Rating: Mature Audiences – for content and themes
Summary: Post WWIII and 250+ years on from the Black Thorn. Highly refined, purpose bred ‘Companion’ Alexander is ‘liberated’ by feral humans, consequently rescued by the Suzerain Spike’s forces, the head of which decides to ingratiate himself by presenting his Sire with a boy reminiscent of one of the former Scoobies.
Spoilers: Canon is AU - very post 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 Suzerain had been without a marked Companion, deliberately, for years. Any sort of attachment spelt vulnerability. Kidnappings and killings of partners, Childer or children, claimants or even favoured Companions, were frequently used tactics as payback or to gain submission. He was a master at it himself.
His very public arguments with his only Childe Angelus and expressions of displeasure and hate, and demands for public submission, were as much to keep his First, his lieutenant, safe as they were to keep his powerful Childe in his place. The public perception that he mistrusted his Childe, and that the man fell in and out of favour, left his enemies with the impression that they were better to court Angelus as an ally to plot against the Suzerain, than to eliminate the Childe. And the tactic had worked for over two centuries.
Numerous enemies were dust or rotting corpses (depending on species) as their efforts to ‘seduce’ the powerful Childe of the Suzerain, resulted in them finding they were themselves in the direct line of fire. Angelus was always publicly punished by his Sire, if anyone even suspected his connection and was still valuable… i.e. could not be eliminated or silenced. His obvious torture or temporary exile always seemed to exonerate him in the eyes of the cartels plotting against the Suzerain.
Angelus knew his place in his Sire’s world and played his part so very well that like any consummate actor, reality and fantasy occasionally blurred. But there was no question when they were in private. Sire loved him. Torture wounds were tended carefully and he healed quickly with his Sire’s blood freely given, and soft words of adoration eased his pain.
One thing was never questioned of Angelus by any of the cartel leaders, he was as deadly as his Sire and just as calculating, had taken no favoured Childer or Companions that anyone knew of. Instead he seemed to prefer to catch and ‘tame’ any feral humans that took his fancy and disposed of them just as easily if he became bored of their company. Attacking his ‘harem’ was pointless as a tactic, as his attachment to his pets seemed to hold as much importance as a favourite axe. His Sire had taught him well.
His dearest companion, a quite androgynous woman Lisbeth, was a feral from one of his raids ten years earlier, and had her attire and hair colour changed so regularly that even Angelus forgot sometimes. She was also remarkably convincing as either male or female. No one but the Suzerain knew of the constant presence as Angelus apparently ‘went through’ numerous ferals. Lisbeth would be turned the following year, she had begged her lover, promising the charade would continue, and Spike had endorsed the idea. The extraordinary girl loved his Childe and he was deeply attached to her. Spike approved wholeheartedly of the idea, and the two would also be mated in a private ceremony.
Yet now the Suzerain had broken his own rules! He had in *no way* intended to put his mark on the boy. But something had compelled him, and now he had to deal with the repercussions. His only consolation was that the bite was further back than normal and down low on the neck. A wider choker and slightly longer hair would cover it easily. He ordered the former immediately. The other would come naturally. He had never been averse to pretty boys with hair past their shoulders.
The choker arrived as the human roused from his collapse and consequent sleep.
An extremely strong hand and harsh tones stilled him and shot adrenalin through his system, but he stayed as instructed. “Don’t bloody move.”
He was lying on his back and felt his choker being removed. There was no way he could stem his tears.
His owner was removing the only thing designating him a Companion, something he had only *just* regained! His head, hip and arm hurt and there was throbbing toward the rear of his neck that was becoming worse by the minute… and he *ached* to stay with the Suzerain. Yet he had obviously been such a disappointment the previous night that he was to be sold or worse.
He closed his eyes and tried *so* hard not to sob, just letting the tears track down into his hair and was successful until he felt the new much more substantial choker wrap around his neck. Somewhere in the back of his mind he felt pain as it tugged tight over the sore spot at the back, but he was too busy being relieved and, despite his best efforts, began to whisper in hitched patterns marked by a flood of relieved tears, “Thank you … oh *thank you*…” over and over.
The vampire suspected the source of the angst but eventually had enough of the hysterics and slapped his charge hard enough to leave substantial fingermarks on the lad’s now wet right cheek.
“Bloody well stop that! If you’re gonna be around me there’s no cryin’… got it!?”
“::hic:: Yes Suzerain ::hic:: Apologies Suzerain.” Alexander tried his best to blink away the remaining wetness.
“Good. Well sit up then!” Spike waited for the boy to right himself a little, propping against the substantial head board, the innocent brown eyes blinking at him with worried anticipation.
“Now we’ve got that sorted, I need ta mention a few other rules. You break ‘em you are dead… not sold or passed over… just dead – you got me?”
Alexander looked wide eyed and lifted his hand to caress the impossibly thick gold choker, “Yes, Suzerain.”
“To the rest of the world you are my effeminate bodyguard and occasional bed buddy, a Companion, nothing more. You don’t touch me in public unless I order it, you don’t move unless I order it or you see a threat. But in the mean time you listen at all times. You’ve proven yourself useful at that, so I want a report whenever I ask. Clear?”
“Yes, Suzerain.” He was happy to comply but also, for some reason felt like something had shifted inside his system but could not put a finger on it, and a myriad of emotions were evident in his eyes as he attempted to make sense of it all..
Spike didn’t miss the boy’s inner struggle as the human lifted his hand and continued to stroke his new jewellery in wonder.
Spike leaned forward and whispered with a tone that he later realized held both threat and genuine affection, “Might have forgotten to mention… heat of the moment thing, drank from you, Pet, and you had a little of my precious liquid, so you’re mine now in the demon sense. You’re Marked… meanin’ I might fully Claim you one day should I feel inclined. Got it? But already… I dust, you die, so best interests and all that. You start your training tomorrow. Need ya fit ‘n pretty ‘n skilled. Gonna be seen with me always, so might as well have you proper trained… *Bodyguard*… got it?”
Alexander’s eyes went wider and darkened with wonder. A few lucky Companions had the privilege of exchanging blood with their vampire owner, and then only after years of acting as a faithful Companion… and then, he’d heard, it usually ended in a turning. A full Claiming of a Companion was so rare as to be almost the stuff of legend. He wondered at his owner. He had no recollection of the marking so it was even more confusing. But he knew better than to question his owner and in the end the Companion simply accepted. “Yes, Suzerain.”
Immediately he had accepted, Alexander was pushed off the bed. “Good, go wash.”
Alexander stilled on the floor and knelt, his arms behind his back, immediately aware of his inadequacies. He had little idea of what his owner expected him to do, indeed was not even sure where to go.
“Oh bloody hell! My bathroom!” Spike indicated an enormous bathroom off the bedroom.
As the human stood rather unsteadily he simply answered, “Yes Suzerain.”
“Right, well… Get in there and I’ll call for a handler, make sure you don’t fall over or sommit!”
Alexander answered politely, if a little shaken, “Thank you Suzerain.” before walking slowly to the bathroom and attempting to strip off the few clothes he had but wavered dangerously in front of the bath/shower facility. Spike dialled for one of his minions barking orders that they needed to be at his suite *immediately* to assist with the ablutions of his Companion human.
Xander began to feel quite odd and his ears rang in that strange way, apart from the Suzerain’s blood, he still hadn’t eaten or taken water since the previous day. In the grey and sparkles on the way down, Xander was unable to hold control and his body relieved itself of long stored urine.
Spike saw the Companion begin to fall for the second time, and with true vampiric speed caught him on the way down.
Noticing his human’s rather precarious state he yelled to his staff who were just entering his rooms, “Bloody get in here!”
The two handlers panicked, “Yes Suzerain. What is it you wish us to do?”
“*Bloody obvious innit!* Now get over here and give the boy a good wash down, and shave anythin’ that needs it… and sort ‘is hair. Right bloody mess all this.” He then turned to a third staff member who had just skidded to a halt at the door. “And you! Food and drink here now – human food for now… Well? Go to?!!!”
By the end of the ensuing two hours of ablutions and attention, the Companion Alexander had come too, was more than compliant, but still struggling to stand without feeling dizzy, and seemed to ache for the Suzerain. Nevertheless the gentle Companion repeatedly thanked his kind handlers as they lay him on a towel, shaved all but his head then washed him carefully.
He was propped up on a small lounge suite with freshly prepared food and including things he had not seen for months – fresh fruit, salad and a baked fish! Even the flat bread was freshly made! The jug of water with slices of a pinkish lemon and mint was consumed as though the finest wine.
It was the first time since he had been stolen away from his breeder Master Natte that he had been given such considerations. He would have shed a tear but quickly wiped his eyes as he remembered the Suzerain’s order. He was not to cry.
The Supreme Master would claim him fully. He felt different from the marking and wondered what the Claim would feel like… he already felt the Suzerain’s absence like a gaping hole in his existence. He had never felt anything like it before.
He knew that if the Supreme Master rejected him now, he would choose to die. He simply held on to the hope that he would remain in favour and resolved to train as hard as he could for his owner.
The Suzerain did not return until the following night. Around three in the morning the Suzerain Spike returned to his suite apparently extremely drunk and a little angry, but seemed to relax as he pulled the Companion from his position on the couch to the Suzerain’s own bed.
“C’mon… Pet… decent session is what’s needed … what’s ya name pretty one?”
“Alexander, Suzerain… I am your Marked Companion…?” Xander felt bereft, he was not even remembered!
“Ohhh yessss Hmmmph… The cabana boy…. well make yerself useful!” Spike fell onto his back, unzipped himself and lowered his pants – revealing a very lax appendage. But before Alexander had complied, the vampire passed out.
He tugged off his owner’s pants and tucked him into bed before making himself comfortable on the couch.