NB: Sixth part in the Five Gold Rings canon
Rating: Mature Audiences – for content and themes
Summary: Spike (High Master) and Xander (Esteemed Consort) rule the European Court, but when the pure bred brother arrives with the Immortal, and external threats are thrown in, family becomes the priority.
Spoilers: Canon is Post S7 BtVS and S5 AtS.
Warnings: M/M – if you don’t like boys together, don’t play here!
Disclaimer: Don’t own the characters nor make any money from stories etc, and bow down to their original creators Joss, et al., plus all the wonderful online writers who continue to give the Buffy/Angel verse characters life.
Xander woke slowly rolling into his Sire again and rejoicing as his Sire offered his wrist to the fledge, latched onto his neck, then hauled one leg up slicked his Consort thoroughly and entered him to the great joy of them both.
This time they had left the familial link open and both Anton and Connor felt the joy.
They had experienced Xander’s rising through the strong familial link and both Connor and Anton detected the difference between the newly risen vampire and the live Xander. A profound difference. Xander was now truly one of the Aurelian line.
What stunned both Anton and Connor was watching with amazement as Spike and his new mated Childe came onto the sunbathed balcony to join their Sire (now Xander’s Grandsire) and the full blood (very bizarrely both Xander’s inlaw brother and now apparently some sort of uncle by blood!).
Anton rose and moved toward the hand in hand Sire and Childe in wonder, Connor too stood and began to move. All ended on their knees hugging and touching and exchanging blood… on their knees *in the sunshine*.
Spike allowed his tears flow and Anton’s loving hug enveloped him, “Thank you Sire… thank you… Your prayers did this… We… We have the sun! And Xan…”
Anton held on to his Childe and smiled. His William was stunningly beautiful bathed in the afternoon light, his pale skin and long blonde locks framing stunning features, and piercing blue eyes matching the color of the sky (though admittedly marred at the moment by tears). “I am so grateful to my mistress Artemis and to the Powers, and so happy for you, my darling William. You deserve at least this… you *deserve* the gift of the sun.” He kissed Spike on the forehead and the hugging began anew.
Connor was the one to break the mood, pulling away from Xander’s hold a little and smiling then simply saying, “C’mon let’s take the fledge for a run.”
It was the perfect salve. Running shoes were swiftly donned and in the late afternoon the four sprinted the full length and breadth of the property. Xander’s demon rose with the excitement of the chase and he was amazed at his new speed and lack of need to breathe. He did not realize until later that he had been in gameface as he ran, but did know he ran with family, as they all reveled in the impromptu exercise.
For all his unique strength and that of the family group, Xander’s demon was still but a day old. Their return to the home saw him consume two bags of warmed human blood without slowing, then, seated with his (now even Connor) elders he relinquished all pride and accepted his Sire’s chest once more, accepting the hug and suckling like the youngster his demon really was. He felt utterly complete - loved on the most profound level. He had felt loved as Consort… and perfectly content. But now! Sire was Mate and Master. Sire had made him so strong and Grandsire and the Full blood uncle had fed him.
An odd thought occurred as he fell gradually asleep in Spike’s lap, listening to family talk. Angel was now a relative in the true sense. His demon now flowed through Xander. He knew it literally on a visceral level. He felt sad for his Sire, the pain of losing family still raw enough to feel through the link… He fed again a little and drifted off in his darling Sire’s arms.
The news of Xander’s turning and the reason, had spread like wildfire through the European clans. And now the Consort had risen, Spike quickly called a meeting of the clans loyal to him, also sending word to the other demon nations, the European covens and Watcher’s council.
This time as the ruling couple of *vampires* descended the stairs flanked by Anton and Connor, to greet their guests on the traditional social evening of the first night, the power flowing from the four was completely overwhelming, thrilling and wonderful but beyond comprehension for those present. Regardless of age or status, every vampire was in awe of the four.
Xander knew he was a fledge but in this room and felt utterly different to when simply in the presence of family. As a group, the four now embodied a strength and leadership that every demon and magical being of the Court would defer to. His demon felt it. He was now the youngest Aurelian, the Esteemed Consort and newly turned Childe, and he squeezed his Sire’s hand hard as he struggled (successfully to the immensely pleased Spike) to keep his game face quelled even given the emotion of the moment.
The whole room had silenced the instant they descended the last stair, and even Anton was surprised as, without exception and as though on command, every guest fell to their knees and offered their necks. Even Minna who had been comfortably seated, pushed off and knelt.
None were taken, but the High Master took the time to stroke over the mark on every one, thanking each vampire and demon for their loyalty and accepting the offer for what it was, and what it meant.
Following their ‘walkabout’ amongst their Court members, his Sire took his hand and squeezed it in a small sign of pride and Xander worried for a moment that he might burst with joy. But there were bigger things afoot. They needed to address the clans and to continue their work… and Connor’s parents were due in three days.
Once everyone settled Anton began proceedings then Spike addressed the group. Though standing in his usual black leather, he looked different to all present. The slightly sun touched skin left none in the room doubting. They were in the presence of something different from before.
“I ask you, brothers and sisters, in this meeting… grieve with me for the heartless murder of our dear Esteemed Consort, my partner in all things, my lover, my all!...” For the first time in a public forum Spike began to breathe in an attempt to calm grief that was still raw, “We exist in difficult times. And the forces that killed my Consort…”
All in the room felt the flow of pain. Anton and Connor stood and pushed their bodies to contact the High Master as he reached for his new Childe and the four stood together as one, “The forces that killed the Esteemed Consort of this Court have erred. We are all now graced by an Esteemed Consort, who is now my mated Childe, and has been blessed by the Powers and the Sire’s Goddess Artemis herself.”
It was to be no normal meeting. In a show of vampiric speed and power, Spike took his Childe’s throat in the presence of all. As Xander’s claim mark was opened with a savage bite in front of the entire Court, even Anton gasped. And for some reason, the instant Xander reciprocated the bite, taking of his Sire’s wrist, the ripple through the magical fabric was so extraordinary that vampires who had considered themselves impervious to their old human emotions were moved to tears. Blood was exchanged by delegates throughout the room in a sign of unprecedented solidarity, and the ruling couple continued to hold their loving embrace.
As others calmed, they noticed Anton and Connor were in a father-son embrace, tears streaming down faces that looked of similar age and yet so… not. They assumed the full blood was taking solace of his adoptive Sire. If only they had known. The fact was that Anton was taking comfort from Connor, not the other way around. Held in the arms of what was now his true family, Anton allowed himself to grieve for all those he had loved and lost, and gave thanks to his dear goddess for her gift… his boys.
She heard him and smiled.
Eventually the room calmed and the meeting continued, all present not failing to notice the young fledge fall into game face several times, quietly taking proffered wrists from Spike, Anton and Connor during the meeting. They all understood, though the bond and the circumstances were unique, and the magic unbelievably strong, the demon was still effectively a newborn. All were sympathetic to the situation and were in awe of the now undead Consort as he slipped from new-risen feeding back to his usual ruling role without missing a beat. Indeed many in the room gasped as the Consort shifted seamlessly from needy fledge to capable leader, since all knew that normally Childer spent months, if not years, utterly reliant upon their Sire to guide them in all things, to learn the vampiric laws and ways and very gradually build their strength. The Mated Consort now Blessed Childe was obviously very, very different.
In the break in proceedings, Xander proved as confident, capable and charming as ever, chatting with the clan leaders and their assistants just as easily as he had always done, almost as though nothing had changed. But everything had. This was a High Master’s Consort turned and blessed, and that made him a Master in his own right *instantly*.
As they returned to the meeting room, clan leader after Clan leader approached the ruling group and proffered their necks, re-pledged their fealty to their High Master William and the House of Aurelius, and were rewarded by a cursory bite and reciprocal offering from one of the four. It was reassuring for all, but as Minna, Anna and Tatyana approached, it was different.
They were closer to the ruling group than any other vampire leaders in the room, and had borne witness to Connor’s distress after Xander had been shot and turned. They had also been graciously and generously treated by the Consort in every situation and seen the amazing strength of their two rulers, thrilled by what they had become.
Minna was humbled as first Spike then his Childe and finally Connor all offered her a blood exchange. Graciously they also took and gave tiny amounts from Anna and Tatyana also.
The meeting reconvened, and encouraging reports regards the child abductions, attempts to put healing drugs where they were needed, and improved weather conditions, were conveyed.
The Tunisian facility was a great success, and although the European Court could not mandate the installation of such facilities in all regions, they could at least use it as a model.
Several new strategies were proposed, one including the now well established Youth Network that spanned the globe via an organization (TiG.com) and had worked tirelessly to fund and encourage young people from every nation to participate in their countries’ decision making committees.
In the end, the meeting was dismissed with (of all things!) a prayer of thanks to the Powers that Be and to Artemis for all in the room and their efforts in their regions.
The ripple of hope met its mark – but was also heard by a certain outcast Senior Partner of Wolfram and Hart. He immediately rang Lilah – she had failed him yet again.