: Into The DarkAUTHOR
: Buffy the Vampire SlayerPAIRING
: Spike/Xander GENRE
: PGWORD COUNT
: Spike needs to be the strong one when the time comes. WARNINGS
: Character Death. NOTES
: Part 2 of 2. This is something new I'm trying, so, I want HONEST opinions. Goes along with Tonight
and In the Still of the Night
but you don't need to read them to understand. This is Part One
: You recognize them? I don’t own them.
“Willow. You need to let go.” Spike quickly glances back to the closed door of the hospital room. “What good are you doing him?” He grips her by the shoulders.
“Spike.” She manages to shake him off. “I'm not the one keeping him here! God, do you think that I would want to watch my best friend suffer like this?” She gazes down, her eyes fixed on her protruding belly. “He's trying to hold on for the baby.”
Spike throws his arms in the air, beginning to frantically pace.
“Well, if you hadn't come rushing down to the beach, then he would have passed there!” Spike shouts louder than he means to. “I told you what he wanted but no, that wasn't good enough. Now you're keeping him here. Look at him! Can't you see he's suffering?”
Tears brim in Willow's eyes, threatening to spill. Her hands rest at her side, balled in fists. She opens and closes her mouth several times before speaking.
Then, she winces, clutching her belly.
“Are you okay?” Spike feels his temper start to dip, seeing a potential threat to the baby. “Do you need to sit down? Water?”
“Leave me alone,” she hisses through her teeth. “Just leave me alone.”
“You're in pain,” Spike points out. “Are you sure that you don't need water?”
“If you must know, it was a combination of a Braxton-Hicks Contraction and a hard kick. When Xander-Rose gets upset, she kicks hard enough to hurt.” Her fingertips slowly dance around a strip of exposed skin as she tries to calm her baby.
“May I?” Spike holds his hand out.
“Are you going to yell at me again?” Willow backs away, just out of his reach. “Do you think I can't see he's suffering? Do you think that I want to watch him die like this? That's not Xander! That hasn't been Xander for weeks. I don't know what you want from me!” The more she speaks, the louder her voice gets. “What do you want? Just tell me!”
“I just want you to let him go. Red, he's holding on for the baby but especially for you.” Spike moves closer to her. “I know you need him. I do too.”
“You can feel her kick if you really want to.” Willow braces her back with one hand, her other hand cupping the underside of her belly. “Kinda hard to believe I'm carrying a part of Xander in there.”
She giggles, his hand splayed across her belly. “Sorry, your hands are cold.”
“Can't help that. Oh! Feisty little bird, ain't she?”
“It's going to be fine. I know it's hard to believe but it's going to be fine.” Spike pulls her into a hug. “The man who did this will pay. I promise you that.”
As Willow starts to cry, she shakes her head.
“Let him go through what Xander's going through. That's more of a punishment than making it quick and painless.” Willow has an unusual amount of vengeance in her voice. “What do I say? How do I let him go?”
“I can help you.”
Spike pushes the door open, noticing Buffy raise her head.
“Spike, can I talk to you outside for a second?” Her voice is barely above a whisper. “Alone?”
Buffy stands. Willow sits where she was sitting. Spike opens the door, motioning for Buffy to go first.
“Are you nuts?” Buffy's cheek flush to a red hue, clearly angry. “Just tell me- are you nuts?”
“Must be a bit. Why do you ask?” Spike smirks.
“She's been having premature contractions. The doctor thinks it's because of the stress with Xander. I heard you yelling at her! Are you trying to send her into labor?” She jams her hands into her pants pocket.
“Red never told me. How bad?”
“Bad enough that she has to watch her stress and rest. Not bad enough that she's on bedrest. She's 30 weeks. If she were born tomorrow, Xander-Rose would have a super-high chance of survival. We don't want her coming out for another month at least though.” Buffy throws a harried glance back to the closed door.
Willow walks out, the color drained from her face. Her hands are wrapped on the underside of her belly.
“Buffy?” Her voice seems pained. “Dr. Wilson wants me on a monitor in Maternity. I'm having steady contractions again.”
Buffy rushes to her partner's side.
“It's okay, Will.” She reaches for Willow's hand. “You are going to be fine. The baby is going to be fine. Both of my girls are going to be just fine.” She glances to Spike. “Can you hold things down here until I get her settled? Then I'll come back.”
“Of course. Just please let me know what's happening.” He squats in front of Willow and places his lips to her belly.
“Miss Xander-Rose, you stay right there. We all want you out but you have to bake a bit more.”
“Spike?” Willow's voice threatens to break. “I think he's ready.”
“Ready?” Spike is baffled. “Ready for what?”
“Oh! Ready...what makes you think that?”
Spike disappears back into the room. The lights are off, making the room almost pitch-black, other than the eerie green glow of the monitors. He sits, keeping silent vigil. Every few seconds, he gently squeezes Xander's hand.
“It's okay, Pet,” he whispers. “You can go. We'll always love and miss you but you need to go now. Be free. Xander-Rose is going to be well cared for. I'll make sure of that.” He lightly shoves Xander over. “Sorry, Pet.”
He gently wraps his arms around Xander's middle. He winces, realizing that he can feel every rib in Xander's body. How can this shell be the man he loves? How can Xander really be in there?
“Always said you wouldn't pass alone. Won't allow that. We were apart far too much for me to let you.” He gently ruffles Xander's hair. “Oh Pet. You're going to be whole when you get where you're going. No pain. Won't be together, of course, but you can find Anya and Angel. They'll keep you company until we're together again.”
“Not sure if you're going to Valhalla, Heaven or somewhere else. Whatever it is- it'll be nice. I promise,” he whispers. “You've earned it, Pet. If anyone deserves it, it's you.”
His eyes drift to the monitor. The green line of life grows further and further apart. The oxygen numbers go lower and lower- 95, 93, 90, 87, 82....
“It's alright. Don't worry.” Spike's words are gentle, almost calming. “You're going to be alright, Pet. You're going to be alright.” Tears begin to fill his eyes but he shakes them off.
This isn't the time to cry.
There will be plenty of time for tears later.
Spike feels as though there are so many words that need to be said. After all, this is the last chance they'll have to be together until they meet again.
However, he can't seem to find any of them.
In the moment, he is silent.
Suddenly, a piercing wail breaks the silence.
There's a single straight line moving across the monitor.
Xander is gone.
This was very nicely written. Thank you for sharing this, even tho I cried.