The rest of the family and visitors had left the ‘new bornes’ and Spike to acclimatize for a time… But around six the next morning one tiny blue person, then a second, then a third, found their way to the bed of ‘Unca’, their new cousin’s and the fledgling vampire.
The call for ‘Maaaam’ and ‘Unca’ were still rife, and when the two smallest additions to the family began to stir, there was no reason to attempt to continue ‘faking’ sleep.
Spike made his legs into the familiar ‘trap’ and invited each of Eddie’s three up to sit in its confines. The other worldly beauty of the Jon and Eddie’s brood was obvious in the soft light of coming from the ‘night light’ on the wall.
The lovely little people were utterly enamored by their tiny cousins. And when Spike put his finger to his lips and said “Shhhhhh *babies*”, they seemed to understand and all tried to be *so* good… They blinked at Spike with their enormous blue eyes, expressing everything they had yet to learn the words for. Love, respect, fascination, Family.
In the end Uncle Spike sat up and positioned the three little folk, baby owl fashion, along his leg and very quietly unwrapped first Elsbeth then Christopher (Xander and he had agreed on the ‘titles’ that morning before their visitors arrived. Xan simply would not countenance that the children were unnamed.) The wide eyed and utterly silent respect with which the three little blue folks peeped over the familiar leg at their new cousins caused Unca Spike to reach forward and give each of Eddie’s children a loving kiss. Finally Xander pushed himself up to fully sitting, and took a moment to steady before lifting the two tiny figures that had been between himself and his Sire. He positioned them, still in their blankets, on Spike’s belly (within easy touching distance of the patient three).
There was no fussing or pushing, Willow, Jess and their brother Sam simply reached out with a tentative touch, petted the tiny figures and cooed, a distinctly Parsalas demon sound, but one that was soothing and so sweet that Xander grabbed his Sire’s hand and smiled a teary smile… The two youngest additions simply blinked up at their smiling, wide eyed, blue ‘cousins’ dazedly, totally trusting and relaxed.
Eventually Eddie and Jon collected their curious charges, smiling somewhat apologetically and encouraging the three to “Come and see what grandpa Sam has for you!”
Having divested himself of the little cousins, Spike stood and retrieved two tiny bottles from a pan of warm water that Willow had pushed into the room some time earlier, leaving a larger one for the moment.
Spike passed one of the bottles of formula to Xander, who could not help a silent tear fall as the tiny Christopher fussed for a moment then finally latched onto the teat, and miniscule fingers reached forward, curling around the Xander’s pinky to hold tight as he fed.
Spike had Elsbeth in much the same position, and smiled across at his new Childe, his partner and producer of *their* children… his lover… and best friend… He was not about to tempt fate… but after all the pain, it was a perfect moment. Elsbeth reached for him and he pulled her closer. Her tiny fist curled around a curly blonde lock of hair that had escaped the leather tie.
The two tiny people were asleep again, and though neither Xander nor Spike could bare the idea that the children would sleep elsewhere but their bed, just this once they quietly placed the pair of now sleeping figures in the bassinette.
Spike pulled the other bottle from its warm resting place, unscrewed the lid and downed the contents. Xander looked rather flabbergasted… he had assumed the rich red liquid was his to consume, but when his Sire used a sharp nail to tear a trail of red across his own bare chest, just above his nipple, the hungry Childe understood.
In the next hour, Willow provided Spike with close to seven full pints of warm blood, silently sliding it next to him as she watched her oldest friend continue to draw from his partner’s chest. It was a strangely erotic site, even though both partners were in game face. She deposited the last three bottles together then retreated quietly.
Xander’s cool tongue continued to tease and lave the wound and surrounding flesh. As he fed, they had both became painfully aroused, and hands wandered as feeding continued, the urge to mate became an imperative. They were already nude in the bed…
By the time Spike was drinking the second last bottle, Xander’s hard sex was pressing rhythmically against his Sire’s inner thigh, but this would be a matter of claiming and vampiric law dictated the same, so there was no confusion as to who would take whom. Spike drank the last of the blood then flipped his new Childe over on the bed, his own form blanketing the beautiful figure of his dark Childe.
Xander’s blissful expression looked, for all the world, like the one on his two new borne children’s faces. He was so full of Sire’s blood as to be ecstatic, aroused, wanton and yet… satisfied… He lay back arms out wide and gave in to the wonderful sensations, as his Sire pleasured him. Spike licked and kissed and bit his way down the fast healing, and now cool, torso.
This was a longtime lover however, not some unknown fledge. Each touch, every taste, the smell, that voice… the blood… Spike was utterly consumed by his demon’s insistence. This was his ‘Mate and Childe… Claim the Mate!!’ He reached for and found the lubrication, then slid a slippery finger down to find the prize in the familiar and willing buttocks. His partner parted his legs further as Xander felt himself breached and waited.
“What do you need Childe?”
“I need… Please Sire… my Love… my partner in all things … Please!! Take me… I’m…. yours… all of me, Sire…. Please… !!” Spike pressed forward, blunt head burying itself in his Childe and lover, to the hilt. The resulting jolt of love through the link was so very strong that Spike barely had time for two thrusts before he came… in what, he would later argue, was the most powerful orgasm of his unlife. Xander came simultaneously with his Sire sinking his fangs into his Mate’s neck. Despite his recent feeding, Xander acted on instinct and reciprocated, completing the ritual, as Spike intoned the vampire mating words sealing their partnership for all time.
The babies were still sleeping as Sire and Childe, now vampire Mates, lay recovering, limbs intertwined, sated and quiet. The newly made Mate link was superimposed over that of Sire and Childe.
“It’s so strange… I can feel you… Spike… Sire… It’s like I can….” Xander was hit by such a wave of love and devotion that he was only able to give a whispered, “Ohh…. Sire”, before an open wrist was offered. His game face was instantly in place as he reciprocated, and the two latched on in another circle of blood exchange.
Spike knew his ‘fledgling’ would be no ordinary vampire. Ensouled and fed from the beginning with Master’s blood, the magicks flowing from the beautiful creature were so strong that even the Sire, now Mate, felt it.
After so much torture, so much hate and starvation, so much loss… the fates had handed William the Bloody an equal, a mate… and living children… something he had wanted even as a mortal… In full game face, then again in his human guise, he thanked whichever deity was listening for … everything... and, as his Mate and children slept, sent a prayer begging to keep all his loved ones safe… He hoped someone heard him.
They both woke to two tiny babies crying.
The vampires found a stash of gauze and toweling nappies already folded ready for newborns at the side of the cot. Before either of them had time to think clearly, the name ‘Eddie’! came to mind. The thoughtful parent of three, knew the hassles… and Xander suddenly realized just how much the young demon had borne alone… even with Jon by his side. Eddie had three children and through all their adversity had seemed to cope effortlessly. Xander now suspected that it had been anything *but* effortless, and loved his dear ‘brother’ even more.
Xander changed the nasty nappies… the dark nature of their excretions expected as the newborns gradually adapted to their new feeding regime.
Xander realized in that moment, that his own need to ‘relieve himself’ had disappeared along with his humanity. He wasn’t sure how he felt about that…. But if getting up to pee in the middle of the night was no longer necessary, then it was hardly a concern. His need, or otherwise, to breathe was even more odd… Spike was off heating blood so he played with holding his breath…. But it meant …. Nothing! He wondered how it would feel to swim now… odd thought.
As Xander deposited the strange smelling nappies and now soiled wet hand towel in the bucket provided, he pondered a more difficult question, where did the ‘by products’ go after a preternatural body had consumed blood… or whatever…?
His Sire would obviously know and he resolved to ask Spike at some point as he carefully stroked baby moisturizer onto the tiny figure, then fixed Elspeth’s nappy in place.
Spike had changed his charge, rose, and retrieved the bottles from the night before. As he wandered into the kitchen he whispered to Willow (and anyone listening) “Boy’s ready for a visit if you’re willin’.”
Willow had felt the jolt of magic and Spike’s aura confirmed it. The two were Mate bonded, the first Master and Childe for over two centuries. She worried that the ripple through the magical fabric would attract attention.. but suspected that this time, Gaia would be undisturbed... possibly even pleased if she was capable of emotion. Regardless, it was definitely good energy….
Willow wandered into the newborn’s room, the family bedroom, carrying the two warm bottles of formula Spike had handed her as he wandered outside for a well earned smoke.
She sat on the end of the bed and smiled weakly at her old friend… She had lost him, she had been too late, he was a vampire now, albeit with a soul courtesy of her, but a vampire nonetheless… She managed to say, “Hey Sweetie….” Before her thoughts caught up with her and tears cut off her words… she grabbed his hand…
Xander looked into the forlorn face of his long time friend. Despite her now white hair, she looked like the vulnerable teenager of Junior High School. It was not the visage of an all powerful wiccan… But she was a sister, a dear cousin, a protector of his children… He did not want her to grieve… she was the savior of his soul… yet all he could manage was, “Oh Wil, please don’t.”
It was too close to home. It was the same phrase as the day she had sat with her dear friend in the hospital after he lost his eye… and now… he was dead… turned… vampire… The wiccan priestess hugged her lifetime friend to her and she sobbed inconsolably. As she calmed however, she heard the quiet tenor voice of her treasured friend and felt a gentle stroking across her back, “It’s OK Will …. Really! You have given me … Oh god….dess! You have anchored my soul… and look…. Spike and I are together forever… and our lovely children…. And … Oh Willow… how can I?”
A large figure dropped beside his lover on the bed, collecting the bottles from Willow’s limp grip on the way through, “No need love! Witch knows she did good… Probably just upset I got to jump your undead bones first… ain’t that right Red…”
Willow looked up and laughed through her tears. She tugged at her long white locks, sniffed and said “Not Red anymore … not really… but…” She reached out to squeeze Spike’s hand. He reciprocated the touch.
The Sire handed a bottle to Xander with his free hand while fixing the wiccan with kind eyes and his trademark smirk, “Well, make yourself useful and hand us the little ‘uns!”
Later that night as the children and Eddie slept, Spike took his Childer for a run.
Xander smiled as Jon joined them.
Standing at the door of their room the other vampire seemed to have grown in stature. He was now the ‘older brother’, stronger, faster and coming up for two years of Spike being his adoptive Sire. His exuberance and excitement at Xander’s new status was rather lovely. Added to this his thrill at having new ‘nephew and niece’, and a true Mate for his Sire… essentially a whole new family. Jon’s jovial mood was utterly infectious. He stepped toward Xander and opened his wrist for his ‘little brother’ before they ventured out, then hugged him tight as he took but a mouthful of the reciprocally offered wrist. Familial blood flowed in both directions for just long enough that they both felt grounded.
As Jon finished licking the wound closed, he quietly added, “I love you little brother, so glad you are here.”
Xander wasn’t sure if it was appropriate that a newly borne vampire felt so emotional all the time, but when Spike pulled him into a tight hug, kissed him and whispered, “What’s wrong luv?” Xander let two blood tinged tears fall then sniffed and simply said, “Think I’m just too happy… or I’ve sprung a leak… or both.”
Spike kissed him soundly then pulled away, “Oh pet… what you need is a good run… get rid of some of that inner energy.”
As they left, Spike nodded at Willow who was happily ensconced in her chair once again, quietly watching the babies and reading while ‘her boys’ went for a run.
Xander had not been outside since his turning and Spike smiled as his Childe, his Mate, began to discover what compensations he had been given for a life without the sun. It was a clear night, the land lit by a three quarter moon.
The three vampires grinned at their lovely ‘protector’ Sam as they rounded the building. The ‘grandfather’ of their odd clan, was now sitting on the front porch smoking a clove cigarette as he spoke quietly to Daniel and Mikaela. Sam simply smiled, and waved his boys on, just as the parent might as the brothers take their younger sibling riding for the first time.
Samuel’s concern quickly shifted however. As Daniel watched the vampires disappear into the night, Sam heard the whispered, “Should have kept him safe… it’s my fault… should never…”
He reached out and took the young witch’s hand “No son…, you saved them from the storms when I couldn’t…. kept them safe and *gave* those boys their only chance at a family. And your lovely lady friend here…. ? You both have done so much for them… Life always throws curve balls, so now they have the night together, let’s rejoice with them.”
Xander sniffed the air and realized that his nose now differentiated the scents in quite an extraordinary fashion and that traces of the family scents were around too. He picked out Eddie’s quickly as they rounded the back of the building where the gardening tools were stored in an old shed, the sniffed and smelled Missy and Sam, and Sam’s clove cigarettes (though even a human nose might have done the latter as he could clearly see Sam sitting on the porch for his quiet evening smoke).
Spike and Jon stood silent as Xander discovered his hearing. Heart beats, rustling leaves as small night creatures went about their business, the shifting of a cow’s body somewhere in the paddock as she found a more comfortable sleeping position.
“Good God… Spike?! Jon?! This is what you have always…. you know… been able to sense? I mean I can see as clearly now as I used to in the day… still no depth perception but hey!... But the smell and the sounds… all the rest it’s *incredible*….”
“That it is luv, that it is… Now let’s give the fledge in you a bit of a run shall we.” Spike grinned at Jon and they both took off over a fence and up the hill at pace.
“Hey!” Xander felt his face change with the excitement of a chase and sped after them.
Sam watched the figures disappearing swiftly into the dark with such pride that Daniel squeezed his friend’s hand and simply said, “Thank you…” Mikaela smiled as her partner relaxed. Nothing she had said seemed to make an impact on Daniel’s guilt… but Sam’s vindication of all that had passed, and the happiness of the family generally, seemed to be the salve required.
Daniel smiled weakly but really did understand. He reached for Mikaela’s hand and squeezed it, “We’ll need to go home soon.”
Sam didn’t look up, “I know son, but give it another day. Your coven is safe for now and I'm sure our boy would like to see his friends after all the cuffuffle.”
After The Fall: 25