Rating: Mature Audiences – for content and themes
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.
The moon was high and bright as the honored few guests were guided to the chapel to take their seats. Others coming for the reception were due in a few hours and the household staff was on high alert, with strict instructions regards formal greeting protocol, preferred refreshments and any other special requirements.
Though the ceremony was to take place in a very specific timeframe, some of the honored guests brought their own entourages who were to stay for the reception afterwards, so there was entertainment for those individuals who were required to attend the villa for the extended period.
At precisely one minute to ten on the crystal clear night, a quiet knock on the door was followed by a muffled, “Masters Alexander and William. It is time.”
Xander led a grumbling Spike downstairs and along the portico, “Bloody ridiculous get up. Since when does any self respectin’ vamp dress up like this! Feel like I’m in a bloody B grade production of Julius Caesar.”
“Can it Spike. At least you got to wear the black robe.”
The pair was dressed in traditional senatorial robes as requested by Anton, and sans underwear (which garnered no comment from Spike but did worry Xander a little). Heads were unadorned and hair fell naturally in soft curls on both men, and their feet were bare. As a consequence, their progress along the tiled walkways and various sets of stairs was all but silent, and the nervous tension rose exponentially as the two approached the ornate doors of the chapel. There were other worldly beings inside, even if Xander had no connection to Spike, he was sure he would have felt it. With one final, reassuring hand squeeze shared, they jointly pushed the doors open and stood, framed by the night sky, for the honored guests to see.
The altar had been cleared of the usual religious paraphernalia and in its place was a plain, deep crimson cloth covering the table piece and trailing in generous swathes down the two steps of the raised platform. There was a single enormous gold chalice flanked by two tall, lit candles, one black and one white, burning brightly and providing the only light other than the pale moonlight streaming in from outside.
Although Xander had been briefed on the formalities, he was unprepared for the panic felt as the Mating Link shut off the instant they stepped inside and began their slow procession to the two cushions placed in the middle of the chapel marking the end of the red cloth. He knew Spike felt it also as he saw worry mar is handsome lover’s features momentarily before the perfect jawline tightened with resolve. He knew to steel himself also. They simply had to get through this.
They stood, heads lowered in supplication, behind the cushions for what seemed like an age, before a low droning chant struck up. Xander surreptitiously scanned the room for any sign of Connor or the Immortal, but his line of sight was too narrow so he focused on the tiles of the intricate mosaic surrounding his cushion and allowed the droning to fade into the background.
It was some indeterminable time later that Mage Julian made his way between the pair and behind the table with the chalice. He bowed low to all present then stood up, opened his arms wide and in a booming voice announced, “Esteemed Guests, welcome to the Formal Mating of William James Cavendish Aurelius – also known as Spike or William the Bloody; Childe of Drusilla GrandChilde of Angelus; Slayer of Slayers; Destroyer of the Turok-han; Winner of the Demon Trials and Soul; Protector of the Olde One Illyria; and Master Vampire of the Ancient Order of Aurelius – and Alexander Lavelle Harris – also known as Xander; human child of the Sunnydale Hellmouth; Host of the hyena Primal T’ak; Compatriot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer; and ex-Watcher of the African Continent.
“Anton Ogenis, also known as the Immortal, Childe of Isesi of the Old Kingdom, former Keeper of the Deeper Well, Antinous Divenus, Defender of the Balance, and many other titles of demon and human origin too numerous to mention – will be signify this day as his acceptance of the Mated pair and William’s full-blood vampire brother Connor Reilly ne Aurelius, son of two Master Vampires Darla and Angelus Aurelius, and formerly known as the Destroyer of Quartoth, as Childer and they he as their Sire, forever uniting the two great and ancient vampire households by allowing these four unique beings to establish a formal court. Anton the Immortal will also lead the family in the traditional Mating ceremony as laid down by Mabb the Maleficent and the Numibian Court.
“Presiding as witnesses from beyond the family are Leonard Ivan Tzcechovich also known as…” And the pattern of introductions continued as they had for the guests of honor, and therefore went on, and on, and on! Xander could not feel Spike through the link, but hardly needed it know that his blonde was somewhere between slitting his own throat and that of the mage. Hell, if it wasn’t for the ceremony he’d give the latter a go right now. As the Mage continued to drone on, Xander found himself zoning out much as he used to do in Mr Pearson’s Geography classes, keeping his features neutral and letting his mind drift.
As a consequence he was not quite ready for the touch of cold hands efficiently stripping away his robes, leaving him kneeling utterly nude in front of their audience. Spike had been likewise disrobed and spared him a sideways glance and quirked an eyebrow. He hoped he could remember all the phrases that he and Spike had rehearsed over the past few days, and that he was ready to withstand the pain he knew was to come.
“I would ask that you all stand and witness as we cleanse and anoint the Mating pair.”
Anton and Connor moved to flank the pair as the Mage moved forward with the chalice and produced a small dagger from under the folds of his cloak. He waved it over the chalice twice, muttering something in a language unknown to others present, before placing the chalice on the floor between and in front of them. He then ordered the two kneeling nudes to hold out their left hand palm up and as soon as they complied, the Mage struck.
In a lightening fast move he sliced deep across both open palms then forced them to clench their fists and direct the flow into the receptacle below. He then pricked the thumb of first Anton then Connor who likewise let their few drops of blood mix in the chalice.
“I now ask that Queen Lilliana and High Mistress Eustace come forward.” As the two women stepped toward the altar, bowed deeply to the mage and moved behind the table. Spike and Xander were helped to their feet by Connor and Anton respectively and led to opposite ends of the table where they were bent over, most uncomfortably as their groins were squashed against the edge, and instructed quietly to “Hold on to the edge.” Connor and Anton remained to the left of each of their charges, and knelt at the ready.
The two women produced what appeared to be quills, dipped them into the chalice then proceeded to draw something onto the left shoulder of each Mate. As the blood touched skin it burned like acid. Xander desperately tried not to cry out and looked up enough to see Spike fall into game face, snarl then bite through his own lip. The pain seemed to go on and on as fire turned to almost unbearable deep seated pain to the point that Xander was sure the quill was penetrating not just skin and muscle, but the very bone and internal organs underneath.
All other sensations were subsumed until all Xander could do was reach out with the last conscious thought and beg every deity he could think of, to bless his Mate were he not to survive the torture. Unbeknownst to him, Spike was doing the same thing. He must have passed out shortly after, waking face up half on the floor, cradled in a crying Connor’s arms, and being fed from the chalice. He coughed once and tried to say “Spike”, but found his now very long canines caused a serious lisp and nicked his tongue. His own blood grounded him and he became aware of chanting from the witnesses once more as he was effortlessly lifted and helped back to his kneeling position beside a similarly recovering Spike.
The Mage held the chalice aloft once more, then passed it and the dagger to the Master of Asia who nicked his thumb and added his blood to the mix, then passed the two objects to the Master of Africa, and so on until all present had added their blood. Lastly it was the Mage’s turn, after he had contributed, the cup was again blessed before the entire contents were emptied over the two kneeling Mates, streaking their bodies with crimson and pooling on the floor around them.
“Let it be known that William Aurelius and Alexander Aurelius are bound by Lore, Mated for all time and in all ways, heart, mind, body and soul, in magicks of old and new, in natures old and new, in traditions old and new, from this day hence. As one exists, so will the other. As one feels, so will the other. As one thinks, so will the other. As one loves, so will the other. So mote it be.”
Their audience and the two Mates intoned, “So mote it be.”
The Mage seemed to relax completely at that point, smiled at the ‘happy’ couple, and indicated that they should rise. With Anton and Connor’s help, Xander and Spike joined hands and struggled up to turn and face to previously solemn now smiling audience.
There was one more duty to perform. Anton handed the mated couple a black towel each and indicated the door, whispering, “The moon will be fully in eclipse in eight minutes’ time. Take this.” At that point, he pushed a tiny tube of slick into Xander’s hand and placed a kind hand on a shoulder each, guiding them to the door adding, “In front of the rotunda is a good place.”
The pair and slung the towels around their nether regions, then hand in hand made their way as quickly as they could manage to the designated spot. Spike dropped his towel and spread it out on the ground. Xander followed suit and the two lay down knowing what was expected and that they had observers. But their Mating Link was laid bare the instant they exited the chapel - love, concern, adoration, admiration, all warring with lust and the overwhelming drive to couple. Every fiber of their being felt connected. Xander hardly had time to haul his legs up before a game faced Spike drove a slicked shaft home and bit down into Xander’s jugular, just as his own elongated canines found their mark. The pace of Spike’s thrusts matched the frantic drawing of blood on both sides until neither knew where the other started and they stopped. It continued for mere seconds before both came hard enough to see stars, paused for a much needed breath then flipped and Xander took his partner in exactly the same way.
They repeated the pattern twice more, each coming three times inside the other in such quick succession and with such rapidity of blood cycling that their systems simply shut down and the pair collapsed side by side under the glow of the crimson red moon. Only the observers saw the utterly strange, deep red bubble of energy, tinged with sparks of flashing gold and silver, that enveloped the pair, obscuring all but the outline of two bodies moving as one. The stillness of the night and eerie colors thrown by the celestial event seemed to emphasize the silent vigil held by the onlookers. And then all movement ceased near the rotunda and the bubble subsided revealing two replete males lying side by side, blood stained visages facing upward toward her ladyship, the moon.
The Mage spoke, “Are those present satisfied?”
As one, all present spoke, “We are satisfied.” And as the lunar eclipse began to pass, members of the group sighed a collective sigh of relief and pleasure at having witnessed such a momentous event, then moved off toward the well lit gardens of the Villa for the second part of the evening – the large reception that awaited.
Anton took Connor by the hand and guided him down to where their barely conscious relatives lay in a rather sticky mess. “Wrap them in the towels, quickly. Can you carry Spike? I’ll take Xander.”
Connor nodded, and the pair hefted and carried their two charges up to Anton’s suite, where a warm shower and fresh change of clothes awaited.