Disclaimer: I own nothing, no harm no foul.
Warning: Violence and angst. Also, totally unbeta'd.



“Spike. What the fuck are you doing here?” Xander was pissed. Who the hell did he think he was, just walking in like that. After what he had said. I have to remember to get that damned disinvite spell from Willow, he thought.

“Toss off you wanker, I just came to get my tapes of ‘Passions.’” Spike was tearing the place apart looking for them. He won’t find ‘em in here, Xander thought with a shit-eating grin.

“They’re not here, you ass.” Xander wasn’t surprised to see Spike’s face slip away and be replaced by the demon’s. Same old trick. Doesn’t get his way, he tries to scare me. Well not any more.

“Well where the fuck are they?” Spike’s face came within inches of Xander’s. Xander could smell the whiskey on his breath and on his clothes. The vampire reeked of it.

“Jesus, Spike. Is that all you know how to do, drink?” Xander took a large step back. Spike advanced. Another step and then another and suddenly he was against the wall. And Spike was in his face.

“What of it, Harris? Like you’re any fucking better. Anytime anyone says anything that gets too close to the truth or anything that lets on that they know, you make some smart-arse remark. Real fucking mature, Xander. Grow the fuck up you stupid git.” As if it were possible, Spike got even closer, their chests touching.

“Fuck. You. Spike” Xander screamed in the vampire’s face. Xander’s entire body ached and tingled to shove Spike away, but for once Xander’s brain wasn’t on auto-pilot. He knew he’d look like a fool trying to shove a master vampire around.

“Or what? Or you’ll make a joke?” The venom in Spike’s voice sent shivers down Xander’s spine. He knew fear was seeping out of his pores and that Spike was getting off on it.

“I said shut the fuck up, Spike. I’m not going to say it again,” through clenched teeth. Xander’s hands balled themselves into fists. Adrenaline was coursing through his veins like bulls in Pamplona. Wild and passionate and ready to destroy.

“I’m so fucking scared you damn pratt. You don’t know how to do anything but back yourself out. What are you going to do now, pet? You’re against the wall. No where to run this time.” Now Spike was shouting. He was growling too, the steady rumble of a Mack truck in his chest.

“How could you fucking say that, Spike? How could you say that to me! How could you call me a fucking wimp? Tell me that I deserve what happens to me?” Xander’s brain was reeling.

“Because it’s fucking true, you stupid arse. And you know it is, otherwise it wouldn’t piss you off so much. You’re nothing but a damn pushover. Never stand up for yourself. You let them treat you like shite. You’re the worst kind of person, Xander. Nothing but a fucking broken toy. Just a fucking puppy who lets its owner kick him around. No thoughts or ideas of your own. Only what they tell you are. Only what they tell you to do and when they tell you do it. A fucking robot, Xander. That’s what you are.”

Finally, the anger and the pain and the helplessness exploded out of Xander.

“SHUT UP SPIKE!” Almost in slow motion, he saw his fist shoot up and connect with Spike’s cheek. He saw Spike’s head fly backward and jerk back again, a bruise already forming.

“Come on, Xander. Is that the best you can do? You sick fuck. The fucking witch can hit more like a man than you can.”

Again, with the other fist. A black eye. Another strike and another, Spike backing away but not trying to escape. Xander advancing on him, striking like a poised rattle snake. Again and again his fists made connection with Spike’s form, his chest, his arms, his mouth. Anything to make him SHUT UP. He didn’t notice that at some point, Spike’s game face fell away to reveal the man he loved.

Finally, Xander’s body shut off the adrenalin valve and he felt himself falling. He collapsed on the floor, drained of all possible energy. Spike nearly fell on top of him. He reached out and brought Xander close to him, rocking him back and forth, his hand going out to stroke Xander’s hair.

Xander suddenly realized that he was crying, bawling in fact. Tears were flowing freely from his tortured eyes. His entire body was doubled over in pain from the sobbing. His chest was on fire; he could barely breathe. His hands were bruised and bleeding, and Christ only knew what Spike looked like.

“I’m not worthless, Spike,” he managed to whisper after a few minutes. Spike was still petting him, rocking him back and forth.

“I know, pet, I know.”

“Why, Spike? Why can’t they just love me?” Another torrent of sobs and tears ascended upon him.

“Shhh, pet, it’s okay. I’m here, luv, I’ve got you. I love you.”

“I just don’t fucking understand it, Spike. Why is it like this? Why is it so hard?” Xander cried until his shirt was soaked and the tears dried up. For the first time in his life, he felt completely empty of tears. Empty of effort. Empty of secrets.

“You’re not worthless, pet. I’m so fucking sorry I said that. I had to, though. It’s the only way I knew to get you to let go.” Spike was still rocking Xander back and forth, and Xander knew Spike was crying.

“I just love you so much, Xander. I can’t stand what they do to you. Can’t fucking stand the way they push you around. Can’t stand it! I don’t want to see you hurt. Don’t you know what it does to me? It makes my heart beat and then break. I can’t watch it, pet. I can’t do it. I just wish you knew it. So sorry, Xander. So fucking sorry.” Now Spike was sobbing. Xander had never seen the vampire cry.

Xander turned in Spike’s embrace and wrapped his arms around him, reversing their positions. He saw Spike’s face, a bloody mangled mess of bruises and cuts. Bruises split open, blood running down his forehead. Xander held him so tight he hurt himself. He never wanted to let go.

“It’s okay, Spike. I know. I understand. And I love you. You don’t have to be sorry. I get it, now. I love you so fucking much, Spike. I promise I’ll try. I promise. I’ll try for you. But not just for you, for me. I will. I swear it, Spike. I don’t want to lose you. I don’t want you to leave. Please don’t leave me, Spike. You’re the only one I love.”

Spike lifted his head off Xander’s shoulder and cobalt eyes met mahogany. Each man was reminded instantly of why they loved each other.

“I’ll never leave you.” Spike whispered.

They leaned in and their lips met. One small gentle kiss, flesh against flesh, warm against cool, light against darkness. And once more, they lost themselves in each other, man and demon alike being made whole by the love of the other.

The End

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