,” Angel categorically refused and zipped the duffel bag closed.

“No?!” Gunn took a step back when he heard Cordy’s tone of voice, “Did you say no?!”

“I did,” Angel picked the duffle bag up and stared at the two humans blocking his way, “You’re not coming.”

“You can’t stop me,” Cordy tilted her head attempting to stare down the taller vampire.

“You don’t get it, do you?” Angel took a step closer and put a hand on Cordy’s shoulder, “I don’t want you to be there if…when…I have to stake him.”

Cordy swallowed a few times, her eyes getting moist and she looked down at her hands and looked surprised to see them trembling.


He had never really been sure what to do when Willow hugged him. It had happened enough times to make him expect it whenever he saw her and yet he always ended up feeling like his hands were far too big and his arms, like that of a gorilla, just slightly too long.

“Angel,” Willow muttered against his chest and he managed to pat her on the back a few times before she pulled away from him.

She looked tired. Her eyes red and face pale. He looked past her into the house and saw Buffy come down the stairs. She stopped in front of him and looked uncertain about how she should greet him.

“How you holding up?” Angel asked and watched the girl hug herself and then, as if she realized it made her look even younger than she was, she let her arms fall and looked up at him.

“I’m…it’s…” she finally just shrugged and looked away.

Angel was lead into the house by Buffy and Willow. Both young women doing everything they could to not look in the direction of the door leading to the basement. Everything in the room looked clean and in its place and yet the whole house seemed off somehow.

“Spike called me,” Angel said wondering if they had known he was coming to Sunnydale.

“He told us,” Buffy busied herself with folding clean laundry. She would pick up a towel and fold it once, then twice and then she would fold it yet again ending up with a strange triangle of twisted fabric.

“He told us an hour ago,” Willow added and winced when the door to the basement was opened and then quietly shut.

“Made it then,” Spike said as he leant against the door to the basement

“Sounded like Buffy needed my help,” Angel said and looked at the slayer.

Spike snorted, “Not her banging her head against the wall in the basement.”

Buffy looked stricken and wandered off into the kitchen.


Angel opened the door to the basement and looked down the stairs. A single naked light bulb was casting its light over the cardboard boxes. One box had the word Christmas written on it in beautiful flowing letters, a Santa Clause sticker grinned up at him.

“Better go with you,” Spike said and Angel felt the younger vampire move restlessly behind him.

“I can handle a fledge on my own,” Angel muttered and then frowned when a rhythmical thumping started up. It sounded as if someone was hitting the basement walls with a baseball bat wrapped in a soft towel.

“Not saying you couldn’t, wanker,” Spike continued, “Just saying I’m going with you.”

Angel shrugged as if he couldn’t care either way and started down the stairs. The thumping stopped and so did the two vampires. Angel took a deep breath through his nose, scenting the basement, and felt an urge to walk back up. The stench of fear was so thick it seemed to have a life of its own.

Spike moved around Angel and walked ahead of him down the last few steps and into the shadows of the room. Angel heard Spike’s murmuring voice fill the damp basement and he followed the sound down the last few steps. He carefully moved into the part of the basement that was only partly illuminated by the light bulb.

Spike was kneeling in front of Xander, the young fledge’s eyes relentlessly looking into Spike’s as the vampire whispered and patted Xander’s shoulder reassuringly.

“Get out of the way,” Angel said and walked closer.

“Fuck off,” Spike pulled the blanket Xander had clenched in his hands up so it was shielding the fledge’s chest. Xander mumbled something so quietly that not even Angel could make sense of it. “You’re scaring him,” Spike looked over his shoulder at Angel and when Spike shifted a little Angel got his first real look at Xander.

A pair of golden eyes blinked up at him and Xander’s features seemed to shift between his human face and game face.

“Go back upstairs and I’ll calm him down,” Spike hissed at Angel and Xander looked uncertainly from one vampire to the other.

“What’s the point?” Angel asked and took another step closer, “You called me so I could stake him.”

“Did I ask you to do that?!” Spike turned away from Xander and turned his attention on Angel, “Funny, I don’t remember asking you to come to Sunnyhell just so you could dust the boy.”

“Then what the hell am I doing here?” Angel yelled back and pointed down at Spike and Xander. The fledge made a confused sound and pulled the blanket further up until the edge of the tattered fabric was covering his mouth.

“You’re not here to dust him,” Spike stood up and Angel noticed Xander reaching out to keep a hand on the blond vampire’s jeans leg. Just a bit of denim held between thumb and index finger as if Spike was all that stood between Xander and a final death.

“Then what, Spike?” Angel said and made sure that Spike heard the reluctance in his voice, “He can’t live for the rest of eternity chained up in Buffy’s basement. At least this way he gets…” Angel shrugged, “He won’t hurt anymore.”

“Sending him off to hell won’t hurt him?” Spike snorted, “Well, you should know, shouldn’t you? You’ve been there.”

“Trying to get in Buffy’s good book by taking care of…” Angel looked down at the cowering fledge, “of what’s left of Harris is a lost cause, William. She’ll just look at you and see this,” Angel gestured at Xander chained to the wall, “She’ll be grateful but that’s all.”

“I don’t want your slayer,” Spike turned back to Xander and knelt in front of the fledge who frantically grabbed on to Spike’s shirt and flexed his fingers in the soft cotton.

“If you don’t want me to dust him then what the hell am I…” Angel’s started.

“He can’t stay here,” Spike pointed out and watched as Angel put the pieces of the puzzle together.

“Oh, hell no,” Angel shook his head, “I’m not taking him with me.”

“The least you could do,” the younger vampire said and stepped away from Xander. The fledge shivered and, confronted with nothing to protect him, he pulled the blanket over his head.

“How’s this my fault?” Angel demanded to know and pointed down at the shivering heap on the damp floor.

“One of yours did the dirty deed,” Spike started picking up the used mugs from the floor next to the chained up fledge. Just as he put his hand on the mug closest to Xander a dirty hand shot out of the blanket and curled around Spike’s wrist, “’S okay,” Spike soothed, “I’ll go get you some more blood.” The fingers lethargically slipped from Spike’s hand and disappeared back underneath the blanket.

“One of mine?” Angel followed Spike up the stairs.

“Yours, Angelus’… He was turned by someone Angelus turned when he was last out to play here in Sunnydale.”

“Who?” Angel asked when Spike stopped by the door leading from the basement to the hallway.

“Some guy,” Spike turned on the narrow step and looked down at Angel, “Some guy that’s blowing in the wind as we speak.”

“You dusted him?”

“Second I saw what he’d done to the boy I put a stake through his heart. Promised the Bit I’d keep the boy safe,” Spike looked down into the basement, “Failed at that but made damn well sure the bastard couldn’t make a repeat performance.”


Angel crouched down in front of Xander. The older vampire held out a mug half filled with blood.

“Spike says you’re starving,” Angel slowly moved the mug back and forth and noted how the golden eyes followed every movement intently. A hand shot out but Angel moved the mug out of the fledge’s reach just in time to avoid Xander’s dirty fingers closing around the mug.

“Say please,” Angel said and kept his eyes on Xander’s, they kept shifting from brown to golden.

Xander growled and attempted to grab the mug again. Angel stood up, holding the enticing blood out of Xander’s reach.

“You need to be polite if you want me to feed you,” Angel crouched back down and held the mug out in front of him again, “Now… Say please.”

Xander whined helplessly through dry lips.

“Not good enough,” Angel said and pulled the mug back again, “Just say please and it’s all yours.”

The fledge stared at the mug with pure desperation. His eyes shifted from brown to golden so fast that it seemed as if Xander’s eyes were on fire. Dirty fingers listlessly scraped over the cement floor while his eyes stayed glued to the mug.

“Say please,” Angel repeated.

“He can’t,” a quiet voice behind him whispered and Angel only barely managed not to flinch. He had been so intent on Xander that he hadn’t noticed Dawn walking down the stairs. He turned and looked at her. She sat on the last step of the stairs, her hands clutching at her bony knees.

“He needs to know who’s in charge,” Angel tried to explain, “It’s the only way I can keep him in line.”

“Whatever,” Dawn muttered. She stood up and walked over towards them.

“Better stay out of his reach,” Angel held his hand, the one with the mug, out to stop her and Xander’s attention shifted from staring at the blood-filled mug to staring at Dawn.

“Hey, Xander,” Dawn said and intentionally didn’t pay Angel any mind as she knelt down in front of Xander, “You’re hungry, right?” she asked in a mild and soothing tone.

A low whine followed by a pitiful whimper was the only answer she got as Xander moved a little under the ever-present blanket. The chains clanked as Xander’s hand reached out for her and Dawn took the mug of blood from Angel’s unresisting fingers.

“Here, you go,” Dawn said and handed Xander the mug and she barely felt Xander’s cool fingers brush against her own before the mug disappeared under the blanket. The dirty blanket slid off the fledge’s head and Angel watched Xander gulp down the last of the animal blood before the younger vampire started running his index finger along the sides of the mug in a desperate attempt to get the last drops clinging to the cheap porcelain.

“That’s not…” Angel started and had no idea how to continue.

“Buffy says it’s dangerous to keep him too well fed. He’ll get too strong…that’s what she says,” Dawn murmured. “Spike says that Xander is…damaged,” Dawn’s voice was still soft and seemed to keep Xander calm. She reached out and brushed her fingers over Xander’s dirty hair. The fledge hummed and held the empty mug against his chest in a death grip while he just stared at Dawn’s face.


“Tell me what happened,” Angel demanded and looked from Giles to Willow. He made and effort not to look at Buffy sitting in the corner, clinging to her stake as if it held all the answers she would ever need.

“Xander was turned,” Giles said and pulled his glasses off, looked at them for a second and then just left them dangling from his fingers, “Spike found him and the vampire that was…had…turned him in the west cemetery.”

“Recognized him as one of those self-important sods Angelus had turned when he last graced Sunnydale with his presence,” Spike picked up the tale when it became apparent that Giles had no intention of continuing.

“He…He dusted the vampire and brought Xander back here,” Willow swallowed a few times, desperately trying to moisten her dry throat, “We chained him up in the basement and I cleaned him up a little cause he had…” Willow pressed a hand against the back of her head as if holding something in and she shuddered, “he had…blood and and…” she looked pleadingly over at Buffy.

“Brain matter,” Buffy mumbled barely audible, “The vampire beat him up pretty bad before he turned him and Xander had,” she made a cut off motion with her hand against the back of her own head, “…his head had been bashed in.”

“If I had known that before I brought him here,” Spike looked over at Angel and tilted his head back a little pushing his chin out defiantly, “I would have ended it there at the cemetery.”

“So what are you saying?” Angel asked.

“Xander…was turned after receiving blows to the head. Blows that damaged his brain and the damage wasn’t corrected during the turning,” Giles’ voice was distant as if he was lecturing a class of aspiring watchers on a fascinating subject, “I believe the injury was too severe for the turning to cure it…leaving Xander…leaving the fledge…”

“Brain damaged,” Spike finished for him.

“Quite,” Giles nodded and put his glasses back on with a defeated sigh, “Quite.”


“I still think you should end it,” Angel said to Buffy’s back.

She was standing in the basement, watching Xander drink from what was apparently his favorite mug. An almost completely worn off picture of Superman peeked out from the side of the mug not covered by Xander’s dirty fingers. While he drank the pig’s blood his other hand continually stroked the blanket covering most of his body.

“My Dad,” Buffy said as if she hadn’t heard Angel speak, “Once we were out driving he ran over a dog. It just bolted out from the bushes by the road and Dad tried to dodge it but all the time I just knew he wouldn’t make it…that the dog didn’t have a chance. And it didn’t. It just lay there on the road twitching. My dad said its brain was…that taking it to the vet wouldn’t make a difference because the dog’s head was…its scull was busted open, so he made me looked the other way and he got this tire iron from the trunk and he,” Buffy lifted her hand up in the air, the imaginary tire iron held over Xander’s head, “He ended it. It was mercy. That’s what my Mom said later…that my Dad had done the only right thing.”

“Buffy,” Angel had no idea what to say.

“But see,” Buffy let her arm fall down to her side and smiled sadly when Xander held out his mug and she took it from his grimy hand, “Mercy is easy when you don’t know the dog. When it doesn’t remind you of a million and one things and hugs and laughter. Mercy is easy when you bestow it on strangers and Xander was never…never…a stranger.”


The shrieking and inarticulate screams made Dawn run down the hallway and lock herself in her room. She pulled the bedspread her mother had given her for Christmas over her head and pressed shaking fingers against her mouth to keep from screaming too.


“Just hold on to his arms,” Spike huffed when Xander started thrashing back and forth in Angel’s grip.

“I am...holding on,” Angel huffed angrily and pressed Xander harder against his chest. The fledge made a growling sniffling sound and somehow managed to get his legs braced against the doorframe.

“How the hell are we going to get him washed like this?” Spike grabbed Xander’s right leg and tried to hold on without hurting the twisting and turning fledge so they could get him into the bathroom.

“Grab his other leg!” Angel yelled just as Xander’s foot connected with Spike’s chin sending the blond vampire sprawling into the bathroom.


“Okay,” Angel said and spat out a mouthful of warm water, “This wasn’t really how I imagined getting him cleaned up,” he held on to Xander as Spike stood outside the shower stall with a pleased smile on his lips.

“At least he won’t stink so bad when he’s cleaned up proper,” Spike handed Angel a bar of soap and stepped back a little so he wouldn’t get water all over himself.

“Right,” Angel growled and could feel the water soak through his black shirt and pants. He shivered involuntarily when a tiny stream made its way past the neckline of his shirt and down his spine.

Xander had stopped screaming the second they got him under the warm spray of the showerhead but his legs had also chosen that particular moment to give out, forcing Angel to hold on to him.

Angel propped the fledge against the tiled wall and started pulling the dirty clothes off him. The fact that Xander wasn’t helping the least bit meant that it took three minutes just to get his jeans off.


A clean and mumbling Xander sat at the kitchen table, rocking gently back and forth while staring intently at the tabletop. Buffy watched him wearily, her eyes tracking his every movement as if she expected him to attack any second.

“I think that’s all of it,” Willow said and put the old battered bag down on the kitchen counter, “There’s enough clothes in there to last him two weeks or so,” she moved over to Xander and put her hand on Xander’s still damp hair. The dark hair curled at his nape and she caressed the skin there before she took a step back and looked up at Angel.

The vampire was standing just to the right of her, his own hair slightly damp and his dry shirt creased from its stay in his duffle bag.

“You’ll call and tell us how things…” Buffy breathed deeply before she continued, “How Xander is doing, right?”

“Of course,” Angel promised and reached down for Xander’s hand, “Come on, Xander,” the older vampire said and gently pulled on the fledge’s hand. Xander happily stood up, his eyes searching the kitchen as if looking for someone.

Angel managed to get him to go into the hallway simply by pushing and pulling at the right moments. Dawn was standing by the front door, her eyes glued to Xander and Angel

“You’ll take good care of him…right?“ she asked uncertainly.

“I will,” Angel said and watched as Xander reached out for Dawn’s hand. She held it out and Xander just looked anxiously at it before he patted it like a toddler might pat a dog. Small abrupt movements as if he was frightened she might hurt him or he might break her.

Angel managed to shuffle Xander out of the door and down the first step without any protests from Xander. But then he turned around and waved clumsily at his friends standing in the doorway.

“Bye bye,” he mumbled and smiled before his attention was caught by a moth fluttering by his face and out into the street.

Next chapter

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