Pairing: Xander/Spike (don’t be fooled by the Willow beginning)
Rating: Mature Audiences – for content and themes
Summary: Wolfram and Hart may have won the day, but the battle is just about to begin...
Spoilers: Canon is Post S7 BtVS and S5 AtS.
Warnings: M/M – if you don't like boys together, don't play here!
Harsh circumstances and difficult start....
Xander was still recovering several days later. Spike had called the community college shortly after Xander’s collapse, so rang again to give them an update - Xander insisting that he would be back the following Monday. The Director of Studies, one rather portly, bottle blonde, Patch Dixon, could be officious and rather overbearing at times, but had a particular soft spot for the father of three, having learned of his wife’s physical limitations after a brain injury as she was introduced to the triplets and Willow one afternoon as she happened to bump into him being ‘dropped off’ by Nurse Susan.
When William who had come out to help his brother and family with the situation (assumed) rang that the college for the second time, Ms Dixon was very keen to state that they had no intention of terminating Mr Harris’s contract, indeed encouraged William to pass on the message that there was a permanent tenure available should Xander wish it. Apparently the students in his course were not only keen that he should return, but also overwhelmingly enthusiastic regards his teaching, and their finished works were quite the talk of the college, (better still, enrolments were up twelve percent for his course for the coming term).
Relieved that the college wouldn’t sack him for his extended absence, and genuinely embarrassed when a huge bunch of flowers and ‘get well’ card arrived from his current students, Xander was even more surprised when his building supervisor, Rick arrived at his ‘temp subbie’s’ home.
It was late afternoon, so Spike answered the door dressed in jeans and a t-shirt but looking a little dishevelled after his ‘tussle’ on the floor with the girls whilst Nanny Susan saw to Willow’s needs (her ability to manage going to the toilet solo an impossibility now, and incontinence pads though used at night these days, were still a source of angst).
“I’ve um…. I thought this was Xander Harris’s place.”
Spike was immediately ‘Mr Manners’, even if the accent was quintessential Spike.
“’Course it is, Mate! I um…! Come in… Come in.” Spike held out a pale hand and shook the broad calloused one of Xander’s occasional boss.
“William… Xan’s… half brother… English… obviously, but don’t let that deter ya! Sorry ‘bout the mess. Girls ‘n me just muckin’ about for a bit, whilst the nurse sees to their mum.”
And as Rick introduced himself and was ushered inside, he didn’t fail to notice the ridiculously pale demeanour of the friend, nor his need for a cane to get about. He had an awkward ‘staring’ moment, but as if on cue, a squeal from the lounge room followed by something making a worrying thump had Spike saying “Oi you lot! ‘Scuse me for a sec” abandoning the guest in the hallway. It was followed by a rather exasperated, “Oh bloody hell, not again!”
Rick had his own children (albeit now in their teens and saw them only on two weekends a month and school holidays) but he remembered when they were little, and couldn’t help himself, so peered into the mayhem that was the lounge.
He grinned at the sight of William on the floor now consoling one crying little brunette whilst trying to stand the large pot plant back up, and scraping up the dirt from the floor with the other hand. The slim man was also attempting to placate the *other* two little red heads obviously on the brink of tears (for no better reason that their sister was upset and they had been reprimanded!) with promises of ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ or… Lala and Poe!”
The big man, still in work clothes complete with dust, dropped to his knees and picked up a strange looking stuffed tortoise near the door.
“Goodness whose is this?”
Lucy and Saidie instantly forgot their upset, shifted their focus, and even Maisie pepped up a little, and soon it was Rick giving his customary big Montana smile as he bounced yet another little one on his knee to gleeful squeals and a happy hug to follow… before the next person had a turn.
With the very willing big man’s assistance, Spike used the distraction to roughly clean the floor with a brush and shovel and seek out the plate of cut up banana Nanny Susan had been preparing before other things happened. Sipper cups and/or banana were provided as the girls calmed, and Rick was quite moved by the easy domestic scene, and his inclusion in the same. It was all familiar enough… until Willow’s chair hummed past him.
Nurse Susan ‘had her back’ but there was no denying Rick’s shocked look as he realised the burden one of his best workers was bearing, despite the help. The woman was greeted with glee by the girls.
“*Mummy*” was extremely pregnant and obviously entirely reliant on both the Nurse and the brother as she was lifted gently into the purpose built recliner and sighed with relief as she was let down into said object. Rick noted that obviously Xander had adjusted the design to make it low enough that her children might climb up.
Introduced, Willow replied politely in her characteristically slow monotone, “Nice… to meet… you… Xan…der… speaks… highly of… you.” And in that moment Rick’s heart went out to the man he had employed six months previous.
He gave the girls a little more attention before disengaging, nodding apologetically to Willow saying, “I’ll just say hi to your husband but I really will have to go.” Willow smiled a little but he noted her fatigue just before being politely ushered down the hall to the main bedroom by an obviously physically struggling, William.
Xander was propped up by pillows half snoozing when the six foot ex-line backer entered. Both Xander and Rick looked genuinely embarrassed as a box of chocolates was shoved into the recovering man’s hand with a “Guys at work… you know the drill.”
“I um…” He looked over to William then back to Rick, finishing with a genuine, “Thanks.”
Still unaware of Spike or Willow’s actions while he was in hospital, Xander nodded to his kind boss, then tackled something he had hoped to avoid, “I… um… I don’t know if I can come back… Willow is… I mean I thought she would… by now… Sorry Rick I’ll just shut up now.”
For Rick the upsetting part of the picture was that Xander still had a catheter in his left arm feeding him from a supported bag, and an oxygen tank and mask on standby. He hadn’t realised things were this bad.
Rick sat on the bed (looking to his employee for permission first) and took a moment trying to collect his thoughts. The man in front of him had literally almost worked himself into the grave because he was trying to support those he loved. Rick knew that feeling.
“Willow is as pretty as a picture, buddy, and good luck with the new one.”
Xander corrected him, “Ones… boys… matching pair apparently.”
“Oh geez… um… well… um… I really had no idea… you know… about your family… girls are a treat… and… two boys this time… wow! You sure ain’t shootin’ blanks! Ahhh geez. Kinda struggling here to be honest. I really dunno how t’ help but to say we’ll welcome ya back anytime after yer… recovered. And even if not… still would appreciate ya droppin’ by on a Friday and share a beer? Boys seem t’ think quite highly… and [clears throat] well we all do”
He was relieved to find a beer shoved into his hand by the English half brother and Xander began to ask about work. They talked for another half hour about certain employees, incidents on site and previous ‘weird and wonderfuls’ on the job (old stories but true… well… somewhat embellished).
Rick eventually had to go, but was in good humour and assured Xander that even if he could come to instruct a few of the ‘real young guys, post recovery, he would be very welcome.
The little girls were being read a story by the uncle as Rick left. The wife was asleep in her chair and the Nanny let him out, thanked him for coming and gave an extra squeeze to his hand as he departed along with, “Thanks so much for coming… It means a lot.” Not usually a religious man, as he walked to his truck, he sent a ‘bit of a prayer’ into the ether, blessing one of the best carpenters he had ever employed, and a man who was obviously (as his Aussi cousin used to put it) “in the wars, poor bastard”, and belatedly thanking the same whatever deity for his own lot in life.
Xander rallied and though still weak, delighted in his girls visiting ‘Daddy’s big room’ and began to gain his appetite a little.
His delight was his Will, the Spike of old that was utterly devoted to the one he loved. To a fault Xander was caressed, coddled and encouraged in much the same way (as Spike was quick to point out!) that he himself had done for Spike and Willow for so many months.
On the Sunday before his return to work Spike leaned his stick against the side table of the bed, and pushed himself up and over his nearly recovered lover, straddling him.
“Well come on ya slack bastard up with it!” followed by a very swift caressing of the thing that needed to rise with a well lubricated hand and associated passionate kiss, and just as Xander thought he was about to explode, felt a tight grip around the base of his engorged member and opened his eyes in amazement as Spike changed pace, slowly, gently, angling his lover’s impossibly hard part to an already slicked passage then eased himself down.
It seemed years since Xander could remember feeling so aroused and was sure he would explode in a matter of moments but Spike’s movements were so very careful and impossibly slow that the ride took him to the edge of bliss and then… just never quite… until… Oh Ghh@#$!
Spike took his balls in hand then slid a slicked finger into his rear entrance. With prostate found and caressed it didn’t matter what the speed of his ‘rider’, he filled his lover with warm seed and in his sated afterglow enjoyed a lazy kiss and the sensation of slipping out of his wonderful vampire, who quickly pulled under a towel to catch the juices left of their lovemaking.
“Ya still with me Luv?”
Xander gave a slight grunt and Spike rolled onto his side and propped up on his elbow
“Need t’ let ya know… regards finance and all that rot.”
That got Xander’s attention and previously closed eyes now opened.
“Well just that you don’t need to worry is all.” Spike suddenly decided that Willow should be present for the ‘big picture’ explanation rather than doing it now.
Xander’s broad hand reached over to stroke his lover, “You hock more of you stuff for me? You really didn’t have to… I mean the hospital… as soon as I’m back on my feet… really Spike… but… um… thanks. Don’t tell Willow though… OK? I know she worries about paying the carers and all that.”
A week later Xander was up and playing with the girls, back at work (at the college) and still worried regards Willow’s physical condition and their economic circumstances (in the latter case utterly oblivious as to the momentous change that had been engineered by the two he had so cared for all these months/years).
Willow’s system was indeed in distress in her thirty seventh week, the constant pressure on her bowel and bladder only relieved when Nurse Susan and Spike or Xander lifted her into a warm bath or lay her on her left side (and no one was sure why that was the case). Rather than risk heart failure or compromising the boys’ health, it was recommended by her obstetrician that he take the boys by caesarean as soon as possible.
On his last home visit (they had given up trying to get to the surgery) she had caught most of the conversation between a very worried Xander and the kind Dr Labiris, but still cried as they loaded her into the ambulance then transferred her to a white room that looked too much like the ‘study room’ she had been trapped in during her other times… But Xander was there, and so was Spike this time.
They both petted her gently as the epidural was applied and reassured her as the small ‘curtain’ was erected so that she might not need to witness proceedings.
She felt nothing as the two perfectly formed little baby boys were taken from her, then her body was checked, repaired and stitched post delivery. Xander and Spike both kissed and reassured her, but what she focused on was the wide eyed look on the father of her children and his partner as they carefully cradled and inspected the tiny forms for the first time. She didn’t miss the tear that Spike swiped away from Xander’s cheek, nor the reciprocal kiss.
An hour later the two little boys were named in the presence of their three older sisters, Daniel Clement and Sebastian James. The girls were thrilled, pointed and proudly announced to anyone who passed by their mother’s room “our bruvvers”
Clem and Noreen arrived home only days after the boys were born and it was a *very* emotional Clem who delivered a beautifully wrapped (courtesy of Noreen’s talents) box of ‘boy things’ - clothes, a stuffed toy train, and two beautiful teddy bears, one blonde and one brown. But when he accepted the tiny human, who now bore his name into his floppy arms and kissed the sleeping little one on the forehead, red eyes dripped and he just…
He looked from Spike to Willow to Xander… “He has my name… I still can’t believe you named him after me!”
Willow simply nodded, banged her chair arm a little and Xander knew the feeling, so held her hand tight in silence and let Spike do the talking… “Bloody right mate! And he’s your problem if’n ‘e goes off the rails later on. You bein’ his namesake an’ all!”
Noreen was holding ‘Sebie’ and was feeling quite maternal but still directed a smile toward her beloved Clem as he stumbled over his words a little, “Yes well.,. um… I… he will… Oh dear… You really did give him my name?” Several emotional seconds passed, Clem eventually saved by natural events as a squeak from Daniel Clement and a rather bad smell had Clem handing over the rather stinky small human as he processed the idea that he was a namesake, and surrogate uncle.
He didn’t take the role lightly. He now felt the tiny human was his to advise and guide as any blood relative might. In addition, he realised his dear girlfriend’s wish to have their own brood… and now genuinely understood the urge. He would enjoy it if he were to be a father.
They both handed back their precious bundles and no-one in the room failed to see the subtle embrace, nor the consequent floppy skin folds apparently melding for a moment and glowing a warm pink.
Clem squeezed Spike’s hand knowingly as he led his now blushing Noreen down to his apartment, the vampire whispering… “Just make sure when y’ have yer own, ta teach ‘em proper football so’s they c’n play with our lot.”
That night he proposed and three weeks later, on the day after Willow’s impregnation with a *single* viable Xander/Willow embryo frozen from their previous ‘treatment’, Clem and Noreen ‘tied the knot’ in a ceremony that saw his mother prepare their son’s new life partner’s wonderfully floppy expanse for the partnering in the time honoured fashion.
Clem’s mother, her sister Lorelle, and Noreen’s own mother Doris all participated in spreading the light oily liquid from their own specialised glands near their elbows up and over Noreen’s skin folds.
The ceremony was quick… the scent of the ‘marriage covering’ apparently all too much for Clem who barely finished his vows before letting go. Tentacles erupted from his face and met with Noreen’s own and as he swept her up in his arms and carried her downstairs, no one failed to see their folds beginning to shift and mould into each other…
Clem’s Mum cried, the Aunt dabbed her tear away, and Noreen’s Mum and Dad stayed for a very good cup of tea (courtesy of Spike!) as the unmistakable growls and high pitched wails of the newly married couple’s lovemaking drifted upstairs. It seemed that there might very well be a soccer team in the offing, albeit a floppy one.
As Spike used the kitchen table rather than his cane for support as he cleaned up following the festivities, he spied the unopened letters one from Banca Raiffeisen and the other from his Luxemburg broker.
With Xander threatening to return to his second job, he resolved to talk to his partner. There just hadn’t been a ‘right time’.
Xander was back at work, Spike noting the happy step as he headed for the car. Xander was happy to teach his trade and his students genuinely admired him.
Willow was reclining in the ‘sitting room’ – it was really a study, and was soon to be another bedroom, but for now gave her space to herself. The girls were having their afternoon sleep, and the tiny boys had just fed, so were likewise in slumber. Spike could not help but notice her slowly rubbing the rather loose folds of her stomach with a rather forlorn look on her face.
“Need company Pet?”
She looked up and gave him a genuine Willow smile, patting the bed as she did so.
The elegant cane that still accompanied Spike everywhere, but was slowly becoming accessory rather than necessity, was leaned against Willow’s bed as the vampire sat and took her hand.
They sat in comfortable silence for some time, Spike lifting her hand and kissing it, she reciprocating the move then moving the entwined hands to her stomach and allowing a tear to fall.
“C’mon Luv… What you don’t want it? Thought you?...”
Willow shook her head wildly before managing a slow “Want! *Hope…less* Not… getting… *brain* … still… not… right!”
Spike pulled her up into a tight hug and just held on for a moment – as much for him as for her.
“Ya silly bugger, ye’re a Mum now… lots of times over… what Mum in the world has ‘er brain right when yer thinkin’ for five… plus the men ‘o the house! Age old dilemma the world over. Now come here… blow”
He pushed a facial tissue to her nose and waited as Willow did as any small child might in the same circumstances, she blew, he wiped then followed the action by gently wiping away her tears with another tissue as she calmed and accepted his open wrist.
Licking himself until the wound began to heal, he gently eased her up, “Now Pet, I need you to focus.” He waited and saw the serious concentration.
“I want you an’ me to explain to Xan what we’ve done… financially.”
Willow looked puzzled. She had been sure Spike would have already done this, so held out her hands in a universal gesture of ‘what? Or why?’
“Figured you needed to be there Luv. You, me, you know *adults*, fellow investors, lookin’ after our own, aren’t we! And quite frankly was a little worried that the boy would take it badly… needed the moral support as it were… Reckon you c’n watch me back?”
Willow’s worried look changed to one of adoration.
Spike and she *had* been complicit in fixing up family finances. But now she was being offered the opportunity jointly explain what they had done, proudly and as an adult in control of her life again (at least financially). She nodded profusely then reached over, gave Spike a rather messy kiss and said, “Than..k You…”
Spike grinned, seemed to change gears, collected his cane and made ready to depart then at the door turned, winked and asked, “So, 8pm meetin’ tomorrow good for you?” He paused for a moment, Willow smiled, “Good then eight it is.”
As the vampire departed, Willow gently rubbed her belly again. She didn’t feel pregnant just yet but this one regardless of gender would definitely carry a certain vampire’s name.