Life and Death - Spike's POV
Hi Xander. I brought you some flowers, they're from Red. She asked me to leave them for you here, so I'll just put them down. She said she was going to stop by sometime tomorrow. I uh...I brought you this. It's some chocolate, your favorite kind. I know you couldn't have any before, so I thought I'd buy you some now. That's kinda daft, huh Pet? Well, I'll just leave it here anyway, next to the comic book Dawn left you.
It's been quite a big day today. Remember I told you that the littlest bit was coming home if the doc gave the final clearance? Well, she did, so we finally got her out of that damn place, and all those doctors and the tests; poking and prodding her, and treating her like she was their own personal pin cushion. Good riddance to the lot o'them, that's what I say. Now I have her home where she belongs and I can look after her for you.
The doc said that she is doing much better though. She has some color in her cheeks and she's been putting on weight. You'd be amazed at how big she is now since she was so tiny when she was born; so fragile. Well she's still tiny, but she doesn't look like she will break with the slightest touch anymore. She's so warm as well, so that when I hold her in my arms I feel like I'm standing in a furnace.
We finally decided on a name, or at least I wore the gang down until I got my way. We're calling her Anya after...well Anya obviously. The others wanted to call her Alexandria after you, but I know you wouldn't have wanted that. I eventually made them see the error of their ways, or in other words I put on a big guilt trip 'til they gave in.
She looks so much like you. I'm glad about that. She has your big brown innocent eyes. All she has to do is look at me and I melt. Like father, like daughter ay, you could do that to me so easily. I swear the other day she smiled at me. Buffy said that it was probably just gas, but I think she really did smile. I'm sure she recognises me. In her mind I'm probably the big weird guy with the really pale head that won't stop staring at her.
I'll say one thing for her, she's definitely inherited your appetite: she can down her bottle in no time now. I think she's inherited a few of Anya's facial expressions though. You know that one she had where she'd look at you like you were just wasting her time with some trivial crap that she didn't care about? Only a few weeks old and the little one has it mastered. Gave it to those bloody doctors all the time.
You'd be so proud of her Xander, she's a survivor, that's for sure.
My papers arrived today as well. I can't believe Angel came through like that. For someone who is supposed to be a good guy, he sure knows some really shady folk. I guess this means I'm gonna have to be nice to him from now on, but I suppose it's a small price to pay. I am now officially William Harris, and I have the fake birth certificate and citizenship papers to prove it. The adoption paperwork should be through any day now. Rupes has been a big help there. He knows people, who know people, who have made sure this goes through okay. Only in Sunnydale, would they be blind enough to let a vampire adopt a baby. The whole gang gave me glowing references though, even the Slayer. I think Rupert was the most influential. You know, the whole respectable Englishman bit.
So once the paperwork goes through, she'll be mine, officially at least. In reality I think she'll be all of ours. Red and Tara are gonna move into the spare room over the weekend to be near Anya. Probably just as well, I mean what the hell do I know about raising kids, especially a girl. I know they consider me a friend and all, but I'm still a vampire, so I can't say I blame them for wanting to keep an eye on me. Something tells me I'm gonna be getting a lot of visits from the others as well. They all love her just as much as I do.
I'm going to tell her all about you and Anya. I have a very good memory, she'll know everything about you that I know. I'll make sure she understands what a great man you were and the sacrifices you made to make sure she survived. I'm going to protect her for you too Xander, I promise you that. I would never let anybody harm one hair on her little head. I promised you that everything was going to be all right and I...I failed you. I broke my promise and now you're gone. I'm never gonna let that happen again. She'll want for nothing and she'll be safe.
Oh God I miss you Xander, I miss you so much it hurts. If you ever had any doubt of the effect you could have on me, you should see me now. I don't cry much Xan but sometimes it seems like that's all I can do now. I have this empty space inside of me that you used to fill. I ache all over, and I don't think it will ever go away.
Why did you never tell me Pet? I talked with the doc the other day, and she told me you knew about the risk. She told you when you started to feel the pain that something like this could happen and you never said a bloody word to any of us. The pressure inside you became too much, the womb ruptured and you bled to death. It's so stupid, you fought vampires, including me, since you were a teenager and you bleed to death like this. Sometimes I don't know whether to laugh or cry at that.
I can't stand the sight of the stuff now: blood I mean. It only reminds me of you. Red has to keep forcing me to drink, she doesn't understand how it feels though. I keep thinking that maybe if I didn't have this fucking chip I coulda gone into the operating room before you died and drank from you, and make you drink from me. Then you'd still be here and I wouldn't have to survive without you, but I know you wouldn't want that and I just hate myself for thinking it. You would never want to be a vampire...to be like me.
I know you... you never loved me, you cared about me I know, but you never loved me. You could never say it but it's okay though, I loved you...I love you. I always will, maybe that will be enough. I know you loved Anya with everything that you had, and I know I wasn't enough to compete with that. You're with her again now though, back where you belong.
I wonder where vampires go when they die their final death? Probably not wherever you are. I want to be able to hope that maybe I would see you again, someday, but I know it's futile. I will just have to make sure and remember all the time we had together. It's all I have left. I keep playing it over and over in my head whenever the heartache threatens to overwhelm me: every time you called me Fangless, every time I just sat and watched you eat all that disgusting food, every time I held your head while it took revenge on you, every lingering look when we didn't need any words to understand what we were both feeling, every sweet kiss that we shared.
I don't want to forget any of it because it wasn't enough. I knew you for eight years and we only had ten weeks together. Only ten weeks where I got to hold you and kiss you and show you how much I loved you. And in those ten weeks, only one night where I got to truly be with you. One night where I got to feel you fill me with your warmth. One night was not enough, ten weeks was not enough, a century wouldn't have been enough.
Sometimes the temptation to greet the sun in the morning is almost too powerful to fight. To finally experience oblivion so I don't have to feel the pain anymore, I've thought about it so often, but I have a little girl to raise so I push those thoughts aside as best I can. They can be so all consuming though.
But today I won't greet the sun, because today I have to go and introduce Anya to her new home.
I love you Xander. I'll come back and see you again tomorrow.