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.
Spike struggled up from a comatose state as Xander’s form shifted in the bed then disappeared altogether. He groaned then realized the man had departed the room and woke properly with a rather nasty jolt of worry.
“Xan? Xander are you alright?”
His only answer was the toilet flushing and a very disheveled looking consort reentering the bedroom scratching his tummy. “Yeah, yeah, Mother vamp… just needed the facilities. Human remember? At least in that way it seems.”
“Should have woken me, luv.” Xander sat heavily on the bed beside the still reclining Spike.
“I know, but you looked so exhausted, and I figured I could make it to the bathroom and back solo.”
Spike growled low, but the annoyance was minor and more self-directed than anything. “Look Spike, I’m on the mend, really, mendy man here, all with the mending. So you can stop with the worry, OK?”
Xander reached down and stroked the fine cheekbones and back through the blonde locks, kissed him first on the nose then the lips, and ended up half on top of the vampire, continuing to kiss and caress until Spike was literally purring. Xander couldn’t help but smile as the rumble started and whispered, “Just like a big cat… maybe a jaguar, no, snow leopard. Yeah that’s it… my beautiful, dangerous, blonde, snow leopard protector.”
“An’ you’re a nutter mate. My nutter, but still…” They lay petting for a few more minutes until several noises at once spurred them into action. Xander’s stomach growled loudly, Spike’s mobile phone rang and concurrently, so did the house phone.
“Oh bloody hell! You stay there. I’ll sort the interruptions then get you somethin’ to fill that belly of yours.”
Xander grinned at the departing flash of taut, white backside as a very nude vampire grabbed the house phone handset from the side table, growled a “Hello William here. Hold for a minute will you?”
Xander relaxed back down onto the bed, half listening to the conversations now taking place in the adjoining sitting room. The bandages on his neck itched, and the socket around his missing eye was aching in a not so pleasant way, but apart from that he was feeling a good deal better. Certainly better than he should be feeling given he had so recently cheated death – again.
He stared at the ceiling and began to mull over something Spike had said the previous day. Spike had felt him through the Consort link, he had mentioned it several times. Even when Spike was as far away as the bank he could feel Xander apparently. So why couldn’t he feel his vampire except when Spike was close by? Was he missing something? Was there something wrong with his senses? Was his Consort status too new or was it because he had let another vampire drink from him, well not ‘let’ exactly, there had been no letting, other than blood of course, his to be particular… and now he was getting distracted… anyway… had it somehow messed things up?
It was a half an hour later that Spike walked back into the room cursing under his breath to find his Consort frowning and picking distractedly at the sticking plaster securing his neck bandage, indeed he had sensed the rising worry even whilst fielding questions and making arrangements for the coming days with first Master Marcus, then Daniel and finally Anton.
He flung both handsets down onto the side table and gathered Xander up into his arms, sure that the man’s injuries had taken a turn for the worse, or that somehow old problems had re emerged prompted by the recent attack. “What is it pet? That injury playin’ havoc? What?”
Xander relaxed into the hug for a moment, enjoying the embrace before realizing that at this close range he could directly feel Spike’s worry mirroring his own. He sat back a little and raised a hand to gentle down the chiseled cheek. “No well yes. It’s not the neck but there is something… just a question I guess. Can we kind of sit and hand hold or something? ‘Cause I kind of want to talk and straighten something out… not grrr worthy bad or anything, I just kind of need to know something.”
Spike looked dubious but complied with the request, plumping some pillows and shifting on the bed until the two were propped up side by side, holding hands as requested. “Fire away pet, what’s got your knickers in a twist?”
Xander took a deep breath, “Right… I um… Why can’t I feel you as strongly through the Consort link as you can feel me? I mean I know I’m human, injured guy with the whole history and the demon magnet and PTSD thing happening, but is it because that other vamp snacked on me, or… is it just me?” Xander started fiddling with the covers using his free hand, whilst gripping the vampire’s cool fingers tighter and tighter as he continued. “Spike… I… You know I love you, like I’ve never loved anyone or any… well anyone… ever. Not even Anya. And I really did love her, you know? I would have married her, and maybe it would have worked, except with the whole finding out I’m gay and her dying bit, but… It wasn’t like it is with you… not like with you… with you I just feel... I know in my heart that you love me, I know, because you make me feel… complete. But I don’t know if I’m enough for you… I want to be worthy… of you… So why doesn’t the consort link work properly? Please… why? It must be me… what do I have to do to be enough?” The last statement was a whispered plea accompanied by a single tear from his good eye that escaped and tracked down his cheek.
Spike was silent for a moment, processing the message before answering. Coming to some sort of conclusion, he shifted his position until kneeling on the bed in front of his Consort without relinquishing the hand he was holding. He leaned in and kissed away the tear then lifted his free hand to tilt Xander’s rather unhappy countenance to face him directly. “Luv… there is nothing wrong with you. Nothing you could do or say that is wrong here. I love you, who you are, who you will become, the good and the bad, the whole bloody box and dice. No goin’ back for me, you know that, and we’ve exchanged the vows, yeah?”
He waited for Xander’s reluctant yet hopeful nod. “Right. So here’s the only bit of that soliloquy that made any sense, more’s to the fact… that I can answer. A bastard of a minion near as well drained you afore I could off him. All I could do was get rid of his spit yeah? An’ clean the wound… and you were fadin’ fast. So I fed you, not just a little, but more than what I would be able to give a normal human without turning them. You know that right?” He waited for another nod before continuing. “Reason you could is you are my Consort, and thank the gods for that. Then your blood supply was pretty much replaced in full the regular way at the hospital, but you’ve been drinking from me then and since yeah?”
“I… I guess so… I mean… I didn’t mean to bite and take…”
“Bloody hell luv! T’s lovely when you bite pet. Welcome to Chateau William the Bloody anytime, yeah? An’ I’ve been spikin’ your drink with my blood, every opportunity since the other night. You do know that?”
“I sort of guessed… well everything tasted of you… in the nicest possible way.”
“Right. So you’ve got a lot of me inside you at the moment. Just that I haven’t been taking from you, apart from the odd little sip when we’re makin’ love, yeah? You bein’ all banged up, I just couldn’t afford to risk it.”
A bolt of realization seemed to hit Xander, and he looked up rather stunned, “So if you drink from me, that’s when I get to feel you?”
“Long and the short of it, pet. ‘S like that with Sire’s and Childer, helps seal the bond and keep the Childer safe, ‘cept it’s more a case of weanin’ them as they develop toward Master yeah? Bond never really leaves, but does get fainter. Consort is a step on from there, small amounts both ways, always… But fully Mated is different again. No desire to separate, absolute link between two involved – heart, mind and soul. Death of one means death of the other, and blood sharing regular an’ often, an’ more ‘n any normal human could bear. ‘S why it’s not done much, almost unheard of with humans for a whole raft of reasons. But before you start worryin’ again, I might be bidin’ my time before I asked, but as soon as you’re well enough I was hopin’ to ask you, pet… Ask you to go beyond Consort. Just didn’t want you to feel any pressure.”
He stroked down Xander’s jawline, the tenderness of the gesture almost too much for Xander as he saw the sincerity and love in Spike’s crystal blue eyes. “The other night all happened so fast, it forced my hand, yeah? Wanted you well enough, even way back in the day, but figured to take it slow since you had agreed to be my Consort when we’d only just met up again.
“Xan, I’ve had enough time to think it through, and you’re who I want Pet, not just for now, but for always. As it stands you could still break the Consort bond in time if you wanted to and I just thought…You know I don’t do well alone, you know I’m love’s bitch, I fall hard and completely, but… I’ve been left so many times by those I love, I’m just not sure I could survive that again… Not sure I’d want to go on…”
It was Xander’s turn to caress his lover, trying in the single gesture to express his true feelings. He had been in love before. He had genuinely loved Anya, but it was not to be as life on the Hellmouth had taken its toll. But what he felt for Spike seemed to go so much deeper than his feelings for Anya. It was a yearning, a pull beyond anything he had experienced before. He knew with every molecule of his being that he needed Spike, wanted him, not just as a lover and friend, but as his everything, his missing half, the half he hadn’t even realized was absent until now. And it was more than just the blood, he knew that on a profound level. Spike was the one, and if that meant… whatever it meant in terms of his humanity, and his life, so be it.
Spike was picking up on his emotions as he processed his thoughts more clearly, and he was privy to the vampire’s eyes widening then begin to glisten with unshed tears as Spike struggled to finish what he was saying in a near whisper, “Was goin’ to ask when the time was right, just don’t want to rush you. An’ you bein’ all poorly still, don’t want to take advantage or compromise your recovery.”
Xander leaned in and kissed the soft lips, “I want to do it, please Spike? Now. I don’t care if I have to lie in bed for an extra week, just… Can you? Will you? I want that. The whole of me wants it, wants you. I want to feel the link… I mean really feel it, as a full Mate. Spike please!”
“’S a mite dangerous pet. The amount of blood you had from me over the last few days was enough to Mate fully, but for things to go all the way we need to exchange some ritual words, as well as the blood. I know the Consort bond shifted things a bit between us, but Mating will change you, and me, forever. You need to know that. There’s no going back, no bein’ a regular human again… ever. So if you want to wait, I’ll wait Xan… I really will. The effects of your blood on me will wear off a bit and we’ll be back to the link like it was before…”
“Spike, I want you and I want to do this, as long as you’re sure, you know whatever the changes are for you too, I guess. But for me? Just as long as I don’t go all grr on the neighbors, I don’t care what else changes, OK? Even if I sprout wings or gain a tail… I want to be with you and feel you, and the whole box and dice, and I so didn’t realize that love even had this whole other level, the love I feel for you Spike… so I do Spike. So will you? William Aurelius, will you take me as your Mate?” Xander suddenly felt a moment of panic when Spike said nothing, so added in a small voice, “I mean only if you want.”
Spike still said nothing, his only answer was to gentle his lover back onto the bed, position himself over the top of them and reach down to stroke over Xander’s soft nether region. “Alright, I will pet. It would be my honor, bloody hell luv… somethin’ I never thought I would have, but let’s do this the proper way yeah? It will be in the height of passion and as painless as possible. You just have to follow my lead, yeah? There’ll be some ritual words – and a few I’ll need to add for us alone given the whole soul situation. And you’ll need to drink when I say drink. Biggest thing I guess? You will be out for some time, hours or even days, and given you’ve already been near drained only a day or two ago, it will take time before you’ll be feelin’ up to scratch, but I’ll be here for you, Pet. I’ll always be here. So you need to be sure…”
Xander squeezed Spike’s hand hard, “Spike? I said yes… Just do it now, please, now.”
They began their love making slowly with languid kisses and gentle caresses in all the right places, Spike still painfully aware that his lover had yet to recover fully from his previous brush with death. The vampire carefully prepared his soon to be mate with slicked fingers, then to Xander’s great surprise, straddled him and took the human inside himself as he began to say the ritual words.
“I, William Aurelius soul of William Cavendish, pledge my all, my existence to you Alexander Harris, until we are both dust, in blessed times and in adversity. I join with you mind and body in all things as Mated Beings. May our souls be entwined. May our spirits be shared. May our destinies be forever interlinked. May our physical bodies exist together until we are both dust. May the universe acknowledge our union as equals in all, mutually bound. May the Ghods smile upon our commitment, and the magic world mark our vows as eternal. Is it your wish that this shall come to pass?”
Xander managed to keep track of the pledge with some difficulty, given that Spike was slowly raising and lowering his body on Xander’s erection as he spoke. “Yes, this is my wish.”
Spike rose up and sank down on Xander one final time before diving forward to slide razor sharp fangs into the human’s Consort mark. Xander felt only a faint sting of the bite as his body bucked in orgasm and an open wrist was placed over his mouth. He took a long draft and then gasped as Spike pulled off his body and maneuvered him a little, pushing a pillow under his hips, raising his legs then claiming his lips with a bloodied mouth. Now in full game face, the vampire breached him and buried himself deep inside.
The words were spoken again as Spike slowly entered deep and withdrew, repeating the rhythmic action and connecting with Xander’s prostate every time. Sometime during the pledge Xander began to speak the words also, as if he had known them his whole life, both intoning, “Yes, this is my wish” at precisely the same moment as Spike slid himself deeper still into his lover. Xander’s response was a scream of ecstasy that was cut off as he instinctively pulled his lover down and, as Spike bit Xander on the opposite side to the Consort mark and began to drink quickly, he latched on to the pale neck and made an effort to drink. They both climaxed within seconds and Xander collapsed back and in his sated and near drained state, closed his eyes to accept blissful black.
Spike stared down at his lover admiring the relaxed pale features; the hint of a smile on the beautiful lips; the long lashes. He sighed and slid out of the warm body, determined to keep his hearing tuned to the healthy beat of Xander’s heart. He had taken a great deal of blood, perhaps more than a normal human could afford, but with Xander’s Consort status already in place, and the copious quantity of Spike’s blood he had consumed recently, the precious heartbeat was slower than normal but strong, and his physical injuries gone but for the mating marks.
Spike pulled the covers up and over them both, snuggling into Xander’s side in the process and smiling as Xander instinctively sought him out, snuffling and snuggling without gaining consciousness, until every possible point of contact was made. Before slipping into a blissful slumber, the vampire sent a prayer of thanks to whoever or whatever might be listening… then the world fell away.
Both Xander and Spike were aware of the dream, both part of it… A barren landscape that seemed to struggle between city scape and night time mountain range, initially they were walking side by side, but there was some urgency, some reason to quicken the pace and pursue… something. Spike tugged at Xander’s hand insisting he stop a moment and focus, they would catch it faster if they did not have to be earth bound. Then they were flying, and their legs began tangling together, both were hard and wanting and, ignoring their mysterious prey for a moment, their two forms began melding and merging until from the waist down there was only one entity both feeling filled and sheathed at once.
In this form they flew on, two parts of a whole. Snippets from the past and whole memories flowed back and forth. Scenes and events ranging from joyous to heart-wrenchingly sad; from thrilling to terrifying; from events devastatingly shameful to acts of sheer heroism; all played out as they originally had, but were now tempered by the loving presence of another.
Xander experienced first hand, William’s early life, his turning and the rise of the persona that was Spike. He felt the demon’s drive for power, the helplessness of the chip and the anguish of loss that had been the vampire’s experience over and over, and through it all, felt the overwhelming goodness, the loyalty, love and genuine decency that was at the core of Spike.
Spike observed the events that were Xander’s life through his eyes, the feelings of inadequacy, of disappointment and rejection, but also the fierce loyalty, uncommon bravery in the face of insurmountable odds, the sense of honor, hope and trust, and above all, the willingness to forgive and underlying ability to love unconditionally.
Their blended presence meant that when one felt distress, the other consoled and protected, when one felt joy, it was shared equally and enhanced. And, as the dream state progressed, their combined form that had initially been joined from the waist down, gradually melded further. Arms that wrapped around the partner to console and caress, extended and sank into the other form blending until they were a gestalt being, two halves of a whole, powerful and secure.
The dream ended with the feeling of floating downward to a halt on what appeared to be a soft bed of mountain flowers where their forms separated but continued to touch. The absolute sensation of contentment and completeness dictated the mutual surrender to dreamless oblivion.
Spike woke slowly. His physical body felt more than heavy, positively objecting to any attempt to shift positions. He reached out through the mating link and found Xander’s essence still in a state of complete relaxation, felt the warmth emanating from the strong male form, and heard the extremely slow beat of his lover’s heart. The man’s physical being remained unconscious, but Spike knew this was as it should be and relaxed.
There were no words to truly describe how he felt now within himself. He was the same, yet profoundly different, himself but now something so much more. It was all uncharted territory, the full effects of mating so rarely spoken of as to be the stuff of myth or fairy tale. Yet here he was, they were, in a future to be shared completely. A spark of thrill married with the intense sensation of love and wholeness and he relaxed back, blissful and content.
He must have remained drifting in and out of slumber for an hour or more, eventually feeling the tug of his mate and the drive to reinforce their status once more. He caressed Xander’s nether region to fullness as he let his game face emerge and sliced his own jugular with an extended fingernail. Xander arched a little as Spike slid his fangs into the human and began to drink as Xander latched on to the offered neck without waking. And so the cycle went on. Feed and climax, sleep and dream, feed and climax…
Spike had expected that it would be Xander who was most affected by the Mating, in his more lucid moments he wondered if this level of incapacitation was the norm, but decided it was of little consequence. Master Marcus was not due back in Zurich until another day hence; the viewing for valuation of the Aurelian vault contents was set for Monday midday; and their departure for Anton’s home in Florence was booked for the coming Wednesday. So the two slept, and consummated their union while feeding from each other, and slept. Spike struggled up once to fetch water and juice for Xander and blood for himself, and another occasion to lift Xander to the toilet where the barely conscious mate managed to sit for a time and relieve himself.
It was in the early hours of Sunday morning when Spike woke suddenly. The mating link fired, signaling that Xander too was struggling toward consciousness, and winning.
Spike stretched, arched on the bed, stretched again, then in one fluid movement, rolled up and stood. He pulled open the curtains and opened the floor to ceiling windows to the outside world. The smell and sounds of the city on a warm summer’s night immediately assaulted his senses as he stood staring at the glittering lights.
Suddenly there was a warm breath on his neck, and a growled, almost whisper in his right ear, “Hey… nice view.”
Spike very nearly let out an unmanly squeak, “Bloody hell Xan! Give a bloke some warnin’!”
Xander rounded on Spike, leaned part way out the open window, then moved in for a passionate kiss. Pulling back to observe the look of wonder on Spike’s face, he replied, “Nahh… More fun this way.” He grinned unrepentantly and pulled the vampire, his Master Vampire mate, into a loose embrace, “Besides… I know you don’t really mind. C’n feel you now remember… and not just in the physical way. And seems the upgrade came with some stealth moves if I can sneak up on you like that.”
Spike’s eyes narrowed a little as though considering his partner carefully, then smiled and kissed the brunette on the nose, “Was deep in thought is all. But you’re probably right about gaining one or two skills. Will need to test ‘em good an’ proper, but not right now. You must be hungry pet… an’ before you go eyein’ my neck, I meant for human food. What say we have a shower and order from that room service menu?”
“Sounds like a plan, oh mate of mine.” With that Xander pulled out of the hug, grabbed Spike’s hand and tugged the blonde in the direction of the bathroom.