5th in the Virtue Series

Rating: PG
Summary:  Well the story seems to have taken an unexpected turn.  Read on to find out what is happening with our lovely Spike.
Disclaimer: I own nothing… well my  computer where I live my life… and have fantasies about the boys bathed in baby oil… okay so wait the computer and the fantasies are mine… unfortunately the boys will never be bathed in baby oil *sniffle* since they belong to Joss.
A/N:  Thanks go to Sajinn for this.  <Blows kisses> Thanks pet, the mighty power of your Quill has won again.
A/N2: Switches back and forth between Xander’s POV and Spike’s POV
The Definition of Temperance: \Tem"per*ance\, n. [L. temperantia: cf. F. temp['e]rance. 1. Habitual moderation in regard to the indulgence of the natural appetites and passions; restrained or moderate indulgence

Virtue Series



Spike POV

I’m on the floor again, alone, he’s not here to soothe me, to wipe away my tears, I know I’m a shadow of the vamp I once was, but I can’t seem to bring myself to care.  I can’t seem to bring myself to do much of anything, except cry.  I’m not sure what I need.  I’m never sure of anything anymore, the voices are so confusing, so distracting, they haunt me, calling me, wanting me to go to them, tempting me, I don’t think I’m strong enough to stay here, to wait for him, but always just as I’m about to give in, he’s here.  His hot hands are pulling me against him, he’s comforting me, and I feel so ashamed, that he should touch such a disgusting creature such as me.  I’m not dragging him out into the bowels of the school searching for me.  I don’t want to put him through that anymore… I don’t want him to get rid of me… I want to stay, I want… I want him to take me.

Xander's POV

The same routine day in day out, I get up, I shit, shower and shave, I come home.  The routine has changed slightly in the past week.  I no longer come home to an empty apartment.  He’s always here waiting for me, fighting the voices.  Sometimes I think he’s winning, till he looks up at me with those wet blue eyes, but he doesn’t approach me.  He never speaks, unless he’s mumbling to himself.  He never talks to me, doesn’t tell me what I can do to help.  I feel like I’m at my wits end.  I feed him, I clothe him, sometimes I even have to bathe him when his trembles take control, and he’s too weak to move on his own.  He always calms at my touch, and looks up at me with those big blue eyes, and I think I’m doing the right thing, but I’m never sure.  I just want to be sure.  I’m almost ready to call Deadboy and ask him what to do.  I don’t want to go that far yet.

My keys rattle as I place them in the lock.  I don’t want to startle him.  I’ve learned that lesson, before, startling him, watching him leap back in shock, trembling in fear, his innocent eyes flaring wide before they filled with tears, spilling down his cheeks.  He huddled in the corner for hours after that.  It seemed the softer I spoke the more he shrank from me.  I don’t think he can stand me being gentle with him.  Shaking my self out of my reverie I enter the apartment slowly to find him sitting on the floor, rocking back and forth, and I can’t help but go to him, hold him, wipe away his tears.  His eyes are bright with tears, glistening like jewels… so beautiful, but the anguish held there… it’s heart wrenching, and I just don’t know what to do anymore.  I don’t know how to help him.  Taking him gently in my arms, I rock with him, back and forth, as he curls against me, I can feel bit by bit as his sobs lessen, and he calms, snuggling into my warm embrace.  I know he craves the warmth of my body, he curls against me in sleep, in the morning when I leave the bed he steals the warm indentation where I had slept during the night, seeking comfort… I’m choking up; I can feel the tears threatening to spill down my cheeks, so I press my cheek against his hair, hoping to hide, always hiding from him.

Spike POV

I feel so warm in his embrace, I know I shouldn’t.  I cling to him like a new born babe.  His scent makes me feel… nothing, he just makes me feel.  I want to stay here, curled in his arms, on the floor, but I can smell the edge of his desperation.  He’s as helpless as I am, he doesn’t know… can’t understand that just being here with him is what I need, just being held, accepted.  His silence speaks louder than any words he could force into the situation. 

I nuzzle into his neck hoping to soothe him, letting him rest his cheek in my hair, pawing closer, trying to crawl inside him, his warmth, I crave his warmth, I feel so human wrapped around him, but I’m lost, I know what I am, I’m nothing, not worthy of being human, and not good enough to be a demon; an impure disgusting thing. 

I disentangle myself from him, moving away, as he sits on the floor staring at me, tears glistening in his warm eyes, the helplessness sitting there, naked for all to see.  I’m laid bare by his raw need to help me, and just as suddenly as my confusion came, it’s gone, and I know without a single doubt that I don’t want him to hurt because of me, I want him to… I want him to smile because of me.

Xander's POV

He’s just standing there staring at me, and I can see it happen.  The confusion is gone, and in its place is an aching loneliness that makes me long to take him back into my arms, and kiss all his hurts away…

Xander Harris thinking about kissing a Vampire’s boo boo’s better… must be another sign of the apocalypse.  Giving myself a mental shake I stand and approach him, soft and slow, taking him back into my arms, and breathing in his scent.  He always smells like soap now, soap and misery; there’s no misery now… he smells different.  I lean back slowly and look into his eyes.  I can’t help myself, I lean in and gently press my lips to his, feeling the shock move through his body, feeling him tense as I draw away. 

I’ve made a mistake.  He’s pulling away from me, curling in on himself.  I made it worse, so much worse.  My head hangs in shame as he moves away from me, turns away from me.

Spike POV

He kissed me, so softly so gently, amazing, but I’m not worth it, I’m not worth a single hair on his head, and I know he doesn’t understand, I only cause him pain, and I can’t… I can’t do that, I can’t do it anymore, I feel the need for flight, the voices… they want me, calling to me, wanting me to run, to run away, and I cave, giving in, I’m out the door before I even realize I’ve moved, and I don’t know where I’m going, I don’t know where… I don’t know where I’m going, only the movement of my feet carries me on, as my mind begs the voices to leave me alone, to let me be, I just want to be the vamp I was, not this thing, not anymore. 

I’m in the basement before I’ve realized where I’m heading, they’re so much stronger here… they beg me, they want me, sinking down to the floor, I embrace them, letting them cajole me into thinking I’m safe, but I know I’m not, I’m not safe here, anymore than I was safe there.

Xander's POV

He ran.  Away from me, away from what I did, I went too far, but… I need him just as much as he needs me right now, probably more.  He makes me feel like a man, the man I haven’t been in a very long time, he makes me feel like I can make a difference in someone else’s life, even though I’m not making much of an impact on my own.  And he ran, out the door and out of my life.

I feel myself sinking to the floor, as the tears that had threatened to fall earlier escape my tightly closed lids, trailing down my face.  I’ve broken him, I’ve ruined all the progress I’d made, and all because I couldn’t restrain myself, all because I couldn’t wait, couldn’t wait until he was really here with me.

My fists rub at my reddened eyes, I don’t know how much time has passed, but I know I have to go to him.  I know where he’s gone… the same place he always goes.

Spike POV

He’s not going to come for me, he’s gone from my life, because I couldn’t stay still, because I couldn’t trust myself with him, I don’t trust myself when I’m around him, he makes me feel… he makes me feel like I’m the man I’ve always wanted to be.  My head is bowed with shame as I rock, back and forth, tears flowing down my cheeks as the whispers plough through my mind, telling me I’ll never be good enough, I’ll never be his, and I know they’re right, I’ve never been good enough why should now be any different, why should having this thing inside of me make me any more than what I was… it doesn’t, it makes me nothing, nothing.

I can smell him, hear his foot falls in the silent tomb of a basement, but I know its in my head, it plays tricks on me, makes me believe he’s with me, when he’s not, he’s not coming, I know that, he won’t come, he’ll hate me now, I’ve made him want to get rid of me, I’ve made him…

Hands, I can feel hands on my shoulders, hot hands, his hands.  He came.

Xander's POV

I knew he’d be here, I knew where he was going, but seeing him, rocking in the dirt, shaking and trembling, giving in, crying, hits me hard, and I’m afraid I’ve lost him. 

I want him.  I want him with me, by my side, in my bed; I want him to be the Man he was, er… Vamp he was.  I want him to be strong, snapping witty comments at my expense, I want him… I want him to bite my head off for making a pass at him, I want him to tremble in need when I touch him, instead he’s trembling in fear, as he looks up at me with those great big blue eyes, his lashes wet and clumped together, misery pouring off of him in such a high amount that even I can smell it.  Trembling under my hands, but he doesn’t resist as I pull him close, he doesn’t fight as I curl him into my arms, he leans closer, sniffing burrowing, into my heat, pressing his face into my neck.

Spike POV

I want him, I want to be his, to belong to him, but I’m not good enough, dirty, so dirty, so impure, disgusting, I can’t do that to him, I know he wants me, I can feel it, I can smell him, but I can’t ever do that to him, I can’t… I can’t let him know what I’ve become, what I am, he wants the former me, and I’m no longer that man, that vamp, I’m nothing, nothing in comparison to him… I can’t stand to see him in such pain, in such misery, so I press myself against him, giving a little bit, trying to soothe him… my tears still flowing down my face, soaking his neck, seeping into the neckline of his shirt, grubby and dirty, unclean tears, this thought sobers me, and the tears stop, I don’t want him to be unclean, dirty like me, he’s… he can’t be brought down to my level, he can’t be dirty… I won’t let him.

I want him, I ache so bad it hurts, but I can’t do that to him.  I know he thinks he wants me, but how can he, how can he want me like this, I’m a monster, a beast, and he’d be better off to stay the hell away from me… but he won’t.  He’s the White Knight, he wants to save the world, and I’m just one more to save, one more on his check list of good deeds.  I won’t let him sully himself trying to help me.  I won’t.  I’m not strong, I’m nothing like him, but I have to… I have to have the strength to keep myself in check, I can’t be the man that he is, and I won’t make him into the man that I am.

Xander's POV

He’s pulling away from me, even though he’s still wrapped in my arms, pressed against my chest.  His tears are dried, but I can still smell his misery.  I can feel it in every tense muscle in his body, and I don’t know why.

I scared him, of this much I’m sure, kissing him, pressing against him, wanting him, I scared him away, made him regret coming to me, making him want to be away from me, but I couldn’t.  I couldn’t stay away, I had to come, and now he’s pulling away from me.  I can’t do this… I’m not as strong as he seems to think I am… I want to break down and cry, wail at all that I feel for him, all that I shouldn’t feel for him.  I don’t know when it happened, I don’t even remember how it happened, I just know without a doubt that I can’t live without him in my life… trite, I know… but true… he gives me a purpose… a reason to get up in the morning… he does for me what Anya never could.  He makes me want to be a better man, strong and confident, something I’ve never been.  Something I’m not sure I can be.

I can do it.  I can hold myself in check… I can be strong for him, as long as he needs it, and when he’s on his feet again, then I’ll fall to pieces.  When he’s better… when he’s… Spike.


the end

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