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The Bumbling Turtle
Safe

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TITLE: Safe

AUTHOR: Nicki

EMAIL: N_M_I_W_T_B@yahoo.com

SUMMARY: Cordelia has a vision about Xander that sends Angel to Sunnydale to help.  They realize they dont feel the same as they did before.

SPOILER WARNING: about season 4 of Buffy and season 1 of Angel.

RATING: PG13 NC17

DISCLAIMER: The characters are the property of Joss Whedon, 
Mutant Enemy, Kuzui, Sandollar, and David Greenwalt Productions, 
20th Century Fox, and whoever else may have a hold upon them.  
The situation is wholly mine, and I do not mean to infringe upon any 

copyrights.

NOTES: Feedback is great!!  A special thanks to my great Beta readers!

WARNING: It deals with rape and abuse. 

 

Chapter 1

 

 

The man raised his fist and slammed it into the young boys face with a sickening thud.  The boy dropped to the ground to protect himself.

 

"I dont know why you make me do this," the man yelled and kicked the balled up boy.

 

"Please, Dad, stop.  Im sorry." 

 

This only caused the man to hit and kick even harder and with more precision.  "Dont tell me when to stop. I'll stop whenever I damn well please."

 

"I'm sorry," the boy cried and coughed up blood.

 

"I'm goin to show you how sorry you are." The man pulled his pants off and straddled the boy.  He flipped the boy onto his stomach and started landing punches all over his back and head.  When he was satisfied that the boy would not fight any more, he started to pull off unmoving boys pants.  Stroking his large sweaty cock, he leered at the boy.  He moved down the small body and spread his ass cheeks.  In one quick motion, his whole cock slammed inside.  He started to slowly thrust in and out.  His movements faster and more frenzied as the boys blood coated his rapist.   With one final thrust, he spilt his seed deep inside the slowly waking boy. 

 

"Go get yourself cleaned up.  Youre disgusting, get out of my site."  The man kicked the boy as he got up and left.

 

Xander slowly rose to his unsteady feet.  He wants me to go, fine I'll go.  He turned toward the door and stumbled out into the night. 

 

*****

 

"Cordelia.  Cordy what do you see?"  Angel crouched on the floor next to the girl writhing in pain. 

 

"Vampires.  Four or Five attacking a boy with brown hair in an empty lot outside of Sunnydale.  The boy is covered in blood.  Oh god, its Xander.  He doesn't have very long."  With that, Angel quickly got to his feet and ran to his car.  In record breaking time, he was at the Sunnydale limits. 

 

*****

 

Xander stumbled in the empty field, landing on his side and his broken ribs.  As pain coursed through him and his breathing became labored, he didn't notice the group of minions coming towards him, following the sent of his blood. 

 

"He smells good enough to eat."

 

Xander looked up and saw that the new vampires surrounded him.  "I always knew I would go out like this."  He let out a strained laugh and immediately started coughing, blood on his lips.  The harder he coughed, the more blood leaked from his mouth and the darker the world around him got until finally, everything faded to black.

 

*****

 

Angel turned the corner and saw the vampires closing in on Xander.  He slammed on the brakes and jumped from the car, quietly advancing on his intended targets.  He dusted the first two vamps without even breaking stride.  The third tried to fight but was quickly dusted.  The fourth turned and ran as soon as he saw that his friends were all piles of ash. 

 

Angel knelt next to the unconscious boy, listening for a pulse.  It was there but just barely.  He lifted Xander into his arms and quickly started for the car.  The smell of blood pouring off the boy was almost over powering for the vampire.  He gently laid him in the backseat of his classic car.  Angel jumped in, started the engine and sped towards the nearest hospital.     

 

The closer he got to the hospital, the slower Xander's heartbeat became.  When they finally reached the hospital after what felt like forever, Angel carried his precious bundle into the emergency room.  Within seconds, Xander was whisked away on a gurney and into a sterile room. Angel tried to follow but double doors blocked him from following Xander, as did a large, angry looking nurse. 

 

"Sir, you cant go in there.  If you want to help him, let the doctors do their job.  Do you know who his emergency contact is?"

 

"Um, yeah.  I'll call for you."  Angel stuttered out and walked to the nearest payphone, dialing Giles number from memory. 

 

"Giles?"

 

"Angel?  Is everything all right?"

 

"Xander has been hurt.  Hes at the hospital.  They asked for his emergency contact, I didnt know who it was so I called you."

 

"Dear God.  Ok, we will be there soon."

 

Angel went to the waiting room and rubbing at his temples to get rid of the headache that was threatening to pound is brain to mush. Thirty minutes later, the same angry looking nurse came up to him and stilled his movements.  A torrent of questions flew from Angel's mouth, "Hows Xander?  Is he going to be ok?   Can I see him?  When can I take him home?"

 

The nurse looked at him with sadness in her eyes.  "The doctor needs to talk to you about Xander's condition."  She turned on her heel and started walking towards Xanders room. 

 

*****

 

The doctor was a gentle looking old man with trustful brown eyes and a calm face. 

 

"Hello, Im Dr. Freed.  I am one of the doctors treating your friend, Xander."

 

"How is he?"

 

"He is not doing well, Im afraid.  He received a very brutal beating and was viciously raped.  What concerns us most at the moment is the internal bleeding.  He has some bleeding in his kidneys and multiple ruptures.   He needs to have surgery in order to fix these problems.  On top of those injuries, he also has broken ribs and multiple bruises and cuts all over his body, especially on his back along his spine.  These injuries will make it very painful to move and basically hard for him to function.  If you would like to see him before he goes into surgery, you may."

 

"Thank you Dr. Freed."

 

The news hit Angel hard.  He immediately knew who did it, he smelled Xanders father all over the boy.  How could his father do something like this to his own son?  He thought and a low growl escaped his chest.  

 

With a million questions running through his head, Angel entered the sterile smelling room.  Cautiously he approached the bed.  Xander looked horrible.  Tubes were coming from everywhere and machines were beeping all around.  Xanders eyes slowly fluttered open and locked on Angel. 

 

"Deadboy?"

 

"Shhh, I'm here.  You're safe." Why am I suddenly concerned about him?  He hates me, thought Angel. 

 

"I hurt."  A tear slid down his cheek. 

 

"Shhh, Its ok.  You'll feel better soon."

 

"I'm scared."  The tears turned into painful sobs.  Angel gently gathered Xander in his arms as much as he could, being careful not pull on any of the tubes coming from various parts of Xanders arms and chest.

 

"Dont worry.  You're safe now.  I wont let anyone hurt you anymore."  A soft rumbling started in his chest, calming Xander into a light sleep.  He pulled away and resettled the boy onto the bed. 

 

Where did this protective attitude come from?  Angel wondered. 

 

He followed as Xander was taken up to surgery.  Just then, Giles burst through the emergency room doors followed by Buffy, Willow, and a girl he didnt know. 

 

"What happened?  Where is he?"  Giles asked worriedly as soon as he saw Angel.  He quickly told them what happened and what Xander's injuries were, leaving out the rape.  Giles immediately turned Ripperish and Buffy wanted to know who did it so she could kill it.  Willow just turned into herself and started crying while Tara tried to comfort her. 

 

"Vampires.  I took care of them.  I'm going upstairs now to wait for him to come out of surgery."  Angel started down the hall where they had taken Xander.  The others quickly followed.

Chapter 2

 

Four hours later

 

The small surgery waiting room was full of people anxiously awaiting news on their best friend.  Angel paced the length of the room by the door, while everyone else sat in the hard plastic orange chairs with heads bowed, crying silently.  Suddenly, Angel stopped his pacing and spun on his heal towards the door, just as the doctor walked in.  The doctor's eyes fell on Angel, recognizing him from before and he quickly walked over to him. 

 

"How is he?"  Angel asked, trying to keep his voice neutral.

 

"I would like to speak with Xander's parents before I tell you anything.  Do you know how to contact them?  I can't give you any information until I talk to them."

 

Angel started to growl at the thought of Xander's father being anywhere near his boy.  As Angel's growling got louder, the doctor started to slowly back out of the room.  Angel put an end to that as he grabbed the doctors long white coat and pushed him against the wall.

 

"How. Is. Xander?!"  Angel growled between clenched teeth.  He stared the doctor in the eye waiting for him to back down. 

 

"H...He will be fine."  The doctor stuttered.  "We had to remove one of his kidneys and patch up all of the ruptures.  He had a lot of swelling around his spinal cord that was pressing on his nerves, so we drained what we could." The doctor talked only to Angel, ignoring everyone else in the room.  "He will need to be in a wheelchair for a few weeks until the swelling goes away completely. His ribs have been taped and all of his cuts have be cleaned and stitched up.  Our main concern now is infection but if he takes all of his medication properly, he should heal quite nicely.  He should be waking up soon."

 

"Take me to him."  Angel demanded, his eyes flashing yellow.

 

"I...I really shouldn't."

 

Angel started growling again and slowly stepped forward into the doctors space.

 

"Okay, just this once"  With that, the doctor turned quickly and started walking down the hall.  Angel followed in long strides, leaving the stunned people behind in the waiting room. 

 

*****

 

Angel followed the nervous doctor through three hallways before they reached the room that held Xander Harris.  He stopped at the door and took a deep calming breath before entering the room. 

 

 

Chapter 3

 

 

Angel had been sitting in a chair next to Xander's bed for almost an hour when Xander groaned as he slowly started to wake up.   

 

Pain.  Lots of pain, from everywhere. It hurt so bad he could hardly breathe. He whimpered as he opened his swollen eyes as far as he could.  The first thing he saw was Angel sitting next to the bed, looking at him with what looked like concern and love in his eyes.  That couldnt be right, could it? He thought.

 

Angel smiled when he saw Xander start to wake.  "How do you feel?"  He asked quietly.

 

Xander opened his mouth to talk but only a choked cough came out.  Angel grabbed an ice cube out of a cup next to the bed and held it to Xander's mouth. 

 

"Here, suck on this.  It will make it easier to talk." 

 

Xander opened his mouth and Angel gently ran the ice cube along his lips.  The cold liquid felt so good in his mouth that Xander moaned quietly. Xander's moan went straight to Angel's crotch.   As soon as Xander realized what he was doing, he jerked away from Angel causing pain to shoot from everywhere. 

 

"OW!! Owie!!"  Xander started crying.

 

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry.  Its ok.  Shhhh."  Angel reached for Xander, pulling him into a gentle embrace, the ice cube forgotten as it started to melt on the bed where it fell.  Angel pulled Xander gently against his chest and started purring.  He started rubbing tiny circles on any skin that wasnt cut or bruised, trying to sooth the crying boy. 

 

Slowly, Xander started to relax. 

 

"Wh..why are you being so nice to me?" Xander whispered.

 

"Honestly?  I have no idea." Angel smiled.  "When Cordy had that vision about you, I couldnt stand the thought of you being hurt, or dead.  I just want you to be ok."

 

"Cordy had a vision about me?  Why me?  Im not worth the trouble of a vision." 

 

"Yes, she had a vision about you and don't ever say you arent worth it. You are to me."  Angel said with strong command in his voice.

 

Xander opened his mouth to say something as Angel put his finger on his lips to still their movement.  

 

"Shhhh.  We will talk about this later.  Giles, Buffy, Willow and another girl are here, do you want to see them now?"

 

Xander's eyes filled with fear and his body instantly tensed when he thought about his friends seeing him like this. They would know what happened; know he was dirty and worthless.

 

Sensing his fear, Angel again started trying to calm the boy.  "It's ok, they dont know."

 

Xander looked up at him with confusion in his face.

 

"I told them you got attacked by vamps, they dont know the truth."

 

"But you know?"  Xander asked in a small, little boy voice.

 

"Yeah.  Dont worry, I will keep your secret.  I promise I will keep you safe."

 

"Th...Thanks, Deadboy."

 

Xanders body relaxed into Angels embrace.  "I can see them now.  Will you still be here?" 

 

"I'll never leave you, Xander."  With that, Angel leaned forward and pressed a tiny, chaste kiss on Xanders slightly parted lips.  Angel gave him a small smile and left the room in search of Xanders friends. 

 

 

 

Chapter 4

 

 

A couple hours later

 

Xander's eyes slowly fluttered closed as his friends talked around him.  Angel was the first to notice he had fallen asleep. 

 

"Guys.  Guys! Shh.  Xanders asleep again."

 

A short, chubby nurse came in to check Xander's vitals.  "I'm sorry but visiting hours ended quite some time ago.  Everyone must go now so he can heel properly."  Then as quickly as she came, she left, continuing her rounds.

 

"Someone should stay with him."  Giles said quietly, rubbing his already clean glasses.

 

"I will."  Angel said never taking his eyes off of the boy in the bed.

 

"Ar...Are you sure, Angel?  It will be daylight soon.  I'm sure Willow or Buffy would gladly stay with him.  No need to burden yourself."

 

"Xander is NOT a burden. I'm. Staying."  Angel glared at Giles with yellow tinged eyes.

 

The other occupants of the room looked at each other in confusion.  Willow took one look at Angel and knew that Xander would be safe with him.  She went to the large hospital windows and closed the thick blinds so the vampire would be safe from the morning sun.  Then Willow took her girlfriends hand in hers and quietly walked out of the room. 

 

"Come Buffy."  Giles said while gathering his slayer towards the door.

 

"But..." 

 

"No buts.  Xander will be fine.  We will come back tomorrow and see how he is doing."  Reaching the door, Giles turned back and glanced wondering at Angel and Xander.  With a shrug, he and Buffy left.

 

*****

 

Angel sat and watched Xander for hours.  Near dawn, he started to moan softly.  Angel rubbed circles on his hand, being careful of the IVs, trying to sooth the boy.  Xander jerked away from the touch, clinging to the other side of the bed and started to whimper pitifully.  Angel tried again to calm the boy, this time gently laying his hands on his back and whispering his name.  Xander curled into a ball and started crying. 

 

"Please.  No, Dad.  NO. I'll be good. Please."  He whispered repeatedly.

 

Angel needed to stop the boys nightmare. He did the only thing he could think of, he pinched the crying boy on the arm and yelled his name desperately.

 

Xander woke with a start.

 

"Wh...what happened?"  He looked up and saw Angel with concern and fear in his eyes.

 

"Angel?"  Xander threw himself into Angels arms and burrowed deep into his wide, inviting chest.  Loud sobbing erupted, soaking the front of Angels black shirt.

 

"Shhh, baby, its ok.  I'm here.  You're safe now.  Don't worry, I've got you.  I'll never let you go."

 

Angel sat next to Xander on the hospital bed and pulled the boy onto his lap.  He started a smooth rocking motion, back and forth.  He gently pushed Xander's sweat soaked hair off his forehead as he continued to whisper nonsense words in his ear.  Angel took Xander's face in his hands and kissed away the tears on his battered face.  Without thinking, he placed a soft kiss on Xander's mouth. Xander started to respond as his tongue hesitantly reached out and tasted Angel's lips.  As they kissed, Angel started to move his hands under Xanders hospital gown, being mindful the recent surgery and stitches.

 

"Always knew you were a fag. Never should have had you.  Always knew you were a piece of shit.  So you like it like it up the ass, huh?  Well then let me show you how a real man fucks."

 

"No Dad, please.  I'm not a fag.  I'm sorry.  Please."

 

"Don't lie to me, boy.  Lying only makes me have to punish you."  Strong hands ripped away his shirt.  

 

"NO.  Please, Dad, stop.  I'm sorry!"  Xander pulled away from Angels hands and started to cry.

 

"Fuck, I'm sorry Xander.  I shouldn't have done that.  Please...I'm sorry."

 

"Oh gods, whats wrong with me?"  The trembling boy whispered. 

 

Angel pulled him back into his arms and rocked him gently.

 

"Nothing, there is nothing wrong with you, Alexander LaVelle Harris.  Something very bad happened to you but that does not mean there is something wrong with you.  You just need to get better, physically and mentally before you can fully heal.  I would like to help you, Xander. I want to help you."

 

He pulled out of Angels arms slightly and asked in a trembling childs voice, "Why did you kiss me?  Do you want to hurt me like my dad did?"

 

"I want you, but not like that.  Never like that.  I will never hurt you.  I locare about you."  He said with fierce determination on his face.

 

Xander looked at him with big, watery eyes, "You care about me?"

 

Angel simply nodded. A grin lit up Xanders badly bruised face.

 

"I would like you to move back to L.A. with me."

 

"Really?  L.A.? Are you sure?  I don't want to be a problem."  Xander said hesitantly as he lost his smile.

 

"You are never a problem."  Angel leaned down and put a light kiss on the top of his nose.

 

"Ok."  Xander cuddled back into Angels chest and promptly fell asleep with a smile on his face.

 

*****

 

Chapter 5

 

 

"When can we go?  I've already been here four days.  I hate hospitals."  Xander whined to Angel, pulling on his sleeve. 

 

I dont know why this new relationship, or whatever it is, with Angel doesnt bother me.  Its just so new and different and I feel so safe when hes around.  Up until four days ago, I thought I hated him.  Now, I dont know what I feel really but I know it is not hate!  I love kissing him and having him hold me. Whoa, I need to stop the mind babble!

 

"We still have to tell you friends that you are coming to L.A.  I dont think they will be happy."

 

"Yeah, I know."  Xander's good mood started to falter.

 

"Dont worry.  Well tell them together.  I'll be right here."  Angel leaned down and kissed Xander gently on the lips.

 

The door to Xander's room opened and in walked Willow and Tara, followed by Giles and Buffy.  Xander and Angel jumped apart like they were electrocuted. 

 

Willow gave them a knowing look while Buffy just looked confused.

 

"Hey, Xan.  How ya doing?"  Willow walked over to the bed and gave him a peck on the forehead.  When she turned around, she walked over the corner where Angel had fled.  She looked him in the eyes and gave him a nod of approval.  Willow pulled Angel into a tight hug and whispered in his ear, "Take care of him." Then pulled away and walked back to Tara. 

 

"Whoa, Wills, what was that for?"  Buffy asked with mouth gaping like a fish.

 

"Oh, umm. I...I never thanked Angel for saving Xander from those vamps."    

 

Buffy seemed content with that explanation.

 

Xanders doctor, Dr. Freed, chose that moment to come in, pushing a wheelchair.  "Hello Xander, Angel.  How's the patient feeling today?"

 

"Good, real good.  Good enough to go home even."

 

"Well thats good to hear, Xander, because I think you are ready to go, but first we have to go over your medications and how to take care of your stitches."

 

"Finally, I can leave!  Well out with it doc, I wanna hit the road!"  Xander's mood instantly lifted and Angel came over to the bed and took Xander's hand in his.

 

"Settle down, Xander, you don't want to pull any stitches and be stuck here for even longer."  Dr. Freed said with a smile.  "Ok, now it is very important for you to take your pills as prescribed.  The Demerol is for pain.  Angel, he can only have 1 or 2 if he is in a lot of pain, every 4-6 hours.  The Trazodone is for sleep, I know you have been having some nightmares, which is understandable.  These pills will help.  The Compazine is for nausea and vomiting.  This you can take 3-4 times a day if needed.   Now, this last one is only a precaution.  Keflex is to be taken if your stitches become infected.  You can take it 4 times a day and it should make the infection go away.  I am going to give the bottles to Angel along with an information sheet.  Make sure you take them."

 

"Dont worry, Dr. Freed, Angel wont let me forget," He said with a smile.

 

"Good.  Now for your stitches.  You are healing very well and will only need the stitches for about 2 weeks.  Just come back here and we will take them out for you.  In the meanwhile, you need to keep them dry and watch for infection.  Signs of infection are swelling, tenderness, redness, heat, and drainage or pus.  If you see any of those things, take the Keflex. This is an antibiotic cream. He said, holding up a small tube.  This needs to be put on all of the stitches, including the ruptures.  It will help them heal properly.  Here are some extra gauze, tape, and alcohol.  Make sure you use them!  And here is your wheelchair."

 

Xanders smile deflated and Angel moved closer and started to rub his back with one hand.

 

"Don't worry, Xander, you wont be in it for long, just until some of the swelling on your back goes away and you can walk without too much pain."  Dr. Freed continued, now speaking to Angel, "He will need to use this to move around, make sure he does or else he could cause more damage to his back.  He will need help getting in and out of it but I am sure you will be able to handle that as well.  Now if there are no questions, I will have a nurse bring your papers and you can get out of here.  Good luck Xander."  With a smile to Angel, Dr. Freed left in search of a nurse.

 

"Hmm, that was weird; he just kept talking to Angel.  Oh, well.  Come on Xander, lets get you dressed."  Buffy turned to the small dresser and started pulling out clothes.

 

"Um, actually, I want to talk to you guys first."  Xanders grip tightened on Angels larger hand.

 

"Ok, go ahead but be speedy about it, I have class in 25 minutes and I still have to take you back to your parents house." 

 

Angel started to growl low in his throat at the mention of Xanders parents.

 

With a quick glance at Angel, he started.  "I'm not going back to my parents house, ever if I can help it.  I'm moving in with Angel in L.A.  He's going to help me until I can get back on my feet and find a place of my own."

 

"But what about us?  We can take care of you.  You can't just leave like this," Buffy whined.

 

"I'm sure you can do without the donut boy for awhile.  You're all busy with your own lives and I'm not going to ask you to drop everything just to take care of me.  L.A. is only 2 hours away, if you really need me, I'll be there.  I'm sorry, Buffy, but I need to do this."

 

"Why are you putting all this on Angel?  I'm sure he doesnt have time to play nursemaid to you," Buffy said with a sneer.

 

"Actually, Buffy, I'm the one that asked Xander to move in with me.  I feel he will be better taken care of by me."  Angel squeezed Xanders slightly shaking hand in reassurance, as he faced off to his ex-girlfriend. 

 

"Fine.  Bye, Xander.  Have fun with your new life," Buffy huffed as she stomped out of the room followed by a muttering Giles. 

 

Willow and Tara stepped forward.  "I think this is great, Xander."  Willow had a wide smile on her face.  "Tara and I will go back to your parents house and start packing your stuff.  I'm glad youre happy."  Tara just smiled at Xander and Angel as they left, holding each others hands. 

 

Angel turned back to Xander.  "Well, that didnt go too bad..."

 

Xanders eyes started to fill with tears as he started to shake.  Angel sat next to him on the bed and pulled him into his arms. 

 

"Its ok.  Giles and Buffy will come around.  They were probably just shocked.  It will get better."  Angel ran his hands over Xanders back as the boy started to calm down.

 

"I'm sorry Im such a cry baby, Angel."  He said, eyes downcast.

 

"You're not a crybaby.  You need to let it out.  Its ok.  Now, lets start getting you ready to go home."  Angel went to the dresser and picked up the clothes Buffy dropped; a pair of sweatpants and a big T-shirt.  He brought the clothes over to Xander and set them down on the bed.  Xander started to pull the shirt over his head as Angel put his unresponsive legs into the sweatpants and pulled them up, trying to ignore the impressive package Xander had nestled warmly between his legs.  Xander had a hard time getting his shirt over his head so Angel found him a button down shirt instead. 

 

"Thanks," Xander couldnt look Angel in the face, afraid he would die from embarrassment.

 

"No problem."  Angel put two fingers under Xander's chin and pulled his head up to look at him.  "Whats wrong?"

 

"Why do you want me to live with you?  I can't walk, I can't even dress myself."

 

"You were hurt very badly, you just need to heal.  I want you to live with me because I care a lot about you and dont want you to get hurt anymore.  I'd also enjoy the company.  Its lonely brooding all the time."  This pulled a small smile from Xander as he let go of a huge yawn.

 

"Go to sleep, I'll get everything ready to go."

 

"Angel, will you hold me?"

 

Angel smiled.  "Sure, scoot over."  Xander was pulled into strong arms and soon fell asleep.

 

Chapter 6

 

 

Angel and Xander arrived at Xanders parents house shortly after sundown to load his few meager possessions into Angels car.  They were greeted by the smiling faces of Willow and Tara as Angel carried Xander down to the basement.  Angel gently set Xander down on the ratty old couch.

 

Thanks, guys, you really didnt have to do this.  Xander looked around the small, dark room at the few-labeled boxes. 

 

Yes we did, we were happy to do it, too.  Willow smiled and kissed Xander on the cheek.  Well, we better go.  Good-bye, Xander.  Promise me we wont lose touch.  You have to call me every two days and write me a letter once a month.  Xander looked at her resolve face and knew he had no choice.

 

Ok, but you have to visit on weekends.  Willow pretended to think it over.  Deal.  She wrapped Xander in a hug and held on for all she was worth.  Take care of yourself.  Dont forget we love you, she whispered in his ear.  One more kiss on his bruised cheek and she pulled away, trying to hide the tears in her eyes.

 

G..Good-bye Xander, Tara squeezed his hand and walked back to Willow.

 

Now it was Angels turn.  Willow pulled him into a surprisingly strong hug.  Take care of him, she said, too low for anyone but the vampire to hear.  With a kiss to the cheek, she pulled away and wiped at her eyes.  We should really go now, before I start crying all over the place.  Bye.  With a wave from both Tara and Willow, they went into the night. 

 

Ill start loading the car.  Will you be alright here?

 

Yeah, Ill be fine.  Im kinda tired.

 

Lay down then and take a little nap, Ill wake you when its time to go.  Angel gently laid Xander back on the couch, took off his leather coat and put it across Xander.  He leaned down and placed a small kiss across the boys soft lips as Xanders eyes fluttered shut.

 

Angel moved around the room picking up as many boxes as he could and went out to the car to load them in the boot. 

 

What the fuck to you think youre doing here?  I thought I told you to leave.  Xanders father wobbled drunkenly down the stairs and toward his son.

 

DDad, Im sorry, I just came to pick up my stuff.  Im leaving.  He sat up the best he could.

 

Youre not taking anything.  You dont deserve to take any of my stuff, you piece of shit.  Now get the hell out!

 

Ok dad, I just have to wait for my friend to come back and then Ill go.

 

No, you will get your sorry ass off my couch and leave now.  He started moving towards his son.

 

DDad I cant.

 

Like hell.  Here let me help you.  Tony Harris grabbed him by the back of his neck and threw him off the couch.  There, did that help?

 

Xander landed on his stomach and slowly started to pull himself by his hands towards the door, his useless legs dragging behind.

 

What the hells your problem, boy?  You not understand me?  I said get out.  Tony Harris started kicking his son in the back and ribs. 

 

Xanders vision started to get blurry.  Angel, Angel, help me, he whispered before passing out from the pain.

 

Angel had finished loading the boxes into the car and started back towards the house when he heard Xanders whispered plea.  He broke into a run and slammed into Xanders father with full force, just as he was raising his foot to continue kicking his injured son.

 

Angel pounded Tony Harris with a flurry of punches and kicks.  He didnt stop until the man lost consciousness.  Angel picked up the bloody weight of Xanders father and threw him into a corner, making sure his head hit the wall.  Then he turned his attention back to Xander.  The boy lay in a puddle of his own blood.

 

Im sorry, Im sorry.  I shouldnt have left you alone.  Im so sorry.  Angel gently picked up Xanders unconscious form and cradled him to his chest.  He started to rock back and forth as thick blood tears ran down his cheeks.  Im sorry.  I love you and I let you get hurt again.  Im sorry. Never again, I swear.  I will protect you with my life.

 

You love me? asked the boy, barely hanging on to consciousness.   Angel looked down at the boy in his arms and saw complete understanding, trust and love in the deep brown eyes. 

 

Angel smiled and ran his fingers through Xanders hair.  Yes, I love you.

 

Ok.  Xander promptly passed out. 

 

TBC

 

 

Chapter 7

 

 

2 Hours Later:

 

Angel pulled up to his large, gothic hotel and parked in the underground garage just as the sun started to peak over the horizon.  Moving gently, he lifted  Xander and cradled the limp body to his chest.  He walked through the hotel and up to his room with careful steps, not wanting to cause the boy in his arms any more pain.   Pulling back the blood red satin sheets, he laid the softly stirring boy down. 

 

Angel sat next to the moaning boy and began stroking the hair off his sweaty forehead. Xander opened his eyes with a small whimper and big brown eyes filled with sadness and pain gazed up at Angel.   

 

Hurts.

 

I know, Ill make it feel better but I need to look at your back.  Angel helped Xander sit up then pulled a small but sharp knife out of his bedside drawer.  As soon as Xander saw the glint of steel, he pulled back in fright.

 

Im not going to hurt you.  Angel set the knife back on the table and started in a soothing voice, I just need to cut your shirt off so you dont have to lift your arms and hurt your ribs.  Ok?  I promise not to hurt you.  Angel leaned down and kissed him first on the lips and then on the forehead.

 

At Xanders small nod, Angel picked up the knife and started to gently cut away the shirt.  Having slit the front and sleeves, he started to pull the bloody shirt away from Xanders back.  With every inch that was revealed, Angels anger increased.  By the time the shirt was totally off, Angel had vamped.  He felt the need to kill something, to rip it limb from limb and listen as it begged for mercy.  Only Xanders whimpers of pain brought Angel back to himself. 

 

Shhh, I think a nice warm bath will make you feel better.  Then I can re-stitch those cuts.  Ok?

 

Xander gave a small, pained nod.  Angel went to the bathroom and turned on the water in the bath, testing the temperature on his wrist. 

 

Now how about that bath?  he asked when he reentered the room.  Without waiting for an answer, Angel picked Xander up and brought him into the bathroom, gently setting him down on the toilet seat.  Angel pulled Xanders blood tinged sweatpants down and off his legs.  Xander turned an interesting shade of red as he placed his hands over his crotch.

 

Angel, pretending not to notice, picked Xander up and placed him in the warm water.  Xander closed his eyes in enjoyment and let out a small sigh.  Angel turned of the tap and quickly stripped off his clothes.  While Xanders eyes were still closed, he gently got into the bathtub behind Xander.

 

Xander froze and the sent of fear rolled off him.  Wwhat are you doing?

 

I need to make sure your back gets clean and this is the easiest way to do it.

 

Ohok.  Fear still poured off the boy.

 

Angel lay his hands on Xanders shoulders, Whats wrong?

 

Inothing. 

 

You can tell me anything.  I will not laugh, I will not judge. Dont worry, you are safe here.  Concern, safety and love radiated from Angel, calming the boy a little.  Xander started to relax and leaned against Angels chest. Angels hands began to try to calm him with gentle movements, one hand combing through his dark brown hair and the other resting on his chest. 

 

Xander wrapped his arms around the hand on his chest and closed his eyes, knowing he was safe.  My ddad used to take baths with mehhe made me dostuff.  He alwaysIt hurt but he wouldnt stopI said no, he wouldnt listen  Xander got quieter with each word until he broke off into broken sobs. 

 

Angel pulled him up his body until he was laying on his chest.    He gently stroked Xanders side and neck as he murmured nonsensical words in the boys ear.  As he started to purr, Xander calmed and slipped into a relaxed sleep, feeling safe for the first time in a long time. 

 

Angel gently leaned Xander forward and braced him with one arm as he started to wash away the blood on his back.  He stood and lifted Xander into his arms and carried him to the bed, not caring about the water the dripped everywhere.  Laying Xander down, he began to towel the boy off, being extremely gentle around his ribs and back.  Once Xander was dry, Angel quickly dried himself and set about getting the supplies he would need for Xanders back.  Supplies gathered, he rolled Xander onto his stomach.  Grabbing a cotton ball and alcohol, he started to clean all the wounds.  Xander started to wake only to have Angel restart the purr and lull him back to sleep.  The next part was going to be the most difficult.  Threading the needle with the black thread, he bent over the boy and made his first stitch.  Xanders back twitched and a small moan escaped his lips but he did not wake.  Angel continued making small, precise stitches when Xander awoke in pain and started to cry.

 

Im sorry, I know it hurts but I need to do this before you get an infection.  Im almost done.  Can you hold on for a little while longer?

 

Xander nodded once and buried his head in the pillow.

 

Angel bent down and placed a gentle, loving kiss on the uninjured skin between his shoulder blades.  Then, using his vampiric speed, he quickly finished the rest of the stitches. 

 

Im done.  Im sorry I hurt you.  Angel leaned down and kissed each cut that he had just stitched.  Turning Xander over gently, he pulled him into a sitting position.  Seeing that Xander was crying, he pulled him back into his strong arms and kissed his tears away.  I think you will feel better after we wrap your ribs and take your pills, ok?

 

Xander looked up at Angel with unfathomable trust in his eyes, Ok.

 

Angel smiled a warm smile and quickly and tightly wrapped Xanders ribs.  Laying him back on the bed, he went to the large kitchen and grabbed a glass of water and the many pills for Xander, counting out the ones he needed then headed back to his room.  Swallow these and you will feel better soon.  Angel pulled Xander up a bit so he could drink the water.

 

Xander swallowed the pills with a grimace.  Thanks.

 

No problem.  Now get some sleep.  Angel pulled the covers over Xander and tucked him in, making sure he was comfortable.  Flicking off the bedside lamp, he started to leave the room.  The suddenly strong smell of fear stopped him.  He turned the light back on and looked down into the wide, frightened eyes.

 

Whats wrong?

 

Dont leave me Xanders eyes started to tear up and his chin started to shake.

 

Dont worry, Im not leaving.  Angel stood up and removed his clothes, revealing his marble-like body.  Sliding into bed next to Xander, he spooned in tight next to him.  Placing a chaste kiss at the nape of his neck he asked, Better?

 

Yes, thank you.

 

Angel listened as Xanders breathing evened out, signaling sleep.  Angel started to drift off when he heard the tiny whispered words, Why does he hate me?

 

Aww, baby, he doesnt hate you.  Im sure he loves you but maybe he just doesnt know how to show it.

 

No one loves me

 

I love you.

 

Why?

 

Lots of reasons. You are incredibly brave and will do anything for your friends, even sacrifice your own life if need be.  You have a wonderful sense of humor and the biggest smile that lights up any room.  Youre sexy.  Your eyes truly are the windows to your soul and you dont try to hide it.  You have had to deal with a life full of horrible things but you still go on and try to make the best of it, you survive.  You are a great person, you just need to learn to see that.  Angel pulled Xander tighter to him.  I love you.

 

Xander turned in Angels embrace so his head was lying on Angels chest.  Giving the hard chest beneath his lips a kiss he said, Is it true?

 

Yes, Xander, I will never lie to you.

 

Ok.  Xander snuggled into Angel and fell asleep, his gentle snores the only sound in the room. 

 

 

TBC

Fun, Fun, FUN!!