Warnings/Squicks: M/M relations (way later) and human boys (for now)
Rating: NC-17 (or MA 15+ or R?) There is violence and sex and vampires, and boys.
Summary: Saving both of them had a bizarre set of implications – not least of which was the chance to start again.
Disclaimer: Characters are the concept of the wonderful Joss and Co. Don’t make money from the writing etc etc.
William and Alexander were confused and just a little miffed.
The other coven youngsters (including their older sister and even Poppie!) were led off to enjoy an impromptu picnic at the bottom of the coven grounds, but they were ushered into a room in the main coven building that was always closed to them before and was full of all the senior members of the coven.
Facing an enormous table, they were lifted up onto very big dining chairs with arms for safety and extra cushions for the boost. Even so William could barely see over the lip of the oak piece, and certainly could not make out the faces of those sitting opposite. He held the arms of his huge chair tight and his inner Spike mumbled a nervous “Bollocks” and the little boy appreciated the kind touch of his mother’s hand followed by a kiss to the top of his head, as she too settled nervously.
Xander fared a little better view wise, managed to catch a drawn looking Willow’s eye and gave her an innocent wide eyed child’s smile. He then spied an elderly man sitting next to her conferring quietly with Clarence and dropped his gaze. Clarence was a senior wiccan who Xander usually gave a wide berth as she always seemed grumpy and had said very audibly, on several occasions, that ‘children are a ridiculous idea when our world is dying’. As Xander’s father patted his arm and told him ‘it was going to be OK’, he suddenly remembered the man opposite from his ‘before’. Giles smiled sadly at him as the wide eyed youngster began to stare again and Xander’s old memories of ‘war meetings’ with the Scoobies came flooding back. This had to be bad.
The meeting started all very formally a Blessing was invoked for all present and the boys were greeted as ‘special guests’.
Mistress Willow spoke to the agenda first, “We are here to discuss what we believe to be the most accurate translation, and interpretation of the prophesy regarding our two young coven members William and Alexander.” Willow smiled kindly at the two wide eyed little boys.
“Most of you know their history at this safe haven, though few of you might realise their status prior to their ‘second chance’, nor why… how it occurred. So… I think it is important that we give everyone a brief overview.” With that, Willow placed a pile of documents in the middle of the table and the older coven members each took one before the High Mistress began again, “I would go through all of this but there are a couple of key points in each biography that I think you should note. Please don’t bother taking this in the Minutes."
By the time the greetings were over and the previous meeting’s actions had been reported on in brief, the two boys had slumped back into their chairs unhappily, wanting desperately to struggle down and join the other children outside but knowing instinctively that their parents would disapprove if they fidgeted too much.
Alexander picked at the tassels on his cushion and felt a little better when his father put a kind hand on his upper back and began to rub lovingly. His inner Xander began to listen again as the exploits of his previous self were summarized for the group, but in the end he just concentrated on the warm hand and the calm it engendered.
Will drew patterns on his cushion and let things go on around him as the meeting began. He was genuinely thankful for Charlotte’s kind touch as he saw his brother comforted also. He patted her hand as Charlotte sighed heavily with worry, then, like his adoptive brother, began to listen actively, and with increasing distress, as his past life was 'dot pointed' for the audience.
Both boys had settled so well into their new lives of late that it was rare for old memories and selves to take prime position in their psyches. But as battles, losses, triumphs and despair was articulate everything flooded in again both began to sob uncontrollably, reached for their parents and, despite their weaning (in Xander’s case over a year earlier!) both boys took turns to accept mother’s breast milk. The prize was meant for Poppie, but Charlotte knew, the boys needed it more for the moment.
As Charlotte put her pinky into the corner of her ‘right side feeder’, the now calm William’s mouth and released the suction, she realized, with not a small measure of shock and annoyance, the meeting had continued with little regard to her boys!
Wide ranging debate had occurred around the table regards ‘vampire with a soul’ and ‘ghost made real’; ‘Senior partners and ‘the Aurelians’; Scoobies, apocalypses; good works in Africa and chip/dechipping; demon and spirit additions to a human soul; and various other things that Charlotte and Trent (now cradling quietly crying children) preferred not to hear.
Both parents knew their sons’ histories on an academic level, but the daily reality was *so* different, and their dear little boys were so much a part of their lives now that it was nearly impossible to think of them otherwise… and yet today… Trent had pulled Xander into a tight hug, and Charlotte had repositioned William so he too was enclosed in protective arms.
Giles did not miss the innocent, tearful wide blue and brown eyes levelled on him from the two boys ensconced safely in their adoptive parents’ arms as he began to reveal the contents of the prophesy. Both boys hugged their parents tight as the old reinstated Watcher/Wiccan Elder began to speak.
“The two blessed each other and will be restored as an ancient One returns. The Tentacled One will require the magical pair as her champions upon their manhood, and in return will restore their full spiritual and demon essence to strengthen and enhance.
“Mystical powers will lean heavily upon them across eons as two are joined as one, in life and unlife, their souls, spirits, essences and love shared. With magicks and memories combined, theirs is the task to unite white and black so Gaia may once again find peace.”
At the end of Giles’ speech, William sat bolt upright in his mother’s arm and his inner Spike spoke the next perfectly articulated words, “*Bloody Hell*! Can’t a couple o’ heroes rest in peace… Just for once?!” The tiny blonde then passed out into an openly crying Charlotte’s arms, as the dear wiccan sobbed, “Please don’t take my boys… *Please* you can’t take the boys!”
In the end, there was no argument.
The boys were to be warded and protected, trained and tutored in magic and fighting, and in amongst everything, live as much of a ‘normal’ childhood and adolescence as anyone might manage in a coven in Berkshire, England.
The distraught Trent and Charlotte and thier two charges were ushered to their semidetached house on the south side of the main Coven's wall by an exhausted looking Mistress Willow and her pretty blonde partner, Livvy.
Kind hands bathed the boys, tended Blanche and Poppie and settled all the children before feeding the two distressed adults. Home made leek and potato soup, several stiff drinks then talking late into the night quelled the most immediate fears but did little to stem Charlotte's distress. She had lost one boy already... it didn't matter when or how, but she was *not* going to lose two more!
In the end Trent calmed his beautiful partner... They would have many years to come with their boys, but the prophesy was clear, Will and Alex were destined to ‘be’ together (whatever that meant); would have their demons restored sometime as they matured; and would act as Mother Earth’s champions.
Charlotte had cried herself to sleep hours ago, but Trent stood between the boys’ beds. Two tiny figures, his boys, his dear, dear boys! They had already suffered so much… that had been unequivocally detailed in the meeting… and yet now!!?? Now they were to be burdened, tortured, set apart all over again! Why???
He could still hear Charlotte’s hitched breath, even as she slept and left the boys’ room for a moment, to check on his dear partner and then Blanche who seemed to have picked up on the family’s distress and was crying in her sleep. He brushed away the red locks from his eldest’s brow then kissed her… and something shifted in his thinking. If this was about family and together, then destiny would have it so, and their boys would know just how wonderful it was to be loved and *belong* regardless of what else happened.
Two weeks later…
Tonight was to be a fortieth birthday party of their adoptive parents, a relief of sorts after all the worry regards the implications of the prophesy. It seemed the whole community was invited - village, coven and friends of old. Blanche had been given the task of dressing herself and the two three year olds. A task she took most seriously.
The boys’ adoptive parents were born on the same day in the same hour. Astrologers the world over would have cringed at the prospect, but anyone could see, Trent and Charlotte were two parts of a whole. Trent’s long strawberry blonde dreadlocks and Charlotte’s chocolate curls (with just a hint of grey these days) were often seen mixed together as the two sat on the huge garden swing for a few hours of a Friday evening (their night ‘off’), and when Charlotte was upset, Trent was her ‘rock’ and vice versa. Their aura, when combined, was a glorious deep aqua and purple with occasional flashes of all the other colours of the rainbow.
The dreadlocks had come since the coven – though prior to that Trent’s pretty gold tresses had fallen in a ponytail, all the way to his backside, indeed in their courting months as they rode through Europe on push bikes, the two had been honked and whistled at from behind – the assumption that they were two girls on bicycles, until Trent’s goatee was spotted!
The guests varied from old university friends, to Trent’s mother and step father, from all the families (bar one) off neighbouring farms, to the village greengrocer and her same sex partner, ‘Nanna Ella’. The marquee was set up, heater installed and masses of hand made ‘finger food’ prepared as the old coven oven worked overtime. An industrial sized pot of home made vegetable soup and mountain of freshly baked Turkish pide was the triumph of the cold night and the wine flowed freely.
Poppie was put to bed after the first hour, but Will, Alexander and Blanche managed to greet all of the guests at the door, though Blanche became increasingly annoyed as her brothers garnered all the attention. She had worn a sensible pair of jeans and pretty, very fashionable, aqua long sleeved top that one of the young coven members had bought her in London earlier that month. She had her hair braided properly by ‘Big Paula’ and had tiny aqua/clear plastic butterflies all through her dark red tresses. Really it was only her Aunt Susan who complimented the tall ten year old on her “lovely outfit… and sophisticated hair”, asked her about school, and pressed a package into her hands with a wink and conspiratorial, “Just a few things for your scrap booking, you said sea theme at the moment, right? Don’t let the boys see.” Blanche knew that would be no problem, her brothers, were too busy stealing the show.
Alexander had insisted on wearing an embroidered white and gold matador’s shirt that he found in the dress up box, along with a broad yellow tie (circa 1975), blue jeans and his little yellow gumboots (well… they matched the tie!). While Will went all out, insisting on his pink and diamante, buckle up ‘party shoes’ (a donation from six year old Emma on the adjoining farm), a set of tiny stripy purple thermals (top and bottom) – and gold lame halter neck top which hung to his knees (found in the dress-up box).
Every new arrival grinned and complimented Will on his shoes to which he replied proudly that they were ‘only for parties’(!), and Alexander had so many comments on his tie that he began to hold it out just a little, when greeting new guests.
There were so many children of all ages at the event that the two little boys lost track of time and where their parents were.
They began by trying to run after the big children, but the two three year old boys eventually retreated to the children’s play room where two of the younger wiccans had set up a number of areas for the ‘pre schoolers’: A wooden train set complete with farm animals, face painting and dress- ups, and some finger painting plus a huge vat of bubble mixture right near the window so the bubbles could waft outside. There was also a mattress with numerous soft toys and plush blankets in a special ‘tent’ in the corner ready for any younger visitors who needed to snooze.
A few older siblings came in over the evening though generally preferred the room next door, temporarily converted into a video/computer room and Alexander found a a wonderful big fifteen year old boy who ‘challenged him to a sword fight with sticks and seemed *very* bad at it, letting his little combatant hit him repeatedly! The inner Xander kept screaming ‘*rigged fight*’ but his three year old persona simply bounced with delight, then was thrilled as he was hoisted onto his fellow fighter’s shoulders and walked around the party ‘up on high’ for a time.
Will, on the other hand, became tired early. He had missed his afternoon sleep in all the excitement – Alexander, as usual, fell asleep effortlessly around midday as soon as he lay down on the old couch with his Panda. The others were playing and Alexander was off with the big boys, so Wil wandered out to the adult marquee. There were knees and feet and lots of noise, and he squeezed through as best he could.
The people holding glasses and food and talking were nice and smiled at him, but he really wanted a cuddle. Finally he recognized the brown denim covered legs of ‘Sexy Anna’, put his arms up and was lifted into a warm hug.
Will made sure to hug Anna properly before sitting up a little in the strong arms, pointing at the platter of fruit on the drinks table, and saying in his best ‘polite’ voice “Strawbie??” He was rewarded with two, both so big he had to eat them in several bites. He was settled onto Anna’s hip for a time, then passed to Papa Nanna (Trent’s mother) who always smelled of violets and found him some of his special vanilla rice milk which he drank dutifully. Papa Nanna eventually handed him on to his Aunt Susan who found him another strawberry, and he grinned at his brother who he spied on some big boy’s shoulders following another mob of bigger children. But eventually Susan picked up the signs as a little head relaxed on her shoulder, the arms started to go limp and tiny body became heavy.
By the time his father took him inside, Will was all but asleep and barely registered the soft covers of his parents’ bed or the ‘bunny rug’ being tucked around him. It was quiet and the room smelled of family. He could hear Poppie snuffle a little in her bassinette, wondered if there would be candles and singing later, then relaxed completely as his father rubbed his back before he…
Charlotte smiled as she delivered an overtired and crying Alexander onto the bed less than an hour later. Her ‘little Billie’ stirred enough to snuggle up to his brother, Alexander calmed instantly, flung a small arm over the blonde’s torso and promptly fell asleep.
A lumpy blue blanket, Will’s pink party shoes and Alexander’s Thomas the Tank Engine sock-clad feet were all that was visible to departing guests who passed a partially open bedroom door. An exhausted Charlotte and slightly tipsy Trent joined the boys on the bed eventually, not bothering to disturb the cosy pair. The parents smiled across at each other and thanked the Powers for the wonderful evening and asked Gaia to bless their family once more. Charlotte’s last thoughts were of the prophesy, followed by worrying for her biological children, her beautiful girls. If the prophesy was true then the coven would need to prepare *all* her children.
In the moonlight flooding their bed, Trent noted the slight frown on his partner’s pretty visage. The next decade or two would be a challenge but every parent knew that… they just had, well, one or two extra challenges to face with the boys.
He sought out her hand and squeezed before both let sleep take them.