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 newly returned pair did indeed christen the house, or rather, after a “nice cuppa” as Spike put it, did a reasonable effort at having sex in the shower, and the plush rug of the sitting room next to their bedroom, before finally making it to their own king sized bed.
It was well into the next day by the time Xander groaned and opened his good eye. He registered his missing partner, swiftly reassured to hear the soft baritone in conversation next door. He found some sweat pants and wandered in to join the blonde.
“Hold on Sire, Xander’s here. I’ll put you on speaker.” Spike pulled his lover down to sit beside him on the new white couch. Xander went willingly, not relinquishing the cool hand that had done the tugging.
“Morning Sire. I’m all ears, well obviously not just ears but…”
“Shh, Pet. Babble time for later yeah?”
Xander had the decency to blush prettily as a low chuckle came from the phone speaker. “Good morning to you too, Alexander. Now… I realize that you are only just returned, but there are a few issues we need to discuss. I am sorry to say, they simply will not wait.”
Xander’s brow creased, “Sounds dire.”
“Let’s just say, it will be good to have my Childer informed. Some news, however, should be most welcome. So let me start with a hearty congratulations on the Barcelona venture, both from a commercial and demon courts perspective. It seems the changing of the guard, as it were, has been successful and relatively bloodless. From all reports, things seem to be settling nicely and the influx of new refugees from ravaged regions is being managed far more fairly and efficiently, with minimum repurcussions.
“Kudos also Alexander, for your first foray as chief investor. You honor our household as the humans were more than impressed with your leadership, both in the boardroom and on site.”
Xander looked down, somewhat embarrassed and mumbled, “Just did the stuff I knew how to do… Project manager Juan should really take the credit.”
“Be that as it may, you made quite an impression from all accounts. Now… I wanted to broach the issue of Pippa and Connor. Both want to join us here in Europe and it seems circumstances have transpired that this will be the case sooner rather than later. I believe William, you have been in contact and perhaps know more of their reasons than I, though Connor indicated he has completed his Masters thesis, and is looking to join the family business as it were, I have proposed he stay with me at least until he is settled on a role in which he feels comfortable.
“Pippa, on the other hand, is keen to take up your offer to become your P.A. in the U.K., and though I don’t doubt her capabilities for a minute, I wonder that the learning curve for her will be quite steep when it comes to your, indeed our, ‘special’ circumstances. So… do you think that perhaps I might assist you in some way? Perhaps Connor and I could accompany her to England for a time. Natalia will come also to help set up the office and ease her in to the particular demands of the job.”
Spike was grinning by this stage, as was Xander, the prospect of having the family present to support Pippa was rather wonderful. Xander answered for both of them, “When do you think you will be coming Sire?”
Anton’s deep chuckle preceeded the answer, “I believe the two Reilly’s will be arriving in a fortnight from today. I was a little presumptuous in suggesting sooner rather than later to Connor, I know, but there other matters afoot that I think will benefit from us all being together, and I am also aware that you need time in your new abode – and to establish your presence in the UK, not to mention throwing the expected housewarming party (or two as circumstances might demand).”
Spike growled a little at the suggestion of parties but knew it was almost a requirement given their social status both human and demon. Xander simply looked a little panicked and said, “But we… I don’t know anything about throwing that sort of party!”
Spike gave his hand a squeeze then added, “Understood Sire. But you mentioned ‘other matters’. Any clues? Does it relate to the Spanish courts or Greece? Or are we talking about something else?”
“I think it would be safe to categorize it as several somethings, some local and some more far reaching. The global concerns are specifically to do with the recent increase nationalism, racisim and extremist religious fervor being stirred up for very nefarious purposes by certain human leaders. This threatens all of us - demons and humans alike, if it is left to fester.
“Now, at a more local level… Buffy is visiting the coven in England. Dawn has contacted me to warn us that she has been working alone for the last couple of months, refusing to listen to Andrew or Dawn regards our family, so her intention is to ‘fix’ the two of you once and for all. ::sigh:: … It is no doubt prudent to wait until we are all together with the Watchers and the coven to meet (or perhaps I should say) confront her. I may yet ask Dawn to accompany Connor, Pippa and I to London as I believe her opinion may well counter that of her sister’s.”
“In the meantime, Alexander, you should make contact with Rupert Giles and your friend Willow and see if we are still on good terms. We may not have The Slayer on our side but having the covens and the watchers as allies may well prove important in the near future.”
The remainder of the call was spent talking of the various experiences the pair had enjoyed in Barcelona, the relief to be in their own home at last, and a few tentative plans for Spike to reacquaint himself with his Oxford friends – particularly Professor Urquhart, a personal friend of the Immortal as it turned out, the latter revelation garnering a “should have bloody well known” from Spike and consequent chuckle from his Sire. It was harder to conclude the call than the Mated pair could have predicted, their only solace being the impending visit of their beloved Sire and small entourage.
The ensuing two weeks saw the pair settle into their home and begin to enjoy a relatively quieter existence, more akin to their time at Anton’s Florence abode than anything they had experienced since. Despite the cooling weather, Xander swam mid morning, taking advantage of the warmed water and the pace jets to workout for almost an hour. Spike usually wandered down in time to admire his partner exit the water “all drippin’ muscles an’ sex appeal”. With his lover present, it was inevitable that a session of very wet and warm sex was had in the hot tub beside the pool and a joint shower afterwards.
Early in the first week, Spike had insisted they try out the sauna for sexual forays, but the result was a little too stifling to be truly enjoyable, and both decided that the venue was ideal for wind down rather than the main event. The superb heat really did relax both males, so it was decided that three or four evenings a week should include a session surrounded by the smell of pine (which Xander adored) and extreme heat (a definite favourite of Spike’s).
Their driver was a godsend as he seemed to instinctively know his way around the area and any town or village they happened to need to visit. It also transpired that he was a car enthusiast with a wealth of knowledge of the newest makes and models, and with his temporary employers’ need for a vehicle, money no object (within reason as both men pointed out), he made it his mission to locate the perfect vehicle. At the end of their first week home, Neil drove the pair to a dealer in Cheltenham.
Though the F type sports car appealed, it was the classic luxury lines of the SE-type Jaguar appealed to both men. Its elegant, white leather interior and sparkling navy blue external finish was perfect. The salesman was keen to please his perspective customers, not quite knowing what to make of the one eyed man in jeans and simple button down shirt, and his friend who seemed somewhat disinterested but kicked the tyres anyway. In the end, he addressed all three equally and was mid-speal when the blonde with the cigarette cut him short, “Enough chit chat. We’re takin’ it, with all the added extras, so where are the papers ‘n let’s get out of here. Xan?”
The delivery date for the car was a week or so away, therefore Neil was engaged until its delivery. For his efforts with the car, Neil was given a generous ‘finders fee’ by Master Aurelius and also offered an extra week off after the car came, with full pay. The young man was initially worried his regular employers might not approve the bonus, but was told in no uncertain terms that they weren’t to know, and if there was any issue, that he was to call the Aurelian office number and it would be sorted out in no time.
A fortnight later the sleek lines of the Jaguar graced the driveway in front of their home and Neil was farewelled, with the young man promising that if they ever needed a driver for any reason, he was their man.
Having their own car at last was a godsend and novelty. Neither had been sure of their home base for so long that there had been little need or opportunity, often driving more than a moped downright was impractical.
They refrained from christening the interior of the car until (at Xander’s insistence) a picnic blanket and towel were installed behind the back seat and lube tucked in the seat pocket. But Spike did manage to convince his lover to “bend over the hood and get a right good seein’ to ‘afor the engine gets cold” following a pleasant afternoon drive for supplies. The experience left Xander wondering what it would be like if the powerful engine was still running (carbon monoxide poisoning notwithstanding for the oxygen needy partner), a question answered to the great satisfaction of both participants the following day during a venture into the countryside, when a rather lovely secluded Cotswolds copse allowed the pair to do just that.
Spike was determined that he and Xander have an opportunity to settle into their new abode without the worry of Vampire Court machinations in London, or in their own region for that matter, though their presence was noted and several curious emissaries from Oxford, Canterbury and Bristol were politely welcomed and reassured that Master William and Mate Alexander had no intention of challenging anyone’s territory or position. It seemed that all the local masters were more than happy to regard the pair as rather a blessing for the stability of their little island.
As the first Childe of the Bristol Master Robert departed, Xander looked to his mate with a barely contained giggle, “Tarquin? And I thought Lavelle was embarrassing! At least it’s my second name.”
Spike snorted, “It’s a family name you git. Not like the poor bugger got to choose it. Anyway, he seemed like a nice enough fella, bit insipid I’ll grant you, but ‘is Sire Robert liked ‘em like that back in the day, not one for big dramas, the ol’ Bob. Pro’ly the reason he ran ‘Gelus and us lot out of town last time we were there. Most of the true Masters like their territory stable, don’t need the likes of Darla, ‘Gelus an’ brood stirrin’ up the locals.”
“So why the mayhem with the Master, you, Angelus? That an Aurelius thing then?”
“Nahh… well yeah… but mostly it was a Hellmouth thing, sends everything on it a bit potty. The ol’ bat figured he’d rule the world from it, ‘Gelus wanted to destroy the world with it…”
Xander nodded sagely “And you?”
Spike smiled wryly, “Was gonna give it as a present to my Dru, all that extra magic… thought it would be nice for her, you know? ‘course she wouldn’t have been any good at rulin’ the bloody thing… No matter now, is it?”
Xander took his partner’s hand and walked them out to the moonlit patio of the pool. They stood in silence for some time, the larger partner standing with his arms wrapped around the narrow waist of his Mate, cheek resting lightly on the blonde hair in front. Finally it was Xander who spoke, “Do you think she is still around?”
“Never felt her pass. Though been out of circulation more ‘n once the last few years. Crazy times with the First, few months of nothin’ after Sunnydale, an’ then time as a ghostie… and even after that I suppose. I’d rather not think on it OK pet?”
The hold around his waist tightened and he registered the almost whispered, “Sorry…” right by his ear, before the blessed sting of Xander’s tiny fangs pierced his throat and a mouthful of blood was taken. The brunette’s wrist appeared in front of his nose and he reciprocated the bite, both men thinking of loves lost and the blessing of Mating for all time. It was still and beautiful, and standing in the haven that was their backyard, they were both aware that peaceful times like this were to be treasured.
Sire Anton, Connor and Pippa were due in England in less than a week; there was a party or two to organize; and there remained the issue of Buffy, the Watchers’ Council and the angst of old friends to deal with.