Pairing: Spike/Xander
Rating: FRM/R
Summary: Sometimes it's too late to put the pieces together.
Word Count: 934
The Blue Pencil Crew: The absolutely awesome snowpuppies (many hugs and snogs to you, my dear!)
Feedback: Please.
Distribution: My LJ, my IJ, and my site only (and Spander Files)
Disclaimer: I own nothing. It all belongs to Joss and a bunch of other people who are not now and have never been me.
Author's Notes: Written for fall_for_sx

Jigsaw Cuts


He dreamt of Xander even before he knew his name.

“’Bout time you gave me a decent gift, Angelus.” He smiles as he looks the boy over - gawky limbs and badly-cut hair. The softness of the curls makes him itch to wrap his hands in those brown locks, especially if the boy were on his knees. He forces the boy down, not caring that they’re in the hallway of a high school and there’s a Slayer about.

He wants to take his present on a bit of a test drive.

He’d been surprised then at the way a nameless human brat had taken over his sleeping fancy. But he hadn’t dreamt of him again – not for a long time – so he didn’t wonder or worry. Perhaps he should have.

It was after another lost opportunity that he’d dreamt of him again.

“Your little friend…she’s not much of a witch,” Spike says, nodding toward the girl, bruised and bloody and bound on the floor. “I don’t see Dru here, professing her undying love. Makes me think it was a mistake bringing the two of you here.” He walks around the trembling boy standing before him. “You look like a lad who pays attention in school. What do we do with mistakes?” There’s no answer and Spike slips into game face, drinking in the overpowering scent of fear as it rolls off the boy in thick, fragrant waves. “We erase them,” he whispers in the boy’s ear. “Now would be a good time to convince me this wasn’t a big waste of my time. If you’re good, I’ll let you and your little friend live.”

“W-what do you want,” the boy – the name Xander emerges from Spike’s whiskey-soaked brain – asks.

“That’s a very good question. Why don’t you start by taking off those hideous clothes?”

That dream had left him sticky and annoyed in the back seat of the De Soto for three days straight as he’d headed back to reclaim Dru unaided. But it had gone again and Spike had let it slip away unmourned and unmarked.

But how was he to know? Still, he should have. There seemed somehow, though, to always be a reason why he didn’t see. Again…hindsight was always twenty/twenty.

And the dreams came again.

He’s in chains in the Watcher’s bathtub like some dumb animal. Helpless and degraded. He wonders why he didn’t just let the sun or the hunger take him. Wouldn’t death – real death – have been better than this?

Xander enters, a mug of blood in his hand, an expression of smugness no vampire should ever have to tolerate on his face. “Well, well. Gotta say, bondage looks good on you.”

“Glad I could amuse you, care to feed me now?” The smell of the blood reminds him that he’s hungry…always hungry, since they never give him more than just enough to take the edge off his thirst.

“Not so fast, oh neutered one.” The boy holds the mug out, waving it back and forth, taunting him. “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” It’s only now that Spike realizes that Xander closed and locked the door after he came in. The mug is set on a shelf. “No biting,” Xander says. Spike closes his eyes and hears the sound of a zipper being pulled down. Humiliatingly, he hardens in anticipation.

Even his dreams had turned against him. Once again, Spike saw this dream alone unto itself. He never went back and connected it to dreams of Xander past, thinking of it as another side-effect of the chip, never considering that the identity of the star might mean something.

He didn’t think of it when, after a year or so, he dreamed of the boy again.

He’s bloody and aching and empty – not much new there. Buffy’s just left and she’s given him all she’s got. Pity that’s a great lot of nothing. He hears the door to the crypt open. If she’s back for another go-round…

But it’s not her scent he smells.

“Are you okay?” A soft voice asks. How did Xander get here to the bed so quickly and without him noticing? “She really did a number on you.” There’s a cool cloth wiping blood away with the gentlest touch Spike’s ever known. He realizes long before lips touch skin that this is a dream, but somehow the knowledge doesn’t end it. Maybe that’s a blessing. Or maybe not.

“What do you want?”

Spike had that dream for two weeks or more and he was never able to tell who said the words, or even if it was the same voice each time. He tried to rationalize the dream as some sort of projection and the hollow explanation seemed to serve.

He never noticed that after he fucked Anya, the dream faded from his memory.

Until now.

He’s a hero, or he’s about to be; the amulet is his and he’s going to burn to ashes to save the world. Buffy even musters up the acting skills to tell him she loves him. Funny that he’d once wanted to hear that more than anything, but now…now, as the pain comes and it’s all over, what flashes before his eyes isn’t his life, but his dreams – all those dreams of Xander that he’d never remembered, all those puzzle pieces he’d left scattered on the floor of his mind. Here they are, all melding lines forming into something whole and he’ll be gone the second before it becomes clear.

“Wait!” he wants to scream. “Just a few seconds more.”

He didn’t get them.

The End

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