rngrdead (rngrdead) wrote in bloodclaim,
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Leading Lines # 11

Title: Leading Lines (Seventh arc in the Five Gold Rings canon

Author: josie_h@yahoo.com
Archived at:
http://www.excessant.com/fiction/josie/five_rings/five_rings.htm OR
http://www.livejournal.com/tools/memories.bml?user=rngrdead
Pairing: Xander/Spike
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.

Please give feedback - it is what drives the muse.


PART 11

There was little change but Connor still woke suddenly. He was itchy and irritated and felt, for the first the link for the first time in weeks.

Exhausted from feeding his dear relatives as best he could, and from the many long weeks of managing the clans (with the help of his partner, Gregor and occasionally the wonderful Minna), he was convinced that things were changing. It was a dreadful decision. If Anton was truly failing, Connor had to pull his relatives from their innate state and they all had to cope with the loss of a Sire – Spike, and he (for different reasons) for the second time. And Xander too would suffer.

Helle and their children all worried for their dear Connor. Even Olivia noticed that ‘Pa’ was waning and Mama was worried.

Helle was exhausted too, but the five eldest of Connor’s children surrounded their father, fed him and understood as he bit down and dripped a now all too thin wrist into the mouths of their impossibly thin relatives.

After the report of the movement, Helle called Willow and the wiccan agreed to arrange an immediate flight. They would arrive in Basel by early morning to be met by the boys’ helicopter. If this was to be the moment, then the wiccans had to be there.

…………………….

Xander was the first to wake, but his partner in life (and death) woke seconds later. They were back stage in a rather upmarket establishment in the main ‘nightclub/theatre strip’ of Paris. The calendar next to their highly lit mirrors read September 1, 1985, the day the Mated Childe had turned four in Sunnydale. The body he shared shivered a little with the strange timing.

It wasn’t the Lido, but their clientele were rich and their show well funded and continuing to be enthusiastically reviewed after their first three weeks of the production. Neither vampire recognized the bodies they were in initially, but gasped as realization hit.

Their Trenath demon forms were a combination of male and female human, with a few additions, and the pretty reflections in the brightly lit mirrors confirmed their ambiguous status.

Both had long mobile prehensile tails with a tuft at the base that concealed a deadly spike (used only in defence), and the tightly curled golden blonde tresses that normally cascaded to their waistlines though usually tied up or swept back, disguised the thin soft spines that also grew there.

Slim and extremely tall, with fully functional male genitalia that hung just a little further back than human, the two made magnificent ‘Les Triumph” members. The rest of the chorus were simply wonderfully versatile human men – at least as far as the Trenath were concerned, and they often wondered about the drugs and other adjustments that seemed necessary to keep the male human bodies ‘female enough’ for the show.

Xander stood as his friend turned carefully and he inspected that they had both removed any trace of their silky covering of soft fur from… everywhere, earlier, then both adjusted their belts around the slim hips that gave the impression the tail was all part of the added tail of white ostrich feathers. Their human looking breasts and slim waists were trussed in uncomfortable sequin and diamante covered halter neck bras, and private male parts tucked back in the extremely tight matching thong. The stockings and heels were old hat and easy to manage.

The two lined up behind the other fourteen ‘girls’, their feather head dresses now in place and waited for the signal. The performance was a triumph (as usual) with a standing ovation at the end of the show.

Spike (apparently Lolita on stage, though he was fairly sure his name was in truth Talis) took an extra solo bow as it had been his/her dulcet tones that had wooed the audience in the second half of the show as he apparently seduced ‘the beast’, Xander (Rene, the stage name proper name Christof).

Rene had had his small breasts swiftly and tightly bound in the costume change, furry blonde tail let out and blonde suit and huge mane and mask in place to give him the appearance of a stage lion. Lolita/Spike’s tail was concealed under a classic chiffon ball gown. ‘She’ stroked ‘him’ provocatively through the suit for the pleasure of the audience, few missing the fact that the boy was visibly *very excited* as his erect member became evident through the costume. Consequently, they had been given a standing ovation after the two finished the song in a passionate embrace, his mask pushed off as the two kissing as two new lovers might, and so convincingly that the smell of arousal was evident in the audience. (Spike and Xander’s old memories and the thought of being in the public eye further adding to the moment.)

The two demons were beginning to strip off their costumes and remove their makeup when there was a quiet knock at the door. Lolita/Talis/Spike quickly pulled up his hair and Rene/Christof/Xander tucked his tail under the table, hopeful that it was well out of view.

The producer, Monsieur Trelor was a rather pretentious, stout, balding man with little hair but a ridiculously large moustache fashioned after Salvador Dali’s, entered. He was accompanied by one of the show’s major investors, a rather enigmatic, apparently incredibly rich (old money), and stunningly handsome male, who was introduced simply as ‘Master Anton’.

The producer was apparently very excited by the presence of the quiet younger man, almost to the point of being rather dismissive of the two performers they had come to visit as he chatted away regards his own accomplishments. “Oh and may I introduce Lolita and Rene, aka Talis and Christof. They both came to us your USSR your connections I understand, but then you probably know that already, and I would ask if you might negotiate with Mr Spakarolov to send another couple of his dancers down”, he winked knowingly at the Immortal but seeing the look of relative disdain, quickly back-peddled, “Ahhh but it could even be for just this season to cover any injury or illness – we could ahhhh, cover cost with two more matinee performances I’m sure.”

Anton had not taken his eyes of the two performers, and said rather absently, “Yes, yes, of course, no problem… Now can you give me a moment with the stars of the show… in private… if you don’t mind. I have news from home…”

The producer looked rather peeved at being dismissed so quickly, but knew that Master Anton had a reputation for being a little aloof – though always generous with his funds and good to his word. Trelor would have his requested new ‘girls’ and the show would benefit by him being able to rest some of the others who were finding ten (now twelve) shows a week somewhat of a physical challenge.

As he let himself out of the ‘star’ change-room he heard a conversation begin in what he assumed to be Russian. In truth it was the common tongue of the modern Trenath, a strange mixture of standard Russian, ancient ‘lower’ Norse, and other words exclusive to their race.

As soon as the boys heard their guest speak the familiar words they both threw off their costumes and knelt, eyes down. The two young demons had known as soon as Master Anton entered that there was something magical, and very different, about their company’s benefactor.

“Dear Talis, Christof, I know who and what you are… And your family sends you good wishes and is proud that you are making your way so successfully in the human realm, though I am sad to say I have little other news.

We have successfully negotiated on your behalf, to remove your clan from the rather tumultuous and worrying situation, but have yet to establish the exact date of safe passage for your clan. I am afraid the upheaval Glasnost and the fall of the wall is causing makes times confusing even for humans, especially in the old Leningrad, as well as for we demons (your family case in point), though I am told the move is scheduled for some time in the next two months. I guarantee your families will have new feeding grounds and a community of Trenath around them.”

Talis/Spike looked up in wonder, then reached out and kissed the back of Master Anton’s hand then touched it to his two cheeks and forehead in turn as was a customary sign of deep gratitude and fealty, Christof did likewise.

They had both been squirreling away as much money as they could for the last year, in the hope that the promised migration of their parents and siblings to the south of Europe would eventually be possible.

Anton continued, “In anticipation my staff have arranged accommodation and will be happy to introduce your family members to the Trenath families just outside Toulouse. They will be looked after well and have the chance to settle with a minimum of fuss. I know it is not Paris but it is the best I can do at the current time. And do remember that investment advice is always available – I note you have been pushing money into the account I suggested.”

It was Christof/Xander who found his voice first and looked up with gratitude and admiration, “Oh yes Master… But this… it is more than we could ever expect… thank you… thanks to you…” The pretty demon’s voice broke and in a near falsetto he finished as tears began to flow, “It was getting so hard for them to feed… and we were… but thanks to you…”

Anton was visibly moved as the two young demons bared their necks, an act so far from the Trenath as to be an extreme sacrifice. He simply stroked over the place he should have bitten and thanked them quietly as two tails wrapped gently around his calves and the three shared a quiet moment. Spike and Xander’s memories were so close to the surface that they both leaned into his touch and sighed, “Thank you Sire” in unison.

Their worlds fell to black and Anton in the real world had tears flowing freely.

……………………

They raced through the next few years with the similar flashes as before, but now time appeared to be coming closer and closer together, Anton in various locations across Europe, Asia Minor, Bombay, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan and even on the east coast of America, though all seemed business related be it demon or financial or legal (Spike recognized several of the negotiators from his own history of trading – including the infamous Elona Costa di Bianci CEO Wolfram and Hart. And as the lady herself pointed out, the negotiations were always … most satisfactory.

His base was obviously Italy, Tuscany in particular but Rome often… But the one thing that seemed evident in all of the flashes was that, however respected and successful the Immortal was and the many ‘liaisons’, there still seemed to be a great sense of emptiness, sadness and loss. Both Spike and Xander recognized the feelings and their real bodies shed precious tears, the increasingly desiccated bodies, in truth, ill able to afford spilling even that little liquid.

All three now had feeding tubes inserted in the previous week, but the atrophy and dehydration had continued.

Willow had been called, they had to pull Spike and Xander back in the next three or four days. If Anton came with them, then well and good, but if nothing was done, the ruling couple would cease to be. The family would try to cope with Anton’s possible demise... though Gregor then Spike and Xander were sure to suffer debilitating grief and no doubt final death though the timing was rather uncertain… All had wills that requested that they be cremated (a simple matter of wood stake and heart) and their ashes be kept with the Immortal’s inert feet, should he or they not recover.

……………

Spike woke… somewhere… It was dark, he could feel another very soft, warm body next to his and pricked his ears so he could better hear… Dawn and Buffy arguing.

Dawn’s rather petulant whine was unmistakable as she lectured her sister… “I don’t know what the heck you need Buffy… but you are driving Andrew and me insane!”

“And why is Andrew still here exactly?”

“Oh come *on*! *You* were the one that said yes after the explosion *not* me! And… and as a matter of fact he is a *really* good cook, and takes me out… and his Italian is getting really good!”

Spike heard a snort of derision then, “Yeah, probably all the ‘private tutoring’ by the females of this city!”

“Like you don’t want some… Come *on* Buffy! It’s just one more date… and he adores you and just… well drop dead *gorgeous*…” Dawn decided to pull out her trump cards, “I know Mum… and even Spike would like him! Buffy, he sent you twenty four roses and chocolates after last time… *and* two kittens just because Andrew and I said we liked them! And he *knows* you’re a Slayer!!! What *more* do you want???”

“OK OK… Where’s the phone? We’ll go… happy?! But just for the record… fashion show… not really my thing…”

“For Ghod’s sake Buffy… We’re stuck in the back…You’ll be in the front row *with all the right people*! Right next to Madonna, Beyonce and that Lagerfeld dude!”

“Who?... What?... Really? From Austin Powers?”

“Jeez!!!” Spike could hear Dawn rolling her eyes, “Just go… OK?!!”

His furred friend was still asleep, but Spike blinked his blue eyes open and felt warm hands reach in and lift him gently from their sleeping basket onto the floor. Yellow brown eyes and pitch black the tiny form blinked for a moment then gave in to instinct as Dawn threw a minute woollen craft ball across their small lounge room. Spike took off and struck, claws extended and captured the errant ball first by claw then fang. He was strangely disappointed when the inanimate object failed to struggle, so dropped it at his Mistress’ feet (and could he just say ‘huh?’!)

The better part of the next half hour were spent with the game, Spike giving in completely to the joy of the stalk and pounce and chase and conquer… before very suddenly feeling overwhelmingly tired. He lapped a little of the milk presented him, then succumbed to sleep after being lifted into a wonderfully warm lap and stroked as the lovely Dawn told him why Buffy and the Immortal should be together and that Spike and Angel had been there the previous week and… and… black.

And their world shifted again

…………….

This time it was a strange moment of deja vous for Spike – though this time there was not even a visual manifestation. The two spirits intertwined then settled together in the corner of the sitting room of the ancient Tuscany villa to wait for the inhabitants.

Buffy was crying quietly as they entered, Anton also visibly upset as the conversation picked up in mid sentence as the door was closed carefully, “… When he said I’m… incapable… so not even with Connor’s… I mean I wouldn’t have pushed it except he’s… anyway… and they have four! … and Helle said… Oh lover I am *so* sorry… I just… I kind of knew with the death thing but… really wanted… with you, and I thought…”

The two ghosts saw Buffy collapse into strong arms of the man who had adored her for just over twenty years. “Shhhh dear one… we have both been put here for reasons beyond procreating… and we have been brought together by the Higher Powers, of that I am sure. You are *so* precious to me my lover, my friend, my everything. Let us rejoice in our grandchildren… Let us rejoice in them as our tribute to the world and what we stand for.”

As the two embraced for an impassioned kiss, both Xander and Spike felt the tug on their strange spiritual forms and entered the two – but they too were entwined, and in love. Four spirits melded and the moment overwhelming for all.

The ghost boys pulled out abruptly as a small Amelie entered the room, squeaked “Opa! Oma! Why were you a funny colour?” Then noticing her grandmother’s tears ran to her side and held her arms up saying simply “Hug?”

Buffy obliged and looked over at him as she cuddled the four year old to her… “This and you… I have my children… and my eternity… and you will have my love forever through them.” Then she shifted gears… “But no getting more girlfriends for at least a century after I’m gone buddy – ‘cause I’ll be watching… and am known to come back!” Anton grinned and kissed her passionately, despite Amelie being a little squished in the middle.

This time Spike and Xander’s world did not just turn black… it became excruciatingly painful.

………………….

Every loss they had ever experienced, all the grief, every regret, every injury, every perceived sin and shame distilled into a few minutes.

Connor felt an immense jolt through the familial link as all three on the bed regained consciousness. It was so strong that the entire household came running.

All three men were arching off the bed in agonized convulsions then, just as the last of the children arrived, collapsed crying. Their emaciated forms instinctively rolling toward each other to take comfort, and soon joined by Gregor, Connor then Stephanie, Helle the children and the wiccans… Post event they would all wonder how the bed did not collapse, and muse that it was just as well the three did not need to breathe.

But it was Anton’s rasped, “Thank you…[unnecessary breath] I…I... understand [sigh... hic] now… All… our children…[hic] Guess [sigh] I need to stay….” that took everyone's breath.


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