"Spike, my pretty one. My lovely boy. The stars are singing again."

"And what are they singing, Pet?"

"Daddy is coming with a pretty present for you. But, it's not really Daddy, is it? No. It's that nasty man that wears Daddy's face. It's a joke, a trick, a trap! But the prezzie, the prezzie is so pretty. You have to take it, keep it. But no hurting the pretty prezzie. No. No pain, no lovely games. You have to love it, woo it, seduce it and it will be yours; forever."

Spike cuddled his Dark Princess to his chest. "What is the prezzie, Pet?"

Druscilla smiled dreamily, "Black velvet and a little boy's smile. Pretty, pretty Xander."

"Now, why would I need a pretty Xander when I have you, Pet?"

Wide, dark eyes suddenly turned serious, and she clutched his black duster in her tiny fists, "The prezzie will save you, Spike. Save you and keep you warm. No turning him, not for a long time." Her grip slowly loosened as she drifted off to sleep, leaving Spike to wonder what was going on.

"Xander, we need help. You have to go get Angel. There's an exit hidden behind the stacks that leads to a cellar. You can get out that way." Giles said.

Xander didn't like it, but he headed for the stacks anyway.

"Xander." Giles called, quietly. "Do be careful."

Xander grinned, "That's me, careful guy."


Xander crouched in the dark doorway of the cellar. He listened carefully, not hearing any movement, he ducked out of his hiding place and ran. He cut across the school yard and headed for Angel's apartment as fast as he could go.

He knew they needed the vampires help, but he hated asking 'Deadboy' for anything. He didn't trust the souled vampire, there was something about him that made the hair on the back of his neck stand up. Ever since he'd been possessed by the spirit of the Hyena, he'd learned to trust his instincts. And his instincts were screaming at him to stay as far away from Angel as he could.


Angel heard the pounding heartbeat before someone started pounding on the door. As he crossed the room, he could smell Harris. Angel sighed, he didn't want to deal with the annoying little mortal tonight. He opened the door to find Harris struggling for breath.

"Deadboy. School. Vampires. Spike. People trapped." Xander gasped.

Angel grabbed his coat and shut the door. "Come on, Harris, move it."

Xander made a face at the vampire's back, but did as he said.


Xander stared at the body lying in the grass outside the school. He looked up at Angel and said, "So. You know a lot about this Spike guy, right? Have you got a plan?"

Angel smirked and grabbed him by the throat. "Good plan." Xander stuttered as Angel dragged him into the building.


Xander was trying really hard to stay calm, but the fact that 'Deadboy' had him by the throat and was pulling him into a building full of vampires didn't do much for his state of mind. They came around a corner and saw Spike poking a pole into the ceiling tiles.


Spike was happily searching for the Slayer when he smelled something wonderful, something good enough to eat. He looked down the hall and saw Angelus dragging a boy by the throat. His Dark Goddess had been right again. His prezzie was pretty. Now to fuck-up 'Angel's' plan.

"Angelus!" Spike cried joyfully.

Angel grinned and said, "Spike."

Spike made sure he didn't even glance at the boy, time for that later. "I'll be damned!" He propped his pole against the wall and pulled his Grand-Sire into a hug.

Angel stepped back and tightened his grip on Harris' neck, "Spike, I taught you better than this. Where are all your guards?"

Spike shook his head, "I'm surrounded by idiots. You know how minions are. What's new with you?"

Angel smiled, "Everything."

"Yeah? Come across this Slayer yet?"

Angel laughed, "Oh, yes. She thinks I'm a poor, tortured soul that needs to be protected. It keeps her off my back while I feed."

Spike smirked, "You ought to send Anne Rice a thank you card."

Xander turned his head as far as he could and glared at Angel, "I knew you were lying." Xander choked a little when the hand on his throat tightened. "Undead liar guy." Xander said, angrily.

Spike was more than a little impressed, his prezzie smelled more of anger than fear. He wanted to rip Angel's hand off of the boy's throat, but knew he had to wait for the right moment. His hands clenched tightly when Angel pulled the boy's head to one side and exposed his throat. The older vampire had no idea how close he was to becoming dust at that moment.

Angel smirked, "Want a bite before we take on the Slayer?"

"I haven't seen you in the killing fields for an age." Spike said, genially.

"I'm not much for company." Angel replied.

"No, you never were. So, why are you so scared of this Slayer?"

Both of Angel's brows flew up at that one. "Scared?" He asked with a warning growl in his voice.

Spike shrugged nonchalantly, "Yeah. Time was you would've taken her out in a heartbeat. Now look at you. I bet this, uh, tortured thing is an act, right? You're not...housebroken."

"I saw her kill the Master. Hey, you think you can take her alone? Be my guest. I'll just eat and run."

He stopped Angel with one hand, "Don't be silly! We're all friends. We'll take the Slayer together. Let's drink to it."

Spike kept one eye on Angel as he leaned down towards the boy's neck, he waited until he was close enough to feel the heat coming up from the smooth skin, then he struck. His fist hit dead center in Angel's face and the older vampire staggered back. Spike grabbed the boy and pulled him behind his back. "You think you can fool me? You were my Sire, man. My...my Yoda!"

"Things change, Spike."

"Not us, man! Not demons! You...you Uncle Tom!" Spike grabbed the pole he'd left leaning against the wall and called out to his minions. "Take him!"

Angel spun with an overly dramatic swirl of his coat and ran down the hall and out the open door. Spike snorted derisively, the bastard hadn't even tried to save the human he'd drug into this mess. Spike turned to look at his 'prezzie', he liked what he saw. "Well, you must be Xander. You can call me Spike. Let's get you out of here before this shit gets ugly."

"Huh? You...you're not going to kill me?" The boy stuttered.

"Kill you? Why the hell would I want to do that? It's not every day I get a present as pretty as you." Spike said, smiling.

Hearing a vampire in full game face calling him 'pretty' was too much for Xander to handle. He passed out cold.

Spike grabbed the boy and threw him over his shoulder. Time to head for home, and unwrap his 'prezzie'.


Spike laid the boy on the bed, and pulled off his clothes before moving aside so Druscilla could look. "Oh, he's lovely, Spike." She tilted her head and gazed at him for a moment before turning back to Spike. "Why isn't he moving? Did you break him?"

Spike kissed the top of her head, "No, Pet. He fainted. Nasty Daddy didn't tell him that he was a prezzie for me."

"Ooohhh, that was bad of Daddy. Are you going to punish him?"

"He deserves it, doesn't he, Pet?"

Dru stroked her hand down the side of Xander's face, "Yes. Hurt him, Spike. The prezzie hates him." Dru turned wild eyes up to stare in Spike's blue ones. "Destroy his life. The prezzie is friends with the Slayer, nasty, bad Slayer. She'll be very angry when she finds out what Daddy did."

It started as a low chuckle, but soon turned into a loud, rolling laugh. "I bet she will, Pet. I bet she will."


The mood in the library was tense as Angel explained to the Scooby gang what had happened to their friend.

"I'm sorry, Buffy. I told Xander to wait outside, but he followed me in and Spike had him before I could stop him." Angel said sadly.

"What the Hell was he thinking! He knows better than that!" Buffy grabbed a couple of stakes and her crossbow. "Come on. If we hurry, we can still save him."

Angel grabbed Buffy by the arm, "Buffy, Spike has hundreds of minions, we don't know where he's hiding and, I'm sorry, Buffy, but Spike wouldn't wait. Xander is already dead."

Willow burst into tears and Giles tried to comfort the weeping girl. "Angel." Giles said quietly, "Will...will he turn him?"

Angel nodded. "It's one of Spike's favorite tricks. He'll keep him for a day or so and then send him back." Angel took the Slayer into his arms, this couldn't have worked out better if he'd planned it this way. He got rid of Harris and the Slayer was looking to him for comfort after the 'loss' of her friend. "Buffy, you're going to have to be strong. If you see Xander, stake him before he can get close to you. Spike knows how much it would hurt you to destroy someone who used to be your friend. He's counting on that to give him an advantage."

Buffy gulped down tears, "I'll do what I have to do."

Angel kissed the top of her head, "Buffy, please. Let me take care of it. You shouldn't have to go through this. And, I don't believe Xander would have wanted you to have to do it."

Buffy nodded her head and burst into tears.


Spike remained hidden in the stacks at the back of the library. He could hear every word the bastard said. Going to kill the boy to keep his secret, um? I bloody well don't think so. It'll be a cold day in Hell before you get near him. Spike vanished out the back of the library and headed back to the warehouse, he had plans to make.


Xander opened his eyes and freaked. He didn't where he was, and the last thing he remembered was a blonde vampire telling him he was pretty.

He started to get out of the bed, but quickly realized that he was naked under the covers. He heard a sound coming from the corner and clutched the blankets tightly to his chest. He didn't recognize the woman coming towards him, but from the way she was dressed and the way she acted, he didn't think she was from the Welcome Wagon.

"Look, Miss Edith, the pretty prezzie is awake. What? Don't be silly, Miss Edith." The woman looked at him and smiled sweetly. "You aren't afraid of me, are you? Miss Edith says you are. You don't need to be afraid. We won't hurt you."

"You won't?"

"Oh, no. No hurting, no biting." The woman's face shifted into its vampire form and she playfully snapped her teeth at him.

Xander jumped back in the bed and the woman began to cry. "Sorry. Sorry. Didn't mean to scare the prezzie. Sorry. Sorry."

He didn't understand it, but he felt sorry for the pitifully weeping vampire. All his instincts were telling him to protect her. He wrapped the blankets around him and carefully climbed out of the bed. He sat on the floor next to her and put his hand on her arm. "It's okay. I'm not scared now."

Her face shifted back to its human form and she looked up at him with weeping brown eyes. "You're not?"

"No. I'm okay. I didn't mean to upset you."

The vampire smiled and held out her doll to him, "This is Miss Edith. She's my friend, she tells me things. Secret things."

Xander looked down at the doll and said in a very serious voice, "Hello, Miss Edith. It's a pleasure to meet you."

The vampire squealed and hugged him. "I'm Druscilla."

Xander couldn't help but grin, she reminded him of his five year old cousin, Sarah. "Hi, Druscilla, I'm Xander."

Druscilla giggled, "I knew that. The stars told me and I told Spike Daddy was bringing you and he had to save you."

"Daddy?" Xander asked.

Druscilla looked around to make sure she wouldn't be overheard, "Angelus." She whispered.

"Angel is your Sire?"

The vampire pouted, "No. Angel is not Daddy. Angelus was Daddy. The gypsy girl, he killed her and they cursed him. Then he was Angel, not Daddy."

Xander didn't know what to say, so he just nodded. Then he thought about what she'd said. "Wait a minute. The stars told you I was going to be there?"

Druscilla smiled, "The stars sing and I can hear them now. I couldn't before."

"Before what, Druscilla?"

"Before I met Daddy. I was happy then. Then Daddy wanted to make me his Childe. He killed my other family and then the people took me to the place with the sisters. Then Daddy and Grandmum came. They killed all the sisters and then Angelus became my Daddy and I could hear the stars singing." Druscilla suddenly burst into tears.

Xander pulled her into his lap and rocked her, whispering to her quietly. "It's okay, Druscilla. He can't hurt you anymore. It's okay now." It was probably one of the dumbest things he'd ever done, but the urge to protect her had become a 'need'. And now he had just one more reason to hate Angel.


Spike made it back to the warehouse and went into his bedroom. The sight that met his eyes shocked him to the core. His prezzie was sitting on the floor cuddling a raggedly weeping Druscilla, promising her she was safe and that Daddy couldn't hurt her any more.

Spike crouched down next to Dru and brushed her hair out of her face. "Come on, Princess. Time for all good little vampires to be in bed." Druscilla giggled tiredly and held up her arms. Spike lifted her easily and she turned her head to look back at Xander.

"Good night, Xander."

The boy actually smiled at her, "Good night, Druscilla. Good night, Miss Edith."

Druscilla giggled and laid her head on Spike's chest.


Spike tucked Druscilla into her bed and kissed her cheek. "Rest, Pet. Conserve your strength."

She nodded and closed her eyes. Before Spike could leave she said quietly, "I like him, Spike. He was nice to me."

Spike shut the door quietly and went to talk to his prezzie.


Walked back into his bedroom and found Xander pacing back and forth, holding the edge of the blanket up so he didn't trip over it. For some reason, he didn't look at all silly.

Xander glared at him, "What the fuck did that bastard do to her?"

Spike was across the room and had the boy against the wall before he'd even realized that he was moving. "Watch how you talk to me, human, before I forget I'm not supposed to hurt you."

Xander glared at the blonde, his anger overriding his survival instincts. "Deadboy. Angel. Fucking Daddy! What did he do to her?"

Spike dropped the boy and went to sit on the edge of his bed. He lit a cigarette and said, "His usual. Her butchered her family, made her watch. Then he broke into the convent where they were trying to take care of her and killed all the nuns and turned her."

"Why didn't you stop him?" The boy asked angrily.

Spike shifted to his vampire form and threw the cigarette on the floor. "Fuck it. I don't need a 'prezzie'." He grabbed the boy and threw him on the bed. In less than a second, he was on him and preparing to rip his throat out. The boy fought him, but wrapped in the blankets the way he was, he didn't stand a chance.

Druscilla's scream stopped him just as he was sinking his fangs into the throbbing vein under his lips.

"Spike! No! You can't hurt Xander!"

Spike groaned and rested his head on the boy's shoulder for a moment before rolling off of the squirming body. He stared up at the ceiling and said quietly, "Sorry, Dru."

Druscilla stood next to the bed and frowned at the two men laying there. "Apologize." Spike started to protest, but she cut him off. "Both of you. Apologize or I'll tell Miss Edith that you were being bad."

Spike sighed, he loved his Dark Princess, but sometimes she could be a real pain in the ass. He looked at the boy and said, "Sorry, mate."

Xander grimaced. "Yeah, me too. I'm just a little pissed off right now."

Spike grinned, "You got stones, boy. It's not really a good idea to piss off a vampire."

Xander shrugged, "If you want to kill me, there's not a whole lot I can do about it."

Dru grinned, "He won't kill you, will you, Spike?"

Spike just knew he was being punished for something, "No, Pet. I won't kill him, or hurt him or turn him. I'll be very nice to my prezzie."

Druscilla giggled and spun around in a circle. "Now we can all be happy!"

Spike rolled out of bed and caught Dru in his arms, "Why don't you stay in here tonight, Pet? There's lots of room and that way you can make sure I take good care of my prezzie."

"No, Spike. I want to go back to my room. Miss Edith is waiting for me." Spike led her to the door and turned to look at Xander, "You stay right where you are. You won't like it if I have to come looking for you."

Xander gulped and nodded his head.


Spike got Dru all tucked back in and kissed her cheek. She was so weak since the attack in Prague; he'd do the spell, then 'Daddy' was going to die.


Spike came back into his room and shut the door. He sat back down on the bed and stared down at Xander.; "Thank you for that. For being kind to her." He said, looking like he'd just swallowed a frog.

"It's kinda hard to be mean to someone who can't defend herself."

Spike angrily jumped up from the bed and poked Xander in the chest, "She's a vampire. Of course she can defend herself."

"Yeah, right. She's a kid. A hurt, scared kid. If I looked at her funny she'd burst into tears."

"Boy, you are really pushing your luck."

"It's one of my gifts." Xander said tiredly. "Listen, I've had a really shitty day and I'm beat. Either kill me or let me go."

"Not doing either one, Pet. You're stuck here."

"What do you mean I'm stuck here?"

Spike unwrapped the blankets the boy had wound himself in and spread them out on the bed. Then he pulled off his boots and his clothes and crawled in next to his prezzie. For once, the boy didn't have anything to say. He laid stiffly on his side of the bed with his eyes tightly closed. A small whimper escaped when Spike hauled him in close.

Spike wrapped his arms around Xander and got comfortable. "It's like this, Pet. Angel told your friends that you followed him into the school and I grabbed you before he could save you. Then he told them that I was going to turn you to get to them and that he'd take care of you so they wouldn't have to deal with killing their friend."

"He did what?!"

Spike snickered, "He's covering his ass. But he will kill you, Pet, if he gets a chance. You have to stay here. You'll be safe here and you can keep Dru company. She gets lonely."

"Fucking great, God hates me." Xander voice dwindled off, the events of the day catching up with him. Even the fact he was in bed, naked, with a male vampire couldn't keep him awake any longer. The last thing Spike heard before he fell asleep was the boy's voice saying grumpily, "And my name is not Pet. It's Xander."

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