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 entertainment for the evening was a small swing band and had arrived some time late afternoon. Consequently they were tuning up as the four male Aurelians gathered in the lounge.
Blood was exchanged and quiet words before all four men moved to do final preparations for the party. Marquees and lights were already in place, the caterers took over the kitchen and drinks set on the table outside. Waiters had been engaged for the evening, some of Sahil’s handsome young relatives, their task to include fixing drinks for members of the crowd with non-human requirements.
The first to arrive were the contingent from Oxford University, Jonothon and the pretty Rebecca who had taken Xander to the pool in Oxford in the first week of his new life (as he saw it now), Sir Gordon, his wife Jemima and granddaughter Bekky with an obviously new beau on her arm. The young man was introduced as Luka, his long blond hair and ethereal smile was a little puzzling until Spike shook hands with him, then smiled and turned to a beaming Sir Gordon, “A good match, I take it, in the true fae tradition too.”
“Indeed my good fellow, a soul-match to boot. The families are united in our joy.”
Two more cars pulled up before the group just as Xander led the group further into the house. Monty alighting one, along with several young looking individuals Spike knew by sight and was fascinated when Connor strode forward to greet them. The two tall Africans were members of the UN contingent at their recent refugee crisis negotiations, both were openly ‘demon friendly’, and now Spike realized why. Their companions though sporting glamors to the contrary, were obviously not human, if the prickle down the vampire’s spine was anything to go by. Connor had mentioned his continued contact with Aziz and Yousef in passing, and not liking to feel on the back foot, he resolved to pay more attention in future.
Giles, Mistress Carlotta and, to Spike’s surprise, Willow, emerged from the second car, Spike welcomed the three politely and handed them off to Pippa who arrived at the door to meet and greet.
Spike turned just as Anton came abreast of his right shoulder, a nod and boyish grin welcomed his Sire and the pair waited a few more minutes chatting good naturedly regards the more important of the guests due.
Lady Regina and her retinue were next to arrive in style as expected. The three limousines, pulling into the drive and the vampiress alighting on the arm of a very handsome, blonde human male, a lovely contrast to Lady Regina’s dark beauty. Others in the group were a mix of human and demon high society figures, obviously friends and hangers on deemed necessary to liven up any party worthy of Regina’s patronage.
Spike smiled and stepped aside as Anton moved forward to kiss Regina on both cheeks, turning to nod at his childe who took his place and welcomed his guest in time honoured Victorian fashion, taking the lady’s hand and kissing it gently.
“My Lady, may I lead you around the home William and Alexander have made, I am sure you will approve, though no doubt your aesthetic prowess will have many a suggestion.” Anton crooked his arm in genteel fashion, Regina linked hers through and the two wandered toward the house in stately fashion followed by the recently arrived revellers of her group.
As more cars pulled up, Xander returned and smiled at Spike and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. This time the first to emerge was one of Xander’s building CEOs from Barcelona and beautiful Catalonian wife, Elonna, along with the architect and two others from the inner circle of the company Spike recognized from earlier in the year. Xander stepped to the fore, greeting them in Spanish and continuing the conversation as they all walked inside, Spike noting Xander’s easy laugh at something Elonna said just before they disappeared from view.
Spike wondered whether he shouldn’t join the party when a smallish white Audi sports car pulled into the drive, all but screeching to a halt at the end of the row of already parked cars and divesting an extremely flustered but excited Dawn, who all but flung herself at Spike and kissed him on both cheeks before linking arms and heading for the house.
“Oh my God Spike, I am so sorry I’m late. Heathrow was a nightmare (well duh) and then, well, do you know how many round abouts there are on the A40!? I lost count after twelve. And I am so not liking the whole driving on the left thingy – who drives on the left anyway? I thought England would at least have sorted that out when they joined the EU! Do you realize how confusing it is to try to do a round about and be down with staying on the left? Thank the Universe it was me driving and not Buffy!”
Dawn slowed down her diatribe for long enough to note the flash of worry that suddenly marred Spike’s handsome features, so quickly added, “Not that she would have come of course. She’s still mad at me for talking to you months ago – do you know I had to buy a second phone just to talk to you?! Actually, of course you know since you funded it, but anyway…
“At least now if she sneeks a peak at my call history on the regular one, there’s no trace of us still communicating. She is still such a self centered bitch – I mean get over it much?! Sooo… thanks heaps for the invite, even if I couldn’t drink the freebies in business class… Anyway… How are you, I mean you look good as in yummy good, and where’s Xander and the rest of the family?” She stopped dead on the steps pulling Spike up sharply. “Oh my God! I forgot your house warming present. Wait right here.”
Spike simply released her and smiled as he waited politely while she rushed back to the car and pulled out what looked like a large basket wrapped festively with a small foil “Congratulations” balloon poking from the top.
“Bloody Hell Bit! You rob a grocery store or something’?”
“No dumbass. I just bought some things I thought you guys need for the after party since you’re Mr and Mr Wealthy these days.”
“If you’ve gone and got us paper hats and streamers, I’ve gotta tell you, my Xan’s all grown up now.”
Dawn gave her most evil smile then quipped as she passed him on the steps, “Pffft, I don’t know… You’d be surprised how much fun streamers can be in private.”
Spike took a moment to process the comment then raced up the stairs behind her with a “Hang on… Who’ve you bin talkin’ to, you little minx?!”
Natalia was busy instructing a tall, slender, tuxedo-wearing male as to the expected late arrivals as Spike made his way in the front door and caught the end of the exchange. “You may be here for some time, we have some late comers, but please make sure only those on the list are admitted. Any problems and you call for back up immediately.”
There was a curt nod and somber “Yes Miss Natalia” in reply, as the doorman took his place.
Spike moved through the house, noting various of their guests admiring some of the art, and accepted a drink from one of the waiters before engaging in greetings and small talk, all the while feeling out through the link to family. After what he deemed polite, the blonde moved out to the patio, nodded at the band and sought out his mate.
Xander was near the brasserie chatting to the contingent from Barcelona and gesticulating enthusiastically. He halted in the conversation only to grab Spike’s hand and pull him into a one armed hug, proudly announcing, “The project is a whole month ahead of schedule, thanks to the project manager and some really smart use of our night time team. Isn’t that amazing?!”
Spike smiled and nodded politely to the members of the group, “Kudos to all involved pet. If you don’t mind, just need to catch up with the Oxford mob ‘n rescue Sire from Lady Regina at some point.”
“Oh… Sure, but before you go… I’d like us to plan a trip back to Barcelona sometime nearer the internal fit. I’d like to spend a bit of time with the teams to make sure everything is on point.”
“Absolutely, pet. We can work out the details anon. Pippa will no doubt sort it. Now, I’m off to play host.” With that Spike queezed his Mate’s hand and made his way over to Sir Gordan and company, smiling as he noted Giles introducing himself to the band leader during a short break in the music.
Sir Gordan was seated at the end of the wide patio by the pool and turned to smile broadly as his former student approached. “William, my boy! Stellar party… I still need to circulate, but in my dotage, I may just sit here and wait for others to come here.” He chuckled as his wife cuffed him lightly on the shoulder and whispered loudly, “Not if we’re to have that dance you promised.”
The elderly gent gave a put upon sigh, then addressed Spike again, “Yes well… Jonothon here tells me you are still considering a few guest lectures at College. That would be grand, sure you can fit it into your new schedule?” Sir Gordan winked at him and Spike realized that Sir Gordan was well up with the changes that had occurred in only a few short months. A short time later, as others in the Oxford contingent moved to avail themselves of the food on offer, the old professor levelled a learned eye at the blonde.
“Firstly I need you to know how proud I am of you and your recent actions to benefit those less fortunate. It seems that you are well on your way to bringing balance, and that younger brother of yours, well… a striking and I’ll admit, unexpected addition to the cause… And before you protest, I am aware of the trouble that may come your way tonight. Needless to say, I am not much use in a physical altercation, but I’ve had a word with the High Mistress and the powerful redhead Mistress Willow, and need you to know that there are wards around the house to prevent any… interuptions to the general festivities. If you and your Sire need to, ahem… attend to matters beyond that, we will keep the party going until your triumphant return.”
“Appreciated. Would also like to take your counsel at some point. Seems your insight into past similar situations would be most useful. We have not yet made requests of our Fae cousins in this concern.”
Sir Gordan chuckled, “As to be expected. The Fae are usually a little reticent to expose their communities to violence, but we are more than capable of supporting the urgency of the situation. And yes, before you ask, you are welcome to pass that on. We have a surprisingly wide community across the globe, and may yet be of use as we have done in the past. You have my word, William, I will do what I can to make the way clear to a fine dialogue with those who may assist.”
With that Spike leaned forward and shook the older man’s hand, then excused himself as his Sire and Lady Regina came into view.