Title: A Yule Mating
Category: AU, Romance, Yule Themed, Slash
Beta: Queen Sereya
AN: For The 2008 Spander Illuminations
on Excessant. It is an all-human AU.
Disclaimer: Neither Xander or Spike belong to be, yes this does make me sad and believe there is no Santa.
Summary: A young warrior meets his mate on Yule.
Feedback: On List or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Archive: Permission granted.
When the Governor of California called out to his people to come to the Capital for a Gathering Day to celebrate the first year of Peace on Yule, no one was certain how to respond. The Sunnydale Clan were also unsure as to who they should take to represent their clan.
In the year, 5067 peace was finally taking place across the land as the main clans had decided to make peace instead of war. The Sunnydale Clan had fought bravely for the lands and people of California against the invaders from the northern lands. However, a year earlier the Governor of California and their enemies leaders had come together and forged a peace and now the Governor wanted to celebrate that hard won peace.
Xander Harris sighed silently as he listened to the debates of who it was their clan leader would take with him to the Gathering Day celebration. The young man did not believe that he would be one of those chosen as he was just past his manhood ceremony and had yet to lay with a man or woman.
While he had made a name for himself during the war for his destruction of several regiments, he had done so with only his closest friends, all of whom were under age by the rulings of their people. Xander and his friends were all orphans who had banded together to repel those who had taken their parents from them. Xander was their tactician. His adopted sister Faith was their top fighter, while their friends Buffy and Cordelia were tied for second as fighters. Willow, Tara, and Dawn were their healers. While Oz, Riley, and Graham were their spies and forward scouts.
Either most of the Sunnydale Clan were in awe or afraid of the band of young fighters as none of them was over 20 years old and only Riley who was twenty had made it past his manhood ceremony before they began to wage war. Riley and Graham were mated and were looking forward to the Gather, but would not go if Xander and the others were not chosen.
Xander blinked in confusion as the clan leader called his name. Looking up Xander stood and made his way over to their Leader Rupert Railes. “Young Xander, I have decided you and your band will come to the Gather with me, let the others know.” Rupert said smiling at the young man. Xander nodded quietly, and turned and walked away.
Rupert chuckled quietly to himself as he saw the way the other members of the clan responded to the young man. Xander was a beautiful youth, though he did not seem to see his own appeal. He wore his long brown hair long and loose, with the sides braided off his face as was proper for a youth who had passed his manhood ceremony, but had yet to mate. In his braids were black onyx and silver charms showing that he had fought in the war and that he was an orphan who had created his own small band of fighters and family. There were also light blue stones to show that he was not betrothed to anyone. This showed he was available for wooing or seducing. Unfortunately, for the members of the clan the young man did not seem to see that he was wanted.
Rupert Railes could readily admit that he had a soft spot for the Hellmouth Band and all of its members. They joined the battle much too young, but they had more reasons than any warrior did to fight. The band had only answered to him during the war and had helped turn the tide of the war. It was his hope that while they were at the Gather that Xander, Buffy, and Dawn would each find a mate to make them happy. Graham and Riley were mated to each other. Tara, Willow, and Oz had formally mated two months ago, while Faith and Cordelia had just formalized their bond last month. No one in the clan seemed to capture Xander or the sisters’ attention.
Giles sighed again and turned to look for his own mate and make sure the mischievous man had packed for the trip. Some days Ethan preferred to play like a child rather than prepare like an adult and the leader of a clan, Giles would have him no other way. Three days later…
When the Sunnydale Clan arrived in the capital city, they were met with the sight of the city dressed up in finery and the brightly colored tents set up for people to sell their merchandise, trade their wares and Clan tents set up for the festivities and the chance to make matches and treaties with other clans.
The trip to the Capital was made in ease, as the Sunnydale clan raised the strongest and best horses in the land, it was one of the reasons the Invaders had attacked the Sunnydale Clan so enthusiastically. Many of the best horse breeders and tamers were the first killed in the war, Xander’s father and mother were among the first to fall as both his parents were of the People and had a way with all animals, not just horses. Xander inherited this gift and it was one of the many reasons he had a bounty on his head during the war. Each member of the Hellmouth Band had this gift in some way.
Giles led the way to where the Clan was to set up their tents and smothered a grin at the admiring looks his young fighters were gaining from the fellow clans. Xander and Graham were among those that looked uncomfortable with such intense scrutiny. Giles’ mirth gave way to alarm as he realized they were being assigned a section beside the Las Angeles Clan. “Oy Ethan! It’s about time you lot showed up!” An annoyed voice called out, causing Giles to raise his eyes to the sky and sigh. Ethan let out a happy chuckle and climbed down from the wagon to go and greet his childhood friend Spike. The man was a menace, and Giles could only hope he and Ethan didn’t cause too much trouble and didn’t drag the children into it with them.
Xander and Dawn shared a look as the blonde warrior embraced their clan leader’s mate. Behind the man, more people exited the fine tents. Among them was a tall powerful man with pale skin and dark hair, at his side was a wary young warrior about their age, followed by a delicate brunette, a smirking redhead woman, a tall black man and two more brunettes, one with deep green eyes and the other wearing glasses with blue eyes.
“Hello Rupert,” The dark haired man called gently.
“Hello Angel, all is well among your clan?” Rupert asked politely.
“Indeed, who travels to this gather with you and Trouble?” Angel asked with an amused smile for the two men who both rolled their eyes. Rupert chuckled and the tension that had filled the Hellmouth Band eased at his obvious amusement.
“This is the Hellmouth Band, the young man to my left is Xander Harris, at his side is Dawn Summers, behind her and to the right is Faith and Cordelia Chane, behind them are Riley and Graham Finller, Tara, Willow, and Oz McRosborne, and Miss Buffy Summers. For those of you who do not know I am Rupert Railes and the gentleman with Spike is my mate Ethan.” Rupert introduced, making sure to use the proper bindings of the new names the mated took when they joined together, while showing that Dawn, Xander, and Buffy were unmated. The Los Angeles Clan looked at the three unmated and noticed that of the three Buffy was the only one shown to have taken a lover. However, no one talked about that as the man who bedded her was in fact an enemy infiltrator trying to get information on the Hellmouth Band and destroy them from the inside. Parker had died before he could report what he knew. Dawn killed him to protect them all and to save herself from his attack.
Spike took one look at the boy and knew that he was going to keep him. He looked at Ethan and smiled, and then looked back to the boy. Ethan rolled his eyes but nodded to show that he would help him woo the boy.
“This is the council of my clan, Charles and Winifred Bunn, Wesley and Francis Pryle, my son Connor, and Anya Jenaller. Winifred and Francis go by Fred and Doyle respectively.” Angel told them with a small smile.
The Hellmouth Band nodded to them in greeting, though Dawn and Buffy were glaring at the one called Anya for the way that she was leering at Xander. Anya just smirked wider. “Relax I am only enjoying his beauty, my mate would set me on fire if I tried to have orgasms with him.” Anya said bluntly.
Xander snickered and grinned at the woman, who beamed at him in response. “How are you doing Anya, you’ve taken a mate?” he asked the woman who once saved his life by sneaking him through enemy lines.
“Yes, just two months ago. She’s firey so I had to keep her, plus she can scream in three octaves when we have sex. She would be here, but she had to stay behind to help one of the clan women give birth.” Anya told him with a beaming smile. Xander laughed at the blushes her words caused the people around them. Spike meanwhile was falling further for the boy; anyone who could laugh at Anya’s enthusiasm for talking about sex was worth keeping.
“How do you two know each other?” Buffy asked disgruntled and embarrassed by the woman’s frankness.
“She was the one who smuggled me through the line when I was captured in the last days before the treaty was signed.” Xander told them with a friendly smile for Anya. The older woman had treated Xander’s injuries and helped him get back to his family.
“We owe you.” Buffy said solemnly, backed up by the rest of the Band, none of them could imagine their lives without Xander in it.
Anya nodded to show she understood, but spoke to lighten the mood. “It is too bad I am mated I could have worked that for orgasms.” She laughed at the splutters and blushes her words brought, while Xander and Spike snickered. Spike gave Xander a heated look, which he was oblivious to, much to Dawn’s amusement.
Dawn knew that Xander was aware of Spike’s interest, but that he was choosing to ignore it as he ignored most interest in himself. She knew that Xander wanted a lover who wanted him for more than a bed warmer or the prestige it would bring to his lover by them being known for mating with a member of the Hellmouth Band.
“Shall we get things set up then?” Rupert asked as he climbed down from the wagon. The others agreed and quickly set to work getting the main tent set up followed by the individual tents that they would be sleeping in.
While they worked Spike and the LA clan worked at their side and studied the Band of children that had made a name for themselves during the war. Spike made sure to be near Xander whenever possible, he knew that the boy was aware of his interest, but that Spike would have to work to get his attention and to make the boy his mate.
For the first two days of the Gathering, the Hellmouth Band worked to restore several contacts with the other clans and to let it be known that they were beginning to breed their prized horses once again. The Band had hidden the best of each of their line so that when the war ended, and they never doubted it would, they would have a way to make a living. When they were not making contacts they were dancing, playing games, and simply enjoying the Gather and the coming Yule.
During that time Ethan and Spike used every opportunity to keep Xander and Spike together. Spike bought him small trinkets and danced every dance he could with him. He told stories, not just of his time in the war, but in the times before and after. He threatened, cajoled and blackmailed his fellow clansmen into speaking well of him and telling favorable tales of his life with them.
Spike also brought buyers to Xander and the Band’s attention, people who once knew their parents and knew that buying horses from the group would be profitable and net them excellent horseflesh.
Spike brought him gemstones and interesting, if odd bits of things he found at the gathering. Thankfully, for Spike, this was working in his favor as nothing he bought was outlandish and all of the trinkets were things that fascinated Xander.
The night of Yule the Hellmouth Band, their clan leaders, and the LA Clan came together to celebrate the Peace of the past year and the joy of the one to come they had a large meal, exchanged small gifts and simply enjoyed one another’s company. Xander was lying on a soft set of cushions watching as the candles flickered against the light green fabric of the tent and smiled in contentment. He had just closed his eyes when they opened in shock as a warm body settled onto his. Xander relaxed slightly when he saw that it was Spike lying on him. The older man smiled gently at him and Xander raised an eyebrow wondering what the man would do now.
He wasn’t surprised when Spike leaned down to kiss him. Xander returned the kiss, enjoying the smoky flavor of the older man and the feel of the strong body against his own. When they broke apart to catch their breath, Xander lifted a hand and ran it down Spike’s back languidly, spreading his legs to allow Spike to settle further against him.
“Are you only wanting one night?” Xander asked Spike, still gently petting him.
“If I only wanted a night of sex I could get it anywhere Luv, what I want is a mate. Only had that once and she died during the war. I never expected to want another forever until I saw you with Chaos, then I knew you would be mine.” Spike answered honestly his eyes solemn and earnest.
“Good,” Xander whispered leaning up to kiss Spike again. This was what Xander always wanted and needed. Xander could tell that Spike was honest in his words and this was about Xander as a person, not a status symbol.
For the first times since his parents were, murdered Xander had hope and joy for Yule and the next year would be spent in true celebration instead of wondering and worrying if one of his family would fall to an enemy. Xander shivered in pleasure as Spike began to show him how much he cared for and wanted him.