"Before I could stop it he'd given me my bloody soul back. Then after...after it.... was bad." The voice finished almost inaudibly.
"Did you go to Angel? Him being all souled up and all." Xander pointed out and Spike gave that awful grating laugh again.
"No. I think he might have known something happened, felt it, but Dru found me first."
"Oh...shit." Xander said, then amended. "Or...shit? I thought she was the love of your life."
"So did I." Spike said in an empty voice. "She went insane with rage, tried to get me to remember, see what it had been like to do...what we did and I... couldn't...." The trembling had begun again and Xander lay a hand on one slim shoulder but Spike moved away, hugging himself in a brush of leather.
"I couldn't come back to Buffy after that. I couldn't. The things...."
"Where is she now? Drusilla?" Xander asked and Spike swallowed with obvious effort.
"She finally left. I was no fun, and she got tired of my asking her to stake me since I was too cowardly to stake myself. Made herself another pet."
"I'm so tired." The vampire whispered, his shoulders actually slumping as if the narrative had exhausted him.
"Yeah. I'm beat, too. I have a guest room, or the couch, your choice."
Xander left to use the bathroom because he had to get away from the vulnerability on that beautiful face. Behind the door he sighed, wondered what had possessed him to ask the vampire here. When he came out Spike lay stretched out on the couch, duster and all, and looked asleep, lashes shuttered against creamy white cheeks.
Walking quietly Xander fetched a quilt from the linen closet and lay it over the unconscious vampire. Or he guessed he was unconscious. Hard to tell without the rise and fall of breath, and he had forgotten that. Tucking the quilt around the slender man he debated whether to pull off the boots then did it. Placing the Docs next to the sofa he moved to go then paused again at the sight of the sleeping form.
He guessed even vampires looked younger in repose. That weird hair he couldn't seem to wrap his mind around floated around the curved cheekbones, framing them. His fingers tingled with the urge to touch the curls and he gave in, running his hand over soft, soft silk. When the sky blue eyes didn't open Xander continued, carding the sensous strands, feeling them slip into the sensitive dip between his fingers.
Xander searched for the animosity he'd felt with such intensity as a teen, then a young man, and found that well hollow. Besides, what better karma could there be? Take away a man's nature and spit him back out in the world. If that wasn't poetic justice what was?
With a last pet to Spike's head he climbed the stairs to his bedroom.