FB (+ or -) would be nice... but just maybe no one reading ::sighs::
Rating: Mature Audiences – for content and themes
Summary: The Immortal Anton is now universally accepted as the Sire of the High Master William Aurelius (aka Spike) and his Esteemed Consort, now Childe, Xander, just as he is to the Full Blood Aurelian, Connor. He has supported them all in the past, perhaps now it's his turn
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.
Xander woke to a strange thump to his leg, then another man grabbing him and pulling him from the now fiery confines of their destroyed cover.
The sharp order, “Lie still!!” reflected his rescuer’s fear, before the weight lifted from his chest and deft hands tied something around the now painful, throbbing limb.
“’s a bullet mate, Doc ‘ll fix that in a jiffy. But ya gotta stay with me, OK? Just… they’re pullin’ us off next, so…” Xander drifted as the pain in his leg intensified, “Heath!!! Bloody Hell! just stay with me!”
They were still huddled in lines for two days later, the evacuation taking far longer than any had suspected. The sound of the aircraft and the ensuing whine of incoming bombs and zing of bullets was terrifying, and the screams of the wounded and dying even worse. They were sitting ducks, trapped on the strip of land that made up the beach at Dunkirk, their only hope to wade out to one of the hundreds of boats that pulled in each night to take them back to England.
They were some of the last, Edward/Spike’s had entered the date in his pocket book June 3, 1940 then wrote what he thought might be a last note to his mother. Heath/Xander, was drifting in and out of consciousness, his friend in battle badly wounded with the bullet lodged somewhere in his upper thigh, he might keep the leg, if only they could make it to ‘old Blighty’ in time.
They were finally given the signal to move. Edward pulled up his wounded mate, slung his arm over a strong shoulder and wrapped his own around a chest that was heaving all too fast then as best he could, took off across the sand and into the water.
As he pushed his dear friend into the hands on the small boat, he felt Heath slump and pass out. He was then lifted into the small transfer boat along with at least ten others of the British forces, several, like his friend Heath, in various states of ill health, including (rather surprisingly) a man with two young boys at his side, one distressingly, obviously missing an arm. His heart went out to the father who sported French army colours. He had no idea why the boys had been taken into battle with their father… and paid the price.
Minutes later they were being assisted or lifted onto the larger cruising vessel, greeted by a stern looking man who welcomed them ‘on behalf of the British government and Anton of Kent’ then the gent introducing himself. “I am Gregor. Your injured will be tended to shortly, I apologise for the conditions but we will have you to safety soon.”
As they left the smaller vehicle and were guided onto the large pleasure yacht, Edward had fancied he heard a near inaudible, “Stupid humans and they call us evil!” from one of their compatriots on the boat, and as he turned fancied he saw the yellow eyes of a cat, but was later sure he was mistaken.
The trip was swift but even as they pulled away from the deadly beach to relative safety, Heath(Xander) was starting to sweat and breath heavily with a fever. Edward released the bandage from his leg, noting the rather unhealthy pale yellow ooze spreading across the swollen red entry wound. He was horrified, then intensely grateful when what seemed like a medico arrived at his friend’s side and offered assistance.
Anton lifted the young man into the main cabin which had been set up as a makeshift operating theatre. Unwilling to let his friend out of his sight Edward peeped in, then snuck into the room and with the nod from the handsome young doctor, sat on the makeshift operating table and eased Heath’s unconscious head onto his lap, then was shocked and amazed as the strangely familiar surgeon put his mouth to the wound sucked hard for some minutes then finally spat both bullet and puss into a kidney bowl. What followed was the part that dear Edward, with Spike’s full memories understood. The area was laved then the Immortal’s blood was applied liberally, and a little dribbled into the man’s mouth, and Edward watched amazed as the area began to heal and the fever abated.
And as the young doctor levelled his gaze at Edward and was about to speek, but Spike’s memories mixed with Edward’s, he said something that was *not* Edward’s to say… “Oh Sire! Thank you.”
Anton simply thought he had misheard, then looked hard at the young soldier once more.
“You know me?”
Again it was Spike not Edward who answered. “In another life, please… come back to us Sire…” then Edward’s personality took control again and the sight the foul puss and bullet in the tray and the horror of the past weeks overwhelmed him. He passed out on the floor.
Anton was left to wonder but dismissed the whole incident as an oddity of war as he and Gregor lifted the two into the lounge of the boat and settled them side by side on the floor.
“He spoke like family Gregor… he addressed me as Sire.” Anton stroked over the dark hair of the young man in his care, then that of his friend and Gregor recognised the pain and loneliness. “Yet he is not one of the Brachens?”
“No… it is only Jean and his sons this trip… No this one addressed me as though I had abandoned him, but not now… Perhaps he is a seer. Perhaps I do have a family beyond you in the future… Perhaps…”
“You deserve that my dear, Master, my Sire… But for now…” Gregor looked around and as no one was watching, he bared his neck. Anton simply licked over his own Siring scar then kissed his wonderful servant chastely.
“Thank you Gregor, you are as much family as friend, I will never forget that.” Anton took Gregor’s hand and squeezed it meaningfully, then turned to tend the small Brachen demon boy with the missing arm.
It was Gregor’s turn to sit with his Master and the ruling couple, but had Stephanie come running as he shouted, his hand had been squeezed, it had not been his imagination – there were the fingermarks of a preternaturally strong grip.
“It wasn’t just a reflex?”
“I really don’t think so… He is in there still Steph… I offered my neck and he seemed to notice a little.”
Gregor looked sad and distressed at the query, before answering rather dejectedly, “No…”
“Should we wake Connor?”
“Let’s just tell the family when they get up. He has enough to do today. There are some investments to sort and the western clans are getting antsy over the lack of the quarterly court sitting.”
Stephanie nodded solemnly. It had been a near desperate seven weeks now. Despite feeding them, both Anton and Spike were now so thin that they appeared positively skeletal and Xander was not far behind. If things did not change in the next week, they all knew, there would be no option but to bring the High Master and his Consort back and leave Anton to his final demise. None of the household willing to discuss the consequences of such a decision and all terrified of the same.
After the latest shift, Spike was a little more hopeful, he could feel his Mate and knew he had been able to address Anton directly. But what followed for the two were more flashes of Spike’s history and Angel’s history: Spike’s capture in 1943 in Poland and consequent Nazi incarceration; 1944 Angel and Spike in a submarine and Angel’s siring of Lawson; his return to Europe and reunion with Dru in post war London; and the mid fifties in Rome as half the Scourge of Europe enjoyed wining and dining with (and on) the Nuevo set – a far cry from the first time Angelus and he had been there.
The two boys woke suddenly, confused by the speed of the transition but apparently lying in the sun, skimpily clad beside a pool. For a moment both thought themselves to be back on Kimolos but the attire was not quite right. Evan/Spike sat up first, judging by the dress and hairstyles, it had to be the early 1960s. He and Thomas/Xander stood with the rest of the guests as the royal couple arrived followed by their two little children and a nanny.
Prince Rainier III made the toast hand in hand with his stunning wife, Her Serene Highness Grace of Monaco.
“To the New Constitution and the National Council”
The guests all answered “To the Constitutional Monarchy, to Prince Rainier may you live long and rule well.”
It was the Princess who continued, looking directly at the handsome young man in the corner of the garden and raising her glass, “Now… I must thank our kind host… *dear* Anton – you really have outdone yourself this time.” Right on cue fireworks fired streamers skyward and an ice sculpture of a Formula 1 car with joyful couple (obviously meant to be the Prince and Princess) was wheeled out to rest in front of the bar flanked by several trestles of food.
Caroline and Albert II were ushered from the gathering as soon as the applause died down and the party continued.
Spike took a time to absorb his host body’s memories, but clearly registered that the mere touch of fingers as they both reached for a strawberry, had his nether regions in need of cover, or covering. He looked across and recognized the reciprocal nod and tenting, strategically placed towel. They were lovers and partners. He knew that much. But lovers in private, it was not the era for ‘coming out’.
The two extremely attractive, rich boys from relatively ‘old money’ in the USA had both finished at Princeton together, Evan II (Spike) with a Masters in Law, while his friend Tom (Xander) had specialised in Architecture. They had been ‘free’ for three months, both sets of parents happy to indulge the wish of their sons to travel and, on their behalf, more than willingly accepted the invitation of one of Evan’s father’s most influential clients, John Kelly (father of Grace no less!) that the two boys spent their first summer in Monaco. They had been wined and dined, introduced to the rich and the famous and, in private, consolidated their devotion to each other… but only in private.
They had quickly become the darlings of the jetset, never without a girl on each arm, and choosing to be perfect gentlemen to all, kissing openly for the paparazzi, but only bedding the women if there was risk to their own partnership being compromised, revealed, and always satisfying the female without reaching completion themselves. Completion was for their true partner, though their fly by night lovers were most appreciative of their attentions and admitted as much to many other lady friends.
Now five years together and both heading up the corporate ladder in their chosen city (Boston), they had chosen to take their holidays in Monte Carlo every year since 1957, always staying at the same set of classic apartment overlooking the harbour.
They had heard of Anton, his reputation as a legendary lover of the ladies, every encounter apparently ‘most satisfactory’, but what intrigued the two young Americans was more his business prowess and the whisper that his taste in lovers was quite ‘inclusive’, when the host was spied standing at the door behind the royal party, they were both taken aback. He was young, unusually tall and strikingly handsome.
Tom/Xander saw his friend’s interest and whispered under his breath, “Window shopping only, unless it’s a threesome!” Evan/Spike answered with a wicked grin and, “You wish… you and me both.”
It was December 1962, they were successful and attractive, their income large and disposable, the parties lavish and cars fast, and yet when their young host approached them and shook each proffered hand in turn it all fell away. It was as though his touch spoke to their souls.
Anton felt drawn to the two, and noticed the furtive sideways looks between the two men, knew the smell of arousal, the raised heart beats and the literally magical connection. He was intrigued. They were not demons, that was obvious, but as Evan turned his baby blue eyes toward the Immortal, Anton felt a bolt of energy like no other, as Spike’s memories and personality rose very close to the surface of the mind and body he was in, though technically it was still Evan talking.
Spike completely fluent in French, so it was a slightly puzzled Evan that conversed easily in the language, despite considering himself rather ‘a struggler’ with foreign language. In French he said, “It is a privilege to meet you. This is my very dearest friend, Tom. Thank you so much for the party.”
Anton replied also in French, “Indeed I am happy you could come… and I must ask, do I know you? I’m sorry but you seem very familiar…” He smiled as he saw both young men blush, and could smell the connection between the two but was still puzzled by the slight zing of magic. “I am sure that I have embarrassed you now. Please allow me to refill your glasses and invite you out on my yacht tomorrow. We are heading out on a fishing expedition, a boys’ day out, so to speak, assuming you have nothing else on of course.”
“No, no, it’s fine and um… Thank you.” Spike’s control retreated and Evan did the rest seamlessly.
And so it was arranged, the following day the two men were sitting on a cruising boat the size of their apartment, complete with staff and captain. What surprised them was that it was only Anton and his manservant Gregor and themselves aboard. They had both attempted to do ‘due diligence’ on their host, coming up only with his vast investments and number of properties worldwide, plus a number of obscure facts including that his family had first stayed in Monaco when the Grimaldi’s took it for their own in 1298 AD.
They basked in the sun, enjoyed the wine and fine conversation and eventually did a spot of fishing. Tom/Xander unable to stem his curiosity as he stood beside Gregor monitoring the lines, and said in rather broken, badly worded French, “Master Anton is wonderful.”
To which Gregor looked surprised but quickly answered, “Yes he is.”
“Are you and he… amoure?”
“I am his servant and friend, so yes I do love him.”
“Ohhh, sorry… but it is just … Ron and I…”
To Tom/Xander’s surprise Gregor switched to answer in English “It is neither my business nor my place to pass judgement. Love, in all its guises, does not rely on society’s rules or logic. And the love of family…” Gregor trailed off for a moment as he felt his Master approach the line of rods he and Tom were currently attending. “The love of family is something else again, it embraces us with all our encumbrances, just as a long time lover might.”
As Evan emerged to join the group on the back of the boat, Gregor fell silent but did not fail to see the quiet, affectionate touch of hands as Tom was joined by his friend to tend the rods.
Later that afternoon, the two men had been put at ease regards their ‘situation’ and were utterly relaxed, Evan/Spike lying back between Tom/Xander’s legs. Their host had been quite frank about his disregard for the ‘no touching’ rule between men, going so far as to openly encourage their partnership. It was a relief and welcome change.
As they motored back to shore, Evan found himself alone with Anton and took the time to simply thank his wonderful host on both their behalves.
“You knew we were together… how?”
“Love shines through Evan… always… and you love a person not a gender… remember that… love him for as long as you have. Some of us will never have that privilege.”
Evan was struck by how very sad their wonderful host was at that moment and moved to put his hand over Anton’s as it rested on the rear rail of the boat. “Thank you… I will… on all counts… I will love Tom… we do love…” He trailed off and both men simply stared out to sea as they returned to port. And Spike’s world went black.