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: He was too sick to raise his head, the vampire was bleeding out. They were both heroes in their own right, but 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 healers were on their way but the muddied, bitten condition of Blanche’s wounds called for something else until she was at least clean. She was bleeding too much to place in a bath or shower, yet something had to be done.
Charlotte was frantic but calmed a little as her still furry son, Alexander, put a calming hand on his mother’s shoulder as William lay their nude, bloodied sister on her own bed. “We can take care of this Mum – we really can…Let us do this… please.”
Charlotte hardly recognized the figure on the bed as her wonderful eldest. Blanche’s normally dark red tresses were matted and obscuring her pretty features; a steady flow of blood was oozing from her torso making a distressing deep crimson stain on a swiftly supplied wad of towels under her form; and her limbs remained in the same inert position as when she was placed gently down.
Unable to answer Alexander, Charlotte simply nodded then collapsed into her partner’s arms as her favourite Billie… the now vampire William courtesy of a dimensional deal, fell into game face and began to lap the wound and surrounding area, cleaning it and adding his own healing and anaesthetic saliva to the area. At the same time his Mate, Alexander, bit his own wrist and dribbled blood into the lax mouth of his sister then massaged her throat until she swallowed.
The coven healers arrived in time to witness, with a not too small measure of amazement, the area of a viscous bites to the woman’s torso, legs and right arm cleaned (despite the state of the rest of her) and already beginning to heal.
An exhausted family accepted the help of the other wiccans gratefully, the near spent William and Alexander included. Blanche was stitched, given a full gentle bed bath, dressed in a pretty nightgown and had two pints of whole blood administered.
William’s inner Spike desperately wanted to tell them not to bother with the gown… that the full moon was tonight also; that Blanche would no doubt heal as quickly as he or his Mate when in her changed state; that the bigger worry was controlling a newly changed Werewolf without a pack; that there may be a problem given her already magical heritage and training. But he chose to say nothing... or at least only to his Mate. Old memories informed him… even the coven knew there was no reversing the effects, but there was a way to ground Blanche and save her, after a fashion.
“Let us stay with her tonight Dad? Mum? Mistress Willow… please?”
Willow was (if Alexander listened to old memories) rather clinical about the whole thing and William twigged that it was not just the new werewolf that was at stake. The whole coven was under scrutiny, perhaps had been for some time… years even.
He suppressed a growl then asked in his most cultured tones, “Mistress Willow… If I may venture, the young Slayer Ella was as much at risk as our two sisters (and vale Lucy) but Mistress, we need not chain or drug her. Let my Mate, her younger adoptive brother, and I give her back family and centre her.”
A Watcher’s council representative was already filming the exchange on the video camera on his phone and uploading the images so was incensed when the white haired Mistress, the most powerful witch in the first world, nodded her approval then added, “Let it be in private. Our sister deserves at least that, as do the other five of our coven member of our family who call her direct family.”
As the entourage of wiccans, observers and… well he really couldn’t be sure anymore!... William breathed a sigh of relief and caught his father with a knowing look. There might be many more nights of angst… but for now…
Trent encouraged Charlotte and they both kissed their damaged daughter on the forehead and then their boys… before leading a quietly crying Poppie back to the parental bedroom in the cottage.
Sleeping in the familial bed was a privilege not lightly afforded their children but tonight, the youngest would be comforted. Spooned by parents and even at nearly nineteen, Poppie was unbelievably glad to feel the strong arms of her father juxtaposed by the softness of her mother’s amble front.
For Trent and Charlotte it would be a restless few hours of sleep, made just a little easier by Poppie’s presence.
Blanche woke just after midday, slightly uncomfortable with itching skin, strangely thirsty and yearning for something that she could not quite articulate… Her mother and father were there looking extraordinarily worn and tired – as were several other of the coven who also appeared concerned. She was a little puzzled but had little time to evaluate the situation as she was enveloped in a relieved hug from both parents.
In the process of being stroked and reassured that ‘everything would be fine’, Blanche’s memories of the night before began to return. Her eyes went wide and a dry throat refused to cooperate, merely allowing a rasped, “Ohhhh?!!! Is Lucy…???”
William and Alexander had arrived just as Blanche attempted to communicate. The former levelling blue eyes that flashed yellow at Mistress Willow and in true Spike speak simply said, “Red… this is family… take yer crew and bugger off for a bit wouldya.”
If the situation hadn’t been so worrying Willow would have smiled. William seemed always to edge closer to his inner/remembered Spike when things were dire. As she led the others out and glanced back to the touching scene of two men kneeling at Blanche’s bedside flanked by Poppie and parents, she couldn’t help but reflect – having the old Spike, just like the old Xander, merged with the new version, was perhaps not such a bad thing.
William gently pressed a water bottle to Blanche’s lips. She sipped a little then began to drink desperately. It was water but also tasted a little metallic and slightly salty. It tasted of strength and family and… something… primal, something that grounded her. Bottle finished she nodded at William and he grinned almost ferally, and she knew. Looking over to Alexander confirmed it. They had spiked her drink with their blood, but as memories mixed with internal feelings she scented the air, and in that moment knew.
She coughed a little and was instantly aware of the excruciating pain across her side and through her belly then remembered clearly and realized the implications. She had been attacked, bitten. She would change with the moon every month. She was a changeling and just as her brothers were no longer fully human but might pass for the same, she too would have a secret to conceal and… worse… It suddenly dawned on her… she had little if any memory of anything after she escaped her attacker and into the bushes, but the flashes included things that might imply she had already changed once.
Blanche reached for her mother’s hand as Charlotte sat tentatively beside her daughter. “Lucy’s dead sweetie… She was… that is… it was too late… we… think it was quick…”
Blanche allowed all the horror of the night to flood in and when Trent sat beside his partner and said quietly, “Can you tell us anything about… what happened? Sweetie it’s OK if you can’t, but…”
Blanche took a deep breath, squeezed her mother’s hand again and began in a near whisper, “We were just… looking for the source of the magical trace… and then Lucy screamed and ran and I… He just appeared out of nowhere and tore and bit… and I fell, then Lucy screamed again and ran, so he turned after her… and all I could… I just crawled ‘cause it hurt so much… I thought he would come back… and I remember Lucy went quiet and there was blood… mine, and then… then I could smell…hers… and hear him… but I couldn’t…then there was a shot… and then William’s arms… and… now…”
“Now you are safe honey… you’re here, you’re with family and you’re safe…”
“But that’s just it Mum… You’re not safe are you. I’m not safe anymore… What if I hurt one of you… one of the coven… anyone! I’m a monster Mum… A Demon!”
William stepped forward, brought his own demon to the fore and growled “You and us too, Pet. And you’re still bloody well *family* and you’ll be surprised just how strong we lot can be when it comes to that. Little sis over there was likely to be more toadstool than flower before we sorted it.”
Poppie had been looking upset but blushed then half giggled – she’d heard the stories of Illyria’s consort’s real form.
“But tonight the full…”
William dropped his tone and answered as he placed a calming hand on his mother’s shoulder, “We’ll stay, Alex and me. Your demon’s new, and lycanthrope. Alexander carries a far older essence, and me… Master Vampire somewhere in here. We’ll keep you safe. And if you play up? Send ya to the dog house! Payback for when we were little and you were decided to play happy families and I got to be the pet!”
Blanche couldn’t help but note the wicked ‘little Billie’ grin that ended the dialogue and despite its seriousness, laughed then coughed then groaned in genuine pain.
Alexander stepped forward, “Mum, Dad… please... we’ll try to help her heal before tonight… and…”
Charlotte squeezed her daughter’s hand, “It’s OK sweetie, let the boys and the coven try a little more… We’ll be back before…”
“I know… just…” Blanche’s breath hitched as she held on for just a little too long, “Mum… Dad… I’m soooo…[hic] *sorry*! Tell Lucy’s OMa… I’m… Oh goddess!”
Trent stepped forward and kissed his daughter on the forehead. “We’re glad you are here… now let the boys tend you. We’ll be back.” He then led Poppie and Charlotte from the room.
William looked to Blanche for permission to lift the bandages. The wounds were already raised, red and obviously healing, but William knew that faster was better and dropped into gameface away from Blanche’s gaze before slitting his own wrist open and dribbling the rich vampire blood over his sister’s wounds.
Blanche was near sleep again but arched a little as the cool liquid struck the deepest of her injuries stinging as the flesh was forced to accelerate the healing process.
Xander fell into his hyena guise and licked first his mate, then ever so gently over the wounds on his sister’s legs and right arm. It was enough. Blanche passed out, and the two found a place on the floor beside her bed and exchanged blood whilst in a tight, reassuring hug. Tonight they would need their Mated connection like never before.
True to their word, an hour and a half later, just before sunset and another full moon rising, Trent and Charlotte checked in on the three. Alexander was asleep on tucked tight against William’s shoulder. Blanche stirred a little as her parents stepped into the bedroom – she was a visibly healthier colour, but still strained then gave up any attempt to sit up as her torso muscles still tugged on healing wounds painfully.
Quiet words were exchanged then their parents left the room to Blanche, William, Alexander and a gift from the Mistress Willow, an ebony talisman on a gold chain. Longer term it would prevent the wolf from straying too far from the pack, but for tonight it simply needed to be attached, as the door would be locked from the outside and the external shutters on the windows likewise padlocked. The room was warded for good measure and sadly a tranquilizer gun stood beside Trent’s side of the familial bed.
Alexander and William kept vigil as the minutes ticked away and the room darkened. William fixed the talisman around a sleeping Blanche’s neck with the utmost of care, then sat back to wait again.
Finally the two felt the prickle of magic, Alexander’s fur sprouted instantly and canines dropped. William let his gameface emerge and gave his mate a yellow eyed knowing look and nod.
Blanche’s form writhed, whimpered and arched from the bed as her bones organs and skin altered. And after a painful minute or so, there was a spine chilling howl. Her new wolf was free, still injured, true, but well enough to endanger others were it let run free.
Disorientation, fear and panic found her baring her teeth to her brothers. Their response was well planned and the effect absolute.
With lightening speed William attacked, tumbling the newly changed werewolf from her all fours position on the bed to the floor in front of her other adoptive brother Alexander.
Hyena!Alexander bared his teeth, snarled and flew for her neck latching on with a bite that could kill but did not. Blanche immediately yielded, her wolf demon almost relieved to find a herself with what it interpreted as stronger members of her family pack. Both changed men growled as she rolled from her back to all fours on her front, head low, tail between her legs and her neck bared.
Her demon acknowledged William as powerful Master Vampire; her wolf, Alexander’s ancient Hyena spirit - demanding and primal; and oddly a tiny kernel of Blanche was still there and simply felt… brothers. There was little to do once the pecking order was established, her wolf calmed, and though she paced for a time, when Alexander growled, she quickly fell to the ground at his feet and waited for a reassuring grooming. It was provided easily, and shortly after Blanche’s wolf form stilled, the three, exhausted from the previous twenty four hours’ heartache and shock, moved to settle on the floor together. Blanche’s muzzle was tucked neatly under Xander’s furry neck and William spooned her from behind gently nuzzling hers whilst reaching for his mate.
By morning the three were found in a comfortable pile of human(ish) flesh on the plush rug beside the wall heater in Blanche’s room by their relieved parents. All three happily playing the pack ‘game’ and prostrating themselves for a still concerned and now even more worried Trent and Charlotte, until the parents realized they were being played as William just couldn’t suppress a giggle, and Alexander burst out laughing but managed to blurt out, “Mum, Dad, we’re fine! Sorry… just playing… pack and all that… really we’re fine. We’re fine.” The two men earned a good natured slap for their trouble, but really didn’t mind.
The following night was moon free, and Blanche sobered as she admitted to her mother that she really did feel lucky – her ‘affliction’ only entailed a few nights a month whereas William and Alexander’s were ‘for always’. Her mother’s only response was, “But they were given each other… it is as it should have been in their previous lives… we have to hold onto that.”
Mistress Willow contacted an old friend via Email later that week. The ensuing phonecall was as informative as it wasn’t… Oz was now quite the ‘aging rocker’ but doing both things (aging and rocking) gracefully. Willow knew from his website that he was in fairly high demand a sessional player for various bands; and his home in Stuttgart, Germany had a fully equipped recording studio. She learned from the call that he had a ‘permanent friend’ who liked the wolf, and they had “enough money… so that’s… You?”
In the end Oz agreed to pass on some ‘insider’ information to Blanche via Email, and sent a ‘hey’ to all who still remembered him. He also insisted that Blanche contact him direct as the following full moon approached – or ‘just come hang ’. And an aging Willow remembered just why her gender orientation was never an issue when it came to that particularly kind, blindingly intelligent, enigmatic boy come werewolf from her past.
A week later, early on a Sunday evening, the communal dinner found Willow bidding farewell to the coven members again, she would be gone almost a month, her lecturing commitments at other covens around Europe a regular part of her schedule these days. The Mistress smiled a little at the scene of Trent and Charlotte’s four adult children arm in arm keeping up an easy banter that only siblings seemed to be able to do, and made their way down the gravel driveway toward home.
It would have been so easy if that was the end of the trials for the family – and the boys in particular, but she now realized that Blanche’s change of status had been foretold, and simply brought them all one step closer to a far bigger challenge.