Meet you at Midnight
Disclaimer and A/N at the end.
“How’s it goin’?” Angel asked Wesley as the ex-Watcher prepared another spell.
“It’s goin’.” He replied as he placed all necessary items in front of him. “Have you spoken with Gunn yet?”
“Not yet. I think he’s still talking to his cousin from Bon Temps.”
At that moment, Gunn walked into Angel’s office while still talking into his cell phone. He carried a couple white sacks in his other hand. “Thanks Tara. No, it’s cool. Yeah, I appreciate everything.” He rolled his eyes. “Yes, I am sure I’m not mad. Yes.” He chuckled. “Well, at least you’re outta that hell hole.”
Gunn placed the sacks on Angel’s large oak desk and started to remove the contents. The smell of hot hamburgers filled the office. He laughed. “Okay.” He looked at Angel. “Some things never change.”
Angel raised his eyebrows.
“Yeah, I gotta go too. You take care of that blood sucking sugar daddy of yours.” He laughed. “Love ya girl. Take care.”
After he slid his phone back into his pocket, he tossed a burger to Wes. “She gave me the name of her best friend. Sookie Stackhouse. Spike should be able to find her at Merlottes.”
“Okay.” Wes put the burger off to the side and closed his eyes. In front of him was a map of Bon Temps. He was attempting to repeat the spell they had performed earlier, only this time concentrating on the smaller area.
He had just barely begun the spell when he felt wind begin to blow around the office. “That’s not supposed to happen.”
Angel and Gunn stood and watched as Angel’s memos started to blow around the room. “What did you do?” Angel asked as the wind picked up. He almost expected to hear a clap of thunder.
“I think he ordered a twister.” Gunn replied as he ducked a heavier piece of debris.
“I don’t know. This isn’t the spell I was performing. This is something else.” Wesley watched in shock as the wind blew even harder. He had to do something before the fake windstorm blew them out the glass windows. As Buffy would say, that would be of the bad.
Gunn ducked as a book flew by his head. “What the hell, Wes!”
A woman’s giggle began to echo throughout the room as the mini tornado grew in strength. The three men ducked and dodged books and paperweights as they tried to figure out what was going on. As Gunn spotted Angel’s weapon wall, the swords and axes began to tremble.
“Oh, that’s not good at all.” Angel stated as he looked in the direction Gunn pointed. “Do something!”
“I’m trying! There’s another force here and it does NOT want us to look for Fred.” He grunted in pain when a letter opener stabbed him in the thigh. Wes could feel the rage as it rose through his gut. He latched onto that anger, using it to power his magick he recently acquired. He rose slowly to his feet, an almost feral look in his eyes as he surveyed the room.
“Wes, it’s time for you to get on with the mojo!” Gunn eyes widened when Angel’s throwing stars threw themselves in his direction.
“ENOUGH!” Wes bellowed as he allowed his power to fill the room. It grew eerily quiet when everything suddenly stopped. Angel and Gunn watched as Angel’s throwing stars froze directly in front of their faces. Another breath and then, as one, they dropped to the floor with a THUNK.
The three men again heard the woman giggle again and watched helplessly as the map of Bon Temps suddenly caught on fire and burned to ash in a matter of minutes.
“New plan,” Angel stated as he began to pick his throwing stars off the floor and replace them on the wall. He then reached out to straighten the battle ax, thankful it decided to stay attached. “There is no way Spike can do this on his own. He’s gonna need help.”
Wesley dug his wireless out of his pocket and began to dial. “I’ll call Willow. I’m sure she can send someone...” He walked away as he waited for her to answer.
“I’ll get a hold of Sookie.” Angel said as he held his hand out to Gunn for Merlottes phone number. “She needs to know what’s going on. I’ll ask if she can help Spike.”
Gunn found a couple still wrapped burgers and eyed them hungrily. “I’m gonna finish eating. I’m starving.” He plopped down on the sofa as he wondered what the hell they had gotten themselves into this time.
Willow answered her phone on the third ring. “Hello?”
“Willow? It’s Wesley.”
“Oh, hi Wes!” she exclaimed as she gracefully sat down on her sofa. A black cat stalked across the back of it and pressed its face against Willow’s hair as it asked to be pet. “How’s it going?”
“Not well, I’m afraid. We have a situation.”
“Uh oh. What happened Wes? Is Angel okay?” she then heard Angel in the background barking out orders. “I guess so.”
“Fred’s been kidnapped.”
“Oh my God!”
“Yes, we’ve been able to track her to Bon Temps, Louisiana. Spike’s on his way to find her but he’s going to need help.”
“Oh, sure. I’m sure I can find….” Willow gasped. “Spike! Spike’s alive? How?”
Wesley was silent for a moment.
“Didn’t Giles tell you? Angel called him a while ago and explained what had happened. Giles said he would fill everyone in on the information.”
Willow felt her eyes darken with her anger. “No, it must have slipped his mind.” She sighed. “If he’s alive, why didn’t he contact us? Or at least let Buffy know?”
“He couldn’t for a while. He was incorporeal. Fred managed to make him corporeal again, but that was just recently. Spike considered calling you himself, but then he also thought Rupert would have told everyone. He misses you all very much, but he knows you have your own lives now-as does he. He knew it was time for everyone to move on.”
Wesley paused for a moment to let the information sink in then continued.
“But, back to the matter at hand. Spike is on his way to Bon Temps now to find Fred and bring her home. I do believe he could use help, for I’m afraid he’s in over his head but he doesn’t realize it yet.”
“Sure, I can make sure someone’s there. It’ll probably be Xander, he’s the closest and he’ll be the easiest to transport. Just give me the details and I can pass them along.”
“Alright.” Wesley gave Willow the name and place they were to meet their contact, along with important protocol. “How is Xander?”
“He’s had it rough the past few months, but I think he is doing better now. I’m going to go out on a limb and say Giles didn’t tell you?”
“Tell me what?”
“Xander was attacked.”
“Oh dear lord!” Wesley was shocked at the news, and at the fact the older watcher never mentioned it. “What happened?”
“He was passing through St. Louis looking for potential slayers and was mauled by a rogue were-hyena. The hyena was executed, but Xander was infected. Strangely, though, he’s not like the other hyenas. I think it’s because of the Possession from a few years ago, but he seems to be stronger and faster than the others. Not to mention, he can control his beast much better. He is able to shift at will.”
“Oh my,” Wesley let that information sink in. “Do you think living on the Hellmouth had any effect on his beast.”
“I don’t know. He’s not on the Hellmouth now, and he wasn’t attacked on one. Personally, I just think we’re all kind of weird. Nothing normal is ever going to happen to us.”
The ex-Watcher chuckled. “Very true, my dear, very true.” He sighed, “Please get a hold of Xander as soon as possible. Spike will be landing very soon in Bon Temps.”
“Will do. Take it easy Wes. It was good talking to you.”
“Yes, you too Willow. Goodbye.”
After Willow ended her call, she leaned her head back and closed her eyes. One of these days, Giles was going to get someone she cared for hurt by trying to protect his Scoobies. And if that happened, she wasn’t sure she would be able to forgive him.
Xander Harris lounged in the middle of a comfortable sofa that was nestled in the back corner of the dressing room of Guilty Pleasures. As he watched his best friends prepare for their performances, he still found it hard to believe that he was friends with the “hot” male strippers at a club owned by the Master of the City of St. Louis. It fascinated him how much people change over the course of a few months.
He shook his head to clear his thoughts and watched with amusement as Nathaniel helped Gregory with his costume. Nathaniel had already performed and changed back into a pair of snug blue jeans and a stretchy black shirt. They were both were-leopards, which Xander didn’t even know existed until he moved to St. Louis. Nathaniel and Gregory belonged to the pard “run” by Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Necromancer, and now Master of the City’s human servant. A couple years ago, Xander would have questioned that. Now, however, he just let it be. Things are the way they are, and bitching about the situation won’t change it. Besides, he liked Anita she was a good friend, scary as hell sometimes, but a good friend. She let him move in with her pard after Xander convinced Narcissus he did not have to stay with the Hyenas. Surprisingly, Xander found he could be very convincing.
Stephen, Gregory’s twin brother and a werewolf and finally fully clothed, plopped down next to Xander’s right side and laid his head on the larger man’s shoulder. Xander rested his head Stephen’s for a moment then he began to absentmindedly pet the other man’s arm. He had become very comfortable with the casual touching and more often than not, welcomed it. Anita had said something about lycanthropes need for physical contact the first few days after he became infected. She was very surprised how quickly he adjusted to it. But actually, Xander had always kinda been that way. Since he didn’t have the physical contact at home growing up, well, besides his dad beating the shit out of him in a drunken stupor, he found casual contact with his friends very comforting. It was never anything sexual, just comforting.
“Geez, Greg,” Xander said as he eyed the other man’s costume, “what’s the sense of stripping if you don’t have anything to strip out of.”
Gregory’s costume consisted of a silver thong which left nothing to the imagination and a pair of shackles that Nathaniel already put on his wrists.
“What can I say? Sometimes it’s nice just to take the lazy route.” The blond grinned at him.
“Somehow, you don’t strike me as the lazy type, Greg.” Xander chuckled as Jason and reached out to playfully grab his ass. “It appears Jason agrees with me.”
Jason turned sparkling blue eyes to his new friend. “I’m tellin’ ya, with that body of yours, you could be a dancer. I think you would enjoy yourself on stage if you would just let go of your inhibitions. My god, you have more hang-ups than Anita, and that’s saying something.” He made his way over to the sofa and plopped down on the left side of Xander but playfully placed his head in Xander’s lap so he could be seen. His blue eyes sparkled as he grinned up at his friend
Xander smacked Jason’s forehead. “I’ve done something like that once before, after graduation, and I shall never do it again. And as I’ve already stated, we shall never speak of it.”
Xander smacked his forehead again and continued. “Never speak of it!” He looked down at Jason who smirked back at him and wiggled his eyebrows. “You are hopeless.”
Nathaniel and Gregory joined the others on the sofa. Gregory sat in his brother’s lap while Nathaniel sat on the floor and wrapped himself around Xander’s legs. Xander’s beast felt content as he relaxed into the puppy pile. Oh how the girls would envy him now.
“We would never try to force you into something, Xan.” Nathaniel said as he put his head on Jason’s chest and gazed up at Xander with his beautiful eyes. He continued speaking softly to the dominate Hyena. “You are our friend, and we love you. You keep us safe, like Anita does. You protect everyone who is weaker than you and you don’t care what kind of shifter they are. We trust you and we know you trust us.”
“Yeah,” Gregory said softly “We know you would never hurt us and we would never do anything to hurt you.”
Stephen snorted. “Like we could. I’ve seen you fight. You are incredible and you know how to use weapons like Anita. You could easily become Oba if you wanted to.”
“Yeah, I know. But I don’t want to, I mean, me? A leader? Even I know that’s damn scary.” Xander grinned. “Besides, why would I wanna do anything to hinder our friendship? You guys are the best! You….” Xander trailed off, remembering a blond and a redhead he would say that two after he gathered them in a group hug. Not anymore. He was lucky if he even spoke to Buffy on the phone. It hurt that the three of them drifted so far apart. Sadness overcame the hyena and his eye filled with tears.
The others felt the shift in his emotions and instantly began to sooth him. Nathaniel gently ran his hand up and down his calf muscles; Jason snuggled deeper into his lap and raised his hand to pet the darker man’s hair. Stephen and Gregory both snuggled deeper into his side. While one twin ran his hand comfortingly over the back of Xander’s shoulders, the other moved his hand in comforting circles on Xanders chest and they both tried to bury their faces into Xander’s neck. The leopards began to purr softly.
Once again, Xander allowed himself to sink into the comfort of the puppy pile. He smiled as he wrapped his arms around his friends and gave them a squeeze. His right hand rested on Stephen’s thigh while his left hand played with the chain on Jason’s neck. Xander closed his eyes and sighed deeply. He found he loved his friends more and more each day.
“Okay, since we can’t force him, do you think bribery would work?” Jason’s voice broke the silence.
Xander opened his eyes to glare down at Jason’s grinning face. He then felt his own wicked smile grace his features before he asked his next question.
“That depends. What do you have in mind?”
Right before the werewolf could answer, the scent of strawberries filled the room.
“XANDER.” Willow’s voice filled Xander’s head.
“Holy Christ!” Xander exclaimed as he jumped so high he ended up throwing everyone, including himself, into a huge pile on the floor. “How many times have I told you NOT to do that Will? Warn a guy before you take over his brain!”
The other men looked at each other and then crowded around Xander’s face and waved. “Hi Willow!” they sang sweetly.
“Wow.” Willow’s voice came out of Xander’s mouth as she looked around with his sight. “Am I interrupting something, Xan?” The corners of his mouth turned up into a sweet Willow-like smile.
Then, Xander’s own grin graced his face. “Well, as you can see, I am with my harem.”
The other men took the hint and chuckled as they pretended to please their “master”.
“Oh….oh my,” Willow’s voice spilled out of Xander’s mouth once more before she cleared her throat. She giggled as she watched the show. “You guys are so bad.”
“You have no idea!” Jason said as he crawled between Xander’s legs and began to lower his head.
“Okay! Okay! Enough! The master is pleased!” Xander exclaimed as he pushed Jason’s eager head away from his crotch. Willow chuckled again. Then she turned serious.
“We have a situation Xan. I need your help.”
The other men removed themselves from their friend. They blew him a kiss, just for Willow’s sake of course, and left the room.
“What’s up Wills?”
“It’s my friend, Fred. She’s been kidnapped. And it appears our watcher friend has neglected to inform us Spike was back. In fact, he’s looking for her as we speak.”
“What? How? What?” Xander exclaimed as he stood. “Back? How can he be back? He died!”
“We should know by now, Xander, sometimes just because someone died doesn’t mean they stay gone.”
“Yet, sometimes it does.” Xander said softly as he remembered his Anya. He felt Willow give him a mental hug. “I’m sorry, Xan.”
“It’s okay.” He took a breath and shook himself. “So, what do I need to do?”
Xander listened patiently as Willow gave him the rundown.
http://bliss714.livejournal.com/7607.html-go here for part 2