BTW...Don't own any characters (they're Joss Whedon's characters) and folks who don't like boys together or whatnot be warned
Spike had been ensconced in Monsier Ettreci’s office for at least an hour.
After they returned to the main part of the bank building, Angel forewent any attempt to be involved in disposing of their ‘curs-ed possessions’ by giving a knowing look, slight smile, and nod to Spike. He had then taken Xander’s arm, whispered, “This is Spike’s to do, I trust him. Perhaps it’s best we return to the hotel”, after which he lead the Consort to the waiting limousine, instructing the driver to deliver them home and return for Spike as promptly as possible.
Late morning the three Aurelians reunited at the door of their suite, Spike with a knowing grin on his face.
“What you great ponce?”
The words belied the affection and Xander grinned at him from behind the stony-faced Aurelian Grandsire.
“Did as we agreed, auction’s on the morrow, done deal. Sotherby’s ain’t the only ones as can turn a bloke a profit! ‘Specially with notes of authenticity… oh bugger it all, put the game face away Sire! Ettreci reckons seventeen to eighteen million for the lot… Pounds Sterling by the way – none of that Euro rubbish. Already has buyers for the stones, so that’s at least twelve in the bag accounted for. The art he’s pretty sure will sell to private collections, avoid that rubbish of an auction and whatnot. So only things under the hammer are some of the antiques.”
Xander gasped, whispered, “Ghod I never realized… that much??”, then stared at his partner and appreciated once more, the business acumen of the man/vampire he was Consort to. At the same time old memories warred with the current, and he smiled, knowing exactly who Spike really was, who had kept the Aurelian fortunes at pace with modernity, who had funded Angelus’s follies in the past, and who had kept the Aurelian vampires (and household) in the manner to which they preferred.
Grandsire and Childe were both still asleep when the courtesy call came from the concierge. Xander thanked the kind gent in rather heavily accented (but his best) French, ordered breakfast and wandered into the kitchenette to heat two large mugs of O+ for his partner and their Grandsire.
The warm mugs were delivered with a kiss to both vampires, for Spike, on the lips, and for Angel, on the wrist. He smiled as Angel untangled himself from Spike’s limpet-like grasp, whispering conspiratorially, “I know, he always did love a good cuddle.” Angel had the decency to look a little abashed then gave a genuine smile… “And don’t I know it… I’m so glad you are back, Xander, Alex. I still can’t believe this is all true. You. Him. Family… Even after all these months I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.” Angel took a sip of his blood and they both grinned as a certain blonde chose the moment to roll over with a grunt before burying his head under the pillow with mumbles of “Bloody hell… Leave a bloke to sleep you lot!”
Xander grinned, sipped his coffee and simply said, “I had no control over what happened, neither did you, but now we do have a life… OK an unlife or a plus-life, and I’m really glad you can be part of it. He deserves that.”
Xander nodded toward the again sleeping undead on the bed with a smile before having the decency to look a little abashed at the last blurted out statement of truth, before Angel grabbed his hand with preternatural speed and stared into the matching dark eyes with an unusually warm smile that made the senior Aurelian look his twenty something original self. “I am glad too… More than you can ever know. And thank *you* Alexander. You *are*, were, always loved and wanted, and I could wish no one else but you for my dear Grandchilde, or for our line.”
Angel paused for a moment, drained the rest of his breakfast, then grinned conspiratorially and changed to gameface hissing, “He’s *very* ticklish…”
What ensued was a rather wild flurry of sheets, swear words that would ‘make a sailor blush’ and a general free for all tussle on the floor with accompanying gleeful giggles as an incensed (and unceremoniously woken) Spike finally shook the shock of his awakening and got the upper hand.
Stilling for a moment, Xander and co-conspirator Angel (now pinned under a game-faced, annoyed looking, nude and adorably disheveled blonde) couldn’t help it. They shared a look, then burst out laughing again, all the tension, the memories, the angst, and the worry of the last days, and well… forever, evaporating with the moment of sheer… fun.
“Right that’s it! You lot have officially gone daft! A bloke can’t even have a decent kip without…”
At Spike’s exasperated look, Xander and Angel, now both lying on the floor limbs akimbo, simply began giggling again. Spike stood, slapping both silly relatives for good measure, before stomping back to retrieve his now cooling mug of ‘red’ from the side table. It was only the quiet knock at the door and a nervous “Room service for Alex Aurelius” that pulled them all back to something of control.
Xander coughed a last little laugh from his tone, yelled, “Coming… Hang on, just…” and hurriedly threw on the hotel provided long white robe as he made for the door of their suite.
The pretty young woman, Isabella according to her name tag, delivered freshly made pancakes, juice and coffee and was flattered by the beautiful smile of the man with long shaggy near black hair and a happy (if a little stilted) greeting in french.
She blushed profusely and lowered her eyes as two other similarly clad, stunning men entered the room. She focused on setting about placing the table as instructed by her insistent boss. The Aurelians were apparently *very special* guests at the hotel. One of her coworkers had whispered ‘f#@ing royalty… pretty rich boys… watch yourself’ as she had set off on her duty.
Now she had no doubt, either of her safety, or their status, as Xander pushed a more than generous tip into her right hand then lifted it to kiss the back and gave her a wink… *she* felt like the princess in the room and departed to ‘float’ downstairs to the kitchen. Her fellow workers were more than a little too keen to know what had happened. She smiled shyly, pushed the 100Euro note into her side pocket and assured them that the three were *wonderful*, *generous* and *definitely* royalty.
Their final day and a half in Switzerland were… blissful. They took in a ballet, wandered amidst the rich and famous and Spike was privy to his Grandsire smiling too often to be real, not since St Petersburg had he seen Angel so in his element, and indeed, when they visited a modern art gallery in the last few hours of their visit, had he seen him so happy (but not *too* happy) On the second last night, then (to Xander’s embarrassment and joy) were invited to a solstice ball which initially Spike declined, but, checked out, bags packed and already delivered to the airport, they graced the Swiss Master’s court with their presence. The first time since coming to Switzerland that they were able to reveal their true identities.
They were dressed for the occasion in fashionable, understated European chic as to Angel *not* Spike’s taste, but it worked apparently. They waltzed a number of ladies around the floor, finally giving in to a wonderful polka that (and to Xander’s amazement as he was always Mr two left feet) all were able to endear themselves to all present. Shortly after, they took their leave of the High Master with promises of returning in spring. It was enough.
They alighted at Heathrow, the private jet refueling to return Sire to LA. A nighttime journey a given, but promises to return for the Christmas solstice also made.
The car was waiting, blood was exchanged and a rather tearful farewell saw Xander with head dipped and neck exposed, giving to his lover on the way home.
Adrian was again in his element.
It was Christmas, a human celebration, but so *much* fun! And there was to be a Ball on the eve… and the Masters were as excited as he.
The household (and the whole of the Southern England Court) had benefitted from Spike’s sound leadership, with a few disgruntled complaints re their ‘books’ being reviewed, nonetheless the Ball was a one come one come all event. A masked ball! Adrian could not be happier, nor his PA more distressed.
In the months following their return from Switzerland, Spike had divested himself of all the luxury cars so prized by the former Master, signing them over to all the Masters of the region, other than the Bugatti, they had never taken it to its limits, but it didn’t matter. It was luxury embodied and a small part of Xander couldn’t help but smile every time the car fired up… the sound of so much power making him groan just as every time his Master Vampire ‘fired up’.
So it was Christmas and just as the party began, Adrian silenced the orchestra to announce, “Master, Consort Xander, please welcome Angelus, and his seer Cordelia.”
Xander’s breath hitched and Spike grabbed his hand then smiled, as planned Sire had come – the perfect Christmas present.
Cordelia was amazing in an original Jean Paul Gaultie dress that simply flowed with every movement. She smiled, curtsied gracefully in front of the High Master Spike, and winked conspiratorially at Xander with a mouthed “Talk later buddy!”
Xander relaxed back and let a little tear fall as the Grandsire danced the now Master of Southern England around the floor to a lively polka with obvious joy
Cordelia took his hand and curtseyed with a definite glint in her eye, “C’mon mister, we’ll out polka them and then swap partners! Both need their Christmas to be perfect after all… And by the way… Yeah you… and you know who…And thanks for the extra cash.” She looked down at her dress and gave Xander a blinding smile. “Yup, could get used to this, and he really is…happy.”
Xander pulled her around into a spin then pushed her hand to his lips obviously staring at Spike, “So am I.”
He barely heard the “Happy holidays” message from his dance partner as his Master, his all blew a kiss across the room, just for him.
In that moment he knew they had all the love and the time in the world, but that it would also, be never time enough.
END… although… if the muse is willing and there are people reading… you never know ;-)