Who Wants to Live Forever


by
Metaforgirl



Part Ten

“God, it’s so great how this never gets old.”

Xander was leaning against the wall of a building on the outskirts of town. Brandy, Giles and Willow were on the other side of a large parking lot working some mojo. The Big Bad that Giles and Maurice seemed convinced would be here tonight had not yet appeared. Xander’s job was officially back-up. If anything came round and tried to get to the girls while they were busy either he, on this side of the lot, or Spike, on the other, would raise the alarm. Unofficially, Xander had assigned himself the job of keeping Crystal and Brown alive. Brown stood near him now, rolling the handle of his favored ax in the palm of his hand. His terror shone in his wide eyes and quick breathing, but he stood firm and even managed to crack a smile at Xander.

“Been through a few?”

“Never enough,” sighed Xander dramatically. “It’s like the very first time.”

Brown laughed and crooned softly, “like a viiiiirgin, …” His voice was terrible. Xander glowered.

“Thank you,” he said sarcastically, “now I will not mind dying.”

Just then, a bolt of something the color of a green-not-found-in-nature appeared in the middle of the parking lot. It twisted and began cycling like a tornado. As it turned, bits of it began falling away and appeared to be becoming solid. The solid bits stood on what looked most definitely like legs, and turned and began moving towards Willow and Brandy, brandishing what most definitely looked like weapons. On the other side of the lot, Xander saw Spike take off towards the cyclone.

“Fuck,” said Xander flatly, “will I never learn to shut up.”


~*~*~*~*~


No apocalypse is like any other. They all have their own unique characteristics. But Xander had been a soldier on the Hellmouth for over a decade, and had been in the thick of his share of ugly battles. It would be a mistake to say that he had fallen into a routine, but he had a good sense of what should be going on and what should not. And something about this fight felt wacked.

Xander had barely had time to curse before Brown spotted one of the green-meanies going after Brandy, and took off yelling, Crystal close behind him. Xander swore and ran after the overly enthusiastic youth, wondering vainly if he had ever been so stupid. Within moments it was clear that the danger of the green-meanies was not in their strength, as even Brown and Crystal seemed to be holding their own, but in their numbers. The green cyclone thingy never abated, and kept popping out new monsters as quickly as they could dispatch them. Brandy and Spike appeared to be unflagging, but Xander, Brown and Crystal were rapidly tiring.

It was then that he started getting the battle-wackiness feeling. In retrospect, he would be able to say quite clearly that he had noticed that the casualties were not falling like they usually did in Slayer related battles. With Buffy, it seemed that wherever she was, evil perished, yet somehow when her friends were in trouble, evil perished more there. In other words, Buffy was always aware of the placement of her soldiers and strove to keep them safe. But here and now, though Brandy was surrounded with casualties, Brown, Crystal and himself were thigh deep in green-meanies.

He looked over towards Willow and Giles. They were muddling around with a large metal disc, and Willow had that hair-whipping-in-the-wind thing going on that meant she was reciting an incantation. Hopefully the incantation that would knock out the green cyclone thingy. Xander decided a tactical retreat for normal mortals was in order.

“REGROUP, BROWN,” he shouted at the boy, who had just leveled a green-meanie with an ax in the back, “CRYSTAL, GET BACK HERE!” The kids glanced back at him and obediently, and how bizarre was that, began to make their way back towards him. Xander herded them back slowly, all three of them were breathing hard, and he noted with some distant part of his brain that Crystal had blood all across one side of her face. Fuck, I shouldn’t have let that happen. Spike and Brandy were on either side of the cyclone. Like whirlwinds themselves, they both fought in a frenzy. Spike was in full-game face as he fought. Xander allowed himself a moment to admire the vampire’s skills. Spike loved the battle and fought with a fierce grace that made it look like demonic ballet. His vampire visage, after Xander had gotten over the whole gonna-bite-your-neck thing, was fantastic and, Xander thought, even beautiful. He caught his thoughts and turned them aside to watch Brandy with a critical eye. She was pretty damn good, he realized. Very very fast, if not yet wise. She, too, had a ferocious quality. Not above getting her pretty hands dirty.

But as he watched Brandy, Xander began to think something was wrong. Typically Buffy would have, as did Spike, waded into the midst of the strongest demons. Take them out first. Brandy seemed to be more concerned with location, circling away from something, or towards it. She would kick weaker demons out of the way, hurling some without destroying them, in order to maintain a position. It was weird. Xander was mystified and continued watching as he persisted in pushing Brown and Crystal back from the fray.

Willow’s voice was now rising. Another wind was blowing, outside of the cyclone’s, and above the din Xander could hear chanting. He glanced back at the kids.

“Any minute now,” he shouted.

There was a gigantic crash of thunder and Crystal screamed and covered her ears. A wave of water literally poured from the sky as Willow the Wiccan Storm Goddess effectively extinguished the cyclone like a housewife dousing a match. Xander looked back at the battle to see Brandy and Spike reducing the remaining green-meanies to puddles of goo. Spike was absorbed in his battle. He reduced the numbers methodically. Brandy, however, had stopped fighting. She watched the vampire. Xander’s hair prickled on his arms. Brandy was watching Spike. As Spike closed in on the last demons, Brandy warily stepped backwards away from him. She barely spared a glance for the remnant army, only slaying if one got in her way. Brandy was circling Spike. The vampire was oblivious, but Xander saw the Slayer’s hand reaching towards her back pocket.

Xander didn’t know he had started running until he had closed half the distance. He saw Spike, oblivious to Brandy’s movements. He saw the girl, stalking the game-faced fighting vampire. Like waving a steak in front of a lioness and expecting her not to pounce, he realized, running.

“No!” screamed Xander as he ran. “Spike! Look out!”

Two things happened simultaneously. Brandy whipped her head briefly towards him, a look of malevolent anger on her face, and Spike whipped around and saw Xander running, then saw the Slayer, stake ready, just a few feet away from him. Spike snarled, Brandy leapt forward, Xander screamed and closed the gap. He knew he could not let either one of them hurt the other, but he also knew that if it came down to it, he was gonna save Spike. Xander came down hard on the girl, who tossed him off like he weighed nothing. He bounced from the ground in time to hear the vampire roar his name and charge Brandy.

Xander hurled himself back at the pair. This time he latched onto the Slayer’s striking arm, stilling it for a moment, and managed at the same time to punch Spike in the forehead. Brandy struggled against Xander hissing, while Spike reeled back staring.

“Fuck Brandy, stop!” Xander yelled in her face. The girl stared back at him, dazed, but she stopped.

“Spike!” The vampire steadied himself, then stood down and took a few steps back.

All three of them stood shaking as the rain continued to pour down.


~*~*~*~*~


Xander cleaned his ax, Brown next to him copying his moves. Crystal was having her face patched up by Willow, who hopefully was slinging a little extra juice into that bandage to keep the girl’s face from scarring. There was a big ugly tear across the fourteen year old’s fragile skin, and every time he looked at her, Xander felt another painful pulse of guilt. How had he not managed to keep her out of the conflict? Useless Bastard, he berated himself.

Brandy was sitting across the room with Maurice, as he wrote the details of events in his Watcher’s journal. She glanced at Xander once or twice, and from the look on her face Xander was fairly certain that he was now on her list of people-we-don’t-trust. Tiny, pale, just a kid he reminded himself, with great, golden, innocent eyes. She in no way now resembled the weapon of destruction Xander had felt compelled to attack.

He carefully put a large sword back in the case and shut the door. And there was a horrible shaking in his gut that had nothing to do with Brandy’s anger or Crystal’s injury. He had almost lost Spike. The thought made him feel physically ill, and he stomped back into the living room and brought down the bottle of Irish Whiskey Giles had hidden from him in a top cabinet.

“Hey baby,” said Xander softly. “Feeling lonely?”

“Don’t tell me yer comin’ on to the booze, Harris,” said the voice behind him. “’Cuz that’s always gonna lead to heartbreak.”

Xander spun around. “Spike,” he said, “glad to see you’re still undead.”

“Yeah,” said the vampire slowly, “Thanks for that Xan.”

“Sure buddy,” said Xander warmly. He proffered the bottle, “wanna meet my friend?”


~*~*~*~*~


And just like that, it seemed, the glacial condition between them was over. Spike and Xander left the house together and went wandering out into the world they had saved once more. The world appeared to be bored with the whole deal, and had gone to sleep, but Xander and Spike were wide-awake with post adrenalin excitement. Spike seemed to be filled with a kind of giddy joy. Dancing around on the sidewalk, demonstrating key moments in the battle. Exaggerating and then mocking himself for his exaggerations, he dragged the other man with him, gradually pulling him out of his blue funk. They soon finished the Irish, so journeyed to a liquor store to meet her twin sister. The rain continued to pour down as the two men tramped through the local cemeteries, drinking and bragging and walking off the energy. Spike was dragging Xander off to show him his ‘hide-out’ crypt. He had some absurd idea that Xander would appreciate the tactical advantages of this particular location, when Xander suddenly turned to find Spike had slipped into the dark and vanished. He spun around on his heel once.

“Spike?”

No vampire. Xander drank a slug of whiskey and stood puzzled. This wasn’t right.

“Spike, really, this isn’t funny. Where are you?”

Xander stood unsteadily on the soggy ground. He took another slug from the bottle and wiped his mouth with his sleeve, peering around in the misty dark. The rain was cutting his visibility by half and the ground was becoming increasingly slippery under his feet. A creepy chill rippled up his back, or maybe the drizzle was working down the neck of his shirt. He wriggled uncomfortably and continued circling. He was getting that wiggy Hellmouthy feeling.

“Spike? Shit, Spike get out here!” CRACK a bolt of lightning banged against the sky and Xander jumped a foot.

“Damn it, Spike, you bastard. If you don’t get out here, I’m going home on my own!” Xander struggled against the slippery mud to climb up the hill, where a low row of mausoleums created a kind of shelter against the rain. Another bolt of lightning lit the sky behind the crypts and Xander flinched again. His ears were ringing. He took another slug from the bottle and wondered what the odds were of him making it home on his own, uneaten. Surely even flesh eaters stayed in out of the rain? “Spike, you bastard!” he yelled. And then he heard the definite thud of something on the mausoleum roof directly over his head. The rain thundered down harder, but beneath it he could hear a voice. Singing?

“I am immortal,” thump. “I have inside me blood of kings,”

Xander spun around. “Spike?” he whispered hopefully,

There was another thump just over his head and Xander strained back to see what was on the roof of the building. Poised to run the other way. Peering still through the increasing downpour and inky night, trying to see…

Thump. “I have no rival,” sang the voice. “No man can be my equal.” And Xander with great relief recognized Spike’s silhouette walking to the edge of the roof and looking down at him. His sweet tenor voice rose steadily above the roar of rain. “Take me to the future of your world.” a great stroke of lightning lit the sky behind Spike. He threw his arms up into the air and yelling, sang into the sky;

“Here we are.
Born to be kings.
We’re the princes of the universe.”

“Spike you geek,” whispered Xander, smiling

“Here we belong.
Fighting to survive.
In a world with the darkest powers.”

Spike strode across the mausoleum rooves, leaping from one to the next. Waving his arms in the air as if he held a great sword. His coat billowing about him like a great cape as he bellowed out into the night;

“And here we are.
We’re the princes of the universe.
Here we belong.
Fighting for survival.
We’ve come to be the rulers of your world.”

Another bolt of lightning blasted across the sky and lit Spike’s silhouette again. Xander stared up at his friend, who had suddenly been transformed into something powerful. Something otherworldly. And suddenly he got it. The song.

Spike strode to the edge of the last crypt wall. He was grinning down at Xander like a fiend and singing as loud as he could;

“Born to be kings.
Princes of the universe.
Fighting and free.
Got your world in my hand.
I’m here for your love and I’ll make my stand.”
Spike leapt down, in a controlled slow motion, from the mausoleum wall. Xander stepped back, awestruck. He had never before seen the vampire do that flying thing. And then Spike was striding towards him across the black glittering ground, lightning cracking around him, seeming to come from him. Xander suddenly understood that expression, ‘I fall to my knees’.

“No man could understand.
My power is in my own hand,”
Spike sang, approaching him. He stopped mere inches from Xander. Reached up to grab the lapels of Xander’s jacket. Xander was immobile. His legs were water. He grabbed hold of Spike’s hands as they held him and stared into the vampire’s flashing eyes. “I’m a man that will go far,” Spike crooned softly.

“Fly the moon and reach for the stars.
With my sword and head held high.”

He stopped. Another flash of lightning lit his face and Xander saw power, strength, desire. Then Spike reached up and pulled Xander’s head down into a hungry, open-mouthed kiss.


~*~*~*~*~


When one is a being with supernatural strength living in a world of mortals, one walks every day in a glass menagerie. They are so breakable, the ones you love. Spike lived each moment in a state of restraint. He was only allowed to cut loose when he was violent.

And sometimes he wanted more. Though the soul reminded him every day at what price it had come, Spike still reveled in the power he felt running through him. His body was a vessel filled with magic. An insane improbability, a dead man walking. The alchemy demanded blood, but magic was what drove Spike. And tonight he felt its madness rippling through him, the lightning and the danger had whipped it into a frenzy. Normally he would have ridden off on his bike, raising hell somewhere. Pushing the limits of this wonder that was his existence. Finding a razor’s edge and walking it.

But when he had looked down at Xander from the roof of the mausoleum, he had felt something stronger than magic. And the power of whatever that was, grasped the power of that which made Spike, and drew him in.

He pulled Xander into the kiss with more of his supernatural strength than he had ever used on the boy. His mouth and tongue devoured Xander’s lips, and he felt Xander melt against him and open his mouth to him. He buried himself in that flavor, caressing Xander’s strong hot tongue with his own.
Xander moaned into the kiss, and when Spike grasped the back of his neck, he relaxed into the strong grip and let Spike have total control. Spike felt Xander’s acquiescence, felt the barrier that had been between them all week fall away, and he had to have every inch of the man in his arms. Had to press into him, feel him, smell him, taste him, take the Xander he had been denied back into himself. He ravaged Xander with his hands, ran his tongue all over his face. Rubbing his cheek against the sandpapery stubble on Xander’s face and purring like a big jungle cat. He pressed his groin into Xander’s, felt the other man’s hardness and growled.

Xander fell into Spike. He was being manhandled, overpowered and possessed. It was the most erotic sensation he had ever felt. And it touched a black spot in Xander that had been throbbing all night. The power in Spike’s eyes, the strength of the demanding hands running over him. The unrelenting mouth and the otherworldly noises the vampire made were all driving Xander crazy with desire. “Spike,” he gasped when the vampire next released his mouth, “Spike, I want…”

Spike drew back a bit so he could see the other man’s eyes. His hands grasped Xander’s hips and pulled them against his firmly. He demanded in a hoarse voice, “Tell me what you want, Xan.”

“You,” whimpered Xander helplessly. He leaned into the vampire until Spike was almost cradling him in his arms. Suddenly he was swept up like the heroine of a romance novel, and Spike was climbing the incline towards one of the mausoleums. Xander rested his head on Spike’s shoulder and closed his eyes.

Once inside, Spike laid him gently on the dirt floor. Xander sat up and began tugging at his sodden jacket. Spike grabbed Xander’s hands and stilled them. Gently he removed the jacket. Then with a grim, businesslike expression on his face, he rolled Xander’s soaked shirt up and over his head. Spike ran his hand over Xander’s damp hair, his fingers laced through the length at the back, letting it slide through his fingers. He wrapped his arm around Xander and pulled him close, his other hand slowly tracing the rivulets of water on Xander’s chest. One finger circled an erect nipple slowly. Xander shivered violently. Spike paused.

“You’re cold.”

“I don’t care.” Xander pressed himself closer to Spike. But the vampire made a tisking noise and stood, stripped off his duster and laid it on the floor. He kneeled and wrapped his arms around the other man again, lifting him with ease onto the coat. Then he pulled off his own damp top shirt, and dry undershirt. He used the undershirt as a towel, gently rubbing Xander dry. The entire time regarding Xander with a dark unreadable expression. Xander reached down to unfasten his jeans, but Spike stilled his hands once more. He stared into Xander’s eyes and demanded again, “What do you want, Xander?”

Xander leaned into Spike’s chest. He pressed his shaking lips against the cool marble of that skin and whispered, “Do you still have that oil Willow gave you?”

Spike pulled back to look at Xander, hard. He reached into his back pocket and pulled out the small silver flask the Wiccan had gifted him. Spike sat back on his heels, looking at the flask for a moment. “What do you want, Xander,” he asked again carefully.

Xander pushed up against Spike. “You know what I want,” he gasped. “God, Spike please, please.”

A dark wave appeared to wash over Spike’s face. With a low, rumbling growl, he bent to Xander, and began once more his insistent fierce exploration of the man’s face and mouth with his tongue. When Xander wriggled, he grasped his arms, and pressed him back to the ground, covering him. Xander twisted, found he couldn’t move, and became impossibly more aroused. “Spike,” he moaned feverishly. “Spike, Spike, god Spike.”

Spike quieted him by kissing him ferociously. He pressed into Xander’s aching groin with his jeans-covered hardness with a firm rhythm. He grabbed Xander’s head and looked into his eyes with a terrible visage. “What do you want, Xander?” he demanded in a dark voice.

Xander wriggled under Spike and pushed helplessly at him with his hands. He closed his eyes and said, “Let me roll over Spike.”

“Xander.” Spike’s voice sounded choked, but Xander didn’t open his eyes, so he couldn’t know what expression Spike’s face had. He pushed again at the vampire, and Spike hesitated but then pulled back to give him room. Xander turned over, scrabbled at his jeans and lifted his hips to push down his pants. He felt Spike help him tug off the jeans, then his hands came up to firmly stroke down his back, finally resting on his bare backside. Spike’s hands suddenly convulsively dug into Xander’s buttocks, and Xander cried out more with the shock than pain. He felt Spike’s thumbs firmly massaging him while the vampire moaned and growled deep in his throat. “Say it, Xander. You have to say it,” he groaned, his hands rubbing and rubbing, his thumbs gently drawing Xander’s ass cheeks apart. There was a pause as he took his hands away, and then Xander felt something cool dribbling over his back, down the crack. Spike’s thumbs were back, pushing the cool wetness down and down, brushing over his entrance. Xander gasped and wriggled harder and pressed himself upwards. He needed to be possessed, to be completely taken over. He needed that wild creature he had seen standing against the night sky to reach inside him and squeeze the blackness out of him.

“Spike. Please, please. Spike god, do it. God, Spike please.” Spike rubbed the oil deeper and deeper, over Xander’s hole. His thumb circled and circled Xander’s entrance. Xander wriggled and thrust back. He rubbed his face in Spike’s duster and inhaled leather and cigarette smoke. He mouthed the jacket in an agony of desire, keening and moaning.

Spike was growling over and over, “sayit sayit sayit, Xan. Tell me what you want me to do.” Xander felt one of Spike’s thumbs pressing insistently at his entrance, and then it was past the muscle with a little twinge and Spike was rubbing at the walls inside him with his thumb.

“Oh yeah,” Xander groaned helplessly. “Oh god yeah. Do that. Do more of that.” He thrust against Spike’s hand and thrust back into the duster. He felt Spike’s thumb removed and then some discomfort as seemingly more fingers were pushed back into him. It burned. The fingers pushed still further inside and brushed up against something. Xander’s entire body arched up as if jolted with electricity. He wailed and rolled his head from side to side, pushing back against Spike’s hand and begging incoherently.

“Tell me, Xan,” Spike chanted. “Tell me what you want. Tell me what you want.”

Xander was completely out of his mind. “Fuck me, Spike,” Xander hissed into the jacket, “I want you to fuck me. Please Spike, please.” Wildly he realized that the vampire had stopped moving. “What?” he cried out desperately, “what are you doing, why did you stop?”

“Xander,” Spike’s voice sounded strained, “are you sure.”

“Yeah oh yeah, I want this. Please Spike, please,” Xander wailed piteously. “I want this I want this god just do it. Please.”

Then he felt the large blunt head of Spike’s cock pressing impossibly at his entrance. He knew it was way too big, nothing that big could ever go in him, and when the pressure was too much, the pain started. It burned horribly and Xander cried out.

The pressure stopped and Xander felt Spike’s lips touching the back of his neck. “God, I’m sorry, I’m sorry Xander,” Spike whispered in a strangled voice.

Xander grit his teeth. “Don’t apologize,” he said angrily, “just do it. Harder. I need it harder.” He felt Spike rear up a bit behind him and then push down again. Xander bit the inside of his cheek and writhed. He focused mindlessly on the white heat of pain, driving everything from his mind except this thing trying to open him up, trying to tear him in two. He screamed and shoved his hips into Spike and cried out brokenly, “harder, god harder.” And Spike made a horrible sobbing noise and pulled out and shoved himself in.

Spike knew he had to be tearing Xander. He could smell blood. The man writhed and begged below him. Begged him to fuck him. Begged him to hurt him. The ferocity of Spike’s demon was roaring through his body. It could taste a victim. Spike was shaking with the effort of control, shaking with the ecstasy of Xander’s submission, shaking with the pleasure of Xander’s heat around his cock, the smell of Xander’s blood. He drove in harder, barely able to restrain his body, and felt his orgasm gathering in his balls.

Xander felt Spike hitting that amazing spot again and again, and the white heat of pain became ecstasy as he felt each thrust seemingly going straight into his cock. He shoved, out of control, into the smoky leather below him, crying out in an agony of sensation until he felt his entire awareness center and an intense orgasm rip through his body. He thrust and thrust against the slickening surface, screaming with the force of it. Above him Spike was crying out and howling, howling! like an animal, driving into him with such force Xander felt they were pounding a dent into the floor.

Wave after wave of ecstatic sensation washed through Xander, gradually subsiding as he lay breathing hard, felt once more the surface below him, damp and chill and Spike above him, also chill. The vampire was clasped against him, still buried deep inside him. He was shaking all over, his hands stroking roughly up and down Xander’s sides, alternately snarling and whimpering.

“Xander, god Xander. I love you, Xander, I love you,” he chanted. Spike’s body gradually stopped shaking and he collapsed weakly into Xander, burying his face in the back of his neck. His snarls devolving slowly into helpless sobs, as he repeated his litany over and over, “Love you, Xander. God, please Xander. I love you. I love you. I love you.”

Xander lay in his returning sanity and wondered what to do.


~*~*~*~*~


There was a popular book out on the market that Xander had seen once in a bookstore. It was called, “How to Survive Practically Anything”. It gave detailed instructions on how to survive things like falls from airplanes and attacks by crocodiles. Xander had stood in the bookstore with the book in his hands, and been overtaken by such a fit of giggles that the other patrons stared. Whoever had written the book had obviously never lived on a Hellmouth.

Oddly enough that book came suddenly to mind. Xander imagined that he should have read the chapter entitled: “What to do when naked on your belly in a mausoleum, pinned to the ground by a sobbing one hundred and eighty pound demon.” The very qualities that had driven him off the cliff-edge of sanity not a few minutes before, now seemed seriously scary. Spike’s hands, where they stroked Xander’s arms, still showed his demonic claws. And the sense of feeling returning to Xander’s back reported that the head rubbing tearfully back and forth on his shoulder blades was hard and ridged, and probably demonic as well. This, Xander told himself, was ample justification for the blind panic racing through his body. He focused on his concern over the vampire’s loss of physical control over his demon, and ignored his escalating fear over the protestations of love he was hearing.

“Spike,” he said in his calm-voice-we-use-with-crazy-people, “Spike, let me up please.”

Spike stilled and quickly slid out and off of Xander. Xander slowly and uncomfortably lifted himself out of the puddle of cum on Spike’s jacket. As he pushed up, he felt a rather remarkable twinge in his ass. He determinedly blocked the images that sensation engendered from his mind, and slowly found a sitting position on a dry spot of leather.

Spike scrabbled to a sitting position as well. Though the vampire had, thankfully, slid back into his human persona, Xander was still feeling on edge, and he twitched involuntarily when Spike made to gently touch him.

“Gimme a mo’ here, guy,” he said brusquely. “Got to get my head straight.”

Spike nodded once and sat quite still. Solemnly gazing at a place somewhere between Xander’s face and his crotch.

“Hand me my pants?”

Spike scrabbled about and handed Xander his wadded up and still damp pants. Xander sighed in disgust and began trying to pull the wet, cold material up his legs.

“Let me help.” Spike leaned towards him.

“Don’t,“ Xander bit off. Spike was silent. Xander risked a glance at him and saw the vampire regarding him warily, his face still damp with tears. He looked away. “Can I wear that t-shirt back home?”

“Yeah.” Spike handed it to him. Xander slipped it over his head and felt himself fractionally relax. Not naked now. No visual reminders of demons about at the moment. And no male voice saying those words over and over. He stood shakily, pulling the wet jeans on completely. He saw Spike glance at his crotch and startle, then look away.

“There’s blood, Xander,” Spike said hoarsely.

Xander felt himself blush, and those unbidden images rose in his mind again. He stamped down on them fiercely. “Thought you liked that sort of thing,” he spat out.

Spike’s head swiveled back and he gaped at him. “I didn’t want to hurt you, Xander.” His face started to crumple again. “Did I hurt you?” .

“You completely lost control, Spike! What do you think?!”

“Fucking Hell, Xander, I’m sorry!” Spike rose quickly, zipping his pants and jerking on his over shirt. He approached Xander and made once more to touch him. Xander jerked away.

“Don’t be. Guess now we’re even.”

“Even?” Spike protested, “this wasn’t about getting even, Xan!” He grasped the other man’s shoulders. Xander flinched again, but Spike held on. “Xander? Xan, look at me!”

Xander wanted to run. Like a man who is faced with a mad dog, or a lunatic with a gun, Xander’s first instinct was to run from the danger as fast as he could. The source of all his terror was unclear to him. He told himself ‘vampire’, and imagined that he feared Spike once again losing control, perhaps this time becoming angry. Who knew how well that soul could hold him? He told himself that he believed he might be in grave physical danger, and that that caused the icy panic pumping through him. He controlled the flight instinct. One backs away from a mad dog, one doesn’t run. And guardedly looked at the vampire. .

Spike’s eyes were a bright sky blue. Shining with intense emotion. “Xander,” he said gently, “I love you.”

Xander jumped back from the mad dog as if bitten. “Fuck, Spike, don’t say that.”

“I love you, Xander.”

“Geez, Spike, stop that!” Xander hurriedly grabbed up his jacket and jerked it on. He turned and headed out the mausoleum door. Spike swept up his coat and chased after him.

Outside, the rain still poured down. The occasional flash of lightning flickered in the distant sky. Xander half slid, half ran down the muddy hillside. Spike gained on him immediately and ran alongside him.

“Xander…”

“Shut up.” Xander felt now that he was trying to escape everything. He was running to escape the thunderstorm. He was running to escape Spike. But most of all he was running to escape what had happened, what he had allowed to happen, what he had begged for, in the mausoleum.

“Xander.” Spike ran beside him. “C’mon Xander, we gotta talk.”

And Xander could not bear that. Could not bear to hear that horrible cliché girly phrase coming out of Spike’s mouth. He stopped running and turned on the other man. “What, Spike?!” he yelled. “What the FUCK do we gotta talk about?”

“What’s happening between us…”

“Nothing’s happening, Spike! We’ve had this conversation.”

“Xander,” said Spike patiently, “there’s something going on between us.”

“There is nothing going on Spike. We. Are. Friends. At least,” said Xander with a furious hiss, “at least I think we’re friends.”

“Friends?” said Spike in amazement. “Xander this has gone way beyond friendship.”

He tried to take Xander’s arm again, but Xander turned away from the touch and began walking away. Spike made an exasperated gesture with his arms and followed.

“Xander!” Spike cried in frustration. “Bloody Hell, man, we had sex! Not just a mutual wank over porn videos or some drunken snog in the corner.” Spike’s voice was rising. “We had full out beggin’ and screamin’ and nakedness with penetration SEX!”

Xander stopped in his tracks. Spike took a deep breath.

“And you said you loved me, Xan.” He ignored the dark warning on the face Xander now turned to him and repeated softly, “Xander, you said you loved me.”

“I was fuckin’ drunk Spike! God!” Xander felt hysterical tears rising in his throat. “God! I cannot believe this conversation! I can’t even remember what the fuck happened and now we’re having some sexual identity crisis. Geez, next thing you’re gonna wanna go on fucking Oprah! Fuck Spike! I WAS FUCKING DRUNK! IT DIDN’T MEAN ANYTHING! LET IT GO!”

Spike blinked. He said very quietly, “But Xander, you said you loved me. You don’t just say that to people, no matter how much you’ve had to drink. I’ve known you for years, Xander. You just don’t do that.”

Xander felt an incandescent rage building towards the vampire. He felt trapped. Behind him the reality of what had happened in the mausoleum. The violence and his need for it, more than the sex, was pressing forward a blackness that Xander felt desperately he had to escape. Before him stood Spike, confronting him with still more unbearable truths. Xander’s softness, his vulnerability. His fucking too big for his own good heart. What it would mean if he said he loved Spike, what it would mean if it were true.

“I would never say that, Spike,” Xander said slowly in a thick ugly voice. “I would never say that, because it could never be true.”

He took a step towards Spike, menacingly. “It could never be true Spike. No, not ever. Even if I were into men Spike, which I am not, I could never love you,” he hissed, “because you are not a man, Spike, are you? Sure you pretend to be a man, but you aren’t are you, you’re just a monster. A fucking freak.”

Xander advanced on Spike. Some part of his mind was screaming in pain. He didn’t know anymore what was causing the pain, it just went on and on. The look on Spike’s face was like a knife in that pain. He couldn’t tell if it was causing it or if it would be the tool to cut it out.

“Xander, stop,” Spike pleaded.

“Just an animal, “ growled Xander. “A fucking heartless freak. Who are you to tell me what I really am? Who are you to tell me to be honest with myself? What about you, Spike? Why don’t you take a look sometime into that fucking lucid mirror of yours? Oh crap!” Xander slapped his head angrily, “you can’t look in a mirror, can you Spike? Because you are invisible. Because you don’t exist.”

“Stop it, Xander,” Spike demanded.

“Dead thing,” spat Xander. “Corpse.” He deliberately turned his back on Spike and made to walk off. “Who could ever love you…”.

“No!” yelled Spike. “No!” He felt it all coming back again. The desperate isolation and loneliness. The aching hopelessness. Cold and outside. Time streaming by, meaningless. “No,” he sobbed. “No,” he whispered, “You said you did.”

But Xander had walked away.


~*~*~*~*~


Spike followed Xander home from a great distance. He followed to assure himself that nothing attacked the man, but he no longer had the courage to get within speaking distance of him. Xander let himself into his apartment without looking around. He just walked in and slammed the door.

Spike did not see Xander again for five years.




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