Cold Comfort


by
Jackson



Yeah I turned him.

I had to didn't I? Soft git was bloody dyin' in my arms.

Poor sod. He deserved a hero's death, fighting for the Slayer in the apocalypse or something. Instead on a routine patrol we frightened some demon with more claws than brains that caught him a backhander as it legged it. Two seconds, that's all it took, and suddenly there's blood everywhere and he'd collapsed in my arms.

Dying in my arms. Sounds romantic that doesn't it? Poetic. Well it fuckin' wasn't. He'd been sliced across the throat, every time his heart beat the blood leapt from his throat near enough to three feet in the air. And I was holding him so tight, and I couldn't even see him clearly because of the tears streaming from my eyes, and I was crying and begging, saying; "Xander don't die, please don't you die."

But it was too late. Too late for hospitals, for fighting, even too late for those words I'd never had the guts to say. You think you have time. Even by human standards, that you've got time or you'll at least have some warning or something, but no, just a few seconds of jumbled violence and time has run out.

Too late. Except for one thing. And I *had* to, don't you see?

I didn't want to, but I couldn't let him die. He was gonna die not knowing, thinking I just saw him as the Slayers groupie. Not knowing I loved him so much that just the bloody sight of him made me hurt and calm and passionately happy, and utterly miserable all at once. I couldn't let that happen. He was lying there in my arms, his lifes blood spurting out of him, making the ground sodden and red around us, watching him just, just ebbing away in front of me. And don't nod and pretend you understand. I know it was stupid but what would you have done? Someone you love, friend, lover, enemy, whatever dying in your arms and you have the power to bring them back. Of course you'd do it!

And I did. I sealed my mouth over the gash in his throat, and drank. Drank deep. Can't even really remember what it tasted like. Bitterness is what hit my throat, but that wasn't Xander, that was me. Disgust for what I was doing. Then, when he was almost dry, I sliced my wrist and he latched on.

And sure enough he rose. I'd brought him back, and I had him, in every way if you follow me.

I know this is what you want to hear about, I'm building up the suspense and the what'dya call it, characterisation alright?

Well we've had a blast. Travelling, shagging, him killing, letting me watch and then we shag again. He's taken to the vampire lifestyle like a duck to water, and is it amazing to watch him go! The chances he takes . . .he always did when he was human of course, was always brave, but he wasn't suicidal you know? He was held back by his mortality, well not anymore and is he gorgeous! I mean bloody hell, seeing him in the moonlight, gamefaced, passionate, just call me perpetually horny. Always hungry, for blood, for pain, for me. Doesn't really matter what. The lads insatiable. Like that about him. Smart too. When he was human he was held back by shyness, fear that he wouldn't be right, that he'd make mistakes. All that's gone now, he's come into his own and he fucking revels in the power.

It's just . . .I never really got it before. How different people are. You see when a vampire spots a human they fancy turning for a bit of company it's pretty much eye up, quick chat, bit of biting and there you go. And hey they still seem the same cause they've still got the same personality and shit. Never really got before that there's a reason vamps don't get to up close and personal. It's cos a vampire is a poor second once you fell in love with the human. If I'd have turned him when I first met him, no problem, but now . . .

I fell in love with Xander Harris. What I have in my arms and my bed is a guy that looks like Xander and thinks like Angelus. So near, yet so fucking far. Like trying to pin down a cloud or something. I look in his eyes and they're still chocolate brown, but they're cold. The lad that lived and died fighting the good fight, the purity, the fire, the belief in a better world, that he could make it a better world, all gone.

Yeah yeah I know what you're thinking, the curse. There's a reason it's called a curse you know. Yeah I thought about it, but it wouldn't be any good. Peaches had the weight of over a hundred years of cruelty pressing down on him, and he still got a moment of true happiness. If I cursed Xander and he didn't have all that on his mind what chance would he have before he lost his soul again. Especially since, well we're not so good on the celibacy thing. Besides even if it would work I wouldn't do that to him, make him lead a life of immortality, where he's afraid to be happy. I mean Angel is the good guy yeah, but Angelus is the happy guy.

And I think Xander is happy. He's beautiful and vicious. He kills joyfully and indiscriminately. All vamps do the first few years, it's a reaction to the power you suddenly have. Takes a while to settle down. He wanted to go after Buffy of course, all the Scoobies actually, but Buffy first. I wouldn't let him, took him well away from her. Cos no mistake, he's a strong childe, it'd be to the death alright, and if she had to, she'd kill him. I won't make her kill him. I won't make anyone else that loves him go through that. And I can't lose him again.

Though I do wonder, I think he could beat her, but then I really would have lost Xander wouldn't I? He would have died for her, the least I can do is honour the memory of that, of the lad he used to be by not letting his demon kill her now.

I guess I can hope. I began to fall back on the remaining humanity I had, maybe he will. Maybe in time the demon will be sated and Xander will start to emerge.

Maybe.

I've got time. I can wait. But I wish, oh how I fucking wish I'd had my shot with him before he died. I wish I'd at least tried. I wish I hadn't had to turn him. I wish I had Xander back.

But hey don't go feeling all sorry for me, I don't want any bloody pity. The way I see it, I got exactly what I deserved and that's the justice people always drone on about. I get to have him. That's what I wanted. It's not really him, that's my punishment.

Anyway enough chit chat I gotta be gettin' back. My boy's waiting for me, maybe I'll bring him round to meet you, but then again, you'd best hope that I don't.

***

I crawl into bed with him and wrap my arms around him. Next to that body I know so well now. Cold skin. Silky pressed against me. It's sickening and soothing at the same time. Cold comfort.

But it's better than none.




The End





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