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."
Ten minutes later they were all seated round the kitchen table. Xander kept a tight grip on Spike's hand, afraid that he might bolt, Spike hung his head miserably, Willow glared at Spike and Daniel tried to ease the tension. Willow folded her arms over her bosom, as Xander's sister and only living relative she had the right and responsibility to know what was going on. "He has fangs and yellow eyes!" She snapped. "You don't get those from being deformed." Spike whimpered. "Willow stop it!" Xander remonstrated and squeezed Spike's hand. "We have been together for months, he has done me no harm and I have thrived in his company." Willow huffed, she had to admit she'd never seen Xander so happy. She glanced at Daniel, he nodded. She softened her stance. "I'm only saying this smacks of enchantment and magic." Spike blinked at her. "You know about magic?"
"A little." She confessed.
Thus it was Willow and Daniel heard of Lord William's fate. Daniel listened with dumb attention, Xander with wonder and awe, Willow on the other hand kept interrupting and asking questions. Spike told it all except how the judgement might be brought to an end. He loved Xander, but the boy was blind, he could never look upon the face of the beast and declare his love, so there was no point in torturing him with it. When Spike finished Willow drew a shuddering breath. "It is a sad tale and a harsh judgement made cruel if there is no way it can be ended but by your death." Everyone nodded. "Are you sure, the sorceress did not give you a means to end the judgement?"
"She did not." Spike replied. Willow's brow furrowed. They discussed what might be done and then Willow bid her husband and brother go into the living room and she and Spike would bring ale and pie. When they'd gone she closed the door and faced Spike. "I am sorry for your fate and I rejoice that you and Xander hold each other in such high esteem. I am glad you are his friend." She stood on tiptoe and lightly kissed Spike's cheek. Spike squirmed and marveled that Xander had such a sister. Then she stood back and gazed at him. "However I ask you to think about this. Xander is a young man with his life ahead of him. Where do you think your relationship is going? You cannot live in the village and though he would gladly go to your castle, would you take him to a life away from the society of others? How much longer can you go on meeting as you do? How long before the huntsman discovers you or you are seen by a villager? Would you deny Xander a chance of wife and family?"
And so it was by her words Willow set the seeds of tragedy.
The rest of the evening was pleasant though subdued. They discussed at length the enchantments and spells Willow had heard about and she resolved to help Spike all she could. At last Willow and Daniel retired to the spare bedroom and Xander and Spike to their's, where they held each other and talked quietly throughout the night. Spike reluctantly admitted that perhaps things had happened for the best. As he lay holding Xander in the darkness Willow's words played continuously through his mind.
At the first streaks of light Spike sadly took his leave and disappeared once more into the forest. He spent the morning restlessly prowling the castle, Willow's words crowded in on him and his mood grew melancholy. Perhaps she was right? If he truly cared about Xander he would put the welfare and happiness of the young man before any consideration of his own. Seriously, what future did they have? He could never live amongst men and although he knew well enough that Xander would gladly live with him in the castle, how long before the solitude and lack of friends crushed his bright spirit? And Xander's blindness once he'd viewed as a blessing meant he could never be the one to look on the face of the beast, declare his love and end the judgement. The more he thought about it, the clearer the awful path he must take. He was not the selfish young Lord any longer that fate had seen fit to punish and he would prove it.
For the next week Spike went to Xander has he had done these passed months, but he was subdued and his mood depressed. He tried to keep his black thoughts from the boy but Xander sensed it and asked frequently what ailed him and fretted that something he had done was the cause. Spike saw that he was being unintentionally cruel as more and more Xander became convinced that he was the cause of Spike's black mood. As it reached the deepest part of Winter, Spike made up his mind on a course of action.
For Xander's sake he must put his own happiness and wishes aside and give the young man a chance to form a new relationship, a chance to become a husband and father and live the normal life that would never be achieved with him. He could not be so brutal or unkind as to simply stop going to Xander, the boy would worry and fret and therefore Spike came up with a simple plan. He would tell Xander that he was forced to go away for a while, six weeks seemed a good time, not so long as Xander would panic and yet long enough that he might begin to seek the society of others. At the end of six weeks Spike would return and all would be as it had been, only Spike would never return.
His mind set, it took Spike several more days to get up the courage to carry out his plan. On the night he had set, he cast about the castle for some small trinket to take to Xander, that the young man may in future years remember him by. As a boy Spike had loved the pretty inlaid music box with it's bright tinkling tune, as a man he had treasured it, it was ideal; he gathered it up and wrapped in a silken cloth and took it with him to the cottage.
That night Spike forced himself to be jovial, so that Xander's last memories would not be of a sullen, moody creature. He finished the book they were reading and they made sweet, gentle love and Spike held him till close to dawn. When he told Xander he had to go away for a while, the boy was distraught. He begged him not to go, asked if he might go too and Spike was so glad Xander could not see the hot tears that coursed down his face as he refused him. He handed over the music box and said a sad farewell, assuring his lover that in six weeks he would return. When he left the cottage, as the sky lightened Spike stood in his spot and gazed at the cottage committing it to memory and everything that had happened there and the wonderful man inside and then he turned and raced into the forest.
It was a long time before Xander stopped sobbing, it was Hero's distress at seeing him so overcome that brought his tears to an end. Six weeks was a long time but not so long that Xander could not see an end to it. He would keep himself occupied, he would be cheerful and often go into the village as Spike had suggested. He would start the carving he had long thought about and it would be finished and ready to give to Spike on his return. Spike would not want him to be miserable and fret, so he would not.
On Sunday he told Willow and Daniel that Spike had gone away for six weeks. It was well that he could not see the look that passed between them.
Xander kept himself busy and went daily into the village. He spent long hours at his carving and counted the days to Spike's return. The evenings were worst, he even accepted Angelus's and Riley's invitation to join them in the village tavern, but never stayed long. He spent his time sitting quietly by the fire thinking of Spike, playing the music box and idly stroking Hero's head. Each night he retired to his lonely bed. And all noticed that he was grown serious and quiet.
The weeks passed, more slowly than he'd anticipated, but they passed. By the end of the fifth the carving was done and the last week was spent applying the beeswax and putting a fine shine on the piece. At last the day dawned when Xander anticipated Spike's return and all was excitement. He laid out a fine spread and at the center of the table he placed the carving under the same silken cloth that Spike had used to wrap his precious music box and he waited for Spike to come.
But Spike did not come that night, nor the next, nor the next.
By the Sunday Xander was frantic. it took both Daniel and Willow to calm him and convince him that Spike was not lying dead or injured somewhere or they would have heard, he was merely delayed a little. One week stretched into two and two into three and the thaw set in. Each night Xander waited in vain. He stopped eating, went seldom to the village and would not answer the door. He became morose and withdrawn and Willow begged him to return home with them, but he would not for fear Spike would return and find him gone.
Xander's heart was broken and he began to die.
Willow brought Doctor Giles and he examined Xander but could find nothing amiss. He was sure it was the long Winter and as Spring approached he would rally. Xander lost weight, his hair it's shine and his skin became pale and dry. He did not sleep, lost interest in everything except caring for Hero and the music box he always kept with him and the whole village worried about him.
One morning Hero raced into the village and caused such a noise that the villagers ran with him to the cottage, Xander was collapsed upon the floor. Doctor Giles was sent for and Willow and Daniel arrived within the hour. The Doctor found him very weak and his heart unsteady, he was too ill to be moved so Willow and Daniel moved into the cottage. The next two days saw a steady decline in Xander's health. Villagers came and went in a steady stream, Willow grew pale and drawn her eyes red from crying and Hero would not leave the bedside. Doctor Giles visited throughout the day, but concluded sadly there was nothing he could do, it was up to Xander. A dark cloud of sadness fell over the village and over the little cottage.
In the forest Spike knew nothing of what was happening. Since the first moment of his self imposed exile from Xander he had begun to deteriorate. He stopped feeding except when the gnawing hunger became too painful to bear and he was forced into the forest, where he would snatch the bare minimum of a meal, now he was skeletal and weak. He was grown careless and several times Angelus saw him and trailed him almost to the castle, it was only a question of time. He did not sleep, thoughts of Xander tortured him, he grew unkempt and his clothes went unwashed. Even the castle sensed a change and closed it's gates and barred it's doors so none might enter. More and more Spike longed for the mercy of death. He knew he was a magical being and might linger near death for years, perhaps decades and so resolved to take his own life. He found a stout piece of wood and fashioned a sharp stake and set at an angle in a piece of stone, all he had to do was fall upon it and end his miserable existence.