I wrote a little something a while ago, Wasted Early Morning about Spike and Xander. Well, it left a lot of unanswered questions and I was thinking about how that scenario was initiated. The following little ficlet is what came of that thought.
Title: How Soon Is Now?
Pairing: Spike/Xander, pre-slash
Disclaimer: I'm thinking of leasing to buy. I don't own, not makin' any money. Dammit.
Warnings: Hmm. character death, but not really?
Feedback: Sure, I love FB as much as the next chick.
It’s a routine patrol. Little sneakin’ in, jumpin’ the fence of some really old, neglected cemetery. One what’s fallen to entropy, if you believe in that sort of thing. Neither of us saw it comin,’ fightin’ like we were. Like we always did. Bloke just couldn’t, wouldn’t, keep his mouth shut.
“Why’d you even bother coming here, Spike? You had a free ticket to be away from this. God knows I’d take it in a heartbeat!”
“Really? And would that heartbeat have been when the Hellmouth collapsed? Or when ya got back from Africa and told them to leave you alone? Or, maybe, it was when you tried to write off your friends but realized your poncy arse needed them still.” I said. “Don’t talk to me about giving it all up, Harris. You’re as bad as that barmy mess of women. You like the danger and monsters and risk.”
Xander was silent for a few minutes, takin’ in what I’d said. I knew he was addicted to the stress, to the danger, just like the rest of ‘em. He may be just a human, but he’d been alongside the supernatural for so long, he’d grown...accustomed to its face.
“Fuck you, Spike,” he said, without the usual pissiness.
“Means you know I’m right, don’t’ it?”
He nodded, like I knew he would. He would fuss and argue, but when faced with right, he’d give in. Always did. Always would. Bad thing about it, though, was that the girls, The Slayer, weren’t as good without him. He’s a rock, sure, but they’ve made him the cornerstone, the keystone. Their world comes crashin’ down ‘round their ears without him. Which is why I did what I did, the moment we knew it was over.
The cemetery was quiet, and while we were always on the lookout, quiet places quieted us, too. Took down the sense of urgency. In the fight, neither of heard it sneakin’ up. But next thing I know, Harris is being dragged down by the same demon we’re looking for. I fight, of course I do, but it’s too late. Eight inch claws had gouged rivers of red through Xander’s body. He fell to the ground, seeping his life out in ever slowing pulses.
Demon was toast not long after I got to it, but so was Xander.
“Spike,” he tried to whisper my name, but the blood must’ve been pouring into his lungs too, because it came out a gurgle.
“You’re gonna be fine, Harris. Back to fightin’ in no time,” I told him, trying to hold in that precious fluid.
“Liar. Undead...liar guy.” the barmy git had the audacity to laugh. Came out all chokey, but damn my dead hide if he didn’t try. “Don’t..want ...Girls.”
He didn’t want to leave the girls. The bloody bastard knew.
He looked at me with that knowing eye. He wasn’t scared, just sort of resigned, sad. I quit trying to lie.
“You don’t have to, ya know. I can..” I started, and his eye, the sad almost dead eye, lifted to meet mine. He looked hopeful, which confused the hell outta me, cuz he’d always said he never wanted to be turned.
“Do it,” he gurgled softly.
He nodded a little. “When? You want I should wait till you’re closer to-”
“How ... soon...is now?” he whispered, then coughed. “Don’t want...to feel.”
“Right,” I agreed.
We weren’t friends, never had been. We’d been allies, colleagues, mistrustful. So I didn’t bite him where intimacy would have dictated. He wouldn’t let me, anyway. I took his arm, bit his wrist, drained what little blood was left, then gave it all back to him.
He was still, calm. Didn’t do all the thrashin’ about or rattley breathin’ ya see from one what’s died that way. He just closed his eye and gave this sigh, like he was relieved.
I had a bit of his blood still on my lips, and he had mine on his, when Buffy came running up. She saw the demon corpse and congratulated us, but the accolades died when she saw us. I looked at her, sadness and futility and all the guilt I’d ever thought to bear shining out at her. He’d asked me, and they’d never believe me.
“What did you do?” She whispered, horrified. Then she got physical, as typical of her. She jerked me up by my collar and shook me. “What did you do?”
“I-” I started, but she knew. She punched me and threw me down.
He was their cornerstone. I’d turned him. Didn’t matter why, not to them. He’d always said he’d rather die. That’s what they knew.
When he woke, Red slapped his soul back in him, workin’ the mojo. We still don’t know if the happiness clause is in it or not. But he told them he’d asked me to do it. They refused to believe him, said I’d corrupted him.
They’d forgot about this soul I had shoved back inside. I’d always be what I was to them. I can’t blame them. Experience dictates that they keep me at a distance. But Harris? He couldn’t take their doubt. The bond they’d shared with him as a human was too fragile to withstand him wanting to be turned, so he left. Asked me to come with him. They hated me too, so yeah. I went.
We’re still not friends, but we’re more than colleagues. He trusts me, as is right for the fact that I made him. He shares my demon. I suppose it makes us family, of a sort.
He cries at night, sometimes. And I know the next night he’ll be out. He’ll come home stinking of whores and blood and he’ll let me bathe him, wash it all off. And he’ll forget that they let him go. Then he’ll ask to move on.
“When d’you want to leave?” I’ll ask.
He’ll smile, sad-like, and say, “How soon is now?”