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.
The whole story here
The ensuing weeks were very strange, for both men it meant they, the family, and the coven had to come to terms with William and Alexander’s many changes, along with the men trying to fit back into their old lives.
William’s eating habits were the hardest to deal with, and for him the most disturbing part was that the ingesting of blood felt entirely… normal Blanche commenting that his lifelong attraction to all things red was at least now - understandable. Alexander’s desire for raw meat and attraction to the outdoors and hard manual work was also comfortable, but their mating and William’s dead status was definitely problematic for all ‘in the know’.
William, little Billie the expert hugger, was increasingly more reserved when it came to touching people. Conscious that he was cold and the absent heart beat and lack of breathing would denote his dead status all too easily. His ‘death’ remained unreported, his ‘Goth’ look no different from before and the concept of immortality seemed silly so was dismissed to the recesses of his (and Alexander’s) mind.
William went back to writing for the newspaper, though Charlotte worried for them both, it was her Billie that caused the most concern. Even more than before, William became a recluse, avoided daylight, actively walking ‘the long way’ through the shadows whenever visiting the main coven building, and renegotiated his hours with the newspaper so he was not required at the paper in daylight. His profile with the paper’s HR department now had ‘reclusive writer’ and ‘antisocial’ against his name.
It took a month or two but eventually Alex and he had experimented, and strangely, unlike other vampires, the sun’s rays couldn’t kill him – but they certainly did make him feel mighty uncomfortable – and he suspected that long term exposure would see his demise. But Illyria had been true to her word, William was immune to the sun, just as Alexander could control his hyena (just as long as he could slow his breathing and concentrate on the soldier). And the Mating was absolute…
Alexander was still the affable jovial boy/man Charlotte (and everyone else) had always loved, yet now had a darker edge to his personality and penchant for raw meat. His stance when left alone for a time, was that of a soldier, and she could see the flare of green in his eyes whenever he was angry.
Post summer, Alexander was offered another contract at the school where he had been teaching for the previous eighteen months and took the job. He seemed able to contain the hyena during the day – though the soldier occasionally emerged, barked orders and saw five or six of the school’s grade six bullies doing laps of the oval until they *promised* not to take anyone else’s lunch money… and meant it!
The children at school still adored Mr Davis, and the only comment made by his colleagues was that he had an increasingly more honed physique and seemed to have an ever more intense, calm nature. But Charlotte saw something more. She couldn’t quite put a finger on it and had almost dismissed her thoughts until witnessing the two boys sparring one evening.
She had been in the process of taking new linen out for her sons, when drawn to the old stone barn come gym by a disturbing noise. The snarls and growls were those of two wild animals, and as she rounded the doorway her breathing hitched. She knew the implications of William’s demon but hadn’t quite realised the raw nature of the spirit Alexander carried.
Both men were barefoot and stripped to the waist. William was in game face and Alexander’s fur was visible and standing up, his canines obviously longer and top lip drawn back in threat. The continuing spar/fight was being conducted at lightening speed, no holes barred and brutal. Sharp talons ripped at flesh, kicks found their mark, punches made a sickening thud as they connected, and teeth were being used as weapons.
Finally there was an impasse, both men were on the floor with fangs and canines embedded in each other’s throats, William slapped his mate, raised a bloodied visage from his mate’s throat and ‘called’ the round. They released, licked each other’s wounds before slumping to the ground side by side, just in time to see their mother faint in the doorway.
With speed and strength borne of their new natures, the men let their ‘other’ slip away and cradled her in two strong (rather sweaty and bloodied) sets of arms.
Alexander pulled her closer to his chest, “Get dad! Or someone! Will - you go, you’re faster!” William was already on his way, sprinting to the cottage to raise the alarm, then repeating the process at the main coven complex. Within seconds Trent was skidding to a halt at the gym door and several wiccans were sprinting across the courtyard, Poppie amongst them.
The fuss was not what Charlotte had intended but gave in to everyone’s concerns and tucked into bed, had her vital signs checked and a cup of weak tea delivered.
As the others left and Trent made to go, she grabbed her partner’s hand. Poppie caught the exchange from the door and resolved to talk to Blanche next time she was at the coven… “I saw them sweetheart, our boys… I saw them… in their other state… It’s two months today and they’ve been living with… We need to help… They *can’t* do it alone I don’t care what the scroll says! Our dear, beautiful boys….”
“I know lover… I know…. Shhhh…. They are ours and also now belong to the ‘other’, but c’mon baby… just lean on me… lean on me…” Trent gave in to his own grief and just as Charlotte buried her face into her partner’s strong shoulder, she registered his tightened hold and hot tears falling on her neck, then grabbed him closer as the man she knew as her rock collapsed and began to grieve in earnest. Trent had not cried since his boys’ return… now was the time.
Charlotte and Trent slept the tense sleep of parents who had lost and found and lost. Eventually it was a soft knock on the door that roused them both.
Alexander’s quiet voice pre-empted their two worried sons entering the room, “Mum? Dad? We um… I mean we’re… um… Hi… Are you guys OK?”
It didn’t take too much for the two to be invited onto the bed for a four way hug made into five and six ways as both Poppie and Blanche (who had come home when she learned of her mother’s ‘episode’) joining their parents and brothers.
As the sun peeped around the side of the old pull blind, Alexander felt an incredible sense of calm. His head was cradled in a strong male right arm by his father; he was flanked by his little sister and had his Mate’s powerful right hand resting on his left hip.
Poppie roused as her brother stirred, also conscious that William was there, but his pulse wasn’t. He was cool to the touch and apparently oblivious to her desperate touches and hugs, finally rousing after latching on to his brother, his Mate’s, wrist.
Yellow eyes turned to pained blue as he looked up to his little sister, his fangs instantly receding. “ ‘s who I am little sis… ‘s who I am now…”
The tone was so sad that the youngest sibling threw herself at William and bared her neck. “Then take from me William… *please* take from me!”
William’s demon emerged again, but the bite was loving and gentle, and he only ‘skimmed’ taking barely half a litre before licking the wound closed and pulling away. Blanche also ‘donated’ and was gifted with a sobbing William in her arms for her trouble. “Please Blanche… please forgive me… I have to do this now… just to survive I need…Oh Blanche thank you but please forgive…”
Their parents pulled their adult children close, Charlotte murmuring placating phrases before giving in to sleep once more. And an emotional Alexander, seeing his mate feed from their sister, let go all restraint.
Poppie was cradled in her now fur covered brother as Alexander let his true nature manifest in front of his sisters for the first time.
It wouldn’t be the last of the family hugs but it was a definitive one – the reassurance that there were no secrets, no lies, no need to conceal their true nature when it came to family.
A month following the family reconciliation, several strange attacks on livestock during the night had the two changed men under suspicion, if only amongst the younger members of the coven. The torn out throats and drained blood of three sheep seemed more than simple coincidence – at least that was the rumour being tauted by young acolyte Megan who was a peer of Poppie’s. She was not a very popular member of the coven, having flirted shamelessly with Poppie’s two brothers in succession over the previous summer, only to be told by both men that they ‘weren’t interested’. Hurt and embarrassed, infatuation turned to abject hatred and even before they were changed, she had a smear campaign in full swing.
When comments regarding their orientation drew no fire, she insinuated that they might be seeing people outside the coven, risking the security of the wiccan community. Again her venom failed to find its mark. But after their changes (public knowledge throughout the coven) Megan’s accusations regards the slaughtered livestock and nature of the killings caused real concern, and Megan gloated as she observed the two ‘Davis boys’ entering the office of a very serious Mistress Willow.
Willow was wringing her hands as she ushered the men to the two comfortable chairs near the fire. She too sat, let out a heavy sigh and slumped as she did so.
Their own trepidation forgotten, Alexander was instantly out of his chair and kneeling at her feet, William a mere second behind him.
“Are you ill Mistress?”
“Can we do anything Mistress?”
She took one hand of each of the men in front of her. Concerned chocolate eyes and a pair of crystal blue were fixed on her and she smiled a little.
“Just a yes/no answer… Did you kill the sheep? I will understand but I just need to…”
The two answered in unison, “No!!! Mistress we don’t take what is not offered!”
Willow sighed again, “I thought as much. But something is killing – and not just ours – the James’ next door and several other farms have all reported losses over the last month… I … I need you to… patrol.”
The request was as new as it was unexpected. Even with their improved abilities, Slayer numbers were high and William’s ‘status’ made him a target – for that matter so did Alexander’s hyena possession.
Willow all but begged with her eyes, “I wouldn’t ask but you are the strongest of us all now… use a glamour… I have already run the idea by Charlotte and Trent – neither of your parents is happy, but we have to clear your names… Please understand!”
Alexander’s fur had begun to emerge despite his wishing otherwise. “So what? Some rabid dog takes out a couple of our sheep and all of a sudden we’re public enemy number one!? And why didn’t Mum and Dad say something? Are they…?”
“Your parents gave me leave to speak to you first – at my request. I don’t believe you to be the perpetrators of these killings any more than you mother might, but there are members of this coven who have been… disturbed by your changes… and more than a little rattled by your increasing magical power.”
William looked up at this with genuine surprise, “Haven’t done anything to worry ‘em… yet?!”
Willow levelled her eyes on the boys and near whispered, “No, but you could, couldn’t you? And you will… in time…”
Alexander’s hair stood on end as he shivered and William growled in protest but both men nodded reluctantly.
William spoke up first. “We’ll patrol… but only ‘til we find ‘im.”