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.
The final two working days in Barcelona reminded the Mated couple just how precious their time together could be, as their respective schedules were filled with meetings, site inspections, phonecalls, demon court gatherings and endless streams of emails and last minute memos.
Finally, however, Thursday came, their belongings were (hopefully) in the hold of the aeroplane, and the exhausted Master William and Mate Alexander relaxed back in their business class seats, silently sipping the complimentary champagne and squeezing each other’s hand in relief.
Spike waited until they were airborne to speak, content until then, to let the mating link wash relief and loving thoughts back and forth between the two.
“So Pet, good trip all around wouldn’t you say?”
“Hmm… Still a lot to be done on the building project, but I guess it’s not really up to me. In fact weirdly I think I made them nervous.”
“Course you did luv. You’re one of the big investors so far as the humans are concerned. ‘n a might more informed than most on big projects than they’re used to. Reckon the demon contingent you got workin’ for ‘em has you in awe as well. Like havin’ the Queen on site every other day.”
“Who are you calling a queen?! I thought you told me last night that I was all man.”
Spike very nearly snorted his second champagne, “I said The Queen, not *a* queen, you nit. Just meant you’re royalty so far as the demon population is concerned. Mated to a Master of Aurelius and official childe of the Immortal, last name Athenatos – remember that, luv… Power fair rollin’ off you. ‘s a wonder the workers didn’t down tools and grovel as you went past!”
Xander looked over in horror, “Ghods Spike! I didn’t even think of that. Probably best I’m off the site for a while then.”
“Reckon so. Humans on site’ll relax as well, just make contact once in a while, keeps the help on their toes. Besides we’ve got a whole raft of stuff to sort at home. Some good, some just plain annoyin’. And I for one want to christen our new digs good ‘n proper. That should take the first week at least. Lot of rooms in that house… lot of flat surfaces to test you on.” Spike wiggled his scarred eyebrow sending a jolt of pure lust through the link and insuring a deep pink blush on his lover just as the flight attendant came to take their empty glasses and announce lunch would be in ten minutes or so.
They exited the customs area at Heathrow surprisingly swiftly and were met by a nervous young man in chauffeur’s outfit holding a printed sign declaring “Aurelius-Athenatos”.
Spike strode over, trailing Xander who was pushing the baggage trolley, and greeted their driver, “That would be us, mate.”
“Mr Aurelius, Sir, I am Neil your chauffeur. Sir Montague booked my services on your behalf for the next two weeks. If you need to speak to him regards this arrangement, you are welcome to call him at his club. I have the number here on my phone.” Said phone was proffered, and a bemused Spike took it and hit dial.
Xander smiled at the chauffeur and leaned against the luggage trolley, while Monty was located at the club and came on the line.
The jovial baritone of their friend was immediately recognizable as Spike at once thanked and admonished his financial advisor for his generosity, and made assurances that: “Yes, we’ll be home for at least a fortnight…”, “Yes, all well with my boy, better than in fact…”; “Of course I’ll be up and down to London after that – need to find a ‘friendly’ hotel for overnighters…”; “Yes we’ll look into that too…”; “Of course we’ll have a bloody house warmin’! Just let us get settled first…”; and finally, “Listen, we’ll just head on home and I’ll ring you on the morrow. Sounds like there’s a bit to sort and I don’t want to be tryin’ to do that standin’ in the middle of bloody Heathrow!”
Spike handed the phone back to Neil, “Right, that’s sorted. Lead on McDuff.”
The new, white Mercedes sedan was a “sweet ride” as Xander so eloquently put it, and he spent some time quizzing the well informed Neil, on the particular features of the car that were enjoyed and the drawbacks of this particular model. Spike took the opportunity to tune out and catch up on some well-needed sleep.
The immortal blonde woke to the sound of a gravel driveway, the car slowing and Xander pushing up from the drool patch on his shoulder, obvious evidence that his Mate, too had slept.
Neil brought the car to a halt at the front door of their home and opened the rear passenger door politely then moved to retrieve the baggage.
It was late afternoon and the two newly returned home owners forewent unpacking in favour of wandering the house. It was apparent that the interior designer they had engaged to decorate their new home had taken great pains to marry old with new in the most attractive blend imaginable. Xander wandered from room to room, occasionally stopping to admire the craftsmanship on this or that piece of furniture and wondering at some of the fine art on the walls.
In the upstairs study adjoining their bedroom, he finally stopped in front of an original sketch of some ballet dancers at the bar and squinted at the signature. “Far out Spike, this is a Degas!”
The blonde smiled a little warily, “Said you liked it pet, ‘member? When we were at the family vault in the land of cowbells ‘n fine watches. Had ‘em ship it with the rest. Hope you approve.”
Xander moved to directly in front of his lover and took both the slender hands in his, pulling the somewhat concerned vampire close, and whispered, “It’s perfect ::kiss:: The whole house ::kiss:: is perfect… thank you.”
The brunette was gifted by one of Spike’s blindingly beautiful, genuine smiles, followed by a heartfelt kiss.
“Had it all released from the vault ‘n sent whilst we were abroad… the bit’s we liked best that is. Let that over priced pansy of a designer to earn ‘is keep. Wanted to make it ours, not some notion from a high street shop. Just made some phonecalls since you were all busy with the project ‘n such. Anyway… reckon it was easier than messing about rearrangin’ it ourselves once we got home.”
“Well, I for one thank the ‘pansy ass’ for a great job – the designer as well.” Xander grinned and made a swift escape out the door of the room, just as Spike registered the comment.
“Oi! You cheeky bugger!” What ensued was a fine chase, both sprinters taking care not to knock over or into any of the furniture or art pieces. Eventually caught and given a “thorough snogging” for his trouble, Xander took the blonde by the hand and they wandered into the bright new kitchen with its garden view. Xander inspected the surfaces then opened the fridge, surprised to see that someone had already stocked it with essentials, including at least a week’s worth of blood.
He turned to his lover, “How….?”
“Got Monty to arrange a supply run. Seems Sahil was more than happy to do a bit of a drive – ‘specially as I paid for him and the family to have a weekend in Stow-on-the-Wold on us as a thank you. Monty reckons they have family in the Cotswolds not far from there, so it was a right treat. Got bloody family everywhere it seems.”
Xander simply laughed, closed the fridge and opened the door of the walk in pantry. “Ghods Spike! Even the wine rack is full. And there’s beer here, want me to put that in the fridge for later.”
“Don’t you bloody dare! I ordered the best, sacrilege to cool the stuff! But while you’re there, pass the Darjeeling would you?”
Xander did so, then returned to the car where Neil was standing cigarette in hand, looking a little lost.
“Umm, Neil, did the company arrange a place to stay while you’re working here?”
“Not as such, Sir. I was about to come and see if you needed me again before I tried a pub or two nearby.”
“Well, if you like we have some separate accommodation around the back. You are welcome to stay there for the duration. We’ll probably be heading for bed early, so if you want to head out for dinner and come back here that’s fine. There’s a kitchen as well but I’m sure you don’t feel like cooking tonight.”
Neil looked rather stunned. He’d heard about the wealth of his two current clients and expected them to be aloof and unconcerned with his comfort. “I… I… thank you indeed Sir. It would be a great relief, particularly tonight.”
Xander beamed and led Neil around the main house to the lovely renovated period barn. Neil looked around at the generous, cottage-feel space, “Wow! And it’s all just for me. Thank you, Sir. I get a small allowance for jobs away, would you like me to…”
Xander shook his head, “No way. You do right by us and that’s enough. Besides you still have to feed yourself. Anyway, look, Will and I won’t be up until after midday, so we won’t need you until one. If you want to go food shopping or something, just be back by then OK.”
“Yes Sir, most kind of you, Sir.”
Xander returned to the big house, sidling up to Spike who was staring out over the garden whilst over filling the kettle under the tap. His lover startled as large hands slid around the narrow waist from behind.
“Is this the part where I say ‘penny for your thoughts’? ‘Cause gotta say Mr, vampire super senses not really workin’ if I can make you jump.” The brunette kissed the blonde hair and leaned in further to flick off the tap.
His reply was Spike putting the water down and swiveling until they were face to face, whereupon he buried his face in the crook of Xander’s neck and sighed. The mumbled, “Love you, Xan”, was his only reply.
They stood entwined for a time, content to relax in each other’s arms as the larger man rubbed calming circles on Spike’s back. Finally his hand moved up and guided his lover’s face to the crook of his neck, ushering a single command, “Drink. Please…”
Fangs came down and ever so gently pierced the tanned skin. Xander groaned as the suction began and felt his own small fangs drop in response as he tilted his head slightly and reciprocated the act. Their world shrank to include only the two of them and the completed connection, and they might have remained there for hours had Xander’s cell phone not broken the silence with its shrill ringtone.
Spike mumbled, “Don’t answer.”
The call ceased after what seemed like far too many rings and they both vaguely registered the three beeps indicating a message.
Finally Xander broke from his lover with a sigh. “Better see what’s so important I suppose.”
“Bloody hell. Your choice, pet.” Spike returned to making the temporarily forgotten tea.
There were three messages as it turned out. One from a rather flustered Giles wanting the pair to “Check in as soon as you get the opportunity.” A second rather garbled one from Andrew regarding a “vampyre situation” in Greece. And the last and latest from Anton with the simple request, “My dear Alexander and William, no doubt you are home. Call me when you’ve finished your initial ‘house christening’. I have some rather welcome news.”