Disclaimer: A full disclaimer can be found here, but please be assured that none of this is mine.
Warnings and Other Notes: Mild prostitution. Betaed by the wonderful kitty_poker1, titled and fiddled with by darkhavens.
Summary: Post NFA. Xander finds his way home.
The Long Journey Home
Itís been years since Iíve found myself lying out in the backyard of my parentsí house, waiting for the night to end. I remember those nights, though. Long and dark, they would keep me trapped within my sleeping bag, my lamp clutched tightly in my hand. I never slept on those nights. I would stay awake until dawn, haunted by unknown noises.
Well, they were unknown to me then.
Now, they are a part of my life. Iíve lost myself in the night, in the darkness that sweeps over us at the end of each day without fail.
I tried to run from it. I spent some time on ships down in the Antarctic. The days last for weeks at a time down there. But it didnít help. I still found myself drawn to the darkness, drawn by my own fear and loathing.
So I left. I hitched a ride on a merchant vessel whose captain didnít care that my lack of depth perception could send me flying across the deck, keep me clinging to the sides of the ship as it tossed and turned in the water. He liked that I had to cling to him in the night to keep from falling out of the bunk that we shared after that first, fumbling blow-job in the brig.
They dumped me off in Indonesia, where I was able to talk a pirate of sorts into hauling me as far as the Maldives where I was stuck for two months, raking the beaches, sucking the cocks of those married men who are convinced that me on my knees doesnít mean that theyíre anything but straight and shoveling up the trash that the tourists left behind.
The third day of what would have been my third month of slave labor, the guy my mouth was wrapped around turned out to have a sailboat and after I swallowed, he offered to carry me to Abu Dhabi, where he was stopping for the winter.
From there, I spent a lot of time walking. Short hoppers carried me across the various bodies of water until I reached my goal: Africa.
I touched ground in Assab, Eritrea. They call it a modern port, but it is as run down as any other place Iíve been in Africa. I settled in for a drawn out wait as I tried to get all my documentation together. I donít think I could have found a more paranoid group of people if I tried. The rest did me good.
Once everything was cleared, I set out again, this time by train. The last of my cash went for a ticket as far west as I could get. In Bol, a tiny little city in Chad, I was taken by a local farmer who came quick and happily put me to work afterwards. I spent my days hunched over in the sun, picking cotton, and each night, as I wrapped my bleeding hands, I would stretch out in the back room of the barn and wonder what exactly I was searching for.
By the end of November, I was on the move again. I had enough money this time to make it through Nigeria and Benin into Niger, where I knew I would find what I was looking for.
Months ago, further back than I care to remember now, Giles told me that they had finally found out where Spike had disappeared to after the fiasco in Los Angeles. Heíd holed up in Niger, somewhere between Kaya and Djibo. After hearing that, I knew where he was, as I had spent many of my post-Sunnydale days there before heading south.
I was right.
In a bar so far from any surrounding towns that there is no reason for it to be prosperous, I found him drunk and talking to himself. Heís spent the last year here, hiding from the sun and drinking his days away.
Heíd lost everything after Los Angeles, everything. Including his sense of self.
The Spike I knew, the one who smoked, cursed and killed whatever he could was nowhere to be found. Instead, I found an empty shell of a being who seemed, on the surface, to recognize me but when I really looked, his eyes were flat, vacant.
So I took him with me. Heís what I came for, after all.
We traveled a bit more, and as I told him about our past, he seemed to become more and more himself. I think he had honestly forgotten that he was a vampire. A regular influx of human blood, straight from the tap, seemed to help immensely. His skin lost its paper-like texture and his eyes began to focus on the world around him.
Almost a year to the day after I found him, he seemed to realize who I was. That night, he took me, fast and hard, my chest pressed against a rock, his hand wrapped around my cock, protecting it from the rough surface. Memories of the first time I felt him deep inside shattered me, shattered us both.
He gasped out my name as he lost himself inside me, his words taking me back to the dark, dank basement under the Magic Box, where we were hidden, him from the darkness that tried to claim him, and me from the kind words and loving touches of those who thought that losing an eye was better than losing my life.
With those memories intact, he seems to be more himself. The Big Bad is someone who will never surface again, but Spike is more Spike-like in words and deeds and I find myself pleased with the progress.
It is now mid-winter again, and itís been three years since Iíve laid eyes on anyone [that] I knew in Sunnydale. Spike and I spend our nights making our way across the vast stretches of land that seem to welcome those who have nowhere else to be and our days wrapped around each other, driving away everything but the touches that we share.
We sleep outside tonight. He liked my stories of lying awake as the drunken revelry within the house raged on into the morning hours. He likes the idea that we are now the ones who are in control of what happens to us. We decide where we sleep, where we eat and where we go.
They believe in demons here, you see. Spikeís golden eyes and fangs bring out only the curious. We are accepted here, demon and human, and for the first time since meeting a bouncy blonde Slayer with a killer smile, I am content.
Alone with a vampire in the wilds of Africa, I am finally free.
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