Pairing: (implied) Spike/Xander
Rating: PG
Words: 1141
Written For: chaoskir
Prompting Week:  2. Theme: Cooking
Prompt: "Comfort Food"
Disclaimer: The boys don't belong to me... and they never will. Sadly.
Summary: Spike was used to being ignored ...
Note: Many thanks to the lovely skargasm who has taken over Beta-Reading my works.
Note 2: Okay, so this might what you thought it would be but I still hope you like it. My muse certainly did.^^

Unexpected Comfort


Spike was used to being ignored or ridiculed one way or another.

It was the story of his life so far ever since he was born. The only exception to that rule had been his dear mother. He still missed her on some days.

Spike remembered that on some days, his father had barely looked at him when he was a child. And later, when he was older, in his late teens, that gaze had held some kind of bitter amusement before his father returned to his boring work. Spike still wasn't sure why his father had looked at him like that. When it became clearer that Spike – no, William, he had been a human at that time – wasn't going to follow him into the business in favour of writing poetry even that little bit of attention was taken from him.

The pain had faded over the time and what was left of it had disappeared beneath the hard shell of Spike, the vampire. That small bit of pain though, flared highly every now and then making it hard for him to stay around those he now counted as his family. It wasn't the only pain though, that he tried to hide beneath sarcasm and insults. The time spent with the rest of the clan had never been a time he wanted to look into too closely.

Freshly out of the grave his demon had rejoiced in the knowledge that he wasn't a mere minion, a follower that was easily replaced. He knew that he was something special and precious: he was a Childer. And the ingrained need and desire along with the acknowledgement of his status had told him that Childer were cared for, cherished – even if it was delivered through pain and blood and tears. He had gladly accepted the punishments and torture lessons if it meant attention from his Sire.

At first it was like it should have been – from what he knew now, so many years later. He was fed, tortured, nurtured, punished. But the attention lavished on him lessened with every day that passed until he felt like he'd become invisible. He was told to stay kneeling in a corner while his Sire fed alongside Angelus and Darla. It had never been Dru who told him what to do. Her attention span was too short and she forgot him as soon as her back was turned to him. He had been so easily discarded, kneeling in his corner. Waiting, craving, hurting.

He remembered clearly how it had felt, knowing that he had been forgotten by those who should have cared for him. Forgotten by those who were supposed to teach him about this new world that still scared him. They were almost like a family, he thought with dry amusement. Angelus and Darla taking care of a child-like Drusilla with her talking stars and Ms. Edith who always knew what would happen next. And William would kneel there, in the corner, waiting like the puppy dog that the parents had bought for their daughter.

That feeling of longing, the need for permission was still there and on some nights, usually when the whole group of Scoobies was researching , Spike felt like William again. Waiting for permission that was never given. It reminded him how he had stayed on his knees while the others fed and laughed and tortured. It was only after they left the room that he had crawled forward to try and lap up what little blood they had left for him. It was rarely enough to quench his thirst.

It should have become better once Angelus and Darla left them, Spike had thought but only for himself. Dru wasn't distracted by Daddy anymore and William had honestly thought that now her attention would shift towards her Childer – the one she was supposed to take care of. But again he was tossed aside as soon as he had fulfilled his purpose. Ms. Edith and the stars, the always talking stars, had replaced her Daddy and William had been left to fend for himself and his insane Sire.

Spike shifted in his seat and took a look around the room. It was the usual evening for the Scoobies – research and reflecting on enemies passed and defeated. Again he was the outsider looking in at the little group sat around a round table, discussing, talking, joking. He, though, had to sit alone on the stairs leading up to the other sections of books. It wasn't that he wanted to be included in those ridiculous discussions but every once in a while it would have felt nice.

Sighing quietly he returned his attention to the book on his knees. But the letters kept dancing around in front of his eyes and it wasn't long before he became lost in his thoughts again.

The little bell over the door to the shop rang and Spike's gaze turned towards the newcomer. Harris had arrived, grinning like a loon and carrying bags with stuff that the group called comfort food. It was received with the usual cheer and all too soon the noise level lowered again with only the occasional burst of laughter at jokes that weren't funny at all.

Spike was used to being ignored – but that didn't mean it didn't hurt. The hollow in his chest kept aching and all the pain he had fought hard to hide beneath his cover threatened to break out. It would shatter the fragile wall that he had erected and in the end nothing would be left of him. They would all see who he really was. The little dreamer who long ago thought he could write poems and who had still believed in true love.

The smell of something familiar pulled Spike's attention back to the present. Turning his head slightly his eyes fell on a steaming mug of what could only be hot chocolate. Following the arm that held it out towards him his gaze rested on Xander's face. The expression could almost be called tranquil if it weren't for the hidden sadness in those deep brown eyes. And Spike understood. They were both so eerily similar. Always there but kept on the outsides – never really belonging to the tight group.

He took the offered mug and shuffled over to let the boy sit down.

It's from Joyce,” Xander murmured and sipped his own chocolate. “I thought you might like something that reminded you of a more peaceful evening.”

A more comfortable situation. Spike smiled behind his mug and shivered. It wasn't necessarily comfort food but the idea was the same.

The aching pain inside him eased a little and for once in his life he didn't mind the rest of the Scoobies ignoring him. He wasn't alone this time.

The End

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