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.
Xander’s talk with Anton had resolved some of his upset, and resulted in the mature and caring conversations with both his mother and father. He was going to have many experiences of those he cared about becoming ill and dying, and not something he had really focused on in the whirlwind of changes that had occurred since he had mated with Spike and become Anton’s adopted Childe. The realization had been sudden and daunting.
Anton knew the importance of forgiveness, resolution and closure. Anton spoke of forgiveness for mortals who, through innate inability, inadvertent neglect or dire circumstance, and despite their best intentions, failed to provide their children with the upbringing they deserved. His Sire talked of adult struggles; of mature decisions that were neither right nor wrong but dictated by responsibilities and societal expectations; and of the ability to rise above the minutiae of daily tribulations to see a more universal truth. And most of all, he spoke of a love that Xander could only hope to aspire to, one that would allow respect for and understanding of others in the bigger context of the world.
After they had spoken, Xander sought out his lover and they reaffirmed their adoration for each other in the time honoured fashion, beginning with gentle kisses and quiet reassurance, and ending with Xander sprawled face up on their bed legs akimbo, snoring, while Spike tiptoed from the room to seek out ant thank his Sire.
Several days later, the news from Xander’s mother was good, and at her insistence, he had spoken to his father the day after the operation. Though the elder Harris was still sore and a little groggy, the conversation was friendly, Xander’s concern genuine and his father garnered unnecessary promises that Xander would look after his mother should anything ever lead to his final demise. The prognosis was actually a good one and in the end, the hospital stay was a mere four days in total.
With the party only two days away, the household seemed only a couple of steps away from frantic. Pippa and Natalia had scheduled business related meetings for the three Aurelians as necessary, while Anton returned to London to attend to some of the more delicate negotiations and other duties that his Immortal status demanded. Consequently, there was little time to worry about a social event. Xander and Spike simply provided (as requested by Pippa) with the short list of friends and favoured business associates they wished to invite, and names of a few others who were to be invited as a courtesy or strategic maneuver. Anton had previously advised regards his own list of attendees and Connor’s list was non-existent, rather he added one or two names to the master list of guests.
Marquees began to be erected, furniture was rearranged and the house cleaned from top to bottom. On the day before the big event, the flurry of activity became such that the mated pair and ‘little brother’ Connor retreated to Pippa and Connor’s residence to work in relative peace. The calm lasted until mid afternoon when Spike’s phone began playing the overture for Rigoletto.
“William. Are you in a position to talk? Are the others with you?” The gravity of Anton’s tone put Spike on high alert, the emotion flowing immediately to his Mate and Connor.
“Yes, Sire. Least wise Connor ‘n Xan are here. House is a flurry with the pre party help. We’re workin’ in the boy’s residence for the day.”
“Good. Put me on speaker will you.” Spike did as instructed, waving brother and Mate toward him and flicking the phone onto speaker.
“Go ahead… All Childer present an’ accounted for.”
There was a pause at the other end before Anton began, “I thought it best to contact you before the party so appropriate steps might be taken. There are two issues afoot, and may have one solution.
“The first would be minor if in isolation. It seems that Edgar and Neville intend ‘crashing’ your party, a non issue were they to honor vampire lore of course, however, under Edgar’s direction, it seems they have recruited new minions from the radical right supremacist human ranks.. The Scourge and various humans with a reputation for violence, have been targeting migrant populations – both human and demon – and consequently have joined the Vampires in a loose alliance to target what they call ‘the enemies of British Sovereginty, threats to the Ceremonial Sanctity of Celtic Demon Clans, and violators of the Vampire High Traditions of the British Isles’”
Spike snorted with justified derision, “Could they have come up with a poncier raison d’etre? Sounds like sommit bloody Andrew’d come up with… So what’s their plan, they comin’ to fight good ‘n proper, or just sneer at us from the fence, scare the neighbourhood kiddies?”
“Of that, I am not sure. Suffice to say I have contacted a few key Masters on your behalf – as your Sire rather than in my Immortal capacity - and, though they may be divided in opinion regards the refugee assistance issue, they are as one when it comes to Edgar, Neville and his court of miscreants. They are dangerous, not supported by the Masters of other regions, and must be stopped before lines of trade and income for the various Courts are compromised.
“The second issue is their real intention, rumors backed by a series of attempts to disrupt escape routes and resettlement of demon and human refugees coming via our European alliance. This is more of a concern since the repurcussions could be devastating for thousands of innocents.
“To date they have made no move to directly challenge any Court or territory, and even though technically our family has no real territory or need for one, any threat to the Athenatos-Aurelius clan is seen as an act of unwarranted aggression and will not be tolerated by the demon establishment here.
“I have made contact with a number of my friends in Russia, and others in older courts across more traditional countries, and we are all in agreement. Not only are they persona non grata, but our northern friends have identified them as a threat to trade. It seems a few too many default payments for illicit trade items have put a price on their heads amongst the less ‘savory’ of our trade partners, a fact that may just play to our favour. It is never wise to make creditors of potential allies when power games are afoot.”
If the situation had not been so serious Xander would have smiled as he was reminded of Giles in lecture mode. Instead he focused on his mate, who was chewing an errant thumbnail and considering the news. But something niggled at the back of his mind, something to do with a certain blonde slayer and her antipathy at their last meeting.
“I know this is kind of out of left field, and I know the coven is with us, but where does the Watchers’ Council and our stake happy team of slayers – one in particular – fit in all this? If it’s a vamp thing will they suddenly show up and, you know, friend or foe, be all happy with the stakage?”
Spike snorted a laugh then leaned over and said with a wide grin, “Your Sunnydale’s showing Pet.”
Xander turned toward his lover with raised eyebrow in faux offense, “What? It could be a thing?!”
To which Spike kissed him then replied, “That it could Pet. Sire?”
“Xander is right to be concerned. At this stage I have reassurances from the Council that they are happy for us to deal with the matter as it involves regional stability and extends beyond the magical/mythical realm to involve the larger issues of refugee resettlement of the human variety and inter-species trade, something they approve of and will consult on, but only as it affects their Slayers.”
The conversation turned to defensive plans and included the local constabulary who were to be informed of the upcoming party and attendance of some dignitaries of international importance – and their security entourage. As it happened the local desk sergeant was known to the coven through his wife, and swiftly offered to set up a temporary road block for the evening on the two roads to surround the property.
There were messages sent to all said dignitaries – particularly Lady Regina who seemed rather thrilled at the possibility of participating in a bit of real violence (something Xander was still trying to reconcile with the image of the immaculately coiffed, dowager socialite).
It was determined that Monty and other human attendees would be protected at all times and the perimeters of the property patrolled by a trusted security group of the ‘somewhat demon’ variety. Grounds, marquees, outbuildings for security issues and every conceivable scenario was run, even entertainment and catering were double checked and given instructions for emergencies. All were well known to the family, were properly informed of the circumstances of the evening, and consequently knew risks and prepared accordingly.
In early afternoon of what should have been a simple house warming party, and all preparations in place, Xander returned, from his now customary, wake up swim. He smiled as he spied the tuft of unruly dark blonde locks poking from the form under the duvet and padded to the shower to wash off the pool water and warm his form.
Rather than dressing as usual he slung the towel on the shower rail and joined his lover under the bed covers. Snuggling to spoon the vampire now immortal partner, he licked, suckled and finally nipped the sleeping form, all the while stroking the strong muscular flank closer and closer to the groin area, until Spike began to purr and finally wake.
A growled, “Hope you’re intendin’ a follow through there Pet, ‘cause I c’n ‘ardly meet our guests sportin’ this.” Xander’s hand was then guided to a very interested member as Spike rolled to claim his lover’s mouth in passion filled kiss.
Passion quickly changed to something more and the two made love slowly, surely and completely, allowing their bond to ebb and flow just as their bodies melded and withdrew, naturally and absolutely as one.
Anton was seated in the casual lounge, calmly reading through a report of some description as the pair emerged from upstairs, freshly washed dressed and ready for the evening to come. He looked up and smiled at the pair, “It is well that you approach tonight as one. We should exchange blood with Connor also before the guests begin to arrive, as tonight may test us all, and if nothing else, it would put us all at ease.”
Spike squeezed his lover’s hand as Anton put down his papers and smiled toward the kitchen as Connor emerged looking quizzical, “Anton… Sire… you have need of me here?”