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.
The announcement of the birth of another Full Blood boy to the Aurelian Court spread like wildfire. The worldwide vampire network was ecstatic with the news and all sort of rumors of the conception and the origins of Helle and the history of Connor… But all were reverent as the High Master of Europe and Consort, along with their Sire, his partner - the oldest *Slayer* in the world(!), and the now elected Global head of all the wiccan groups Mistress Willow, presented the tiny Full Blood, Liam.
After the first night Helle, Connor and the ruling family had all struggled, the little lad just would not settle, clamping down so hard on Helle’s nipples with his gums that she had to pry him off with her finger whilst sobbing in pain. Anton and the ruling couple felt the angst through the familial link as Connor tried to comfort mother and child, licked over the painful area and offered her his own blood. Both would speed her healing but the abused nipple was already raw from the inefficient suckling of a newborn. The bruise would be evident for almost a week.
Anton (as ever the Sire figure) suggested that the problem was that the child… indeed a full blood Childe… needed more than Mother’s milk. Helle immediately offered her wrist to her partner, Connor opened a vein as gently as he could. Their upset son latched on and immediately calmed. Connor opened his own wrist shortly after and the little lad settled and slept, mother’s milk and family blood, the perfect combination.
In the following days, the baby Aurelian took sips from all his senior relatives, oblivious to the status of the vampires from whom he took. Helle continued to feed him at breast but now he was calm, and certainly had not bitten her since.
The little lad was the focus of the house for a time but eventually the day to day matters of the Court saw Anton return home, and Spike and Xander required in other areas. Connor too was asked to travel north yet again. And it was not just Helle that was worried, so was surprised, humbled and relieved that two days later, on the eve of her partner’s departure, The High Wiccan Willow arrived along with the Wiccan Stephanie who – as she had learned – had been an absolutely brilliant nanny and stalwart during the ‘small boy period’ of the Ruling Couple.
Willow had not seen Xander since his turning, but had prepared herself as best she could for the change. She knew he still maintained his soul, and that sunlight was now safe for the entire ruling group, but she had not expected what she met at the door of the Aurelian home. Xander seemed to have grown two inches, and lost ten years! He stood tall at his Sire’s right hand, grinning in a way she had not seen since they were in high school together. She saw him squeeze Spike’s hand before he rushed forward to be accepted into a hug and spun his long time friend.
Willow gasped as she felt the strength of his magical signature. His demon had the strength of a Master – that was obvious – but there was more. When Spike too, embraced her, she felt the change in him also.
Later that night, after learning of the couple’s ability to walk in the sun, she tried to identify the exact difference in the auras. She wished for Tara yet again, she would have known. Years on, there was still no-one who could replace her as far as the now white haired Willow was concerned.
Stephanie and Willow’s role was to protect Helle and tiny Liam in the absence of the ruling group. It was just a matter of time before some group with a grudge, or the infamous Lilah, would make a grab for the child.
Helle woke and rose instantly as the High Wiccan entered the nursery. She had been feeding little Liam but the tiny boy had fallen off the nipple as both mother and child drifted into a light sleep. She instantly cradled Liam to her breast and she slid to her knees in front of the Mistress Willow. The little boy squeaked his protest as he felt the shift from his comfortable position.
Willow was overwhelmed by the gesture. The woman was now one of the most important wiccans on the planet – the Consort of Connor and the mother of the first progeny of a full blood vampire for over two thousand years. Willow knelt in front of the pretty woman and kissed her on the forehead. “It is I that should kneel to you, dear Helle. You are the mother of a true miracle, and the Consort of another. Be at peace. We all felt it. Our Lady Gaia rejoiced and has blessed your union and your son.”
Helle looked up gratefully then held up her son to the Mistress. Willow took the little lad and cradled him in her arms, then suddenly understood. His signature felt like Xander’s, and Spike’s and… the entire family were now bound and protected like no other. She felt her own Mother Gaia, but more there were signals she had never felt before entering the household.
When the little lad began to squirm, she remembered that the tiny full blood needed the same reassurance as a young fledge. She pulled out an earring and stabbed her ring finger. Liam latched on immediately, suckled and settled. Helle looked rather apologetic, “Sorry, he just seems to need…”
“It’s OK sweetie.” As she felt the tiny mouth continue to suck, she was graced with innocent blue eyes staring up into her own green with such trust, and felt a jolt of power that she was sure could not have come from one so small, and yet… Teary eyed she reached her free hand out to Helle and simply said, “He’s so beautiful… so beautiful…” then gently returned the precious child to his mother.
Willow openly blessed the two before quietly letting herself out of the room. Xander found her later that evening on her knees in the garden facing a full moon and praying to her Mistress Gaia for all in the house and thanking her for the blessing of Liam.
Xander the vampire was swift and utterly silent, but due to his and her status Willow *felt* him now, so turned with a teary smile as the vampire suddenly appeared at her side.
Xander nudged her shoulder to shoulder, “Penny for your thoughts, Pet?”
She grinned weakly, “You sound like Spike.”
“Well they say that about old couples… we’re coming up for eleven years… and we’ve got eternity… So…” Xander did a perfect impression of his Sire’s ‘rough English’, “What’s up Pet, c’mon Red? Give your ol’ friend Xan a clue.”
It was enough to open the flood gates. She turned and threw herself into his arms. It was almost as though they were back in Sunnydale on the day Xander pulled her back from the brink of annihilating… and she let him accept her grief, in return knowing such love and friendship that she cried all the more.
She held onto him so tightly that Xander was rather relieved he no longer breathed. Eventually he began to rock them both slowly, all the while stroking the white tresses and whispering loving messages.
Willow finally began to speak quietly into his chest. “I lost you. Ghaaahhh I lost you and now you’re… but it feels different and … Oh Xan! How could someone…? And now this? Are you… ?? Oh Xan!” She shed a few more tears then composed herself. “Mistress Gaia blessed the line didn’t she?”
“It seems like…”
“I’m glad… you… deserve that. There’s been so many…” She appeared to be about to cry again but was cut off by Xander’s kiss to her forehead.
“’S OK Wills… I have the best Sire in the world and… It’s family Wills… A *real* family! And I’m one and a half next week… how weird is that!” Xander grinned at her then let his game face to the fore, the single golden eye still carrying the same love for her as his human features.
All Willow could do was quietly say “Oh Xan… I will never stop loving you my dear friend… you know that.”
“Yeah go the memo a while back… C’mon Wills no more tears for the Xanman OK?!”
They chatted for some time about anything and everything until Willow began to shiver with cold and they both realized that Xander was incapable of providing warmth.
As they walked inside, his casual question, “How is Giles?” was met by a lengthy silence before Willow stopped in her tracks and turned to face him.
“Oh Sweetie, he’s not good Xan… really… um… for a while there it was all good. But… um… He’s not in pain… and at the coven we’ve… I’m sorry Xan! We were so hopeful but it seems… I was going to ask that you come for a visit… you know just to say… Oh Xan I’m sorry. They’ve said six months. And…”
Xander stilled to compose himself, motionless as only a vampire could be, then turned to her in gameface, his own emotions getting the better of the young vampire. Willow didn’t miss the slightly blood tinged tears tracking their way down the face of her vampire friend.
“We could turn…”
“No Sweetie… no we can’t. He specifically said no.”
“Xan… he is going to die… He’s come to terms with that so… Let’s give him the time he has left and thank him for all he’s done, forgive him all his mistakes, hug him while we can, and just… Oh Goddess [sob] Just love him… Um… Oh… Xan! He has been my father too…. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do but it was too late… He told us too late. And now all I can do is hold him and take away the pain. Please!… please come with me back to England… he is *so* proud of all you’ve done and who you are… and … Please Xan!! As soon as you are back from your business trip… please come back. He can’t travel... not now… Please…”
Xander didn’t need to use his vampire senses to detect the distress, but heard the rising heart rate anyway. And as his own distress rose, the message through the familial link had his Sire Spike at his side within minutes. Spike opening not his wrist, but slicing his chest in front of Willow and taking his Childe to him then offering Willow an open wrist. She initially shook her head then took the offer and was amazed as she took two drafts before pulling off, feeling the immense strength of the High Master completely.
Shortly after, it was decided, they all had duties but the entire family would visit England at the beginning of winter.
The following day Connor embraced his dear Helle and Liam and entrusted them to the two witches and the family staff as all the ruling party departed for their various destinations and duties.
Willow warded the whole home, and as an afterthought, appealed directly to Gaia as she added an extra spell to Connor and Helle’s suite. The earth shuddered in response indicating that mother and baby would at least sleep safely.