A Family of Fiends
Despite how girlie is seemed, times like these were some of Xander’s favourites. Laying, propped up by the absurdly coloured pillows the girls had given them last Christmas, on their oversized bed, his beautiful vampire curled to him. Neither quite sleeping, just listening and feeling the other’s presence. His left hand carded absently through the soft white-blonde hair of the head on his chest.
Xander smiled at the memory it conjured, and Spike smiled knowing precisely the thoughts running through his boy’s head.
It was the exact position they were in six months ago…
“What’ll happen when I die?”
“Huh? How’d I know? Don’t spend time ponderin’ the hereafter, do I.”
The boy rolled his eyes at his lover, “I didn’t mean in the great cosmic sense. I meant…” his voice trailed off, “never mind.”
“What, Sunshine? Wha’d’ya mean?” The vampire cooed and nuzzled his Claimed’s neck.
“What’ll you do? Will it,” the young man swallowed around the words he was attempting to get out, “…will it hurt you?”
With a growl Spike went from docile street cat to predatory jaguar, straddling the human and drilling him with his piercing blue gaze. “Course it’ll hurt me! Thought you understood that.”
A warm hand cupped the vampire’s porcelain cheek, “Spike, baby. I know you love me. I was talking about the Claim.”
The tension ebbed from Spike’s muscles and he brought his head down to scent and nuzzle the Claim mark, “Don’t know. Won’t matter though.”
The boy slid his arms around his vamp pulling him close, “Why’s that?”
“Lost the sun once, don’t fancy goin’ on without it again.”
It took Xander a scant second to follow the vampire’s meaning. “Spike? You can’t mean that.”
“Why not? Xander, I’ve walked this earth for almost a hundred and fifty years and you are the only thing in it that has made me feel whole, contented, and loved. ‘m not gonna spend another century and a half searchin’ for something that can never be replaced.” He raised his head to meet his boy’s warm chocolate eyes, “No. You go, I go,” the vamp smirked at the simplicity of it- nothing in his mortal or demon life had ever been so fundamentally basic and obvious.
Xander, on the other hand, couldn’t believe what he was hearing. How could Spike give up eternity for him? It didn’t make sense… well, actually it did. Spike always did everything to extremes, so why should it surprise him that his vampire loved that way, too. The young man sighed and shook his head, letting his head loll back into the pillows.
Watching his boy trustingly stretch and expose his neck, Spike did the only thing a self-respecting Master Vampire could do- nipped his Claim mark.
“You have nine new messages. First message:”
*bee-eep* “Next message:”
*bee-eep* “Next message:”
*bee-eep* “Next message:”
“Bloody hells, aren’t you ever there?!?”
*bee-eep* “Next message:”
“Oi, Peaches, stop with your self-flagellation long enough to answer the damn phone!”
*bee-eep* “Next message:”
“…be quicker to bloody well drive there at this rate.”
*bee-eep* “Next message:”
*bee-eep* “Next message:”
“…humph, course not…”
*bee-eep* “Next message:”
Angel gaped at the answering machine as if it had suddenly sprouted eye-stalks. It wasn’t like his Childe to be so civil towards him. He knew Spike had never truly forgiven him for leaving them, for becoming who he was now even if it had been forced on him, and what was more, Angel couldn’t really blame him. His Childe had needed him all those years ago and from the sound of things needed him now.
This time, he’d be there.
The bell over the shop door jangled causing the small group at the table to jump.
“Giles,” he nodded at Willow and Tara, “Where’s Spike?”
“In the back, sparring with Buffy. Is everything alright?”
The dark vamp moved past the Watcher-come-shopkeeper, “I don’t know, Giles; that’s what I came to find out.”
As Angel approached the training room, he could hear the rhythmic thwap-thump of two experienced fighters exchanging blows. Just before entering the room he picked up something else- a scent. A scent that confused and angered him. It was his Childe’s scent, only it wasn’t coming from his Childe.
Turning abruptly the vampire quickly located the source of the scent.
Xander sat beside one of the large chests, busying himself cleaning and sharpening the swords and axes inside, while he watched his best-friend and his lover fight. When he found himself jerked up and pinned to the wall, golden eyes that were most definitely not those of his vamp glaring at him, it was all Xander could do to suppress a yelp.
Across the room the two blondes had stopped exchanging punches, each having sensed in their own way the approach of the older vampire.
The moment his Xander’s heart rate shot up, before the first telltale hint of fear hit his nostrils, Spike was flying across the room.
The blonde vamp slammed into his Grandsire, heedless of the recently sharpened weapons the impact sent them careening towards. As soon as Angel was down, Spike was at Xander’s side. “Alright, pet?” The vampire’s cool hand brushed his mortal’s face.
The young man nodded, pressing his cheek to Spike’s palm.
“Buffy,” the dark vamp acknowledged extracting himself from the pile of weaponry.
“I’m guessing I really don’t want to know what just happened,” she half inquired, helping Angel up.
“Probably not,” he stated matter-of-factly, trying not to meet the young woman’s eyes.
“Dear Lord, is everyone alright?”
“Just a slight misunderstanding Rupert, nothing’ to polish your lenses over.”
Giles glanced from Spike, looking smug, to Xander, slightly more flustered than usual, to Angel, who bore the expression of a kicked puppy, or possibly the one caught kicking the puppy- it was so hard to tell sometimes, to Buffy, who just shrugged a shoulder having given up trying to understand anything about the relationship between the two vampires. “Yes,” unconvinced, “Perhaps we should give Angel and Spike some privacy.”
Xander and Buffy each cast questioning looks at their vamps.
Spike lovingly kissed Xander’s cheek whispering, “’s okay, Sunshine, you go with the Watcher. Need to talk to the Poof anyway.”
Angel merely nodded his compliance at Buffy.
Reluctantly, the breathing Scoobies allowed Giles to herd them out of the training room.
The moment his boy was safely inside the shop proper, Spike rounded on his Grandsire, pinning the older vampire to the wall. A sleek muscled forearm nearly crushing his windpipe. “You ever come at Xan like that again and Sire or no, I’ll remove your Neanderthal skull,” the blonde snarled in a frighteningly steady and steeled voice.
Angel didn’t fight his Grandchilde, given what he’d seen and scented since he arrived he was willing to admit- if only to himself- that he’d overreacted with the kid. “Got your messages,” he croaked through the pressure on his larynx.
As the meaning behind the dark vamp’s words hit him, Spike began to calm. Poncy bugger actually came ‘cause I called? Hmph. One of these years Poof’s gonna stop surprising me. Stepping away from the older vamp, Spike shook and lowered his head, “Why?”
Angel tentatively laid a hand on the blonde’s shoulder. “You sounded like you needed,” me, the elder vamp wanted to say but didn’t, “help.”
“And you thought attacking Xander was the way to help?”
“No. Of course not.” The broody vampire slouched, “It just surprised me. You bit him Spike, that means either he’s not human or the chip stopped working. What was I supposed to think?”
Letting out an annoyed chuckle, Spike pushed himself off the wall he’d been leaning on and began to pace as he spoke, “Oh, I don’t know, Peaches, maybe that Xan wanted the Claim as much as I did. And that because he wanted it the damn chip didn’t react!”
Blue ringed golden eyes glared at Angel.
“Yeah, well, meant what I said ‘bout Xander.”
“I know. Somehow, I think he’ll say the same about you.”
“You think so?” The blonde smirked at the idea of his boy telling Angel off- again.
Angel actually smiled, “Yeah.”
The two sat in silence for a moment calming their nerves and collecting their thoughts.
“Why did you call?”
Spike let out a deep unneeded breath, “Wanted to ask about the Bonding rites.”
“Spike, are you sure about this?” the older vamp was than a little shocked by his Childe’s inquiry.
“No. And yes. Hells, Angel, why’d you think I called?” Sighing heavily, “A few weeks back Xan asked what would happen to me when he died. Without thinking I told him the truth.”
“That it didn’t matter, that without him the world wasn’t worth being in- so I wouldn’t.”
Angel waited quietly for his Childe to continue.
“Got me thinkin’ about the Mating Lore.” He wanted to ask. He needed to ask. Hells it was the reason he called, the reason his Sire had come back to the ‘Dale. Steadying his nerves, Spike softly spoke, “Is it true? Will a Mated pair meet their Final Death together?”
“Will they?” Deep blue eyes wavered between pleading and anger.
He wanted to say no, he didn’t want his Childe to want this- it was a death sentence. But one look at his favoured Childe, at the hope and desperation in those crystalline eyes and he was answering truthfully, “A lot has to go right, but if the ritual is done properly, the Claim is being continually renewed, and blood regularly exchanged, then yes, it’s true.”
The look of absolute joy that spread over the younger vamp’s face erased any lingering protests Angel could have made. He knew that look and the emotions that went with it. He’d experienced it, and lost it. It was why he’d left Sunnydale, why he wouldn’t look into Buffy’s eyes. It was his penance. As much as he loathed the monster he was and the monster he’d made Spike into, he still cared for his boy and wouldn’t bring him that kind of pain. No matter how Angelus had beaten and tortured William, the boy’s loyalty and capacity for love never faded- something that Angel’s soul was eternally grateful for. If ever a demon deserved eternal love, it was his sweet William.
“Sire,” the blonde’s voice was soft, he knew what effect using the title would have on his Grandsire and that he would have Angel’s full attention, “if Xan agrees, will you do the rite?”
The dark vamp placed a paternal hand on Spike’s shoulder, “Ahhh, Will, if Xander agrees I’ll do it.”
“If Xander agrees to what you’ll do it?”
“Sunshine, thought you were waitin’ with the others.”
“Yeah, well someone had to check on you two. Buffy was ready to come in stakes-blazing.”
“Oi, we’re playin’ nice!”
A soft chuckle rippled through the air, surprisingly coming from Angel. “I think that’s the trouble, Spike.”
Xander’s rich laugh joined the vamp’s, “Mmmhmm, the lack of destruction and sounds of general mayhem are giving the girls major wiggins.”
Spike shook his head imagining the Slayer pacing and ranting, fidgeting with Mr. Pointy, while Rupert polished his glasses, trying to assure her that neither vamp would be dust anytime soon, and the Witches would be alternately freaking and calming themselves and Buffy down, or at least Red would, Tara was probably sitting there with that knowing look silently comforting her girlfriend. “Why don’t you go tell the birds everything’s okay, the Poof and I are just having a rare moment of civility.”
“I got a better idea,” the dark boy declared sidling up to his lover, “Why doesn’t Deadboy go reassure the girls and you can tell me what it is I’m agreeing to.”
Before the blonde could reply, Angel piped up, “He has a point, Spike.”
“’ey, not helping! Bloody Whelp’s already too big for his britches, don’t need you encouraging him,” Spike mock complained even as he wrapped an arm around the young man in question.
With an exaggerated eye-roll the elder vampire headed for the shop leaving the lovers to discuss their future.
As soon as Angel was gone, Xander turned to face his vamp, slipping his arms around the smaller frame and capturing him with an intense gaze. “Wanna tell me what that was about?”
Spike tilted his head back, eyes seeming to search the training room ceiling for answers he already knew. Then the blonde smirked, petting the mortal’s arms and shoulders, “Really didn’t want to do this here,” the vampire huffed. “Wanted it to be special.”
Smiling warmly at his lover, the young man asked, “Home?”
The key had yet to turn in the lock when a cool hand covered his, stopping him.
“Wanna do this right, Xan, so bear with me, yeah.”
Chocolate eyes full of love and trust smiled at the nervous vampire, the young man nodded, “Okay.”
Reluctantly, Spike let go of the boy’s hand, gesturing for him to continue.
Once inside with the front door securely locked, the blonde reclaimed his lover’s hand, pulling the warm body flush with his cooler one. Hands whose delicacy belayed their brute strength caressed Xander’s shoulders and cupped his face, “Join me in a nice soak?”
Xander often wondered if his lover realized that when his touch was so gentle, and his eyes seemingly devoured him and whispered the promises of dreams, he’d agree to climb into a vat of molten lava. As it was, the young mortal merely nodded.
Smiling, Spike lead his love toward the bathroom; calmly stripping their clothes as they went.
Inside the smaller room, Xander watched as Spike expertly adjusted the temperature and flow of the water to their oversized tub, adding a hint of Tara’s lotus/passion fruit oil to the mix.
When the tub was almost half-full, the scent of lotus tingeing the air, and a handful of candles lighting the bathroom with their warm glow, Spike reached out for his love’s hand. Stepping into the warm water he pulled Xander to him once again, allowing the young man to climb into the water as well.
Reverently, Spike ran his hands over the strong, tanned body before him- as always, in awe of the beauty and strength of his Sunshine. Looking at the young man like this, knowing what he’d endured and overcome, it took every bit of his will to hold back the words sitting on the tip of his tongue waiting to be released. The normally snarky vamp was for once afraid to open his mouth, he had an image of how this should go and as much as he might fight it, he was a romantic and no amount of death and mayhem would change that.
Smoothly he sank into the water, bringing the mortal with him, until they were seated, Spike reclining against the back of the tub with Xander fitting snugly against his chest.
“I want you, Xander, for as much of eternity as we can have.”
Xander turned in the vampire’s embrace, “Spi-”
“Shh, not talking about turning you, pet. You’re my Sunshine, all warmth and vitality.”
Smiling and nodding his understanding, the young man rested his cheek against Spike’s chest.
The vampire ran his pale fingers through his mortal’s water blackened hair, “There’s a ritual.”
“For the Mating of two individuals. They become connected.”
“Like the Claim?”
“That’s part of it, but it’s much more. Their lives, their thoughts, their emotions are joined. It’s a bond that can only be broken by death.”
Warm fingers stroked and played over Spike’s impossibly smooth chest, “That why Deadboy’s here?”
“Yeah. Wanted to ask ‘im about the ritual, but he was off saving the world or gelling his hair. Guess he got worried…”
“So this ritual, that what you wanted to ask me about? ‘cause you oughta know my answer.”
“There’s more to it, Xan. A Mated pair are linked physically and emotionally. When one hurts the other knows it, can even feel it if the bond is strong enough. Also means that if one dies the other will, too.”
Splashing water as he tried to sit up, Xander could barely contain his rage, “What the hells were you thinking! No Spike, the answer’s NO!”
“Xan,” the blonde reached out trying to steady his lover, only to have the dark boy flinch away from him.
Xander’s sudden movement caused him to lose his precarious balance in the slick tub.
Instantly, Spike had his arms around the human, holding and steadying him. “Xander, Sunshine, listen to me, yeah. You know how the Claim and m’ blood help you heal.”
The young man nodded, still angry, but trying to listen.
“Well, the Bond takes it that much further. Not saying ya won’t die, but it won’t be from old age.”
Beautiful, coffee-brown eyes stared up at him in amazement.
“Like I said, I want you, Alexander Lavelle Harris, for as much of eternity as I can.”
“You’re not planning on going all dusty on me anytime soon, right?” The dark boy asked, a faux glint of mistrust in his eyes.
Smirking, “No, pet, not planning on it for the foreseeable future.”
Xander relaxed, allowing the vampire to once again arrange them comfortably in the tub. Snuggling back into his vampire’s chest, the young man’s voice, smooth and sweet as melted chocolate uttered the sweetest words the blonde had ever hoped to hear, “I love you, Spike. And yes.”
The room they stood in was nothing short of opulent. Its rich burgundy and amber hues accentuated by the flickering lamplight. The room had been stripped of it’s furnishings save for the large velvet draped bed in the centre. Surrounding the bed were three concentric circles. The outermost was drawn in white chalk with four large white pillar candles at the Corners. The middle circle was some sore of fine sand or ash with pure black candles at the cardinal points, as well as smaller evenly placed candles between those points. Finally, the innermost circle was drawn in blood- a mixture of Spike’s and Xander’s blood; and the candles that stood at these inner Watchtowers, guarding, ready to summon and guide were infused with the same blood mixture, giving the impression that the wax was in a constant otherworldly flux of burnt umbers and blood reds.
Stepping up behind the couple, Angel asked in a tone that was surprisingly more pleased than smug, “What do you think?”
“You’ve outdone yourself, Peaches,” the blonde admitted.
“It’s amazing,” the awe apparent in the young mortal’s words and expression.
Angel smiled warmly- it was a very incongruous look for the normally broody vamp. “We can start whenever you’re ready.”
Instinctively, the mortal’s and vampire’s fingers twined reassuringly together. This was it. It wasn’t just tomorrow, or eternity; it was the rest of their lives, together, as one- there would be no parting, by death or otherwise.
As if by unspoken agreement, the two men stepped forward and made their way to the bed. Stopping short, Spike pulled his dark love to face him, but before he could speak, Xander informed him, “Don’t even ask.”
Spike quirked an eyebrow.
Xander glared at the snarky vamp for a brief moment before deciding that kissing him would shut them both up- so he did.
By the time Xander was able to come up for air, Spike had managed to arrange their clothing on, over, and around the bed, rather than on them. They were so immersed in the intricate exploration of each other’s bodies that they missed the rhythmic chanting of Angel calling the Corners, asking for protection, power, and serenity as he closed the first circle. Nor did they notice when the dark vamp called on the powers of the planes for blessings of desire, faithfulness, honour, trust, and unity before closing the second circle. When Angel came to the third and final circle the power and energy in the room seemed to be a physical thing, waiting to be shaped and molded- directed to its task.
On the bed, the lover’s writhed and moaned, gasping their love and passion. As Spike tenderly prepared his young lover, Angel set-up the final stages of the ritual- speaking, then lighting each candle in turn, he found himself mesmerized by the growing iridescent glow as blood, wax, power, and magic converged. Just as Angel lit the last candle, he heard his Childe’s love plead, “Please, Spike, please… now- need you.”
The blonde vampire lovingly shh’d and cooed to his boy as he aligned himself with his Mate’s entrance, pressing forward slowly, until he was balls deep inside his precious Sunshine.
Foreheads rubbed, noses bumped, teeth clashed, tongues twined, and bodies rocked.
The blood infused candles seemed to burn from the inside as the lover’s own heat and passion increased. A blue-white glow spreading from candle to candle, travelling and connecting along the blood of the circle.
Power laden blood began filling their mouths, while the glowing energy of the circle created a dome around them.
The white candles flared brightly, lightning streaking between them and to their black counterparts. As the flow of energy from the outer ring of candles tapered off, the conductivity between the black ones increased. Until they too erupted with untold energy. Tendrils of prismatic fire poured into the copper candles, making the air inside seem heavy and static charged.
The world itself could’ve been crashing down around them and they would never have noticed. The only thing that existed for each man was the other. Spike’s universe was Xander, his Sunshine- there was nothing and no one else that mattered; just as the only thing in Xander’s world was Spike, his heart and his saviour- there was no past, present, or future, only Spike.
As one, two throats swallowed. Two bodies thrust together and slid apart. Two sets of teeth sank even deeper into flesh. And two lovers were impaled by bolts of primal energy sprouting from the surrounding dome and suffusing them with the amalgamation of their emotions and psyches- literally, making them one. As the last of the Rite’s energies filled their bodies, both man and vamp convulsed in pleasure, clinging to each other as the most powerful orgasms either had experienced ripped through their bodies.
So yeah, it might be girlie, but six months ago one them would be left alone, and now there would be no alone for either of them.
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