Rating: Mature Audiences – for content and themes
Summary: Xander has PTSD after rescuing one too many slayers. Spike is recovering (sort of) after the battle with W&H. Fate may have it they eventually find each other - she's funny that way.
Spoilers: Sometime in season five AtS – and possibly late seven BtVS.
Warnings: M/M – if you don’t like boys together, don’t play here!
Disclaimer: Don’t own the characters nor make any money from stories etc, and bow down to their original creators Joss, et al., plus all the wonderful online writers who continue to give the Buffy/Angel verse characters life.
They did indeed wander as the warm afternoon turned to pleasant evening twilight. It was a fair jaunt from their flat to Hyde Park but there were so many others taking advantage of the weather that the distance was hardly noticed.
Whether they walked in silence simply bumping shoulders, or discussed some memory of Spike’s from back in the day, it felt entirely comfortable. They had been sitting hand in hand under a large oak for some time, people watching, when Xander finally plucked up the courage to ask something that had been on his mind since the first suggestion of ‘consort’ had come up. “Spike?”
“Will you ever turn me?” Xander felt the hand under his tighten its grip.
“Not unless I absolutely have to pet. An’ even then, not unless you want it.”
“Don’t reckon I could bear to lose you, but wouldn’t ever do it without your permission yeah?”
“But you will lose me Spike. Humans get old and die, even ignoring my history of demon magnetism and scrapes with magicky types, and there’s always good old fashioned accidental endings.”
Spike lifted the hand he was holding and kissed the back of it then stared into space as he replied, “Yeah well, about that… The demon thingy should be taken care of, if you want to call it magnetism then consider yourself as the south pole an’ me the north. We come as a pair now, all nicely balanced in the middle, just need to watch the perimeter, yours truly not always the flavor of the month in the demon community as you well know. Least ways you’ll be recognized and protected by the Consort status so far as most are concerned. Not many will risk attacking the Aurelians – even though there’s only really the four of us these days.”
“You, me, little brother an’ Dru, unless she’s gone and got herself another childe which I very much doubt.”
Xander looked somewhat alarmed, “But I thought Dru was… you know… dust?”
“Nahh, well not so as I c’n tell. Not unless she was offed whilst I was playin’ in purgatory then ghosty those few months after Sunnydale. Might’ve happened then seein’ as I couldn’t feel anythin’ of the real world. But no, I figure the ol’ poof would’ve told me if only to get ‘is jollies those first months at Wolfram ‘n bloody Hart. Last I heard, she’d made her way down New Orleans way with Darla, they parted company and she was headed back to Brazil. Figure we won’t cross paths any time soon if I know Dru.”
“Wait, Darla’s still around?”
“That would be a no. Offed ‘erself to give birth to little brother by all accounts, left Angel holdin’ the baby, literally.”
“Wait… So Connor is Angel’s son… With Darla?!! But she was dusted and anyway… I thought two vampires could’t…”
“Thought you’d already know pet. You bein’ a watcher an’ all. Well hope you’re comfy, I’ll try to give you the potted version, but you c’n stop me anytime.” He waited until Xander nodded then began, “So yeah, Wolfram an’ Hart brought back Darla as human to mess with Angel, turn ‘im dark or some such. When that didn’t work they hoodwinked Dru into sirin’ her, and somehow Angel and she did the deed (well that bit isn’t so surprisin’) and hey presto. Angel tried to off them but they escaped.
“With me so far?”
“I think so… But when was this?”
“Reckon around the time of Glory and losing Buffy.”
“Oh… Go on.”
“Anyway, dunno where Dru went, but they must have split up at some point. Darla apparently tried to get rid of the sprog and disappeared off the dial for the gestation, but arrived back to Angel’s in time to keep the bubby safe. That’s when she dusted herself at the delivery, apparently the only way to have the kid. Anyway that would have been alright but for the various groups as wanted to get their hands on the progeny of two vamps. And even that was OK until some other bastard stepped in and brought back an old adversary of Angelus and Darla, who stole the kid to some hell dimension where he grew up, only to turn up again all grown up an’ angry with teenaged hormones and vamp skill set, an’ reckoning on knocking off the poof.”
“OK, with you so far.”
“Anyway, the boy sent Angel off to the bottom of the ocean for a couple of months, tricked him into it. Cordy was taken off to be one of the Powers that Screw you only to turn up in time to bonk the boy, get knocked up with ‘is kid who turned out to be another renegade dimension hopper goddess.”
“OK stop there for a second… Cordy? As in the Bitch-Queen-of-Sunnydale-High, I-dated-her Cordy? But I heard she was in a coma then died before…”
“Yeah, basically died in childbirth, only came out of the coma for one last visit to put Angel back on track. Anyway, the goddess (his kid) was killed by Connor then he went postal. Angel signed the contract with Wolfram and Hart to give Connor a new life and memories and Angel took over their LA branch. I turned up there ‘bout six months later a spook. Rest I reckon you know.”
“Well, yeah, bits at least - although I didn’t really read the ‘Andrew reports’ too thoroughly, big noting and babble fest not really my thing while I was busy being all ‘Out of Africa’. I know Connor rescued you after the battle and all that, but why was he there? I mean if he had a new life and all?”
“Some time before the final showdown, an old bastard ‘Silus Vaine’, I think, magic wielder who constructed Connor’s new life, turned up again. Wes got a bit of a bee in his bonnet, broke the magic, and the long and the short of it was Connor got his memories back but stayed in the new life. Soon after that everything went to pot in LA but Connor turned up to help his ol’ da, got shooed to safety, and came back after… found me instead.”
Spike had let go Xander’s hand sometime during the tale, and sat in silence, elbows on his knees staring at the various waterfowl floating on the Serpentine in front of them.
After a hard think, Xander finally snorted a single laugh, garnering a somewhat annoyed, “What!?” from his companion.
“Oh, just that your family tree is more like a family tangled bush! I mean your grandsire bonks his sire who is now actually his grandchilde to have a kid who shouldn’t exist but is technically your nephew, I think, and is also kind of a brother or something. And I thought my family was confusing!”
Spike turned and gave his consort a rueful smile, “Yeah well, now you know. And seemings as you are part of the family too, I figure it’s best you’re clear. Connor is my brother, by vampire blood. My immediate human relatives are long gone, though distant cousins and so on are still around I imagine, but I’ve been an Aurelian much longer than I was ever a Cavendish, so that’s the end of it. Now come on, reckon that stomach rumbles any louder we’ll get done for disturbing the peace!”
They wandered home in the waning light of a very red sunset, turning twice to the west to admire the colours with inevitable ‘never get sick of that sight’ comments from Spike.
The only stop was a quick swing by the off license where Sahil was his usual effusive self, promising to contact a friend in Zurich to ensure a fresh supply of blood for Spike when they travelled. They stocked up on drinks and a few snacks to see them through until the Tuesday morning, and accepted a blessing from Sahil’s grandmother who smiled knowingly at the now mated Consort and Master. She also took the time to remind Spike of the favour he was still to call in from her, only to be reassured that they would be back ‘in a few weeks’ and would collect then.
The evening was spent booking flights and the hotel (Baur Au Lac at Spike’s insistence) and checking then replying to a number of emails. Ten o’clock saw Spike on the phone to Connor and bank details were sorted before a friendly discussion regards family, Spike and Xander’s plans, and Connor’s studies, with a suggestion that he might take some time off to visit at some time in the not too distant future.
The two fell into bed around midnight and after a ‘good seeing to’ Xander fell into a blissfully dream free sleep, with Spike not too far behind despite his creature of the night status.
Monday was a whirlwind of activity after a late start. Xander decided to visit a local Oasis sports centre that boasted an outdoor heated pool. Spike walked to the venue with him then, reassured that “I’ll be fine to get home” took a taxi to see Montague for a two o’clock meeting to tidy up a bit of paperwork with the bank prior to their trip.
Dinner was had at home, small travel bags packed for the morning, and both fell into bed early for a ‘snog and a cuddle’ only, well aware that a six am taxi had been ordered to take them to Heathrow.
Spike threw his bag onto the king sized bed and flopped down on his back beside it. Xander kicked the door to their suite closed and threw the keycard onto the hall table before joining his lover on the bed.
“Man I hate airports! Well, air travel generally actually.”
“Better than a horse ‘n carriage over a hundred plus miles of mud ‘n cobbles, or a couple of weeks in the hold of an ocean liner, pet. Least it’s over an’ done with quick.”
“OK I’ll give you that, but why does every major airport in the world have to look the same? I guess at least around Europe you’re less likely to get a gun shoved in your face at the customs check.”
“There is that luv. An’ I don’t mind sayin’ it, but I quite like the service on the plane. Never knew the booze came free on such short hops.”
“It doesn’t Spike. The hostess thought you were some sort of celebrity after that ground controller guy had a word in her ear as we were boarding.”
Spike rolled toward his lover and propped his head up on his arm, “*Thought* the bloke was part demon – just goes to show, nice to know some folks still respect their betters!”
Xander snorted and rolled to face Spike, kissing him chastely then made to get up, “Is that why we got an upgrade to the Deluxe Junior Suite? ‘Cause I know for a fact that we only booked a double – and it was discounted at that!”
“Yeah, well, might’ve had a word or two to the concierge. Monty knows the owner, an’ besides, I’ve stayed here a time or two back in the day. Anyways, we’re gonna be here for almost a week an’ need somewhere to work that’s not the bedroom. And nothin’ wrong with a little bit of luxury, you might just get used to it. C’mon you’ve not seen the view, and after that we should do some proper relaxin’ before we get all busy with other things.”
The view of the lake from their small balcony was indeed spectacular on the perfect summer’s day. Xander couldn’t help but smile as Spike leaned against the rail and turned his very pale visage up toward the sun, eyes closed.
They stood for a while in silence until Xander whispered, “Ghod, you are so beautiful. Just so… beautiful and here in the sunshine…”
And for the very first time, all Spike’s defenses seemed to fall away, leaving him looking slightly embarrassed, young, and so very human that as he turned and azure blue eyes looked in wonder at the Consort, Xander felt quite light headed, his chest tightened and tingles spread all the way to his toes.
All he could add was “F#$@” before the real Spike ‘reentered the building’, gave him a feral grin, grabbed his hand and dragged him inside with a “Sounds like a plan, Luv.”
It was a good hour or so later that the two were woken from sated slumber by the phone.
Spike answered without relinquishing his hold on his lover, “Yes?... Yes, it’s William Aurelius here… Yes, we’ll be down directly… Say fifteen minutes Rive Gauche Terrace… Yes Alexander will be there too. Thank you.”
Xander looked at Spike with curiosity, “So?”
“Seems there’s no rest for the wicked pet. Banker’s here. Wants to get some details sorted before tomorrow. Come on, quick refresh and we’ll get this show on the road.”
Note: If you wish to look at the hotel