Title: Learn to be Lonely Chapter 26/?
Rating: NC-17 for brief violence and sexual content
Pairing: BtVS Spike/Xander
Author’s Note: Yes, I am aware that the timeline is a little screwed up and that Giles didn’t own the Magic Box until after Adam and after Dawn arrived. But in my reality, who’s Dawn? Adam what? Also, a huge spanking thanks to kitty_poker1 for still agreeing to be my official L2BL beta, even after so much time has passed.
Disclaimer: These character’s aren’t mine, never were; I don’t get any profit for this hobby, so don’t sue – Thanks.
Warning: Brief violence, nudity, and hetero and homo sexual content and situations. And some h0t man-luvin.
This can also be found in my LJ Memories, as well as on my L2bL Archive.
The stench of dead things assaulted his senses. It clung to his body like dust and sweat, sticky and uncomfortable. Raw earth, fresh and upturned, lay at his feet, marked by a simple concrete slab no bigger than a breadbox engraved with a stranger’s name, his expiration date, and two meaningless words separated by an ampersand: “Husband & Father.” Doesn’t even merit a “beloved,” Xander thought bitterly.
Spike was somewhere nearby watching, waiting for him, protecting him from the shadows. Xander could almost feel the throb of mine mine stay away mine that he was pumping out with his preternatural mind. If any demons were lurking around they would be wise to heed Spike’s warning; he was not happy about being here. He’d wanted Xander to wait until daylight to do this, but had understood when he insisted on coming straight from the airport. “Unfinished business.”
Standing in the darkness, the shadows of trees dancing around him in the moonlight like pagans of old, Xander tried to shed even a single tear for a man he didn’t know. Any emotion would be welcome, but he couldn’t seem to dredge one up. He wasn’t even really devoid of emotion; he just couldn’t feel for this dead man who had laughingly been called his father. Only respect for the dead kept him from turning away. “What do you want me to say?” he muttered, words fluttering in the wind to dance with the trees. “You were a crap father. The only time you thought about me was when you needed something to hit or someone to open your beer. I was never more than an inconvenience to you, Tony.” Xander paused for a moment, chewing his words like tobacco. Bitter, abrasive. “I don’t even know why I’m here. I guess I just wanted you to know…needed to say that I forgive you. Hell, I forgave you a long time ago. You didn’t ask for the life you were given. You could have tried harder…should have tried harder. But in the end, you were just a man.” Deep breath, and a cold tear finally whispered against his cheek. Still, he felt hollow. “I guess that’s all any of us are: just men. And now, I guess, you have your peace. So I’ll leave you to it.”
He stood there for a moment with his eyes closed. Breathing deeply, he allowed the moment to wash over him and seep into the very deepest of his memories, the ghastly moonlight crawling and scratching against his skin, the warm and pungent breeze dry and bitter against his lips. Dead. One more thing gone. One more thing finished. As he opened his eyes to allow one more view of his father’s grave…my father’s grave…he felt the firm and cold grip of his lover’s hand on his shoulder. Not in a nudging way to get him to move on, and not in a way that made him think he should be feeling more than he was. Total and unconditional support, like a column of stone he could lean against. Xander gave a dry chuckle at that – that a dead man was more alive to him than this man who was buried beneath him had ever been.
“Are you…?” The half question was whispered against his ear as another marble hand wrapped around his torso, pulling him back into the chill embrace he’d come to know so well, and be warmed by, even in its coldness.
“I’m actually okay,” he sighed, leaning his head back onto Spike’s shoulder and gazing skyward. Somehow-soft lips kissed his temple, grazed his cheek. “I don’t know how okay I am with being okay with it, but I am.”
“Wanna talk about it, Xan?” Slow words spoken so sweetly, and again Xander thought, This is who I am meant for. This is who is meant for me.
“Not now. Later maybe, someday. But right now there’s more important things.”
“Yeah. I need to see him. Do you mind –”
“We’ll head straight there. Still a few hours till sunrise, anyway.” Spike sniffed the air, looked towards the horizon. “His flat’s not too far from here.”
“Buffy will probably be there,” Xander warned. “If you want me to go alone, I’d understand.”
“Are you off your rocker?” Spike spun him in his arms and blue eyes stared up into his face. “None of that matters anymore, love. More important things, right?”
“Right,” he agreed, lowering his forehead and resting it against Spike’s. Silken fingers found and tangled themselves in his. “Spike, I love you,” he whispered.
“I know you do,” with a half-smile and a spark in his eyes. “I love you too.”