Warnings: graphic description
of non-consensual sex, adult language, dark themes, torture, slash
Spoilers: Up to 7x12
Summary: Spike offers Xander
a chance to get even
Based on a challenge I posted
“Go to hell, Spike!” Xander
exclaimed, balling his fists.
“What makes you think I’m not
already there,” Spike snapped back. “You have no idea—“
“How hard it is? Yeah it
looks real hard to me. Especially the part where you strut around
impressionable girls going through that Anne Rice routine. And I don’t think
hell comes with regular meals, hot showers and cable.”
“I’m teaching the potentials
how to fight. You think you can do better? Why don’t we call them and you show
them how to fix windows?”
“Why don’t we call them and
you tell them why you got that soul and what you tried to do to Buffy?”
“Fuck you, Harris!”
“Fuck you, Spike!”
Suddenly fists were flying.
Xander managed to duck one blow and land one of his own but then a punch sent
him flying. He was lucky to land on the sofa.
A moment later, Spike was
thrown against the opposite wall. The impact was hard enough to crack the
plaster. “Enough!” Buffy said, her voice sharp and dangerous. “Are you two out
of your minds?”
Spike picked himself up from
the floor while Xander scrambled into an upright and more dignified position.
Then they were both talking at the same time: “Harris here, always pickin’ on
me—“ “I’m just saying we shouldn’t let him—“
“Shut up! The First is out
there, waiting to devour all of us and you’re at each other’s throats?” Buffy
continued, her arms folded in front of he chest. “I don’t care what you do, but
get it out of your system. Both of you. And until you do, get out of my sight.”
The two men stared at each
other with loathing.
Then Spike nodded slowly. “I
think I might have an idea.”
* * *
“Spike, about that offer you
made. Those sixty minutes of payback.”
“Yeah? What of it?”
“I’ve been thinking about it,
and I changed my mind. There IS something I’d like to do.” Xander had said,
looking strangely nervous but also quite determined.
Then they had discussed the
arrangement calmly and rationally, trying to make sure that they both knew the
“Right,” Spike had finally
said. “When and where?”
“Tomorrow night at ten. My
apartment. You’ll need this. I suggest you come prepared.” Xander had put
something into Spike’s shirt pocket, patted his back condescendingly and left.
Spike had checked the pocket
and stared in disbelief at a small tube of lube.
Now he stood outside of
Xander’s apartment, a nervous flutter in his stomach. One hour. Sixty minutes.
He could take it, he told himself. He’d withstood Angelus’s and Darla’s skilful
attempts to break him; survived the random acts of torture Drusilla had
inflicted on him, whenever some unfathomable whim made her want to punish her
dollies; he’d even managed to hold on to his pride (and knowledge) while in
Glory’s clutches. Not to mention First Evil’s mind games, the harbingers’
daggers or some of the things he and Buffy had done to each other.
Harris was an amateur. Sure,
he had a nasty streak in him, no doubt about it. Always ready to verbally lash
out and cut others to pieces with that vicious tongue of his. But Harris lacked
a vampire’s innate cruelty. Whatever the human would come up with had to be a
piece of cake for a vampire, right?
There was just one tiny
little problem. Ever since he’d won his soul back, Spike had found it hard to
tap into the monster. In fact, he’d done his utmost to push it into the
farthest corner of his mind. He was a man now, or trying to be. And not a very
Maybe it wasn’t such a good
idea to hand Harris the power to act out his fantasies and turn words into
deeds. Spike swallowed, and knocked.
The door was opened almost
The two men looked at each
other in mutual dislike. Neither had dressed for the occasion. Both were
wearing their usual garb.
“I guess the fact that you’re
here it means you’ve decided to go through with it, am I right?” Xander asked.
“Right. Gimme your best
shot,” Spike replied with more bravado than he actually felt.
“Oh I will. Come in.” Xander
lifted his arm and pressed a button on his wristwatch, starting the timer.
“Sixty minutes,” he said.
Spike nodded and stepped
“Turn around and close the
Xander stepped behind him and
something hard and smooth was placed around Spike’s neck and shut with a click.
A thin metal collar that felt strangely cold on his skin. Spike suppressed a
“It suits you,” Xander said
mockingly, then: “Strip.”
Spike wordlessly began to
unbutton his shirt. “Just shoes and pants,” Xander told him. Spike let his
hands drop to his fly to comply. He took off of his shoes and slipped out of
his skin-tight jeans. Behind him he could hear a zipper being pulled down.
Spike discarded his pants,
then stood motionless. Every instinct screamed at him to run or fight.
Spike spread his legs, then
leaned forward, placing his palms above his head like a prisoner about to be
frisked. One hour, he told himself. Sixty minutes. No, fifty-nine now.
He could smell the man’s
arousal, hear the frantic heartbeat pounding in the human’s chest. Feel the
heat from Xander’s body on his skin even before there was contact.
A foot tapped against his
ankle, nudging him to spread his legs further. A large callused hand clutched
his hip, holding him steady, then the bulbous tip of an engorged cock pressed
against his slicked entrance. He closed his eyes in apprehension. How bad could
it be? He was a vampire, for God’s sake. He’d been buggered before, although
admittedly not in a very long time. Part of him was already crumbling, and that
didn’t bode well for the rest of the hour.
He should have smelled the
trap for what it was last night, when Xander had asked: “How do I know you will
hold up to your end of the bargain? You could change your mind halfway through.
Spike had shrugged.
“How about we up the ante a bit,”
Xander had suggested. “One hour, and you can always say ‘stop’ but if you do,
you leave for good. Then you get out of Sunnydale and this time you stay away.
Spike hadn’t liked that at
all, but he had agreed. And now there was no turning back.
He wasn’t surprised when
Xander asked: “Are you sure about this? This is what you want?” Spike gritted
his teeth in humiliation but nodded.
Xander wasted no more time
and forced himself inside. Spike willed himself to relax but his body
instinctively tensed at the unwelcome intruder. He bit his lip, trying to keep
the pain inside, as he was ruthlessly breached and quickly entered by a thick
hard cock. It felt huge. Like it was splitting him in half. The feeling was
indescribable. Spike took a shuddering breath.
For a moment neither of them
moved. Spike could feel the human’s pulse throbbing inside him as a strong
heart pumped hot blood into the engorged flesh that was buried inside him. It
could have been erotic, but the knowledge that he was being used made him sick
rather than aroused.
A hand gripped a hank full of
coarse bleached hair, and pulled his head backwards, forcing him to lift his
chin and arch his neck to display the slender symbol of his – temporary –
“Man, you’re tight.” Xander
said harshly into his ear. His breath smelled of alcohol and was almost
unpleasantly hot on Spike’s cheek. “How do you like my cock up your ass,
Spike didn’t answer. He was
pretty certain that Harris didn’t expect him to reply. Instead he wondered what
the time was.
“Fifty-eight minutes,” the
human said, answering Spike’s unspoken question. “I’m just getting started.”
Then Xander began to fuck him
with hard deep thrusts. It was brutal, fast and uncaring. Spike kept his eyes
squeezed shut and counted to sixty. And again after that. That’s how he knew
that it didn’t take long, even though it felt like forever. The pounding got
more frantic, the sounds of breathing more irregular. Xander was talking to
him, calling him an animal, a killer and a murderer, a traitor and a liar, a
slut, a rapist, a monster.
Spike couldn’t have agreed
more. But he kept his mouth shut.
Fifty-three minutes. Maybe.
He wasn’t sure.
“Vamp out for me.”
Bones shifted and morphed
into feral features, blunt teeth elongated into fangs, eyes turned golden.
There were other, more subtle changes: The light appeared brighter and the
murmur of Xander’s heartbeat turned into a deafening roar. The human’s tangy
scent of arousal, sweat, and bourbon became more pronounced and was seasoned by
just a hint of fear. Only the pain stayed the same.
A dozen or more thrusts later
Xander climaxed with a loud groan. Spike felt Xander’s cock twitch inside him
as his ass was flooded with burst after burst of come. A moment later the
softening flesh was pulled out.
Spike didn’t move. He felt
cooling semen seeping out of his bruised hole and slowly running down his
thigh. He felt filthy. He wondered how they’d ever be able to put this out of
their minds, once the sixty minutes were over.
“What if you get a chance for
payback?” Spike had asked, three nights ago, just after Buffy had thrown them
out of the house.
“What? You want us to roll up
our sleeves and fight it out? Is that the kind of chance where you beat me to a
pulp with your superior vampire strength?”
“Not what I had in mind.”
Spike had answered, breaking two matches in an attempt to light his cigarette.
“How about I give you one hour to get even, Harris.”
“Huh? What do you mean,
“Payback time. One hour. With
me. Alone. To do with as you please. You say it – I do it. You dish it – I take
it. Anything you want.”
“You mean I get to do what,
beat you up for an hour and you don’t fight back?”
“If that’s what it takes to
get you off my back.”
“You fucked my fiancée and
tried to rape my best friend. You think beating you up for an hour is
“Then think of something
appropriate,” Spike had said. “But afterwards: truce. A clean slate.”
Xander had dismissed the idea
as ridiculous, but two days later he had approached Spike and made the deal.
And now he was staring at a prone vampire who was lying spread-eagled on his
bed, wrists and feet tied up with enchanted ropes.
When Spike’s face shifted
into his bestial features, Xander almost jumped in surprise. When the vampire
gave no sign of coming to, he relaxed.
It was a peculiar sight.
Xander had often seen Spike at his game, fangs gleefully flashing, eyes glowing
in bestial amber. In a very disturbing way he’d always considered those feral
features to be Spike’s happy face. He’d never seen the vampire grit his fangs
or squeeze his eyes shut like this. This wasn’t just an expression of pain,
this was abject misery.
Which was the purpose of the
Xander shifted uncomfortably
and checked his watch. Fifty-one minutes. Time sure crawled when one was
watching a dreaming vampire. There wasn’t really much to see or do. Except
maybe use this once in a lifetime opportunity to satisfy one’s purely
scientific curiosity. Slowly Xander put a hand on the vampire’s face,
tentatively exploring the bumpy ridges of his brow. They were softer than
expected, cartilage rather than bone. Suddenly something shifted underneath his
questing fingers. He could literally feel the change, as Spike’s features
became smooth and human again.
Xander hastily pulled back
his hand and reached for his drink instead.
Spike listened quietly to the
sounds of clothing being rearranged.
Spike obeyed. Xander looked
slightly flushed. “Don’t eyeball me!” the human snapped and Spike made sure
that his gaze was directed downwards.
It took all of Spike’s
concentration to unbutton his shirt. He dropped it to the floor then pulled the
T-shirt over his head and tossed that aside, too. He’d burn them later, along
with his pants. He’d never be able to look at them again without remembering ….
Spike had always been
comfortable with his body, impervious to shame or shyness. Funny how a soul had
changed that. He had to resist the ridiculous urge to cover himself.
Spike nodded and walked into
the bathroom. It had been modified for the occasion. The rugs and towels had
been removed, and the usual clutter of toothbrushes, glasses, after-shave
bottles and hair-care products had been cleared, making the room look bare and
white, like a slaughterhouse waiting for the cattle to arrive. Above the
bathtub a set of solid looking manacles had been expertly affixed to the wall.
The bathroom smelled clean, freshly scrubbed.
As Spike took in the
modifications, Harris walked up to him and stood behind him. “Makes everything
much easier to clean, afterwards,” he explained and Spike’s stomach tightened.
* * *
Forty minutes to go. For the
past five minutes or so, Spike had been violently twitching in his bonds,
tossing his head and whimpering. Xander swallowed. If the vampire started to
scream he’d have to gag him, unless he wanted his neighbors to call the police.
It had seemed like such a
good idea. Something Anya would be proud of. Vengeance mixed with poetic
justice – and he wouldn’t even get his hands - or mind - dirty.
It had been surprisingly easy
to track down the sorcerer. The only difficulty had been to convince the man
that Xander had no intention of interfering with him but meant to do business.
“I have just the thing for you,”
Ethan Rayne had said when Xander had explained his wishes over two drinks. “You
don’t want a simple illusion spell, my friend. Too inflexible. You need a
proper vengeance charm.”
“Oh no, no vengeance curses,”
Xander had exclaimed. “I’ve seen too many of those and besides, I don’t want
anything permanent to happen, like funny alternate universes in which we’re all
ruled by the Master or assimilated by Adam of Borg.”
“Don’t worry, it’s not a
proper curse, just a spell, but a nifty little bugger. Quite insidious. It
worms itself into the sub-conscious, looking for hidden fears and all that
pesky guilt and then crafts an elaborate fantasy around them.”
“Like a nightmare.”
“Better. Because you can give
the fantasy a certain spin. You can’t affect it directly, but if you plant
certain fears in your subject’s head just before the magic is triggered, the
spell will take it from there. Also, the fantasy is so convincing, it’s
virtually indistinguishable from reality.” The Englishman had smiled
maliciously. “The spell literally creates a private hell.”
It had sounded too good to be
* * *
“Are you sure you don’t want
me to stop? One word and you can go. No more pain. All you have to do is get
the hell out of Sunnydale and never come back.”
“No!” Spike shook his head.
That was the one thing he couldn’t do. Didn’t Harris know that he had nowhere
else to go? That Sunnyhell was his home now, for good or for worse?
He was kneeling in the
bathtub, in a puddle of blood, presently unchained. He had lost track of time.
Whenever possible he tried to catch a glimpse of the human’s watch, trying to
find out how much longer he’d have to endure the man’s punishment.
“Buffy once said you’re in
love with pain, but that’s not true, is it?” Xander mused, trailing the tip of
his razor blade lightly along a wiry pale arm, leaving a thin red mark. “Tell
me, Spike – and I want the truth – what are you really holding out for? What do
“I want you to stop hating
me,” Spike said quietly, wondering if an approximation of the truth was enough.
“Tsk tsk,” Xander clucked in
disapproval. The razor edge of the blade was withdrawn. “You really aren’t the
sharpest pencil in the box, Spike. Lie to me again and our deal is forfeit.
‘Anything you want’ – those were your words. And what I want is the truth.
Spike nodded his head.
* * *
“One more thing. Once the
collar is snapped shut, make sure you don’t touch it with your bare hands,”
Rayne had warned him, while pocketing the envelope with the money. “unless you’re
prepared to take a stroll in your subject’s nightmare.”
Xander stared at the writhing
vampire. This had to be the longest hour of his whole life. The sixty minutes
were almost up. Only twelve more minutes remained. How bad could it be? Angel
had been in a real hell for ages and come out okay – admittedly after a bout of
Twelve more minutes. He
looked at the slim metal collar and the long white neck that was arched back in
agony. Eleven minutes and forty seconds.
What had Rayne called it?
‘Insidious’ – yes, it certainly was. Remote torture. The more he thought about
it, the more callous and cowardly the whole concept seemed. It wasn’t curiosity
that made him reach for the collar. The least he could do was look Spike in the
face when he dished out the pain…
Touching the cold metal was
like touching a live wire: Pain! So much pain. Xander froze as his
consciousness tumbled into the abyss.
* * *
“If it’s punishment you want,
then I have something for you, Spike.”
Spike/Xander lifted his head,
careful not to look at his torturer. He took the oblong parcel. It was much
heavier than it looked. The wrapping consisted of thick cloth.
When Spike/Xander pulled back
the flaps of fabric his fingers encountered cool metal. He uncovered a thick
and heavy piece of steel, shiny and smoothly polished. It had a thick head at
one end and an angular point at the other.
Spike/Xander stared at the
object in horror and despair.
Dream-Xander had to repeat
his command, before Spike/Xander picked the railroad spike up. The metal felt
cool in his hand. Its weight felt sickeningly familiar.
“Now, where shall we put
this?” The-other-Xander said.
With a shout Xander jerked
back. “Oh god!”
He was still reeling from the
flood of images and sensations. Everything had been so real! He could still
feel the stillness of Spike’s heart, the pain in his limbs and – oh my god! –
his ass, the gut-churning nausea and the bitter taste of shame and despair.
Damn Ethan Rayne! The sorcerer had failed to mention that getting sucked into
the mind trip was a piggyback ride instead of a bird’s eye view.
A choked scream from the bed
spurred Xander into action.
He grabbed a corner of the
sheet and tried to keep it between his prying fingers and the enchanted metal
of the collar. He had to get it open. Several times the collar slipped out of
his grasp as Spike jerked and tossed his head. Finally he got a good grip and
nervously fumbled with the little latch, but somehow he couldn’t get the
mechanism to work. It took him at least a minute to realize that it was never
meant to open. Ethan Rayne had suckered him.
Xander bolted out of the
bedroom. Tools. Tools. Where were his tools? He found the toolbox, rummaged
around in it, then turned it over and spilled everything onto the floor. There!
He grabbed the heavy shears and rushed back into the bedroom.
Spike was thrashing around on
Xander tried to bring the
shears near the collar but Spike was moving around too much. He had to climb on
the bed and use his weight to pin the keening vampire down. After three tries
he finally managed to snap the metal. Using the sheet like pot handles Xander
pried the collar apart and tossed it as far away as he could.
Underneath him the thrashing
* * *
“Spike? Wake up. Can you hear
me?” Xander shook the limp body, even considered slapping the vampire in the
face. “Wake up!”
Spike’s eyes flicked open. At
first he was just staring blindly at the ceiling, unthinking and obviously
“Spike, are you alright?”
Flinching, Spike turned his
“It’s alright,” Xander said
urgently. “It wasn’t real. It was a dream. Do you understand? Like a nightmare.
The only answer was a weary
Xander realized he was
crouching on Spike’s chest. He bent over and quickly undid the knots that held
the vampire’s wrists, then scrambled off the bed. Immediately, Spike rolled
onto his side, presenting Xander with his back. He buried his face in his arms
and curled up as far as the ropes on his ankles allowed. Xander hastened to
remove those restraints as well.
There was no indication that
Spike had heard him. Xander stared helplessly at the fragile looking man on his
bed. The sudden beep-beep of his watch startled him. Sixty minutes.
“It’s over, Spike,” Xander
said. “Do you hear? Dammit Spike, don’t go catatonic on me!”
Spike slowly uncurled. He
swung his legs off the bed and sat up, facing away from the Scooby. Xander
watched him flex his shoulders, check at his hands and arms for non-existent
injuries, then furtively wipe his face on his sleeve.
“Not real?” Spike asked
dazedly. “None of it?”
Xander had honestly forgotten
that due to First Evil’s manipulations Spike’s hold on reality was brittle at
best. Now he remembered. “It was a spell,” he blurted out. “When you suggested
this deal I— I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t. I don’t have the—. I’m not a
torturer. Not like— like you. But, then I thought of what you did to Buffy and—
and you were right. So I thought of something appropriate. Something that
happened at my almost-wedding gave me the idea. There’s this sorcerer, he
wasn’t hard to find... he called it a
vengeance charm.” The words tumbled out of Xander’s mouth in an almost obscene
hurry, as if a speedy explanation could expunge that increasing feeling of
“The collar. It used your own
fear and guilt against you.” Xander shuddered at the memory of what he’d seen
in Spike’s mind. He picked up the collar, careful not to touch the metal with his
bare hand. Who knew, the artifact might still work. Holding it up, Xander
snatched it back before Spike could touch it. “Careful, the mojo might still be
Spike held out his hand and
after a moment of hesitation Xander handed the artifact over. Spike tensed and
his eyes fell shut. His body started trembling. After a few seconds, just as
Xander was about to knock it from Spike’s hand, the collar slipped out of limp
fingers and landed on the bed. Spike blinked a few times, before focusing fully
Xander squirmed inwardly,
remembering the way he’d starred as the torturer in Spike’s punishment
scenario. Did Spike really believe him capable of … those things? Well maybe he
was. He’d tried to unnerve the other man by telling him to come ‘prepared.’
“Nifty,” Spike said after a
moment. He looked disgusted.
“Funny, Rayne – the sorcerer
- said the same thing.” Xander prattled, desperate to go off-topic. “He’s
British, like you. Apparently he and Giles used to be friends. He’s the guy who
turned Giles into a Fyarl demon. He got locked up by the Initiative but—“
“Did you watch?” Spike interrupted him. “Do you know
what happened in here?” He tapped a finger against his temple.
“No,” Xander lied hastily. “I mean, I could see you were
having a bad trip, but that’s all.” There was a horrid intimacy in sharing
another person’s private hell, however briefly. All he wanted now was to forget
the whole thing as soon as possible. Heck, Spike probably felt the same way.
Spike took a deep breath,
shook his head and got to his feet.
“Well, as far as I’m
concerned you’ve got your clean slate,” Xander announced. He nervously wiped
his palm on his pants, wondering if they should seal their truce with a
handshake and why he felt so dirty.
“Clean, yeah.” Spike laughed.
Then he turned on his heel and briskly strode out of the bedroom.
“Where are you going?” Xander
asked, hurrying after him.
Spike was already half way out of the apartment.
“Going to get drunk,” he said without looking back. “Alone.”
The door closed with a soft
Author’s Note: I'm curious. Is it clear why Spike is not ‘satisfied’ with
the outcome of that session, or am I too obscure? Is it clear why Spike offered
the whole thing in the first place? What he expected to happen? What is
Xander's biggest sin? Um, I don't want to sound too highbrow about this, but
I'm very interested to find out with what kind of level of encrypting I can get
away with in stories. It's not a big deal, really. Just curiosity. Indulge me,
The parameters of the challenge:
Has to be set in S7: In order to
make peace with Xander, (or at least a kind of ceasefire) Spike offers Xander
an opportunity to get even: One hour of payback for past insults and Spike's
involvement with Anya: "Sixty
minutes. You say it - I do it. You dish it - I take it."
What does Xander do with his one hour of power?