Rating: Mature Audiences – for content and themes, this bit not so much.
Summary: Post S7… What if a new watcher/ex Scoobie caught on patrol and a certain law firm had an agenda… and a vampire.
Spoilers: Hardly any ... but some Canon is Post S7 BtVS and S5 AtS.
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.
Eleven Twenty Three O Five
He was being charged with: Loitering; possession of lethal weapon; killing wildlife; grievous harm to wildlife; desecration of burial place; illegal possession of artifact of antiquity; urban terrorism; theft; breaking and entering; resisting arrest. And the list apparently went on…
Xander he was relieved to see his lawyer Gordon striding confidently down the hall at the beginning of his hearing, the lawyer utterly confident that his client would not spend time in jail.
It was insane! Of all the Scoobies, he was the one they had picked up, and it looked well and truly like he might even get a jail term… OK Faith got life… but…. He couldn’t go to jail… surely??… He was simply doing his job! But it wasn’t …. Sunnydale, it was Cleveland where they noticed things like folks with axes! He’d drifted for five years after Sunnydale became Sunnyhole, and had been in Cleveland now for a year.
He was a respected project manager in the construction industry by day and a Watcher by night. Now it seemed he was also to become a convicted criminal.
Xander had been on a regular patrol with his charges, admittedly Tracy was a little flakey, but Talia was an excellent slayer.
They had been told that the golf course that ran by the Cleveland Hopkins Airport was infested by Ixxeth demons. Being largely nocturnal, and quite slow, they were not normally a problem, but of recent times the domestic cat sized demons had been lying in the shadows in the ‘rough’ (trees) and dropping onto unsuspecting golfers. Their bite was not generally fatal but the effects were dire for any golfer with a heart condition or on vaso-dilating medication as their saliva contained huge quantities of salicylic acid, the equivalent of ten aspirin injected in a single bite.
The raid was successful. The demons were mostly slain and a very few were fleeing. But the outcome was disastrous.
Xander had twisted his ankle badly and was limping back to the car, bloodied from the fight and axe over his shoulder but smiling as he followed the girls and they recounted their antics. The girls were fortunately some way ahead when a booming voice yelled “Drop your weapon and on the ground, Sir.” The girls looked back to see what was going on, then simply ran as they had always been instructed to do.
Xander was lying in the dirt, spread-eagled. One policeman took Xander’s axe while the other kept the gun leveled on him. The officers cuffed him and pushed him into the rear of the wagon before searching for and finding evidence of the ‘massacre of native animals’.
The initial questioning went for almost two hours. The officers were polite, bored even, compared to their rather forthright nature out in the field and Xander relaxed a little. Xander accidentally said the word ‘demons’ a couple of times, and at some stage agreed that he did not think it was unusual to take an axe with him if wandering a golf course at night. Reviewing the taped conversation during their first break, the police officers both agreed that a psychiatrist should be called before they released him.
A pretty young woman in a designer suit rather than police uniform, entered the interrogation space armed with coffee and bagels. She introduced herself as Cherie and explained that the arresting officers were on a break so she had been sent to chat to him as there were some concerns regards his mental state.
“So what they think I’m crazy?”
“Well you must admit, wandering around a golf course in the middle of the night with an axe is a little unusual.”
“I guess you have a point.”
Xander was on his guard but her manner was easy and Xander slowly relaxed. She talked more initially. Bemoaning the awful hours she kept, chatting easily regards her studies and her brother who had just been given a big promotion in a law firm in Colombus, adding that she occasionally did consulting work for them. She casually asked where he had been born and a little about growing up and school, and seemed genuinely sad when he mentioned Sunnydale’s demise and the death of his estranged fiancé. And so the conversation went on, Xander later realizing that he eventually did the majority of the talking.
“Is there anyone who could give you a character reference… ?”
“Just the guys from work I guess… but um…”
“How about people you knew back in Sunnydale? Do you still keep in contact?”
“Yeah um but two of them live in the UK now and Buffy and Dawn are in Italy… but um I’m sure Willow would… Willow Rosenburg, and um Rupert Giles…”
“Well I’m sure they will be able to do a phone hook up or something, what about legal representation?”
“Um no… I really don’t have anyone…”
“Tell you what… why don’t I talk to my brother… Wolfram and Hart have an office here in Cleveland too.”
Cherie finally looked at the time, appeared shocked, apologized and left him to sit for a minute or so before his original arresting officers returned.
She was true to her word and contacted her brother. She outlined his case and sent him Xander’s details. The following day, to her astonishment, Gordon agreed to take the case himself.
Unbeknown to Xander and official report went in with his case to the Wolfram and Hart lawyer reading:
Harris, Alexander Lavelle Age 39
The subject seems to exhibit the following multitude of issues:
Initial review reveals: Likely manic episodes, possibly violent; possible self mutilation; unresolved childhood issues; unresolved grief; possible suicidal tendencies.
In discussion with the subject it was apparent that the individual has suffered his delusional episodes for some time, onset seems to just after puberty, consistent with schizophrenic and manic depressive disorders. He has never been treated by a mental health professional.
Subject mentioned his ‘friends’ several times in the context of some sort of vigilante type activities. Further investigation may be appropriate following final diagnosis.
Refer suspect to secure facility as repeat offence highly likely. Full psychiatric analysis and appropriate treatment.
The additional page of the report faxed to the experimental lab at Wolfram and Hart simply read: Sunnydale Hellmouth survivor. No known family in USA. Slayer associations, suspect active Watcher. Candidate for Project Turn.
Xander was very surprised when he was refused bail, but pleased to find that Cherie had come through and he was being represented by her brother… the hotshot lawyer. When he asked Gordon who was paying there were some hazy references to a private benefactor, and in the end he decided it must have been the watcher’s council.
Gordon Manners, Attorney, sat with Xander for almost an hour, explaining the seriousness of the charges, particularly in the light of current terrorist ‘paranoia’, and the animal rights movement. He advised pleading a temporary insanity case and using the ‘wonderful character references’ that had come through from his boss two work friends, a Mr Rupert Giles MEd (retired) and one Willow Rosenburg PhD. He needed to agree to the treatment, but how hard would that be? A month or three of ‘counseling and being a good boy’ and he would be free to go.
He signed the papers, his statements, the agreement to go ahead with Gordon’s recommendations, and another page that referred to “Recommended treatment at the West Colombus Private Medical Facility. Phases one and two expenses to be covered by costs funded by patient.”
"How much will that cost?"
“Oh… it’s one of our hospitals, so you can see here… we normally build it into the court costs…”
Seventeen thousand dollars seemed a lot, or a little, he wasn’t sure, but no cost would be charged if they lost… so he had nothing to lose… Xander, normally always so good at reading fine print, simply signed the page. Gordon beamed, “It’s not about the money, Mr Harris, Wolfram and Hart is committed to your future.”
Three days later his case was heard quickly and in front of a magistrate only.
He was thrilled when the result was exactly as Gordon had predicted, he was not going to jail, instead he had his sentence suspended, on proviso that “Mr Harris is immediately transferred to West Columbus Private Medical Facility - special unit for assessment and treatment. Date of release for work/care program on doctor’s advice. Review in two months.”
As he left the courtroom, a large woman ushered him into the rear of a waiting car. As he sat he felt the jab of a needle in his thigh and his world went black.
He woke as he was wheeled into a hospital (?) in a chair. He couldn’t work out if he’d been injured… was he injured? His head felt fuzzy… he’d been in and out of fuzzy for hours.
He had another needle and then had to talk to so many … whoever they were (s)… They seemed nice and knew about Sunnydale and the Slayer and Angel… which was kind of weird… but he struggled to sort out what was going on. He’d been chatting to someone all about his home life then about vampires and the demons and Spike and the Slayer and saving the world and the hole that had been Sunnydale… it all seemed important and the man had smiled.
He blacked out again… must have hit a head stone when they were on patrol… he asked for Willow. Did they have a Math test in the morning? He wasn’t sure if he was due on site in the morning. Did Dawn know Spike was in the cellar of the school? Why hadn’t Giles come? His Mom would be angry if he didn’t check in after school… It was all so confusing.
He knew he’d slept for a while, and though initially he’d felt clear in his thoughts, increasingly he struggled to answer the next round of questions about demons and saving the world … But the man in the nice suit smiled at him at the end of the session and patted him on the arm, assuring him that they were going to help and make things much simpler for him.
He woke again as he was lifted onto a hospital gurney and strapped down. He panicked a little but his struggles came to naught as he was given yet another injection, this time of pre-med. He gave in to the lovely sensation of ‘floating’ and realized he was being wheeled somewhere. He watched the pretty lights, lots of pretty lights… “Count backwards from ten Mr Harris.” He tried but only got to nine…. Blessed black.
His head throbbed, he tried to reach up to feel… bandages? His eye? No, he blinked when he couldn’t reach, he knew it wasn’t to do with his left eye, it was still missing. The doctors must have his patch, he worried where they had put it, the nurse noted his distress, pushed a dial one notch higher then… black.
He struggled to rouse again. He needed to lift his hand up. He finally coordinated lifting up and leaning forward and managed to touch his own skull. There was a decidedly soft spot on the side of the bandage.
It was only much later that he found they had cut into his skull in two places. He felt other parts too were painful. He didn’t feel very well. His insides were on fire, starting with his rectum. What had they done??!
He began to panic then couldn’t seem to control his emotions at all, so gave in and simply cried. His uncontrolled sobs and flood of tears alerted a male nurse who dialed up his medication yet again.
**Oh blessed black.**
“Morning Mr Harris."
Xander blinked and turned his head so his good eye could focus on the source of the voice.
Xander’s mouth would not make the words he wanted and there was no real sound, “Hmmm, th…..ztfffff….”
An attractive very young resident was smiling at him. He noted her perfect teeth, and couldn’t think why that might be important, then descended into confusion again. Tears began to flow… so he focused on her voice.
“You’ve been with us now for five days, Mr Harris. Your surgery was yesterday, T.h.u.r.s.d.a.y. You are scheduled for trials today. Today is F.r.i.d.a.y. It was a complete success. You should be ready for phase two by the beginning of next week, and allocation to a carer in three to five weeks’ time.”
Xander really had no idea what the doctor was talking about… or what had they done? What was phase two? He couldn’t seem to make words and knew something awful was happening. The young doctor saw the tears and noted something on his chart.
Finally he was able to get his tongue to cooperate a little, “Wha??? T…hmmm… thhhh… th..ohhh… ppfff??” But his larynx was constricted so there was only able to end in a tiny whimper sound… He arched off the bed a little and tears flowed liberally. He wondered if Willow knew where he was, if he could just ask for a phone. He tried again but only managed, “Pfffflllt… thhh” and another small whimper.
“See you tomorrow then.” The young woman patted his arm, replaced the clipboard at the end of his bed, and left him to sob silently.
A nurse entered some two hours later, changed the bottle on the catheter, pushed the covers over him again and gave him his pain medication and his anti depressant through the extra tube on his drip…
**Ohhh… here comes black…. Here it is... Blessed black.**
It must have been morning. The orderly pushed Xander up to sitting. He still felt utterly dopey. A nurse slowly removed a catheter from his penis and by the feel of his rear, he finally worked out that someone had cleaned him from the inside out. He felt oddly… violated, but couldn’t quite make the words translate from his brain to his mouth. His limbs were utterly relaxed and out of his control it seemed.
After a gentle bed bath, Xander was rolled onto his side and was just beginning to come up with a comment, when they manhandled him onto another trolley strapped him down again, then transferred him to the test lab.
They took his vital signs then discussed him as though he wasn’t there, but he understood. He was one of four cases that morning, but they were pleased with the progress and looking forward to “Phase Two” of the process. He could not work out their excitement over his being ex Sunnydale.
They had apparently embedded two implants in his brain. In combination, they were capable of producing intense pleasure or pain. By engaging the pleasure aspect, it would be possible to reward the subject for good behavior. They simply needed to determine the amplitude and frequency best suited to the individual. They had not anticipated the affect on speech, however it was not considered to be a permanent problem. The doctors wandered out of his earshot before he could discern any more.
The following day, still groggy and confused, Xander struggled with the orderly who was trying to move him, until they accessed his chip for pain. His world exploded and he arched off the bed and tore at the sheet under him as they dialed it up a second time. He was still whimpering with the after effects as they strapped him compliant to the trolley and wheeled him to the test lab.
They experimented with the pain dial again after his arrival in the lab, determining parameters, and taking notes until Xander simply sobbed silently. Then they dialed the man up ‘pleasure’.
Initially it was arousing then wonderful, then bordered on painful as his brain shot messages of arousal and bliss beyond measure through his system, finally he arched off the bed. It seemed his prostate was being stimulated directly but noone was touching him… He was impossibly aroused again but he was strapped down so there was nothing he could do but cry out.
Less than ten minutes later, Xander lay on the table, sobbing and silently mouthing his appeals to stop. Untouched, he had come all over himself twice then had a dry orgasm, before they were satisfied the ‘calibration of the remote’ was correct. The two doctors chatted over their subject, excited at the prospect of comparing the results after Phase Two.
Xander simply cried pitifully, ignored as his heart rate gradually slowed from its near life threatening high.
Returning to his shared room after the session he was injected again and Xander felt himself slip … Ohh blessed black!
The patient awoke in his bed. Every inch of his being ached. He lay still and was conscious enough to note the doctor pushing a syringe of fluid into his veins via the apparently permanent attachment to his lower arm.
His head buzzed a little, but at least he seemed to be able to think a little more clearly. It was one of the doctors talking at him again… but now he understood the words.
“Ahhh, Mr Harris. Welcome back to us. I’m happy to say that today we begin Phase Two of your treatment, after which I am sure you will feel much different and will heal far more quickly. You would like that I’m sure!”
Xander tried to form words but in the end, simply gave up. Whatever had been done to him, whatever drugs he was currently filled with, simply removed the ability to connect thoughts and words to the muscle actions. He huffed, looked sad, then began to cry. The doctor frowned a little at this response, then patted him on the arm and let the anesthetic do the rest while he directed orderly to shift Xander onto a waiting trolley and fixed the custom designed restraints.
The unconscious human was then wheeled to a secure room and positioned next to a second figure.
Spike and Illyria had been the sole survivors of the Black Thorn assault three years previously. They had disappeared off everyone’s radar for a time, but Wolfram and Hart eventually tracked them down. The Senior partners seemed to have many friends and long memories.
The Colombus branch had its own set of underground cells – just like the LA branch. They were eventually able to convince Illyria to slide to another dimension where she would return to her original form, but Spike refused to cut a deal and miscalculated their level of malice toward him. He was dropped by a taser and woken up in a completely paralyzed state in a ‘personal’ vault.
That had been six months ago. But they had plans for him so he was fed daily via a permanent feeding tube and had been taken out of his space once to be rechipped, with the latest technology.
He’d been removed from his ‘box’ and placed on a hospital trolley still utterly inert.
His feeding tube was still in and he could feel restraints on his arms and legs which made little sense as he was utterly unable to move anyway.
Pushed into the specially prepared room with its own observation glass, he was positioned beside a second prone figure, he was just able to make out a doctor pushing a needle into the neck of the other individual. A tube was then attached to his feeder and the other end to the man’s neck. Spike could say nothing, and lay horrified as the other’s life blood flowed directly into his stomach and another technician took almost a pint of the vampire’s from a restrained wrist.
Spike could hear the human’s heart beginning to falter.
The technicians pushed a feeding tube down Xander’s throat and emptied the container of Spike’s blood directly into his stomach just before he took his final breath.
All the tubes were then removed, excess equipment cleared away and the men in white left the room.
Spike simply stared at the ceiling. These people had just made him a Childe… he was a Sire…. And he hadn’t even seen the man’s face yet. Why would they do such a thing?
“The procedure is complete Sir. It really was most fortunate we were able to convince Mr Harris to agree to phase two… Lord knows I wouldn’t do it.” The doctor saw the wicked gleam in Gordon Manners’ eyes, “He did agree… didn’t he?”
“Oh he signed off on all the procedures.”
“Yes indeed… wow.”
Gordon was to get a huge bonus if the project succeeded. His father Holland would be proud. He had been successful in extracting at least a little payback from Angelus childe, and there was more fun on the way. Gordon was his father's son and looked forward to a *long* career with his current employers.
Spike felt his Childe wake after two days of lying in the dark next to the corpse… Spike felt his own body respond to him for the first time in close on six and a half months. He snapped his restraints easily, and sought out the source of the bloodlink that was screaming for his attendance.
He found the man quickly, spent a moment to recognize the individual, whispered “Oh God. What have they done?” then gave in to the instinctive drive. He stripped the man’s hospital gown from him and tore away his own. Lying gently on top of the slowly awakening fledge, he opened his wrist and let the newly made vampire drink again as he sunk his own fangs into the offered neck. As he pulled away and Xander fell back into his normal human features Spike's voice hitched... "Oh Bloody Hell... Harris? Talk to me… Childe."
Their observers noted, "Successful turning confirmed at eleven twenty three and five seconds day three of Phase Two".
The young fledge awoke in the dark with his Sire covering him… He felt very different, cold at one level but also like there was an inner furnace just waiting to explode. He wasn’t sure he understood what was going on, but at some intuitive level, he felt safe, and joy, and belonging, and family for the first time in…. so long… he was loved…
At that moment Sire opened his wrist and shared the most precious of liquids, then kissed him. And he knew in that instant, with complete clarity, what he had become. He tried to feel sad but found he could not, as his demon stirred, his game-face emerged and Sire kissed him again, but this time incisors sliced lips and they shared a bloody exchange of saliva and essence of family. He thought he should grieve for something, but could not work out what as his demon rejoiced. Sire was there.
He was aware of the form above him releasing his fastenings and encouraging him to enjoy the simple act of touching and pressing their bodies together, two hard aroused male shafts sliding against each other as Sire undulated above him, then bit down and took what was his right. He drank deeply of his Childe as they both came, the older vampire claiming him for all time. For the fledge, it was about touch and blood and connection.
Still with limited voice, the Childe Alexander felt dizzy with blood loss and ecstasy, so simply sighed into the embrace and all seemed well… But then the floodlights of their enclosure were flicked to high…
They were already connected, and in the impossibly bright light, Spike growled and moved to defend his new Childe.
Spike had satisfied the need to partner with his new Childe in a calm way, but the researchers dialed their chips to almost maximum on the pleasure scale. And neither vampire now had a choice.
In full game face the demons mated fully, Sire taking Childe violently and often. Neither were able to speak properly yet but there was little need. Xander fell in and out of game face but throughout remained in a position of submission on his back, as Spike initially snarled above him then threw his Childe’s legs over his shoulders and with his own blood as the lubricant, drove inside with a single stroke. Xander’s prostate was already ‘firing’, as was Spike’s.
Spike took his pleasure violently time after time and each climax also culminating in his Childe washing their bellies with cum, both partaking of the other’s neck in an endless cycle of blood. Eventually however, even vampire recovery time wasn’t enough and Spike simply lay embedded in his Childe both fangs and groin, as dry orgasmic spasms tortured both he and his Childe from inside out. Xander, had sunk his fangs into his Sire’s neck sometime late in their frenzy and now remained there as they both silently shed tears and took blood as their only comfort. They were both in hell and they had just learned only half of their punishment.
“Subjects both stilled at fourteen thirty one. Coupling, immediate; suspected orgasms, seven; duration before collapse forty three minutes.”
Unbeknownst to the experimental team, however, they had created a fully mated pair from an unblooded fledgling and his Sire, a Master Vampire. The amount of blood exchanged during multiple carnal acts was well beyond the norm and ensured a mental link so strong that the newly made fledge wasn’t sure where his mind finished and his Sire’s began. It was the first ‘initiate Childe’ blood mating for almost a century in the vampire world. Only ever occurring before when Master vampire and human were partnered prior to turning.
Both had passed out within seconds of the implants being deactivated. The research team acted quickly, tranquilizing both parties to assure no ‘wake ups’ during transfer, then transporting them to a new holding room. There were no windows in the venue just three white walls and one two way ‘mirror’ (though neither vampire would ever see their reflection!) the need to directly observee and the two cameras and microphone allowed for unadulterated monitoring twenty four seven. Their charges’ every move would be monitored.
There was a simple futon in one corner and a small table for the delivered blood bags to slide onto through a one way shoot. Two controls lay on a Perspex shelf just inside the observation area.
Spike quickly discovered his voice was rough but returning, though Xander had no such luxury. However via the blood link, now so strong that they literally felt the ‘other’s’ presence in their mind, Spike was able to mentally caress his Childe, his beautiful mated fledge. Xander immediately rolled into his Sire’s embrace and they communed sadly and without sound.
The following day they were left alone but for a young cleaner who arrived in the observation area late evening.
The two were sleeping on the low bed, Xander’s chest spooned against his Sire’s back. It was obvious that the two were ‘together’, and the boy had heard the scientists talking. He looked at the controls, then up and down the corridor, and decided to satisfy his own curiosity.
He pushed the dials to maximum on the euphoric end, and since he was a somewhat naive teenager rather than habitual voyeur, he was initially taken aback, then utterly excited, when the two male bodies began to move against each other.
The two vampires woke together, dazedly rousing from highly erotic dreams to find their bodies being remotely stimulated far beyond the norm. Prostates firing, erections leaking and faces flushed, they kissed passionately before they turned and serviced each other in full game faces, swallowing erections and pulling the other to completion. Then Xander rose, straddled his Sire and rode the apparently still hard vampire enthusiastically. As the two vampires climaxed loudly for a second time, the cleaner too came totally untouched. He realized belatedly that there were cameras in the enclosure and microphones in the observation area, and raced out of the room, his overalls seeping wet with his spending. Unfortunately for the vampires, he left the controls on.
As before when the dial had been pushed to ‘high’, the vampire pair was left to ride out the effects of over-stimulation. But unlike last time, their minds were blended to begin with, and the strength of the connection gave a very new dimension to their combined passion.
After their aural stimulation and first coupling, there was a remarkable shift. It was as though they had somehow let go of their bodies, leaving their physical selves to rut and hump and pleasure desperately, while their spirits (or whatever it was that formed their ‘essence’ in their current state) to joyfully play without interruption.
They each felt the images and feelings, they *were them*… they were their own sexual organs. They were the embodiment of loving each other as their bodies demanded in that moment created by minds that had drifted. They were their own genitalia.
Penis, scrotum and hole were all that formed them now. It was utterly surreal. Enormous and cloudlike, they stood as their own phallic avatars and felt the joy as they plunged into each other’s strangely accessible openings and were simultaneously plundered again and again. Climax after climax ensued, and though aware that their real bodies were gaining pleasure, were utterly consumed by their ethereal experience. As time went on, their cloud-like phallic forms began to wrap around each other in an endless spiral, impossible in reality. The stimulation was extraordinary. Entwined, the mythical members squeezed, rippled and demanded, then began to move up and down stimulating and being stimulated. Ultimately both vampires finally felt, and with bizarre clarity saw, their sexual forms melt together into a sea of mutual cum and blood… the metaphoric representation of their combined satisfaction. They both continued to rise and fall like waves of timeless pleasure they now embodied. All the time their preternatural bodies continued to ‘play’, apparently on automatic.
Every one of the readouts from their cell was off the dial. And the tape continued to record their passion until the system overloaded.
The supervising scientist, Richard, a tall, impossibly slim man in his early thirties, arrived early the following morning. He could not believe what he saw. They two figures were in a ‘sixty nine’ position like no other.
Both vampires were apparently near comatose, mouths full of each other and each fisting the other, the other hand petting their partner. Both had apparently been crying. There were enormous bite marks all over both bodies, and blood obviously congealed with other fluids spread across the entire enclosure and its occupants. He was almost ill and ready to call for the termination of the two debauched individuals when he noticed their controls on the floor, and the dial positions. He then spotted the abandoned bottle of window cleaner and wiper, and suddenly guessed what may have occurred. He looked again at the individuals. Even for vampires they were extraordinarily pale, and both obviously dehydrated.
In that moment he understood the torture the devices were truly capable of.
He dialed them down to neutral, and though the two stayed connected and worked each other to an apparent dry orgasm, both demons then fell back into human guise and began to cry in earnest. They twisted and pulled each other close for a comforting embrace and finally falling into a deep slumber. Richard was profoundly moved. In the few seconds before they fell asleep he heard their whispered and quite desperate words of endearment and mutual love, it was extraordinarily moving and utterly unexpected.
Richard went their dialogue in his head again and again before reporting the incident.
“So sorry Sire I would have… Drink of me Sire please finish me… can’t live without you.”
“Darling heart I adore you, I adore you… We’ll make it through this we will… Trust your Sire… your mate… I love you… We’ll make it through… and if we don’t, we die together… there is no other way.”
“Then let them take me… I would die for you!”
“I know pet, but let’s go together. I won’t be left behind… can’t live without you my sweet boy… I won’t! My beautiful Childe… my mate.”
“Nor I you Sire… Please will you hold me?”
“For eternity my lovely… for eternity.”
Richard watched as the vampires latched on to each others necks then apparently fell asleep attached in a gentle cycle of sucking.
On the recording Richard played back the last exchange at least seven times, committing the words to memory and beginning to draw his own conclusions – quite contrary to his colleagues at Wolfram and Hart.
He had come to the project late and had seen the vampires as a subspecies, animals or less, the dead. The talented biologist had been thrilled to be ‘head hunted’ by Gordon Manners’ research section of Wolfram and Hart after one of their scientists had apparently failed in his duties and ‘voluntarily signed himself over to a different project’. There were rumors of bizarre experimental work and retribution for less than satisfactory performance… but they seemed utterly ridiculous, and the new employee, Richard, wasn’t one for gossip anyway.
He and several others reviewed the tape of the vampires’ amorous evening again and again in the staff lunch room… Richard did not fail to notice that certain sections were not simply replayed for scientific purposes, heard the fair number of sniggers and guffaws and lewd comments, and saw the open beers when the show was repeated ‘after hours’. Yet every time Richard saw something more. Two intelligent individuals, obviously in love, yet caught in an impossible situation. He still could not quite see them as human but that night researched vampires in his own time. Particularly “Spike aka William the Bloody”.
Armed with a mental image of the original Alexander Harris, the human and Spike, the second ensouled vampire on the planet, both white hats… he re-watched the footage. The connection these two unfortunate creatures shared seemed quite profound, their movements together were utterly synchronous, both highlighting, and accentuating each other’s mutual pleasure. There was no top or bottom, no give and take… rather a give and receive tenfold. There were utterances of love and exchanges of blood and kisses, and mutual care and attempts to console that was utterly enthralling.
The man now stood, a glass of single malt scotch in hand, and stared at the wide screen of his own lounge room as he paused the recording at the point the two reached climax the third or fourth time and Xander screamed Spike’s name with a joy, adoration and utter devotion …. Richard was completely transfixed by the words after the declarations of love… Almost imperceptible except when the tape was slowed and enhanced he saw it, “We will go together pet, we find some wood and go together.” Then the reply, “Oh God Spike please … together!”
It was as profound a message as some Shakespearean tragedy and utterly incongruent with all he’d been told of the ‘undead/demon’ entities, but he was an open minded man and a curious one. He was quite prepared to shift everything he believed about these beings in the light of his observations, sadly it seemed, others might not be so ‘broad’ in their tolerance of the ‘other’… so he made a bold decision.
Just after midnight on the following evening, a soft voice addressed them over the speakers.
Spike was the first to rouse and listen as his chip was stimulated to slight arousal. It manifested to no more than a morning hard on, so the vampire simply sat up.
Richard had been careful. The voice monitor on the observation space had been switched to mute.
The voice into their space continued, “I surmise you are aware you are due to be terminated.”
Spike looked up with bewilderment, then thought for a minute… There was no reason for one of their torturers to offer such information unless to torture, or… for some reason, to rescue.
The Sire answered, “What’s it to you?”
“If you were to agree, and I were to study you, would you… would you agree to sharing some of your… um… well let me study you... both…”
“Never gave a thing to you bastards except me own pain, nor the Initiative pricks nor the Watchers before you, or Angelus at ‘is worst. Now you lot have me with Childe and fixin to finish us both off… so… explain to me again why you want to talk?? Listen mate… do yerself a favour and just … F@#$ Off!!!” Spike gave him a two fingered salute and cuddled down against his child again.
“What if I said I could get you out of this place?”
Spike rolled onto his back and spoke to the ceiling, “Devil’s contract innit… need to see the fine print…” He snarled and fell in and out of game face despite himself.
“I will guarantee the safety of you and your partner.”
“I… I just thought that if you get stakes and are found ‘dusted’ … then we can…” Richard said it all so enthusiastically that Spike began to believe the tall man’s dedication to some plan, but still had to be sure.
“Sorry mate, don’t find the attraction, given that me and mine are due to be dusted any day?!”
“I provide you with stakes and ash, and we rig the camera. Dusting is a show!... Not a reality!...”
“All well and good, Luv, but vampires pet? What guarantees we won’t eat the help?.” Spike made his point with a growl and falling into game face again.
“Oh … only that you are a vampire with a soul, a Master Vampire, and a mated pair. I’ve done my research… *and* I have your controls. And … and … you aren’t animals and if you give me my research paper, you get the controls…. And anyway I’m gay too… so… ”
Spike grinned for the first time in a week but pushed the issue, “So what … you reckonin’ on a threesome? Cause gotta say pet, my boy here and me, kind of an old fashioned pair… we don’t…”
Richard blushed profusely, “Oh god no … No!!! Just research… research! Not the sex..”
“’S OK pet … Waddya need to know?”
“The truth… I believe we can both gain from this…”
Spike gave a petulant pout, “Might prefer to be dusted than analyzed.”
Richard was not put off, “Your choice, but agree to my option and at least it’s a reprieve.”
A scarred eyebrow lifted, “Is that right?”
“I’d hope so.”
“Ho so we’re to be your kept boys… that it?”
Richard looked utterly puzzled, then a little embarrassed as Spike held his gaze even through the one way mirror. “Is that a yes?”
The rather unsteady vampire stood slowly, hauling his partner with him. They both swayed, tried to stay upright, but finally gave up and sagged to their knees. Days without sustenance and ongoing torture had taken their toll even on the Master Vampire. From his position on the floor, holding an almost unconscious Xander, he addressed their apparent savior, “S..Sorry mate, bit um… ahhh ffff…. Give us a minute yeah?”
Spike finally dropped his charge and leaned heavily against the wall. Xander was now passed out on the floor. Spike eventually levered himself up and eyeballed the man stepping into their enclosure holding their controls.
“Know What….F@#$ You!... Just set those things in your hand to a reasonable level and dust us together now alright… you already know we’re mated… at least respect that … you know your lot have it in for us and we can’t do a thing about it… so please mate... just do it quick alright… don’t hurt my boy anymore… just do it quick!”
Watching the Master Vampire lift his face in full demon visage with tears streaming, Richard suddenly realized the level of commitment and of torture the two had already endured. Spike saw the hesitation and fell back into his pretty human visage and quietly said, “There but for the love of God go I.” It undid Richard.
“This is *genuine* research and I give you my word. You will be safe with me so long as you… agree to… umm.”
Spike looked at him from his submissive kneel on the floor with complete disdain, “Oh Puleeease! To what? You reckon two vampires one souled and one fledge… What you gonna dial us…. Ussss up for hurt ‘til you have a research paper…Pfffttt. You must think we’re either bloody sss…stupid. Just save us a whole lot of grief mate h’…nnn dial that bloody thing up and plant those two true… Please… just kill us.”
With that and to Spike’s utter surprise, two vampires were both hit by a small jolt of pain and debilitating tranquilizer darts, and dropped. Richard had already dealt with the cameras, but made a point of moving aggressively toward Spike so the images implied the ‘passing’ of the two to dust at the hands of one of their captors.
He then carefully hefted them onto a trolley and quietly loaded two bodies into the boot of his own car.
They woke the next day on the hard floor of a truck both were violently ill and lay in their own bloody vomit until they were tranquilized again. Xander couldn’t help but think *Blessed Sire… Blessed Black… seemed to recall he should be concerned then gave in to the reverse count from ten that always ended in eighhhh…*
The next day was hazy also, though a little more comfortable and smelled of straw, neither aware enough to know they had been gently placed in an animal travel cage for the remainder of the twenty two hour journey, much less that they had crossed borders. Both vampires had felt the rolling of the vehicle they were in and dry retched as they came to for a time. Blissfully someone had thought to drug their water. Dehydrated, they drank in desperation and passed out again minutes later…
Finally, somehow in the haze, as they both felt their bodies being lifted yet again, they smelt a real home smell, no hospital or prison or cell… And the following evening Spike awoke fully on a soft queen sized bed warmed by an electric blanket. He was nude and beside his mate, and covered by a thick obviously new, duck down duvet. They were apparently in a private bedroom, though he wondered. He could hear the whine of electrical equipment, but simply had no energy to worry.
He smelt fresh human blood. Neither he nor Xander had fed for perhaps four or five days… He rolled to find two warmed sports bottles filled with the ambrosia he had not tasted… since they had fed him his childe and years before that. In a daze, he drank both bottles then pushed a sliced wrist to his slowly waking Childe/Mate’s mouth. Xander fed willingly and laved the bite closed, kissing the arm and pulling it to him as they both hugged tight, Spike’s chest to the strong back as they both gave in to slumber again.
The last thought that crossed Spike’s mind, was that if they were to dust, there could be worse ways to do it than be fed and in the arms of a lover on a soft bed.
Richard smiled when he saw the two settle. He had given up much and run countries for these two, but somehow that still felt OK.
For three days Richard had kept his charges drugged, he had driven across two state borders then entered another country with ‘two dead bodies’, sold his car at a rather questionable establishment in exchange for cash and a very old van, and now faced the next dilemma.
The van allowed him to purchase a large cage and deposit his charges inside as gently as possible, then drove around for a full fourteen hours to locate a place to stay, various supplies and some blood for his charges. He eventually found animal blood at a butcher’s, some groceries for himself, and paid for a week at a long stay hotel.
He hefted the two unconscious vampires and some meager possessions into their room but had to leave the cage in the van. He contemplated the implications, and reaching down into his pocket, fisted the two controls thoughtfully. He entered the room again still a little worried, then spied the unconscious and rather emaciated figures on the bed, and recalled the reasons he had acted so rashly in the first place… “There but for the love of God….”
Richard was alone… utterly alone and not sure what he was doing. He looked at the four plastic bags of beef blood and suddenly recalled a conversation with one of his fellow researchers. “Human blood seems the best for them but it’s interesting to see what happens when we drop back the supply… Seems animal keeps them animated, but their condition drops off and strength is compromised, strange that. We’ve been testing the two here, that smaller guy, seems to feed the newly made guy from his own vein quite a lot. And hey they’ve both lost a ton of weight! Hey… losers more ways than one… Pffft *big time* losers!!”
Richard thought hard about it. He taken the six untouched blood bags from their enclosure the night of the rescue, He now sorted them to find that only one was human the rest some Animal Blend’. Richard knew no way of getting more bags of human blood other than officially through a hospital or the Red Cross, so he did the only thing he could think of. He opened his own vein with one of the catheter needles from his little pack of medical supplies he had brought on their journey in case his vampires needed to be sedated. He let his life blood drain into one of two sports bottles he had in his gym bag. He transferred the other bag of human into the second bottle and simply sat waiting for the vampires to rise…. (but for two trips to the fridge for orange juice and a snack).
He was utterly stunned by the actions of Spike when he first woke, and by the care and adoration displayed by both Master and Childe before both slept again.
The next time Spike woke, he was far more aware and could still smell the blood he had eaten the night before, he couldn’t work out why until he saw their rescuer on the bed next to him reading a book his elbow lightly bandaged. He noted the butcher’s bag but knew what they had been fed.
He pushed himself up on one elbow, “Bloody hell, Pet, you really are a daft bugger!”
Richard sat up abruptly and twisted to identify the owner of the deep male voice.
His azure eyes met their rescuer’s and he smiled a little. Spike heard the change of heartbeat, smelt fear and excitement and extreme nervousness. He noticed the man’s hand shift to his pocket, and took a guess at the reason. His Xan couldn’t take much more…
“C’mon…. Needn’t fondle the controls Luv. Got you inside me now haven’t I… Gift o’ life and you gave it fer free. True white hat..”
“I…. Um… I just thought you needed…”
Spike gave Richard a look that shook him to the core, “Yeah we do pet… easier to handle if we’re all weak, starved and chipped though innit…” Spike then stared hard at the young man, “But you’re a bloke with a conscience, and a good heart… and I can feel you a little, after a vampire feeds we always can…”
“You’re kidding right?”
Spike noted the worried expression and decided to leave the subject, “It passes… so just windin’ you up….… Note the change of venue, which is nice, but still smellin’ fear, and ahh figure you still thumbin’ the controls ain’t such a good sign... Care to fill a fella in…”
Richard was utterly thrown, “I… Umm I just have these…. because you might… oh I don’t really…” He looked hard at Spike and saw a desperate individual who had been so badly treated that the obviously beautiful face was now impossibly thin and spelt pain and suffering. Suffering so horrid that he had witnessed the beautiful creature beg him to end their lives. Yet despite the maltreatment there was a patience, a nobility, a strength and a love for his mate that was easily readable. Richard pulled the controls into the open and regarded them contemplatively, his eyes down.
Spike simply waited. This was not an average employee of an evil organization but a white hat and one with the balls to pull Spike and his mate from hell and make a run for it. But Spike knew that there was still some way to go before their rescuer trusted them. He dropped his tone and asked, “Why did you do it pet?”
Richard eventually spoke in a near whisper, “I really don’t know what I was thinking… I just… I just had to do something… I saw you… and I was one of them… your torturers… and we talked and you asked to… and you love him I saw that… It was all so wrong… but then… and you’re vampires so I wasn’t… and I had a cage but can’t get it up here and I’m…” He looked up with genuine confusion and noted the lack of malice, rather one of patience in Spike’s eyes, “ The truth? I’m a bit scared OK, I’ve done something… and I don’t really know you … but I thought… and hey I really don’t mean you harm… Oh God … never that and I’m sorry… um I…” He trailed off looked at the controls again and frowned.
Spike took an unnecessary breath for dramatic effect and a little thinking time. He looked at the man hard. Usually a pretty good judge of a person, Spike saw Richard clearly and spoke up, “Why would I take by force what you so generously gave for free? Why would I hurt the hand that not only feeds but saves us. Nobless Oblige is a debt to be paid forward when one can… and it seems the debt is ours Pet. You have my word of honor. You will not be injured by our hand, and I speak for my mate, my Childe.” Spike sat up a little and held out his hand, “Figure you’re a bloke who needs to shake on it.”
Richard sat for a moment then seemed to come to some profound decision and thrust his hand out to meet Spike’s. Then reached out with the other hand to drop two tiny black electronic controls in Spike’s lap… Spike had not expected the latter gesture and was utterly overwhelmed, so sat staring down at the hated objects as though they might somehow disappear again as he watched.
Richard squeezed the hand that Spike had forgotten to release, “I take your word. And those are not mine, they belong to you and your friend... And I guess um you’re free to… but I’d had hoped you might still… I think you have a story to tell and I would um… I figured I owe it to you and…” Richard finally took a breath then blurted out, “What I saw and what they said, it just doesn’t add up! And what they’re doing to… well it’s just wrong… and I can’t… I couldn’t… and … I need to know… but if you don’t then…” He looked hopefully at Spike wishing for the vampire to fill in the blanks.
He was rewarded as a deeply grateful set of crystal blue eyes brimming with tears lifted to meet the worried hazel green of Richard’s, and answered in a near whisper, “You have no idea…” A single tear escaped and tracked down the refined features, “You have no idea what this means to us pet, so umm …”
Spike then blinked away the tears and lifted his chin, shook the hand he was still holding once, then dropped it and stated proudly, “I’m no welcher, just so long as it’s accurate and not an Anne-bloody-Rice novel we’ll help yer research! And reckon I might even be able to check over your draft for spellin’ and such – that way at least it’ll be in the Queen’s English not some bloody made up rubbish from you colonialists.”
The mood lightened suddenly and Richard let out a sigh of relief and laughed heartily, then seemed to shift his mood and thoughts, “Thanks… um… would you like a beer?”
It was Xander who answered rather unexpectedly in a sleepy voice, “Won’t kill for one – given Sire’s mood wouldn’t dare – but alcohol all of the good…”
Richard was meticulous and thorough in his research, but also friendly, extraordinarily considerate and when he let his guard down… a lot of fun.
Over the next couple of weeks they had moved house to a tiny two bedroom apartment near the port in Vancouver. Richard had insisted on providing everything and had obtained a low paid cash in hand job in a warehouse near the docks. After he arrived home exhausted on the third night, obviously worried about their dwindling funds, Spike took matters into his own hands.
Spike, William the Bloody, Master Vampire, was an unexpected visitor to the ‘darker side of the docks’, but there were a number of mild mannered demons who needed a certain protection racket dealt with. Spike and his bonded mate dealt swiftly, and stunned Richard, the following night, by handing over enough money for three months’ rent and a guaranteed supply of blood.
“But you didn’t… ??”
“Told ya mate… services rendered! Bastards were holdin’ it over a whole swag of good citizens… just persuaded them to ‘move on’ is all, and grateful clients gave us a fine tip for our trouble.” Spike’s overly innocent demeanor belied something else but Richard left it… his black and white world was definitely becoming very grey late.
Richard trusted them for no reason he could particularly think of, and they did not violate his trust.
Over the next couple of months, he started to go out with them, at first he leading them, and then the other way around. Spike’s vampiric seniority and lineage gave immense status, though the ensouled status caused some concern, but accompanied by his fully ‘virgin’ mated, unsouled Childe from the now defunct Sunnydale Hellmouth and Richard’s ‘marked’ human, guaranteed deference… and Richard a ticket to the ‘other’.
Richard was true to his word, and despite his long days of hauling boxes, began to meticulously record the two vampires’ stories. He started by documenting Xander.
The former Sunnydale resident had obviously moved on since the references to his ‘Scoobie’ days in the Wolfram and Hart files. Richard had read of his successful construction career on the internet via a simple search, but there was only one reference to his Watcher commitments in the later dated W&H reports. Xander’s darker side had definitely come out, though whether that was courtesy of being turned, or a result of losing everything in the Sunnydale episode, and the general process of growing up, Richard was not sure.
As the weeks went by, he and Xander discovered their mutual love of baseball, pizzas, Twinkies, and comics. The latter something which a rather disgusted Spike swore should have been, “Bred out when the bloody demon took residence!” Adding that “any respectable demon read *real* literature.” The comment had Richard wondering and resolved to ask just what that meant at a later date.
The researcher knew some of the Sunnydale story, but the truth of Xander’s lost eye, the as yet unrecorded sad home life, and the apparent genuine bravery of the big hearted Scoobie was extraordinary. It drew what had been done *to him* into such sharp relief that it genuinely horrified their gentle rescuer, and further cemented his commitment to telling their story… despite all Spike’s words of caution…
Xander began truly exploring his vampire skills and attributes for the first time ‘in the wild’. His experiences however, were not those of most fledges. He had fed from an old Master, his Sire and mated fully, and repeated the process many times under duress, and voluntarily… The effect was profound… he was as tied to the soul of Spike as his Sire was. They were as one.
Richard encouraged the exploration of Xander’s growth, and respectfully asked Spike first, then Xander, if he could monitor the process in exchange for aiding it.
The initial experiences had been guarded… but over the weeks Richard was true to his word. He drove them farther and farther afield so Xander could test his physical limits. It was as thrilling for the researcher as for the Sire and the new vampire…
Richard watched, was thrilled, then pulled himself back to his researcher mode and took notes, as Xander realized his power for the vertical jump; his speed - in all things; and his joy for the kill.
Richard drove them up into the mountains where two vampires could hunt and ‘run free’. Spike reveled in the experience… the open hunt, the required stealth, planning and acceleration was exactly what his Childe needed. They chased and subdued, only killing very occasionally, even bringing down a fully grown moose, only to let it wander off, rather confused, after being caught in the hunt.
On the docks, Richard watched in amazement as a different hunting technique was employed, and Xander learned… Spike was the master of seduction.
Now restored to full health, it did not matter if the target was male or female, he could convince any chosen human to give up a pint of blood in exchange for his ‘favors’. Xander was a quick study. And Richard silently wished himself one of the targets, as a tall male blissfully gave up an amount of his blood in exchange for Xander’s charms and careful attentions. The young man obviously reaching completion the instant fangs met his throat. Richard was doubtful the lad would ever realize what had truly transpired.
Much later, and in discussion with Spike, he understood that the ‘confusion’ of the victim was a viable survival strategy for vampires… and that killing the victims was not always the agenda.
Richard asked and Xander realized… his hearing was extraordinary and his night vision that of the nocturnal creatures of nature, and his lack of heartbeat or need to breathe did not bother him any more.
After the fourth week, Spike and Richard began to talk more openly, Spike had been, to that point, very guarded. By the fifth week Spike challenged their ‘savior’ to a game of chess and by the sixth, the table was never clear of pieces and the discussion flowed.
It was their third month in Vancouver and their human ‘minder’ and the vampires were out for a run… literally.
Richard had parked the van and the human’s slim form jogged happily along with the vampires in the early evening. The pace however, was relentless for the human, though rather effortless for his other worldly companions…. The five mile mark and the obvious uphill rise caused Richard to pause.
Their kind ‘minder’ had driven the three of them well into the mountains to Kootenay Park but Richard was no hill runner and, though appreciating the flat ‘jog’ they had done around the river area, paled a little at the prospect of sprinting up the hill!
Spike slowed and jogged effortlessly alongside their lanky companion. He noted the rather sweaty state of their rescuer and simply said… “Need to take the boy for a real run… You be OK if we meet you back at the van?”
It was all the human could do to give a rather thankful nod and gasp, as he had the thrill of watching the Master Vampire and his Mate accelerate up the hill in a way most Kenyan marathon champions or hundred meter Olympic sprinters could only dream of… He was just able to make out the two figures as they challenged each other over a bridge spanning the broad river then sprinted up the leeside of the mountain, chasing, weaving and tackling each other up an impossibly steep slope, until they disappeared from view.
He jogged slowly back to the van, happy to have an opportunity to warm down human muscles and find the water bottle he’d stowed under the front seat. (Confusing drink bottles these days simply *not* an option after a certain incident involving sheep’s blood and … it was all too nasty to think about!).
As he waited for his speedy friends to return, Richard idly noted a text message on his phone.
He had finally contacted his family, the result being a desperate message. He paled a little as he read the reply. Apparently Richard’s sister, indeed the entire family, was frantic.
Kerryn had recently been contacted by her brother’s former employers and told of his ‘speedy departure’. His mother was distressed beyond belief and convinced that he had ‘taken to drugs’. The fact that he had failed to contact them for close to three months was out of character and unbelievable from the formerly thoughtful young man.
He returned the call with a text message including the city and country he was in, and a local number, with additional assurances of his well being and promises to communicate with his mother soon and regularly.
Spike was first back to the van and noted the rather thoughtful, almost depressed demeanor of their generous human friend. His eyes fell to the cell phone held in a lax hand and made an informed decision…
He gently took the phone from the limp hand and put an arm around their slim friend, “Figurin’ it’s family… Always able to push yer buttons, ain’t that right?...” Richard simply dropped his head further. Spike could smell the salty tears and pulled the man into a tight hug, indicating to Xander to wait a moment via their link.
“Now you listen ta’ me mate… You’ve done somethin’ wonderful for us… courageous… honorable!! And honor ain’t always rewarded these days… but you’ve got two friends for life here pet… So whatever they say… If they’re truly family, they’ll love you regardless … and you need to remember that … and hold on to it. ‘S precious that is…” Spike kissed the man sincerely but as he pulled away, grinned a little and added rather flippantly, “Just suggest you might leave out the bit ‘bout yours truly… and the gender preference… Oscar Wilde came to a sticky end with that little revelation!”
The vampire then winked but when Richard continued to look somewhat sad, kissed the forehead of their friend and lowered his tone, “”S OK pet… some just don’t understand… I liked both, but the boy over there is all I need from now to eternity. Find the bloke you want to be with for the rest of time, and bloody well disappear with ‘im pet….”
Richard’s had almost thought of a response that was intended to be witty but the last outburst from Spike undid him. Spike caught the man on the way down, “’S OK pet ‘s OK… didn’t mean to break you… c’mon luv rally a bit fer your old Spike… that’s the way… We need ya mate… An’ those W & H bastards won’t come close again if me and me mate here had anything to do with it!”
Later that evening, in week twelve of their freedom, Xander slept on while Spike and Richard spoke late into the night… morning… next day. There was give and take in the extreme. Spike saw elements of William in the rather naive, mild mannered, and good natured intellectual.
Richard, like William, was University trained, and had read Philosophy and Literature before finally finishing a degree in Biology. Richard realized for the first time, the extraordinary age and intelligence of his companion.
Xander woke briefly but was sent such love and feelings of calm through their link that he was simply happy relax and snuggled down into his Sire’s lap, letting the conversation wash over him. Spike’s thoughts flowed in and out of his consciousness and he quietly sent love back. His ear was currently resting against Spike’s stomach and he happily registered the beloved voice rumbling from the source.
Richard spoke rapidly, his slim hands gesticulating wildly as he reveled in the joy of speaking to someone who could argue toe to toe on almost any subject. They argued about the Adam Smith version of equitable growth, and whether the accounts of Patroklos and Achilles should be read in English or the original Greek (the two giving quite a different taint to the relationship). They debated the various great battles of history and what *should* have happened (Richard eventually realizing that he was at a great disadvantage having not, like his adversary, *been there*!)
Richard reveled in the conversation and therefore was more than a little surprised as he was reminded of the real status of his lovely intellectual friend. A semi-conscious Xander leaned up, nudging at his Sire’s torso with his nose and chin and making tiny begging noises much as a kitten might its mother. The childe was rewarded as Spike lifted his shirt and pulled Xander to him much as a breast feeding mother would do, allowing his Childe to bite down just above his right nipple then holding the fledge there as he continued the conversation with Richard and Xander drank his fill.
Richard did not fail to notice Spike’s gentle stroking of Xander’s hair as his mate fed, nor the reciprocal eager hand that caressed the crotch of the Master vampire. He adjusted his own position as jeans suddenly became tight.
Spike noted the discomfort, held his mate close and raised an eyebrow, “You a little distracted mate?”
“I… Um… *no*… well yes… I… just … what does it feel like… when he does that, I mean?” Richard blushed a deep shade of crimson as he tried not to stare at the hand caressing Spike’s now obvious erection.
“Probably should ask your mum on some level, luv… The boy here is only a little one in terms of vampire age, he’s mated an’ all, but doesn’t change the need for the Sire.” Spike noted Richard’s demeanor fall, so answered his question more honestly, “It’s the closest I’ll get to heaven, pet. Someone so connected needing… and wanting… to take their life sustenance from you… I never realized the joy the women of this world could gain feeding their human children… And for vamps there is a bit of a bonus.” Spike grinned as his hand slid into Xander’s sweats and began to caress his Childe’s already hard member to completion. “It’s all about food, f#@%ing and fighting for us lot see?!”
Richard watched the very erotic show in front of him and became more and more aroused, but still could not help arguing the last statement. “But it’s not is it… You *teach* your childer.. and the f words are just an easy out aren’t they! You were an academic *before* you were turned. You never lost that… it’s obvious! You read, adapt and learn constantly… God you’ve got three lifetimes of learning! You’ve lived through wars and depressions, the landing on the moon and God knows what else… and died… again… to save… us… You’ve stood against armies knowing you would lose but still willing… I um… God!!... Spike I feel like I don’t even have the right to talk to you! You are heroes! How can I even begin….”
“Boy here is a hero, I was just in the right place at the right time, mate.”
“That’s not true! What you did… and what it cost… I mean Angel and Wesley, was it? and Charles?... and…”
“Stop there luv… Can you just stop? Please?!”
Richard looked up and saw the grief, pain that was far more profound than anything he had noticed before.
He moved to Spike’s side, both Master and Mate moved to tears as Spike remembered and pain flowed through the link, “Oh Geez… I’m sorry, I’m so sorry!” Richard pulled the two into a hug and continued to apologize. “I shouldn’t have … I didn’t mean to … Ahhh geez!” Spike continued to weep silently, his mate following him into the abyss of grief and doing likewise.
Spike eventually calmed, rallied, apologized and continued the discussion. They talked of his love for his Sire, of Angel and the end of days together. Detached from his Sire’s chest, Xander lay with his head in Spike’s lap for the duration of the conversation. The sadness flowing through the link was palpable. All he could do was send his love and devotion in return.
By the end of the tale, Richard moved to wrap his arms around Spike, then quietly stated, “Have you told the Watchers… or the Witches? You know … about you or… Xander??”
The jolt of distress through the link signaled that Xander realized that they had not informed ‘them’ or Giles and Willow more particularly, of his new status… and of Spike’s ongoing existence… and of their…. there was a lot to report.
Richard made the call, then looked on as the former watcher took the phone in the supporting embrace of his lovely partner.
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