Summary: For the first time Xander starts to see Spike in a completely different light.
Pairing: None. Pre-slash
Disclaimer: You recognize them? I don’t own them!
A/N- Post The Gift. We’ll say-two weeks or so, after Buffy dies. Minorly OOC but I think I’m getting better.
'Cause you never know who might be,
Fallin' in love with your smile.
Toby Keith- Your Smile.
The moment Xander saw Spike cry was the moment the severity of the situation hit him. Buffy was gone, and she wasn’t coming back. Nothing could help, and they would just have to adjust to life without the bubbly blonde.
“Spike?” he murmured, cautiously approaching. Spike jerked his head around, not even bothering to hide the tears in his eyes. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah. Think someone accidentally brought garlic bread.” he muttered, drying his eyes with the hem of his black t-shirt. Xander nodded, deciding not to challenge “The Big Bad’s” pride.
“Can I get you something?” he asked, setting his hand on the other man’s shoulder. Spike sniffled.
“Something to flush my damn eyes out.” he groaned, furiously wiping them with his fists. “I swear I will kick the ass of whoever brought the bloody garlic bread.” Xander knew he would pay for his kindness later, when Spike realized just how much he had seen, but for the moment, he merely had the strangest urge to comfort the man who had sacrificed so much.
“Lean back.” Xander murmured, pursing his lips. “This isn’t going to be very comfortable.” He poured the water into Spike’s eyes.
“Thanks.” Spike murmured. “Ugh. Garlic…” Xander snickered, causing him to glare. “Think this is funny?”
“No.” Xander admitted. “Just the way you said it. You sounded…well…like a California Boy almost.” Spike groaned.
“Never call me that again. The horror.” He muttered. “And you’re trying to make me smile.” Xander shook his head, despite knowing Spike was telling the truth. “Don’t. I failed- should have been me who died.” Xander’s heart went out to the troubled man. “I was forty seconds too late. If only I had kept Doc distracted! If only Dawn hadn’t screamed out for help.” Xander just sat still silently, allowing the other man time to ramble.
“She knew what she had to do.” Xander murmured, trying to find the strength to say it. “She knew she had to die.” He sniffled, trying not to cry. “She did know how to love with all her heart-even if she could never show it ‘properly’. She cared about you in her own little way.” Spike nodded.
“Think I knew it all along.” he muttered. Xander nodded, lightly brushing his hand against Spike’s palm. Seeing his nemesis so vulnerable…so human… caused him to feel the slightest pangs of attraction. “Can’t really believe she’s gone. Suppose this is just a bad nightmare?”
“I wish,” Xander muttered. He leaned onto Spike. “I remember the day I met her.” Spike glanced up, expectantly. “Don’t tell me I’ve never told you how I met her.”
“No.” he said. Xander groaned.
“ She spilled her bag, and I ran off with her stake, because she decided to ignore me and I had no clue who she was.” he said, grinning at the memory. Spike smirked. “Is that a smile?” His heart flipped, and his stomach churned.
“Just a faint one.” he murmured. “Just can see you running off with her stake completely clueless.” He glanced up towards Xander. “Why so nice?”
“I’ve never seen sadder eyes.” he admitted. “Everyone’s sad, but your eyes say so much more.” He checked his watch. “I’ve got to get up early tomorrow. I’ll see you around.” Spike curtly nodded goodbye.
It’s too soon to love him. He needs time to mourn her. Who knows what the futures’ going to bring? All I can hope is somehow I’m in it. Xander thought, walking back into the house.