Feedback: More important than oxygen.
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: Xander/Spike with a twist.
Warnings: Dark themes. AU
Disclaimer: Nothing’s mine and they’re all lies.
Author Notes: Written for the CoSoRanOb Spander Ficathon challenge, for [info]umbralillium. I couldn’t quite hold up to everything that was asked…

Summary: Because they hadn’t been meant to win, they have to live with the loses.

Not All Are Champions

Yours Truly

They hadn't been meant to win.

The words make him feel better. It's what he whispers to himself in the darkness sometimes, soft whisper shattering the silence to make room for a sliver of dreams among his jumbled feelings. Sometimes he can close his eyes and see their smiling faces beaming at him beneath the sunlight, can almost smell Buffy's perfume, or feel Willow's gentle touch on his skin. Almost. But that's long gone now, memories fading slowly and leaving Xander behind in a very different world.

Dress up for the party, little angel. The plates are set aflame just for you, and the Countess is expecting you.

They had never wondered about Her. In their world she hadn't existed beyond a distant memory of an unpredictable taste of danger. Wide, laughing eyes that ensnared lost in a world of their own. She had been of little importance. Through Xander had been there when she'd effortlessly danced with a Slayer. Danced and moved on to the next piece without a backwards glance. Their fragile human memories had simply put Her behind them. They had never wondered about Her.

It is time to make the rivers sing again, my love.


I have come for you, my William.

Now, Xander wishes that they had. Looking back, he recreates the Magic-Box in graphic detail, and wonders out loud one night, when they're all eating pizzas, just where had that mad woman run to. Then, perhaps, Giles' curiosity could have been picked. Perhaps they would have unconsciously prepared themselves for her. Perhaps…


Sheets rustling, Spike sits up blearily, blinking confused eyes to see around the room. The alarm clock reads 2:54 PM: the middle of their night. Xander smiles at him from his seat by the window, trying to ignore the sick feeling on his stomach that the memories try to rise. Spike smiles back, body still lax from sleep. When Spike lifts a hand towards him, Xander goes.

His mind wanders.

Out of all the fishes in the Sea, there is only one Knight for me.

Spike hadn't known either, remaining as oblivious as the rest of them until the very last moment. It was this fact the one that tormented Xander day and night, chasing him through nightmares and waking hours. Spike hadn't known. He'd been living with Xander by then, his crypt just a cover so the Scoobies wouldn't know. Their little secret. So Xander couldn't tell anyone how worried he was on the night Spike didn't return. The vampire had accompanied him to the latest meeting at the Magic Box, chattering with Dawn until it was time to leave. After, he'd kissed Xander in the alley, and had promised with a little smile that he'd be back at Midnight.

He didn't come home for eight days.

Come here, dearest. Tell Mommy your woes.

Reaching Spike he draws the sleepy vampire into his arms, running callused fingers through soft curls. Wishing there was enough life left in him to hate, yet knowing that his love is the only drive that keeps his body animated. Spike was his last tattered link to reality.

"Aren't you tired, Xan?"

The accent is softer and thicker when Spike is half asleep. Xander kisses a cool temple and doesn't answer. The truth is, he's too exhausted to rest. Too tired of all of it. His thoughts are a scarlet jumble of memories that frighten the sleep from him. Not even Spike can make anything better.

The pixies have spoken of our family rebuilt, my darling. I have waited for years for the stars to sing once more

By the eighth night, Xander had been a mess. He'd stumbled to Buffy's house without a thought, and told them everything. Told them about him and Spike, told them they'd been seeing each other for months, told them that they loved each other. He told them that Spike hadn't come back in a week, and he couldn't take the not knowing anymore. Told them to please do anything to find out if he was still okay. He still remembered their short bout of silence, the drum of his heartbeat ringing in his ears, before Willow hugged the breath out of him, and immediately told him they were on it.

Hours of research and useless locator's spells later, there had been a knock at the door.

Time for tea, Miss Edith!

Hands travelling restlessly over the smooth skin pressed close to his, Xander felt the memories begin to overwhelm him. As if sensing his distress, Spike stirred in his arms, frown marring his calm features as he looked up from Xander’s chest. "What's wrong, pet?"

So much.

Without a word Xander framed Spike's face between his hands, looking into blue depths full of feeling. Concern, love, confusion. Spike's arms felt strangely warm as they slipped around his neck, pulling Xander closer to rest over him. The vampire's mischievous smile lit up his face. Bright as Buffy's hair.

Xander barely noticed the first tear fall.

Everyone's invited. Bring in the weapons, bring in the teaspoons and sing along with the stars, love. They dance with tribal drums tonight

Buffy had gone to the door, only to find Spike sitting by the tree on the sidewalk, knees drawn up to his chest and head bowed. She had called out to Xander, smile on her lips. She was golden. So bright. Xander still remembered.

He had rushed out the house, felt their steps following him outside in a rush of excitement…
It was all so careless; so dangerous.

Reaching Spike Xander had knelt, already berating the vampire for scaring him so badly, babbling an endless stream of words even as his hands shook with emotion. He’d been too relieved to think. But Spike wasn't answering and wasn't moving. Dread made his heart jumpstart in his chest, words dying on his tongue as his relief slipped away. Gently, he'd tried talking to the vampire, tried to coax him to speak. No answer. Finally, Xander reached out, and gently lifted Spike's head.

His face was blank and unresponsive, and dazed blue eyes stared past Xander without seeing.

Terrified, Xander turned to face his friends. Heard the front door click shut behind them, heard the sudden blast of a gunshot, heard Buffy’s shout.

And everything was scarlet.

C'mon kitten, time to play. The mice are waiting. The Countess is no longer watching us, and the dancing has begun.

Spike's soft moan broke him from his thoughts and dragged him back to the present moment.

Spike’s skin was velvet against his hands. The frenzied pace of his caresses had the vampire writhing against him, skin warming against Xander's hands. The healthy blush of borrowed blood tainted his pale skin in places, and Xander bent his head to lick and nip at the exposed skin. Everywhere. Anywhere. Spike pleaded and moaned, trying to reciprocate, eyes glazed and wanting, but Xander's hold on the vampire's wrists was firm.

Xander's body was too tense to draw pleasure.

Another kiss followed, sensual slide of a tongue against his. Their lips tasted of salt.

Looking up into moist blue eyes, Xander saw his thoughts reflected in their orbs and his heart gave a painful lurch. Xander kissed each eyelid in turn, swallowing the soft apology with another kiss.

They hadn't been meant to win. It was hardly Spike's fault.

Choose one, darling, and I'll let you keep them. Promise to be good for Mommy, though. Promise to care for it.

They hadn't screamed. It was something to be proud of. The memory of their last stand was burned into Xander's mind. Their moves, their words often repeated themselves in Xander’s dreams like a daily matinee. Tara's chanting, Willow's stumbling Latin, Buffy's self-assured comments even as her life left her in rivulets of red. Dawn had run. He wasn't sure what had happened to her after that. He didn't want to know. He’d never heard of Giles again. On some nights, he thought of them both, and fervently prayed to a silent God he wasn’t sure of. Spike sometimes closed his eyes, and seemed to pray with him.

Of that night, Xander just remembered Drusilla. Her smile clearly stood out among the blur of images in his head.

Drusilla’s steps gliding over the grass, dancing around the blood. Drusilla, commanding her minions effortlessly in battle, using her charming madness as a weapon of control. The thrall she was so good with. Drusilla's eyes firm on his, and her delighted smile. Drusilla's careful way of kneeling next to Spike's and Xander's frozen forms, and the petting of dangerous fingers. Drusilla's tinkling laughter as the struggle around them dwindled to nothing. Drusilla's mesmerizing gaze as she made Spike stand before her, as she kissed him deeply, and made him feed.

Spike's dulled gaze had shone bright as he moved to the broken bodies on the ground.

Her voice low, She whispered to Xander of their family. Told him the princess had found the way to give her knight back his sword. Whispered in Xander’s ear, breath tickling his skin, that the witch Spike's was draining without splitting pain in his head, was still alive.


You were chosen, little trinket

"There you are, my dears!" Her voice called delightedly, making Xander freeze in his ministrations, thoughts snapping back to the present. Spike moaned quietly, body rigid and held on the edge of his pleasure. Xander looked down on him and gently licked the last tear-track clean.

Drusilla walked slowly into their bedroom, humming low. Skirt dragging behind her, she smiled at them, leaning down to run sharp nails down Spike's cheek. Spike's eyes glittered with heat; gratitude and lust mingling heatedly with resentment and hate.

Xander had never bothered to understand the amount of power a Sire held when Giles was there to answer. He understood it now.

"Now, now, puppet," Drusilla chided Spike gently, settling down in the corner of the bed, watching them with hungry eyes. The bed rustled softly as she leaned closer, blood on her lips, kissing Spike. "Don't be naughty. Bad boys don't get their pleasure."

"Dru..." Spike said brokenly, trying to buck against Xander's grip. "Xan?"

Xander didn't answer, eyes trained in Drusilla. Waiting. The Princess had learned to run the game, and took great pleasure in doing so. The last time Spike had disobeyed her, he was kept on a leash at her feet for a week. Spike's vacant stare as he mindlessly did what he was told had spurred some of Xander's most violent nightmares to date.

Drusilla smiled.


And that was all it took. Shudders and laboured breathing, lost blue eyes meeting Xander's brown ones. An endless moment of togetherness. Xander smiled down at his love, hand gently coaxing the last edges of pleasure. Then Spike slid his fangs into Xander's throat and the human bucked up and came as well with a shout, collapsing onto Spike.

When cold hands touched them both and a soft voice cooed about her beautiful boys, Xander buried his face into the pillow, and clutched Spike's body closer. Eyes open. Don't let the dreams come.

They hadn't been meant to win. Not all of them, at least.

The End

Preferred rating and genre (ie NC-17, H/C, schmoop, angst, etc): NC-17,
H/C, schmoop
Your Colour: scarlet
Your Sound: tribal drums
Your Random Object: alarm clock
Two things you'd like included: Chipless/soulless!Spike, but not necessarily evil
Two things you don't want included: Dark themes, not a huge fan of rape unless it's part of a BDSM scene.

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