Disclaimer: None of the characters belong to me, it's sad, but true.
Summary: It's Spike's turn to think.
Previous parts here.
Spike took one last drag of his cigarette and flicked it onto the ground. He was sitting on a swing in the middle of a playground. Alone, because mostly there were only demons out at this time of night and they didn’t tend to hang out in playgrounds. He stared ahead blankly, deep in thought.
When he’d stormed out of the apartment earlier that night he’d been more hurt and afraid than angry. He’d told Xander that he understood, and he did, as much as he was capable of understanding without a soul of his own. That didn’t ease the potency of the other feelings though. Like hurt that Xander wouldn’t even consider being turned, after all, how much could Spike mean to him if he wouldn’t even pause to think about it?
Spike shook his head sharply, as if doing so would physically dispel that thought. Xander was the conqueror of Spike’s heart, and wow was that cheesy. Inwardly Spike snorted at his own poufy tendencies. He and Xander had been through too much together to start doubting their commitment now. And really, he knew that wasn’t true, Xander had paused, had apparently thought about it a lot, and chosen to stay human. He had opted for mortality.
More fool him. Anger flared in Spike, briefly, before just as quickly dying out. There was no energy to sustain it, and as it subsided the fear made its presence known.
What was it that Xander always said? Fear is the mind killer*. Xander believed in facing your fears, though he made a special exception for clowns, claiming that it was his sense of self-preservation that made him squeal like that. Spike had teased Xander mercilessly and chuckled over that all the way home that night, forcing Xander to find a creative way to shut him up. Which he had, turning Spike’s chuckles into gasps and moans. However Spike wasn’t sure if he was ready to face this fear. Ready or not though, it was refusing banishment to the back of his mind anymore, forcing itself into the forefront of Spike’s thoughts.
Fear that he would have to watch Xander die, fear that he wouldn’t be able to, wouldn’t be strong enough. He had nightmares sometimes, of Xander’s death. Each time would be different, maybe this time Xander would get sick and waste away, or bleed out from some wound, or get drained by a fledge, or fall off a building at one of his construction sites. Spike had been around a long time, seen a lot of people die. His unconscious had plenty of material to torture him with while he was sleeping. The dreams all had two things in common though, Xander died, and Spike watched.
In the dreams he was always helpless, unable to move. He would shout, yell, scream, but no one ever heard him. When he woke up after having one of these nightmares, he would do different things. Sometimes he would watch TV, letting the pictures wash over him and give himself up to mindlessness. Occasionally he would slip out of the apartment and try to find something to kill. On very rare occasions he would turn over and gently wake Xander up. Nuzzling, fondling, and stroking him until Xander’s eyes opened and he was fully aware of what was happening. Then they would have sex, and if Spike seemed a little needier, or if his declarations of love were a little more desperate, Xander never commented on it.
It all came down to fear. The Big Bad was afraid. Terrified actually, and the only solution he had was really no solution at all, but since it was all he had, he clung to it. He had even considered, if only for a moment, turning Xander without his permission. It’s not like he would care once he woke up.
It wasn’t what Xander wanted though, and in reality, it wasn’t what Spike wanted either. The problem was that if he turned Xander, he wouldn’t really be Xander anymore. He would lose his soul to a demon, and though it would be Xander’s face and Xander’s body, it was his soul that Spike had fallen in love with. In all his years Spike had never encountered such a mixture of innocence, purity, kindness, darkness, loyalty, and ruthlessness. Xander’s soul loved and accepted Spike’s demon with no reservations. He loved Spike with a selflessness that couldn’t be found in the demon world. Demons could love with single-minded intensity, but they couldn’t love selflessly. Spike could admit that he himself was no exception. He loved Xander with every part of himself, but part of his love was selfish, because Xander gave him something he’d never had. Never in his unlife had anyone that he had loved returned his love and loyalty as fiercely as he gave it, but Xander did. Without that…
Spike lit another cigarette and put his Zippo back in his duster pocket. He already knew what was going to happen. He would abide by his lover’s decision, because really, he couldn’t do anything else. He would stay with Xander until Xander was no more. He would do this despite knowing that it would hurt, that the fear would never go away, that the end was coming eventually no matter what. Spike wasn’t the leaving kind. He’d never left anyone one he truly cared about. Not his mother, not Dru, Angelus had left him; he’d even kept tabs on Cecily through the years.
Of all of them Xander was the only one who had ever truly loved Spike back, and Xander meant more to him than all of them combined. So because Spike loved him, he would watch him die.
Standing up and heading back towards the apartment, his usual swagger was conspicuously absent. The decision had been made by both Xander and the circumstances of this universe. Where demons couldn’t have souls and humans had to die, and only brief happiness laced with suffering for two who would fall in love.
*From Frank Herbert’s Dune