Word Count: 1610
Prompt (s): Prompt #46: One Day At A Time @, Prompt #358: Cartography @ & Prompt: My Heart Will Go On @
Beta(s): Unbeta'd but cross proofread
Songfic: Six Degrees of Separation by The Script
Disclaimer: Joss owns 'em, we borrowed 'em
Summary: Xander is going through six degrees of separation...
Six Degrees of Separation
"First, you think the worst is a broken heart
What's gonna kill you is the second part
And the third is when your world splits down the middle
And fourth, you're gonna think that you've fixed yourself
Fifth, you see them out with someone else
And the sixth is when you admit that you may have fucked up a little."
Six Degrees of Separation,
First, you think the worst is a broken heart.
It felt like his heart had been ripped out of his chest and was lying there barely beating in a cold, pale palm. He'd been a fool to think that this was it, this was love and it was his and it was forever. For God's sake, all anyone had to do was look at the two of them together - it didn't take a map or anything to show they simply did not belong together. He was stupid beyond all recognition to aim for someone so completely out of league and the only good thing was that he hadn't given up his job to follow through on their 'dream' to start afresh in L.A.
What's gonna kill you is the second part.
Bad enough he was having to continue showing up for work as though everything was normal. What was really killing him was putting on a front for his friends. He couldn’t bring himself to just tell them it was over. He couldn't stand the thought of the pitying looks - Willow's offers of cookies, Buffy's offers to go and stake the evil bastard. And G-man would no doubt clear his throat numerous times whilst cleaning his glasses, falling over his stiff upper lip in an attempt to say how sorry he was. Admitting to yet another romantic failure was bad enough - when he thought back to the earnest conversations convincing them that he wasn't be-spelled or being intimidated into anything - he really and truly loved Spike and Spike loved him, and they didn't need to worry because this was it for both of them - it just made him feel ill. God, he was such a fool.
And the third is when your world splits down the middle.
He had never even considered that they wouldn't be on his side. Buffy shuffled her feet and said that perhaps he should talk to Spike because everything wasn't always what it appeared to be. In the face of his shocked exclamation, she had merely said she'd seen Spike and he wasn't doing too great either and she wasn't sure they could salvage things if he would just talk to him.
Willow told him he should consider taking self-esteem classes at the local college as though there was something he wasn't seeing because of how he felt about himself. Only Giles seemed to understand - what was going on when it was Giles was on his side?? it was like his world had split down the middle and he was standing on one side with Giles whilst Buffy and Willow were on the other side. A parallel universe seemed much more likely and he'd gone off to the Bronze for a drink in the hopes it would fix the huge rift between the normal world and where he was currently residing.
And fourth, you're gonna think that you've fixed yourself.
Weeks and he was starting to feel more like himself. In fact, better than himself. It didn't hurt to breathe anymore and he could laugh at jokes again. Taking one day at a time. He'd lost a chunk of weight and toned up from all those evenings either swimming or being at the gym - it was amazing what could be achieved now that he wasn't out slaying every night. He'd been surprised when Buffy said they were scaling back on patrols and that he was only needed for half the week but he wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth - less time spent fighting for his life meant time for other pursuits. He felt pretty damn good really - the old cliché about his heart going on seemed to be true.
Fifth, you see them out with someone else.
How could he? And so soon - it had barely been two months! It confirmed all of Xander's fears and made him see that he had definitely made the right decision. The two of them were practically sitting on top of each other in the booth - in their booth, the same booth he and Spike used to sit in!! And what a cliché - he had obviously not left with Drusilla but the new guy looked enough like Xander from the back that Spike was sticking with his type.
Hovering in the doorway, Xander tried to decide whether he was more angry or hurt at Spike's behaviour. He was in two minds whether he should go over there and tell Spike to his face that Xander had been right, that he could never be enough, or just walk away and lick his wounds in private. The decision was made for him when the tall, dark haired man took Spike into his arms and pulled him into a tight embrace. That was just too much to take.....
And the sixth is when you admit that you may have fucked up a little.
"Was it absolutely necessary to flaunt yo - ANGEL?!" He knew he must look ridiculous standing there open-mouthed in shock, fists clenched impotently at his sides while his brain tried to catch up with his mouth. Unfortunately, his mouth was still running without a filter. "Good God, you were cheating on me with Angel?!" It came out before he realised that (a) he was drawing a small crowd of onlookers, (b) Angel was looking at him like a bug under his shoe and (c) Spike was crying.
"Don't be more of a dick then you've been already Xander!"
He ignored Angel's rebuke, his heart clenching at the sight of Spike so obviously in pain. What -
"Come on, Spike, let's get you out of here."
"Wait just a damn minute, I don't - "
"Why should he wait? So you can stomp all over his heart a bit more? For God's sake, Xander, you of all people should know how loyal Spike is - why the hell would you think he was cheating on you? And if I remember correctly, you broke up with him - you don't have the right to object if he starts seeing someone else."
"Angel - " Spike's voice was rough with tears and inwardly Xander winced - none of this was making sense. He'd been so sure.....
"No. He doesn't have the right to object if someone does this." 'This' was gathering Spike up in his arms, cradling his face in his hands and laying a kiss on him that made Xander see red all over again. It took seconds for Angel to wrestle him into submission, slamming him onto the table face-first, his arm wrenched painfully behind his back. "You misunderstood what you saw which you would know if you had let him explain. He was telling Drusilla to go, not asking her to stay. Now, he might forgive you this time but next time I'll swoop in so fast you won't have a chance to blink. Understand? UNDERSTAND?!"
"Yes." The word was choked out around the pain in his arm and he felt so foolish but it was drowning beneath the tiniest hope that maybe, just maybe he had been wrong in what he had seen. He barely winced when Angel released him, staggering slightly at the shove the older vampire gave him before he strode away, giving Spike one last look. He didn't see him leave as his eyes were fixated on Spike's face, on the blue eyes that were full of equal parts anger and hope. Without thinking, he reached out to wipe away the tear resting on Spike's cheek, flinching as Spike took a step back.
"Spike, I'm sorry."
"What, now you wanna listen? Didn't pay me the courtesy before did you?"
"I - I lost my head. I saw you two kissing and I just thought - I thought it made more sense. You loved her for over a hundred years - why would you stick with me when you could have her back?" He lowered his gaze, too embarrassed at having his weakness and insecurities so openly on display.
"Because I love you, you idiot." The familiar feel of a lean hand slipping into his own, the lean frame resting against his.
"I love you too. I'm sorry, Spike, so sorry." Turning into open arms, he breathed properly for the first time in two months, inhaling everything that was Spike.
"You can make it up to me you git. But first, we need to get some grub - you look like you've been wasting away." He nodded, masking the sobs that threatened with a shaky laugh. He resisted Spike's attempts to make him start walking, needing to remain still with his vampire in his arms for just a few moments. He finally lifted his head and pressed his lips against the side of Spike's head then allowed himself to be dragged out of the bar. He had some making up to do.....
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