Pairing: Spander
Prompt: 103-Temptation
Warnings:mild angst, just to be safe.
Rating: PG
Summary: Spike sees something he's afraid of, and talks to Xander.





Xander's Apple


by
Spiceblueeyes



Part One


No

No No No

Not real, not happening.

Spike watched as Xander stumbled toward Willow and the safety of her barrier spell. He was completely unaware of the Fyarl demon behind him, the demon whose ax was whistling through the air towards Xander’s neck even as Spike watched, too far away to get there in time.

He froze as metal hit flesh, severing Xander’s head from his body. He saw the blood; he saw the head come flying towards him, the vacant brown eyes that had only moment before been full of concern for his friends. Dead eyes that stared up at him and...

Thwap!

The Slayer, who had been closer than Spike, managed to get there in time. Her sword deflected the ax and she quickly gutted the demon. Xander, still oblivious, made it to the protection of Willow’s spell. Spike’s vision had been just that, a vision. For a brief moment he’d been so sure that he was going to lose Xander that he’d seen as if it had really happened.

He took an unneeded breath to steady himself. Still shaken, he tightened his hand on his sword. Fear morphed into anger and he looked around at the fight, which was still raging. Taking one last look to see that Xander was okay, Spike threw himself back into the fray.


~*~*~*~*~


“Xander”

“Yeah Spike?”

“I saw you die tonight luv.”

Xander looked up from his newspaper, the funnies section, and looked at Spike, confusion clouding his features.

“Come again?”

“I saw it, clear as day, I saw that demon slice your head off right in front of me.” Staring at the wall, Spike’s expression was unreadable.

“Oookay, but Spike, my head is still on. Or, wait,” Xander put his hands on his neck and felt around, “nope, definitely still attached.” He gave Spike a goofy smile, thinking he knew where this conversation was going and really hoping he was wrong. Even in the beginning of their relationship, when they hadn’t known how serious it was going to get, when they hadn’t known that they would fall in love, both Spike and Xander had studiously ignored the elephant in the room. They never talked about it, they never acknowledged it, they never made plans for more than a few months in advance. There was no subject more taboo than that of Xander’s mortality. Frankly, Xander had hoped that denial would have lasted them a couple more years, but life on a Hellmouth drastically lowered a person’s life expectancy, and he supposed that he’d been lucky that it had taken this long after all.

Spike kept staring at Xander intently. “Luv, you could have died today.”

Xander’s smile faded, yep, they were really talking about this. “But I didn’t Spike, I’m still here.”

“It was too bloody close! If the Slayer had been even the tiniest bit slower, or farther away or if you had taken an extra second to…” Spike trailed off. He knelt down in front of where Xander was sitting on the couch and put his hands on Xander’s knees, gripping tightly. “I can’t lose you Xan, I can’t. You can’t leave me here alone. I love you, I’ll do anything for you, anything to keep you with me. Please, stay with me!”

Xander knew what Spike was offering, asking for, begging for. He wanted Xander forever, and really Xander wanted that too, but he didn’t have forever. He had maybe sixty to seventy years if his family history was anything to go by. “Spike…”

“Let me turn you luv, please, Xander, let us have forever.” Spike looked into Xander’s eyes, willing him to see the desperation and love that filled them. “I can’t watch you die.”

Xander swallowed around the lump in his throat and spoke, “I’ll be more careful, I won’t patrol as much, I’ll try an-“

“No!” Spike shook his head, “it’s not just patrol, not just demons. It’s the fear that fills up my insides when you get a cold, or sprain your ankle, or that someday I’ll wake up to a head full of grey hair and you’ll be that much closer to gone.” Blue eyes shined with unshed tears as they pleaded with Xander.

“You think it doesn’t scare me Spike, growing old? You think I wouldn’t love to travel the world with you for eternity? You think I want to leave you? I don’t!” Xander dropped his head into his hands, “but I can’t Spike. I can’t be a killer. I won’t.”

Spike leaned forward and rested his forehead against his hands on Xander’s knees. The next words were spoken softly, “you wouldn’t care if you were a demon, luv.”

Xander’s reply came just as quiet, “I care now Spike.”

Abruptly Spike stood up, and he fixed his eyes somewhere behind Xander’s head. “Fine. I get it. I understand.”  He walked stiffly away, grabbing his duster off the back of a chair and slamming his way out of the apartment.

Staring at the abandoned newspaper next to him, he thought hard. He’d meant what he said, he didn’t want to be a killer, but he loved Spike. Spike, who’d had everybody in his life, and unlife, leave him. Could he do that to his lover? Could he essentially abandon him here on earth as his soul went somewhere else? And the things Spike said, together forever, travel the world, be happy. Xander had to admit, it was all so very tempting. He felt like Eve with her apple, except the snake was the love of his life, and the apple was everything he ever wanted.

It was a hard choice, and if he knew Spike (and he did), Spike wasn’t just going to let this go. Could he hold out, stay strong in his decision? Xander searched within himself, mentally prodding his resolve, looking for weak spots, and he realized something.

He wanted Spike, he loved Spike. He would do whatever he could to make Spike happy. Eventually, somewhere down the line, he would agree. He would let Spike turn him; it was only a matter of time.

Xander took a moment to fully absorb this personal epiphany.



Moment taken, he picked up the phone to call Willow. If he was gonna get vamped, maybe she could make sure he wouldn’t kill anyone.

In his mind he reached up and plucked the apple from the tree.





Part Two

Xander dialed Willow’s number and lifted the phone to his ear. Three rings later he heard a soft click followed shortly by a cheerful but tired, “hello?”

“Hey Wills, it’s me, we need to talk.”

Twenty minutes later he was ensconced on one side of a back booth at the coffee shop around the corner, staring at his mocha wondering how he was going to tell Willow about his decision. For her part, Willow sat opposite him, her hands curled around a mug of Earl Grey.

“Okay Xan, I came because you sounded really serious on the phone, and you’re my best friend, but it’s been a really long day…and night, with school and demon battling and everything, so if you’re not gonna talk now can we do this sometime when it’s not ‘oh god o’clock’?”

Xander sighed and took a sip of his coffee. Setting his cup down he looked at Willow. “Spike said I almost died tonight.”

Willow grimaced, “yeah, I saw that. It was close, but Buffy had your back.”

“Yeah, except…Spike…he doesn’t, he…” Xander floundered, searching for words. “He really freaked out, and we ended up talking, well, it was more like Spike was begging and I was crying and…he asked if he could turn me.” Xander ran his right hand through his hair, still holding his coffee with his left. “He wants to turn me.”

Willow gasped, “Oh goddess!”

“Wills” Xander said before Willow could overcome the shock of the last statement and launch into babble mode. “I want him to.” He met her eyes, wanting her to see the truth in them. He wanted this, for Spike, for himself, but most of all for both of them together.

Her eyes widened at his revelation. “Xander…”

“I know, I know, you don’t have to go over all the reasons I shouldn’t do it. Or even all the reasons I shouldn’t even want it in the first place, I know I’m sitting here right now telling you that I want to become the evil undead, what we’ve been fighting against for years now. But Wills, that’s not what I want. I want to be undead, but not evil, and I thought if anyone could make me not evil it would be you, and so I’m telling you, and you’re staring at me, and I haven’t even told Spike yet, and stop me when I stop making sense, unless that already happened a while ago. You probably think I’m crazy, maybe I am crazy.” Xander had to stop for breath.

The epiphany he’d had back in his apartment had filled him with a certainty that this was the path he wanted. He’d felt totally calm, totally confident, totally sure. Now, he still felt sure that he wanted this, but little butterflies were waking up in his stomach.

“Xander, calm down, breathe,” Willow smiled a little “you’re not dead yet.”

Letting out a small bark of laughter at that comment, Xander shut up.

“I get it. I do.” A look of sadness crossed her face, “If I could have kept Tara with me forever, I would have.”

“Wills…”

“I’ll help you. You love each other, anyone can see it. You deserve to be happy.” Willow reached over and took Xander’s hand. “You’re my best friend; I’d do anything for you.”

“You will?” Xander was a little dumbstruck. He’d expected a long drawn-out conversation about pros and cons complete with groveling, at the least. The instant approval and agreement threw him. “I don’t have to like…convince you or anything? I had a speech. Well, not really, but I was prepared to wing it with speechy-ness.”  

“No speeches necessary. I’m in, especially with the you-not-being-evil part. I don’t want my Xander-shaped friend to become Xander-shaped evil.”

They smiled at each other, neither speaking, in silent appreciation of the strength of their friendship. After a few minutes Xander broke the silence and spoke. “So any ideas on how to keep me from, you know, killing people?”

Willow frowned, her gaze focused inward. She made a little “hmm” sound that always indicated she was thinking extra hard about something.

“Would snacks help? Can’t think on an empty stomach, and the cuisine here at Casa de Coffee is actually pretty good. They have awesome banana nut muffins.”

“No thanks. I should get going anyway. I have class tomorrow, or today actually, and some sleep before then might be nice.” Willow shouldered her purse and made to stand up.

“So, is that a no on the ideas-to-keep-Xander-from-eating-people front?” Xander asked, a little nervously.

“I have some ideas, but there’s a lot of research to be done before I can even start to know for sure. I’ll let you know as soon as I find anything.”

Xander quickly slid out of the booth and pulled Willow into a big hug. “Thanks Wills.” Willow just gave him an extra squeeze and let go. Turning, she left the coffee shop and Xander sat back down to his now room temperature mocha.

Happy that Willow was in his corner, he wondered what the reactions of the others would be. Most of all, he wondered if he should tell Spike what he’d decided right away, or wait until Willow had more information for him. Spike would be ecstatic at the news, but he would be impatient. Xander knew how Spike thought. The sooner Xander was a vampire, the sooner Spike wouldn’t have to worry about car accidents or wrinkles. Not that Spike wouldn’t love him if he had wrinkles, but any signs of aging on Xander’s part caused the vampire to panic. Spike had spent the weeks before and after Xander’s last birthday in a major funk, and had given him a helmet as a present (along with something else, which had cool whip involved) to wear when driving, “just in case.”

Draining the last dregs of his coffee, Xander made his way to the exit. Whether he told Spike about his decision or not, he couldn’t leave things the way they were. Spike had stormed out of the apartment, angry and afraid. Xander would wait for him to come back home, and then they would talk. Though maybe some sleep first would be a good idea.

Though, Xander reflected, if sleep was what he wanted, maybe he shouldn’t have ordered that extra espresso shot.





Part Three

Spike took one last drag of his cigarette and flicked it onto the ground. He was sitting on a swing in the middle of a playground. Alone, because mostly there were only demons out at this time of night and they didn’t tend to hang out in playgrounds. He stared ahead blankly, deep in thought.

When he’d stormed out of the apartment earlier that night he’d been more hurt and afraid than angry. He’d told Xander that he understood, and he did, as much as he was capable of understanding without a soul of his own. That didn’t ease the potency of the other feelings though. Like hurt that Xander wouldn’t even consider being turned, after all, how much could Spike mean to him if he wouldn’t even pause to think about it?

Spike shook his head sharply, as if doing so would physically dispel that thought. Xander was the conqueror of Spike’s heart, and wow was that cheesy. Inwardly Spike snorted at his own poufy tendencies. He and Xander had been through too much together to start doubting their commitment now. And really, he knew that wasn’t true, Xander had paused, had apparently thought about it a lot, and chosen to stay human. He had opted for mortality.

More fool him. Anger flared in Spike, briefly, before just as quickly dying out. There was no energy to sustain it, and as it subsided the fear made its presence known.

What was it that Xander always said? Fear is the mind killer*. Xander believed in facing your fears, though he made a special exception for clowns, claiming that it was his sense of self-preservation that made him squeal like that. Spike had teased Xander mercilessly and chuckled over that all the way home that night, forcing Xander to find a creative way to shut him up. Which he had, turning Spike’s chuckles into gasps and moans. However Spike wasn’t sure if he was ready to face this fear. Ready or not though, it was refusing banishment to the back of his mind anymore, forcing itself into the forefront of Spike’s thoughts.

Fear that he would have to watch Xander die, fear that he wouldn’t be able to, wouldn’t be strong enough. He had nightmares sometimes, of Xander’s death. Each time would be different, maybe this time Xander would get sick and waste away, or bleed out from some wound, or get drained by a fledge, or fall off a building at one of his construction sites. Spike had been around a long time, seen a lot of people die. His unconscious had plenty of material to torture him with while he was sleeping. The dreams all had two things in common though, Xander died, and Spike watched.

In the dreams he was always helpless, unable to move. He would shout, yell, scream, but no one ever heard him. When he woke up after having one of these nightmares, he would do different things. Sometimes he would watch TV, letting the pictures wash over him and give himself up to mindlessness. Occasionally he would slip out of the apartment and try to find something to kill. On very rare occasions he would turn over and gently wake Xander up. Nuzzling, fondling, and stroking him until Xander’s eyes opened and he was fully aware of what was happening. Then they would have sex, and if Spike seemed a little needier, or if his declarations of love were a little more desperate, Xander never commented on it.

It all came down to fear. The Big Bad was afraid. Terrified actually, and the only solution he had was really no solution at all, but since it was all he had, he clung to it. He had even considered, if only for a moment, turning Xander without his permission. It’s not like he would care once he woke up.

It wasn’t what Xander wanted though, and in reality, it wasn’t what Spike wanted either. The problem was that if he turned Xander, he wouldn’t really be Xander anymore. He would lose his soul to a demon, and though it would be Xander’s face and Xander’s body, it was his soul that Spike had fallen in love with. In all his years Spike had never encountered such a mixture of innocence, purity, kindness, darkness, loyalty, and ruthlessness. Xander’s soul loved and accepted Spike’s demon with no reservations. He loved Spike with a selflessness that couldn’t be found in the demon world. Demons could love with single-minded intensity, but they couldn’t love selflessly. Spike could admit that he himself was no exception. He loved Xander with every part of himself, but part of his love was selfish, because Xander gave him something he’d never had. Never in his unlife had anyone that he had loved returned his love and loyalty as fiercely as he gave it, but Xander did. Without that…

Spike lit another cigarette and put his Zippo back in his duster pocket. He already knew what was going to happen. He would abide by his lover’s decision, because really, he couldn’t do anything else. He would stay with Xander until Xander was no more. He would do this despite knowing that it would hurt, that the fear would never go away, that the end was coming eventually no matter what. Spike wasn’t the leaving kind. He’d never left anyone one he truly cared about.  Not his mother, not Dru, Angelus had left him; he’d even kept tabs on Cecily through the years.

Of all of them Xander was the only one who had ever truly loved Spike back, and Xander meant more to him than all of them combined. So because Spike loved him, he would watch him die.

Standing up and heading back towards the apartment, his usual swagger was conspicuously absent. The decision had been made by both Xander and the circumstances of this universe. Where demons couldn’t have souls and humans had to die, and only brief happiness laced with suffering for two who would fall in love.

*From Frank Herbert’s Dune





Part Four

Xander was sitting in the same spot on the couch that he had been earlier that night. His elbow was on the arm rest supporting his forearm and hand, which was propping up his head. He was tired, he hadn’t slept since the previous morning, and dawn was only a few minutes away. Lack of sleep combined with the emotional turmoil he’d been through tonight was taking its toll. Closed eyes flew open as he heard the doorknob turn, and he watched Spike open the door and enter the apartment.

Staring as Spike closed and locked the door behind him and made his way to the couch. Xander studied him; he looked tired too. There was no more anger in his eyes, but his face and body language gave off a feeling of resigned sadness. Knowing that it was his fault his vampire was sad made Xander’s heart clench. As Spike sat down on the couch next to him, relaxing his head against the back of couch and closing his eyes, Xander wanted nothing more than to reach out and hug him. However the air was tense with all that had already been said, and so much hadn’t been. Xander was too tired broach the painful subject now, and he could see his own exhaustion reflected in Spike, so he decided to save more talking for tomorrow.

Summoning what was left of his energy Xander pushed himself up off the couch, groaning, and reached a hand out to Spike. “Tired?” A rhetorical question, since the answer was obvious.

Spike, after a long sigh, answered anyway, “yeah.” He took Xander’s hand and let him pull him off the cushions. Keeping their hands still clasped they slowly walked into their bedroom, and together collapsed onto the bed. Arranging themselves so that Spike was on his back, with Xander draped over his chest, they both slid quickly into sleep.


~*~*~*~*~


Normally Saturdays were spent with all activities centering on or around the bed. They slept in, had breakfast in bed, lunch in bed, and dinner too unless they went out. Spike would be a bad vampire and ravish him (okay, not that Xander didn’t enjoy being the ravish-ee, cause he so totally did) Maybe watch a movie in bed since he bought that new DVD player last month. Sometimes they would read in bed, or they would just cuddle up and talk.

This Saturday was different though. This time they both woke up and immediately tensed, remembering the night before. Unwilling to face the day yet, they feigned sleep together, neither one was fooled, but the ruse was kept. Until, that is, the call of nature could no longer be denied. With a sigh, Xander rolled off the bed and trudged off to the bathroom. When he returned, Spike’s eyes were open, it was time to talk.

Or they could procrastinate a little more, “breakfast?”

Spike studied him for a moment, “Yeah.”

Heading to the kitchen, he heard Spike get out of bed and start after him. They didn’t have much in the way of food, Xander had been too busy this week to do any real shopping, and Spike didn’t cook so he never really thought about stocking the fridge, though he did go shopping if Xander asked him to. Pulling out a bowl, spoon and a box of cheerios he set them on the table. Then he went back to the fridge to get the milk, snagging a bag of blood for Spike since he was there. Spike had retrieved his “blood mug,” one of those extra large mugs that are big enough to make soup in. It was black, and had the words BIG BAD in red wrapped around it. Xander had painted it himself at one of those do-it-yourself pot painting places and given it to Spike for Christmas.

Handing the blood bag to Spike, he sat down at the table and poured his milk and cereal into the bowl, stirring it around. He heard the microwave ding, and a few seconds later Spike was sitting across from him, holding his reheated blood. They ate quietly for a few minutes, enjoying the silence. When Xander finished off all the cheerios in his bowl, he lifted it up to his mouth, intending to slurp up the remaining milk. Instead, he misjudged the distance somehow, and ended up spilling the milk down his chin and the front of his shirt. Slowly setting the bowl back down, he realized that he was still wearing the same clothes as yesterday. He and Spike had been too tired to get undressed last night when they collapsed into bed.

Hearing a noise, Xander lifted his gaze from his wet shirt to Spike’s face. Spike was trying to suppress his amusement, but the result was a sound halfway between a cough and a snort. When he looked at Xander’s face he gave it up as a lost cause and broke out into laughter, with Xander right behind him.  Alternately clutching the table and their stomachs, they laughed until it hurt, and then laughed some more.

A minute later found them trying to stop laughing, but one look at each other and they would start again.

Finally they managed to get themselves under control, and they felt much better. It was like some of the tension had been released. Shaking his head and smirking, Spike spoke, “Bloody hell Xan, only you pet.” Then, giving Xander’s shirt a once over, added, “you look like you could use a shower luv.”

“You’re not exactly minty fresh either mister.” Xander shot back.

“You go get cleaned up, and I’ll do the dishes.” Spike grabbed his mug and Xander’s bowl and headed toward the sink.

“Yeah, okay.” Getting up and walking toward the bathroom, Xander hesitated at the doorway, “Spike.” Seeing Spike look at him he said, “When I get out, we should talk.”

A serious look came over Spike’s face and he nodded, “yeah, we should.”

Xander headed off to take his shower.




Index Next



Feed the Author

Visit the Author's Livejournal

Home Categories New Stories Non Spander