Credence Chapter 9

Credence Chapter 9

This soldier was some sort of special kind - the American equivalent of the SAS, Spike supposed - and he eluded them for some time.  But no human could ever truly elude a hunting vampire, and Xander moved beside him like a wraith - silent, graceful, and as greedy for blood as Spike was.

They ended it, finally, quite near Spike's usual hidey-hole - frightened humans herded well.  The man had gotten himself partway up a rusting ladder and was trying to pry the manhole cover off and be silent, as well.  His composure and his training had slowly deserted him as Spike and Xander had trailed him through the dark.  Mostly because Spike had kept up a running commentary of what he'd done to the other soldiers he'd brought down here, complete with name and rank.  This soldier, Spike knew, had recognized the names of 'Missing, presumed dead' companions.

Now he hung above them in the near-blackness, his panting breath whistling through his nose, his trembling muscles not up to the task of heaving the manhole cover free.  Spike lit a cigarette and watched the man cringe from the sudden light, and he grinned up at him.

"Good run, Joe.  Why not come down now - see if you can make a deal?  Might let you go if you something."  The soldier stared at him - at Xander.  At two not-so-big or old men.  Something was going through his mind - Spike could see it - and he saw the moment when the soldier's training told him he was more than a match for a boy and a slender punk. 

*Come on down, Joe - come on down.  I think the rabbit wants to have a few words with you.*  The soldier climbed down a few rungs - dropped the rest of the way and Xander took a step forward, head down and hands in fists at his side.  Spike reached out and laid his hand on Xander's neck, curling his fingers in the long hair. 

"Slow and easy does it, pet," he said, and the soldier's eyes narrowed, and his stance shifted - straighter and a touch more confident.

"Fuckin' fags," hissed, and Spike smiled at him.  But Xander launched himself, a flat, deadly leap that drove the soldier back hard into the wall and the ladder.  His skull rung off the curved re-bar and he dropped like a stone.  Xander crouched over him and Spike lost his smile.

"Better not have killed him, rabbit," he said, walking over.  Xander looked up and Spike froze in complete surprise.  The boy's eyes were glowing a deep greenish-gold, and his face was twisted in a snarl that showed all his teeth.  One hand darted out and twisted up a fistful of the green dress jacket and Xander rose, hauling the limp body up with a jerk.  His other hand smacked solidly into Spike's chest, driving him back a step.

"It's mine," Xander growled, and his voice was hoarse and guttural.  No fear in his scent, only rage and lust and something sharply foreign - a heavy, rich musk that made the demon roar to the surface.  Spike slammed into Xander, his hands on the boy's throat, driving him back into the wall hard enough to make his breath ummph out of him.  His hold on the soldier was lost and the unconscious man tumbled to the floor.  They were nose to nose, foreheads almost touching, and Spike roared, the sound reverberating down the tunnels and making the boy hiss and snap his teeth and cringe, all at the same time.

"He's yours if I say he's yours, rabbit.  Don't forget who's the master here and who's the fuckin' pet."  Spike shook him a little and Xander tried to break his hold, tried to knock his arms up and apart.  Spike just leaned a little harder into him - grinned fiercely when he felt the hard ridge of the Xander's erection dig into his thigh.  Xander's hands clawed at the sleeves of his duster.

"I said - only if I say.  Do. You. Understand?"  Spike knocked him back into the wall with each word, leaning his whole body into Xander's and grinding his hips.  Xander was drawing painful, desperate breaths and Spike eased his choke-hold the tiniest bit - kissed him roughly with fangs and tongue, sucking at the blood that welled from his wounded mouth.

"What's the answer, rabbit?"  Spike breathed, hips still rocking into the boy's, forehead to forehead.  The demonic features pressed into Xander human ones and Xander twisted violently, once and then sagged in Spike's grip.

"Y-yessss, you fuck, yes."

"Yes what?" Spike purred, licking stray drops of blood from lips and chin and Xander's hips bucked up, his hands locked on Spike's forearms, death-grip that would leave bruises on a human.

"Yes, I understand," he rasped, and this time when Spike lapped at the last traces of blood his mouth parted and Spike shivered in delight as Xander's tongue slid along his briefly - flickered over his fangs.

"Good rabbit.  Sweet rabbit," Spike crooned, and he let one hand drop to Xander's hip and force him a little closer, feeling the cool rush of indrawn breath as his fingernails dug deep, making cuts in the jeans Xander wore.  "You'll get a reward for that," Spike whispered.  The soldier, forgotten on the wet concrete, choose that moment to stir and make a moaning sort of noise, and Spike considered, glancing down at him briefly.  One hard stomp of a well-placed heel and he could snap the man's sternum and crush his heart.  Dead in a minute and then he could get on with...rewards.  But he felt Xander twitch - saw the flare in the boy's eyes, the hyena coming back, and Spike decided he wanted to know how far - how much - how deep.  He kissed Xander again, crushing split lips back against his teeth and then let him go -backed off.

"Let's get him into my parlor, shall we?" Spike asked, and Xander - hands on thighs, coughing - looked up at Spike and grinned.

The scavengers hadn't had as much time with the last soldier as the next-to-last, and there was still wizened flesh on the strung-out bones.  The odor of rot tinged the still air, and Xander stood stock still for a moment and then moved over towards the corpse, reaching out.

*Hyenas and carrion.  That's one habit we don't want to encourage.* 

"Don't touch it, rabbit.  Hard to get the stink off.  The wolf wouldn't like it."  Half-crouching over the remains Xander glanced up and then moved slowly away.  Spike dumped the soldier to the floor and dug into his duster for the handcuffs that the vamp-cop had never reclaimed.  He rolled the soldier on his belly and tightened them around his wrists, and then went to kick at the corpse, knocking the skull away so he could free the chain.  That he unlocked and wound around the hand-cuff chains and then re-locked.  The soldier stirred again, trying to sit up.  Spike lit the Coleman lantern and turned it to a pleasant golden glow, then went to lean on the wall near the entry, taking advantage of a stray breeze to clear the smell from his nose a little.  He lit a cigarette and watched bewilderment and then comprehension wash over the soldier's face as he struggled upright.

Xander was pacing the confines of the room - a sort of oubliette, except you got in at floor-level.  He idly kicked bones and bits of metal - uniform insignia and belt buckles - and then bent down and picked up a shattered thigh-bone.  He turned it in his hands and then walked over to the soldier who was on his knees, watching them.  Xander crouched down and showed the man the bone, fingering the sharp edges where it had fractured and split.  The soldier flinched away from him, panting a little.

"What the f-fuck do you want?  Why am I here?"

"Lots of reasons," Xander said softly, tapping the bone on the man's knee.  "Mostly because your kind....fucked up."

"My kind?  What the hell -?"  Xander stared at the man, and Spike could see the unearthly glow in his eyes - could see that there was blood on his mouth still and when Xander skinned his lips back, silent snarl, there was blood on his teeth.

"Your kind.  Humans.  Soldiers.   You know - he - "and Xander pointed at Spike with the bone - "did this with his hands, I'll bet.  Wanna see how?"  And that grin was back. 

*Rabbit, rabbit - you're a quick learner,* Spike thought, and he flicked his cigarette butt away and stepped up, morphing into the demon.  "Be happy to demonstrate," he said, and the man screamed.


Xander glanced up from where he was crouching, and Spike saw there was a smear of blood across his cheek.  He'd taken t-shirt and flannel off - 'don't want to get them all gory, do I?' and his skin was the color of a chamois in the lamplight.  The figure stretched before him bubbled out a thin stream of blood and made a noise rather like a pig being killed.  Xander drew his hand back from the hole in the man's side and regarded the blood and bits of tissue that clung to his fingers and knuckles.

"So tell me, rabbit.  Why do you hate the soldiers so?"  Xander's hand clenched to a fist and he pressed the knuckles to his mouth, oblivious to the gore.

"I don't...want..." 

"Course you do, rabbit.  Or, rather, you may not, but you will.    Besides, one way or another, you'll tell me."  Xander glanced up at him again and Spike could hear his heartbeat picking up - could smell old fear creeping up in him.  "It's all right, rabbit.   I'm here," he coaxed, and Xander reached out tentatively towards the soldier again, tapping his fingers along the man's bared chest.  The soldier twitched minutely but was too weak to do anything else.

"They - were running all over Sunnydale.  Especially after that Dr. Walsh tried to kill Buffy.  They started getting - out of control.  Had this idea that if you weren't with 'em - you were against 'em."  Xander looked up at Spike again and licked his blood-smeared lips nervously.  Then he paused and licked them again, slow.  He looked at his hand and his tongue went out, to lick a spot on the back of his hand clean.

"Is - does it -?"

"Blood later, pet.  Story first."  Spike lit a cigarette and came to crouch opposite the boy, ignoring the useless convulsion that wracked the soldier's body as he tried to get away from the vampire.

"They - were hunting us, too.  Scoobies."  There was a wealth of longing and rage and sorrow in that word - in Xander's green-glowing eyes, and Spike smoked and watched him lower his head and rub his cleaner hand back through his hair,  then look up at Spike again.   "They wanted to get Buffy - back.  She'd been working with them for a while..."  Xander stopped again and held his hand out, his fingers trembling, and Spike passed him the cigarette.  The boy smoked, one, two, then three drags, staring at nothing in particular.  Then he handed the cigarette back.  Spike could taste the soldier's blood on the filter.

"We were out, patrolling.  We finished and Buffy and Willow went back to the dorms.  I - was cutting across campus and four of them were there.  I didn't think...  It seemed too open.  Too many - people.  But they saw me and got me into this   Like a little garden area.  All sunk."  Xander stroked his bloodied hand down the soldier's stomach - let his fingers rest on the shivering muscles just below his navel.  Spike had shredded his trousers away earlier, demonstrating how easily thigh-bones broke.   

"They wanted to know...  Can't even remember."  Xander dug his nails into the soldier's belly and the man choked, moaning.   His arms were beneath him and Spike could hear the soldier's fingers scrabbling at the concrete.  "I think - they wanted to know about Buffy.  Hit me some.  But -"   Xander shrugged - dragged his nails down lower and the soldier kicked feebly with his heels.  Spike reached without looking and slapped him across the face.

"Quiet, Joe.  You're interrupting.  Go on, pet.  What happened?"   Xander's nails were half sunk into the flesh just above the soldier's penis now, and blood welled sluggishly from around them. 

"Not like I never got hit.  It didn't....  I didn't care much.  But then they...  Did you ever notice, Spike, how the really macho guys - the really big soldier types - they all have this weird....thing...about gay sex?"  Spike blinked and finished his cigarette - put it out absently on the nearest bit of bloodied flesh.

*What in fuck is he talking about?  What 'thing'?*   "What do you mean, Xander?"   Xander's fingers went deeper and the soldier squealed - rolled his hips, trying to get away.  Xander whipped his head around, snarling, and the glow was back.  He pressed down hard and the man arched, his mouth open in a soundless scream.

"I mean - they think the best thing in the fuckin' world is two girls goin' at it, and the worst fuckin' thing is two guys.  They think - if they do that to somebody, it'll break 'em right in half."  Xander pulled his hand back slowly, then stroked a little lower.  The soldier's scrotum was empty and ragged, a bloody flap.  

"Did you, love?  Break right in half?" Spike asked, and Xander looked sharply up at him, his mouth open just a little, his eyes feral and glowing but wet.

"Not even when they fuckin' used the barrel of their fuckin' pistols.  Funny, they all got hard for it, too."  Xander's voice had dropped, sibilant growl, and Spike shivered all over. 

*Oh, the beast loves this...  Tease that beast out - kiss it and call it and collar it.  And won't it look fine, at the end of my lead...* 

"They tried to...  Well, they tried.  But the first one that put this -" and Xander grasped the soldier's flaccid penis, holding it almost lovingly in the palm of his hand.  "He got a very bad surprise.  Did you know - a hyena's jaws can exert almost one thousand pounds of pressure per square inch?"  Xander's hand closed down slowly, and the man jerked.  "A human bite's nowhere near that, but this flesh -" and Xander squeezed harder, "this flesh is damn fragile, really.  I bit right through it.  Had to actually - spit some out, when they dragged him away."  Xander grinned up at Spike from beneath his eyelashes, his hand abruptly opening and going back to the hole, to probe inside.  The soldier thrashed weakly, and Spike knew he was close to being dead.

"What'dya think, Spike?  Think I can pull his fuckin' dick up through his stomach from the inside?"   Spike put his hand on the soldier's chest and leaned forward, bracing on snapped ribs.  He slid his other hand around the back of Xander's neck and pulled him close.  Xander resisted for a moment and then leaned in as well, and his forearm slipped inside, pushing up a bulge in the soldier's abdomen.  The kiss was slow and thorough, and Spike drew back with a small smile on his lips.  Xander's eyes were half-closed, and he ran the tip of his tongue out, touching the underside of his upper lip.

"Why don't you find out, pet, and then we'll get home.  The wolf is probably missing us."  Xander blinked and nodded - looked down at the soldier's face.

"Yeah.  He's getting' all - dead.  Time to go."