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.
Dinner with the Lourdes family was a lively outdoor affair with a long table heaving with food, free flowing local wine, and entertainment supplied in the form of guitars and singing by some of the many cousins. It all seemed so very normal that Xander was rather shocked when one of the uncles, Stavo, slapped him on the back and declared in rather broken English, “Bella Vampiro. Immortale Anton protectorate familia Lourdes. Good business, si?”
Xander smiled rather weakly and replied, “Um… si, I guess.” And sighed with relief as he felt Spike’s arm slide around his waist as the blonde leaned over and engaged with Barnardo in rapid Italian.
After the man wandered off, Xander turned in Spike’s arm and kissed him lovingly on the cheek, then leaned back at the pleased but surprised look on his vampire’s face. “You’re amazing. I mean that was… with the language and the… I keep having to pinch myself that this is all real… that you really chose me! The one eyed, mentally unstable ex Scoobie… just…”
Spike pulled him in close, returned the kiss in kind then whispered in his ear, “Feelin’s mutual Pet, n’ chose each other, n’ can’t wait to christen that bed of ours ‘n show you just how much I appreciate that.” He released a now aroused Mate and nodded toward Anton, indicating beyond the group and the need for a quick talk. The blonde directed Xander back toward the Pippa and Claire, “Just be a jiffy Luv, gotta tell Sire sommit.”
Anton followed the blonde until they were out of earshot of the main group, concern written on his handsome features. “Sorry to pull you away Sire. Stato seems to think there’ll be trouble in Tivoli. Wanted to let us know there’s tell of a group of mobsters called the Scourge targettin’ half breeds, immigrants ‘n refugees, peaceful types there and in the western suburbs of Rome. Reckon you probably already knew that but… nasty buggers the Scourge.”
For the first time, Spike sensed the truly frightening, black, vampiric nature of the Immortal emerge as he fell into game face and gave a warning snarl worthy of an angry lion at the sky, then growled low, “They have chosen the wrong territory in which to cause trouble. Tivoli and Rome are mine.” Spike shivered at the sound, both from the immediate sense of fear it invoked and a flash of excitement as he realized that he and his Mate would, without doubt, stand with their Sire to rid the region of the threat.
They stood looking out across the darkened vista for a few more moments, then the ancient being turned to Spike, “I would have us continue our excursion as planned. We will use the two nights with Connor and the girls in Tivoli to appraise the situation, and establish if the problems are more widespread when in Naples. Connor should continue on the proposed tour to protect his sisters, and if you and Xander are willing, we shall address this issue from Rome.”
Spike was about to give a flippant remark to lighten the mood, but sensed it was not the time so formally replied, “It will be as you wish, Sire.”
The group returned to the villa well fed and in high spirits after an evening in the good company of the Lourdes clan. Claire had apparently made friends with Stephanie Lourdes, the grand daughter of their hostess and departed with promises to Skype and keep up via the net. The youngest Reilly surprised her older relatives en route home by announcing that she was seriously thinking of a ‘gap year’ and returning to Italy, though conceded, after concerned looks from her siblings, that there were some “details to be ironed out” and finished with a huffed, “Look, I know Dad will let me if I can do some study here. And Mom will agree if Dad says yes.”
Xander grinned a little as he distinctly heard Connor whisper an annoyed, “Daddy’s girl” under his breath, as the young woman flipped her hair defiantly, and increased her pace away from her brother and up the villa’s driveway.
By the time they were back at the house, Xander was curious to know what exactly the exchange between Anton and Spike had been. His mate’s worry permeated their mating link and Anton’s concerned looks seemed to confirm that something was afoot, but the explanation would obviously wait until he and Spike were alone as the group said their pleasant good-nights to each other, and retired to their respective rooms.
Spike rounded on his partner as soon as their bedroom door closed and pinned the brunette to the wall with a searing kiss, possessive and almost desperate in its embodied need. Xander melted into it for a moment, then pushed the blonde back, at first gently then with more force. “OK, nice, and appreciated, but I think there’s more to that little display. Care to share? What’s up? Spike talk to me… then I’m happy to keep going where we just left off. I can feel your worry, remember?”
“Ah Pet. Bloody hoodlums ‘pparently taken up in Tivoli ‘n Rome. Got Sire all riled up, ‘n rightly so. Scourge are a dangerous bunch, stir up all sorts of racial hatred, ‘n I’m not talkin’ the human kind. Call themselves ‘purists’, ‘cleansers’ ‘n all sorts of other rot. None too discernin’ who they target neither. Bottom line Luv is that we’ll have a fight on our hands at some point. No doubt we’ll lay low this time around in Tivoli, for the sake of the girls. Sire’s going to pull a few favors and gather intel, ‘cause we’re gonna have to be ready.”
When Spike pulled him forward into another more gentle kiss, Xander threw his arms around the other man’s waist and returned the love easily. The overriding urge to join washed over both males and clothes were swiftly divested as they made their way to the bed amidst hands wandering and lips franticly seeking out the other. Spike pushed his lover onto his back, snagging the lube from the side table and barely managed to prepare himself before taking his lover. His attempts to be slow and gentle were thwarted when Xander thrust his hips up to meet him and the joining became one of urgency.
Snarls and grunts had replaced the usual endearments and Xander gave in to his awakening vampiric tendencies. His tiny fangs dropped and he bit down hard into Spike’s shoulder, drank deeply in time with Spike’s thrusts, then released and did it again, this time feeling his vampire shift and the sting of a reciprocal bite as his jugular was breached. It was nothing like their previous love-making, but for the over riding toing and froing of adoration flowing through the link. Bloodied fangs clashed as they kissed once more and Spike continued to drive into his partner with a force too great for human comfort, and yet Xander needed more.
In a move almost too swift to comprehend, Spike withdrew, flipped the brunette onto hands and knees for a better angle and drove into him once more, using an iron grip to pump his Mate’s member harshly. Release came but only seemed to relieve the need for moments before their positions were reversed, this time the master vampire on his back accepting his mate into him. They both came twice more before collapsing in a panting, sticky, tangle of limbs, wordlessly and gently stroked each other for a time, then slept.
Xander woke to late morning sunlight streaming into the bedroom causing the pale skin of his lover to glow like fine marble. He smiled as William the Bloody snuffled in his slumber, unconsciously shifted limbs until he was entirely draped over Xander’s front then, as Xander began to stroke his back, Spike started to purr. Contentment ebbed and flowed through the link until the somewhat human became aware that his partner was awake but choosing to remain entwined.
Xander smiled to himself and decided to experiment with their mating link. He had been vaguely aware that it was becoming a little stronger each day they were together, and particularly after an exchange of blood, and wondered just what it was capable of, beyond vague notions of his vampire’s feelings at any given moment.
He deliberately started to think of their love making the night before, taking care not to move against his blonde and signal his thinking that way. Images of Spike in rapture flooded in, memories of their exchanged passion - the exquisite taste of Spike’s blood; the feel of his taut, muscular thighs around him; the slide of baby soft slide of soft blonde curls through his fingers; the tangling of their tongues as they kissed; the sound of growls and groans of a vampire in the throws of ecstasy. He recalled in absolute detail the smiling blue eyes with their long black lashes focusing on him alone; the slide of alabaster skin against his, with its slight tinge of pink where the sun had kissed it that day; the amazing, refined, sharp lines of Spikes real and game face; and the overwhelming perfection of the body of the man he so loved. And above all he recalled the feel of Spike as they joined, the fullness as Spike entered him and the tightness as the act was reciprocated. And finally he conveyed his love and devotion to his Mate, his Master Vampire, not just for last night but… always.
Xander was so engrossed in his own musings that he let out a surprised “Gahh!” as Spike rose with lightening speed and in full game face, pushed him onto his back, straddled him and guided Xander’s impressive erection home. He was ridden hard and fast and they both came with a roar seconds later, the sound only muffled by a mutual bite and drawing of blood.
Spike collapsed, panting, onto his lover then slid off to cuddle the brunette’s side and idly draw circles in the slippery spend on Xander’s chest and allowed himself the luxury of giving in to his true nature and purring contentedly. The mated human smiled as he stared at the ceiling, stroking his blonde’s flank in silence, content to wait for Spike to be the first to say anything. He had almost decided Spike had fallen asleep again when Spike’s low rumble ceased, then Spike rolled to his side and propped himself up on one arm.
“You are a wonder Pet… my bloody sexy, naughty wonder. How’d you know to do that then?”
“Kind of didn’t. Just wanted to see if I could… I don’t know… send you mind pictures or something…” When Spike didn’t reply for a time, Xander became a little concerned. “So did it? I mean, could you…”
“Saw every bloody thing Luv, well close as, I suppose. Bloomin’ odd to see ‘n feel… well… me I s’pose, as you do, in the throws of passion… was bloody lovely, though I reckon Freud would have a field day.” Spike waited for Xander to process the events. Xander’s temporary frown became a broad smile, then a snort and hearty laugh, “Oh my G@#$! That’s just beyond weirdness on anyone’s dial.” More laughter then the man sobered. “I hope you got how much I love you, love making love to you, along with the visuals?”
Spike returned the smile, “I did ‘n all Pet, ‘n feelin’s mutual… Now we’d better get up ‘n going. Anton was pretty keen to show the girls around Tivoli before we go fix a certain demon problem of his.”
The trip to Tivoli was relatively swift, and after a short side trip to look at Terni and buy some refreshments, their pace sped up as they joined the main highway toward Rome. Turning off toward Tivoli just after two in the afternoon, Anton was heard to give a happy sigh to pass through some pretty hills and on to their accommodation, the grand Rezidenza Gregoriane on the banks of the Ariane river, not far from Tivoli’s center.
There were oohs and ahhs from the girls as they entered the huge wooden doors and passed through the grand archways adorned with frescos and period furniture. Spike merely squeezed Xander’s hand and whispered, “Least this time I get to see the inside!”
Anton heard and turned with a wicked smile, “Ah yes. As I recall last time you were here, you and Angelus were trying to crash a party of mine.”
“Too bloody right we were, mate! N’ a bloody waste of time that was!”
Anton put a calming hand on Spike’s shoulder and could not help but smile a little as he stated, “It was for the best at the time. I hope you can forgive me.”
Spike returned the smile, “Naught to forgive Sire. Was a youngster following ‘Gelus’s lead is all. Found us fun elsewhere if I recall, that is, before we were run out of town altogether. An’ didn’t Darla get her nickers in a twist over that one! A right laugh it was.”
When the rest of the group realized they had no idea what the conversation was about, and that they were unlikely to find out, they simply hefted their smaller bags and followed the porter to their rooms.
As she entered their richly decorated double suite, Claire dropped her bag on the bed, grinned and spun around twice with an excited, “Far out, this is gorgeous!” Pippa was a little more reserved, but still turned to Anton, gave him a shy smile, and moved back to quickly kiss a rather abashed Immortal on the cheek, before entering the room properly and turning once more, “It’s beautiful, really, thank you so much.”
Spike could have sworn he saw Anton blush, certainly felt an unusual warmth flow through their Sire-Childe connection, and turned to Xander noting his mate was hiding behind his long fringe smiling. They exchanged a knowing look.
Connor threw his bags into the single suite beside his sisters' and kept walking with the other men. Something was bothering Anton, the three Aurelians felt it. Inside the door of Spike and Xander’s ornate rooms, Anton paused looking worried.
Spike rounded on him, “Alright Sire, out with it. Trouble at mill, I’ve no doubt.”
Anton smiled weakly, “I’m afraid so. The note left for me at the desk confirms the Scourge is indeed active in Tivoli. And their intention is clear. This is territory under my direct control, albeit with the blessing of the Master of Rome, indeed it is he who has sent word, and he is not one to cower to anyone. It is a matter of great concern, and though I would be more than willing continue our short sojourn to Naples and deal with this from Rome, I feel the need to investigate some of the issues for myself immediately… I… would normally take a back seat, let my contacts deal with the issue…” Silence followed as a pensive Immortal seemed to be considering his options.
It was Xander who broke the quiet with a simple question, “Are these guys sun friendly?”
Anton looked a little surprised but answered quickly, “No they operate at night. Their unsightly visage would be noted were they to roam the streets during the day.”
Xander seemed on a roll, “And if all those hours watching the history channel are right, there’s plenty of sewers and the like under the old city, and they’re pretty well mapped, yeah?”
“Indeed. They are well known to most of the non human and many human inhabitants.”
Spike spoke next, “Just so’s we’re clear, are the attacks happening above or below ground?”
“Mostly above, in the wharf area and the poorer accommodation blocks where there are a number of safe houses for demon and a few for human refugees in that area.”
Spike reached out and took Xander’s hand, squeezing it none to gently, and winked at Connor, “Right then Sire. We enjoy the rest of today playin’ tourist round the old city villas ‘n such with the girls. We have a nice dinner then leave the girls to the Spa facilities and have ourselves a good ol’ reconnoiter, with back up needs be. Tomorrow we visit Villa Adrianna as planned and do whatever else is needed. Sound like a plan?” Spike looked hopefully at Anton, then added with a grin and flash of fang, “C’mon Sire, this much time with too much good livin’ and no proper fight does nothin’ for the figure, not to mention the libido! Us kiddies of yours are just itchin’ for a good workout.”
Anton visibly relaxed, “You are right William. It is easy to forget I am no longer alone in all this. I will make the arrangements.”