This is a very sad, sad story centering around Spike's last trip to his and Xander's apartment to pick up the pieces of his life. While he's there he remembers the love of his life...the good times and what happened to take Xander away from him. I'm told it's a three hanky story so be forewarned.
Spike walked slowly into the apartment he and Xander had been sharing for the past two years. He cringed at the scent of his boy still lingering in the air. That scent used to carry him through the long days when Xander would be at work and the sun came between them. Now death had come between them forever, and the smell of wood, love and sunshine that Spike had always associated with Xander, the smell that would have filled him with joy, laughter, love and happiness now made him feel a hurt that could not be comforted, left him with a need and longing that could no longer be sated. His love was gone.
That thought brought him to his knees, sobbing uncontrollably. He felt two pairs of hands on his shoulders and raised his head to see the matching faces of Willow and Dawn, tears coursing down their cheeks, a pain almost akin to his own on their faces.
Spike knew that of all the people in Xander's short life, these two girls and himself were what had kept the boy going day to day. Even though Xander had cared for Buffy, Giles, Tara and the others - even Angel at the end - these three people had been Xander's lifeline when he had needed the love that he never got as a young child, reassurances that he was a good man who was needed and respected, and someone to talk to and hang on to through good times and bad.
The girls kneeled beside Spike, one on each side, hugging him, knowing that he craved the warmth and comfort. But the warm body Spike yearned for so badly was now cold and buried in the ground and there were no strong arms to hold him against that body, no whispers of love to be heard from that voice filled with tenderness. It was lost to him forever.
After a few moments, Spike pried himself away from the girls, reassuring them of the lie that he was alright. He knew it was a lie, knew deep in his unbeating heart that he would never be 'alright' again. Spike would exist, if only to help the others but he wouldn't 'live', not without his Xander, the boy who meant more to him than anyone ever had. Spike had suffered losses of loved ones before in his 120 some odd years, but none like this.
Spike got up and walked around the home he and Xander had shared - the first real home Spike had ever known. Spike reverently touched everything - so many things that reminded him of his lover. He wanted to be alone with his pain and grief. Everyone had been afraid to leave him alone for even a moment, afraid he would take a walk in the sun. Spike knew he would have if it hadn't been for the promise he had made to Xander - the promise that Xander had insisted upon when they first started their relationship.
Xander and Spike had spent a nice, quiet Sunday sleeping in and making love for most of the day, only getting out of the bed long enough to eat, or in Xander's case, to use the bathroom. They had decided to watch television and had settled themselves on the couch, Xander wrapped in Spike's arms while the vampire's hand played with the boy's hair. Spike loved running his fingers through Xander's silky locks and had insisted that he wear it long just so he could run his fingers through the dark curls. Xander had flicked through the channels, the two of them arguing over what to watch until they had both agreed on "Backdraft". Truth be told, Spike hated fire but he had given in when Xander had turned his puppy dog eyes on him.
"Please, Spike let me watch this. I always wanted to be a fireman. I remember on my 7th birthday I wanted a toy fire truck so bad, but I didn't get it. I was really upset about that but Willow made me feel better. She promised me she would get me one and then later on the house next door burned down and then real fire trucks came and I've always thought she set the fire for me."
"Knowing Red, she probably did. That girl would do anything for you Xander." Spike laughed as the vision of a 7 year old committing arson ran through his mind.
"That's because she loves me," Xander had replied, giving Spike a 'if you love me you'll let me have my own way' look that the vampire was beginning to learn all too well.
"Oh, no you don't, whelp. You're not going to get your way this time. You're not dealing with Willow now. I'm a master vampire, and I do what I please. Besides, you know vampires and fire don't mix."
"It's only a movie, Spike," Xander had argued.
"Still don't like it," Spike had answered, deciding that this was the moment he was going to assert control of the situation. Xander had been winning way too many of these arguments and it was time to remind the boy that he was dealing with the 'Big Bad'. Spike went to change the channel and made the mistake of looking into his love's eyes. *No, not the puppy dog eyes, look away, Spike, look away* his brain had said, but his heart said something totally different.
"Bollocks. Alright, we'll watch the bloody movie, but next Sunday I get to watch Manchester United play plus I get to rent "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and watch it as many times as I want - and you have to sit through the movie at least two times without distracting me." Spike amended, knowing how Xander loved to keep him from watching his blood and gore movies by teasing him with lots of kissing and touching until Spike completely forgot about his movie.
"You drive a hard bargain, but okay it's a deal. As long as you don't distract me." Xander agreed. They had watched the movie, Spike making comments throughout the whole thing. When it had gotten to the part where Kurt Russell had refused to let go of the bad guy, knowing that he might fall to his death along with the man, Spike had laughed.
"Why doesn't he just let the fool go? He's the one that set the fire in the first place. Let him die in his own creation."
"He can't. Didn't you hear what they said earlier, what he's saying now? 'You go, I go'. The whole squad's a team, a family, and they watch each other's backs, just like we Scoobies always do," Xander had explained, watching the two men fall to their death. Xander had looked up at Spike and their eyes had met and held for a long moment. "Spike, if that had been you holding onto one of the Scoobies, you know you wouldn't have let them go either."
"Maybe. I know it would definitely be that way if it was you I was holding onto, luv cause when you go, I go."
"What do you mean by that?" Xander had asked, the movie forgotten as he questioned Spike.
"Just what I said. If something ever happens to you, I'll be next. Doesn't matter if a demon kills us at the same time or whether you die of old age and I have to bury you in the ground, either way I'll die beside you or I'll lay down on your grave and wait for the sun to rise." A cold chill ran up Spike's back at the thought of anything happening to Xander and he shivered as he watched the funeral play out on the television set, tears welling up in his eyes while he tried to keep them from falling down his face. Xander had cupped his hand under Spike's chin, turning the vampire's face towards him.
"Spike, you have to promise me something and I'm not joking about this one - I'm dead serious, and maybe that wasn't the right wording," Xander smiled lamely at Spike. "We both know that with me being human and all it's more likely that I will die before anything happens to you. If that time comes, and believe me when I say I hope it's a very long time from now, you have to promise me that you'll go on living or unliving in your case. I need to know that you'll look after the gang, especially Willow and Dawn."
Spike shook his head. "As much as I care about Red and the nibblet, I can't make that promise, Xander. I won't. You can give me that puppy dog look all you want, it won't work on this topic, so end of discussion."
"No, it's not. Spike, you survived Angelus leaving you, not knowing where he went, whether he was still around or not and you managed to get through Drusilla leaving you after being together for over a century so I'm sure you could get past losing me."
Spike had pulled Xander to him, burying his face in the boy's neck so he couldn't see Spike's tears. He held Xander tightly and Xander had returned the hug, running his hands up and down Spike's back, trying to comfort the vampire. Finally, Spike had raised his head and looked at Xander.
"Don't you know what you mean to me, Xander? In the time we've been together, I've come to love you more than I ever thought I could love anyone. Angelus and Dru were playmates, lovers - what you and I have is so much more. When I love someone, I give them everything I have. There's no halfway. You do the same thing. Both of us have been with other people, but we've never had a partner who would give us everything they were. That's why we're so perfect together, don't you see that?"
"I do see that, Spike, honest. But let me ask you a question. If something were to happen and you were dusted before I died, would you want me to kill myself or would you want me to live my life? Would you want everyone, Dawnie especially, to lose both of us at the same time? Wouldn't you want me to keep her safe and help her grieve for you? Or would you rather I do the selfish thing and take the easy way out? Because I could do that. Losing you would be the hardest thing I would ever go through and I don't know if I could. All I know is I would try, if not for our friends then for you."
"You know I wouldn't want you to die because of me," Spike answered truthfully.
"Then let's make a pact right now. Whoever is left behind will do their best to keep the others safe and together for as long as possible. We'll honor each other's memories by helping fight the good fight and being a true friend to the others. Deal?"
Spike nodded reluctantly. "Deal."
"Let's seal this deal with a kiss then," Xander had answered, placing a gentle kiss on Spike's lips. Spike had pulled away for a moment, smiling at the boy he loved with all his heart. "You'd honor the 'Big Bad, Scourge of Europe, William the Bloody's' honor?"
Xander shook his head. "No, I'd honor Spike's memory. The man who threatens to rip your arms off and beat you with them, only to turn around and save your life during a battle. The man who says he's the 'Big Bad' but in reality loves nothing more than to stay snuggled up in bed with me all day long. The man who would lay down his life for any member of the Scooby gang even though he insists he hates the lot of them. The man who says he enjoys nothing more than a good spot of violence but I know for a fact that he enjoys a good shag so much more."
"Speaking of a good shag," Spike had gotten up and reached for Xander's hand, pulling the boy into their room where they had made love for hours, erasing any thoughts or fears about death and living without each other.
That was then and this was now. A new wave of grief assaulted Spike and he turned towards the girls.
"Please go. I want some time alone, I need some time alone. I won't do anything stupid," Spike assured them.
"Spike, you know Xander made us promise that if anything ever happened to him on patrol or anything---" Willow couldn't continue, so Dawn finished the sentence, "he wanted us to take care of each other, you especially."
"I know that, made him a promise too, didn't I? And I'll make sure to keep it. I just want to be alone for a little while." Spike was practically begging. He just wanted to huddle in a corner somewhere and make the world go away.
Willow seemed to understand and grabbed Dawn by the arm, leading her towards the door. "We'll be back to get you tonight. Promise you'll call us if you need anything."
"I promise." Spike watched them leave, wishing he had never heard the word promise. Finally, he could be by himself with his own thoughts.
It had been a week since he had gotten the call from Harry, Xander's boss at the construction site. A call from a place Xander loved to be, a place where he had finally found his niche in the world, a place that made Xander feel important, gifted and smart after long years of school bullies, abusive parents and meaningless dead end jobs that made him feel unworthy, stupid and useless. It was a place where everyone loved and respected him - not because he was helping to save the world and throwing himself headlong into battles against whatever the Hellmouth spit out at him and his friends, but as a gentle, kind and understanding young man who always had a warm smile for everyone. Xander was someone people could turn to with their problems, whehter it was at home or at work.
Spike knew how many times Xander had stayed late at work to listen patiently while someone asked his advice about anything ranging from a small problem such as a mixed up order or a breakup with a girlfriend to really big ones such as a death of a loved one or an addiction problem. Xander would reassure and give comfort by hanging out with them so they wouldn't be lonely or scared. He would give them encouragement to beat whatever obstacle had come their way.
Spike remembered how they used to argue over the long hours Xander would put in. It was hard enough for the boy to find time to relax because there was so much going on in his life. Finding time to be with Spike, patrolling, being a friend to the gang and work kept him busy enough without trying to solve everyone else's problems. Spike knew that this trait was one of the many reasons he loved Xander so much and why he was so proud of his boy, but sometimes it got to be too much and he grew jealous of the other people who were monopolizing his lover's time. Spike remembered one particular argument.
"Luv, you're going to wear yourself out. You have to give your body some down time to just relax," Spike had told him.
Xander had just grinned at him. "Which in Spike language means give myself more time for shagging you?"
"And that would be a bad thing?"
"Oh, most definitely not. That's my favorite pastime - ranks right up there with much kissage and cuddling."
"So come to bed and let's do all of the above mentioned things," Spike had told him, drawing Xander close and kissing him gently enough to be tender but hard enough to give him the promise of more to come if Xander listened to him.
Xander had moaned into the kiss before reluctantly poulling away. "You know I can't Spike. I promised Robbie I'd help him with that painting job he took on as extra work, remember? I told you about his helper breaking his ankle and not being able to help finish the job. If Robbie doesn't have it done before tomorrow, he won't get paid."
Spike had been grouchy at being pushed away from the boy he had grown to love so much. "So? Why is that your responsibility? You didn't promise to help with the bloody job."
Xander had given Spike a look that told him that even though Xander wanted to stay with Spike more than anything, he still had to keep his word. "You're right, I didn't. But I did tell Robbie I'd bail him out. Come on, Spike. He really needs this extra money. Even with what he's making at the site it's still not enough. He's got a wife and three kids to feed and barely enough money to pay the rent since his wife got hurt and can't work anymore. Do you want to look at those three kids and tell them that us making love is more important than them having food on the table or clothes on their backs?"
"No," Spike had answered truthfully. He had a soft spot for children and Xander knew that. "But why can't one of the other blokes from work help him?"
"Because they don't care enough to help a friend out. I do." Xander had explained.
"What about us, Xander? Do you care more about helping a friend out than you do me?"
Xander had looked at Spike with a mixture of disbelief and disappointment. "If you had to ask that question, then maybe you don't know me as well as both of us thought you did." Xander had turned pleading eyes on him, wanting Spike to understand. When Spike had turned his back on him, Xander had sighed and walked out the door. Spike had spent the night alternating between hating himself for being so selfish and stubborn and hating Xander for not caring enough to stay with him.
Spike had just finished cleaning up the apartment and was walking into the living room when he caught sight of Xander standing in the doorway holding out a carton of Spike's favorite cigarettes and a bottle of Jack Daniels, trying to look apologetic while covered in blue paint from head to toe. Spike tried not to laugh but he couldn't help himself.
"Get any paint on the building, pet?"
"I accidentally knocked the paint bucket over on myself. Seems I can't do two things at once. I was thinking about you and trying to paint at the same time and look what happened." When Spike tried to cover up his laughter, Xander had smiled. "Go ahead and yuck it up, blondie. Everyone else in town had a good laugh. Some little girl pointed at me and called me a Smurf."
"Not much of a painter are you, pet?" Spike had teased, taking the cigarettes and bottle of JD from Xander and setting them on the kitchen counter before leaning back to smirk at him.
"Never claimed I was. I'm a carpenter." Xander had retorted while taking his clothes off at the door and piling them into the corner for a later washing. When he was finished he looked at Spike, tears in his eyes. "Forgive me, Spike? I'm sorry I made you feel that you're not important to me. I never want you to think that you come behind anyone else. I love you more than anything in this world and I hate every second that we're away from each other. You've got to know that, don't you?"
"What if I don't? How are you going to prove it to me?" Spike had asked, watching Xander walk towards him, a glint in his dark brown eyes.
"Forgive me and we can have make up sex in the shower after I get cleaned up - with your help of course. Then if that doesn't prove how much I love you, we'll have sex in every room in the apartment."
Spike put his arms around Xander and gave the boy a long, passionate kiss. "Of course, you're forgiven luv. You were just being the man I fell in love with. But what would you have done if I had said no?" Spike took Xander's hand in his and led him to the bathroom, stopping every now and then for a kiss.
"That was what the Jack was for. I planned on getting you snockered and having my way with you."
"Would have taken more than one pint to get me snockered," Spike had laughed, turning on the shower and getting undressed. "It would have taken at least three," he had bragged.
"I've got two more down in the car. See how well I know you?" Xander had replied triumphantly, before taking Spike into his arms and kissing him hungrily. They had made love in the shower, on the floor and in the bed. Afterwards, they had lain in each other's arms, touching and kissing one another and enjoying being together. Xander had looked at Spike and asked, "Is it just me or did this feel like the very first time we made love?"
Spike had kissed Xander's forehead before answering, "Every time with you feels like the very first time." They had made love again before finally falling asleep in each other's arms two hours before Xander had to go to work. Xander had been exhausted but very happy when he had left the apartment that morning.
Yes, Xander had known Spike well. Knew just where to touch him so he could hear the vampire yell his name, knew how to make Spike beg for more, knew how to make Spike moan in ecstasy and knew how to please his lover. And it wasn't only when they were in bed. Xander knew how and when to make Spike laugh, knew how to calm him down when he got angry and knew how to comfort Spike when he was upset. Who would do that now? Spike thought, feeling lost and alone.
His mind slipped back to the conversation he had had with Harry that fateful day. He remembered being woken by the phone, the fear and pain that had wracked his body at the words the other man had been conveying to him.
"Spike, did you hear what I just told you? You have to get to Sunnydale Memorial as soon as possible. They have papers they need you to sign since you're his partner and he needs you. Spike, Xander's hurt bad and he needs you."
It was those words that had urged Spike out of his shock and despair. Xander was in pain and needed him. Spike had grabbed his coat and the cell phone Xander had bought him the Christmas before and made a dash for the sewer entrance near their apartment building. As he wound his way through the tunnels leading to the hospital, he had called Willow, telling her what had happened. She had listened, quietly crying as he had relayed the news of Xander's accident.
It seemed that a shipment of lumber they had been expecting hadn't arrived. When Xander had called to check on it, he found out that the lumbermill was having problems with their union. Most of the men were on strike and no one would deliver the shipment. Harry and Xander had discussed the situation and had decided that since they were already three days behind schedule on getting the house ready for the very important clients to move into because of rain, someone from their crew would have to go get the shipment themselves. When they called the lumberyard again, the man who answered had reassured Harry that whoever came to get the shipment would be safe. No one wanted to hurt anyone. The men were just refusing to do their jobs until the strike was over.
Xander had still been worried that something might happen so he had insisted on going since he was the foreman of this crew. He had informed the men of the situation and asked if anyone would volunteer to go with him, if not he would go himself. Joey and Scott, two of his closest friends at work had offered to go with them and they had set off for the lumbermill. Two hours later Harry had gotten a phone call about his men.
The truck they had been driving had gone over a large embankment on Highway 57, a long, narrow and sloping road on the outskirts of Sunnydale. Joey and Scott had managed to jump from the truck, however, Xander had been pinned in the cab by falling lumber. All three men had been injured, Xander being the most serious. Rescue workers had managed to extract him from the cab and they had transported him to Sunnydale Memorial. The police on the scene had called Harry with the information about his three workers and the man had begun calling their families and loved ones.
After Spike finished his story, Willow had assured him that she would call the others, including Cordy and Angel in L.A. and then she would meet him at the hospital. Spike had reached the hospital in record time and was soon at Xander's door after threatening to kill someone if they didn't tell him where Xander was. He had known that he couldn't really kill the humans, but they didn't know that and had hurried to oblige him.
Spike had taken a deep, unneeded breath before entering Xander's room. He was afraid of what he would find when he stepped inside. Spike knew that Xander was still alive, he could detect his lover's heartbeat. But even though it was beating, it was sluggish and irregular. Spike had taken in the sight of all the nurses and doctors working furiously to save the man he loved more than life itself and he remembered hoping that for once the Hellmouth wouldn't spit on him. Remembered hoping that these doctors would be able to save the young man who had made him feel more alive in the past two years than when he was actually alive.
Spike remembered walking rapidly to the bedside of his love, making a path for himself through the doctors and nurses. When he had first caught a glimpse of Xander, he would have thoght the boy was just asleep if not for all the needles coming from his body. Spike had picked up Xander's hand and hugged it closely to his chest for a moment before leaning down to kiss Xander's bruised forehead. One of the doctors had approached him, taking him by the arm and urging him towards the door. Spike would have fought him, but the doctor had told him that he needed to speak to Spike about Xander's condition. Spike had gently layed Xander's hand on the bed and had followed the doctor outside.
Once outside the door, the doctor had turned to Spike, a look of weary resignation on his face. He had proceeded to inform Spike that even though they had tried to stop the internal bleeding from the tear in Xander's heart it was too damaged to repair. Xander's chest had been crushed by the falling lumber and his lungs had filled with blood. The doctors had managed to extract some of the fluid from his lungs, but one lung had already filled up again and the other was close to full and every pint of blood that they were putting into Xander was having to be siphoned out of his lungs. The doctor had told Spike there was no way that Xander would last through a surgery, so that option was out. He had just gotten to his diagnosis when the rest of the gang had appeared.
"We've tried everything to stop the bleeding and while it has slowed somewhat, there is no way we can stop it from filling Mr. Harris's lungs. I'm sorry, sir but he is going to die. He may have a few minutes or as long as an hour to live, but eventually he will drown in his own blood." Spike remembered sliding down the wall in shock while Giles grabbed Buffy and Dawn, pulling them into a tear filled hug. Tara had gently taken Willow into her arms, both of them sobbing at the news of their friend.
Spike had sat on the cold hospital floor, looking at nothing until Willow and Dawn had reached down and helped him back to his feet. They had steered him to a nearby chair in Xander's room and the doctor had quietly told them to say their final good-byes to their friend. Each of them had gone to Xander's bedside, quickly kissing their friend one last time before reassuring him of their love. Willow and Dawn lingered behind, neither being able to let go of the man they loved so much.
Spike came to his senses and quickly ran to Xander's bedside, the girls moving out of his way so that he could be near his lover. Spike had heard Xander's heartbeat slowing down and knowing that he didn't have much time before his love would be dead, he morphed into game face and leaned over Xander, intending to turn him. He had decided that a resouled vampire Xander was better than no Xander at all, even if that meant no sex until Willow could figure out a way around the curse. But as Spike tried to sink his fangs into Xander the chip fired, making him stumble backwards in pain. He didn't hear their friends begging him to stop or feel them trying to restrain him from Xander. He didn't even remember knocking Buffy across the room until he felt another jolt of pain that dropped him to his knees.
As he managed to raise himself from the floor, he had come face to face with Xander who had woken during the ruckus. Giles and Buffy were assuring the doctors and nurses that everything was alright so that they would leave Spike and Xander alone. When Spike looked into Xander's eyes he saw only love and worry for the pain that Spike was in. Spike leaned down as if to try again but stopped when he felt Xander gently take hold of his arm. He stopped and looked at the boy that meant everything to him and saw Xander smiling at him.
"It's gonna be alright, Spike. I'm not in that much pain. It'll be over soon and I don't want to spend my last moments on earth watching the man I love in pain, trying to do something we both know won't work. Just stop, please and hold me. I'm a little scared and if I'm going to be leaving this world soon, I need to feel your arms around me. I need to hear your voice telling me you'll always love me and that you'll do what I made you promise." Xander's voice was barely a whisper as he tried to talk through the blood he felt beginning to choke him.
"Xander, I can't do this. I can't just let you die. I'm nothing without us, don't you see that? I can work through the pain," Spike begged his lover.
"Then what? Either I'm a vicious evil creature who Buffy will have to kill, which definitely is not an option. Or I get resouled and never be able to feel you making love to me ever again? That would be worse than hell. Spike, do you think I'll make it to heaven?" Xander's eyes were now becoming scared.
"Of course you will, luv. If anyone deserves to go there it's you. But it's not going to happen for a long time." Spike tried to calm the boy, but he could tell that Xander knew he was lying.
"Yeah, that's why you're trying to drain me while having massive migraines? I don't think so. I can feel it, Spike. I know death is coming - I can feel it. Please, hold me and tell me you love me. Can you do that for me?" Xander's voice was getting softer, his breaths coming in short gasps and both of them knew he didn't have much time. Spike gathered Xander in his arms and started to purr, felt the boy relaxing a little before saying, "Don't be angry with me. I don't want to leave you this soon. We had so many plans, didn't we?"
"Yeah, pet we did and I'm not angry with you. How could I be? You were just doing your job. Nothing to be angry about except this fucking situation. We haven't had enough time. We were supposed to be together for alot more years - you were supposed to get old and gray. The damn Hellmouth and the fucking Initiative has screwed us over one last time." Tears rolled down Spike's cheeks as he caressed Xander's face, placing gentle kisses all over it before kissing him on the lips. The kiss didn't last long since Xander was hardly able to breathe as it was.
"Don't know about the Initiative. If not for the chip we might not be together. I was happier with you than I was the rest of my miserable life." Xander stopped to try and get a deep breath that just wasn't there. With all the strength he had left in his body, he raised his hand to cup Spike's face.
"Not long now. Tell the gang...especially Willow and Dawn..how much they meant to me...not enough words to tell you how much I love you...take care of each other, remember me with laughter, know I'll be with you...here and here always..." Xander weakly touched Spike's chest above his heart and then slowly lifted one had to weakly tap Spike's head before continuing, "I love you, Spike, no matter where I am...always love you...best thing in my life...always made me so happy...you were my whole existence...one last kiss?" Xander begged, his eyes glazing over.
Spike kissed him for the last time, feeling Xander's hand that had been touching his head slide through his hair as if in a final caress before it fell onto the bed next to Xander's body. As he heard his beloved's lasat breath, heard his heart struggle for one last beat, Spike whispered in Xander's ear, "I'll always love you Alexander Harris." He raised up to see Xander smile his last smile, watched Xander's eyelids flutter before they fell over those beautiful brown eyes one last time, eyes that had been shining with love for Spike. His boy was dead.
Spike began to sob, gathering Xander's limp body next to him before crawling onto the bed with him. He kissed every inch of Xander's face, lingering on his eyelids and mouth. Spike gently rocked his boy, trying to soothe himself so that he could gather up enough courage to face their friends with the news that the young man who had been the heart of their group was no longer with them. He didn't have long to wait before the door opened and everyone filed in. They watched Spike caress Xander's chest, face and arms while he told Xander how much he needed and loved him. They began to cry as they listened to Spike pleading with Xander to come back to him, knowing that would never happen.
Spike felt Buffy and Giles touch his arms and shook them off. He had gently laid Xander back down onto the bed and with a final kiss, he had made himself rise and walk unsteadily from the room, collapsing into a chair in the waiting room. Dawn and Willow had taken the seats next to him, their arms encircling him in a comforting embrace as he kept saying over and over, "I've lost him, I've lost my world. What am I supposed to do without Xander?" No one had an answer for him because they all knew they didn't know what they were going to do without Xander's laughter and support. The Scoobies had definitely lost their heart that day.
It had been close to half an hour before the doctor had once again approached the vampire. He had offered his condolences to everyone for the loss of their friend before he had turned to Spike, telling him that Xander had signed the back of his driver's license, giving them permission to take any available organs for transplant. He needed Spike to sign the forms so that Xander's wishes could be acted on as soon as possible. The doctor had told Spike and the others that while they could not use Xander's heart or lungs, his other internal organs were intact and also his eyes.
When the doctor had mentioned removing Xander's eyes, Spike had snapped out of his shock and lunged at the doctor, trying to rip his heart out. Only the chip had stopped him, firing with such a jolt that he had fallen to the floor, moaning in pain until Giles and Buffy had managed to get him back to his seat. Spike had looked up to see Willow and Dawn yelling at the doctor over his insensitivity towards Spike at a time like this and refusing to let him do anything to Xander's eyes even if it was Xander's decision. The doctor had backed off, telling them he would talk to Spike in a little while, however, he couldn't wait too long or Xander's organs would be of no use to anyone.
Spike was livid at the thought of anyone having those eyes, the ones that held so much of his lover's expressions, his emotions. Spike had always thought they were beautiful. Anyone that knew Xander knew he was on open book when they looked into those brown depths. No matter how much Xander tried to hide his emotions from everyone, his eyes told the story.
Memories of Xander's face entered Spike's mind like pictures in a scrapbook. Xander looking up at him with awe the first time they had made love. Xander's eyes filled with fear at the sight of the newest demon, his eyes narrowing with rage at the thought of that same demon hurting Spike or one of his friends. The look of determination when he made his attack on said demon. The look of amusement on his face as he watched Spike grill Dawn about her latest boyfriend. The look of sadness and pain when he talked about his childhood and all his lost friends. The look of annoyance when Buffy and Spike had an altercation over who had dyed their hair the most. The look of pride when Giles complimented him on something he had done right. The look of admiration when he watched Spike fight. The look of concentration and frustration while researching. The look of childlike innocence when he and Willow had made Spike and Tara stop one night after patrol so they could play in the sandbox and how they had started to twinkle with mischieviousness when he had swung Willow on the swing until he had made her go so high she was gasping for breath. The look of tenderness and understanding when he had held Dawn as she cried about someone bullying her at school. The look of childlike happiness when he saw the first Christmas tree Spike had decorated for him.
But most of them were pictures of Xander looking at Spike with lust, longing and need during their many nights of making love, after which Xander would lay cuddled next to Spike, his eyes filled with pure unadulterated love for the vampire while Spike told Xander how much he loved him. No, no one would ever take those eyes from his boy. Spike had thought about the time he had told Xander that the eyes were the mirror to the soul and the quote must have been made for Xander because it was definitely true about him. His love had laughed and said he was closing the shutters and going to sleep which he had promptly done.
Spike had looked over to the doctor and told him that he would sign the forms for everything else because that was Xander's wishes but his eyes were not to be touched. He threatened death on anyone who even thought about it and the doctor had reassured Spike that his wishes would be carried out. After Spike had signed the forms he was gently led out of the hospital by the others, a blanket thrown over his head for the short run to Giles' car that he had had pulled out front. Spike had heard Willow call Cordy on her cell phone to tell her that it was too late, that Xander had died 45 minutes ago. He had heard the gasp of pain, heard the clink of the phone where Cordy had dropped it. After a few moments he had heard Angel's voice, husky with tears, consoling the grieving girl. Finally, Angel had gotten on the phone and told Willow that they were almost in Sunnydale and would meet them all at Buffy's house. When he had inquired about Spike, Willow had told him to hurry and hung up the phone.
Spike shook his head to try to rid himself of these memories. He picked up one of the boxes they had brought and started to pack his and Xander's things. He started to cry when he came across Xander's collection of Babylon 5 commemerative plates that the boy was so proud of. Memories of Xander's funeral and the days after that filled his mind as he wrapped the plates and stored them into the box.
The funeral had been held at sunset, thus allowing Spike and Angel to be there. Spike had looked around at all the people there and knew that Xander would have been happy to know that so many people cared enough about him to attend. His boy had always felt he wasn't worthy of anyone's love. Spike knew Xander would have been shocked to see the big church running over with people, so many there that some had to stand. Even Scott and Joey had been there, just having been released from the hospital. They had made their way over to where Spike had stood with Angel. The older vampire had stayed beside him, never leaving Spike's side during the time between Xander's death and now. With tear filled eyes the men told Spike how Xander had saved their lives.
Xander had been driving the truck down the steep incline when he went to slow them down by touching the brakes. The brakes, however, had failed to work. They all knew they were going to go over the embankment and just before it did, Xander had grabbed the emergency brake and pulled on it hard, telling them to jump. The truck had barely slowed but it had given them enough time to jump free, but before Xander could get his door open and follow, the truck had crashed and the lumber had fallen on him.
The police had informed Spike that the brakes on the truck had been deliberately cut and they were looking for a man named Charlie Shaw. He had been making threats about doing something bad if they didn't get a raise. Harry had been distraught about sending the boys into the lumberyard, but Spike had assured him that he had no way of knowing about this man. After all, Harry had been told it was safe. Spike and Angel had exchanged a glance that Spike knew Angel understood. The man would pay for killing Xander, whether Buffy wanted it or not.
Spike had endured the endless line of people offering their condolences, everyone ranging from the Scooby gang and Xander's friends at work to people that Xander had gone to high school with. Spike had smiled as he listened to some of them talking about how Xander had led them against the Mayor when he turned into the snake on Graduation Day.
Everyone had told Spike that they had admired Xander for staying behind, even with the snake a few feet in front of him and Buffy yelling at him to leave, to look around and make sure that he had gotten out as many of his classmates as he possibly could before leaving. Spike had even managed a laugh when Angel told him about how bossy Xander had gotten with him after Buffy had named him 'key guy', giving him orders like an army sargeant until Angel had been ready to pull out his own gelled hair.
Xander's parents had not shown up for the funeral, having been warned in a not so gentle way by Angel and Willow that if they attended very, very bad things would happen. The couple had proceeded to tell them that they hadn't planned on attending, they had never wanted kids in the first place and they wouldn't miss Xander anyway. Willow had had to use magic to keep Angel from killing them, later on doing a spell that had made Xander's parents break out in boils all over their body. Angel had told Spike that his admiration for Xander had grown - he didn't know how the boy had managed to turn out like he had with parents like that.
After the service, Buffy had warned the Scoobies, Angel and Cordy not to try to exact revenge on Charlie Shaw. It would not bring Xander back, she said, and they were not to kill a human, no matter how much she or any of them wanted to. Giles half-heartedly backed her up, the Ripper part of him wanting to join what he knew the others were plotting since Xander had been like a son to him. Everyone had assured her that they were leaving the matter to the police, including Spike who told her all that mattered to him was that his love was gone and would not be coming back. Buffy had believed them and let the subject go. She didn't see the glances exchanged between Angel, Spike, Willow, Dawn, Tara and Cordelia. They had plans of their own, but Buffy was not going to be a part of it.
A week later, after following up on a few leads from some of Angel's and Spike's snitches and with the help of a locator spell performed by Tara and Willow, the gang had located the man. He was staying in an old abandoned house on the north side of town. The gang had met in the back room of a demon bar outside of town so as not to draw Buffy's attention to them. Everyone had gotten into Angel's car and the vampire had driven to the house. When the man saw the group coming he tried to run, but Angel and Spike were too fast for him, being driven by not only their vampire speed but rage at the thought that this was the man who had taken Xander's life. Spike had only two demands. That Charlie Shaw would know exactly why he was dying and that it would be a long, slow and very painful death.
Angel took out the chains he had brought with him and had chained the man to the wall. Charlie had looked at them, fear and anger playing across his face.
"If you people want money I don't have any."
"We don't want money," Angel had told him, securing the last chain before stepping back to join the group. "We're here to pass sentence on you in the death of Xander Harris."
"You can't do that. You're not even policemen."
"You killed the man that was my world." Spike told him, watching the look of disgust that passed over the man's face.
"I didn't mean to kill nobody. I just wanted to scare them up a little and things got out of hand. Besides, what's one less faggot in this world? I say good riddance."
Angel growled and went for the man's throat while Willow's eyes turned black with rage. Tara tried to calm her lover while Spike restrained Angel, reminding him that the man was not going to get off so easily. Not without a lot of torture, Angelus style. Angel had smiled a feral smile at those words, backing off and waiting until Spike was ready for him to begin.
Spike walked over to the man, grabbing his hair and turning him so that he could see the face of the man who had killed Xander. "You're a piece of shit, not worthy to be scrapings off Xander's boots. We've found you guilty and the sentence is death - a very, slow painful death. But before Angel and I torture you I want you to know exactly what you took from us. Xander Harris wasn't just a name to us, he was a lover, a friend, a brother." Spike let go of the man's hair and stepped away from him, knowing that if he let himself hit the man it would be over before it had even begun.
"Xander was my everything. Words can't express how much he meant to me. I loved everything about him. Xander was gorgeous. He had the softest hair, the sweetest smile and the most beautiful brown eyes I've ever seen. And do you know what made them so beautiful. His spirit, his soul shone through them. Xander was loyal, brave, stubborn and he had a white knight complex a mile wide. He made me feel special, made me feel more loved than I ever have in my entire life. And when we made love, he was gentle, tender and passionate. He gave me everything he had to give and asked for nothing in return but to be loved. Xander was special but I could never get him to realize just how much. Every time I looked at him my feelings overwhelmed me to the point that I thought I couldn't bear it. When he touched me I could feel just how much he loved me and it was amazing. When I kissed him, he tasted of love and sunshine. I was never as close to anyone as I was to Xander. It was as if I could hear his thoughts and he could hear mine. We shared the same dreams and I wanted him beside me forever, but you took our dreams away from us. Now we're going to take your life from you. It won't bring Xander back, won't lessen the loneliness I feel inside but it will give me some comfort." Spike faced the man, this time letting his demon show. Charlie yelped and tried to get away but the chains wouldn't budge.
"What the hell are you?"
"Your worst and last nightmare." Spike answered, motioning for Angel to join him. They tortured the man for hours - treating him to the finest display of Angelus torture that was possible. When Spike had had enough, Angel ripped the man's heart out and Willow and Tara had teleported the body away while Dawn held Spike, trying to give him as much comfort as she could. When it was over they had looked at each other and an understanding passed between them. This had been for Xander and no one would speak of it again.
When Buffy heard that the man's body had turned up a few counties over, so mangled and maimed they had to identify him by his dental work, she had questioned her friends. They had all feigned innocence telling Buffy that they had been with Spike the entire time since Xander's death, afraid they said of what he might do to himself. Buffy had called L.A. and Cordy and the rest of the AI gang told her that Angel had been in L.A. the whole time, working extra hard to hide his grief at the loss of Xander and his worry for Spike. When Buffy had been satisfied that none of the Scoobies or their L.A. counterparts had had anything to do with the man's death, she told the others that he must have had a run in with a demon and gotten exactly what he deserved. She never knew how true her words were.
Spike brought himself back to the present and made his way into the bedroom. He had made this the last room, knowing how hard it would be to face the memories he and Xander had shared in here. He saw Xander's favorite worn out shirt laying on the floor and slowly bent to pick it up. Spike looked at it a moment before he slipped it over his head and after putting it on, he hugged it closely to him, still smelling Xander's scent on the shirt. Spike headed to the bed and laid down, cuddling Xander's pillow to his chest and crying himself to sleep. As sleep took hold he fell into a dream of the first time they had made love.
The two of them had been arguing constantly, calling each other names or playing jokes on each other until the group was ready to throttle both of them. They had been out on patrol, tracking a Thorlok demon when they had started arguing over whose turn it was to pay for the beers afterwards. While they were in the midst of their argument, the demon had attacked. They had managed to kill it but not before Spike had been badly hurt trying to defend Xander. Xander had nursed Spike back to health, even giving him some of his own blood to help him heal.
"Why are you doing this?" Spike had asked Xander, watching as Xander cut his arm with a sharp knife, before holding it out for him to drink. "If it's because you feel guilty, you should but I don't want your pity blood."
"It's not pity blood and I don't feel guilty. It takes two to argue you know," Xander defended himself, waving his arm under Spike's nose. "Are you going to drink this or not?"
Spike gave the boy a look before sucking the blood from the cut. He couldn't stop the moan that escaped his lips at the taste of Xander's blood. So full of emotions, innocence and sunshine. Spike remembered thinking that this was the reason Xander was such a demon magnet - his blood was like an aphrodisiac. He chanced a glance at Xander and saw that the boy was becoming aroused, he could taste it in his blood. Xander bit his lip, trying to stifle the moan Spike knew was coming. After he was done, Spike licked the cut until it closed and then lifted his head to look at the boy. "Never told me why you did this."
"It's not like I can just let you die, Spike. Well, not again anyway. I need you," Xander had admitted, before amending his statement, "I mean we need you."
"Need me for what? Muscle on patrol? Someone to nag at? Someone to make fun of?" Spike had asked, angry at Xander for denying his feelings.
"No, someone to love," Xander had told him shyly, leaning down and kissing the vampire. When they had come up for breath, Xander had waited to see if Spike returned his feelings or whether the vampire was going to leave.
"I've been wanting to do that for a long time," Spike told him, watching Xander's face light up with joy when he heard Spike's confession.
"Really? Cause I have too. I think that's why I've been arguing with you so much lately. I was frustrated with myself for being such a chicken and not admitting my feelings for you but I was so scared that you would laugh at me that I couldn't tell you how I felt."
"Why would you think that I would laugh at you? Haven't you noticed how I try to walk beside you during patrols? I've started to care for you and I didn't want you to get hurt."
"I know why I was nervous about telling you how I felt. You're gorgeous, Spike. Not to mention hot, sexy and very cool. You could have anyone you want. Me, I'm just a stupid kid with a big mouth who plays at being a man. What could you possibly see in me when you have so many good looking girls and guys fawning all over you?"
"No, you're so much more than that, Xander. You're witty and handsome and good company when you want to be. Also, I bet there's a very sexy body underneath those baggy clothes. I've seen a hint of it from time to time when I've patched you up after a fight. I'm thinking I'd like to see the complete package," Spike said, leaning in for another kiss. Xander had melted into his arms and the kiss had become more intense until Xander had pulled away to breathe.
"I know I want to see yours," Xander told him, taking Spike's hand and leading him to the bedroom. When they got to the bed, Xander sat down and stared at Spike who had sat down next to him. "I, uh, I don't know how this works. It's my first time. All I know is that I want this more than I've ever wanted anything in my life. Would you be my first, Spike?"
Spike had stared at Xander for a moment before answering. "I want this too, Xander, but what about the chip? The first time is never painless and I don't fancy getting a massive headache in the middle of a shag."
"It's all about intent isn't it? I know you'll be gentle and it's not like you're trying to kill me or anything."
"We'll give it a go then," Spike had said, pulling Xander down on the bed with him. Before too long they were both naked and Spike took a moment to look at Xander's body before smiling at him. "Very nice package indeed. Gonna have to buy you some new clothes so you can show it off more often. Or maybe not. Don't want any others getting any ideas," Spike had said.
"Wouldn't make a difference," Xander told him, handing the bottle of lube he had pulled from the nightstand drawer. "I'm not interested in anyone but you."
Spike had taken the lube from Xander and had gently prepared the boy. Thankfully the chip had not gone off and Xander had been more than ready for Spike to fuck him, begging for more as he spread his legs to allow Spike access to his virgin hole. Spike remembered how warm and tight Xander had been when he entered him and both of them had moaned in ecstasy as Spike slid in and waited for Xander's body to adjust to being filled with his cock. After a few seconds Spike started to move, thrusting in and out of Xander while the boy writhed underneath him, his head thrown back on the pillow.
"God, Spike feels so good. My blood is burning for you, every part of my body and soul is focused on you being inside me. This is so incredible."
Spike had leaned down and kissed Xander, his tongue slipping inside his mouth as his cock slid in and out of Xander's hot channel.
"Oh, pet you're so tight, so hot. I could live inside you." Spike's hand had slid down Xander's body, his fingers caressing the underside of Xander's cock. "I want to taste you," he said, bending down to flick his tonge over the head of Xander's cock. Spike gently held Xander's hips so that he couldn't move before taking the boy's erection into his mouth, his cock still seated inside of Xander's hole.
Spike sucked on Xander's cock for a few minutes before raising up and smiling down at the boy. "Taste so good, luv."
"Spike, I can't wait any longer. Fuck me, Spike, oh please let me feel you. I've waited so long for this," Xander begged before pulling Spike into a kiss.
"Well, since you asked so sweetly," Spike raised Xander's left leg and put it over his shoulder, thrusting deep inside of Xander's slick channel. Xander's eyes widened in awe when Spike's cock hit his prostate.
"Oh, shit Spike give it to me. Need you to fuck me into the mattress. Want to feel every inch of you inside of me." Xander moaned and Spike could hold back no longer. He began to thrust in and out, almost withdrawing completely before slowly pushing back into Xander. Their coupling was slow and Spike took Xander gently and lovingly, for it was his first time after all.
As Spike felt his balls tighten, he shoved deep inside Xander, leaning down to kiss Xander. Their tongues met and Spike moaned as Xander sucked his gently. He gasped as his orgasm washed over him and he filled Xander with his cum, coating the silky channel with his cool semen until it ran down Xander's leg. Spike had never had such an intense orgasm and when Xander screamed out his name, his inner muscles clenching against Spike's cock as he came, Spike was hit with a second wave of pleasure that raced through him and he answered Xander's cries with one of his own as his cock was milked dry.
Spike slid out of Xander and rolled over onto the bed, taking Xander with him. They spent several minutes gently touching every part of each other's bodies as they kissed. Xander sighed happily.
"That was...that was...I can't describe how good that was. It was amazing."
"I know. I feel the same way," Spike responded, caressing Xander's face.
"It's official. I'm addicted to you. You'll never be able to leave me unless you want to see much groveling and begging which I will happily do."
"No groveling or begging needed," Spike had told him. "This is where I want to be for the rest of my undead life."
*End of Dream*
Spike hugged the pillow tighter as he smiled in his sleep. Willow and Dawn sat on the side of the bed and watched over him for a few minutes before Willow reached over and gently shook his arm.
"Xander?" Spike asked, sitting up and looking around and Willow's heart broke as she watched the sadness creep back onto Spike's face when he realized it had only been a dream.
"Are you ready to go?" Dawn asked. Spike nodded his head and got up off the bed, the girls following behind him. They grabbed the things Spike had packed while he was thinking and walked to the door. As Spike got ready to close the door on this chapter of his life, he turned back and looked into the apartment that held so many wonderful memories of the handsome young man he had wanted to spend the rest of his life with.
"I'll never forget you or my promise to you, Xander. I'll keep them safe. I'll always love you, my sweet pet. I feel you in my heart and mind all the time, so I guess you kept your promise to me too. You'll be with me till I'm dust and I'll remember you every day." With that being said, Spike closed the door and walked away from the happiest years of his life and into the loving arms of the two girls who would make sure that he got through this, just as Spike would them. Even in death, Xander was still keeping everyone together. He was still the heart.