Disclaimer: The boys don't belong to me... and they never will. Saddly.
Summary: Xander is changing and no one knows why. Separating himself from the Scoobies and trying to find out who he really is he finds something that he never would have expected...
Note: I want to say a big, a really big thank you to whichclothes who helped me as my muse and my beta! And thanks to warpedminded for creating the banner!
Note 2: This another short chapter. I figured a sweet little interlude between Spike and Xander would be good for furthering their relationship.^^
Previous chapters here!
Xander woke up to the feeling of fingertips dancing lightly across his belly. Opening his eyes he found Spike still with his head over his heart and unmoving except for the hand that drew patterns on his skin.
“Hey,” he greeted softly and smiled when the vampire moved to lean up on one arm looking into his eyes without taking his other hand away.
“Hey,” Spike's voice was still thick with sleep and his blue eyes were veiled with the last traces of dreams. A soft chuckle escaped the mortal's lips when his friend blinked a few times and then removed the hand in order to rub his eyes.
'He looks so young and innocent,' Xander thought while watching the vampire hide a small yawn. Lifting one hand he pushed a wayward curl from Spike's forehead and traced his fingertip down the bridge of the well defined nose only to tap him playfully on the tip. He knew that it was the gesture of a lover and not a friend but since he shared his bed with a vampire who liked to cuddle up to him it didn't matter.
'Plus my life never has been normal so why should I act like I am normal.' Grinning at the thought he sat up and looked down at the blond who huffed and fell back onto his back closing his eyes again.
“Come on, Sleeping Beauty,” Xander teased and laughed at the low growl that did nothing to hide the smile crawling over Spike's lips.
“Time to wake up, rise and shine. Since it's - “ he looked at the clock “ - half past eight in the evening.”
“Well, then dear prince. You plan to kiss the beauty awake then?” came the teasing reply from the vampire who still had his eyes closed to keep the real world outside for a little while longer. Xander didn't answer he just stared at the vampire and tried to decide what to do. The tingling on the edge of his mind that he always felt when he got angry was now a low humming, almost like the purring of a content cat. Shrugging because he had told Cordy already that he wasn't averse to a relationship with the blond Xander leaned over and placed a soft and chaste kiss on the slightly parted lips.
Wide blue eyes stared back at him when he leaned away again but Spike made no move to jump up and leave or to insult him or to ask him what the bloody hell he had been thinking. Instead he lowered his gaze and a soft blush crept over the normally pale cheeks.
“Awake now, sleepy-head?” Xander asked softly making no move to get up.
“Quite,” came the mumbled reply and Spike, too, didn't show any intent to leave the bed soon. They gazed at each other silently. Their eyes locked but there was no fight for dominance just the connection between the mortal boy and his vampire. It was Spike who broke the silence first.
“You left again, last night after I fell asleep, didn't you?” There was no accusation or pain in his voice just a mild curiosity. Xander nodded but didn't break the gaze. He had nothing to hide after all.
“I went and had a little talk with Angel,” he said and smiled at the raised eyebrow he received as an answer.
“Don't look at me like that. We didn't fight – at least not the whole time. I guess, I gave him a few things to think about, that's all.”
Even though Spike didn't look convinced he refrained from asking more questions. Xander smiled softly when his vampire sighed and snuggled closer seeking the comfort of the warmth again.
“You know,” Xander started after a while.
“If you want to stay here it would be okay.” His voice was quiet but didn't shake. Spike sat up instantly and nearly hit the mortal. When they were face to face he frowned slightly.
“Are you sending me away?” the blond asked in a small voice full of insecurity. His blue eyes were bright and seemed a little watery. Xander shook his head and sighed.
“No, I’m not sending you away. I won't do that, why should I? No, I just want you to have a choice. I know that having a choice isn't something you had in the last few decades when you took care of Drusilla. You've been there for her. You folded your own life into a tiny piece so it could fit with hers and there has never really been a choice for you, has there?”
Spike was silent for a moment thinking before he slowly nodded.
“Guess so. I never really saw it that way since it had been my choice to take care of her in the first place,” he said carefully choosing his words. Xander shook his head once.
“Not really,” he replied.
“You were turned and not that long after Angelus and Darla left you, isn't that right?” Spike flinched at the unwelcome memory; still he nodded.
“When I read through the Watcher Diaries....” Spike snorted and smirked.
“Yes, I read books, Spike. There is nothing wrong with it.” Xander said mockingly, hurt.
“Never said there was,” grinned the vampire before his expression grew sadder again.
“As I said, I've read the Diaries and what else Giles has about vampires and I think that at that young age – young for a vampire – you had no real choice but to stay with the vampire who sired you.”
Spike nodded but frowned.
“Well, the thing is, Dru started to sire me but Peaches finished it. You think this whole thing still works that way? Shouldn't I have been following him instead?” He sounded a little irritated.
“Honestly, I'm not that sure about it if you look at it from that perspective. But... think about it that way... How... how did you feel, when Angelus left?” Xander asked with a gentle voice. He had no intention to upset the vampire but he knew that one way or the other he would do just that.
Spike remained silent for a long while. He looked at everything but Xander. Finally he closed his eyes and spoke.
“I felt... torn... broken into pieces. Hurt. Betrayed. Outraged and sad. I felt pleased and unsure. Happy. I felt lost.” He swallowed his voice getting weaker with the each word.
“I felt like I was falling without a chance to help myself.”
Xander nodded and placed a gentle hand against the cool cheek. He felt the first cool drop glide along his hand.
“And there was Drusilla, showing a little bit of kindness. A small bit of compassion,” he said and the blond vampire nodded softly.
“I've always been Love's Bitch. I fall fast and hard for those who show me the slightest bit of care.” Realization dawned in Spike's eyes when he thought his words over again.
“That's why I loved her, why I couldn't leave her. Who would show me that kind of care again? Even though it was rare and didn't last long it happened and I fell again...”
Xander moved his thumb across the wet skin and nodded lightly.
“I didn't leave her because I thought that I would never find someone who cared about me again. My own Sire had left me behind, didn't care about me so who would?”
“I don't think that Angelus left you behind because he didn't care. I have no real clue as to why he did it but I think that we will find out one day.” Xander said and smiled.
“From what I saw in his eyes he still loves you in his own way. Given, he has a weird way of showing it but the emotion is there and I have a feeling that it never really went away.”
Spike closed his eyes and turned away from Xander who made no move to stop him.
“You did hear what I said, right?” he asked without opening his eyes. That way he didn't see the soft knowing smile that appeared on the young man's lips.
“I heard what you said but what about the ones that care deeply about you?” Xander asked quietly.
“Not many there. Never met someone who cared much about me. Or at least for more than my fighting skills or demon knowledge.” Even though his voice was void of any emotion it couldn't hide the tenseness of Spike's muscles when he said that. Hurt was pouring of him in waves which made Xander struggle with his temper again. He felt the rage burn inside himself but he wasn't sure at whom it was aimed.
“True, there aren't many of those but they still can be found.” Xander answered fighting his anger down and making his voice calm.
Spike opened his eyes and looked at him.
“You care,” he said and it wasn't a question. It was a statement made in wonder.
“I care,” Xander confirmed not breaking the contact.
He smiled gently and leaned forward until he was hovering over the blond vampire.
“But you can rest assured that I will catch you if you fall,” he whispered before he leaned down again and kissed Spike making a silent promise. Strong arms came around him to hold him in place and soft lips opened hesitantly.
Xander deepened the kiss slowly never going as fast and as hard as the vampire might have liked it. Instead he kept it gentle and loving. Taking his time he played with Spike's tongue and swept his own gently over the sharp teeth.
When he had to come up for air Xander found himself staring in bright blue eyes which were sparkling with emotion. Smiling he chastely kissed the vampire again before he moved away never moving his eyes away.
“We really should get up,” he said and sat on the edge of the bed. Spike closed his eyes briefly touching his fingertips to his lips and a tiny shy smile appeared on them.
“I don't want to,” he said and opened his eyes to look at Xander. Curling himself in the blankets again he grinned but remained silent.
“I know what you mean,” the young man answered truthfully and mourned the fact that they had to show themselves at some point.
“Why can't we just leave the world outside these doors and pretend that everything is fine?” Xander asked into the room.
“Because it never works. Sooner or later the world wants to get in and a door – no matter how hard – will not keep it outside,” Spike answered wistfully.
“You're speaking from experience.” Xander concluded and shook his head.
“And you're right. But a man can dream, right?” A soft chuckle was his answer.
Xander was glad that Spike didn't dwell on the things he had brought up. The vampire was still regarding him with open eyes that made him look innocent and vulnerable. He knew that Spike was neither innocent nor vulnerable if he looked at it from the physical side. He was strong, fast and an incredible fighter but his emotions were his weakness. If you wanted to break this proud Master vampire the only thing you had to do was crash his emotions and play with them.
'Just like Buffy did!' Xander thought and his expression grew hard and angry.
'She took him. She played him like an instrument and in the end she destroyed him. The only thing that I want to know is why.'
A soft touch to his arm brought him back from his thoughts and he looked down. Spike was leaning against him and his hand moved slowly up and down the inside of his arm.
“What has you so upset, Xander?” the blond asked and lay his head onto the mortal's shoulder. It felt right, to sit like that. It felt normal and warm even though Spike didn't have any body heat.
“I just thought about the last days and how I still want to turn back the time to be there faster. To save you faster,” he mumbled and leaned his head against Spike's.
“Don't dwell on it, luv, you were there when it mattered and you patched me back up. That's all that matters to me. Remember what I told you, Xan. You can't save everybody everytime. You're no Slayer or Watcher or a bloody Witch,” Spike whispered while crawling into Xander's lap to be able to look at him properly.
“You may be just a normal human being without supernatural strength or magic or knowledge but you are the most loyal person I have met in a very long time. Your loyalty borders on foolishness and still you stick to those you call your friends and now please be honest with me. Would you help Buffy if she called you now and asked for your help?”
Xander thought about it for a moment and then sighed deeply.
“Yeah,” he replied quietly.
“I guess I would help her even though I would love to smack some sense into her.”
“Not arguing with you on that point,” Spike grinned and his blue eyes lightened for the moment.
“You are as stubborn as a mule and you throw yourself headfirst in every fight you stumble upon even though you know that you don't really stand a chance. You put others always in front and let your own wishes and dreams stand aside. Xander, you truly are the White Knight. I mean, you place ME – your former enemy, a vampire – before yourself. And I will be eternally grateful for that. You are caring, kind, handsome and smart.” Spike blinked and then blushed.
“And I babbled, didn't I?” he asked with a little embarrassment. Xander laughed slightly and kissed him on the nose.
“Not much, but I get your point.”
The vampire nodded and then drew in a huge unnecessary breath.
“Xander,” Spike started and moved to slip from the human's lap but was met with a determined resistance. Settling back and getting comfortable he continued.
“What I said a while back, about being Love's Bitch, well, it doesn't only apply to women you know. I think, I could fall for everyone who cares about me. Well, not everyone – because demons? Hell no! - but for the humans or vampires around me. Though with vampires there shouldn't be ones like Peaches but you'll get me I hope, as for humans....” A soft kiss shut Spike up immediately and effectively.
“What?” Spike asked a little dazed. Xander grinned.
“You were channelling either me or Willow again,” he said softly and the pink cheeks of the vampire got a touch darker.
“Well,” he mumbled embarrassed.
“Spike,” Xander interrupted him gently.
“I may not be in love with you, yet, but I can see myself falling, hard. And as I said before, if you are falling be assured that I will be there to catch you!”