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 High Mistress Willow had collapsed exhausted and was helped to the lounge suite as the essences of Tiersch and Trent returned to their rightful owners and the dimensional rift sealed itself. The prophesy indicated that the rift may need to be opened one more time but for now the coven needed to focus on the fledgling vampire.
For his part Trent felt elated at once more finding himself human, and held by his adored Charlotte, but also felt slightly strange, detached from his form still. Intellectually he knew that the hands he now stared at in wonder were indeed his, but somehow they were not his. He worried a little that if someone asked he would introduce himself correctly but that it would somehow be a lie. He felt… he wished, but didn’t… and did… it had been strangely, a blissfully simple existence for the last seventeen sunrises.
He lay in Charlotte’s lap for a little longer then looked up into her worried blue eyes - eyes that spelt near desperate levels of fatigue and worry; eyes that were usually dancing with joy and love, but were now pained in a way that spelt grief; pretty eyes that he had stared into and adored for as long as he could remember… and now he remembered.
With Charlotte and Poppie’s help Trent moved to the ‘sick room’ a temporary hospital ward of sorts in Blanche’s old bedroom.
William was laid out, a corpse, slender to the point of emaciated after refusing to drink for so long, feeding tube giving some sustenance but not enough for a magical being. His demon had all but withdrawn, leaving… a dead body.
Alexander was curled up at his feet in full hyena guise, unable to comfort an unconscious Mate and sedated for his own safety, he too was drawn and thin, but also covered in a fine sheen of dappled fur and whimpered occasionally with his ‘other world’ voice in his sleep.
Willow was sent for and also helped into the room. She like the other coven members accompanying her felt it immediately. Trent was still human, but also carried the combined essence of two immensely powerful ‘Old Ones’, the original demons. His own being now had their seed, Willow worried a little as his eyes that should have been their usual pretty hazel, flashed a blinding aqua then red as his knee connected painfully with the corner of the bed by accident as he stood to greet her.
The White haired Willow indicated that they should all sit for a moment and ‘regroup’. Her head throbbed but she could see the desperate situation, and the need for more of her energy.
The claiming by the new Sire would have to occur without intervention. The idea that it was within the Coven confines meant the wards around the cottage – and William in particular would have to come down, possibly for hours, so that his demon might establish itself… something that might involve killing.
Ella was contacted. The sympathetic and rather wonderful local slayer Ella had continued to keep contact with Blanche – even though technically the woman was now a demon. Blanche put her survival down to Ella, though the young Slayer would always argue she had been too slow. The two had struck up a firm friendship – not least of which included a mutual love of music… and musicians, Ella thrilled when she heard of Blanche’s impending ‘motherdom’.
Hence it was Blanche who had informed Ella of William’s plight and their struggle to save him. The Slayer had been extremely moved as she visited the Coven (at Blanche’s insistence) and witnessed the two unmoving forms of the brothers Blanche so adored. Men, after that night and all the ensuing conversations with Blanche online, Ella would happily accept as her Watchers were she given the chance, and *much* more preferable than her compulsory one – the pretentious ‘Dr David Clifton’ – a doctor of ‘wank’ according to… well anyone who knew him really!
Overbearing, over stuffed with his own importance, and immensely under talented, even the lovely aging, now retired Watcher Andrew had sighed as she was assigned Doctor Clifton, and told her in confidence, “Chin up… Sure you’ll find your *true* Yoda one day… or just… Spike.” She had no idea what that meant at the time, but now somehow knew, as she took the desperate call from Blanche, that there *must* be some karmic connection. Were it necessary she would protect, not kill, a particular vampire.
For Trent to take the place of a Sire, he not only needed to dominate – but also to drain then ‘new’ vampire, and William had to be conscious for the event – indeed needed to consent to the surrogacy. The new demon had to submit, be drained then willingly take of his surrogate Sire’s blood.
As William’s medication began to wear off, he thrashed rather ineffectually against restraints that saw him physically and magically shackled to the bed, the wide leather straps also including one that fastened his chest to the bed, his mouthguard and a blindfold was meant to calm. But William was so far beyond calm as he came to, that the situation was swiftly a desperate one.
Alexander roused, given no choice as the Mating link fired with the same desperation he had felt the night William had attempted to end it all. The hyena saw the restraints and howled, the soldier remembered the warnings regards imprisonment, and old human memories had Alexander at William’s side trying to reassure and love and *stop* him… crying… Oh G#$%!!!! The only indication that he was even recognized was the frantic struggle then collapse before some minor panting around the mouthguard followed by a hitched sniff and dribble from his nose.
Neither parent moved as Alexander shifted to his dear Mate, his now dead adoptive brother’s, head and removed blindfold and mouthguard saying “Mum, Dad…. I… Oh G#@$!!! Will!!!!!”
His Mate’s yellow eyes, ridges and fangs were all to the fore and as soon as Alexander pulled away the mouthguard come gag, there was a desperate scream that contained all William’s lifetimes of hurt and an immediate existence that no longer made sense without his Sire… “Kill Me!!!…. I can’t… Not wanted, not half good enough! Please! Pleeeeeease!”
Then William suddenly went very quiet, fell out of game face and with tearfilled blue eyes stared into Alexander’s hyena tinged brown and hiccupped once, then mumbled out, “It was me… I was him… He said you’d do it… Just… Do it fast… OK?”
Then time seemed to accelerate. Later they would reflect on the machinations of just how it happened.
A weakened Trent, had been standing at the door as others moved to intervene in the desperate scene, but in a move that truly was as swift as a vampire, pushed all out of the way, succumbing to an instinct he had no control over. The Mate had his own teeth bared but was thrown growling, away from William.
Trent then slapped the young fledge hard and yelled “You have no right to destroy what is mine!!! Yield and be still. I am your Sire!” then leapt onto the bed and straddled the bound form. A wide eyed William in full game face again whimpered, and immediately turned his head exposing a mark left by Illyria’s tentacle and also seemed to be the marker for an older scar, presumably his previous incarnation’s turning mark.
Trent tore open the area relatively easily with a human bite that saw as much blood flowing into Trent’s mouth and being swallowed, as the flowed over his son and onto the bed.
Trent found himself drinking slowly and at the same time instinctively lifting his arm to press a wrist to his son’s sharp fangs. It was all such a blur.
Later he would remember it *really* hurt, but at the time all he felt was relief and joy that his Childe, had accepted him as Sire. They had all worried about just how Trent, as human, was supposed to bite and *drain* a body (vampiric fangs being *specifically* designed for said purpose). There was apparently no need for concern. Charlotte and two of the coven members restrained a whimpering Alexander as William’s became still and Trent was seen to push his wrist against the young vampire’s mouth.
All William tasted was love and family and Illyria, and something more… He floated but finally heard Sire calling him then felt the pain and blood flow. Sire wasn’t there but now a new Sire, family, had come to claim him, someone demanding to be recognized as Sire who tasted right, who dominated, whom he knew! Father … family!
William’s demon rejoiced and for the first time since he and Alexander had returned from Poppie’s rescue mission, he felt completely at peace. Whole, settled, sure of himself and his place in the world… and… in that moment he unintentionally let the Mating link fall wide open and he could feel Alex… but his world was fast becoming black.
As Trent removed his mouth from the neck and his son fell away from his wrist with a sigh of “Sire”, both father and son fell unconscious.
Blood was still flowing from wounds and the coven members worked quickly to bind and stem the flow, undo William’s restraints and conducted numerous healing spells, but for Charlotte, Alexander and the family, the blood and the restraints were the least of their worries. They had no way of knowing, at that moment, whether William’s ailing young demon was satisfied, or whether the whole cycle of anguish had just been made worse.
The coven healers were on standby for the next two days. The first time Trent roused six hours after the bizarre incident, Charlotte was at the bedside with Alexander.
‘Sire’ and vampire Childe had been left together on the bed. The bloodied mattress would be disposed of sometime later, for now it would serve the young vampire with the reassuring smell of blood and family.
Trent roused first and made a rasped plea to cut away the bandages for both he and William. The act, though done carefully caused pain and reopened wounds, but that in itself served a purpose. The previous night’s exchange was repeated, again with Trent dictating the proceedings as was vampire tradition. William came too as his new Sire pulled on his blood. Weakened but now understanding, his demon drank greedily of his Sire, felt the strength and the love, then another wrist was offered. Mate! His Mate was there and Sire was there and… William simply passed out mid suckle, his mouth going slack around Alexander’s wrist. Somehow Trent knew everything would be fine but still acknowledged the need to check them all and bind wounds, and this time insert a catheter for both Alexander and he, that their blood loss might be replenished.
The process happened twice more in the ensuing twelve hours, each time William took more and more blood, and in the fourth feeding, only pulled away from his Mate when the hyena was forced to the fore growling and biting back – not in love but self defence. The day was saved when Mate’s form was replaced by Sire, and Trent’s strict “Childe!! Cease!...” Followed by the strict instruction “Yield!”.
Unable to prostrate itself or curl up, William’s demon so wonderfully full of Sire that he had been confused, but was now clear and did the only thing available to it, he bared his neck once more. This time it was simply bitten and held by his Sire – the wound still raw but not drawn upon. He felt his Mate return, trustingly push an arm against his mouth and *finally* he felt a shift in his magical existence, in his demon that he had never felt before.
His demon belonged. His demon was loved. His Sire was here. He would be obedient because he wished his Sire proud. He had a loving Mate. He had other family. He was fed. He would work tirelessly to make Sire proud and protect Mate… Everything else was a bonus.
And at that moment William felt Alexander, and Trent, then Mother and Poppie and Willow and … began to cry again, but this time it was with joy. His demon had a Sire, and he would need to work hard to make Sire proud, but he had not lost those who were his most important. His recent ‘madness’ had not lost… if anything, better found, his family.
That night, completely undrugged and unbound for the first time in almost three weeks, he walked rather unsteadily, supported by Alexander, back to their cottage.
The blazing fire was a little unnecessary but welcoming – no doubt someone in the family had set that up. Sure enough Poppie descended from one of the lofts, said “Linen’s all new.” then nodded to the fridge as she silently absented herself.
They didn’t make it to the loft, William still shaky and the fire enticing. Alexander led his Mate to the old couch, gently stripped them both then lay back and let his own demon emerge to enjoy the moment.
William relaxed and enjoyed the feel of lying on a familiar strong chest, surrounded by smells he knew before feeling Alexander’s tears splash onto his arm, then the slight shift. He nuzzled the soft brown fur that was the hyena but when William attempted to move more, a strict low growl stopped him, and the two snuggled down together.
Trent visited the boys’ cottage briefly in the early hours of the first morning. The door was never locked.
His two boys were on the old couch in front of the fire intertwined and looking… content. William woke the second Sire entered the room but Trent merely hushed him, stroked his adopted son’s, now Childe’s, turning mark then quietly expressed his joy at having his sons present and happy by kissing Alexander lightly on the temple, then leaning over further and kissing William’s neck then one exquisitely chiselled cheek bone.
Charlotte had felt her partner in life leave their shared bed, and hugged him close on his return – she understood. He would continue to ‘spike’ William’s blood with his own and take a little of William’s. Always an attentive father, the idea that one visited the children was utterly natural, but Charlotte also felt the change in him. Her Trent, her beautiful strong male partner, with his grey dreadlocks and all the elegant signs of ageing, had also grown somehow through all this. A sense of immense age, and of power seemed to flow from him – not in the pretentious ‘worship me’ sense, but a typically Trent ‘take it or leave it’ wisdom of the ages way. This night would be one of many evenings that he would need to attend his Childe. Charlotte understood… and he knew she did.
And she accepted his offer as he rejoined her in bed. They made love slowly, passionately, drawing on decades of knowledge of the other, renewed adoration, and… contentment. Completion for both was followed by a happy sigh and oblivion in the arms of the other part of their whole.
The following day there was work to be done. Blanche and Tjun were due to visit and the room still needed attending to. Charlotte smiled as she recognized Ella on the lee end of the bloodied mattress (which was being replaced!). The young slayer grinned at the Mistress of the house, nodded knowingly at the outhouse cottage of the boys and said, “Was ready if ‘e’d done a runner, but bloody typical, just wanted ‘is lover for afters! All the good ones are gay…” She winked then hefted 'her end' of the bedding and kept walking.
The mother in Charlotte made a mental note to give Ella a hug or three sometime soon.