Rating: Mature Audiences – for content and themes
Summary: Anya utters a final garbled set of words that sets off a wish that will alter Xander’s existence forever…
Spoilers: Canon is Post S7 BtVS and S5 AtS.
Warnings: M/M – if you don’t like boys together, don’t play here! *Toys* and angst too… and lovin’ eventually
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.
Three and a half weeks later with the sorcerer’s threat remaining unresolved, more and more disenchanted demons poured in (most from other regions or renegades with no existing clan or family) all begging refuge and pledging themselves to the Bay Area Masters in every quarter. Some were treated with suspicion though most were so pathetic that there was little need.
It seemed the Sorcerer Barnardo delighted in using and abusing his ‘followers’ as he called them. Once pledged to him, everyone (even the senior members of families, renegade slayers and one Master vampire) was forced to wear a collar with his name on it and prostrate themselves whenever entering his presence – to the point he set a spell to punish any who forgot, causing them to crawl everywhere until *he* decided they might rise.
The ones who escaped commented on his mood swings, his inconsistent set of rules, of him favouring one person one day and turning on them the next should they not successfully do his bidding. And yet in places destabilized by his ruthless elimination of key moderates, he managed to convince many that he was the only option. Most dissidents fled before they encountered him, others weren’t so lucky.
It was around nine thirty at night, a week before Santiago’s third ever change, when two very young, pretty male vampires (obviously twins), all but fell into the Santiago’s magic shop, to the great surprise of its owner.
They were desperately thin, unwashed, near delirious and conjoined from the elbow down and had a strange arrangement of four malformed hooked fingers or thumbs coming from the end. They prostrated themselves in front Santiago and begged him to tell them how to contact any one of the Masters from the Bay area that might be willing to give them refuge, adding that they were outcasts of Sorcerer Barnardo.
“He did this?” Santiago’s gaze dropped to the odd shared arm. Both sets of desperate, pale green eyes dropped, and one voice whispered, “Yes”.
“Well, you’re safe here… I’m Santiago by the way… but please come and sit on the couch over there where the books are, while I see what I can do.”
The two young vampires were in such bad shape that when asked to rise, one boy’s legs gave out, pulling his brother back down with him.
“Oh Geez! Stay there… just stay there OK… I um…” He noted that the two were kneeling and leaning against each other, eyes closed and with unmistakable looks of pain across otherwise rather androgynous faces. He raced to the back of the shop, fast dialled Spike and explained the scene without mentioning the arm, the boys themselves should have the chance to explain.
“…Yeah, here just now… Man, they are in *very* bad shape. I think you should come down. And Spike, maybe pronto…… Thank you”
Santiago then grabbed two bags of the ‘special beverages’ he sold to some of his more nocturnall customers, heated up the out of date ‘O pos’ in two large mugs, then walked back to the two. They had not moved except to embrace in a desperate gesture of two who were about to find that they had made the wrong decision. Consequently they looked up in wonder as Santiago squatted down in front of them, held out the mugs and waited for them to accept them. But they didn’t move.
Finally he put one down, “C’mon hombre, you need food… this is the best. The Ruling Master of the Bay Region and his Consort are coming. You are safe here.”
He pressed a mug into one man’s hand, then picked up the other and repeated the act with the twin. The two raised the mugs, falling into game face and trying to drink slowly but just unable to contain their demon as the blood slid down their throat. Mugs were empty in seconds, both carefully licking into them to try to catch the last drops.
“Now because it’s still technically business hours for me… why don’t we get you two comfortable in my place upstairs. Master Spike will be along soon.” He smiled, took the mugs and put them with him and offered his other hand to assist the boy who had collapsed previously. It was gratefully accepted and the three made their way through a rear door and slowly up a set of stairs, Santiago suddenly realizing how difficult life would be for them as they struggled up the spiral staircase awkwardly and very slowly having to twist their combined arm at an almost impossible angle in order to stay one step behind the other, rather than one of them having to tackle the narrow side of the stairs in their weakened state.
Once up, Santiago pointed them at the shower and found two fresh broad towels. “You want I brought some new boxers this week – more than happy you should have them, and I have some track pants, they’ll swim on you but … at least you’ll feel clean… not sure about your… um… Could do a sweat shirt each I guess – just have to keep your middle arm down … we can sort something better later…”
The boys simply nodded, took the towels and wandered into the bathroom in a daze.
Santiago went to the small lounge room and had begun to tidy up a little when he heard the toilet flush and realised that the two blondes would *never* have privacy again – unless the spell could be reversed which he very much doubted, given the sorcerer’s track record, and to fuse vampire flesh in that way without it reversing... heavy mojo.
When the shower started and he heard one man crying and the other attempting to comfort but that voice too was tearful. The least he could do was give them some privacy and find the promised clothes, so retreated to his bedroom.
He pushed the door open a fraction and placed the clothes just inside the steamy room, then headed downstairs for three bags of blood and to turn his sign to ‘closed’. It was only half an hour before closing anyway, and it had been a very slow night.
By the time he had a few snacks on the table for Xander, himself, and probably Spike, and variety of drinks – including beers and blood and assorted other bits and pieces, the two rather shy men stepped from the shower room. They were dressed in rather too large sweat pants and over sized tops over their boyishly slim forms, but those had the advantage when the middle arm was considered. They were fairly completely covered, Santiago pleased as they had obviously lost their clothes, at least the upper ones, en route from Seattle.
The two had only just settled on the couch when he heard a key in the lock and Spike and Xander appeared. The twins immediately left the couch to kneel and offer their necks to the powerful Master. It was a formal gesture, made by two well mannered Childer educated in the Laws. Spike returned the gesture equally formally. He bent bared his teeth and merely touched his fangs to the neck of the first blonde then did the same to the second before saying, “I am Master Spike, William the Bloody of the line of Aurelius and this is my Consort Alexander Harris. You are welcome in our Region brothers. What are your names?”
“Master Spike, I am Philip and this is my twin brother Andrew, Childer of Master St John of the line of Teredi. Our Master is no longer Sir, he was dusted almost a month ago.”
That over, they all sat and for the first time Spike and Xander noticed the two apparently holding hands, but when one scratched himself using the deformed appendage, gasped at the truth, then was further horrified by their story.
Their Sire had been Master ‘St John’ (pronounced ‘sinjn’), the Ruler of the hugely successful Seattle and surrounding clans and families of demons. Their region also encompassed Olympia and they had modelled their ‘alliance management’ on the Bay Area with great success – and like Spike – found that their territories were no longer in dispute. The Ruling Master had been killed by an assassin using the same poison as that which had nearly dusted Spike.
Andrew and Philip were not with him at the time, but were grabbed as they returned after a night of clubbing and ‘skim feeding’. They would have followed their Sire and minions to a dusty end, but the Sorcerer took rather a fancy to them and decided to convince them to follow him, then keep them as his *personal* pets. They refused to ‘join with him’ in any way, even after three weeks of all sorts of coercion, humiliation, imprisonment and a severe whipping. The sorcerer had screamed that they would therefore be joined to *each other* forever and began to chant.
Andrew had apparently grabbed Philip’s hand to pull him out of the way but the bolt of green hit them both. They had recovered consciousness only to find that the connection was irreversible, the sorcerer taking great delight in telling them that the only way to separate was to remove the arm altogether. But then they would need to be careful... the amputation point would *never* heal. He then had them manhandled from the premises, *their* home and they had fled to find refuge, boarding a freight train in the dead of night and making their way to San Francisco in the hope…
Spike stood after they obviously finished, fell into game face and bit his own wrist, offering it first to Andrew then Philip. “I knew your Sire, he was a fine Master and will be sorely missed. I too lost my Sire, and my way for a while, but existence has a strange way of healing and strengthening us.”
The young vampires had taken only a mouthful each but felt the zing of an old vampire’s blood. Spike held his wrist out to Xander who licked the wound as it healed.
“Now let’s sort you somewhere to stay.”
Santiago had been quiet for the entire exchange but now spoke up. “Xander’s old room is still there, and Spike I really need someone here at the shop for three nights a month anyway – otherwise… well you know, and they could keep a check on me too, now we’ve put the bars in the cellar. Good job that … anyway… they can work for food and board.”
The twin vampires on the couch were not sure what to make of the cryptic suggestion until Xander turned to them, “Your ‘friend’, the sorcerer, decided to give our dear Santiago a trip to ‘Lycanthrope Land’. He was too hard to kill, so they made him a werewolf instead. He’s still new to it, so it’s best he’s contained for those nights… to that end we’ve built a nice strong cage in the basement – but it has comfortable features.”
Both men stared at Santiago’s dark handsome face in wonder then both nodded madly.
Santiago added, “And I have a friend Maria who specialises in demon attire, I’m sure she could easily make you some great stuff, let you dress separate but cuff together.”
At that, the twins stood, wobbled a little despite the now two pints of blood each in two hours, and swiftly moved to soundly hug the werewolf and wonder at their good fortune. They shook hands with Xander and Spike simultaneously, and the ruling couple dismissed themselves while the twins were shown around their new abode.