Warnings: AU, Fantasy, M/M sex, some humour, mild violence, swearing, angst, OOC, varying chapter lengths, animal deaths. UNBETA'D. Original Writing,
Rating: NC17 overall, various chapters PG-NC17
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.
AN 1: Although Sunnydale character names have been used they are NOT necessarily in their Sunnydale persona's. William = A version of Spike NOT human William as in BTVS.
Note 1: This is AU/Fantasy and the concept of 'Vampire' expressed here may not be what you expect.
Note 2: My heartfelt thanks go out to my dear friend Bmblbee, for holding my hand through the writing 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.
Written in 8 chapters. 1-4 will be posted throughout today (1/12/09) and 5-8 throughout tomorrow. (2/12/09)
Summary: Lord William is handsome, vain, proud, arrogant and foolish but not intrinsically wicked, cruel or unkind. When he turns an old beggar woman away from his castle, he sets in motion a chain of events which see him transformed into a beast, a Vampire. Can he find one person in all the world who will look without fear on the face of the beast and declare their true love and break the spell.
Rating: NC17 Overall
Rating: NC17 Overall
"Every move you make
Every step you take,
I'll be watching you."
Simply dressed in boots, breeches and suede jerkin Spike made his way into the forest. After the somewhat disturbing events of the kitchen he'd resolved not to go back to the cottage until later in the day. He'd eaten well the previous day and was but a little hungry, a rabbit would suffice and he made his way towards a large warren.
A hind crossed his path, he stopped unseen to let her pass. A young fawn with it's still speckled coat emerged behind her and immediately Spike sensed an awful, agonizing pain. He watched as the small creature struggled forward dragging it's hind leg. He sighed, it was broken, possibly by one of Angelus's traps. It went against his nature to take the life of one so young and yet if he didn't it faced an agonizing, lingering death or more likely would be torn apart by wolves or a bear. He started forward and the hind turned and fled. He scooped the little creature into his arms before it knew he was there. He spoke to it softly. "It's nearly over little one, no more pain, no more fear." He knelt and laid it gently on the ground and caressed the mottled coat with his hand. "I'm so, so sorry," he mumbled. He struck fast and deep, the little animal neither struggled nor cried out. The beating heart fluttered to a halt in a matter of seconds and the small body was drained. It's death gave him no pleasure. Spike raised his head and saw the hind watching him sadly. Spike nodded. "Forgive me," he said quietly. "It was quickly done." Abruptly he stood and walked swiftly away, allowing the hind to inspect and mourn her dead fawn.
Suddenly he desperately needed to see the boy.
Spike swiftly made his way to his vantage point.
Long before he was in sight of the cottage his senses told him Xander had a visitor. He scented the presence of a new male and a horse and it piqued his curiosity and he settled down to watch. He saw Xander and a young, sandy, haired man. Looking as he was through the windows, he was unable to make out much more, but noted a friendly familiarity between them. A brother perhaps? A cousin? Or just a friend? They seemed to be seated, talking quietly and then shared a simple meal. As the day wore on Spike became more and more anxious for Xander's visitor to leave.
Towards the middle of the afternoon the cottage door opened and Spike sat forward all attention. The hound bounded out and seemed to exchange a greeting with the horse, confirming that they knew each other well. Xander emerged, the sandy haired young man beside him. He was several inches shorter than the dark young man, slender and yet strongly built. They laughed and chatted as they walked to the horse. Daniel un tethered his horse and turned to Xander. "Now are you sure there's nothing you want or need, Xander?" Spike lent forward. 'Xander! The young man was called Xander.'
Xander shook his head. "I have everything I need Daniel and tell Willow to stop worrying." Daniel snorted and swung up into the saddle. "You know your sister, asking her to stop worrying is like asking a stream to run uphill!" Both men laughed. "Seriously, there is no need, I'm fine." Xander asserted. Daniel smiled. "You are our family Xander, we care about you." Spike found himself liking Willow and Daniel very much. "And you are mine, and I love you both, now be off before my sister comes looking for you!" Xander laughed. Daniel backed his horse a few steps. "We'll come on Sunday and visit after church, Willow is already baking." Xander snorted. "She is determined to make me fat!" Daniel turned his horse. "Take care Xander."
"And you too, give Willow my love." Daniel trotted away and Xander waited until the noise of hooves faded, then he turned to go into the cottage, the dog by his side and he shut the door behind him.
Spike leaned against the tree and mulled over what he had learned. His boy was called Xander. The fact that he thought of him as 'his boy' shocked him. He was a young man, not a boy and would no doubt take offence at the term. On the other hand he was probably a hundred or more years older, so perhaps he had the right to think of him as a boy and 'his'? Well.... Just because he was! He had a sister called Willow and a brother-in-law called Daniel, both of whom appeared very fond of him and he of them, a fact which pleased Spike. All he needed now was the hound's name and he was all set. He spent the next hour practicing saying the boy's name. (You have to remember he had only exchanged a few words with the forest animals in over a hundred years and they weren't very talkative.) His voice was rough and croaky through lack of use and he was lost in practice when the cottage door opened and Xander and Hero appeared. Spike watched as they made their way into what had been the old cobbler's workshop attached to the cottage. Xander left the door open and Spike watched as he seemed to rummage about on a shelf and then lift something covered by a rough cloth onto the work table. Next he placed several tools on the table and drew up a stool and sat down. The hound lay down beside the table and was soon dozing.
Spike watched in total, awed fascination as Xander uncovered the carving and began to work on it. When the boy first picked up the sharp tools Spike had started to his feet, convinced that the boy was about to harm himself. As he watched him work he began to doubt that he was blind at all, his movements were skilled, quick and sure. Now and again he stopped and ran his hand over the wood to check his accuracy and progress, Spike sat down and watched, mesmerized. Even as distant as he was, Spike's sharp eyes picked up the exquisite artistry and detail of the intricate piece, there was a sad irony in the subject of a small fawn. Spike was so wrapped up watching that he almost failed to notice the late afternoon slip into early evening. At length he realized it had grown dark about him and his chance to meet the boy had arrived. He stood and wiped his sweaty palms on his breeches.
Spike's heart pounded, his stomach tightened and his hand shook. Was this madness? Whatever would the boy think of someone coming upon him in from the forest in the dark? Suppose Spike scared him? He didn't want to scare him, then there was the dog. The village dogs had nearly been his undoing more than once. One whiff of his scent and they went on the alert, barking and growling afraid to attack but drawing attention to him, what would this great hound do? As he dithered and thought of excuses not to approach, the matter was taken out of his hands.
Spike looked up and into the eerie reflected light of Hero's eyes. The huge hound was a few feet from him, Spike froze expecting the hound to raise the alarm or attack. The hound raised it's flopped ears and whined, it's long tail slowly waved from side to side, when Spike didn't move he stepped forward with a louder whine and waved his tail faster. Xander looked up from closing the workshop door. "Hero? Have you found something.?" Hero bounded back to his master and Spike was in half a mind to make his escape, but then the hound was coming back, Xander holding his collar and he looked directly into Xander's handsome face and held his ground. Hero stopped a few feet beyond the trees and whined. Xander lowered his head slightly and listened a look of concentration on his face, then raised his head and looked directly at the Vampire. "Hello," he said quietly.
Spike swallowed, when he didn't respond Hero whined louder and beat his tail against Xander's leg. "Please come out, we will do you no harm." Xander coaxed. Spike almost laughed, here he was a hideous monster and this sweet, young man was telling him not to be afraid. "Hero will do you no hurt, unless you mean me harm, you don't mean to harm me do you?" Xander frowned. Spike was prompted into action by Xander's words. He stepped forward. "No," he croaked. "never." Xander smiled and held out his hand. "My name's Xander and this great beast is Hero." Spike stared at the outstretched hand as if it were a poisonous snake. He hesitated and slowly stretched out his trembling hand and their fingers touched. Spike had seen great trees in the forest split by a bolt of lightning, that's what Xander's touch felt like and for an instant he was almost forced to his knees. A tingle coursed up his arm and every nerve ending seemed to sizzle and his whole body shook. Xander felt him shake and stepped forward and gripped Spike's hand firmly, a look of concern on his face. "Are you alright, are you well?" Spike nodded and then realizing Xander couldn't see his response whispered hoarsely. "Yes, I'm well." Xander smiled. "From your voice your throat sounds dry, if you've a mind I have ale in the cottage, drink with me?" Spike's face spread into a wide grin. "I'd like that." He mumbled "Well then, what do I call you?" Spike hesitated for a moment. "Spike," he croaked. Xander gently drew Spike forward and Hero pushed his great head under Spike's hand. Delighted Spike petted the dog's head. They walked toward the cottage and at the doorway Xander turned. "Welcome into my home Spike, " he smiled.
Once inside the neat cottage Xander closed the door and bid Spike light a lamp so that he could see. The truth was, of course, Spike had no more need of light than the boy, but he did as Xander asked. Xander directed him to a rocking chair by the fireplace and brought two tankards of cool ale from the kitchen. Spike marveled at the way the boy moved unaided round the cottage and concluded that his senses were almost as keen as his own. That first evening it was Xander who talked the most, Spike answered questions in an almost monosyllabic fashion and kept his own questions brief. The truth was he would have been happy to just sit and enjoy the company of the young man after so many years of solitude, as it was he studied Xander closely.
Hero observed Spike for several minutes and then assured that his first instincts about the strange human had been correct, he relaxed and went to sleep by Xander's chair. The night wore on and Spike became aware that Xander was tiring and steeled himself to reluctantly take his leave. He stood up and prepared to go. Xander asked if he would extinguish the lamp, explaining that he had no need of the light and Willow had instilled into him the danger of leaving a candle or lamp lit in case of accident and fire. Spike extinguished the lamp. Xander showed him to the door. Spike turned and spoke softly. "May I beg two favors of you Xander?"
"What are they?"
"As I explained I am somewhat deformed, my appearance is far beyond comely."
Xander tsked loudly.
"People react badly to me and that is why I live alone in the forest."
"I'm sure if you give the villagers the chance..."
"Please Xander," Spike cut him off. "I would ask if you would keep my visit between us alone."
Xander sighed. "If that is what you wish, of course."
Spike shuffled uneasily. "May I, I would like," he paused. "if you do not mind, to visit with you again."
Xander's face spread into a wide smile. "I would like that very much, feel free to call at any time."
Spike was deliriously happy. He ran through the forest, chased neck and neck with the deer, leapt over rocks, fallen trees and streams, baited a huge, razor tusked boar until the animal grew tired and he wearied of the game and left the creature in peace. He made his way to the deep pool beneath the tumbling waterfall, stripped naked and dived and swam for a while then redressed and picked up Angelus's trail. Like the previous night he destroyed his traps. At length Spike made his way to the castle reaching there near dawn and fell into a deep sleep filled with images of his wonderful, new friend.