Sequel to Succour, which can be found here & here.
That's to calove for the beta, although that was yesterday and this has grown a bit since then, so mistakes are my fault.
Illyria was up the duff, but neither Spike nor Angel expected this to be any ordinary bun in the oven. No one could guess what on earth it was that Illyria carried within her gravid womb; research turned up nothing and no one dared speculate. Illyria herself would not answer their concerned questions, although whether she knew what she was carrying or not, there was no way to tell.
Her belly grew over the months, big and round and firm. To accommodate her new girth, her skin-tight battlesuit expanded with her growing middle, always perfectly molded to her shape. She had cravings too. Before, no one had ever seen her eat, but now she ate everything in sight, whether it seemed nutritious or not. Food, McDonald’s, even batteries, pencils and cutlery, if they were left unattended, were all consumed by her ravening hunger.
Maternity was kind to Illyria, without any sickness or swelling that her human counterparts had to experience. Not that anyone would have noticed any softening of the expectant mother. She carried on as she always had, fighting with not a thought to her baby inside. In fact she was stronger, meaner, showing more vigour than at any time since her powers had diminished. She showed little sign that her pregnancy bothered her at all.
It wasn’t everyday that a vampire discovered that he was going to be a dad, and the mother being a goddess was one Spike that had up on Angel. He took to his new role very seriously, fussing around Illyria, providing for her every need. However, his enthusiasm for his impending fatherhood was tempered his doubts about the offspring. Human? Demon? Vampire? Something else or in-between? Whatever it turned out to be, he was sure he would protect it with his life. It’d had better not be evil.
And so the pregnancy progressed, the mother indifferent, the father anxious, the offspring developing quietly inside without a care, until one day when her belly had grown to vast proportions, Illyria came to Spike and said. “It is time.”
Spike paused Doom 3 and looked up at her, puzzled. “Time? You can’t be hungry again…”
Illyria looked as ashen as he’d ever seen her, and she shuddered as her fierce contraction came. “This shell…”
Spike leapt up to support her in case she threatened to collapse. “Don’t worry, got you.”
“This shell is too weak,” she gasped. “Yet I find I lack the strength to change.”
“Angel!” Spike yelled in panic.
He lifted Illyria up. She lay limply in his arms between convulsions of pain while he rushed through their warehouse home to their makeshift-birthing suite. Illyria had demanded that a water tank be constructed to accommodate the delivery. It had been built with all the proper ceremony and magical incantations she required, despite the fact it was little more than a large children’s paddling pool, resplendent with jolly characters from the seashore.
Spike carried her to it and placed her into the water.
Angel appeared from his room, still arranging his clothing. “What’s going on? I’ve got a date later.”
“She’s in labour, you nit. Poodle can wait,” Spike waved at their altar. “Start the bloody rituals, or get hot towels or whatever we need.”
“I told you not to call Nina that,” Angel snapped as took his place.
He began to read from the book of rites, hoping that he was pronouncing the odd old words correctly. It was at times like this that he really wished Wesley was still alive. Spike, unsure of what to do, grabbed Illyria’s hand. For once she seemed to welcome his comfort.
At first nothing much happened, the two vampires had no idea what to expect. Illyria said nothing, but moaned painfully as each contraction tore through her. Fred’s body was not built to handle whatever it was that caused Illyria’s belly to bulge as the offspring fought to escape the narrow confines of the womb. It stretched like a thick membrane, churning oddly like no human body should do. Angel kept chanting, Spike kept holding Illyria’s crushing grip and she kept fighting the pain.
Birth wasn’t what any of them was expecting. A sapphire tentacle punctured Illyria’s abdomen, ripping it open like a fledgling cracking through an enormous egg. There was a blush of blood in the water and out popped a small creature, a dark demon with many arms; long suckered limbs that propelled it through the water as it’s mother’s blood made it frantic with bloodlust trying to feed on the diluted plasma, ignoring the nascency of it’s siblings. Five more, each a different shade of rich blue, slipped into the pool.
“I’m a dad!” Spike beamed.
Angel’s chant faltered as he caught sight of the unholy nativity before him and what Illyria had produced. “Spike, they’re…”
“Continue!” Illyria demanded sharply, getting awkwardly to her feet. Her stomach gaped in a wide wound, dripping with blood, water and afterbirth.
Spike tried to steady her, but she waved him away. “It is repugnant to me and tastes of the pointlessness of small lives, but my issue require the sustenance of blood.”
Spike nodded, looking at the water. It was clean, filtered through hungry mouths. Tentacles clawed at her legs as the newborns tried to reach any drop of blood they could reach. “I’ll be back.”
Angel watched him leave, keeping up the chant. Illyria seemed to stiffen and the magic he wove started to take effect. The lips of the wound seemed to close before his eyes, knitting together into new skin, as perfect as before.
Spike was back as the last scrap of skin disappeared under her armour, most of their blood supply gathered in his arms. The little demons detected its metallic odour and released Illyria for a more promising food source. As she stepped clear, they surged against the side of the paddling pool, threatening to rip through the plastic.
Spike dumped the contents of a large flask into the water. “Grub’s up, boys!”
The resulting scramble of tentacles and fanged maws made the paddling pool sag dangerously.
“I think you need to move them,” Angel looked about for something more stable. There was a tank over near the back doors that had been rejected for the birth due to its size that might do.
“They have your eyes,” Angel said dryly as he returned later that evening. He’d cut his date with Nina short, too worried about what was going on in his own warehouse to concentrate on dinner and dancing. Spike’s children might be sucking the universe into a new continuum and he’d be out trying to avoid doing the Tango. Luckily his concerns were unfounded for the moment.
He watched Spike near the huge holding tank the young demons had been transferred into, he certainly seemed proud of them.
“Nah,” Spike ignored the jibe. “They take after their mother mostly.”
Angel couldn’t argue with that. Spike and Illyria’s progeny, a handful of small creatures pulsing with a need for blood under their indigo skin and many tentacles, bobbed blissfully through the water, unaware of the scrutiny of the two vampires.
“Where is Illyria?”
“Sleeping off the birth, or whatever it is she does.”
Angel really didn’t want to think about the unlikely union that had produced this offspring. Spike had taken Illyria on after Wesley’s death and, over time, their strange mistress/pet relationship had mutated into some bizarre sexual fetish that Angel had heard involved the tentacles of Illyria’s original form. The thought of all those arms slipping over flesh made Angel rather uncomfortable, but Spike seemed to like them and he’d chosen not to mention the quite obvious sets of circular marks that had regularly appeared on Spike’s neck. Angel would have argued that the whole affair was most unwise, but if it prevented Spike from moping after Buffy then Angel couldn’t begrudge him whatever he was getting out of it.
Spike was fascinated by his unlikely children and was tapping on the tank like an errant child in a doctor’s surgery. “That’s it, come to daddy!”
“Won’t that scare them?”
Spike gave Angel his best ‘are you a complete idiot?’ look. “They’re vampire squid. I don’t think my boys are scared of much.”
Angel didn’t doubt it. One of the ‘children’ viciously lashed a tentacle against the glass with a thump.
“Yep, just like their mum,” Spike said proudly. “Vicious little buggers.”
“You know we can’t keep them.” Angel told him quietly.
“We are not killing them.” Spike replied between gritted teeth.
“It’s for the best.”
Spike put himself between the tank and the other vampire. Outraged, he slipped into game face and growled. “You can’t do that, they’re mine.”
“You have no idea what they’re going to grow up to be!”
“You’re just jealous!”
“I have a son, Spike.”
“Yeah, and I have six!”
“They are the progeny of an Old One and a vampire,” Angel’s temper flared. “They are not going to grow up into calamari!”
“I should hope not.” Spike turned briefly to the tank. “Don’t listen to the nasty man, kids!”
“Spike,” Angel said seriously. “Think about this…”
“They shall not die.” Illyria commanded from the doorway.
They turned to her as one, and she expected nothing less. She strode into his room and stood over the tank, her cold, staring eyes looking into nothing. There was no sign that she’d ever been through the trauma they’d witnessed earlier. No one was going to argue with her.
She pressed her hands to the glass and shimmered, a ripple that ran through the fabric of the universe, and the offspring were gone, winking out of existence one by one.
Spike started to go for her, but was held back by the steel of Angel’s grip. “What have you done?” He roared at her.
Her gaze settled upon him, the contemptuous glare of a tyrant. “They live. Each sent to a dimension to make their own by conquest. They shall seek victory, submission through treachery and death. They will rise above the filth and they shall be glorious.”
“They couldn’t stay here?” Spike frowned.
“They are usurpers, betrayers. They would seek to take all from me. This world is my own.”
“This world isn’t your own, Illyria.” Angel told her.
Illyria turned to him mechanically. “Not yet. I have much work to do.”
“I will have to stop you, you know that.”
“I understand, you are a warrior as am I and long for the stink of battle,” she turned to Spike, giving him a withering glare. “You shall remain my pet.”
Spike looked anxiously, torn between loyalties, all the while knowing that he would choose to save the world from Illyria’s tyranny. Still it was better that they keep her close, and hopefully, occupied. “Yeah, alright…”
“Good,” she began to change into her demon self, reaching out for her vampire lover as her arm split into tentacles. “We shall make more.”