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.
Bob’s revelations really should have made no difference to the status quo, they were history, but for Spike, just knowing was everything. And he saw with clarity, something his innocent Companion missed. The line of Xander had not been a simple case of combining egg and seed of sire and preferred breeding female, Natte’s ancestors had kept one line pure. They had deliberately cloned one or two from the pure line stud sire to produce the next sire of the ‘Companion!Xander’ line. Advancements in the process of adjusting DNA meant that very minor modifications could be made to the true bloodline with confidence.
On the second night of their stay in Ireland, the Suzerain visited Bob again, alone. They spoke in private for an hour, then Bob copied key digital files for the vampire (at a price) and Spike returned to their hotel to spend the remainder of the evening in the arms of his Claimed, watching the images on an enormous screen.
The initial footage and commentary was by an early demon medico reporting on their final successful cloning and production of Xander’s line. The picture that brought Spike to tears was video accompanied by audio of Xander in his mid sixties, holding a tiny brunette child and staring up at the camera in wonder with his good eye, now a dull brown with age, and shining with tears.
“Master… He’s not like the others… is he.” It was a statement to someone out of shot, not a question.
The Master, the ancient bluish demon Fotis, stepped into the picture and readily agreed, “No… in a strange sort of way he is your identical twin. Gladis wanted it… remember? She would have loved to… I was just a little slow… just too slow!”
Spike watched tearfully as the recording faded with the one eyed Sunnydale Xander, still holding his tiny legacy to the world, taking his wonderful owner in a one armed hug and allowing the old man to grieve on the greying brunette’s still broad shoulder. The date was a mere six months after the death of Fotis’ wonderful Gladis, and the beginning of the final ten years of Xander’s life.
Spike’s tears, however, were shed in celebration not anguish. The Xander he saw was old but wasn’t a broken slave or pet, he was the loved, trusted and cherished Companion of an old demon, sentiments returned in equal measure. No wonder the trend of keeping Companions spread like wildfire worldwide… and little surprise that Xander’s line was so treasured.
After the two passed away, records showed that the nine year old Lexy was lovingly cared for and trained by Fotis and Gladis’ daughter, Mika, who inherited the stable after her father died. She adored the lad and trained him well as a Companion. He was always the breeder’s favourite, despite the two other established sire’s (Xander’s offspring by different mothers) and four brunette women, carefully selected for their looks and nature. Mika followed her father’s instructions and bred another clone as Lexy approached forty five, and lived to see another sire clone borne before her sister’s son, Matti, inherited the mantel of stud owner. He was true to family and continued the stud’s traditions, consequently enjoying the increasing attention and associated wealth as the reputation of the stud increased.
The stud was the Global benchmark. Keeping the breeding parameters defined and documentation became the standard for reputable breeders across the world, but Natte’s stud went one further. Every fifteen years to twenty years a clone child was produced. The sire’s full set of genes – DNA checked and ‘adjusted’ if deemed necessary - replaced those present in an already fertilized egg which was then implanted in the mother and gestated as normal. It guaranteed that there was a ‘pure’ original line.
By the three hundredth year after the blackening, the development of the human (or any other mammalian foetus) was an extremely refined process and the Companion lines well established. Natte’s stud had been licensed by the Suzerain’s Cartel - one of only two breeding Companions - over two centuries previously.
Xander's true line was restricted to just one inheriting (or if disaster struck via sickness or accident two) cloned male, who was always a pure or slightly refined version of the original features… and tested for the guaranteed Companion traits of loyalty, affection, and intelligence.
And so it transpired, the breeding of any of Xander’s direct line was meticulously monitored and detailed over the centuries. Using practices initiated by Natte’s great, great, great Uncle, the mothers of the line were always of the same colouring and defined set of features, their traits and their eggs selected accordingly.
Increased value of the general offspring brought income that enabled the installation of more sophisticated equipment, and cartel funding saw Natte's stud thrive as the primary facility for reproduction research in the region – specialising in the new trend … Companions.
As more recent records were revealed, Alexander perked up. There were images of him as a tiny lad. Alexander remembered the ample breast of his mother, indeed his sister now had the same gloriously comforting motherly feature.
Alexander had always known that he looked like his father – but even more like the original sire of his line – or at least that was what Natte said… and now he was watching images of why! The dear inheritor Alexander was so distracted that he remained oblivious to the emotion of his Claimer as Spike again flicked from the present back through pictures and videos of the eleven generations of primary sires since the blackening and Xander’s consequent capture then back to Sunnydale.
Alexander was utterly taken aback by the emotion of his Claimer. The repeated, passionate words of “You’re his… you’re really his!” puzzled the young Companion, but he knew to cherish and comfort the wonderful Suzerain. Spike had taken and given blood to his Childe and Mate in an effort to calm and reassure… yet was still tearful.
In the end Alexander was quite beside himself, “Please Sire… How can I help? Please?!! May I give you a massage… or pleasure you again… or would you prefer to rest whilst I read to you? Please! How might I ease your pain???” Dark brown innocent eyes raised to meet tearful blue.
Spike cupped the pretty jaw and whispered, “Just be here, my sweet boy… please just… You are *so* beautiful…” Spike peppered his charge with kisses then gave in to more carnal urges despite his emotional state.
Alexander waited almost a week before, in the afterglow of yet another near frantic session of lovemaking on the Suzerain’s part, Spike began to speak of his ancestor. But this was not the breeder version… His Claimer had known the man who had begun their line… known him with all his flaws and true qualities. The young Companion snuggled down under the covers and enjoyed the feeling of their two nude bodies entwining for the comfort of the vampire, then listened to the rumble of his Suzerain’s baritone voice reminiscing.
Alexander tried to concentrate on the spoken text but struggled a little. The story was utterly foreign to the twelfth generation pure bred and claimed Companion.
But Alexander was still amused… His ancestor had apparently started out as an enemy of both his beloved Claimer and the favourite Childe. Alexander didn’t quite understand all the ins and outs of the story but somewhere in it, heard the bit about Angelus offering the originator of their line to the Suzerain! Just like he had been… But the story became very confusing and he was shocked to learn that he carried many of the genes of a boy then man who happily dusted vampires and fought ‘on the side of good’. That bit puzzled the Companion the most, something about the good and evil thing wasn’t really to do with demons or humans, it seemed a silly set of ancient rules. No wonder demons had survived – after all the humans had even demonized Gaia herself!
Alexander was *very* relieved that these days, humans and demons who ran amok were eliminated, and the rest were bred and controlled (for the most part) properly.
He laughed when his Suzerain smiled and told him of the many odd and amusing things that had befallen the original Xander. He swelled with pride when he was told of the bravery of ‘the boy’, and shed tears and hugged his wonderful vampire tight as he listened to the torture his Claimer had endured and the sacrifices he had made for his human friends, but was unsurprised by the stories of heroism. Finally Alexander was thoroughly kissed and extremely pleased as he was told that his wonderful Claimer and his ancestor had, in the end of their association, fought side by side and… been friends.
Spike finally stopped talking and after a pause the Companion suddenly realised that his beloved had flicked on the multimedia wall and was looking at the archive pictures again. Focusing on two, one with Xander sporting a carpenter's belt, and the next giving Willow a hug, with eye-patch firmly in place.
“Couldn’t save him from that bastard though, thought we were all out then… that bastard took ‘is eye… Strange that after a bit, the patch looked right fetching. Ahhh Geez…” then Alexander heard the whispered ‘almost’ prayer, “Glad ya had it good in the last years Harris. Ripe old, looked after an’ loved ‘n all that. ‘S what ya deserved.”
Alexander looked up to see his Suzerain in full game face brought on by emotion. He wished he could be more like this ancient rugged relative… but also knew he was not able, so simply held up his wrist and relaxed a little as his blood was taken and as his beloved Suzerain drifted off to sleep Alexander worried.
He was still unclear as to the real nature of his Claimer and his ancestor’s feelings for each other, or their status. And he was honestly quite unable to comprehend a world with humans in control, or one without proper breeding programs, or a world of such waste and excess. He had once overheard Natte explaining to one Samuel and his young groomers, that there were many difficulties with the original feral/evolved human race most stemming from their short lifespan, random breeding and hormonal imbalances, the first leading to disregard for environments and each other, and the latter two causing deformities, aggression, territorial tendencies and violence. Alexander remembered Natte going on to discuss the failure of the human species to control their breeding; stem pandemic diseases; or in many cases, even adequately look after their young.
Alexander remembered that day as he snuggled into a loving (though unconscious) embrace. He had been so lucky. If a breeding female on Natte’s Companion stud failed to attend a newborn, it was immediately put in the care of a team of specialist handlers and was fed from a more willing breeding female’s breast until ready to ween and join the general nursery. Alexander’s mother had been one who embraced other children and he had been fed until twelve months old, nearly twice the norm. Natte had chosen him early for his role in life based on his DNA reports, obviously pretty features (even as an infant), and his placid affectionate nature.
Alexander had always admired his older cousin Samuel. When Alexander was five, his then seventeen year old cousin had been bred from for the first time. The little boy had not truly understood the concept, but knew it had something to do with not being ‘gelded’, and seed and something… The only males on Natte’s stud that had their testes removed were those who consistently refused instructions and training and/or displayed more than usual aggression. The removal was done under anaesthetic and afterwards those gelded were always calmer and strangely ‘softer’ looking. It made them more manageable and inevitably they were retrained and sold for a very good price. It had even happened to a few of the Sire’s in the past.
Alexander grinned as he realized, no Sire of his direct line had *ever* been gelded – there had been never been the need. He was of Xander’s cloned bloodline and claimed. He kissed his sleeping Claimer gently on the cheek before the truly content Claimant closed his eyes and followed the Suzerain into the land of nod.