By the time they took the second tiny figure from the barely pulsing sac, and confirmed her breathing to be relatively stable, Xander was bleeding internally, from the sac itself, and profusely from three ruptured major arteries.
Mikaela’s strength was no longer adequate to sustain him, and Spike listened as the faltering heart pumped precious fluid out into an artificially made, now used and exposed organ.
He fell into game face and simply growled, “Leave!! Tell Red we’re here but just…” As the others hesitated, William the Bloody, fangs to the fore, was prepared to defend his mate regardless of the family or friends present. It was the demon who cried in anguish as much as the soul when he all but screamed, “*F@#k* Are. You. Daft????? *Leave. Us.* And. Get. The bloody witch!!*”
Daniel took Mikaela’s hand. He felt powerless to help and could not image the pain William was experiencing as his mate and father of his new children died in front of him.
They called through the coven energy link, then took the children and focused on bathing and tending them. Why Spike wanted Willow at this moment was a little bit of a mystery to Daniel though Mikaela thought she knew. Regardless Willow answered the call within mere seconds.
Spike made the hardest decision of his life, and unlife…
There was no time, they had discussed it, but not really fully…. and now there was *no time*! He cursed his unconscious friend then kissed him, as he cried bloody tears.
The choice was all but impossible. If he was to turn Xander his lovely partner would never see the sun again… never play with the children in the sun… He and Xan would both be cold… both be ‘different’, ensouled and condemned to drink the blood of others… both ‘damned’. But if he did not turn him, he and the beautiful children would have… nothing.
He contemplated the possibility of Xander and he being the demon fathers of human children, and knew there was no question. He had to try, for selfish reasons… and for Xander reasons… and for their beautiful living children reasons….
The Master Vampire leant over his dying partner and whispered, "Forgive me, I love you pet… please forgive me,” then bent lower over the gaping belly wound to lap the excess blood in the cavity, then moved to his partner's neck to take the penultimate draft of his new Childe’s blood, his mate’s blood, the father of his children’s blood, in the traditional manner.
The flash signaling Willow’s arrival coincided with Spike’s final pull on Xander’s neck, and with a little boost from Willow, her high school friend rallied from his comatose state enough to drink from his new Sire’s wrist… and drink… and drink… and die.
Willow cried, but still managed to hold up an Orb of Thessula, chant expertly and fix his soul.
Xander awoke three days later with two tiny forms and a rather large one cuddled against his side, Spike’s broad hand resting on his abdomen. He had the lovely sensation of an electric blanket comforting him and downy covers tucked neatly toward his chin… His back was unbelievably sore and as he moved, his stomach seemed to clench a bit.
He struggled a little for breath, to get up, to move, but his body did not truly feel like his own.
He paused for a moment, stilled, blinked, then resolved to simply focus on the pleasure of being here with his family. He noted the newly erected bassinette in the corner of the bedroom. The curtains were secured shut, though he somehow knew positively that it was after dark. Someone must have installed a nightlight somewhere in the room however, because he realised he could see quite well.
Willow was sleeping on the ‘comfy chair’ near the door and there seemed to be rather a mess in the room, plus he could definitely smell traces of something that made his stomach growl. He smiled, Wills was a true friend and had ‘been there’ through most of his big ‘life events’. He was touched that she had made the effort, just for a birth.
He rolled over, touched his lovely partner and smiled. He felt unbelievably connected to his vampire. He guessed he could not really be any different, perhaps he would ask Spike if he felt it too when he woke up. He felt down, his bump was gone and torso surprisingly back in shape. There did seem to be a very large scar, though whoever stitched it must have been brilliant, it was almost completely healed. He would have expected some swelling still, and something else still felt decidedly strange, fuzzy… different. No doubt that was just a result of the meds from the operation.
He looked over at his partner. Spike looked pale, more ‘dead’ than normal… no doubt a long labor then. They had always figured on a caesarian section, but maybe it had been more difficult than he thought. Had he gone through true labor? He wondered how long he had been sleeping.
He peeped sideways under the covers to where two tiny, perfect babies lay asleep. Each was wrapped loosely in the white rugs that he had asked Kathleen to buy so many months ago for the ‘favorite cousin who was expecting’. It occurred to him that he didn’t know their gender… but they seemed to be a pigeon pair. Despite their differing parentage, both were all but bald with long black eyelashes and perfect button noses. Xander reached over and stroked the palm of one miniscule hand in wonder, the fist closed around his work calloused finger. A tear fell. Unbeknownst to its owner, it was blood tinged.
Again he tried to recall… remembered pain… and worrying about the babies… and… calling for Spike… and an image of Daniel and Jon… but … why *was* Willow here?
Spike’s extraordinarily blue eyes blinked once or twice then faced Xander.
The new vampire sensed intense sadness and joy in equal measure flowing from the father of their children…. Or was it the mother. He smiled at the latter thought. For some reason his link with Spike felt odd and much stronger … definitely very different… as though they were one mind… but not. It must have been to do with the children. He smiled as he fancied he could hear the heart beats of the tiny bodies.
Spike had been awake for some time, waiting, and as Sire, was privy to the conflicted emotions and the confusion… but also the love flowing from his new Childe. He definitely received and reciprocated that.
“How are you luv?”
“Fine… I guess… bit sore… but the babies…??”
“Are fine honey… they’re just… perfect.” The covers were shifted for a moment and a tiny sigh from one of the little figures summed up their wellbeing.
Xander’s voice was more quiet than usual. “So we had them?”
“You did it pet… and look …. Look how … ohhh Pet….” Spike lifted and ever so gently embraced the two extraordinary, tiny products of their love, to his chest. They were still a little sleepy, but two sets of deep blue eyes blinked open for a moment and looked directly at the being that had carried them for just on eight months. The two tiny people blinked again slowly then closed their eyes. Both snuffled a little and relaxed in the arms of their ‘father’ as they settled again.
Spike looked at his partner sending such a bolt of adoration and distress through the link that it caused even Willow to respond. She flew across into the room, realized there wasn’t really a problem but gently took the two children, allowing Spike to afford his beautiful, and necessarily changed, lover an embrace and explanation.
Spike began by opening his neck. Xander responded without thinking or even realizing when his face shifted. He sank new fangs in deep, drawing out the ambrosia, relishing his partner’s rich blood like never before. He had taken a lick or two often in the years they had been together, and been fed a little more when needing to heal … but this… this felt like … existence… He drew a final deep draft from the vein, instinctively licked it closed, then moaned ‘Sire’.
Xander stopped immediately realizing what he had just said, and done, then ran his tongue along his teeth. He felt the change… the fangs, at the same time putting his fingers to his own neck and realized he had no heart beat. Spike began to pet his beautiful partner as he sensed panic setting in, “Yes pet … Yes … Oh please forgive me *Please* forgive me but…”
Xander changed back to his normal face as he panted a little, then stilled and whispered, “I was dying wasn’t I? Did I really die?”
Spike nodded. A crimson tear tracked down his perfectly sculpted left cheek bone. He whispered, “Yes.”
“And you turned me?”
Spike nodded again.
“So blood and sun allergy and stakage? And…” Xander suddenly realized why Willow was present “… a soul. Oh Spike, you kept my soul…”
Spike had pulled away by the time Xander had said sun. The reminder that sunlight would be a problem with the children had him shuffling back to kneel on the bed in a fully submissive pose in front of his Childe.
It was not the place for a Master, a Sire, to grieve for a human and beg forgiveness of a newly made Childe, but at that moment the soul and the proud Aurelian Demon of William the Bloody grieved. Spike kept up the mantra… “I’m sorry … I know you didn’t want… but I love you so much… and the children…. I’m sorry … I loved you so much and I was losing you… I loved you then and now and… I couldn’t lose you …. Couldn’t do it alone …. Not with the children…” He gestured over to Willow who was cradling the two tiny bundles in her arms. “Oh Xan… Look… they’re… Oh God! Xan Please! Aren’t they perfect… and they *needed you* not just me… *us*… but I’m sorry Xan I’m so… so …”
Xander groaned as he reached out to his beautiful partner. He cupped the beloved features and wiped the tears from Spike’s cheeks with his thumbs. He took an unnecessary breath and sighed.
“Spike?… Sire please it’s OK, it really is…. OK…” Spike looked up and registered the deep love flowing through the link. He smiled rather tearfully then moved gingerly over to blanket his still recovering lover’s body with his own and kissed him passionately. With no need to breathe and the all encompassing knowledge that this was his Sire, the sensation was extraordinary. It was… right. His face shifted again and Spike sliced his tongue on the new fangs and filled his Childe’s mouth with Sire’s blood once more. Xander could all but feel his own healing as he devoured the rich gift.
A tiny snuffle and newborn’s cry roused them. Spike rolled off his partner and eased him up to a semi sitting position, pushing an extra pillow behind for support. “You’d better lose the game face pet, kiddies won’t notice but I think you’ll worry the others.”
“Oh God… yeah… Sorry!” Xander shook his head a little and felt his features shift back.
Willow a little wide eyed after witnessing Xander’s demon face for the first time, moved to hand over the babies.
Spike took the little person still slumbering while Xander shushed the little bundle in his arms. He unwrapped the blanket a touch and began to rub the minute stomach with two fingers, taking care to avoid the still raw and clamped stump where the umbilical chord had been attached.
Willow turned to leave the little family for a few minutes of privacy, but stopped at the door for a moment and looked back at the strangely perfect picture. Two beautiful ensouled vampires, propped up in their big bed, both her friends, partnered in adversity, parents despite tragedy, and now holding their tiny children in joy. She smiled, a rather teary smile and left quietly.
“Oh Spike… they’re… just …. Perfect!”
“That they are Pet. That they are… Clever you hey… girl” Spike nodded toward Xander as the baby calmed, “and a boy… Readymade family…. Perfect readymade family” Spike lifted the still sleeping little boy and gave the downy soft forehead a feather-light kiss.
Xander whispered awestruck, “And we were all borne on the same day… how weird is that?”
Spike’s voice was rough with emotion, but he managed a smile, “Guess you’re right luv… all new bornes together.”
After The Fall: 24