Feedback: Love it!
Disclaimer: Don’t own any of the characters, etc.
Warnings/Squicks: Rape, non-con S/Aus, illusions to child abuse, M/M
Summary: Spike and Xander, with life not easy for either, the two bumpy paths cross and lead to an unlikely friendship and more.
Notes: Set in season two during the Angelus phase.
Notes 2: Thanks once again to my fantastic and ever hard working beta sublimatedangel and to 50ftqueenie for the support.
Spike groaned his way back to consciousness just as the sun set. ‘Christ, what the fuck is going on?’ He hadn’t felt this weak and hurting since the organ had fallen on him.
The memories of the night before started to flood back to him and he snarled. Fucking Angelus’ power tripping, Spike mocking him for being backed down by one of the slayer's minions.
“Bloody Hell, need to learn to keep my mouth shut.” Spike looked down at his body. “What the…”
He looked down and saw the ripped sheet bandages wrapping his torso. “Who?” he tried to puzzle. ‘S’not like the bloody Poof to doctor me back up, no, might not learn my lesson that way.’ In fact he could distinctly remember Angelus saying nobody would be in to help and locking the door.
Lying there trying to work it out, a familiar scent teasing at him, he looked round and spotted a cup sat on the side. Picking it up, he sniffed it experimentally. ‘Human!’
“Curiouser and curiouser, said Alice,” Spike muttered to himself.
Licking his finger, he rubbed some of the dried blood and popped it into his mouth. Taste exploded over his tongue: warmth, chocolate and cinnamon with a dash of fear and something else that Spike couldn’t place for a while but that came to him – kindness.
The scent that remained on his bandages seemed familiar somehow but he couldn’t place it. “So someone I’ve met, maybe.”
Tiredness rapidly over taking him, he snuggled further in to the bed. The lack of blood in his system made the demon lethargic as it diverted all available energy to healing.
“Some bloody ‘White Knight’ I’ve got.” The phrase stirred a memory but it was gone before Spike could grasp it and he drifted.
Xander had managed the night before to get home and into his house with little problem around the parents passed out on the sofa, TV droning on.
Sleep had eluded him though and his thoughts kept returning to a certain vampire; this had left him tired and late that morning., dashing in to class and throwing himself in to his seat.
“Morning ladies, the Xanman has arrived.”
Willow whispered, “Where have you been, Xander? You’re late, you don’t want detention, you…”
Buffy butted in. “Yeah, Xan, research party later. Bring coffee and donuts, can’t do that if you're in detention.”
Xander knew Willow was just upset and trying to prevent any problems at home; she knew a bit of what went on. She’d been his best friend since kindergarten, patched him up enough when he was younger before he’d learnt to hide. She thought it had mostly stopped now. Buffy just didn’t see anything beyond her own Slayerness and its problems.
“No worries, ladies, the Xanman will provide.” The class was called to order and all further conversation stopped.
The day had passed so slowly and Xander didn’t think he had actually listened to any of the lessons. Oh well, he could always copy Willow's notes.
His thoughts kept returning to a certain blond vamp, had he woken up? Was he alright? It was that question which pulled him from his reverie. “Why the hell should I care?”
“Care about what, Xander?”
Willow was looking at him expectantly and he glanced at the mouldy old tome he was currently drooling – correction! - reading at the moment.
“The mating habits of T’okolan demons, not much careage going on there!”
“Oh, Xander, you need to concentrate. Buffy could be endangered just because you failed to find the relevant bit of information in a book you were given to read.” Willow spoke with disappointment tingeing her voice.
Xander’s eyes got big. “Sorry Willow,” he whispered.
“Maybe you should go and get some soda, it sounds like Buffy and Giles have finished training for the evening.”
“No, that’s okay, I’ll concentrate.”
“I think it best if you go and get some and have a think.” Willow gave him a stern look. Xander wilted under her gaze and turned on the puppy eyes. “Sorry, Willow.” Her eyes softened and she looked at him, worry for him making her words sharper than she realised.
“Now Xander, you need to grow up a bit and start thinking about your actions and how they affect people. You can’t be a slacker forever.”
Miserably, Xander turned away. “Yes, Willow.” Shoulders hunched, he turned and walked towards the door; pausing before it closed behind him, he could hear the conversation start up before he left.
“Where’s Xander going?” Buffy piped up.
“I sent him to go and get some soda and have a think, he was slacking over research.”
“Oooh, Bad Xander,” Buffy said with a smirk in her voice.
“Willow what have you found out?” Giles asked, panting slightly whilst removing his body armour.
The door shut behind Xander and he muttered, “Not like Buffy never slacked off from research!”
Arms loaded with soda from the machine in the cafeteria, Xander pasted on goofy smile number 258, and returned to the library.
“The Xanman is back bearing soda-y goodness for thirsty Slayers and their Watchers and ……”
“Oh don’t worry, Xander, we’re off to patrol.” Buffy pulled on her coat.
“Xander, do you want to borrow my History notes? You did say you needed to copy them.” Willow pulled her notebook out and held it up.
“Xander, is this true? Not falling behind in class, are you? You must keep up, it's very important, a good education. Although Lord knows if that’s what you could call the system here.”
Xander was momentarily speechless, not a feeling he was used too. “Umm…patrol?”
“That’s settled, Xander catches up on class work and we can patrol, right Giles?” Buffy said as she brushed past him.
Giles just reached for his glasses and wiped them. “If that is okay with Xander.”
“Of course it is,” Buffy gushed.
Xander stood in the library feeling lost and alone, the bright butterflies had flown leaving him feeling like the poor relation at a wedding. He was used to being treated this way, just not usually by his friends.
“Come on, Xan, not really their fault. Nothing begets nothing,” he whispered sadly to himself.
Turning off the lights, he left the now empty library and hugging Willow’s book to his chest.
Xander could name the moment in time he started to lose his friends, and it was entirely his fault.
He’d walked through the science lab doors expecting to find Amy and a love spell, only to see Giles, Buffy and Willow standing there.
Amy had looked smug as his life had halted, stopped and changed course.
Buffy had looked at him the same way she did at any of the week’s nasties she had to deal with; he’d slipped from goofy friend to potential enemy in the space of two heart beats. He could have coped with that but for Willow.
Betrayal and disappointment shone in her eyes as his best and only friend since Kindergarten had turned away. Stopping his stuttered apologies with a “How could you, Xander?”, she hadn’t even looked back at him as she walked out the door. Willow had let him back into her life eventually, but things were still strained and Buffy only seem to exacerbate the situation.
Giles, the only adult to look at him with any sort of kindness, had told him to get out of his sight, refused to look at him.
Cordelia ripped into him privately and publicly every time she saw him, and he couldn’t blame her, but wasn’t it time to forget if they couldn’t forgive?
He knew he’d made a mistake, apologised a thousand times. Grovelled, bought donuts and done every crappy job they had asked of him, but it was never enough; they’d moved on. One mistake and he wasn’t quite part of the inner circle any more.
He was sorry, so very sorry, and he would do anything to be part of them again: his friends, his only true family.
Chapter 4 on Friday :~}