Warnings: Will appear on chapters if needed – some M/M relations
Summary: Spike survived the Black Thorn but only because one of the Senior Partners had heard Illyria refer to him as suitable for her pet and decided to amuse themselves with devastating results
Previous Parts here
The dark figure stepped into the glare of the headlights but held his head high.
He was dressed much as Spike had remembered Drogan at The Well. Leather waistcoat intricately worked and suited for battle of old more than comfort. It was worn over a loose fitting white shirt with no collar, the leather pants and high boots completed the ensemble. His hair was a little past shoulder length but the piercing blue eyes and handsome features were unmistakable.
“Friend or foe mate.”
Connor stood firm and simply said, “Family. Mistress Willow requested I come. It seemed a wise decision now all my charges are returned to The Well. Rupert Giles is acting as guardian in my absence.”
Spike moved to the side of the car, opening the door and saying in a loud voice, “Better meet the family then.” And more quietly to Xander, “’S the Battle Brand… Wills sent him apparently.”
“Geez Spike are you serious? I thought…”
“Shhush it for a minute Pet, ‘n let’s get the kids inside and acquainted.”
The two children stepped from the car at their father’s nod, Poppie scooting across the bench seat to hold her little brother’s hand and wait as Connor stepped aside so Xander could put the car away.
“So… these are your niece and nephew, sort of. Poppie, Luka, this is the Battle Brand, Connor. My half brother ‘by vampire’.”
Luka was his usual youthful, unselfconscious, effusive self, and only dressed in an oversized rather paint stained T-shirt, walked over to the now darkened figure, and extended his hand to greet the visitor as he had been taught. “Pleased to meet you, Mr Connor.”
Connor, to his credit, welcomed the gesture and quickly took the hand of the young boy, shaking it sincerely before turning to Spike.
“Willow said you have Wolfram and Hart – or at very least - vampire problems.”
Connor’s eye fell to the shy, pretty woman standing behind Xander, dressed in a loose fitting man’s shirt and stepped forward to politely address her, “You must be Poppie, pleased to meet you. Willow said you were… um… Hello.”
Both Poppie and Connor blushed before he turned to meet Spike’s rather bemused eye as he stated, “Sorry, that would be a yes on both accounts… vamps and other that is…”
Spike indicated toward the door and added, “Well go on in… rest your um… yeah.”
The father and gentleman that was Spike suddenly felt rather on the back foot as he noted the obvious attraction between his daughter and a man (slash relative) he had only met once before, but unlocked the front door and led the group into the lounge, hitting the lights on the way.
Connor’s demeanour was very similar to all the Aurelians, guarded yet extremely confident, so his reaction to Poppie was a little unexpected. Xander saw it too, even though sitting in the driver’s seat of the car, but decided to put away the vehicle and leave all other thoughts until later… and a serious discussion with Spike.
Poppie led the way with commentary, “This is the lounge and Papa and Master’s room is through there. I guess you will be in the guest room. We have internet you know. Did Willow tell you that? And through here is the kitchen and laundry, and of course the backyard. We can all do the door if we need to, but… oh!” Poppie blushed a little more, “The bathroom is off to the left. Do you have a bag because Master always says you should take visitor’s bags and coats… It’s polite.” She turned and lowered her eyes with embarrassment, batting impossibly long eyelashes and putting her hands behind her back in a moment of awkwardness.
Spike stepped in at the appropriate pause in the conversation, “You’ve done very well Pet. Take the Battle Brand’s sword and any extras to the spare room then we can all have tea.”
“Yes Papa… Umm… can I take your sword and sheath and… umm… anything else.” She dutifully took all the items and made sure the guest room was perfect for their handsome visitor. She felt an unaccustomed attraction to the human male and wasn’t quite sure how to process her emotions.
The evening was rather tense, Poppie giving Connor several furtive glances over dinner before both she and Luka were instructed to clean their teeth and go to bed around nine.
As soon as the two departed Connor volunteered, “You have beautiful children Spike.”
Spike looked over at Xander and added, “We have beautiful children.”
“Indeed, I note you are together. It is appropriate that you should refer to ‘we’.”
Xander could hold his tongue no longer, but understood the limitations and role of the Battle Brand “We wish to ask you a few questions, and according to Spike you cannot lie and are somehow tied to the Powers that… well you know…”
“Yes, that is true. It is my new role and one that I may be required to perform for many centuries. If you ask I must answer with the truth so far as it is revealed to me.” Connor shifted awkwardly in his chair and fiddled with the leather at the bottom of his jerkin.
Spike decided they all needed an after dinner brandy to get through the conversation and absented his seat to find the bottle and glasses while Xander continued, “I… that is *we* want to know the true status of Spike’s changed children. Are they human? They’re kind of matching their human years to dog years with development… Willow was suggesting turning them… but I’m not so sure… Wills not always perfect with the old magical theories.”
“Your only question was ‘are they human’. Yes at night they are human.”
Spike was returning with the glasses, Brandy and a bottle of dry ginger ale for Xander who still almost choked on straight spirits, as it turned out so did Connor so it was appreciated.
“Lemme take over Pet. This bloke’s like a magic eight ball. Gotta ask questions non of the rhetorical dialogue.” Xander mouthed sorry, shot a begging look at Spike then concentrated on ‘sitting’ with his drink rather than imbibing.
“OK Mate… If I turn the kiddies, will they keep their souls?”
“As you have one of course. They also carry their mother’s essence. She is an innocent, so it is a given.”
“So when does that need to happen, the turning?”
“It must be on or before their third birthday as dogs.”
“And they will still change if I do that.”
“But our Poppie is keen on havin’ a litter, there is no way I want to put a damper on that for my favourite girl, but can she? If I don’t turn her can she have… a family of her own?”
“Perhaps, you must define her state at the time of conception.”
“As human or dog. Can’t have it both ways or can she?”
“No, she cannot.”
“So if she is impregnated as a human then?’
“It is doubtful that they will go to term.”
“Too many changes in vitro.”
“And so if I turn her then…” Spike chose his words carefully, “Does that mean she will be disqualified from the joy of motherhood? Cause gotta say, biggest bonus for yours truly in all this are the children.”
“Motherhood can come to her as a vampire.”
Spike was becoming increasingly agitated as the conversation went on but Xander grabbed his hand under the table and squeezed tight, so Spike took a deep breath and continued , “And just how might that happen mate?”
“I can turn her. This will change her status as I am the product of two vampires. She will be able to carry to term.”
Spike growled audibly, “Sure you didn’t just make that up to get into her panties mate? Saw how you looked at her. You attracted?”
Connor shifted in his chair, “I did not ‘make that up’ to bed her Spike. And yes I am attracted.”
Spike stood abruptly and announced his need for a smoke outside, looking pointedly at Xander to continue the conversation.
As the backdoor slammed Xander took up the challenge of asking questions on behalf of the children. “If you sire her, what happens to Poppie.”
“She would be my consort for all time and we can have children.”
“And what would happen to them? Spike tells me you are compelled to live in the Deeper Well. What about school? A social life? Will they be human?”
“School will be provided by the coven. Their social life will be dictated by that. Her offspring in that case will be human.”
Xander knew that Spike could still hear the conversation and was just hopeful that the children were well asleep, “And if she decides not to and Spike turns her… or not?”
Connor seemed to focus on a distant point beyond the room, “If he chooses not to turn them then they will age as dogs with the associated seven to one aging dog to human. If he turns them then they will stay in this state forever. Dog by day and vampire by night.”
“Could Luka have children at that point?”
“Sorry, forgot the rules of conversation. If Luka is turned by Spike, can he still have children as a dog? I mean, will his seed be viable to breed with?”
“Of that I am not sure. But Spike has sired true canine children so I must assume that will be so. I must caution that it will be his choice when he is of age, as it should be his sister’s.”
Xander found himself growling low (with a rather good measure of surprise), “She is *already* at that age. But then I figure you already know that. Did Willow?”
“Yes we both knew.”
Spike was leaning on the door frame ‘smoke free’ by the time the last statement was made.
“And this means what to the dearly departed, *changed* relative and his kin?”
“It is up to them Spike, all I can tell you is what I know. And… I felt him pass too.” Connor looked up to Spike, teary blue eyes met Spike’s azure pair as the vampire/changeling answered with a rather choked. “Check that luv. Me too. Bloody hero at the end. Don’t reckon he would ‘ave wanted…”
Xander recognized the anguish through their link and offered a wrist. Spike did likewise to Connor, and Connor to Xander, the latter politely refusing.
Spike broke the moment. “Well, think it’s time we all got some shut eye yeah? The guest room’s already been shown…”
Connor shot a thankful look to Spike then excused himself for a shower and bed.
Spike looked pointedly at his partner as the Battle Brand removed himself from the room.
“What’s goin’ through than noggin’ of yours?”
“It’s all so big Spike! I mean… They really are ours and…”
“Decisions by your offspring don’t always match with Utopia pet. Gotta let ‘em make their own decisions.”
“Oh yay for the Mr-I’ve-seen-‘Dr Phil’.”
Spike kissed reluctant lips as Xander tried to come to terms with the situation on hand, “I’ve lived with me own decisions for a hundred and seventy years plus… And if there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that we all choose our path, bad or good. Trust me to handle this Xan…? Do you trust me?”
Spike couldn’t help but grin, “Well there’s a turn up for the books, a Sunnydaler who actually knows a four syllable word!” He earned a friendly slap and begging look for his trouble.
“C’mon luv, let’s adjourn t’ bed. Gotta get the workin’ man ta work on the morrow.”