Spike sat on the roof of his crypt, the graying half-light of the approaching dawn casting vague shadows over his still form, his only movement the occasional swig from a bottle dangling precariously from his fingertips. A cigarette smoldered, forgotten, on the edge of the marble roof.

Spike was barefoot and shirtless, lean arms wrapped around upraised knees, his skin unearthly pale in the pre-dawn chill.

You're as bad as your Sire, mate. If this isn't brooding, what is it then?

Spike could still smell them - him - on himself. Unbidden, the memory of the first time played out behind closed eyelids. The faint zing of pheromones earlier in the evening before patrol. The sideways looks, intense but quickly averted, that had turned to bold speculative looks after the others had gone their separate ways. The fight with the demon, fast but hard, and exhilarating. The Look, the sudden understanding, the thump of his back meeting the trunk of the nearest tree.

Xander's mouth, hot against his. Xander's mouth, still hot and moving down, the stuttered pop of his buttonfly coming undone under Xander's talented hands. Xander's mouth, now hotter than the lake of hell, swallowing him whole, sucking voraciously, unceasingly, until he spilled his essence into Xander's greedy throat.

The taste of Xander, of the blood Spike had licked off a gash on his bicep, the tang of triumph and lust in his sweat, the bitter pungency of Xander's release surging into Spike's mouth, Xander's hoarse shout echoing from the nearby crypts.

Fuck! Rub it in, why don't you?

Spike took another swig from the bottle, knowing from the sound of the slosh that it was nearly empty. Resigned you are a glutton, aren't you? he let the memory of the last time replace the first.

~hours earlier~

Spike pulled Xander to his feet and held the panting mortal up easily while he caught his breath.

"Jeez, Spike." Xander's grin was goofy, and his eyes were still dilated, making them nearly black in the dark.

Spike just smirked. When Xander had recovered, Spike pulled him close and tried to kiss him. Xander stiffened and tried to pull away, but Spike didn't let go.

"Why not, Pet? The only thing my mouth tastes like now is you."

"Because, Spike, that's not what this is."

"What do you mean?"

"This is sex, not a relationship. You kiss the people you love, and I don't even like you."

Spike ignored the sharp stab of pain and asked. "Then why do this at all?"

"I like to get off, you like to get off, neither of us were getting off on our own; why not? But don't make this more than it is. It's just sex."

Spike dropped his arms and turned away, struggling to hide the hurt. When he looked back, Xander was gone.

Sod it all anyway. You knew it was just sex when you started. Why do you have to keep wanting more than what's on offer? You do it every damn time. Haven't you learned anything over the years?

Spike sighed. I didn't just sigh. I don't need to breathe. Oh, bloody hells, yes I did sigh. Move over, Peaches, your son is joining the family business.

Something caught his eye; looking up he saw the Dawn Star twinkling in the sky.

Star light, star bright, last star I see tonight. Hell's bloody bells, too many years with Dru. Well, I'll finish it; she always said it was bad luck not to. I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight. I wish I had someone to love. Scratch that, I have someone; I just wish I had someone that would love me back.

Spike sighed again broody poof and dropped through the trapdoor into the crypt as the dawn bled over the horizon.

"William de Sanglant, what have you gotten yourself into? You look like you haven't been eating properly; you're far too thin." She tsk-tsked.

Spike stared in amazement. The...person in front of him was taller than he was, by a good bit. Spike counted 14 breasts and assumed that it was a 'she'. She was plump and matronly, and mauve. Her flowered apron clashed horribly with her skin. Other than the apron, and a pair of no-nonsense black pumps, she was naked. Her eyes were slitted like a cat's, and a tail twitched near her ankles. A wooden spoon was tucked into a heap of feathery fronds piled haphazardly on her head, and the only thing that kept the whole thing from falling into her face were the small horns over her forehead, and large pointed ears.

"And don't stare, William, it's not polite."

Spike closed his mouth with a snap then opened it again to ask, "Who are you? And where did you come from?"

"You wished for me, William. I'm your fairy demon mother. You can call me Mum."


"William, sweetie, it's time to get up now." Gentle fingers brushed Spike's hair back from his forehead.

"Just another few minutes," Spike mumbled into his pillow.

A few minutes later a sharply delivered smack to his arse had him scrambling out of bed, growling and in gameface.

"Now, William, and don't growl at your mother."

Spike rubbed his offended posterior and glared at his visitor, who was tucking the wooden spoon back into her hair. Spike looked around, mouth slowly dropping open. His crypt had been cleaned to within an inch of perfection.

"Wash up, child, and put a shirt on. The sun set an hour ago; it's time for you to hunt."

Spike shrugged into a shirt, but sat in his chair and lit a cigarette instead of putting his boots on.


"Drop it, Mum. I'm not going." If Spike had been anyone other than a one-hundred-twenty-six-year-old Master vampire, his tone would have been called sulky.

"And why not?" Mum's tone was positively frigid. If a human child had heard that tone from a parent, they would have backed their fanny into the nearest wall and started

"Look, I don't know what - or who - you are, but if you're really my demon godmother, they didn't give you all facts about me before they sent you here. I can't hunt; the soddin' soldier boys put a chip in my head and pretty effectively neutered me."

"Oh, my poor child. No wonder you're so thin. What have you been eating?"

"Pig's blood, or beef; the cooler is downstairs. Human if I can get it from Willie's, but I can't usually afford it."

Without quite knowing how it had happened, Spike found himself sitting in Mum's lap, still in the chair. She cuddled him close to her many breasts and stroked his back. Spike debated internally, then relaxed into the comfort offered, laying his head on her shoulder. It's been so long since somebody's touched me without trying to kill me. Being the Big Bad is fun, most of the time, but it's wearing, and I'm about worn out.

After a time, Mum made Spike sit up.

"Show me where."

Spike indicated the back of his head, the site of both the Initiative's explorations and his own attempts to be rid of the chip. Mum held her hand over the spot and Spike felt a tingle.

"I can help, but it's going to hurt."

"Do it," Spike answered curtly. Nothing could hurt as bad as not being me anymore.

"Ready? On the count of five. 1... 2... 3..." Before she got to five Spike felt an immense, searing pain, burning though every nerve he had and a few he hadn't known about. Gratefully he allowed the onrushing blackness to swallow him.

"William, sweetie, it's time to get up now."

"Didn't we already do this?" This time though, Spike rolled over and sat up. He felt remarkably clear-headed. And hungry.

Mum crossed the room to a blank wall and waved her wooden spoon in front of it before tucking it back behind her ear. She opened the door that hadn't been there a minute ago and reached in.

"Put this on, William, and comb your hair. We're going to dinner." She handed Spike a deep, nearly navy blue silk shirt, followed by a comb. Spike did as instructed. Dunno about the chip, but I know there wasn't a closet there...

Still following instructions, he held on to her apron strings. A quick swirl of her spoon later and they were standing in an alley near the coffee shop. They melted back into the shadows and waited.

Soon enough, a man came into the alley and discarded a handful of wallets in the nearest garbage can. Spike slid into gameface at the smell of the blood on the man's clothes. Amateurs. You don't need to hurt 'em to mug 'em.

"Will he do, William?"

"He'll do just fine, Mum." Forcing his face into human planes, Spike staggered drunkenly down the alley towards his unsuspecting dinner, who demanded that Spike hand over his wallet. Spike made fumbling attempts to do just that, all the while getting closer and maneuvering the mugger into a corner. Sod this. I'm hungry and this idiot doesn't deserve my best effort. Spike straightened up and vamped out, enjoying the squeak of fear. One quick twist-and-snap, Yes! No pain! and Spike was soon enjoying several pints of AB-, fresh and hot.

He was so caught up in his feeding that he didn't hear the Slayer and her gang coming his way.

"I know there's a vamp here, my Slayer-sense is tingl-Spike! Oh my God!" Buffy had a stake in her hand and headed for Spike's heart before she finished her sentence.



Spike dropped the body at his feet and turned toward Buffy, who was rubbing her knuckles. Remembering the swat to his backside, Spike grinned.

"'ello, Slayer."

"Manners, William." Mum tucked her ever-present spoon back into her hair, then put the stake she'd taken from Buffy in her apron pocket. She fished around and handed him a napkin - linen, with his monogram embroidered in the corner. Enjoying the looks ping-ponging between he and Mum, he carefully wiped the blood from his face before handing the napkin back to Mum, who put it back in her pocket.

"Slayer, I'd like you to meet my fairy demon mother. Mum, this is the Slayer." Having done the courteous thing, Spike stepped back to watch the fireworks.

"So you're the Slayer. Well, Elizabeth, Ooh, she used her real name! that certainly explains your lack of manners, but a Calling is still no reason to be rude. Anyanka, dear, how wonderful to see you again." Ignoring the other's goggling, Mum swept Anya into a hug. "I heard about your power center; have you applied to the Board to have it returned yet?"

"No, not yet. I've decided I like being a human, and that men aren't so bad. I can have lots of orgasms this way. And I still have another couple hundred years before they find somebody else, so I thought I'd play here for a while before I went back."

"Um, excuse me, but..." Giles interrupted, then broke off.

Spike stepped forward and made introductions. "Mum, this is the Slayer's Watcher, Rupert Giles. You might have heard of him as Ripper."

'Ripper' glared, but Mum looked him up and down, then nodded in recognition. "Of course I have, William." She turned back to Giles. "You and that Chaos lordling were quite the talk of the otherworld during your heyday."

Giles blushed and fidgeted while Spike continued the introductions. "Red here is our resident witch. Willow, this is my Mum; Mum, Willow. The quiet one is Red's; her name is Tara."

"P-pleased to meet you, ma'am."

Mum tipped Tara's chin up until Tara met her gaze. "How charming. And such wonderful manners! I'm delighted to meet you, too, child. Any friend of William's is a friend of mine. And who's this young man?"

Pinch his cheek! Pinch his cheek!

With a sly look that made Spike wonder if she'd heard him, Mum reached out and pinched both of Xander's cheeks.

"Mum, this is Xander. Xander, my Mum."

"What a handsome child! He's your special friend, yes? I knew his scent was familiar. William, dear, it is your crypt; you could have had your little friend stay the night-I wouldn't have minded."

Spike smirked as the Scoobies all stared at Xander with varying degrees of bewilderment. He was somewhat concerned when Buffy dropped another stake out of her sleeve and stepped forward, but he was enjoying himself far too much to be truly worried.

"Spike..." Buffy raised the stake but lowered it again when Mum reached for her spoon.

"Put that away, young lady." You tell her!

"Er, if I may," Giles interrupted the growing stand-off. "How exactly did you become Spike's fairy demon mother, and why? And was it you who, er, neutralized the chip?"

"Watchers," Mum scoffed. "They can't believe the evidence of their own eyes. I became William's Mum in the traditional way-he wished for me.I did? That answers both the 'how' and the 'why'. As for his chip, that was the first of the traditional three wishes.I made three wishes? When? You do know about those, don't you?" The tone of her voice made it clear she didn't expect him to. "You, Watcher, should be ashamed of yourself. Yeah! You should be! Um, why? I know you had no part of the Initiative, but to deliberately look the other way when an ally is slowly starving is beneath you. You know a growing boy like William needs at least three people's worth of blood a night, and that he needs human blood for part of that to function and to heal. Yet you keep him on starvation rations of pig's blood. Pig's blood!" Mum was quivering in indignation. She turned to Buffy.

"And you, young lady, will not stake Spike, now or ever, is that understood?" So there!

"Now wait just a minute here! Who are you to tell me how to be the Slayer?"

"Um, Buffy..." Anya was tugging nervously at Buffy's sleeve.

"You just waltz right in here, you make the most dangerous vampire in the world dangerous again, you embarrass Giles, and what about Spike and Xander? I'm just supposed to ignore that one of my best friends is getting groiny with the evil unchipped undead?" Yes, Slayer, you are. That is, if we were getting groiny, which we're not.

"Hey!" Xander tried to interrupt but got a good look at Anya, who was plainly scared.

"Um, Buffy?" Anya was now trying to pull Buffy away.

"What? I'm a little busy here."

Anya gave up and started slowly backing away, herding Willow and Tara as she went.

"AS I as saying before..." Buffy trailed off, her eyes going wide as she took in Mum's new form.

"Eep!" Xander again, edging in to hide behind Spike.

"Quite." That was Giles, who while not hiding, was still a lot closer to Spike than he had been at the start of this conversation.

Holy bleedin' daisies in hell, what is she?? I'm glad she's on my side!

Mum had grown. Substantially. More than that, her 'presence' was much larger, making the alley feel crowded. Her previous form had obviously been for public viewing; this was her true form. Massive, demonic; her muzzle had lengthened, along with the teeth in it, her hands had claws and her tail, much longer and now scaled, lashed angrily. Her tail has claws.

"Elizabeth Anne Summers, Oh, she used her middle name! That's never good. I have had just about enough out of you. You may be the Slayer, but I am Mother, and you will show me respect, is that understood?"

Buffy nodded.

"You will not stake Spike because I say you may not. He is what he is. As long as he doesn't eat either your friends or family, you will leave him alone. Is that understood?"

Buffy nodded. Reluctantly, but she did.

"And you will abide by my rules too." She turned her yellow gaze on Spike, don't look down you're the Big Bad don't look down who looked at his feet. "You will, under no circumstances, eat any of the Slayer's friends or family. Is that understood?"

Spike nodded. Yes ma'am.

"You may feed wherever you like, although the Slayer would rest easier - and I would take it as a personal favor - if you hunted in the bad end of town. You may bite her friends only with their permission." She looked significantly at Xander. "Is that clearly understood?"

Spike nodded. Does that mean I can bite the whelp? No, sod it, he won't even let me kiss him.

"I can't hear either of you. Speak up!"

"Yes, ma'am."

"I understand, Mum," Buffy and Spike chorused together.

"Good. I'm glad that's settled." Between one breath and the next, Mum regained her original form."Rupert, it was so nice to meet you. I know I shouldn't ask, but you're a bit of a celebrity. Would you sign my spoon?"

In a daze, Giles nodded.They look like a bunch of noddy dolls. Mum produced a feather pen out of her pocket and Giles signed the spoon and handed the pen back.

"Willow, Tara, it was lovely meeting you. You'll be very happy together, I'm sure. Anyanka, dear, don't let it be another two hundred years before I hear from you again, please. Keep in touch?" Mum swept Anya into another hug.

"Sure. We can do lunch."

"Come along, Xander, William, we must have a chat." Majestically she swept down the alley, clearly expecting Xander to follow. Xander, helpless, looked at his friends, who shrugged.

"Come along, pet, it's not nice to keep Mum waiting."


The last time Spike had seen a bar cleared that fast, it had been he and Angelus doing the clearing. Whoever - or whatever - Mum was, she was obviously not someone most of Willie's clients wanted to tangle with. Within minutes of their arrival, they were the only ones left.

"There. Now we have a quiet place to chat."

When the two beers and glass of sherry they'd ordered had been set on the table, "It's on the house, ma'am," she turned to Xander.

"Now then. What are your intentions toward my William?"

Good thing I know first aid. Spike thumped Xander on the back until he coughed up the beer he had inhaled.

"Um, what?"

"Your intentions, young man, what are your intentions? Is this just a walk on the demonic side for you No, that was Anya. or do you intend to make an honorable man of William?" A what?

"I...I don't understand?"

Mum gave Xander a look usually reserved for stubborn two-year-olds.

"Come now, don't act stupid; I know better. You've been having a physical relationship with William and he obviously loves you. And you used him, then hurt him badly. Tell me why I shouldn't do the same to you."

"Because I'm a nice guy?" Xander joked nervously. Little beads of sweat popped out at his temples and on his upper lip when he saw the glare he was getting from Mum.

"Do you love him?"

"We arrangement."

"Do you love him?"

"It was just sex."

For you, maybe, and maybe even for me, in the beginning.

"Alexander Harris, How'd she know his name? Never mind. do you love him?"

"He can't love me, he's a demon!"

Says who?

"I'll take that as a 'yes'."

"That's not what I said!"

"No, but it's what you meant. Now we can talk. William, do you love this human?"

"Yes." Yes. With every beat of my undead heart.

"So what's the problem?" Mum poured sherry out of her spoon into her glass, refilling it.

"He doesn't love me."

"He can't love me."

"He does, and he can. Alexander, a soul isn't necessary to love. All that is truly necessary is the desire to love someone. Spike wants to, and so he can. It's as simple as that. If you admit that you love him too, you run the risk of getting hurt, but you run that risk every time you love someone. Did you love Anyanka?"

How'd...? Never mind. Mums always know everything, even demon mums.

"I...yes. I did."

"And it hurt you when she left, right?" Not waiting for an answer, she continued. "Was the hurt so bad that you're willing to do without love, ever again?"

There was silence for a while as Xander thought about the question and Spike thought about Dru. He had loved her with everything he had, and when she left she had ripped him open.

Dru, my dark princess. I miss you.'ve gone, and I'm going.

Finally Xander put his beer bottle down with a thunk.

"No. I'm not willing to do without love for the rest of my life. I'll take the chance of getting hurt again. But see, it's more than just my feelings. I have a soul. I don't want to be a vampire, and I'm not convinced that Spike could be with me without wanting to turn me."

Never turn you. I want Xander, not Vamp Xander.

"Ah, child, do you know what Spike's three wishes were?"

I didn't think I made any, but I'm not complaining about the chip.

"I would guess that the chip was tops on his list."

"No, that was second. His first was to have someone that would love him back. Now that one I remember. I can fix the chip, but I can't order feelings. The world doesn't work that way. I can help you read your own heart, but that's all." She sighed. "Do you know what his third wish was?"

No, what was it?

"No, what?"

"If you were willing, to find a way to keep you together, forever, without turning you. Alexander, what he loves is you, not your potential as a vampire."

They were silent for a while, Mum tapping their bottles with her spoon for an instant refill.

"Spike? Is what she says true?"

"Which part, pet?"

"All of it. That you can love me. That you do. That you don't want to turn me."

"All of it, pet. All of it's true. I do love you, I want as much of forever as we can have, and I want you. I don't want some demonic version, I want you, ugly shirts and all."

Almost as soon as the last word left his mouth Xander was leaning into his space, kissing him.

"I'm sorry, Spike. I'm sorry I said...I just didn't want to get hurt."

"We're a pair, pet. Between Dru and Anya, I think we ought to give up on women and stick with each other."


Spike's hand had disappeared under the hem of Xander's shirt when a discreet cough interrupted them.

"Ahem. I take it you've settled things?"

Xander blushed and Spike was glad he couldn't.

"Yeah, we have. Spike loves me; I love him. If Buffy doesn't flip over this, all will be right with the world."

"Don't you worry about the Slayer, dear. She may need some time to adjust, but she'll be fine with it, you'll see."

"If you say so."

"Now, boys, since I've granted William's three wishes, She has? it's time for me to be on my way."

"Wait, what's the third?"

"Oh, silly me. The third was 'forever'. Face each other and hold out your left hand."

They did. Mum waved her spoon around and Spike felt something like a cuff settle around his wrist. Handcuffs..oh, now there's an idea. From the startled look on Xander's face, he felt it too.

"There. It's not quite forever, but it's pretty close. It will take an act of someone with my power or greater to separate you two, and you know how it is; mothers always have the most power."

With much hugging and kissing and thanking, they made their way out of Willie's.

"Well, boys, this is it. I must be going now, but when you get home, you'll find I've arranged a gift for you." She pinched Spike's cheek. "Take care of yourself, William, and take care of Alexander. And Alexander, if you hurt my William again, I will come back. I'm not supposed to, but I've grown quite fond of him."

"Yes ma'am. I'll take good care of him."

One last swirl of her spoon and she was gone. They found themselves standing in front of Spike's crypt.

"Shall we go in and see what she left us, pet?"

"After you."

The mysterious closet was still there. There were electrical outlets along the wall, and another door that hadn't been there before lead to a bathroom. The lid to the far crypt was propped up and when they investigated, they found the gift.

The tunnels underneath had been sealed off, the way blocked by a fancy iron door. The resulting chamber had been turned into a bedroom, complete with a king-size bed. A bottle of lube was displayed prominently on one pillow.

"Shall we?"

"We shall."

And they did, happily ever after.

The End

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