Title: Young Again
Disclaimer: I own none, all belong to Joss Whedon!
Comments: Always welcomed!
Summary: Spike owes the wrong demons some kittens and gets turned into a young self.
Beta'd by: Silken Sky
Buffy rushed into the Magic Box, startling everyone that was sitting around the table. "Good lord Buffy," exclaimed Giles. "There is no reason to take the door off its hinges, Xander just fixed it!"
"Oh there is a reason," Buffy said gravely.
"Where's Spike?" Xander asked, looking worried. "What's going on Buff?"
She took a deep breath like she was trying to calm herself. "Just nobody freak out. We don't want to scare him."
"Scare who Buffy?" Willow asked.
"Spike," Buffy walked back to the door and spoke softly. "Come on, it's alright, no one is going to hurt you. I promise." She walked in holding hands with a very young and very human Spike.
The boy gripped her hand tightly, "A-are you sure it's safe?"
"Oh my god!" Xander stared at the sight before him. "Spike?"
"Who's Spike?" The blue-eyed boy asked. "My name is William. William Pratt."
Willow stood in the middle of the room doing a very good impression of a fish.
"Are you sure these people can help me?" William said with some disbelief.
"Of course we can," Giles finally spoke up. "Our apologies, we have a friend whom you resemble quite closely."
Buffy led William over to a chair beside Xander. The blonde boy looked over at Xander curiously. "You look familiar. Have you looked after me before?"
"Yeah buddy," Xander said giving a smile, while mentally freaking out. "My name is Xander. What happened?"
William bit his lip. "I don't know, I don't remember much. There were monsters. Buffy what a strange name. Anyways, Buffy fought them and they ran off."
"Buffy is very good at protecting people," Willow spoke up.
"Xan, can I talk to you in the other room for a minute?" Buffy didn't wait for a reply before heading into the training room.
When Xander met her in the room he closed the door, he could hear Willow telling William in the other room how adorable he was. "Buffy, what happened?"
"Spike owed a demon some kittens. Apparently the demons weren't too patient with the waiting. And now Spike is an eleven years old."
Xander bent over, "Why didn't he tell me? I could have gotten him the cats!"
"Actually they're kittens," Buffy stopped at the glare she received. "Besides you know Spike never would have asked, you already keep him in blood, booze, cigarettes and wheaties."
"Buffy my boyfriend has been turned into a kid! What the hell am I suppose to do?"
Giles knocked on the door before entering, "William is quite tired. He has had an exhausting day."
"I-I'll take him home." Xander took a deep breath, "Just find a way to reverse this, okay?"
"This is our top priority, Xander," Giles promised. "Willow and I will find a way to fix this."
It was strange driving home with William. He was so skittish and spoke so quietly you'd almost think he said nothing at all. Xander had always wondered what William had been like since Spike didn't like to talk about him.
"Come on Will," Xander said as he opened the passenger-side door and undid the seatbelt. He helped Spike out of the car. "You're gonna be so mad at me when everything is fixed."
"Why would I be mad at you?" William asked, his eyes barely able to stay open. "Where are we?"
Xander set William down outside his door before unlocking it, "My place, I'm going to be looking after you for a little bit." He ignored the first question, what was he suppose to say? 'Oh you're my gay vampire lover that got turned into a kid.' That wouldn't make him sound like a crazy person at all.
"Oh, alright," the boy answered with a yawn. "May I have some water please?"
"Sure thing, but then it's off to bed. I have to go to work tomorrow." Xander saw the fear in William's face. "Will, what's wrong?"
William sniffled. "What about me? I don't want to be left alone!"
"Oh!" Xander could have smacked himself in the head. "No, I promise you won't be left alone. I'll take you over to Mr. Giles' place. He was the older man you met tonight. He'll watch over you for me and then when I am done work I'll pick you up. How does that sound?"
Nodding in acceptance, William said, "I have just one question."
"Does Mr. Giles have any books?"
Xander was tense the entire day. All he wanted was for it to end so he could get back to William. He was happy that Giles was more than willing to look after the child while he was at work, but he felt bad for leaving William. Luckily enough, the ex-watcher had more than enough books for William to read that were of the non-demon variety.
When the clock finally struck five, Xander made a mad dash for the closest exit. He had spoken with his boss, explaining that his nephew was visiting while his parents were looking for a house in Los Angeles and needed a babysitter.
He walked into the Magic Box and spotted William right away sitting cross legged on the couch. Xander walked over, kneeling down to read the title of the book. "Oliver Twist huh?" Will jumped, startled. "Geez! Sorry about that."
"Sorry," the blonde said as he grabbed a bookmark and placed it carefully between the pages. "When I start reading I cannot put it down."
"Ah Xander," Giles walked in from the back carrying box.
The brunette walked over taking it from him setting it on the research table. "Hey G-man, how did babysitting duty go?"
With a roll of his eyes, Giles replied. "Wonderfully. Hardly any problems at all. For the most part William just read."
"Hardly any problems? Meaning there were problems?"
Giles placed a reassuring hand on Xander's arm "He is just extremely shy. He was uncomfortable when there were customers."
William cleared his throat, getting the attention of both men, "Could I please have something to eat?"
"Sure ba-bud," Xander cursed himself for almost calling William baby. "What do you say to picking up some pizzas?"
A week later Harmony decided that it was time to take out her nemesis once and for all, so she brought her pathetic group of minions to the Magic Shop.
There were six vampires, not including Harmony herself. Harmony insisted that she take on Buffy and the others help themselves to the rest of the group. William was aware that monsters existed but since the first night he had been turned into a human child he had been spared seeing anymore.
He had panicked and ran for the training room. Xander had yelled for him to stay with him, but he was too scared to listen. There was yelling, glass breaking and other sounds William didn't want to know or think about. Once he was in the training room, William was grabbed by the back of his t-shirt and lifted easily off the ground. He began screaming for Xander when he saw the demons face too close to his. William was then dropped and he watched as the vampire stood there looking surprised before turning to dust. That night William slept in Xander's bed, afraid that the monsters would get him.
Now Willow constantly caught William staring at Xander with awe. "Giles?" Willow asked turning her attention to the older man, "This is really what Spike was like when he was human isn't it? I mean shy and book smart?"
"I believe so, yes. Spike was always smart but that wouldn't do much for his reputation." He saw the frown on the witch's face. "What's bothering you Willow?"
"Not so much bothered as confused. Why doesn't he think its 1864?"
Giles stopped looking through the receipts for the day to ponder that. "I hadn't given it much thought," he replied. "Maybe the demon didn't have enough power?"
"Bloody hell pet, hurry up! I want to shag." Everybody's head spun around, staring at William.
"S-Spike?" Xander asked, his hammer falling from his hands.
William stood still before shaking himself. "What?"
The brunette went over to his charge, kneeling in front of him, "Will, are you alright?"
"I… I don't know." William was breathing hard. "Something is not right."
"Tell me what's wrong," Xander said gently, looking over the blonde's head to his friends.
William bit his bottom lip, a habit he had obviously picked it up from Xander, because the vampire had never done it before. "This is not my world is it?"
Xander felt like he couldn't breathe. "W-why do you ask?"
"I've been having dreams," the boy confessed.
"What kind of dreams, William?" Giles asked, coming over to the group.
William looked confused as he tried to figure out what he was talking about. "I've dreamed of Xander."
"That doesn't mean…" Willow was interrupted by William.
"Naughty dreams, it's not me but at the same time it is," He said looking more confused. "I was grown up."
"Is there anything else?" Xander asked, trying to figure out if this was good news, if he was remembering things that had to be a good thing, right?
He shook his head, "I don't think so. What's going on?"
"You aren't actually eleven," Willow decided to answer. "You… well older you got mixed up with a demon and it did a spell or something and turned you into young you. We've been trying to figure out how to reverse it."
"So Xander and I?" William asked.
Xander spoke this time, "We live together. We are together." He clarified.
The boy seemed to accept this, "When will we figure out how to fix this?"
"We don't know. I have phoned Angel and he is helping from L.A," Willow answered.
"Still can't believe you're dating Peaches, red." William groused. "You could do so much better then Captain Hair gel."
Willow huffed, "There is nothing wrong with Angel! And I could the same about Xander with you."
"Willow," Xander said as he stared at William. "He just channelled Spike again."
"What? Oh!" She looked embarrassed, "Sorry William."
William looked equally embarrassed, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be rude… I think."
"It's alright." Giles placed a hand on William's arm, "I believe this is good. You are getting the attitude back."
"So I'm rude?" He asked disgusted.
"You have your moments," Xander answered. "But you can be sweet, with me anyways."
William got a shy look on his face, "Yeah? How?"
"Well two weeks ago, I had a really bad day at work. When I came home you could tell without me even saying anything. You pulled me over to the couch and gave me one of your famous foot rubs." Xander gave an example.
"I wish I could remember," William said sadly.
"It's alright, everything will be fixed as soon as we can figure it out."
Three days later and William and Xander were going insane. Since they had told the blonde the truth, he had started looking at Xander differently. You could tell he was getting more of his memories back of being a couple and it wasn't helping. They became uncomfortable around one another so much that Giles offered to take William until they figured out how to change him back.
It also didn't help when Xander would catch William giving him shy looks from underneath long eyelashes. Now wasn't the time to have naughty thoughts about his boyfriend. He would shake himself straight and continue to do what he had been already doing.
"Good news!" Willow bounced into the store.
"You know how to fix Spike…erm William?" Giles corrected himself.
The excited girl nodded her head with enthusiasm, "I talked to Angel."
"Bloody poof," William muttered.
"Anyways," Willow said not replying to the comment. "He thinks he knows how to fix it. He'll be here tonight."
Xander was still not a big Angel fan, but for this he'd make an exception, "If deadboy knows how to help, than I say bring him on."
"And you are going to be on your best behaviour!" The redhead glared at her best friend, rolling her eyes when he widened his eyes, trying a look of pure innocence.
Xander was vibrating with excitement. If all went according to plan he would have his Spike back. "Where is he? It's already two hours past sunset!" His eyes wandered over to William who was swinging his legs back and forth as he sat on the chair.
"Angel will be here Xan, I promise." Willow assured him.
Just as the words were spoken Angel, walked in and not alone. His hand was firmly attached to Drusilla's wrist.
"What the hell is she doing here?" Xander demanded just as Buffy pulled out her stake advancing on the vampires.
"He's evil again!" She declared.
The witch stepped in front of the slayer, "He's not evil! We need Drusilla's help."
"I haven't been evil in a long time!" Angel said, exasperated.
"Oh god," A whimper came from William as he stared at both dark haired vampires.
Xander was by his side immediately, "Will, what is it?" he demanded to know.
"Bad," he spoke softly. "We're all bad. You didn't tell me."
"No sweetheart!" Xander cringed at the slip of his tongue, it didn't seem right to call this innocent child 'sweetheart'. "You're not bad. That was the past, you help us now. I was afraid you wouldn't understand."
William didn't hear him; he clutched his head as memories flooded his mind.
"Come to me my sweet boy," Drusilla crooned. "Come to mommy."
Xander stood in front of William hiding him from the crazed vampire. "I swear if anything happens to him I will kill you." He threatened.
"My William's dark kitten has such pretty claws." Drusilla clapped her hands with delight. "You'll make a glorious vampire when my Spike sires you."
"He is my Spike now," Xander corrected. "And when it is time for Spike to turn me I plan on having my soul snug in my body."
The crazy vampire pouted, "Maybe we should begin?" Giles interrupted.
"Alright Deadboy, what's the plan?"
"Dru, do you want to explain?" Angel offered.
Still pouting slightly she began, "William was made into Spike by blood. Blood is what will make Spike once more."
"The only thing that needs to be done is have Will drink your blood?" Buffy asked sceptically. "How do we know this isn't a trick and that she won't try and turn him?"
"Blood fixes everything, dirty slayer," she hissed at Buffy.
Xander held out a hand to William, "You ready Will?" he asked the young boy.
"I- I don't know," he replied honestly.
"You don't have to do this if you don't want to." Xander knelt beside him, his heart breaking. "Do you want to stay human? You could grow up and have a new life.
Taking a deep breath William shook his head, "No. I want to do this, I'm just scared." He stood on shaky legs and made his way over to the vampires. "Will it hurt?"
"Oh it will hurt so good," Drusilla purred. She encircled her arms around him drawing him closer.
"Just remember I'm watching," Buffy stated.
The vampire ignored her, her attention all on her precious boy. "To give blood you must take blood." Her façade changed. "Just a teeny tiny taste," Fangs slid home and a tiny whimper escaped William. "Hush now my pretty." Scraping fangs over her wrist placing it in front of his face, "Drink now."
Doing as he was told he took hold of the arm and wrapped his lips around the wound sucking the blood. At first nothing happened and Buffy advanced on her sure that it had been a ruse. But then Williams' legs buckled and Drusilla began to whisper into his ear before saying louder, "That's it my sweet William. Just a bit more and you will be whole once again." She released his body and by the time his body hit the floor he was unconscious but no longer a boy.
"Is he a vampire again Angel?" Willow asked as she watched her friend gently lift up Spike ignoring everyone around him and moved to the back room.
"Yeah, he is back to being Spike." Angel assured her pulling her into a hug.
Buffy raised her hand, "I still don't understand how just her blood fixed everything."
"I don't think it was just her blood," Giles intervened. "I think what she was whispering was some kind of incantation. Would I be correct?"
"Such a smart watcher," Dru praised. "Would you like to be my new toy?"
Giles pulled off his glasses, cleaning them madly, "Er… no I don't think so, thank you."
"What are we going to do with her?" Buffy asked stake still in hand.
"We can't kill her now," Willow replied. "She just saved Spike."
With a sigh the slayer put the stake away, "Fine. Just get her out of town would you? Next time I see you I won't be so nice."
"Nasty icky slayer!" Drusilla growled.
"Whatever. Mom is expecting me home for a movie night, so I should do a quick sweep."
Giles finally stopped polishing his glasses, "Of course. Everything is under control now. Check in tomorrow."
With a nod of understanding and a quick glare to the mad vampire, Buffy walked out of the shop.
Spike woke with a killer headache, "Oh god I finally tried offing the slayer."
"Surprisingly no," Xander chuckled.
"Xan?" Spike asked.
The brunette cuddled up against his vampire, "Glad to have you back baby."
"I… William?" were the only words Spike could speak.
"Yeah, you should have told me you were in trouble."
Spike looked embarrassed which almost made Xander wonder if whatever Drusilla did, didn't work. "It was my debt, my problem."
"Hello! Your problems are my problems."
Spike scoffed but nestled in closer to the heat, "Doesn't bloody well work like that pet."
Xander pulled the collar of his shirt down, exposing a scar, "When you did this, when you claimed me as yours and I accepted it, that made everything that involves you involve me.
Cool fingers traced the scar, "I knew if I told you, you'd end up giving me the money for the kittens."
"And that's of the bad why?" Xander asked, capturing the wandering hand and kissing it.
"I didn't want to disappoint you," Spike answered honestly. "And I am officially a pouf."
Xander smirked, "You've been a pouf since you hooked up with me." He turned serious at the glare he received. "I love you. You could never disappoint me, piss me off yes, disappoint no."
"So I'm just a prat?" Spike asked.
"Yes and if you ever do anything that means involving your loony ex again I am going to have to hurt you," Xander warned.
Spike frowned, trying to remember everything that had happened. "You stood up to her."
"I wasn't about to let her do something that could have harmed you."
The blonde looked at him impressed, "That's three masters you've stood up to luv."
"And yet demons still think I'm not a threat," Xander joked.
"You are a strange and magnificent human you know that?" Spike asked pulling his mate down into a kiss.
Xander kissed back, nipping at the pouty bottom lip. "You just remember that next time I do something stupid and potentially life threatening."
"Don't count on that, you git," Spike's growl turned into a purr when Xander licked his neck. "Though I'm sure I could be persuaded."
"You're so easy," the human snickered, before sucking on the pale throat, grinning when the purring intensified.