Title: No Laughing Matter 1/8
Author: Forsaken2003
Pairing: Spike/Xander
Rating: R
Disclaimer: I own none; all belong to Joss Whedon
Comments: Always welcomed!
Summary: Sequel to Brand New Us. Xander receives a strange package. When he opens it he and the hyena now have to fight to stay alive and Spike has to find out who it is trying to take his mate from him.
Warnings/Spoilers: Season 5
Beta'd by: Whichclothes

Part One

Xander didn't mind Spike being right about a lot of things but his knowing Xander better than he did himself really irked him. Xander sat in Spike's chair, pouting.

"Come on, pet. You're not really that pissed are you?" Spike asked with that smirk that made both Xander and the hyena want to smack it off.

"Yes," Xander said while continuing to sulk. "I distinctly remember saying I didn't want to be master of Cleveland. And yet now somehow I am. How did that happen again?"

Spike chuckled. "That would be when we tore Zane's minions apart at your request. Word spreads quickly around the demon world."

Xander huffed. "Well I don't like it. Now when demons come to see you that means me as well. I've got other stuff to do, you know!"

"Can't help you, luv. If you don't show up that's a sign of weakness and the last thing we need is some sodding vampire coming into our territory and trying to take over," Spike replied. "You just have to suck it up."

"Suck it up my ass," Xander growled. "You could have told me what I was getting into when I made that decision. And don't you dare act like you didn't know!"

Spike sidled closer to Xander, resting his butt on the desk. "I may have suspected." He went in for a kiss but was greeted with snapping teeth. Great, the bitch was pissed off too. "No sex then?"

"No sex," Xander confirmed. He stood up. "Besides, I have to get to work. Why are you up so early anyway?"

"Sex."

"Figures," Xander said, rolling his eyes.

Spike followed Xander while he collected his jacket. "So how long are you going to be mad at me? More importantly how bloody long am I going without sex?" He had to dodge out of the way as Xander went to open the front door.

"If you're good maybe a week," Xander said. As he opened the front door an envelope dropped to the ground. "What the…?" He picked it up. His name was scribbled on the envelope with no return address.

"What is it?" Spike asked from the safety of the shadows.

Xander ripped open the end. "Probably a flyer for the next mayor."

"Why isn't my name on it?" Spike asked annoyed.

"Because you don't exist in the human world, babe," Xander reminded him. He blew the end open and was assaulted by a white powder. It was inhaled. Xander stumbled back, coughing.

Spike slammed the door closed and caught Xander before he fell onto the floor. "Xan? What's wrong?"

Xander rolled over, dry heaving. "Fuck." He took a few deep breaths. "I'm fine, just some punk kid playing a prank."

"Some prank, practically killed you!" Spike exclaimed as he helped Xander stand up. "You all right, Xan?"

Xander stood on wobbly legs. "Yeah. I'm good. Fuck, now I'm late for work!"

"Fuck work! Maybe you should stay home. You don't even know what the hell that stuff was," Spike said, sounding and looking worried.

"I'm fine." Xander kissed Spike. He ignored the fact that the hyena was screaming inside his head. She'd calm down soon enough. "But because of all your worry I think I'll let you off the hook for making me a master."

"Are you sure you should go, pet?" Spike asked. His gut was telling him that this was more than some kind of prank.

Xander smiled. He loved Spike being so protective of him. "Yes, it's nice that you care though."

Spike pulled Xander against him. "Course I care. You're my mate," he said with a possessive growl.

A shiver ran down Xander's spine. God he loved it when Spike called him that. "Tonight when I get home how about we go for a hunt? The hyena is begging for one." He ignored the fact that she was screaming for him to let her out. To let Spike know something wasn't right.

"A hunt?" Spike perked up. Hunting always led to shagging. "Brilliant. Off with you!"

Xander was having a problem staying focused on his work. He had an idea for a blueprint but it was like his brain was fogged over. Five cups of coffee and he still wasn't his peppy self. The hyena was also bitchier than ever.

"Alex?" John asked, startling Xander who hadn't even realized he had spaced out. "You okay?"

"Yeah, I'm good. Just trying to get this blueprint going," Xander replied and looked back down at his paper to find that he hadn't even started.

John walked in to see that Xander's lack of progress, which was strange because when Xander set his mind to something he did it. "You've got plenty of time. The boss is gone for a month. Besides I have no doubt that you can do it," John said and slapped Xander on the back.

Xander oofed from the contact as the wind was knocked out of him. Something that shouldn't have happened since John was fifty-six years old and weighed maybe hundred and nineteen pounds. Xander shook it off; maybe he was just coming down with something.

The hyena continued to scream. Xander didn't get sick. They didn't get sick. Why wasn't Xander listening?

"You're not looking well, Alex," John commented and placed a hand on Xander's forehead. He had six kids and he was more than experienced to realize when someone was sick. "You're burning up. Head home and get some rest."

Xander opened his mouth to protest but between John and the hyena he just decided to do as John said. "Yeah, thanks. I'm sure whatever this is, is just a twenty-four hour bug." And why was it that Xander wasn't even believing that?

Spike knew something was wrong the second he heard Xander pull into the driveway. He met Xander at the door. "Bloody hell," Spike gasped. "What the fuck happened to you?" Xander stumbled through the door, falling into Spike's arms, which started to smoke.

Xander was pale, almost as pale as Spike. Sweat dripped from his forehead while he shivered. "Something's wrong."

"No shit," Spike replied dryly. He took all of Xander's weight and carried him to their bedroom.

"Magic." The voice wasn't Xander's.

Spike groaned. The hyena. This wasn't going to be good. "Magic?" He laid them down on the bed and pulled a quilt up over Xander. "That powder?"

The hyena rolled Xander's eyes. "Of course it was the powder!" she growled but it wasn't as intimidating at it should have been. It was weak. That wasn't a good sign.

"No need to get snippy," Spike said. "Why didn't you say something before I let the boy walk out the bloody door?"

"Because our boy is stubborn," the hyena said and it took Spike all his energy not to say that Xander was his boy. He didn't like to share.

Spike ran his hand through Xander's damp hair. "Do you know what that stuff was?" The hyena was quiet and instantly Spike knew that she did. "What is it? If you bloody well know something you fucking tell me now! This isn't about you, it's about Xan, and I'll be damned again if I let you or anyone take him away from me!"

"That's where you're wrong," the hyena stated. Bright green eyes flickered.

"What the hell does that mean?" Spike demanded.

The hyena stared at Spike. "This has nothing to do with Xander. He is just a mere casualty."

Spike had to stop himself from wrapping his hand around Xander's neck and just wringing the answer out of him. "Stop with the fucking cryptics!"

"It is ancient magic, something I thought was lost," the hyena started. "It's a powder that can drive a spirit from its host."

"Wait a minute," Spike held up his hands. "You and Xander both said there was no way for that to happen. That you when you merged you were stuck."

The hyena nodded. "That's what I thought. I never expected someone would find this."

"All right, fine. A mistake on your part but let's get back to this magic. What exactly is happening?" Spike asked. He needed to focus on the problem.

"The powder is exorcising me from Xander's body. Whoever is responsible for this will become my new host," the hyena explained. "I will have no control like I do with Xander. They will be my master.

Spike stood up and began to pace. As much as he loved annoying the hyena, Spike had grown attached to her. She was a part of Xander. "And Xander? He'll be okay? Just not as strong as he is with you?"

"We've been together for too long. I'm a part of him… like an organ. Without me he'll die."