In Which There Is Quiet Conversation
AN: Just like to say thank you for the nomination for Best Unfinished Crossover: Television! Honestly never thought I'd get a nomination. Y'all are the best. Now, on with the show.
Spike cleared his throat when Delvin walked around the corner, leaving the helplessly laughing Xander behind him. He hadn't meant to listen in, but once he heard he couldn't leave.
"I take it the Whelp broke up with the Slayer tonight," he asked, falling in step beside the Immortal.
"She was there when we went to get young Oz's things," Delvin answered by way of confirmation. "Didn't approve."
Spike snorted. Seer he was not, but he could have told them she wouldn't take that little tidbit well. They walked in companionable silence to the living room.
"I hate to say it, cause I really hate the wankers, but if the council had gotten their mits on her young, at least she wouldn't be so stupid about the whole thing," Spike commented. "She spends half her time going on and on about how this is her fight and her duty, and the other half whining that she can't have a normal life, whatever that is. It's enough to drive a chipped vamp insane."
Delvin's lips curled.
"Honestly, what would you do if that chip came out? Really? Not fantasies." He settled into one of the large stuffed chairs.
Spike rolled his eyes. "Same thing I'm doing now, but I'd be better at it." He smirked. "Now if we were talking fantasies, I'm fully planning ta gut the slayer and feast on her blood, keeping her alive as long as possible. Then I'd hunt down every last member of the group that put the chip in me head to begin with and treat them to a little behavior modification."
A brief dark amusement entered Delvin's eyes, and Spike suppressed a sigh of relief. He was never certain if Delvin would get angry at the reminder of how different Spike was from William. But Delvin had a dark side that William had been drawn to but would never have understood.
When he had been mortal, the first time they'd met, Spike saw Delvin's dark side only once when they were nearly mugged in some dark London alley. William had been terrified, but Delvin's jade eyes had glinted with dark pleasure as he gave the would-be muggers a sound thrashing. Afterward he'd been solicitous and careful of his young companion, but William had never forgotten that horrible glee. He understood it a little better now. If he got bored easily after a hundred years, how much worse would the boredom get after four-thousand? And what relieved boredom and tension better than a spot of violence? Well, sex of course, but that was something less easy to find if you're in the wrong dark alley.
"Delvin, can I ask you something about before?"
Delvin shrugged. "I'm not going to promise an answer, but you can ask."
"Would you have ever told me about Immortals when I was William?" It was a question he'd wonder often when he finally realized what Delvin was. After the Immortal had disappeared because of the mad fledgling's attempt to turn him, the question would come and go. He never would have killed Delvin. He just wanted to keep him. It was his own version of the losing-a-friend-to-immortality tale.
Delvin stared at him for a long hard moment and just when Spike gave up hope of getting an answer, the older man dropped his head back with a sigh.
"I thought about it," he answered. "A lot. Diane said I was an idiot. A soft-hearted idiot, but then, she's been calling me that for millennia. I had maybe another decade before I had to decide though, so I thought. But I think I would have, eventually. You were so different from most people, so curious about things that everyone else just dismissed that I thought you would have been able to accept it."
"I like to think I would have too," Spike said with satisfaction. Then he looked away, thinking hard about what he was about to say. "I don't know how I would have reacted to the Game, though. Violence, darkness...those things were both fascinating and disturbing back then. I remember... being drawn to you all the more once I saw a bit of it in you, but it also made me less certain around you. Made me sure... you'd never love someone as soft as I was."
He looked up and Delvin was giving him that look, the one that said he was deciding something important. He finally nodded his decision to himself. "I loved you from the moment I met your nephew. That was also the moment, I knew I shouldn't have you."
Spike blinked. His nephew...Kristofer. Kris was the son of his sister, Melissa. He'd been three-years-old when Delvin and William had found him in the market, having wandered off from his mother. The boy hadn't been afraid at all, but he's certainly been happy to see his uncle Will. He ran right into his arms and together, he and Delvin had searched for Melissa. Spike remembered loving his nephew, spending time with him, feeling those soft baby hands playing with his glasses and mussing his hair.
He looked at Delvin, showing his confusion.
"I knew that you loved children and that if you were with me, you'd never have any. Especially in those days. No one would have allowed us to raise a child. Even with a woman, I could never have one, and I know you'd never agree to a cover bride, much less one to actually have a child with. I know things didn't work out, but I wanted that family for you. I wanted to see you with your own child in your arms and see if your smile could get any brighter than it did with that boy tugging on your hair-tie." He looked unbelievably sad. "I just wish you'd been lower class so I could have found you a girl you deserved, not some spoiled princess that was beautiful and cold as rivers of my homeland."
"Back then I wouldn't have considered it a compliment that you thought I deserved a lower class woman," Spike replied with a smile.
Delvin smiled back. "You'd have been happier out of that circle. All those people striving to look like the prettiest peacock in the forest. To be dressed improperly, such a sin back then. I always imagined you in a simpler life, being serenely happy."
It sounded nice. And warming that Delvin had seen it for him. Spike shook himself. "Well, why do you think I started acting like a guttersnipe the moment I was turned."
"Oh, I get it, trust me. Diane did something similar when we died the first time. She hated being the princess. Didn't like the idea of being married off for an alliance..."
"Stick to your own stories, little brother," Diane called, walking passed the room, Greg dragging behind her. He looked exhausted but strangely excited.
"But little sister, I have so few pleasures in life," Delvin called back, an impish smile on his face. "Telling all your secrets is one of them. You'd take that from me?"
"In a heartbeat," she yelled from further away.
He rolled his eyes. "I never minded being a prince, but it was different. I was expected to mingle with the other boys my age. Father said if they didn't like the man, they wouldn't serve the king."
"Was it accepted back then? Two men?"
Delvin hesitated. "In a way. For young men and soldiers it was acceptable. But once we were of marrying age, we were expected to marry a woman and produce child to strengthen the clan. And affairs were looked down on. So, it was double edged. And I don't think it ever occurred to me that two women would desire each other back then. I'm certain it would have been frowned on though. Women were expected to be virginal on their wedding night."
He was frowning, and Spike didn't like the look of the emotions building in his eyes, so he jumped up. "I think we should order pizza or something for the Whelp and Wolfboy."
Delvin nodded, shaking off whatever thoughts he was thinking. "Sounds good, then I'm putting Alexander though the grinder again. I noticed something when I saw him with Atwater the other day that needs to be corrected."
"In that case, I'm taking a walk." Spike declared.
"I know you're taking blood from him."
Spike froze. This could go bad in so many ways.
"And I don't mind. So long as it's not at the beginning of one of his patrols or something. Immortals replenish blood quickly, but I don't want him to be even a little too slow."
Spike turned back. "I wouldn't endanger him. Boy's the only family I have, except the poof and I'm barely sure he counts."
"I know. Just be careful."
Spike walked away, his heart soaring. I know, he said. Delvin really trusted him. Now if he could love him.
AN: It suddenly occurred to me that I need to get these two moving. And I promise, there will be prophesy development in the next one.