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.
other parts here
The game face was less frightening to Charlotte than the desperately needy tone and she recognized with complete clarity, that her son’s original demon’s memories were present, and though his magical power – due to unique circumstances – was immense; in essence, William was also still a fledgling vampire.
A fledgling on the brink of self destruction, who’s Grandsire, his ‘Yoda’ was dust, Sire was probably so, as were all others of his line. And now had a demon inside him that was apparently slipping into insanity without the steady hand of a Sire *and* would take his Mate, his brother, their strong, gentle Alexander into oblivion with him if he was successful in dusting himself.
As her son slept off his night/day, she and Trent contacted Willow. Prophesy and apocalypse be damned, this was Charlotte’s sweet Billie. They had to *do* something!
Willow’s returned the call late afternoon and confirmed what they all intuitively knew. William was indeed a fledgling vampire, but had all his Master Vampire’s memories – and, because of his history – his desperate disappointments and hurts. Reconciling the two was impossible without a Sire. Willow verbally kicking herself for not seeing it before… but he seemed to cope so well!
The High Mistress was unable to return home but advised the coven members to ward the home, sedate William and envelope him in a healing bubble that would at least take away his destructive memories and buy them some time.
Alexander sat by his beautiful blonde partner’s still form. They were (at his mother’s insistence) in the cottage, not their own space, so had taken Blanche’s room temporarily. William looked so pale, small... ill, lying in his sister’s double bed. And in the three times Charlotte checked in the last hour, Alexander had been holding William’s inert hand and crying quietly.
Charlotte knew her children, and knew when a mother’s strength was needed, but also when a father’s was better suited to the purpose. She sent Trent in and was pleased to see, on the next pass of the room, that father had slung his arm over Alexander’s shoulder and pulled him into a reassuring, silent, sideways hug as they kept vigil together at the bedside.
With William’s collapse the mating link had fallen wide open and Alexander too was suffering, further adding to William’s distress. For weeks now William had he tried to shut down the link, but had no strength left to keep up the block, and also needed it so badly… needed his Mate…
In the end Alexander lay on the bed and simply held his vampire partner, his beloved, technically *dead*, adoptive brother in this life, his Mate, the wounded hero, a desperate being, now shackled and drugged for his own safety.
Without consciousness there was no use offering blood, and without blood, William was visibly fading, and as a direct consequence Alexander too was beyond eating… beyond crying, convinced his dearest brother, his Mate, his all, was about to dust and he would go with him.
Alexander’s head ached and he accepted the drink bottle of water from a tearful Charlotte some time in the early morning but kept his vigil as William came to again and began to thrash against the restraints and begged to be let go... to find Sire… to “become worthy”.
Finally, an injection of enough tranquilizer to drop a rhinoceros saw him quiet, after which a catheter was inserted to administer the chemicals induce a constant coma. Alexander was led from the room by Trent as a feeding tube pressed down William’s throat to try to provide sustenance – breathing was fortunately not an issue but putting blood into his dead system was essential and blood stream not how the magical body worked.
Willow had been adamant – and now Charlotte saw it too. The critical thing was finding William a Sire. It mattered little as to whom since technically William’s maker this time around was Illyria, and the making was a magical one not related to a real Sire – but where did that leave them?
William could not drink of Illyria, regardless if she graced them with her presence or not, her original demon blood was not that of a vampire.
And blood exchange was the key. He could not take of his Mate Alexander since their connection was already as close as it could possibly be – and the hyena spirit would mean that William’s demon would reject him as Sire anyway – though not as Mate of course.
It was Poppie who came up with the solution, though it was initially so terrifying that it was rejected out of hand, yet as coven and family’s appeals to Gaia brought no change over the ensuing four days and any attempts to feed William had become a pointless venture, there was a shift in opinion.
Over the next three days, William lost an extraordinary amount of condition, in the end an induced coma was the only way to go, human or non human, there were few other options.
After he fell unconscious, they pushed a feeding tube through to his stomach and tried to feed the vampire/coven member. The Mated status saw Alexander so distressed that there was little choice. They sedated him also, he all but begged for it.
Two days later, Trent and Charlotte stood behind their daughter as Poppie again appealed to a full gathering of the coven and (for the first time since Andrew had been Head Watcher) the Council. As a consequence *this* time she had a newly returned High Mistress Willow’s backing.
William was giving up his existence *again* but this time it was not (as prophesised) for the greater good, rather it was a simple matter that the ‘Powers who screw you’ had forgotten a basic fact - A vampire Childe needed the blood of its Sire for at least the first five to ten years *just to survive*. A minion had no such need. Illyria had made William as he was – an Aurelian Childe with a Mate. Without swift help William would dust and Alexander die with him.
Poppie’s solution was as simple as it was dangerous. *Someone* had to absorb Illyria’s essence and return a tiny part of the demon to this realm. That person would then have to act as Sire. They would not be a demon – nor a vampire… but they would carry the necessary tracers to have William’s demon determine them as Sire.
Sadly with Illyria as ‘Sire’ there was little chance of any mortal – or semi-mortal being (see above vampire) surviving were they to be fed her juices directly.
Trent was the obvious choice. He *was* William’s father in this manifestation and Sire in all but blood – and now that would simply shift a little (or a lot as Charlotte feared).
They needed Illyria’s permission and Trent was going to have to rely on the coven to magically shift his form to something that might accept and assimilate Illyria’s demon seed and power. Few at the coven had any idea what that might mean but also knew that if the prophesy were true, they would need William on their side. The plan was to have Willow call up the dimensional rift and work with Illyria from there.
On Trent’s return he would drain William to near dust, then feed him with Sire’s blood – blood that his demon recognized. This would need to be followed by feeding the Mate and finally a ceremony to have the demon formally accept its new Sire.
The Mate Alexander was in his hyena form, now sedated in the bed beside his Mate as a grieving family presented the unconscious beautiful blonde to the coven elders and other magical beings/sympathisers entering the ‘sick room’.
It was the first time any of the coven members had seen High Mistress cry. Tears were silent but prolific and all in the room were knocked from their feet as the magical energy flowing from her suddenly increased tenfold and she pulled from both the earth and all their life energies.
Illyria was called and answered. In a way it was her turn to pay back a ‘favour’ of sorts. The boys had already been given a human life as payment for others assisting her to return to her former glory *and* then see the safe return for her lover… and as a consequence she had imbued them with their previous memories and natures since the human form was *so* flawed, but had not realised the Halfling would need her beyond the initial change.
Willow was appropriately powerful in the magical human sense, and appropriately humble… and able to point out that there was a prophesy about to play out that threatened Illyria’s realm were she not to save this… William.
Illyria communicated with the object of her desire – her universe, her everything – and a deal was struck. She tolerated, perhaps even liked the being who had assisted her in more than one realms; who had never treated her in any way than with awe and respect (although she would, in the proper circles, point out that in his sparring – which he was enslaved to do – was carried out with a little too much enthusiasm on occasion). Now this same being, important in the coming events of that realm, needed Illyria. He had been the one that had honoured her and displayed extraordinary loyalty to the beings around him – and whose ‘brother’ had willingly accompanied him as the shift to the dark loomed… A false sibling, now Mated lover made of quiet, unspoken affection, nay, deep love the same as her own for her Teirsch.
Illyria considered the coven’s plea and in the machinations of a temporary bizarre dimensional rift then made her choice. Indeed she could strengthen this ‘Sire’ – even after her beloved’s essence returned.
While communications were still being had Trent collapsed, others caught him. It was only Willow who understood.
The inert body convulsed violently for some five minutes, but then went quiet. He was not dead, just temporarily changed. His possessing being, an Old One, was strangely disturbed by the warmth of the body it had been placed in, but also reassured. Tiersch’s dear partner had a task and he satisfied that it was right to help, so remained calm. They were the rulers of their realm and had a responsibility, and therefore he would quietly occupy this fragile frame for what amounted to a blip in their immensely long lives whilst his Goddess Illyria assisted one of their champions to return to health. Tiersch would happily die for Illyria, die in agony to protect her needs be – but did not need to on this day.
The strange part was that the odd frame he was in was being tenderly held in a way that was never possible in his real form, and suddenly Tiersch, partner of the Old One Illyria, understood the fascination with this realm. Being move or be moved with such freedom was certainly odd, and strangely compelling. The creatures in this dimension were all underlings, of that he was certain… yet he did envy them the movement. He experimented and slowly turned his… head.
The arms around him tightened and he could hear a thud thud in the softness against his ear. It was strangely reassuring so he simply relaxed and enjoyed the ‘human’ moment.
Charlotte held her lover as he slipped. As soon as the convulsions ceased, the coven physicians reported. He was alive, but with a different essence – as they had requested.
The human form of Trent was not ‘hollowed out’ as Illyria had done to Fred, nor as Tiersch had attempted with Poppie, but was on ‘exchange’.
Charlotte held her dear Trent in a maternal embrace as his new essence took hold. She looked to Willow who stood at the edge of the rift and reached out to make contact with Illyria’s tentacles – confirmation of what was to be.
It wasn’t just a dream… Trent really was fixed to the spot… tentacles caressed the lip of his head… or his body… he was no longer sure – how could one be if only a mere stalk and mushroom cap – it didn’t really constitute a body… did it? He had expected tentacles or a tail or scales but this?! He had eaten fried mushrooms for dinner less than a week ago – and now… well that would be cannibalism surely!
And how was he sentient?
The tentacle did it again… it felt like Illyria and he were… making love… His entire cap was a sex organ. He tried not to be aroused… he loved Charlotte… there had never been but… Goddess that felt… He shivered, dropped spores which the tentacles seemed to vacuum up…
Strangely attired multi armed individuals then approached - apparently priests - came and they too stroked him on *that lip* then sang his praises as other lesser beings arrived – apparently on a pilgrimage. From afar he realized that he had felt their faint presence and he seemed to ‘see’ them prostrating themselves fully and praying, then rising to crawl four paces forward only to do it all again. The most fortunate were allowed to come close enough to kneel under the shadow of his cap. They prayed to he and Illyria then licked up the few spores that had fallen with the extra stimulation from the priests and died in ecstasy. He struggling with the notion that their decaying bodies fed him, just as did the torrential downpour that later splashed off his scarlet shaded cap and fell at his stem to be absorbed.
He wasn’t sure how long he had been there but was relieved that he was always shaded, feeling somehow that full sun(s) might burn, but could still detect the dual sun’s positions and knew the Mistress would be back to adore and pamper his ‘lip at any opportunity. His needs were Illyria’s – his spores providing the ancient demon with a delicate aperitif imbued with the essence of Tiersch’s love and a powerful chemical that acted as both aphrodisiac and inducer of euphoria. Inevitably, after Illyria had eaten of Tiersch’s spores, the area where her massive tentacled being had resided oozed with her sticky spendings.
It was symbiotic – he benefiting from the rich liquid that nourished and thrilled directly, sharing their demon essence and strengthening both ancients. Any extra of Illyria’s fluid simply dissolved the bodies of the lesser beings, making the soil around him richer and ever more satisfying. After every coupling the result was a shiver of energy as increasing spore production and ‘calling’ to Illyria, starting the cycle anew.
His human self felt he was betraying Charlotte – but at the same time there was no betrayal. He worried how many days he had stood like this, thought it might be six or… nine. It wasn’t painful – indeed he was stroked, worshipped(!) in the form that had tried to possess his daughter in their own dimension, but after several sun downs and many, many satisfying episodes of sporing, he did wish at times for at least… eyes, arms, and some means of ambulation.
He began to wonder when he would eventually return to human form (Willow had always said time might move differently in other dimensions, and shivered a little at the prospect of spending the next hundred years with a permanent reddish cap and fat central connection to the ground. It was not all bad, this existence, but it wasn’t his, rather it was a means to an end. And so he gave in to natural responses and Illyria continued to spill her fluid for him to absorb after each of his shivered offerings. And the part that was still Trent held onto the thought that upon his return her ‘demon’ would be recognized by the fledgling vampire William, and ensure his family’s survival. And he was trying to think beyond that but…
Goddess!!! There was that tentacle again… ambulation be damned! He shivered once more and dropped his spores in a shower of ecstasy. She conveyed her pleasure by vacuuming them up seconds before his stalk absorbed the flood of fluid she let spurt from her enormous form. This time the flavour was… He was still recovering his limited senses as his world went black and he woke in the arms of… his beautiful Charlotte. He was about to apologise but then she lifted him to her and kissed him soundly saying, “Oh my darling… there you are!” All he could say was... "I'm so sorry... but it was..."
The lovely Charlotte kissed her life partner and completed his sentence, "... the only way."
For Trent it had been seventeen double sundowns as Illyria's 'other'. But later he would learn that for Charlotte it was mere hours holding a form that she knew was no longer him, yet coddled and comforted the rather strange Tiersch as he too did his part and struggled with his human form.
Now all they both cared about was that essence he now carried in his system was enough for William’s demon to see him as Sire.