Pairing : Spike/Xander
Rating : NC17
Summary: The words of a prophecy force Spike and Xander closer than they ever thought they would ever become but will it be close enough?
A/N : Inspired by plot bunny/challenge posted here: http://spanderfiles.com/grp/challenges.html
Lady Q: Write a story based on the meaning of Xander's name. Alexander means: Defender of Men and Warrior. So I would like to see a story based on the meaning of his name and Xander coming to understand it
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The Big Bad was back in evidence when Spike stepped back into the shop. Inwardly stunned at Xander – who knew the boy had the knackers to make the first move like that?! And what exactly did it mean? - outwardly he seemed nonchalant and almost cocky as he walked back into the meeting.
Everyone had settled down at least – the shouting had hurt his sensitive ears, and to him seemed pretty pointless. What was there to argue about? If there was a choice to make, it was down to him and Xander – all the rest of it was just noise. When Angel had explained to him what was going on, Spike had been sceptical – more than anything, it sounded like the Powers that Like to Fuck you over were playing some nasty little trick and he didn't particularly want to set himself up for whatever butt-fuck they were planning. But the more Angel explained – some of it about Xander's possessions, some of it about the Vampire Codex – Spike found himself accepting more and more that this was meant to happen. And, rightly or wrongly, there was a part of him that liked it. That liked the fact that this one person was destined to belong to him and only him, tied to him by spiritual and magical means for ever, never to be taken away. Ok, so it took some getting used to that the one person was ruddy Harris of all people, but it wasn't as if the Whelp was unattractive. He'd grown into his lanky body, and construction had put some pleasing muscles onto his frame. It wasn't a hardship to look at him – that shaggy dark hair, and those ruddy eyes! Sharp, clear, but with the capacity to be warm and loving......
Shaking his head, he brought his attention back to the room. Red was the one to watch – she seemed to be taking it all very personally that Xander was the centre of attention, that he was in a prophecy and even worse, alongside Spike. He had always gotten along with her – relatively speaking – although after her 'My will be done' spell he'd made it perfectly clear that chip or no chip, she better keep her mojo to herself around him or he'd rip her fucking skull open and pull her eyes out from the inside! For some reason, he hadn't been included in the rash of cookies that she had baked as an apology – funny that! Smirking, Spike took his customary position on the stairs watching, listening and waiting.
It seemed that the conversation had gone past accepting that he and Xander were the Defender and Protector and had moved onto the implications of them undertaking the Vampire ritual – and the consequences if they didn't. It surprised him that the Watcher was being so – well, so reasonable. It set his teeth on edge, made him wonder what was going on in his mind that it was acceptable. For a moment, Spike felt like growling as he thought how easily they were sacrificing his Xander to their cause, then he almost laughed out loud as he realised he was complaining about the fact that the Watcher was supporting the very thing Spike found that he wanted. Him and Xander together.
Giles was obviously struggling to keep his temper because he was speaking through gritted teeth. “Willow, I would ask that you cease and desist this instant. No-one here wants to throw Xander's life away on the say-so of a few words as you so eloquently put it. Both Wesley and I have researched this most thoroughly and will continue to do so. Your over-emotional reaction is not going to help Xander make this decision and if you were half the friend you claimed to be you would understand that”.
“Don't you ever say I'm not a good friend to Xander!! He and I have been friends since kindergarten – since before all of this slaying and prophecies and evil vampires! You have no right to - “
“No!! YOU have no right to make this harder on him than it has to be! This is not about you – this is about Xander. And Spike. And the decision they need to make about whether to undertake this ritual, without undue pressure – from either side. If they decide that they cannot make this commitment, then we all need to be working together to find alternative action. And if they decide that they will go ahead, we need to be supportive. Regardless, your emotional ramblings are not helping, and if you can't calm yourself down then I think the best thing you can do is go home!” Stunned silence greeted this announcement, and everyone looked at their feet, shuffling them uncomfortably.
“Xander? Am I making this harder on you?” Her voice was small in the room, and she turned her the full weight of her gaze onto Xander. “I – I'm just trying to save you – I don't want - “
“Yeah but it's not about what you want now is it Red?” Spike walked over, unconsciously aligning himself with Xander so that the two of them were faced off against her together. “S'gonna be hard enough on the boy making a decision like this without you twanging his strings to do what you want him to do”.
“Well you would say that wouldn't you? Golden opportunity to get your claws into someone, a chance to make yourself feel like you belong? What's the matter Spike? Can't get someone to take pity on you so you're grabbing this with both hands? It's disgusting - you're disgusting and Buffy should have staked you when you first came to us after the Initiative neutered you!”
“Willow! That's enough!” Shockingly, it was Xander who shouted at her, his words echoed by Angel and Buffy as Spike flinched from her vitriol. “I don't know what's going on with you Wills, but I gotta tell you I don't like it. This isn't Spike's doing and taking it out on him, being such a bitch to him – and yes, Will, you are being a bitch – isn't helping anything. If you care about me at all, you'll let me make this choice and not make it harder on me than it needs to be. Because releasing evil from below because I'm a bit squicked about getting up close and personal with Fangless isn't something I can do just because you want me to stay the same old Xander that I was at school”. Holding his hands out placatingly, Xander lowered his tone and moved closer to her. “Come on, Willow, what is this all about? Because we've all done things we've not been happy with for the greater good. Why is this so different?”
“Because it just is. I don't want you to be his – I don't want you to belong to Spike like some – some weird Pet!! You're not his and he has no RIGHT to you!!”
“No, Xander – you're MINE!!! I don't mean that in a – a Pet kinda way. But you've always been mine, always there for me when I need you. And if you do this – that won't happen any more. You won't have time for me”. Her voice trembled, and for a moment Xander felt himself wavering, understanding how she was feeling. He had struggled for so long, feeling on the outside, like he didn't belong. There was no way he would ever want Willow to feel that way, not if there was something he could do to prevent that. “You're not special, Xander, you're just you. And I don't want that taken away from me. And I can't believe you would be that selfish -”
“Yes, yes, Xander, you're being selfish. You've been pulling away from me for months, and now you're practically throwing yourself into Spike's arms like some puppy! Aren't I enough for you? I thought we would be friends forever, but now - “
“But now what? What Willow? No point holding back now is there? I mean, forget the fact that you were the one to go off to college and not have time to just hang with me anymore. Or how I've always just followed behind you and Buffy blindly, there when you needed me and conveniently out of the way when you didn't. I lost Cordelia because of how much your friendship meant to me and I put up with being shoved aside because you needed to convince Oz that you were with him. But that was ok because I understood. Oh and obviously what I felt for Cordelia wasn't as valid as what you felt for Oz because, hey, it was just about how I felt! But now? Now when I need you to understand – suddenly we're not going to be friends anymore? What – because I might have someone for me?? It's not even about him being a vampire is it?? Because you were all on the Buffy/Angel wagon. So what is it Willow?? Am I selfish because maybe, however big the fear – and believe me, the fear factor is WAY high – maybe I want something for ME? Someone for me? Is that what this is Willow – you scared you won't have me as your back-up plan anymore?”
“Xander – enough now.” And suddenly Buffy was there, pulling him away from being all up in Willow's face. A face that had crumpled in on itself as she wrapped her arms around her waist, sank to her knees and cried. But worse than that, so much worse than he had ever really feared – or admitted to himself – was hearing Willow admit to him, and herself.
“Yes – oh my Goddess, yes that is exactly what I'm afraid of. What kind of a friend am !?!”
As Buffy went to Willow, wrapping her arms around her and trying to get her back to his feet, Xander was left standing alone, feeling lower than low for shouting at his friend, for breaking her down until she was weeping at his feet. His instincts were to go to her, to comfort her, but part of him realised that if he did that, it wouldn't solve things. Part of him seemed to be standing back and wondering if he was being manipulated, whether this was just another way – conscious or not – of Willow getting him where she wanted him. And while he struggled with those feelings, with those thoughts, he felt so very very alone. Until strong arms wrapped around him from behind and he was tugged into Spike's arms. And for the first time in a long time, almost as long as he could remember, there was someone to put him first and comfort him instead of him always being the comforter. And it felt good.
Chapter 7 to come