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.
Initially little was said to the cartels. It was a private matter.
Publicly, the Claimed Companion was recovering well from his ordeal until two nights before his turning, when the ‘story’ was leaked to the press. Despite the Suzerain’s refusal to speak, a tearful Natte, breeder of the globally admired Companion, admitted that he had heard from the Suzerain’s staff that his former stud stallion and Claimed Companion was suffering a slow deterioration in health, the same attributed to the kidnapping and subsequent torture. Natte’s story was not confirmed by the Suzerain’s surgeons directly, but public statements by eminent demon doctors consulted by the press as a consequence, fuelled the idea that humans, particularly Companions, were a rarefied breed, at risk if not treated with care, and requiring specialist attention and a capable master.
The details of Alexander’s injuries and consequent failing that had been ‘leaked’ first to cartel leaders then to the outside world, were so vague as to be accurate.
The tears Natte let fall for the camera were real, though few would understand that they were tears of utterly confused emotion. Natte was a demon, and a breeder of humans for whom he cared a great deal, just as any of his ancestral human breeders of horses or pets more than three centuries ago had cared for their ‘stallions and mares’. Alexander had been his pride and joy as a youngster and the senior demon breeder had been, of late, genuinely pleased that the Suzerain had apparently taken such a shine to the Companion. Now, for such a powerful master vampire to choose to turn the boy was an extraordinary honour, and, in all honesty, a real feather in Natte’s cap… but he knew not to say that in his address to the press.
What the press did hear was that the breeder had been guaranteed that Alexander would milk his seed one last time before being turned. It was to be frozen and used as Natte saw fit, capable of producing twenty or so more children with Penny before he retired her – particularly if she continued to have twins and triplets with each pregnancy [the pretty woman shown sitting relaxed with three of her progeny for the cameras].
Natte related to another public interest show, that the two had been his dream pair – both gentle, obedient and loyal, and both exquisite brunette, olive skinned, brown eyed beauties.
In private Natte had already told the Suzerain that by the time Penny was retired to ‘Grandma’ duties, the next tiny clone destined to be the pure breeding male of the line (cloned from the original Sunnydale Xander’s DNA) would be old enough to provide a seed harvest and Penny's first daughters already breeding.
The press interviews with Cartel Leader Callam and one of the minions claiming to have witnessed Alexander’s rescue (the latter account later to be proven false) gave credence to the story that the Companion was in dire straights. Added to this was a set of four rather fuzzy ‘security’ images of an apparently ailing Companion resting on a sun lounge on the fourth level balcony in the Suzerain's compound. There was no doubt that the Companion had been gravely injured. Even the hospital records (illegally obtained) confirmed the same, yet the Suzerain himself was as tight lipped and enigmatic as ever.
His court observed the distress two days before the Companion’s turning as the supreme ruler entered the meeting room without his Pleasure Pet, his Claimed. The Suzerain’s first ever show of emotional vulnerability was met, very surprisingly, with an overwhelming wave of support from those under his rule.
Public support too, was quite extraordinary. The accounts of Alexander’s quiet forbearance of all the Suzerain and life had dealt him, his loving and loyal nature, his Claiming - all was reported and all fuelled the consequent press frenzy.
The public opinion was leaning strongly toward favouring that the Companion be turned, and many of the hard line cartel leaders were not far behind in agreeing it was the best option. Their motivation was to retain their Suzerain. With his Claimed at risk – human or no – there was a very real possibility that their supreme leader would perish along with his prized Companion. Much as they might not like the Master Vampire, he was a deadly, insightful and most determined leader, proving himself time and again to all of them, be it by metering out merciless, swift vampire justice, or peacefully resolving a petty territorial issue.
For the ‘moderates’ in the Suzerain’s court, it was also a matter of noting (and welcoming) the slow change in the master vampire, a calming of sorts – still brutal when needed, but generally happier due to his gentle, loyal Companion. They had observed him mellow a little, beginning to be kinder to his human and, given the very violent start to the Companion’s Claimed status, were relieved on a number of levels.
The kidnapping had been unprecedented and the retribution just, but the prospect of the Suzerain’s demise should his Claimed succumb and consequent leadership vacuum with resultant struggle for power, *unthinkable*.
A number of the more senior cartel leaders petitioned their ruler that they might offer counsel, and a few hours later were admitted to a meeting in which they all but begged the Suzerain to turn his chosen human. This was surprising enough but more interesting was the suggestion that Spike bind the Claimed Companion's essence to the Suzerain's own soul, thereby ensuring the Childe remain happily subservient and allow the Suzerain comfort and companionship (i.e. retaining his position as Pleasure Pet for all time, despite being turned).
They were unsurprised by the very vicious reaction when the reference to the soul was raised in the court. Spike flying across the room to launch a lightening attack and savagely taking the blood of one of their number, but were also encouraged after the Suzerain pulled away from Renaldo’s neck, licked it closed, and simply said, “You are bold to suggest the same, but it will never be for you to decide.”
Spike could never admit in public that he agreed - indeed had already arranged the same - but now knew it was time… the stage was set.
Angelus, Lisbeth arrived the next day, a wide eyed Lillie in tow.
Telescopic lenses and camera flashes greeted their limousine as they entered the compound and alighted.
The early press reports of the last hours of the Companion and plan to turn the Claimed human sported photos of a family united, Angelus with a kind hand on his Mated Childe’s lower back and the grim expression of a Suzerain’s first about to support his Sire through the next two days.
The headlines screamed, “Critically damaged Claimed calls for Suzerain’s Bite”; “Suzerain promises No. 1 Companion Breeder failing Claimed’s seed”; and “First to play second for Sire in distress”.
The last article contained perhaps the most honest sentiment in the body of the text.
“The supreme leader of the demon cartels, Suzerain Spike (aka William the Bloody) has announced his intention to turn his very popular, failing human Claimed Companion.
“The former stud male and purpose trained and bred human has proven himself worthy of accepting the new status many times over, despite the dubious circumstances of his turning and consequent punishment. Cartel leaders across the globe have endorsed the act, claiming that the Suzerain, known for ruling with an extreme iron fist, benefits greatly from the presence of his loyal Companion.
“It is well known that the Companion withstood brutal torture of recent times, and sadly, has been dying slowly ever since as a direct consequence. According to medical experts specialising in Human Companions, there is no option, the Companion must be turned or will succumb. With public support at an all time high for the ruling family, messages of support have been flowing in from all corners of the globe.
“The First and his mate arrived late last night and though refusing to comment, were observed to be leading tiny human Lisbeth, the Companion’s devoted pet. It is therefore suspected that the draining will occur in the next twenty four desperate hours. A vigil by well wishers began at the gates of the compound as the First and entourage arrived.”
Behind the scenes could not have been more different.
There was quiet celebration. A birthday party, with cake and candles (which Lillie enthusiastically blew out prior to the end of the traditional human song), and there were kisses and hugs, and the red head ending up on Alexander’s knee.
“Didja know I’m three?”
“Really? Gosh you *are* a big girl then!”
“No I’m not! I’m little… Lisbeth said I am, a’cause I gotta wait till I c’n reach the handles afore I c’n do outside by myself.” Lillie sighed dramatically.
Alexander grinned and looked at Lisbeth who was smiling indulgently at the little human, “Well that’s probably just to keep you safe don’t you think?”
Lillie snuggled into his chest, earning another hug before astonishing the Companion with her next statement, “Angelus said you’ll be new tonight when you’re turned. So we c’n have birthdays together!... Umm… Will you get small again?”
Alexander roared laughing and an initially puzzled Lillie soon joined him as he pulled her away a little and bounced her vigorously on his knee then hugged her soundly.
Eventually Lillie was led from the room and settled for the night as the Suzerain nodded to his Childe and Mate and was left alone.
They showered and the Suzerain dressed his beloved in a loose white bath robe. Spike almost drawn to tears as the beauty of the young man seemed to be emphasised by tousled chocolate locks and glowing skin.
Alexander had not thought he would be afraid, indeed truly wished for the change, but old human instincts and the will to live would not be so easily thrown off.
As Spike settled beside him on their shared bed and stimulated him to near completion, all was well, but as the vampire bit deep and began to draw blood faster than the Companion had ever experienced before, simultaneously pulling his sex to completion, Alexander began to panic. He could feel his dear Claimer’s deep love and tender care flowing in waves as his blood was taken, but still struggled until there was no more blood to struggle with. He opened his mouth and drank down his soon to be Sire’s demon and bade farewell to the aches and chattels of mortal life.
His last utterance as human, “Lovvvv Y….” His mortal body struggled a little more, the soon to be demon sucked harder on the proffered wrist, then the Companion died.
The Suzerain’s mage invoked the spell securing Alexander’s soul. But it was a spell with a difference. All ‘Orbs of Thesula’ had been destroyed. Alexander’s vampire demon was tied to Spike’s soul. The three way tie (Alexander, his new demon and his Sire) was stronger than anything attempted previously. A Claimant, a Childe, and now Soul Mate by magic, there was no question of it failing. But still Angelus and later Lisbeth sat with their Sire, both gracing their blonde leader with their own blood periodically, and supporting their Suzerain as he waited worriedly, for his new Childe to rise.
On the second day of the vigil, Angelus decided to try to distract his Sire a little, so presented him with a report. “Lillie’s Lineage” was presented as a series of images and notes taken from the Channeller who had assisted with the investigation.
Spike sat with his dearly departed cradled in his lap (as had been the position for two days) as he watched the huge screen.
The Channeller was shown entering her trance and beginning to speak in a voice so quiet that even the vampires strained to hear. The volume on the digital delivery was increased but the message would have been just as compelling if silent.
“Willow never imagined her legacy...” and so the Channeller continued…
Despite Sunnydale Hellmouth being closed and the Black Thorn finding its LA end, several years after, they all knew that human power-games had determined the rest.
After the world darkened with toxic winter, Willow and Kennedy were shown going to ground.
Luckily they had been in England not South America at the time the human race damned itself for all time. They sheltered underground with their fellow witches and lasted for a time, even being shown managing to contact Xander and Giles a few weeks into the man made apocalypse. At the time the two old friends were safe and well, and as ‘chipper’ as one could hope for when in a bunker under the new Watchers’ council headquarters.
Images from a year later told a different story. Kennedy was dead along with five other of their number.
The remaining wiccans all agreed in a last call, desperate vote, to venture from their secure shelter. The very valid argument was that if they did not find new water – even if it needed de-contaminating for weeks – they would run out of drinking water in just under six months.
The consequent breaches in the wards around their space in order to venture to the surface and tap into any available water sources (five years on from ‘the blackening’) did not go unnoticed. Within days their compound was invaded and all captured, the magical women prized by their demon captors less for their magical abilities than the fact that they were well and of breeding age.
Three weeks of semi-sedated, blindfolded, hands tied and mouth gagged later, the women had learned to curl up in their tiny individual cages, if possible pushing skin against metal so they might touch another through the wire for a little comfort. All in the holding venue desperately accepted the drugged food and drink they were fed once a day, and learned quickly not to utter a sound when the gag was removed to eat, for fear of a beating.
On the fifteenth day of their capture the lights flicked up to high and ten or more demons entered to claim their purchases. The humans had been sold. Live human women, ripe for the picking in a desperate world.
The demon who had purchased Willow and two others was wary of all magical ability, as they all swiftly found out. Within a week they had been left to their own devices in the enclosure, and though bound, had begun to chant a portal spell to attempt an escape. Within seconds of them starting, their owner was alerted of the attempt by his own mage. They were hit by tranquilizing darts less than two seconds later, and their demon master was counselled that permanently silencing the women was the only solution. It was to be done swiftly and without malice, though the attempt to escape did require that they all be reprimanded first. The three woke gagged, bound and left helpless for a full day in a humiliating body sling, high up near the rafters of their shelter, an example to others.
Lowered to the ground Willow and her fellow wiccans had been anaesthetized and woke to find that chanting was no longer an option. That night they had cried in silence, no longer possessing a working larynx and aware enough to have understood the threat that if this did not ‘address their aberrant behaviour’ then a tongue removal would result.
In her third month of captivity, Willow and her two fellow wiccans again felt the sting of a dart only to wake on their backs, their arms, torso and forehead strapped to a table, buttocks at the edge and legs strung up in medical stirrups, leaving them utterly open and exposed. They were examined internally, efficiently and in silence, then injected with some sort of hormone, and… something else… two days later the process was repeated.
By the end of the week there was a slight change in the process. Willow came to, aware enough to note a softly spoken demon dressed in a one piece white, sterile jumpsuit consulting with another regal looking female individual in what could only be described as a purple caftan. They poked and prodded her before injecting her with… oh?! ten… nine… black…
Two months on and she knew instinctively. She was with child. She and her wiccan sisters were kept in a smallish, padded enclosure, fed well, and treated with relative kindness as they all grew large, their unborn children thriving in vitro.
Three years later found Willow the mother of one and about to deliver her first set of twin girls. She was now housed with three others, all fellow, voiceless wiccans. Her owner was a kind, but old school demon and kept her breeders isolated from the outside world. The breeding of humans was still being perfected, and the owners of the more refined strains met frequently. Years later they would form a powerful group allied to the Suzerain, but in Willow’s declining years their influence was still to blossom.
Willow’s children were all redheads with magical abilities. She was allowed daily contact with the other breeding women but at night the little girls were housed with their mother, all sleeping on a soft communal mat and instinctively cuddling together for warmth and comfort. The two tiniest ones hardly woke as they rolled over, found their mother’s breast and fed when needed. From the age of two until ten the children were taken daily to be trained for their role in the now trendy mode ‘Companion’ for their demon masters. In the very early days Willow had tried to object but repeated days of being chained to the wall of the enclosure later, she had stopped fighting. She recognised the genuine care the owner demons had for her children, and with no other choice available, she eventually bent to her breeder’s will.
Ten years on… Her owner had been showing someone else around the stud farm, they often had many demon visitors of late, as her Master’s farm was well run and making significant profits apparently. Willow lifted her gaze for a moment and almost fainted.
From her position on the floor, collar in place and lead loose, she stared over at her old friend with such a maelstrom of emotion that she was unsure whether to laugh hysterically, or collapse in grief, but just at that moment the unborn she carried kicked hard and her fourteen month old began to cry. Her milk dropped and her Owner recognized the scent immediately, nodding that she might move. Willow rested against the wall nearest her Demon Master, looked lovingly, and apologetically to Xander before collecting her first borne to her breast and feeding the fussing little redhead. The little child calmed, and even from his submissive position, Xander could see the scaly grey hand stroking Willow’s back as their two Masters spoke of their luck at finding breeding age humans.
The two breeding ‘Companions’ ‘ex-Scoobies’ Willow and Xander were observed to exchange a look of sad understanding. Both were obviously well treated and had been saved the ravages of the radiation and mayhem above ground, but their fight to save the world from demons had proven in vain – not because of any failure on their part, but because of the very species they were trying to save.
Willow’s line would eventually include thirteen breeding daughters all bred of the same Sire. Xander’s progeny and consequent offspring were an unknown number, though the direct clones were well documented.
Willow had apparently cried when she found out the true father of all her daughters, over hearing her owner saying that a werewolf answering to Oz had been ‘convinced’ to donate his seed before succumbing to a mutant strain of golden staphylococcus infection.
The children were all female as the breeder insisted, petite, intelligent and beautiful. Willow and Oz’s eventual legacy was a line of women sporting red hair, green eyes and pale skinned without exception and, as Willow’s daughters were paired with a male of similar looks and a history of magical connections, their tendency for ‘other worldliness’ was maintained in every child for three generations.
The archives noted that Willow had passed away of heart failure as she attempted to deliver her thirteenth child. Four generations later, the refined of the line were being trained as human breeders and Companions whose magical energies were painlessly tapped into as they slept, whenever needed by their owners. Sadly when their breeder’s establishment was raided and eighteen of the breeding great-granddaughters stolen from two of the enclosures, the result was disastrous.
The feral human group ‘liberated’ the terrified pregnant women with little thought for their ability to fend for themselves. Within a year all but three had died of starvation, complications in childbirth or ‘misadventure’. A lucky two followed a bold young male who was convinced that the northern most tip of what had previously been Ireland was ‘clean’. After nine weeks of life threatening travel carrying tiny children and a perilous night boat journey, they found an isolated enclave of feral humans willing to ‘take them in’.
Years later, a particularly brutal raid would find many of their magical redheaded females claimed as property by a gentle young demon, Sean.
Eventually Sean’s Lillie had been a survivor from the same farm.
Angel smiled as he listened to the ‘Channeller’ once more. His Sire too was smiling at the news. Their tiny charge Lillie was indeed one of Willow’s line, Sean had seen to that. And it made sense. She was sweet and devoted, and without a doubt, magically gifted.
As the happy news was relayed, Lisbeth also reported finding her with a bedroom full of toys spinning around the room and the tiny redhead giggling with delight after only her second month of training in the magical arts.
For Spike, there was really no question of Lillie moving back with he and Alexander, as he had repeatedly observed Angelus casually petting the little girl just as tenderly as he stroked his own Childe, and wondered at how different the behaviour was to when the same being (the original Angelus) had been his own Sire.
But Spike’s attention was redirected with urgency and reverie abandoned as the mage began to chant and his new Childe rose.
Alexander burst to unlife suddenly around seven at night in a panicked flurry of flailing limbs. Confused and without compass, he attempted to make sense of his world, but there were heart beats and sounds bright lights and… he stilled, remembered, and relaxed against the firm, pale chest, accepting the strong arms encircling him and giving in to the sense of pure joy.
He was Alexander, Claimed Companion… now second Childe of the Suzerain… and he could *feel* the change… the power… the love… the scent of his maker…
He did the only thing a fledge in his situation might, whispering, “Sire” he began to cry as he changed face then buried his fangs into his Sire’s chest and took his rising feed.
Minutes later he fed from Angelus and Lisbeth… Family was all.