FANDOM: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
GENRE : Slash
PROMPT: 053. Haunted.
WORD COUNT: 864 words.
SUMMARY: Every year Spike makes amends.
NOTES: X-Posted to lover100. Set Post Chosen and NFA.
DISCLAIMER: You recognize them? I don’t own them.
Every year on May 19th, William the Bloody leaves for two days.
He takes a small bowling bag, packed with a pair of black jeans, a white t-shirt, and his old duster.
He never tells Xander, the love of his life, where he's going. All he tells Xander is I'm taking care of business, Pet. Be back on the night of the 21st unless you want a big pile of dust. Xander gives him a kiss and tells him to drive safe.
Spike takes their red Miata and drives, only stopping twice since he needs to get there before sunrise. The first time he stops is for gas. The second time he stops, it's a small liquor store called 'Carl's Cabinet', just off the freeway leading to the remains of Sunnydale.
After the liquor store, he goes to Motel 6 and requests Room 115 in the back of the motel. It gets very little sun exposure. It's also the only decent place for miles.
The real reason behind this trip is cleansing. He has survivor's guilt. He came back to the dead after Sunnydale. He made it out of LA.
Then, there's Anya.
He knows he will never own all of Xander's heart. A tiny piece still belongs to Anya, his first great love. He never compares Spike to her but sometimes, Spike catches him gazing into the air and he just knows that Xander's missing her.
That doesn't really bother Spike. A part of him will always care for Dru and he knows the impact Anya had on his pet.
What does bother him is the fact that he got to come back and Anya didn't.
After he settles into his room, he takes a nap, knowing this will be an emotional night. He needs to collect himself before everything becomes a physical drain. This night is always the most draining.
He wakes three hours later. He doesn't shower though. His soul has to be cleansed before he can physically be clean. It's just one of those odd little things that he does.
He's done this for the past ten years, ever since he returned from the remains of Los Angeles. It may seem silly but after everything he's seen, he needs this to cope.
There is still a crater where Sunnydale was. Apparently, the only thing they've done to it is add a fence to stop people from falling in.
He pulls to the side of the road, just beyond the crater. Moving out of the car, he grabs a brown paper bag and a white carnation.
Only Xander knows just how guilty Spike feels for his second chance. He got to come back and live a happy existence while Anya died a horrible death. It wasn't right. It wasn't fair. What had actually made him different from her?
He pulls a bottle of Strawberry Schnapps from the paper bag. After opening it, he takes three sips.
The first sip is for Anya.
The second sip is for himself.
The final sip is for what he shares with Xander.
Spike knows what he has with Xander is special. Not everyone has someone who loves them unconditionally. Nor everyone has someone who can overlook a past as horrific as Spike's. Not everyone has someone who is always there no matter what.
Spike has Anya to thank.
Sometimes, he feels her. It's never a big feeling. It's usually just wind in a windowless room or the faintest hint of strawberries lingering in the air. It's almost as if she's checking on him to make sure he's taking good care of her Xander.
He always is.
Lightly, he fingers the white carnation. It was Anya's favorite flower.
Kissing the stem, he whispers 'Thank You'. Years with her had Xander acceptant of everything that could be thrown at him, especially since he was in love with a vampire.
Spike throws the carnation into the crater. As he watches the white flower vanish from sight, he bids goodbye for another year.
He heads back to the hotel just before sunrise and prepares to spend the day in the room. He doesn't sleep. He barely eats. He meditates.
Meditation is a skill he picked up from Angel. Spike only does it once a year, to clear his guilt. It frees his mind, and he doesn't wonder why. The 'whys' are what haunt him the most. He doesn't know why he was the one to come back. All he does is hope that one day the guilt will lessen.
He would love to be able to enjoy life with Xander without having that nagging feeling that he shouldn't be here.
As soon as the sun sets, he leaves the motel and drives all night, only stopping for gas and a bottle of wine.
Xander meets him outside, just waiting. Spike sees him, checking his watch every few seconds and pacing. He loves how Xander nibbles on his lip while he waits.
He pulls into the driveway and the first thing he does is give Xander a long passionate kiss. He loves how his pet never questions him on where he goes.
Spike is grateful for this.