Never Bite The Hand That Feeds You

by Adalisa
Fourth in the Xander/Puppy series

Puppy was feeling different.

Ever since the night when Xander let him share his bed, when his master had told him that he loved him, the vampire had felt the change. He could not exactly pinpoint exactly what had changed, but that didn't mean there wasn't a difference. A difference that had grown in the past 2 weeks.

He felt incredibly good with himself, for starters. In the other hand, the whole Scooby Gang was starting to get on his nerves. It wasn't long before he decided that he hated them all, especially the girls.

It had been so long since he felt that way, that he hadn't noted it until he had found himself wondering how sweet would Willow's blood taste, how wonderful would it be to hear her neck snap... what a great ironic revenge would be to see her cry for mercy after all the torture she had made him endure in the other world. Then he had recognized himself. And that had made him feel much better.

But he didn't made any moves, to his own surprise. Because, after all, he knew he was strong. He could take on all the Scooby Gang and his counterpart, and kill them all with no effort.

Only that that wouldn't please Xander.

And for some strange reason he could phantom, that didn't annoyed him. The firm knowledge that he could not do anything that hurt Xander should have him angry, willing to destroy the mortal teenager. But it didn't. He only questioned his master's real strength, never the fact that in his mind, he still called the boy 'master'.

Perhaps it was time to change that. He had to make sure that his master was really as strong as he believed, and not another weak mortal. He couldn't bow to a mortal unless that mortal was stronger than himself. But to test Xander's strength... Puppy couldn't make himself to do that. He kept thinking on how to do it, in doing it, but when they were alone, where no one could step in to help his master... he couldn't do it.

Not yet.

Not with the image of Xander's bloody figure, chained in front of Faith, still grinning and refusing to give up so fresh in his mind.

* * *

It was four in the morning and the Scooby Gang was meeting in the library for a very important research. They needed to find as much information as they could in the Ascension rituals and time was no longer an affordable luxury.

But after five hours of staring at books describing all possible and imaginable forms of torture, Puppy was getting restless.

He had ate a little blood in Xander's house, and when his master was not looking, drained a stray cat, just for the pleasure of feeling a life end under his fangs. He was almost ready to put his plan in action, and in a way, he didn't want to spoil his appetite.

Of course, the only bad thing was that so little blood was not nearly enough.

Not when Willow, the focus of most of his hate, was quietly reading a few meters away from his seat.

Risking a glance at Xander, who seemed deeply immersed in a huge book, Puppy rose from his seat, to search something in the back shelves. More accurately, to find his self control and restrain. He didn't want to act weak anymore. He knew he was no longer weak and pathetic. But the very vivid memories of Xander's cruel tortures in his own timeline, Xander's cold stares as a vampire made him angry. He knew this Xander wasn't the one who would hold a cross against a minion's throat, ignoring his own pain just to mark a lesson, the one who had snapped many necks in a attack of boredom. The one who made Willow grovel and beg for forgiveness., the one who all vampires except for the Master feared... But Puppy also knew that past a certain limit, this human Xander could become all that his vampirc master was.

After all, they were the same being.

And now, Puppy only wanted to find that limit... but he also dreaded the moment in which it would happen.

"Puppy..." Willow cheerfully annoying voice threw Puppy out of his thoughts. They were in the back of the library, where no one could see them. Where _Xander_ couldn't see them. "Can you give me..."

With an amazing speed, Puppy grabbed Willow's wrist and pinned her against the wall, digging his fingers in her flesh, his face morphing angrily. "I have a name." He growled, feeling the scared beat of the girl's pulse. "And you're going to learn it..."

"Let her go." The stern, unflattering tone made both turn to see Xander, cross in hand. "You know the rules, Angel. Let her go _now_."

For an instant, Puppy wanted to comply. The nearness of the cross was making him dizzy, coupled with the lack of food. But then he regained his hold. Xander was bluffing. This Xander would never hurt him. This Xander loved him. "No. I'm bored, and I don't see why you're the only one who can play."

Xander looked at him, startled, before lowering the cross. Puppy smirked. He had been right... there were no limits to what his master would allow him to do, as long as his master where human...

A burning pain crossed his face, and then he felt himself falling down. When he could open his eyes, he saw Xander holding Willow, the smoking cross in his hand.

His Master had used the cross to hit him. To punish him. "We're going home now." Xander turned around, still protecting Willow with his body, not waiting for Puppy to react.

* * *

The walk to the Harris' house was shorter than Puppy had expected, and he used the time to think. Usually they would have used Xander's uncle's car, but Xander had coldly stated that he would take Willow to her house, and that Puppy had to get home alone. That he must be there waiting by the time Xander got there or the doors would be forever closed.

The vampire had complied. Apparently, he had reached the limit for the mortal's rules.

That had an easy solution, in Puppy's mind. It was time to get his immortal master back.

* * *

Xander stopped at his door, fumbling with the keys. Willow had practically begged him to stay at her house, but he hadn't listen.

It was time to deal with Angel.

His heart cringed at the thought. Long ago he had promised himself that he would never do anything that could be seen as punishment. But his mind was set. If Angel was going to attack his friends, the vampire couldn't be trusted.

It was time for a lesson.

The sun was starting to show it's light, very softly in the view line.

* * *

"Get out of the bed." Puppy turned to see Xander standing in the doorway of their shared bedroom. The mortal seemed very tired.

**I will be glad to change that forever** Puppy thought, and meekly sat in the bed. "I thought you wanted me to wait for you." His voice was almost too innocent.

"Get out!!" Xander yelled, his fist trembling at his side. It was as if he was trying to control himself... And Puppy bite the inside of his checks, to restrain a grin. It was hardly appropriate given the circumstances. But it was so good to see a shadow of his former master in this world. To see his master near the edge. Lowering his head, he obeyed, starting to walk outside of the bedroom as he waited for the perfect moment to strike. "Go to the attic. I'll be there shortly."

This time, Puppy didn't held back the grin, although Xander missed it. To bring his master back, while he was shaking with anger, would cause the vampire to regain his full past glory. And probably would want to start with the most pleasurable prizes.

Puppy couldn't wait.

* * *

The attic was in total darkness, perfect for Puppy's plans. The anti UV-windows were covered in curtains, firmly in place keeping the sunlight away.

Xander walked in a few moments later, closing the door behind him. Puppy grinned inwardly as he saw this. Xander was putting himself in his hands. It was going to be sweet, to taste his beloved master's life, to give his own blood so the strong being he remembered could return. "Why did you attacked her?" Xander asked, his voice neutral, his eyes hooded. "What are you trying to prove?"

Puppy smiled widely, showing a gleam of amusement in his eyes. It was time. "I told you, I was bored." As Xander didn't move, the vampire walked towards him, touching the very inviting neck of his mortal master. "I wanted to make you proud of me."

Puppy almost whispered the last words, his courage building as he felt Xander shiver. The sound of the boy's pulse drowning everything else. "By torturing my friends? That will only make me hate you." This time, the mortal's voice flickered. It was close to anger.

"I can remember when torturing them was your greatest pleasure."

"What?!" Xander looked at Puppy's eyes, startled.

"I miss those times, Master." Puppy changed to game face, showing his fangs in a grin. He felt in complete control of the situation. "I want them back."

The vampire leaned closer, ready for the sweet bite. Xander was so still, that for a moment the immortal being believed that it would be too easy, that his beloved master wanted the change as much as he did. But then Xander reacted to his words, landing a direct strike to the vampire stomach, followed by his elbow connecting with his head, forcing Puppy to stumble back, almost falling to the floor. In normal circumstances Xander wouldn't have had a real chance against the super-natural strength of the vampire, but Puppy hadn't eaten properly and he still resisted to use his full strength against the human. After all, he loved his master... and he never really expected Xander to strike him. Xander loved him... or at least, cared for him. Xander had never hit him without a real good reason.

"Is this what you want?!" Xander asked, walking towards him with the leg of a chair in his hand. "You want me to beat you and make you beg for your life in pain?!"

As he spoke, he raised the chair leg using it as a club against the vampire's ribs, breaking the wood to pieces, forcing Puppy to finally fall. Half dazed, Puppy looked at Xander's face, finding only anger shadowed with traces of doubt and sadness.

"I..." his voice trailed. Suddenly, he was no longer sure of what he was doing. It had been too long since Puppy was himself, so long that not even him was confident enough to use his real name, and the memories of his pain at the others vampire's hands was firmly engraved in his mind. All together with the cold caresses and kindness that Xander had always shown him, both in this world and in the Master's realm. Physical pain had only been the ultimate punishment.

A punishment that Puppy had foolishly earned now.

"You want me to become a sadistic bastard?!" Xander yelled, not waiting for a real answer, kicking Puppy's side again, before leaning to grab a fistful of hair. "It isn't that hard." With those words, he banged Puppy's head against the floor, making him bleed, picking something from the dusty floor. "I can be cruel too." This time, Xander's voice dropped low, as he turned around throwing what he had in his hand against the nearest window, letting the deadly sunlight in. Then the mortal looked at the shivering vampire, smiling as Puppy tried to escape from the light. "I enjoy it."

Puppy winced in horror. Despite the fact that the being standing in front of him was human, the voice, the movements, the very core of him were those of his vampiric master. In a way, his wish had come true. But now he was cowering, sure that his master's next blow would be fatal.

The blow didn't come.

Xander kneeled down, light showering his silhouette, grabbing Puppy's wrist to force him to look straight into his eyes.

"New rules, Angel." He said, and Puppy half expected him to change into a vampire visage. "Never tease me again." The teenager pulled the vampire's hand harder, so it touched the beam of light, smiling as smoke began to gather. "Next time, I won't be so kind."

Then he was gone, leaving behind a trembling vampire, cowering in a dark corner, trying to hid from the advancing sunlight.

* * *

Xander left the house, breathing hard. He was tired, and he wanted to sleep, but after what had happened... He felt tears in his eyes and walked faster. Angel couldn't see him cry.

When he reached a park three blocks away from his house, he collapsed in a bench, letting the tears flow freely from his body. Everything hurt. His arms hurt, his legs hurt, his heart hurt... but the worst part of it was that, deep down, he had enjoyed it.

In the most hidden part of his soul, the small part that had been rejected by him ever since the day when he burned Willow's Barbie's head just to make her cry, he had been more than happy to see Angel cover from his blows.

A stray dog whined near him, and Xander patted it, thankful that someone saw that he needed comfort. He had always felt more at ease with animals, as opposed to people... people always seemed to bring out his cruel nature.

As Angel had just done.

The dog began licking his face, and Xander couldn't stop himself from hugging it, crying openly.

Against his best wishes, against his own heart, he had hurt Angel. Just as his other self had done in the hellish alternative timeline, proving that after all his doppelganger and himself were just the same.

* * *

As daylight advanced inside the desert attic, Puppy cornered himself in the farthest, darkest corner, not sure if he could survive to see the next night.

Not sure if he deserved to live.

He was furious with himself for being so weak, as pathetic as the countless victims that he had killed across Europe... But even so, even when he knew that he could easily bring a reign off terror in Sunnydale and he wanted to do so... He was terrified and broken.

He feared that he had lost his beloved master.

He was broken because he knew that it had been his fault. As the wounds inflicted by the mortal began to heal slowly, he let his mind drift to Drusilla, the young woman that he had driven mad, who had loved him. The girl who would have died if he had commanded it. Now he was just like her, only that he hadn't gone mad. He was very aware of who he was, and where he was.

He was Angelus, slave of Xander.

And he would do anything in order to regain his master's love and trust.