Title: Never Time Enough
Author: Part 1 50ftqueenie… then rngrdead – Ch 2 and beyond
Warnings/Squicks: M/M relations
Rating: NC-17 (or MA 15+ or R?) There is violence and sex and vampires, and boys.
Summary: Xander comes back from the past with a secret.
Note From 50ftqueenie: This can stand on its own as a ficlet, but honestly I know there's more to this story. Eventually I might revisit and do my own version….
Willow noticed the slow but sure walk of the two male figures as they emerged from the basement and the fact that they were firmly, and very obviously, holding hands.
There was an awkward silence where once an exuberant Xander in his late teens would have jumped in with a happy hello and some quip to break the ice. Now it was a controlled almost worryingly still Xander, who was seen to squeeze the hand of his Mate Spike and wait for others to respond to their presence.
Finally it was Giles who spoke, “Yes well, perhaps we should sit and… well chat with the two of you… umm… I don’t imagine you have had time to… ah… discuss… Oh dear…” Giles pulled off his glasses and polished them furiously. “You see we are all a little at a loss. It seems the whole history of the Scourge, Spike, Angelus, Darla and Drusilla, seems to have been altered. You see, I have returned to the Watcher diaries and frankly… you are now one of the features of William the Bloody’s early days. Indeed it seems apparent that it was only after you… ahhh… left… that the ‘family’ fell apart.”
Spike squeezed his Mate’s hand hard, cleared his throat a little, and looked up to catch Xander’s worried expression, “He’s right pet… You went missing then we searched. Dru was crazy, Darla left and Angelus tried, but I… I just couldn’t deal Xan…
Spike ceased trying to encompass the room and simply focused on his Mate, “I was… My *mate* was gone!... I was empty, half, nothing… and Dru was hysterical, kept saying she had caused it… truth be known she might have… who knows… I just wanted the hurt to stop… just had to find a way to make it end…”
Spike’s voice faltered to almost a whisper, but his dear Mated Consort kept hold of the hand and pressed his well defined leg against Spike’s slim thigh while sending adoration through their renewed link.
Spike took strength then looked hard at Giles, “Angelus did everything he could, but I took on anything and anyone, reveled in the fight, figured I’d go out all guns blazing if I couldn’t have my boy back… Whole villages, Master vampires, demon families, you name it… humans didn’t have a hope.”
Xander worried as Spike became more and more distressed, but Giles was persistent, “So you were proving yourself?”
Spike growled, as (surprisingly for the ‘Scoobie’ audience) did Xander, “You *prat*! Nothin’ to prove… just needed to punish them’s what’s took ‘im… and everyone else besides.”
But Giles persisted, “And the railway spikes?”
“Oh come on! Makin’ a point wasn’t I. Needed ‘em all to know that me, the Aurelian, would find the f@#$ers who took my Mate and deall!! Bloody vampire *pride* not to mention… Ahhh geez… you know what? I *don’t* need to do this! Watchers ‘ve got their soddin’ story… C’mon luv, let’s go kill something’.”
Xander was all but dragged from the room, but not before Giles thought he noted a yellow tinge to the former Scoobie’s eyes but was more disturbed by the rather un-Xander-like grace of movement, eventually putting it down to his imagination.
It was Willow who spoke first after the two had departed, her simple statement, “It’s not really the old Xan anymore, is it?” articulating both their concerns, but Giles cleared his throat thought for a moment then replied, “No… but it is unlikely we are the same people as three years ago either… wouldn’t you agree?”
Willow simply nodded, “He hasn’t talked about his parents yet Giles… they deserve to know Xan is alive! I’ll talk to Xan… but can you maybe… you know… ring his mum?”
“It’s the least I can do…”
Spike was moving at such a pace that had Xander not been a mated consort, with the speed and other attributes that entailed, there was no way he could have kept up.
Spike strode through two cemeteries, dusting five newly risen vampires before even slowing down, and was on his way out of the third, when he saw what he thought to be a fledgling in full throws of sexually attacking of a rather young ‘Dawn-like’ girl who was most definitely screaming the words *Help* and *No*! He flew into game face, flung the assailant away without thought for the chip. Sadly it was only as the young man hit a nearby gravestone hard enough to stun him that Spike noted rather too belatedly the attacker was human.
Buffy arrived in the same locale just in time to see the action and Spike falling to the ground holding his head as he always did with the pain from the chip. The Slayer yelled to Xander to help the girl then swiftly pinned the now terrified offender, tied his hands and feet, called the police, and moved over to calm the girl.
Xander was conscious that Spike was still on the ground head in hands, and was more than a little concerned. He thought he sensed something very wrong, so when Buffy moved to take over from him with the girl, he squeezed his old friend’s arm, “I think I better help Spike… You be OK here?”
Buffy glanced over and saw the curled up leather clad figure, “Yeah… get him out of here Xan. Police will be here any minute, I’ll, um, deal… When he’s stopped hurting, tell him thanks, OK?”
Xander nodded and Buffy turned her attention back to the girl and the faint sound of approaching sirens.
Xander gently lifted Spike to his feet and led him into the night.
Far enough away from Buffy and the incident, Xander eased his friend to the ground and was more than a little distressed when Spike (still in game face) turned away from him.
“Please Spike… *please* is it still hurting you? What can I do?... Spike *please* what can I do to help?”
Talking to the ground rather than Xander, the blonde vampire whispered, “That’s just it Pet… after all this time… somethin’s happened… chip didn’t fire… not even a twinge. Shoulda known… felt different since… but it was all confused… Least she might not dust me straight away… you know… white hat, soul, that sorta thing…”
Xander had been squatting beside his partner but now sat back with a thud, “What?? Spike but you fell… and then… But this is *great*!!! Oh G#$ Spike you can protect yourself! You can hunt! Bite! Spike you’re…”
“Ensouled, Xan, I have a soul, a conscience, call it what you will, I can’t go killing again!”
Xander’s memories of his Wil were too bright and he blurted out without thinking, “What about all those parties and the skimming! Even Angelus did it!”
With that Spike sprang to his feet fast followed by his Mate, and a dark figure stepped from the shadows, “Yes he did, and taught you well didn’t he, my Wil.”
There had been parties for days in preparation for their household and many others of the upper class human society (and a few demons) ‘moving abroad’ as the ridiculously short summer abandoned English shores.
The Aurelians were headed for Paris – at Darla’s insistence. Drusilla had no idea what was going on; Darla only went for the Master and was still struggling with the language, though adored the fashion and the court; Angelus tolerated it and looked forward to spending time in the various art spaces and less reputable parts of the city; and William couldn’t wait.
The journey for Wil’s Mate was less than pleasant, however. Wil put a cool damp towel to Xander’s forehead after he threw up for the ninth (or was it tenth) time on the short, rather rough boat trip across to Calais. Wil held him, petted him and encouraged sleep with a more than usual drawing of his blood and an open wrist. Xander didn’t exactly sleep, but finally rested across his master vampire’s firm lap and accepted (truth be known rather tearfully) a calming hand.
Xander was never more pleased to see dawn coming as they approached the shore. It would at least mean there was solid ground for twelve hours or more. From bitter experience Xander (and Wil for that matter!) had discovered that a long train ride with closed windows and unpredictable lurching did nothing for a human with motion sickness.
There was a solution, learned in a few ‘country breaks’ from a rather frantic and sometimes dangerous London. It would be utilized on the train ride the following evening. Wil would puncture a finger and allow his Mate to suck on it as a distraction, this would alternate with gentle petting of his mating mark. It was tolerated though carried an obvious measure of disapproval from Darla. Xander saw the disdain and worried, but feeling a cool hand stroke over his silvery scar yet again was utterly distracting.
The ten minute carriage ride from the port to an elegant private hotel was further torture for Xander as he was forced to kneel at Wil’s feet (at Darla’s insistence) on the cramped floor of the carriage. He would have been ill again had it not been for the distraction of trying to move his hand from under Darla’s right shoe heel, knowing full well that she had placed it there with intent, and was deliberately making light conversation with William who was fully aware of his Mate’s discomfort but unable to assist.
Darla and Dru were helped from the carriage by minions then took Angelus’ arm and were accompanied into their new abode. Wil was left to supervise the moving of the luggage trunks and assist his still very shaky Mate from his kneeling position, down the high steps and up to their rooms.
The setting was sumptuous after the typical 19th century fashion. Gilded furniture, dark colours, numerous cushions and an overly ornate wallpaper.
Wil ended up carrying Xander the last flight of steps. He had turned as they ascended the first to see a mind willing but depleted body unable. Fearing his Mate’s grey pallor and profuse sweating spelt another round of nausea, Wil moved just in time to catch Xander as he fell in a dead faint.
Darla was standing in the doorway tugging at a reluctant hat pin as the two arrived.
“Oh for Hell’s sake! I *hope* you organized our luggage before you started playing with… *that*!” She flung her hat in the general direction of the small hallway dresser, “*Angelus*!!! William is here. And I ordered a bath… What on earth happened to service around here? *Angelus*!!!”
Angelus came through the second bedroom door, looking more than a little flustered, “Sire, I have been restraining Dru as you demanded.” He flashed a look of complicit sympathy across to Wil who was still holding an unconscious, very ill looking Mate and trying to do anything but be noticed by the vicious Grande Dame of their family.
Moving toward the annoyed blonde Angelus flashed fangs at his Grandchilde and looked pointedly toward the parlour as he relieved her of the chore of removing her coat.
“Let me assist you with that Sire.”
“Finally!” Darla then turned and rubbed against her Childe. “Now my sweet boy, have that runt of Dru’s hurry up that bath. I would have you pleasure me and simply can’t imagine doing that with this travel filth all over me!”
It bought Wil enough time to gently settle Xander on the chaise lounge and cover him with a tasseled throw, before hurrying off to push or shove or… whatever it took… the minions and staff into action.
Xander came too later that evening, *not* moving, warm and comfortable, and aware that Wil was not present but in the building. He blinked and took in his surroundings.
There was a tray containing a large pitcher of barley water, fruit and cod liver oil (the latter apparently Wil’s mother’s answer to all ills). He understood and reached out through his Mating link. Wil was attending his own Sire. It was to be expected. He had seen enough of the family to know that Darla would have her demands met first but that Dru would be badly treated as a consequence, unless Wil could get to her.
Xander struggled up. He was still dizzy and almost disgraced himself before finding the chamber pot. Apparently his system had not quite managed to expel *everything* until now.
He used the cleaning bowl and jug of fresh water, rinsing his mouth with his drinking water, before gratefully toweling down with a thick linen body towel and using the provided violet oil to sweeten his skin. At least he would smell acceptable at last, even if there was another seven or more hours in transit before they were at their accommodation in Paris.
Xander loved the experience of other countries – something he had never been able to do as a Sunnydale Scoobie – but knew now that he *really* did not relish the ‘getting there’!
As soon as he was clean – and had consumed as much of the repast as he dared, he proceeded to pack Wil and his meager possessions, then moved to find his Master. As expected he was with Dru. She was still bound but the Mate noted, she had been washed, massaged and pleasured and was still sighing ‘My Wil, my lovely poet… Daddy is so proud…”
Wil woke as his human Mate, still looking decidedly drawn, knelt at his feet and offered his neck.
“Oh Luv… I wouldn’t do that to you.”
Xander whispered, realizing later that Dru would have heard anyway, “Please Master Wil… please take of me.”
“I was right to take you… my dear heart… thank you”
Xander felt the prick and the laving tongue, reached for his Wil’s nether regions, then registered little else as his body gave in to ecstasy.
The train ride was not as bad as he expected and the six weeks in Paris extremely pleasant. Not the least because Darla was happy and preoccupied with maintaining her position as darling of both human and demon Courts. Her talent was seduction and the aim was power. And beyond that there was the sweet taste of overly plump European aristocracy, overly bored ‘new money’ Industrialists wives, and the occasional brutal killing of a demon clan Master by the ‘Scourge’ – the only time she truly valued her childer.
For the most part Xander enjoyed their time. Wil took him to art exhibits; he accompanied his Mate, Angelus and Dru to numerous plays and nighttime entertainment, and for the most part he was able to turn a blind eye to the body count they left in their wake… For the most part.
Although the interesting thing for Xander was that the body count was *less* than expected. Angelus seemed to adore the intrigue and challenge of destruction of the human first – much more than he loved the actual draining. Consequently he would pursue some woman or man relentlessly, wooing or torturing mentally until they broke and until that day, feast on the city’s less savory characters. Dru was insane ergo, ate whatever she was led toward, consequently was often fed by minions prior to them going out (rather than risk the family with an ‘unsightly incident’).
Wil preferred to skim if no other option emerged and, as a rather jealous Xander noted, often had willing participants in the activity… female *and* male.
The bourgeoisie of Paris had parties that were lavish, decadent and often rather debauched. Xander was on occasion dressed as manservant, an exotic white slave, a foreign plantation owner’s son, the younger ‘studious cousin’, and *twice* a niece! (The latter being a result of a giggly Dru who insisted on a ‘sister’ to accompany her!)
Xander was almost happy. His role in the household was clear when Darla was present he always knelt on the floor and deferred to all in the family. He braided the women’s hair (and once in a while that of Dru’s doll’s to match), clipped Angelus’ cigars and serviced ‘Willie’ for a bored Darla’s perverse pleasure on several occasions. But by and large was left alone with his Wil in private and in public.
He adored his time at ‘liberal’ parties when he was acknowledged as ‘Wil’s partner’ and was allowed to show his affection in the presence of others. And he genuinely loved the Wil that took the time to show him books and art and culture. He just *didn’t* like it when he was left to amuse Dru when Angelus took away Wil ‘for a run’.
Their month up, Xander would never forget the day they were to move on to the south of France and from there to Spain for the Autumn.
Darla had misplaced her favourite string of south sea pearls, refused to leave before they were found and blamed *everyone*. Her tirade lasted two hours, involved several minions being dusted and every piece of luggage being repacked. Finally it was Xander who found the prize happily adorning Drusilla’s ‘Miss Margaret’, the deranged vampire not even aware enough to know there was a fuss and most annoyed when the doll was divested of her ‘pretty baubles’, Xander finally managing to retrieve them by promising to personally carry Miss Margaret for their trip as she would be ‘ever so sad’.
For his trouble the necklace was grabbed and with lightening speed and precision Xander was slapped so hard that he flew backwards almost four yards and his head struck the marble mantle. Even Angelus’ eyes flashed yellow as the lady of the house swiftly changed gear, demanding, “We need to leave at once… Come, come Angelus are you going to arrange our transport, or must I do *everything*?!”
Wil gave Angelus a look of appeal which saw him allowed to tend the unconscious and bleeding Mate while the carriage was loaded and Darla was distracted the blood of a hapless flower seller caught as she walked past their building on her way home.
Xander acknowledged Angelus’ presence immediately and fell into habits of the last three years so, as not to disgrace his position in the family, knelt at Wil’s feet, shoulder touching knee, then addressed the elder Aurelian with as much confidence as he could muster given the confusion of the last few days, “Master Angelus?!”
The two elders of the Aurelian household were rather stunned by the turn of events, or more importantly the changes.
With all the distractions of his own life in Los Angeles, including the birth of Connor disastrous theft then return of the boy and everything in between, Angel had borne the changing memories with the same stoicism he bore his guilt. He wore it, reveled in it, regretted things a thousand times over then brooded once more…
Other than a phonecall to his agency in its early days of Wesley, Cordy and Gunn, he had little or no knowledge of Xander’s apparent disappearance, nor of any news of the shift in Spike’s status regards his ‘chip’. And since he deliberately cut off all ties to the Aurelians (and Spike with him eventually) when he was ensouled, there was no reason to feel different… So when it was apparent that all angles of inquiry had dried up in the City of Angels, a simple report went to Willow from Wesley and the matter was all but forgotten. But now…
Spike’s memories were back, the link from Childe to GrandSire was tenfold as his Mated Consort prostrated himself on the ground and begged for recognition in the ingrained response according to Vampire Lore. This was family. Family just as important and confusing as his recent trauma with Connor… but also, in a strange sort of way… less complicated.
Xander scratched a broken nail at his neck hard enough to draw blood, Spike fell to his knees and bared his carotid for the taking, both men (now hand in hand) simply saying, in unison, “Please Sire.” And Angel gave up all control. The boy was the marked Mate of his Childe.
His demon took each in turn, lovingly caressing the faces that now made sense, appreciating the age and experience of the two, feeling the love between them. And, when first Spike then Xander (with his tiny fangs) took of his blood, fell forward into a loving embrace, the three eventually lying together, oblivious of the cold ground while deep loss and love was dealt with and appreciated.
Spike pulled himself up reluctantly, “Think we should move in case our friendly Slayer decides to come back. Reckon she’d have kittens if she knew you came to see anyone other than her ladyship.”
Two hours later they were in an old pickup heading toward a pretty spot just slightly out of town. Spike was still reeling from the night’s bizarre events but couldn’t help himself, “Never picked you for a chevvy man, you get a good trade on the ponce-mobile?”
“What? No this is Gunn’s – mine’s… grrrr, never mind.”
The statement might have been a little curt, but it seemed to ease the tension, so as Angel parked and the three got out, the question, “So what are your plans now, Spike?” seemed a natural one.
“Could ask the same of you, Sire, you plannin’ on stayin’ with family this time?”
The driver side door slammed shut hard. This was an old argument, one they had played out many times. “And you planning on playing the sympathy ‘I’m so hurt I’m gonna be an asshole card?’ Spike you lost a Mate, I lost *everything*… I got my soul back, Spike.”
“So the F#^&ing Hell *did I*!! So back off!!!!”
Angel visibly shocked. The blood had tasted different but the whole thing was… and now this!? How could he not have known?
“Why? How? Geez Spike?! Why didn’t you come to me?”
“What? ‘Cause our relationship has been so *meaningful* since Sunnydale. You offered the boy here – don’t you remember? Taunted me with someone who looked like the unmarked version of my Mate then almost had me dusted! Not a lot of love there!”
Angel did not defend himself. His memories now so confused, he was unsure why he had offered the *unmarked* boy who so looked like his estranged Grandchilde’s Mate as bait, except that he was all… well... confused at the time! He did know that he had felt intense anger toward both Spike and Xander when his insane soulfree persona emerged in Sunnydale. Not the least of which was residual memory of his Childe’s desperation and shenanigans when the boy first disappeared.
His actions toward Spike in his latter Angelus manifestation had been despicable but even more confusing yet also explained in part why a mere human boy was able to force the great Angelus to back down…
None of them - Angel, Spike or Xander - could quite fathom the bizarre circular loop that was now their lives but it was the crestfallen look on Angel’s face that alerted Xander, for the first time, to the true difference between the Master Angelus of Aurelius, and the ensouled version. He was about to speak but Spike felt the jolt of sympathy and love coming from his newly found Mate, so spoke first.
Beleaguered by years of yearning yet almost hopeful as an innocent child, he addressed his Sire one more time, “I sought out my soul. My Mate has found his way home. The *muzzle* imposed by the government of this damned colony put on me has been fried… Sire… *Please* This is my Mate. Regardless of circumstance… Would you deny me… us… now? Could you? Will you? Have you? Will you deny *us*… *again*? You? My Da? My true Sire?”
Xander held his breath and Spike waited for a time then turned into Xander’s embrace only to ease back as the soft words emerged. “So many times... so many times I felt… but then… it all went to… I am going to… Hell… And been there ::ironic snort:: Not that I didn’t deserve it… But since we saw … well you know the Sunnydale scenario and beyond… well?! The anger, confusion, hurt, mixed memories and love, all intermingled and in the end there was… But this isn’t about… I’m so sorry… so sorry… Your chip?”
Angel appeared to be going into a full brood so Spike slapped him hard, “Y’ol wally!!” But then, with a simple hand squeeze from his Mate, let his demon loose to grieve and adore the return and… Sire.
The moment passed and Spike seemed to collapse – much to both Xander and Angel’s utter distress. Blood exchange later, Spike, in the supportive arms of his so recently found partner, spoke at almost a whisper. “Boy here sorted the chip, n’… never mind… Dunno how exactly… still… Figure you’re here for a reason… too much to ask for a blessin’ f’r ol’ times’ sake… you know nice an’ proper like…” The begging, vulnerable look of a fledge to his Sire was not missed by Angel, and augmented by the Mate and Childer link and the unmistakable cheeky grin… Angel had no choice.
He pulled his wrist open and scored his neck, an act unheard of since his flight to ‘nowhere’ after his soul was re-installed.
In the end blood was exchanged without question or word, and three lost family members reunited in blood and tears…
Xander was the first to break the reverie, falling on habit again, prostrated himself before politely asking that they all might meet again soon and leave the link open.
The request, however, was not needed. Angel knew, Wil had left years ago, his Mate lost and reaction – his change to Spike - the stuff of legend. Angelus had been cruel if only to hold the family together but then there was Darla and the gypsies, and he wondered rightly if she knew of the consequences of that encounter in advance, given her return to the Master so swiftly after.
“I do need to get back Sp… Wil, but please… when things settle down again… will you??”
“Ya dopey git… ‘course! Now get your sorry arse back in that pickup and go do whatever you need to do.” A rather crestfallen Angel turned to go but smiled to himself as he heard the added “An’ don’t get dusted afore we have a chance t’ come visit an’ hit you for a hundred or so years of me yearly allowance!”
He waved to the two as he pulled Gunn’s jalopy back onto the road.
The relationship with Spike would never be an easy one after so much time, but he felt a little happier as he headed toward Los Angeles despite heading into obviously bad weather. And he recalled the first trip to Spain for the family with Wil’s new Mate in tow.
As Spike and Xander headed back toward Willow’s home, they too noted the weather and were struck by similar thoughts.
If the weather had closed in, so had other things, in Spain there had been a ‘reckoning’.