Fandom: BtVS
Characters/Pairings: Spike/Xander
Rating: PG
Prompt: #100 - #16 - Trail of Breadcrumbs
Warnings: Um, talks of Character death
Summary: The doctor gives Xander some bad news that he has to tell his lover
Disclaimer: I don't own anything to do with BtVS. No money being made, no offense intended
A/N: Prequel to Treasures

There's a End to all Time


Like all hospital rooms, the room was chilly and the flimsy gown the nurse had given him did nothing to block out the cold. Xander shivered as he sat on the examine table waiting for the doctor to finally show up. He hated this, hated the waiting, hated the not knowing what was wrong with him. Two months of weakness, dizziness and pain. Two months without any explanation being given. Two months of fear.

"Mr. Harris?" the doctor said as he walked into the room. Xander nodded, staring intently at him. "We just need to do a few more tests and we should have an answer."

"How long?"

"For the results?" Xander nodded. "No more than an hour actually. We can give you the results if you're willing to stay."

"I want to know what's wrong," he told the doctor softly. "I need to know what's wrong."

"Just a few more tests and we'll know."


Xander let himself into the apartment quietly, still feeling the shock. He had wanted to argue with the doctor, to say that the man was lying, but Xander knew he wasn't, knew that the truth was written on the paper that had been handed to him.


He flinched when he heard his lover's voice, dreading the conversation that would happen. Trying to find some sense of strength, he made his way to the kitchen where he could hear Spike puttering around. Stopping in the doorway, he watched the blonde move gracefully around the small space, hands moving deftly as he prepared super. Xander loved watching Spike, whether he was cooking, dancing, fighting or just sitting still for once.

"What the doctor say?" Spike asked, stopping to look over at him.

"How about I tell you after dinner?" Xander stalled, trying to do anything to push the inevitable back.

"How about you tell me now and I have you for dinner?" Spike leered.

Xander let a small smile drift across his face before motioning Spike to leave the kitchen. "We'll talk now," he said softly, "but you aren't going to like it."

Spike headed into the living room starting to frown at the seriousness the Xander put forward. "What' s wrong?" he asked quietly, sitting down on the couch.

Sitting beside him, Xander dropped his head back against the couch closing his eyes. "They found something."

"Something like what?"

"A trail of breadcrumbs," Xander sighed, sitting forward. "They found several tumours on my lungs."

"Because of me? The smoking?" Spike asked worriedly.

"No," Xander shook his head. "The doctor said the size of one of them means that I've had them for a while now, they just started bothering me lately."

"What are they going to do?" he asked, moving to wrap his arms around Xander. "Chemo or something?"

"To start," Xander admitted. "That and radiation treatment."

Spike went quiet, staring out into the room still holding onto Xander. He could feel the tension in his lover's body, the fear making muscles tight. "There might be something we can do."

"Like what?" Xander asked tiredly.

"Maybe Willow has something that could help?" he offered.

"She doesn't. We looked when Joyce got sick."

"I - " Spike stopped and tightened his hold. "I could turn you," he said softly.

Xander turned in his arms with a sad smile. "Forever's not for me," he said just as softly. "I've had my time on the Earth. I'll die when I die. Nothing will stop that."

"You want me to let you die?" Spike asked incredulously.

"Spike, I don't want to be turned, you know that," Xander explained. "If that means letting me go when it's time, then yes. Please, Spike, please."

Sighing, Spike buried his face in Xander's neck and let the scent of his lover envelope him. He would as he was asked. He once said he would do anything for Xander, as much as he hated it, he would do this.


Blue eyes stared down at the package, twisting it around nervously. This was not something he wanted to be doing, but he had been charged with the task and he would carry it through to the end. He always kept his promises. Raising a trembling hand, he knocked sharply on the door and prayed to forsaken gods for courage.

"Spike?" He looked up to meet red-rimmed green eyes. "Why are you here?"

"Can I come in?" Spike asked quietly, needed to do this final task in private. Willow stepped back, letting him slide past. He shuddered as her wards slid across his skin, prickling his demon into the fore. Shaking his head he returned to his human guise and waited for the redhead to rejoin him.

"Would you like anything to drink?' Willow asked.

"No, I just came to do something," he answered. "A final request of sorts."

Tears welled up in the witch's eyes at the reminder and Spike found himself feeling like a heel. He didn't want to do this. It hurt each time, like a sliver of sunlight scoring his flesh, burning the finality and reality into his skin. Putting the package on a table, he pulled the sobbing woman into his arms. Each tear that hit his skin scalded and he felt his own grief rise up to overwhelming proportions. Ruthlessly he pushed his own sorrow down and focused his attention of Willow, letting her lean her slight weight against his strength.

"Sorry," she whispered when she finally stopped crying. "Didn't mean to break down like that."

"S'okay, luv, you have every right to," Spike soothed, running gentle hands down her back.

"So, what did you bring me," she asked brightly, pulling away.

"Pressies, of course," Spike smiled, reaching for the package. "He spent a lot of time on these, asked me to give you yours last."

"Why last?" Willow asked. She took the present from Spike's hands, turning it around in her own, trying to determine what lay inside.

"Don't know, I was suppose to open mine first and deliver yours last," he shrugged. "Go on, open it."

With careful fingers she removed the wrapping paper to reveal a plain cardboard box. A quick glance at Spike found him staring at her intently, waiting. She opened the box and pulled a wooden bowl from it. The bowl was plain wood, unvarnished with a strange grey sheen on the outside. Confused, she turned to Spike for an explanation.

"'S crabapple wood. All the gifts are. Told me when he got the wood it's 'cause it's the perfect metaphor for life." At her bewildered look he continued. "Ever see a crabapple tree bloom. 'S beautiful. All pinks, whites and reds. But the fruit is bitter, almost nasty. Just like life."

Willow nodded her understanding. Xander would have seen life like that, good and bad together. "What's the grey stuff on the bottom?"

"Xander," came the soft reply. "He wanted a way to be with everyone always, so he was cremated and his ashes incorporated into each gift."


"On your bowl, it's the bottom. Buffy and Faith both got a cross and stake set, with his ashes inside the stakes. Made them promise not to lose them. Giles received a traditional Japanese puzzle box, the inlay on it glued with a special resin made with the ashes. Dawn got a necklace, each bead coated," he told her.

"And you?" Willow asked.

Spike pulled on the chain around his neck, bringing his pendant into view. It was a wood heart with a glass center. The glass shimmered grey for a moment and Willow smiled sadly.

"Said I was his heart and he was mine. This way I can keep the two together even though he's gone." There were tears in the blonde's eyes.

"Spike?" She moved closer to him. "You're not going to do anything stupid are you? We can't lose you too!"

"You're stuck with me for a while more, Red," Spike laughed through his tears. "Made my boy a promise. Wouldn't follow just yet. Gonna help you white hats fight for a while more."


"He said I'd know when the time was right. I trust my boy, I'll know when it's time to go," he assured her.

They sat there in silence, each thinking about the man they had loved and lost before Willow spoke again.

"Why didn't you turn him?" There was no accusation in her voice, only curiosity.

"He asked me not to. Said he'd had his time," Spike stopped for a moment, turning blue eyes on his friend. "I wanted to, didn't want to watch him waste away like that. Didn't want to watch as the cancer ate him alive. But I always keep my promises, and as much as it hurts, I had to let him go."

"I understand," she whispered softly. "Don't worry, you two belong together. Not even the Powers That Be can keep you apart."

The End

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