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 use 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 18/26 + Epilogue
Chapter: 18/26 + Epilogue
Rating NC17 Throughout
A/N: This is Bubonic Plague, transimission was primarily through flea and rat bite, dogs and cats got it too. Person to person transmission was quite difficult and involved sharing of food, water and long term, close person to person contact. There were three distinct types of plague, this was the least virulent and survival rate was 40%. Septicemic and Pneumonic plague were more virulent, almost always fatal and Pneumonic was spread person to person. They made no distinction as to type and all were simply called 'plague' with associated terror.
Graham stood open mouthed in the pale, cold, light of dawn staring at the empty tents. All but six of the older soldiers and Father Daniel were gone, deserted in the dead of night. Yet he couldn't find it in his heart to blame them, if he had been in their shoes he'd probably have gone as well, God knew even now he was tempted to mount up and ride away, he had no wife but a Mother and Sisters. He looked around and sighed, he didn't relish telling the Prince, this wasn't going to be easy.
"What?" Rupert roared. "Gone? They've gone? They've deserted? Why didn't you stop them?" Graham nodded and toed the ground with his boot.. "M'Lord I didn't know and they have families." He tried to explain. "I Want their names, every one of them!" Rupert snapped. "When I get back they'll be put to the sword and their families turned onto the streets." Outside the tent the remaining soldiers looked at each other and Father Daniel rolled his eyes. The Prince raged on. "What the fuck am I supposed to do now, what's going to become of my poor son? Answer me that!"
Graham shifted his weight. "Sir, pay the ransom, I'm sure..."
"There is no fucking ransom!" Graham looked stunned. "But the wagon.."
"Sacks of grain you imbecile!" Rupert yelled. "This is all Angelus's fault, if he'd done his job originally this would never have happened!" Outside the soldier's looked questioningly at Father Daniel, the small priest shrugged.
"M'Lord, our position is impossible. As long as the drawbridge remains secure we can't get into the castle, we don't have the men or weapons to mount a long siege and we don't have enough men to fight the mercenaries or keep them in the castle if they decide to leave." Graham explained wearily.
"I don't want to hear what we can't do, tell me what we can do." Graham remained silent. Rupert considered a moment. "There is one option open to us." He smiled darkly. "Prince Hoffran has a huge army, one of the reasons why I want this alliance. Xander is almost his Son-In-Law, if he survives this, he will be. When he hears what's happened I'm sure he'll want a hand in his rescue and in bringing that scum to justice and he has the soldiers and weapons to do it!"
The Prince left shortly after, to ride to Hoffran's castle convinced he would return at the head of a column of soldiers and with weapons needed to lay siege and pound the castle into surrender. Spike and his scum were as good as dead, with or without the help of the oaf Angelus. He took two of the remaining soldiers and Father Daniel. He left Graham with instructions to keep the castle under observation and if the mercenaries left before he returned to follow them, leaving a clear trail for them to follow.
Graham was at a loss to know what to do, so reasoned that the best course of action was to follow the Prince's instructions. He couldn't stop the mercenaries from doing as they pleased and was unsure when the Prince would return or if Hoffran would send the needed soldiers. There was no reason to assume Prince Hoffran would help, Prince's were notorious for looking after their own affairs and paying little heed to the problems of others.
Angelus's tent had been ominously silent since the screams of the night before and no help would come from there. He looked in on the stricken Captain, hovering nervously near the tent flap. The Captain lay unmoving, not making a sound. Graham wasn't able to see the steady rising and falling of his chest and wasn't brave enough to go closer, so concluded the Captain dead or as good as. Sighing heavily he slipped out. Father Daniel would take care of the body when he returned.
The day wore on, noon came and went. Lindsey took his turn on the wall, watching for Rupert to show up with the ransom, the other mercenaries lay around, eating, drinking and playing cards or spending time with Darla, growing more and more restless. A few practiced with their weapons. Spike had made the servants carry the great chairs from the hall and place them in the courtyard, he lay back in one, his eyes closed enjoying the sun. He'd had cushions brought out for Xander and the boy lounged by his chair whilst Spike petted his hair absently. Xander was restless too, but each time he moved Spike's fingers tightened painfully in his hair stilling him. Gunn and Drusilla occupied the other chair and she giggled as he kissed and fondled her.
Lindsey's shadow fell across Spike. Without opening his eyes Spike growled. "You're in my sun Lindsey." The mercenary made no effort to move. "It's past noon, the ransom should have been here by now," he hissed. Spike shrugged. "Rupert will bring it in his own time, sit down, relax."
"Relax?" He snorted. "That's all you seem to do lately, relax and play the fucking Lord." Spike opened his eyes lazily. "Something you'd like to discuss?" Lindsey nodded. "We've been talking..."
"We?" Spike snapped. Lindsey looked around for support. Forest stepped forward. "Yeah we," he smirked. Spike's hand stilled in Xander's hair and Gunn sat up in his chair, urging Drusilla to stand. Spike smiled. "Well let's hear it then," he said almost jovially. A crowd began to gather.
"Perhaps his fucking father needs a little prod to make him pay up." He nodded at Xander, Spike raised and eyebrow. "So?" Lindsey shifted his weight. "I vote we send him a few trinkets, a finger or ear, to show we mean business." There was a rippling murmur through those listening. Spike felt Xander tense and his fingers closed tightly in his hair keeping him in place. "Really, I wasn't aware we'd taken a vote." Lindsey looked uncomfortable. Drusilla's eyes flashed. "No one is hurting the Puppy!" She hissed, stepping forward. Forest gave a sharp laugh. "Puppy? Well we all know lap dogs are castrated, send his father his balls." There was a ripple of laughter, which died as Spike released Xander's hair and leaned forward. Spike spoke evenly. "Dru pet, do me a favor take the Pup inside to our bedchamber and keep an eye on him."
Drusilla stepped forward nodding eagerly and grasped Xander's hand. Xander rose, looking between Lindsey and Spike. Spike looked eerily calm. "I want to..." He began. "Go with Dru." Spike cut him off. Drusilla tugged his hand. "Come with mommy, I'll tell you stories" She coaxed. Gunn gave him an encouraging push and reluctantly Xander followed Drusilla into the castle.
Spike settled back in his chair, his eyes fixed on Lindsey. "You were saying?" Lindsey's eyes flickered uncertainly, but he'd come too far to back down now. "Send that bastard a message that we mean business, Spike."
"Right," Spike agreed. "and who's going to deliver this message? You, or perhaps Forest?" Forest took a step back. Spike grinned. "C'mon boys which one of you is going to go out there with the Pup's balls and deliver them to his father and Angelus?"