Rating: NC-17 overall
A/N: Here it is! The (possibly) much anticipated continuation of MoS. I'm sorry it took so long. I got caught up in midterms and manipping and another WIP and judging...But, I'm still on track with this and it will be finished. Come hell or Economics class, which is much the same thing, this will be finished....Hope you enjoy!
He thought of Anya, his obstreperous girl. She used to sing to him, her ancient broken melodies both haunting and lovely. The songs were so old, the language so arcane; even she no longer recalled the meanings. He used to tease her about that, pretending to be frightened of her “vengeance songs”. But secretly, he loved them. Loved them because they were her gift to him, sung only to him. He whimpered, wanting to hear her sing to him one more time.
The voice reached out to him, gentling him out of pain and back to sleep. He felt the stroke of a soft hand on his head and Xander caught a whiff of smoky musk. The smell and the touch, the voice and the warmth, they cocooned him in a blanket of safety. Finally, he let go of the struggle and drifted away.
Spike sighed, sitting back in the chair he’d dragged to Xander’s bedside. Dawn had left with Tara once it became apparent that Xander’s wounds were infected. Nothing dangerous, the two witches assured him. Just a normal human infection, completely curable with a good dose of antibiotics. Spike, who remembered when infections meant death, didn’t trust the goopy pink liquid the girls had given him. He dutifully slopped the stuff down Xander’s throat, but added a few of his mother’s favored remedies as well. Nothing could beat a good mustard plaster and a bit of rich beef broth, Spike thought.
Stupid humans. Stupid fragile humans, with their infections and their aging and their bloody death. How the hell was a vampire supposed to have any peace of mind if their bodies insisted on decaying like this? Spike had spent the entire night next to Xander, counting the boy’s breaths and waiting for him to wake.
The next time Xander woke, disoriented and groggy, he saw an electric yellow mass slumped next to him. His body burned and his mouth was so dry he thought it might catch fire. But, that bleached head next to him stopped him from speaking.
Spike was here. Spike, and not Willow or Tara, was passed out cold in chair next to his bed. Xander tried to concentrate, wanting to figure out what this meant.
He’d done something wrong, he knew that. Spike had been angry, cold and distant. He didn’t want that. He wanted a friend, someone who cared enough about him to sleep next to his bed when he was sick. So, did this mean Spike was his friend?
“Spike,” Xander croaked quietly, “Need you.”
Spike’s head shot up, his blue eyes bleary. Xander attempted to smile, but he could tell it wasn’t working like he planned. Instead of smiling back, Spike’s face looked panicked.
“Xan, you okay,” Spike asked anxiously. “Rot those antibiotics. Nothing but quackery and I have half a mind to tell the witches that. Should’ve stuck with the traditional remedies. A good hot onion would’ve…”
“Spike,” Xander interrupted. “I’m fine. Well, not fine but not not fine, you know? Kinda thirsty, though.”
“Right,” Spike nodded. “Got you some water right here. Let me prop you up a bit, and we’ll give it a go.”
Spike leaned over and gently moved Xander to an upright position, placing plenty of pillows behind him for support. Once Xander was sitting, Spike reached down and retrieved a bottle of water. Opening it, he handed the plastic bottle to Xander.
Xander took it cautiously, not wanting to jar himself. The water was ice cold and it soothed his raw throat and dusty mouth. Xander drank it down in great gulps, not even pausing for breath.
“Thanks,” Xander said, his voice approaching normal. “That helped.”
“You hungry,” Spike asked quickly. “Got a bit o’broth here that should work a treat. Made it myself. Don’t trust those tinned ones, taste all metallic to me.”
“Yeah,” Xander grinned. “Broth sounds great.”
They sat there in silence, Spike spooning up broth for Xander to slurp. Xander wanted to say something, to ask if they were friends. He remembered now why Spike had been angry. Hell, Spike hadn’t been angry, he’d been furious.
Xander couldn’t apologize. He’d been wrong, but for the right reasons. It wasn’t that he’d had somewhat gay sex with Spike. It was that he’d done anything with anyone. Sure, he was supposed to picking up and moving on. Can’t mourn forever and all that crap. But, it hadn’t felt right to just take up with Spike as if Anya had never existed.
He loved her. He’d asked her to marry him, and that wasn’t the kind of thing you could just stash in the back of the closet and forget about. Closet, gay, wow, he was making with the bad puns in his own head now. Time for a little less touchy subject. Ouch, again. Snap out of it, Harris…
“ ‘M sorry,” Spike murmured, the soft words snapping like a whip in the vast quiet. “Should’ve been out there, but I let my buggered pride stand in the way. Not goin’ to happen again.”
“It’s not all your fault,” Xander contradicted. “I played my part in this little “As The Hellmouth Turns” melodrama. Do you…do you think we could just…”
“Forget it,” Spike filled in. “Yeah, I understand. Let’s just write it off and move on.”
“No,” Xander said hastily, wincing as he twisted the wrong way.
Spike was up in a flash, hands moving down to the wounds. Xander grimaced as Spike’s fingers delicately probed and poked. Spike sighed, and grabbed for the first aid kit.
“ ‘S nothing bad,” Spike assured him. “You just popped a stitch. Not going to replace it. That’d just hurt worse. Little cream and some new bandages, you’ll be right as rain.”
“No,” Xander argued.
“No?” Spike looked puzzled.
“I mean, yeah I’m sure the bandage thing will work. I meant no, I don’t want to forget it. I just want to be friends,” Xander explained. “In the “we had some fun yet inappropriate touching” way.”
“How’s that work,” Spike asked uncertainly.
“I dunno,” Xander smiled. “Wanna find out?”
Spike smiled back, his face almost radiant. Sure, friends wasn’t snogging or snuggling. But, it was something. Something nice and that was better than nothing.
“Yeah,” Spike nodded. “Yeah, I’d like that.”