Save Me

by
Markedxup



Xander stepped out of his apartment into the narrow hallway. Murky light made a weak attempt to push away the shadows and only succeeded in cornering them and forcing them to slink along the crooks out of people’s direct line of vision. The vague darkness failed to conceal the trash and random abandoned objects decorating the floor and walls and allowed only half of the closed doors to be visible. Xander reached into his back pocket and pulled out the thin leather wallet. Too thin, he lamented. He counted out a few bills, decided it was enough, and pushed his way through the door away from the echoes of fights and the groans of sex filtering through the weak walls. Away from the filth and into the sickeningly sweet possibility of momentary reprieve.

Had a bad day
Don’t talk to me
Gonna ride this out
My little black heart breaks apart
With your big mouth

The door to the bar opened with a squeak that Xander associated with old buildings and mice giving birth. The lighting here was no better than that of his apartment building, but this was accompanied by a dusty thickness and the penetrating smell of alcohol. Dropping down on a stool that matched the squeak of the door, Xander promptly ordered a beer but changed his mind and asked for something stronger. The next hour passed in a haze that was quickly becoming a familiar and a constant and he just couldn’t decide if that was a good thing or not. He finally felt a hand slide along his chest and he leaned back to allow better access. A soft whisper in his ear that smelled like lilacs and tequila told him that there was more fun to be had outside and that it was sure he’d like to come. He blinked as a decision he was only half thinking about seesawed until the sound of a scream ripped through the fog and Xander snapped up and away from the woman. Sliding out his wallet (how did it get this thin?) he slapped the money on the counter and turned on his heel. The semi-pleasant buzz failed to muffle the scolding voices, but he’d found that it’s possible to let the sounds of the physical world surround them and block them out. He shoved the door that opened into the sunken bar, but also led back to the world where colors were too harsh and lights too bright. It squeaked.

And I’m sick of my sickness
Don’t touch me, you’ll get this
I’m useless, lazy, perverted
And you hate me

The click of the light switch echoed through the kitchen, and that was just pathetic. The otherwise silence was almost deafening and definitely depressing. Xander turned on the TV to drown out some of it and slumped down on the couch, head on one end and feet hanging off the other. The simulated laugh track created a dull roar that he could focus on and focus over to push away the things he didn’t want to think about far into a box in a closet in his mind. A sharp pounding at his door caused him to jump and almost fall off the couch.
“Xander!” Xander crossed him arm over his eyes as if that would make the things he didn’t want to think about leave his senses and his door. “I know you’re in there.”
But the knocking didn’t cease and the baritone shouts grated his mind like gravel. He finally swung his legs off the couch and stood up too quick, earning him a stumble and almost a fall. He staggered to the door and gripped the doorknob like a vice. He fumbled with the lock and jerked it open. The person on the other side of the door lowered his arm and stuffed it into his pocket. Scraps of light landed on his hair, making it whiter than ever, and sharpened the cheekbones to the edge of a knife.
“Let me in.”

You can’t save me
You can’t change me
Well, I’m waiting for my wakeup call
And everything, everything’s my fault

He did, or course. Eventually, after the screaming and the finger pointing he always let him in. From there the seconds seemed to rush by like a waterfall, complete with noise. He realized later that it was the blood roaring through his head that added the soundtrack. His hair was grabbed and twisted to the point of pain that felt so—so good. Xander gripped the narrow shoulders and was sure he’d made a bruise that would fade as he watched. Clothes disappeared with twisting and pulling. He felt himself shoved down and his back connected with a solid surface; it was beyond him to which it was. Cool skin spanned above and he had to taste it and suck so the borrowed blood pooled close to the surface. Nips and groans at his ear encouraged him to pull the body further onto his. Quick, sure fingers that would be at place on a guitar or piano slid down between a crease and triggered an instant arch and plea mumbled into the shock white hair. Probed, breached, and slicked he felt the blunt head prod his entrance. He pushed backward forcefully and the burning sensation ripped all reserves to threads. His hands scuttled along the silky back, searching for purchase. He felt himself pushed back and down harder as a vicious rocking turned rougher and more erratic until it was left with an offbeat and jagged rhythm. Electricity starting at his toes gathered in the small of his back and slammed him with a force that created a small place for him in the quiet sated darkness.

Went to the doctor
And I asked her to make this stop
Got medication
A new addiction
Fucking thanks a lot

Reality, or what was left of it for him, instantly, angrily woke him. He could actually hear the rabbit-fast pounding of his heart in his chest. He sat up and reached around, but stopped when his hand landed on the still arm around his waist. Memory and pain fought for the lead. Pain won by a photo finish. Xander stood vertically with all the forces of gravity protesting. He stepped ungainly over the body on the floor and slowly made his way to the bathroom. His head throbbed with every strained breath he pulled into his lungs, and the heavy taste of bile worried the back of his throat. A flare of heat turned his vision soggy and he barely had time to grip the sides of the toilet as he fell to his knees and emptied whatever unfortunate occupants his stomach accommodated. When the retching and following dry heaving ceased, Xander fell back onto his butt wiping his eyes and trying to get enough air. The next instant he was on his feet, hand in the cabinet, clumsily knocking over bottles that fell off the shelf and landed with rattles at his feet. His hand finally closed around the one he’d been searching for and he pushed and twisted off the childproof cap, tilting the bottle so that two pills landed in his palm. Xander turned the faucet of the sink so it blasted down and stuck his head under it. He gulped down the pills then used the water to drench his hair and wipe traces of sick off his lips and chin. He turned off the water and straightened up, knowing better than to glance in the mirror and be faced with his deathly pallor. Xander turned to see Spike leaning against the doorway, arms crossed casually as the harsh bathroom light created a soft milky shade on his very naked skin. Xander watched the red tip of the cigarette in Spike’s mouth glow. He wiped the vomit off his arm.“Those things’ll kill you, you know.”

I had to relapse
I’m bad at rehabs, it ruins everything
So point your finger at the singer
He’s in the pharmacy

You can’t save me
You can’t change me
Well, I’m waiting for my wakeup call
And everything’s my fault

It was different this time, and he suspected it would eventually come to this but he was never really sure if he would hold out. It wasn’t too bad at first; just a diversion from the idea when Xander wanted to go out and get smashed. The diversion wasn’t the bad part (it always ended with sticky quiet feelings and the novelty of waking up with a body in your arms) but the lack of alcohol eventually began to create a fission between rationality and obsession. But he didn’t hit until the pills disappeared. He had opened the cabinet and his heart hiccupped in his chest when rows of empty shelves smirked at him. He remembered the world through a brief haze of red and the next thing the echo of flesh hitting metal pierced his brain. Blood eased out of a gash on Spike’s temple with increasing severity. Xander stumbled back and tripped over the couch, white visible all around his pupils. For a moment of clarity he realized that history does indeed repeat itself, then his mind was shattered in terror as he watched Spike struggling to right himself. Xander didn’t return to his apartment for two days. On the third he had been welcomed with opened arms and opened pants and he tried not to notice the flinches. But Xander now knew the feeling of control and his nature was an addictive one. He found this discovery as potent as any drug.

Went to heaven, but couldn’t get it
For what I have done
I said “Please take me”
They said “You’re crazy,
You had too much fun”

You can’t save me
You can’t change me
Well, I’m waiting for my wakeup call
And everything’s my fault

While mopping up the blood of the man (because that’s what he really is) you’ve shared you bed, house, and pain with for three months isn’t exactly the conventional place for an epiphany, Xander had one all the same. He didn’t like it, he realized. He didn’t like to be the one supplying the pain. He didn’t like being drunk and drugged out of his mind and body. He didn’t like being deader than the vampire he lived with. Armed with this amazing knowledge and a clear mind for the first time in years, Xander reached a milestone in his healing. He could change. A step towards the door and a leap towards hope, Xander looked forward to Spike returning home for the first time in his life.

You can’t save me
You can’t change me
Well, I’m waiting here to take a fall
And everything, everything’s my fault

You can’t save me
You can’t change me
You can’t save me
You can’t change me
You can’t save me
You can’t change me

But maybe I can.



The End