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
Xander absented himself for the moment, settling a still very awake Luka with a story and the treat of sleeping on the Master's bed.
Spike took his daughter's hands into his cool, pale pair, kissed first left then right and finally levelled his baby blue eyes with hers. "You are my precious girl, never forget that. And what you have chosen is both brave and wonderful. You won't forget your dear old Da ey Pop...? Even if he is a bit furry around the edges... Give us some grandkids yeah?"
Both Connor and Poppie saw welling tears in the ensouled vampire's eyes as Spike leaned up and gave a final kiss to Poppie then Connor's forehead, and heard the whispered, "Me ol' Grandsire would've been proud as punch... Hmpph [sniff]." There was a pause then Spike was back in the building. "Well you two better get some shut eye, there's a plane to catch. I'll take my leave now if you don't mind - canine companions not really welcome in hallowed halls of Calgary Airport."
Poppie grabbed her father's hand before he had a chance to stand. "I... Papa? I will come to visit, I really will and we can talk on the computer. I promise, every day if I can. And Aunt Willow will teach me some magic, and I will keep reading and learning I promise!" Connor's hand slid around Poppie's back and began to gently rub in silent indication of support.
"I... I will miss being huskie, but I... we... will make you proud and a grandfather." Her right hand found its way into Connor's and Spike saw the slight sqeeze reciprocated.
"I know Pet. Lookin' forward to it. Now as I say... time for shut eye for your ol' Da. Big day tomorrow." WIth that Spike rose and departed the room with a liquid grace that Poppie committed to memory.
She and Connor sat for a few more minutes then moved to their room (Luka still in Master and Papa's - sleeping on the plushy mat covered by the faux fur with a soft toy rather than his sister for comfort). The 'newlyweds' forewent consummating their nuptuals in favour of a gentle cuddle and fell into an exhausted sleep. They had only a few hours before being required to pack and leave for the airport.
The following day was as strange as it was exciting, and in a way, terrifying for Poppie. She woke early as usual, but this time in human form. She was about to panic but Connor's strong arms were around her waist and behind her neck, and he was awake also. Clear blue eyes met blue and he kissed her, first on the nose then meaningfully, lovingly on the mouth and she relaxed a little.
"Tell me what's wrong sweetheart."
"I... I'm just... This is the first time... for a lot of things... and we're leaving today... and..."
Connor kissed her again and then, with adoration in his eyes, pulled away for a moment before moving up the bed, dragging her with him until they were semi seated against the bedhead. He intertwined he fingers on his left hand with hers and began to gently caress her with his right, the arm finding its way behind her neck as they had moved.
"Me too..." He paused to rub lovingly over the nape of her neck, "But we'll work it out. I've... I love you and we'll work it out." He bent down enough to catch her lips in a chaste kiss, deepening it as she returned the gesture. Connor found himself lost in the kiss and began rubbing his hands up and down her torso, over soft breasts and through her hair. They began to rearrange their bodies so the two were side by side touching the full length of both bodies. Poppie pushed her top leg between his legs, rubbing ever so slightly and pressing herself against her partner as they continued to kiss. She could feel herself getting warm and a new sensation started in her nether regions as she could feel Connor's interest, his shaft beginning to harden and press against her.
Poppie instinctively rolled over to her front, presenting as though for a dog to take her, whereby Connor gently eased her onto her back again, whispering "It is easier this way, trust me."
Poppie gave what could only be described as a willing whimper then spread her legs as Connor continued to caress and encourage her with caring kisses and light touches. She felt his fingers as they entered her and responded with all the enthusiasm and nervousness of the virgin that she was. The initial breach was a little painful but then... then as he continued to caress she arched up and began to beg with panted breath. He entered her but also left his finger just... there... and it felt right, she was ready. This was her partner, her lover, and she now understood Master and Father, mother and her sire, she knew in that moment that this was to be her partner and friend in all things. Her human form responded to his careful attentions and she felt their joining on a visceral level.
Their lovemaking was for the most part, silent, yet the kindness and concern on Connor's part exuded the love he felt. He had chosen her and she him, and his completion in her was met by joyous kisses. Her human monthly cycle dictated the result and their partnership as Battle Brand and Consort was complete.
Spike could smell the change as the two alighted the SUV and licked the hand of his daughter. She would indeed be a mother by the end of nine long months at the Well. He would be a Grandfather, something he never really contemplated before, and as Xander arrived home from the airport, he found himself with an arm full of dog that simply wanted petting and reassurance, and as the vampire emerged after his change there was even more petting and a quiet word to the 15yo human Luka, he was to be an uncle.
Poppie had been sobbing as she farewelled Father and her brother at the door, feeling entirely strange that for the first time, they had taken the change but she had not, but Connor's reassuring arm around her waist and Master's gentle encouragement gave her the strength to continue to the car, bouyed up by the knowledge that she could come back and visit within the year. Her passport and papers had been prepared by contacts in Miss Blackfeather's camp and were legitimate, the marriage certificate real and the trip back to the Well eased as they were met by a smiling Willow at Heathrow.
The ensuing months saw the arrival of Poppie's little sister, Maisie. The young dog was enthusiastic, a little confused by her brother's nightly change, but nonetheless devoted and obedient, and she grew quickly.
Luka for his part was aging on a seven to one ratio. Teenager and obsessed with skateboarding in the evenings plus delighted by his role on Gracie's sled team (now second from the front behind her father on her prize team) during the day.
On their trip to Alaska, Gracie was a little confused by the reluctance of Xander to allow the dogs to sleep anywhere but his own tent when they competed, but was genuinely appreciative of his presence as an extra set of hands during the trip which saw her named 'Female Musher of the Year'. Her team was given 'airtime' by the local and international press which was a pleasant surprise - apparently a female musher was still a novelty.
As Luka turned twenty one in human years, a frantic phone call confirmed that Poppie was in labor. Willow and other wiccans expert in midwifery were in attendance, nevertheless Spike was all but frantic. They were so far away and he had no means of getting there. Twelve hours later and Spike and Luka in human form, the news finally came. He was a grandfather to two beautiful, healthy human boys.
The happy couple named one William James and the other Liam Alexander, and Spike gave in to emotion that evening. It was more than he or Xander would ever have hoped for. There were immediate plans for the family to visit at Christmas but for now it was enough to view the pictures of the newborns online. News that Poppie and Connor hoped for more was merely icing on the cake.
But there was a harder decision to make, one that involved Willow and one of the Orbs of Thesula.
For many months Spike had avoided the conversation but eventually Luka had his way. He *wanted* to be like Father, regardless of the consequences. He begged and pleaded and played up and played submissive, and eventually Master and his father agreed, but only after insisting that he talk to Mistress Willow who counselled him on the reality of living the life he was choosing. A life where he would watch his mother and siblings die, where he would be condemned to the nightly change, where he was neither a member of the human race nor one hundred percent dog. But his resolve held, and in the end both Xander and Spike agreed.
Willow arrived with Poppie and her tiny children and on the third anniversary of Luka and Poppie's original change to human/dog he was Sired by his father. There would be husky children of his line but he would see many he cared for die in the course of an infinitely long life, but father and Master would also be there and he would have the joy of experiencing Maisie having four litters, and her offspring having litters and... There were no tears as he died and rose within hours rather than days, the timeframe apparently dictated by his canine heritage bore dividends. Yet his change was as regular as clockwork and on the morrow he and father running together, their dog forms now locked to the timelessness that was vampire.
Xander too experience the oddness that it was to be immortal (after a fashion) his soul tied to Spike's for all time. There would be the experience of loss as dear ones not so blessed, being taken from him, and the need to eventually 'move on' as questions might be asked, but he too was happy, and the need to move on something that he and Spike dealt with as par for the course. Rural Canada was very forgiving when it came to privacy and happy relations with the neighbours.
Twenty years on saw Xander just as he had been when he first found Spike and working from home as a consultant and with his own sled team, though they often entered distant competitions under a team name denoting the 'line' rather than upsetting people. It was a good life and as the next decade approached with New Year's eve, Spike and he made love in the Xander made jacuzzi on the back deck of their country estate. And Spike reflected... there were worse things in his unlife than being a dog for the day.