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.
Over the next three months, the outside world saw the Claimed companion continue his demeaning role, often observed following the Suzerain via short leash to his collar, fine gold chain attached to nipple clamps, or leather strap shackled to the hip belt and associated bindings below.
For his part, Alexander became used to being in the public eye in his ‘costume’ and silky attire. Indeed he was strangely allowed out and about far more than when he was the ‘in favour’ Companion.
Spike was taken aback by the reaction of the cartel leaders to his treatment of his Companion. Several trusted rulers approached him in confidence to beg clemency for the hapless human. And when Spike suggested that it would be a sign of weakness were he to fail to teach the boy his place, he was met with a myriad of suggestions as to other less shocking ways of achieving that end.
For a group used to dismembering, dusting, and debauchery, it was a rather surprising turnaround. So the Suzerain chose to publicly adhere to the advice from his inner circle and gradually over the months began to display his ‘forgiveness’ of his errant Companion.
When it was cold, Alexander was now dressed in a fuzzy white polo necked sweater made of the softest angora, and comfortable sheepskin slippers. He had no other duties but to please the Suzerain, and every favour was returned when they were alone.
The Claimant had never felt so loved. Indeed the binding of his now near constant erection proved a blessing as time after time he was aroused by even the anticipation of subtle touches and whispered words from his wonderful claimer, or the plug in his rear that began to vibrate, or nipples were tugged (again) publicly, or he was ordered to kneel between his Claimer's legs. Alexander found the bliss of the bedroom and their coded words of love when in public made it impossible to feel anything but happy at his lot.
It was time for the annual meeting of the full delegations from seventy three cartels worldwide. They would all make their way to the Suzerain's private headquarters in what used to be Toronto in the human world.
The Suzerain’s closest allies were relieved to see that he had taken their advice on board, and was treating his Companion with a little more compassion and dressing him in thicker material, so any bindings were at least hidden. Violence to establish and maintain amongst cartel leaders, or within the cartel ranks themselves was acceptable, as was occasional cruelty to feral humans or renegade feedlot stock, but to punish a rarefied innocent like the Suzerain’s Companion for such an extended period and for an act that seemed to the onlookers, one that was a simple misunderstanding and quite out of the poor human’s control, was rather like beating a helpless puppy.
The leaders that knew of the Companion's fall from grace noted that the lad constantly wore a leash of some sort and consistently had his head bowed a little in the presence of his master, obscuring the pretty face under dark brown locks. Those of leaders who had been present for the brutal beating noted that finally, after three months, at least the Suzerain was allowing the Companion to stand for most meetings now, and had ceased the appalling displays of using the human for pleasure and domination in public. The two demons who had dared say something were quietly pleased that they had such standing that the Suzerain might at least heed their well meaning words.
The global Cartel meetings went smoothly, other than a slight altercation regards a protection excise being charged at the borders of certain allied cartels. Some yelling and a dusted body guard later, the matter was resolved with few others in the room concerned by the minor blowup between neighbours. As soon as the violence erupted however, it was noted by several in the audience, that the Suzerain called his Companion to kneel on a cushion beside him, protected behind an enormous corporate desk at the head of the room. Alexander was idly petted for a time as the supreme leader sat bemused watching the show. Few failed to note the apparent lack of affection in the act, and *act* Spike had thankfully honed to perfection.
Others in the audience who had only heard of the recent antics of their most successful cartel ruler ever, and those who had not been present at the ‘reprimand of the Claimed and the Childe’, took the reports to be grossly exaggerated, others could care less – preferring to ignore the gossip and focus on business during the tea break.
In any case, the rest of the afternoon/evening was devoted to territory squabbles and discussions of concessions for areas where Gaia was still raging, destabilizing regions and literally preventing the harvests for human food, ergo the harvest of humans and the few other stock remaining on the planet. The issue required more research before a decision was made the following day, and delegations departed to do their own due diligence and number crunching before attending a casual dinner just after midnight, at the Suzerain’s invitation.
Alexander was pleasured, and pleasured his Claimer enthusiastically in return as soon as they were in their suite. This was followed by a second round in the shower and finally a ‘stimulating session’ before his member and scrotum were bound by gold cock ring and associated binding for his sac, with criss-crossed, fitted gold chains adorning the whole of his erection. Alexander wondered at the expensive and very beautiful golden cage provided his phallus since it would not be seen by any but the Suzerain. Spike simply grinned knowingly as he dressed Alexander in thick silk pants and a loose shirt of white and gold gossamer-like material that had a gold sash and belt matching the Suzerain’s own, woven into the material. Spike added a large gold earring, kohl, mascara, and sprinkled gold dust in his hair to finish.
After being thoroughly kissed, Spike took an unnecessary breath then sighed, “You look bloody sensational, Pet. You ready?”
Xander grinned shyly then levelled sparkling brown eyes at his Claimer, “Always ready for you my beloved Suzerain… my Claimer Williamn Master of Aurelius… Spike, I am yours.”
Spike nearly came on the spot – Alexander rarely, if ever, dared use his formal name – let alone his later alias. They kissed again desperate to comfort and reassure before melting into their public guises.
The Suzerain swept into the antechamber of the huge dining room where the cartel delegations were having drinks and being entertained by one of the most popular demon cover groups available on the planet. Several dozen pleasure humans of both genders had been provided to serve food and drink, dance, and generally act as amusement for the attending leaders and their group members.
Spike was schmoozed by numerous power hungry demons, most centuries his junior. He was now five hundred and twelve years old, and unimpressed by any sort of grovelling, but put up with it.
Just before they were ushered in to the dining room, Angelus (now ‘barely back in favour’ according to the inner cartel), approached and knelt at his Sire’s feet along with his Mate, Lisbeth. He begged that his Sire, the Suzerain, allow him to sit in his rightful position at his Sire’s table, then pledged his loyalty in the time-old vampire fashion. Both he and his Childe bared their necks in full view of the group and both were taken with relish. It seemed a coldly enacted ritual, but the audience didn’t know of the sliced tongue that alternately took, and delivered back, blood to the sliced flesh, then pushed the wonderful combined liquid down willing throats as both Angelus and Lisbeth were kissed brutally. The two submissive vampires barely withheld their climaxes as the sensation of the Suzerain’s blood combined with their own was accepted in the kiss, and Angelus kissed his pretty Lisbeth in acknowledgement of her extraordinary self control, before they both melted to the back of the room.
As the rest of the crowd moved into the room and located their seats, Lisbeth and Angelus found a small store room down the hall and consummated their love one more time, riding high on the Suzerain’s blood. It only took seconds for both to come and they still managed to enter the dining hall with the last few guests.
Half way through the meal, the Suzerain stood to address the group. He thanked them all for attending, and congratulated the organizing group, also emphasizing who in the room to approach for any special needs. The speech was short and to the point, followed by a meal that catered to all tastes: virgin human blood served at exactly the right temperature; raw and cooked flesh; and all manner of other fruit and vegetable delicacies as appropriate to dietary needs.
As soon as the band struck up and many went to dance, the Suzerain and his Companion, and Angelus and Lisbeth slipped out, closely followed by the Mistress Janet and several other senior cartel leaders. The conference was hardly over and a number of issues were going to be difficult in the coming two days.
Mid afternoon the next day found Xander kneeling at the Suzerain’s side once more. This time instructed to lean against the vampire’s leg and to *listen*. He did so, debriefing with Spike whilst others enjoyed a break and ‘high tea’ – though the food and drink on offer would hardly have suited the Savoy of old.
The biggest problem for some of the cartels breeding fauna (including humans), was keeping the random mutation level down. Other Cartels did not see that as such a problem, arguing such sporadic mutations often allowed other possibilities not yet considered. The concern was that even after over three hundred and fifty years, the fallout of biological and nuclear weapons was still taking its toll where un-registered breeders mixed feral stock with their own.
The difficulty seemed to lie with the fact that testing every captured human and new foetus’ DNA was utterly impractical. Several examples of failing to do so were trotted out for inspection by the audience of cartel delegations. A handler brought out a large young female with extremely tiny limbs but normal sized body. She was pulled out atop a large skateboard type arrangement – obviously used as a regular mode of ambulation. The woman directed the path of the vehicle with deformed appendages, it was only later that all in the room recognized her future mother status.
Her breeder argued that there was merit in keeping the traits displayed, as bleeders simply needed to eat and produce blood, emphasising her passive, pleasant nature and bodily adjustments made to accommodate her prone position – and the advantages were infinite – including less space needed and reduced control issues. Much debate ensued.
Just when the arguments died down, another enormous bound male at least seven feet tall and muscles to match, was led in by two handlers carrying electrical prods. The human stood compliant, he had obviously been gelded but the breeder insisted that he had ensured that the available sperm be saved and frozen prior to. Apparently the male was an anomaly and could produce four times the blood of a normal sized bleeder with little to no side effects. Yet another aberration that needed to be ‘preserved’ perhaps?
There was an ensuing half evening of deformed beings paraded for consideration– everything from humans with no hair and little if any nose or ears, to cows with legs barely long enough to keep their udders from the ground. There was a list of known extinctions and a number of species identified as no longer viable (ie gone within ten years). The resolution was to keep those mutants deemed viable (whether animal or vegetable) in secure facilities – harvesting DNA and, where appropriate, seeds (of all varieties) and eggs.
The meeting was all but adjourned when a delegate from what used to be Ireland stepped forward. On a tight leash, her wrists bound and mouth gagged, was something that caused the Suzerain and his First to inhale unnecessarily.
A tall raven haired vampire Sean, knelt in front of his Suzerain’s chair and allowed emerald green eyes to meet crystal blue as he tugged his charge until she did the same.
“My Esteemed Suzerain, this is our current problem: a hundred or so years ago, we discovered a line of feral humans that were naturally magically endowed. They have been bred for their looks over the decades but it seems that simply enhances their magical trace. They are not mutants per se but my cartel is concerned that we are underutilizing their worth. We would like the central organization’s permission to exploit their talents and continue to breed them and refine the line. I offer my blood as pledge that we will follow your instructions in this matter and any others.”
The room exploded in protest but Spike let the debate rage around him as he stared at the girl, as did Angelus. It was a throwback to a young version of the Sunnydale Witch Willow. Huge green eyes and pretty features along with the unmistakeable red hair, like Alexander’s resemblance to the long dead Xander, it was quite unnerving. Spike stared pointedly at Angelus. They both felt it, this was no longer a mere coincidence.
Angelus and Lisbeth departed the meeting early and followed up the new lead. They met with the Irish contingent over dinner, then departed. They missed the last day of the meetings, returning three days later with both First and Mate looking utterly exhausted as they entered the meeting chamber. Angelus still took the time to kneel at his Sire’s feet and offer his neck and the Suzerain took of family then offered his own blood to the dedicated Childer.
Despite the ceremony and emotion of the moment Angelus whispered, “We found a lead, Sire” just before taking the proffered wrist of the supreme leader. The two exhausted vampires then withdrew from the Suzerain’s presence and regrouped.
Spike wished he could quit out of the lengthy meeting with financiers but found calm and patience as his wonderful Claimed moved voluntarily to a position under the desk between his thighs and simply rested his cheek on his beloved’s growing interest.
The final resolutions were all ‘win-win’, reconfirmed Cartel regions and excises, breeding and development programs and strategies for supporting cartels with areas in environmental crisis – particularly developing breeds of humans and other species best able to survive extremes.
Issues of the pricing and supply of power and commodities were swiftly dealt with before the final dinner saw a number of special recognitions for a particularly extraordinary young demon who had put the survival of his cartel and/or the stock above his own welfare, and another who had developed new methods and mechanisms to survive the continuing unpredictability of Gaia.
It was a cold night so Alexander stood in spectacular white and gold ‘Roman senator’ like robe, his gold collar and ankle fastenings obvious to all in the room. The next meeting was set before all went off to the final dinner and finally departed for their various destination.
A week after all the Cartel delegations met, Angelus and Lisbeth requested an audience, inviting Janet also. It was Lisbeth who had finally tracked down the historian, come near immortal. The Willow connection was the final clue.
Two days after the global cartel meeting, the Suzerain and Alexander escaped their compound, drove well out of town then followed his First and Lisbeth into drab dwelling at the egde of a series of catacombs that contained the records from the human era… the ‘Before’.
The three quarters Epucha demon was a passionate historian, with the unlikely name of Bob, and proved not only welcoming but a downright expert in his profession. When he felt the Companion Alexander enter the room, he all but fell to his knees, steadying himself against an ancient bookshelf before saying, “One of the original line!!”
“Yeah well… that’s the point innit mate?! What the hell d’ya mean by that? One look and you know?!” It was only seconds later that Spike realized. The demon was totally blind.
Spike was suddenly on the back foot, “But how do you?”
“He is a direct descendent of Alexander Lavelle Harris, an ex-Sunnydale Hellmouth resident and fighter for good. The smell is unmistakable as is the magical signature and the aura.” After a pause the elderly demon snorted, “What, you think I am restricted to conventional sight for my information?! Come, come vampire – master or no you are brighter than that surely?!”
Spike more than a little perturbed, “Yeah well… So the boy’s got a pedigree… What else?… What of the original Xander?… And all the rest of that Sunnydale bunch while we’re at it?”
The slightly mauve coloured demon cocked his ear toward the question as eyeless face frowned with the question. “The man of whom you enquire, Alexander Lavelle Harris, and the strong wiccan, Willow Rosenburg, were captured at the Watcher’s council in London during the seventh month after the blackening.”
“They were taken in by the newly formed council sponsored by one Rupert Giles. The watcher died shortly after of radiation poisoning. It seems they were taken to an old air-force silo and protected from the worst of the effects before being captured and taken deeper by a demon contingent. I have few records of the reproduction of the female…” Bob seemed to become distracted for a moment as he rifled through a number of files marked with raised dots and odd slashes that obviously meant something.
“You better be bloody well lookin’ for somethin’ or I’m gonna have your…” It was Angelus who put a calming hand on his Sire’s arm. They all needed to know, and upsetting their best lead yet was not the way to proceed.
“Ahh!! Here it is!” Bob pulled out an ancient bound book and associated DVD of information. At the time few knew whether electricity would ever be available freely again – but who knew of the true potential of geothermal, wave or hydrogen power at that point…
Up on the screen came archive images of Xander Harris in his mid twenties in Sunnydale, of Xander at High School, Joyce’s funeral, Anya and his engagement party, of the final Sunnydale hole… and after. Then there were later photos, of him at Willow's coven and the Watcher’s council; then a gap of time with no records followed by later photographs were obviously meant for buyers, complete with notes regarding his history as ‘slayer’s assistant’, and descriptions of a ‘brave and loyal, brunette, brown eyed, white Caucasian male’.
Apparently Willow and Xander's residency in the new Watcher’s Council Headquarters had afforded some protection from the initial nuclear and biological attacks, but the consequent capture by demons and departure to realms below had strangely ensured their survival.
According to the historian, the two were initially together under the protection of one owner, but Willow was eventually sold as a ‘magical breeder’ as supplies of fertile women dwindled and their owner ran short of funds. At some point she or some of her offspring must have escaped to survive as a feral until captured again by Sean's family.
Xander too was eventually sold and as it turned out, it was to Natte’s Great, great, great uncle… thus becoming one of the first generation of Companions. His calm nature and Hellmouth beginnings leant itself to a role as man servant/pet to the rich and influential of the newly emerging demon nations. As the historian pointed out, it was a lucky human that found himself in Natte’s Great, great, great Aunt and Uncle’s care.
The video footage included Xander’s early days of training, including some petulance and bad temper borne of the frustration of being treated as a subordinate and pet, but later there were images of the man, Xander of Sunnydale, enthusiastically assisting Natte’s great, great, great uncle fishing, and caddying at golf, standing quietly behind the demon’s chair during a meeting and just relaxing at his master’s feet in front of a fire, head on a pillow with ‘PET’ embroidered on the same.
The remaining records were stud records and breeding charts along with numerous meticulous notations of changes made to the DNA and letters to the emerging local cartel leader indicating that Xander’s offspring would be prize possessions in the new ‘Companion’ market. With the DNA manipulation in its infancy, apparently Xander’s demon magnet status and history as a child of the Hellmouth gave him the advantage. Willow, no doubt, was similarly prized.
The breeding charts & digital photos of various generations were pointed to by their blind host, and Spike found himself increasingly annoyed. As an unchanging being whose life now spanned over half a millennia he was oddly challenged by the ‘refining’ of traits by breeders. Particularly disturbing being notes on the photos of mature human ‘breeders’ generation after generation, indicating the continuation, adjustment or cessation of the line (be it voluntary or due to unavoidable death) and any ‘extra adjustments’ that needed to be made to features/nature to ensure ‘viability’… Spike did note that the original Xander had spent his latter years as a true companion to Natte’s ancestor, after the death of a partner had the elderly demon doting on his attentive and intelligent charge. In the end they were apparently inseparable, Xander pining and dying within a month of his master’s death ten years later.
By the time the three vampires had sorted through the evidence, Spike was sitting on the floor with his Claimed in his lap, allowing Alexander to comfort him, while Angelus and Lisbeth sorted through the last of the files.
Despite his lack of sight, Bob ‘saw’ the reaction to the facts and squatted beside the supreme leader of the cartels.
“Your Companion is one of the most ancient lines. His ancestor was the perfect combination of loyalty, calm and had a magical marker that was a call of want to any demon, his survival at the Hellmouth itself testimony to his magical strength. I listened to your boy’s DNA profile, the one your First sent, and read his Aura. Your dear Claimed is indeed a direct descendant of the Sunnydale friend of the Slayer. I would not be surprised if the red haired girl you mentioned isn’t just as well ‘related.”