Warnings: HAU, M/M sex, rape, violence, vague non graphic mentions of het sex, swearing, angst, harsh themes, mild Sub/Dom. OOC, varying chapter lengths, Unbeta'd, blatant used of movie dialogue.
Rating: NC17 Throughout
Pairing: 100% S/X
Comments: Comment if you want to, though it would be nice to know someone is reading it.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, everything belongs to someone who is not me. I write for fun not profit.
Note1: This is Europe in 1501. Times and people were harsh. Life was cheap and plague rife. This is not a cuddly story and Spike is not a cuddly character. Some might find his treatment of Xander, questionable.
Note 2: My heartfelt thanks go out to my dear friend Bmblbee, for holding my hand through the writing and posting process. *Hugs*
Note 3: This is a plot driven story. What sex there is happens in the natural course of the plot and as part of Spike and Xander's relationship.
Note 4: This is a human/medieval Spike and Xander expect them to behave as such.
Summary: When Prince Rupert is usurped and ousted from his city, he lays siege. He decides to use a group of wandering mercenaries led by the charismatic but dangerous Spike to supplement his army. When he goes back on his word to allow the mercenaries 24 hours free hand to loot the City unopposed, Spike plots revenge. Unfortunately it is Rupert's 18 year old, scholarly son Xander who must pay the price.
Chapter 4/26 + Epilogue
Chapter: 4/26 + Epilogue
Rating NC17 Throughout
Xander glared at his Father and Angelus and stalked away down the steps. The Prince shrugged. "He's very young and inexperienced."
"He does have a point." Angelus sighed.
"Perhaps this will ease your conscience." Rupert held out a bag of gold and dropped it into Angelus hand. "Your pay, for a job well done." He smirked.
Angelus grasped it.
"And this," Rupert reached inside his doublet and pulled out a rolled parchment with a red seal. "is your bonus, the deeds to that little farm and land you were so interested in."
Angelus took the parchment and nodded. "Thank you Sir."
They walked for almost five days. The weather was foul, cold, wet and as gloomy as the mercenary's spirits. They trudged through the mud, the soldiers herding them swiftly along. When they reached the edge of The Prince's lands they were broken into small groups and dispersed at sword point as Angelus had ordered and warned not to return. Angelus had lied about instructing Spike to be hung, remembering and repaying Spike for saving his life. Spike, Drusilla, Gunn, Lindsey, Forest, Jonathan, Andrew, Darla and Willow and twelve other men from the original group, stayed together and were driven onto Prince Hoffran's lands. The weather continued to be cold and wet and they took refuge in the stone ruins of an old monastery.
In his room Xander poured over his books and added a small wooden building to his layout, looking up as his Father entered. "Good morning Xander," Rupert greeted his son cheerily. "Morning Father," he replied. Rupert looked with mild interest at the small town his son seemed to be modeling. "What's all this?" He gestured.
Xander's face lit up, it was very rare his Father took interest in anything he did. "Did you know Father in Ancient Rome the poor lived in tall buildings each occupying a single room, they were called 'Insulae'," He passed his Father an old book. "it's all in there. I thought since so much of the City is in ruins, we could build some to house the poor."
Rupert snorted and tossed the book down. "Xander it's high time you got your nose out of these books of yours and started taking more interest in running things. You're my only child and one day everything will be yours."
Xander's shoulders sagged. "But Father.."
"No buts," Rupert snapped. "you won't learn how to rule from books or playing with model houses!" Rupert drew a deep breath and reached inside his pocket. "Here." He tossed a gold locket onto the table. "What do you make of this?"
Xander picked it up and examined it. It was an ornate, gold locket and chain, inside there was a miniature portrait of a pretty girl. He shrugged. "It's a locket with a girl's portrait, who is she?"
"She's the Lady Anya, Prince Hoffran's only child. What do you think of her?"
"She's pretty enough." He went to hand the locket back. "What's it to do with me?"
Rupert smirked. "She's your future bride."
Xander's jaw dropped. "Please tell me that you're joking!"
"It's no joke Xander. It's all arranged, I was just waiting to receive word from the Prince."
"But I don't want to marry her, I don't want to marry anyone. I want to go back to university, study more, learn new things, you promised!" By the end Xander was almost shouting.
"That's enough!" Rupert snapped. "You're through with university. You are my son and you'll do as I say. Hoffran is rich and he has a vast army and lands. This marriage will unite our two kingdoms and armies. When he dies everything will come to Anya and that means you. I need this alliance to make sure they never throw me out of my City again and it's not as if she isn't pretty enough." He chuckled. "If I was twenty years younger I'd wed her myself."
"Then go ahead!" Xander snapped. "I don't want a wife, I don't even know the wretched girl." He threw the locket on the table.
"I have a remedy for that." Rupert walked behind Xander. "You will marry her, you'll bed her and hopefully give me my first grandchild in the Spring." Xander opened his mouth in protest. "In three days time," His Father cut him off. "you'll leave for Hoffran's City along with several wagons laden with trinkets, silks, gowns, spices, gold plate, jewels and so on as a gesture of good will and affection for her Mother and Father and return with Anya and her very large dowry. You'll go with an armed escort and Hoffran is sending soldiers back with you to swell the ranks of our army. The journey back will give you time to get to know each other and the wedding will take place as soon as you return." He smiled. "See Xander I'm not an unreasonable man."
Xander hung his head. "Father I don't..." Rupert placed a heavy hand on his shoulder. "You're a good boy Xander, I know you'll accept your responsibilities." Reluctantly Xander nodded.
They found shelter from the rain in one of the few areas of the monastery still with a roof and built small fires and huddled round. The women were occupied in a corner gathered round Willow. Darla broke away and walked to where Spike was sat warming his hands. She was tall and slender with dark, blond hair and rather haughty features. "It's Willow's time, the walk has brought the baby early." Spike nodded.
The men withdrew to the farthest corner and left the women to their task. Willow's screams echoed through what was left of the structure and Darla pushed a stick between her teeth to bite down on. "Push Willow, it's coming." Darla instructed.
Willow, her red hair stuck to her forehead, face contorted in pain, bit down as hard as she could on the stick, grunted and strained. "Oh Christ it hurts!" she gasped. With a final push the baby was delivered. The women looked at each other as Darla wrapped the still, silent form in a rough piece of cloth. Willow spat out the twig and lifted her head. "What is it? Why don't I hear a noise?" Darla shrugged. "The cold and the wet is enough to kill a man let alone a little mite like him."
Drusilla told Spike. Silently he walked with her over to where Willow was laid. She cried quietly, blood on her clothes and legs. He bowed his head. "I'm sorry," he said softly. "we'll bury the child." Willow stretched out her hand and grasped his sleeve. "Don't, don't put him straight into the mud, please." She sobbed. Spike nodded. "We'll fix up a nice, little box."
Drusilla took the stillborn child from Darla and Spike walked back to the men, she cooed and talked to the dead baby as she walked behind him. The men hunted round and found an empty beer keg. Spike knocked out one end and took the baby from Drusilla and placed it inside and carried it outside.
The men and women gathered round. Andrew and Jonathan scrabbled in the mud and made a shallow grave. As they scrabbled they felt something hard and began to clear the mud away. Andrew looked up. "Hey Spike, we've found something." Spike walked over with the barrel and frowned." What?"
Drusilla looked. "It's a hand." They cleared more mud, gradually uncovering a statue. Her eyes lit up. "Oooh look, it's a statue of a saint." They hauled out of the mud.
Jonathan looked at it. "A saint with a sword?"
"The only saint with a sword is Saint Martin, he used it to cut his cloak in half and share it with a beggar." Drusilla explained. "He's the Patron Saint of beggars."
"He's my Patron Saint actually." Spike added. All eyes turned to him.
Drusilla closed her eyes and began to sway, "It's a sign. I see a dead baby being delivered into the ground and a living statue rising from it. I see St Martin sharing his cloak with a beggar and Spike getting richer by the day and sharing all he gets with us."
"What's he got?" Forest growled. "He hasn't got a damned thing, even his booze is gone and Willow's lost her baby. This whole mess is his fucking fault. If he hadn't got us mixed up with Prince Rupert we could be sitting pretty now."
Drusilla's hand lashed out and her sharp nails gouged his dark face. He hissed and raised his hand to strike her. Spike dropped the barrel into the mud and grabbed his wrist. "She's right!" He snapped. "It's a sign. The bastards who cheated us will pay, we'll grab 'em by the balls and squeeze out every penny they've got. That's how we'll get rich."