Cast: Spike, Xander
Rating: NC-17 (to be safe)
Warning: Angst, attempted suicide, mentions of m/f and hints of pre-slash. Remaining versions will have their own warnings.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything except the computer I'm typing this on and am making no money. The fandoms all belong to their respective creators and owners who *are* making money off them. I'm just doing this for my own fun and entertainment; in general, if you recognize something, I don't own it.
Beta: NONE! Any mistakes are mine, sorry
Summary: Spike comes home to a note, just one word, “Why?”
A/N: Influenced by this picture http://darkstarfic.com/why.jpg (a pencil writing the word “Why?” on notebook paper), a picture prompt at writers_toybox. I’ve decided to call this my Whyverse. There will be several “chapters” to this, each one being a different version on the theme so none are actually related. Currently I have three stories in mind ranging from incredibly dark and angst-y (I made myself cry writing it) to completely sweet and fluffy.
A/N 2: Ok, this is the slightly angst-y version, but never fear, it has a happy ending. If you want complete dark angst, check out the first version Why it Went Wrong. Also, as previously stated, I have one more version in mind of the completely happy, fluffy bunny and rainbows sort, but if anybody has any requests for other chapters, I’m open to ideas.
Spike growled in frustration as he trudged up the apartment building’s stairs, the bloody lift being out of order again. He’d told the whelp he’d be gone ‘til dawn probably, had a poker night with the guys. Unfortunately, he’d had shite hands the first half dozen rounds and managed to lose spectacularly to some demon who was in town on holiday visiting the Hellmouth, like it was some sorta religious sight or something. Supposed to those that didn’t have to live there and deal with the damn thing day in and day out, it could be. Point was, it was barely past midnight, he was broke, outa smokes and liquor, and he was turning in for the night. There weren’t even any new fledges out to stake. He knew; he’d checked each and every one of Sunnydale’s numerous cemeteries on the way back home.
And wasn’t that just salt on an open wound. He was a Master vampire, one fourth of the Scourge of Europe, and “home” was with the whelp, the Slayer’s bloody white knight himself, Xander bleeding Harris. Though he did realize he was being a mite ungrateful seeing as the boy didn’t have to put him up, in fact it had been the boy’s idea for the two of them to move in together, to share a decent apartment together instead of Spike living out of a deserted crypt. Not to mention the boy buying his blood for him, and conveniently leaving out just enough money on the coffee table for a pack of smokes every now and then. And he kept the Slayer, the Witch, and the Watcher…he snorted in laughter, would make a good title for a movie, at least the kind he and the boy tended to watch late at night while they were curled up on the couch… off his back.
Of course they weren’t exactly paying either of them much attention recently, Rupert too busy trying to juggle Red’s growing magical ability as well as Buffy’s typical cluelessness about anything not directly involving her. Only time they asked about their “Xander-shaped friend” was when he didn’t show up and they missed out on their snacks, never mind that the boy worked a full day doing tiring construction work only to come home long enough to shower and change and stuff some kind of snack cake in his mouth before he was off and running to play Zeppo for his “friends,” keeping him out until the wee hours of the morning only to have to get up and start the process all over again.
Yes, Spike had no problem turning his anger at his situation in life onto the other three Scoobies. Their neglect was going to cost them more than they ever imagined if they didn’t wise up quick like. Of course that still left Xander’s demon bint, Anya, to look after him, though that was debatable as well. Stupid girl was too busy worrying about money and orgasms to actually think of the person that was helping to provide both for her. Oh, yes, he knew Xander was helping to pay Anya’s bills, buying her clothes and trinkets. The boy had simple tastes, and despite the money he spent on Spike’s blood, with no contributions from any of the others at that, he should have more than enough money saved up to do whatever he wanted. Too bad Spike had heard him telling Anya that they couldn’t go out because he was broke, because he’d already taken her out several times that week, because he’d already bought her other stuff. At least he was getting orgasms outa the ex-demon in return, though come to think of it, he hadn’t heard any of the pair’s normal nightly get-togethers in a couple weeks either.
Lost in his thoughts, he absently unlocked the door and let himself in before closing and locking it behind him. Turning around, something crinkled under his boot. Lifting his boot up he saw a note with the bottom corner torn off, a grey boot tread almost masking the word under it. Picking the two pieces of paper up, he looked at the torn piece first, just one word written in pencil in Xander’s messy handwriting, “why?” Muttering to himself, he propped his hip on the back of the couch and began to read the note, figuring it needed reading if it was lying out in the middle of the floor and all.
Spike, I’m sorry. I know you’re probably going to be the one to find this, to have to deal with what I‘m going to do, so first off, I’m sorry. I’m just so tired of everything. Buffy and Wills keep growing further and further away from me, my best friends, we’ve fought apocalypses together, held each other’s hands through loss and heartbreak, and they barely look at me anymore except to ask if I’ve remembered the doughnuts. And Giles, he used to at least sorta care about me, but now, he’s so busy with the girls, with all the drama they each keep creating for themselves, he just brushes me off anytime I try to actually talk to him.
And Anya, gods, what can I say about her. I love her, I guess. I feel I should after everything I’ve done for her, but it’s not like it matters now anyway. She’s left me, for some chaos demon, you should appreciate that. After everything, she doesn’t even bother to break up in person, she calls and tells me “thanks for the orgasms, but I’ve found better and he’s rich.” How do I even compete with that? Then again, I don’t think I want to. And my parents, well it’s not like they’ve ever given a damn about me, you know that from when you first lived with me. I kinda just feel numb inside, Spike. Everybody that I thought loved me, cared about me, is abandoning me. Right now, you’re the best friend I have, and you’ve tried to kill or torture me I don’t know how many times. But then, I guess you know about being abandoned too. Deadboy and Dru certainly didn’t seem to mind skipping out on you. Maybe that’s why I’m leaving this letter, because I think you out of anybody would understand how I feel right now. Which makes me a horrible person, because I guess that means I’m skipping out on you now too.
You really have been great to have around, despite how much I know I bitch at you about stupid shit, but I think you see through all that to what I don’t say. Who knows, maybe I’m giving you too much credit and you really do hate my guts and couldn’t care less. I like my version better though, so I’m going with it.
So, it’s like this, Spike. I’ve cleaned out what’s left of my bank account after all the money I wasted on Anya, and it’s stuffed in a bag on my bed. There’s a few bags of blood in the fridge, the good stuff too. Take the money and whatever you want in the apartment and leave; make a new life for yourself somewhere that makes you happy. Leave this note so the others know you didn’t do anything to me, but we both know they’d still come after you anyways; I think they’ve just been wanting an excuse recently.
I’m sorry, Spike. I tried to take care of things the cleanest way I knew, didn’t want you to have to clean up after me. Just wish somebody could tell me what I did that was so wrong that everyone I cared about abandoned me. After everything I’ve done for them, they throw me out like yesterday’s news. Why?”
Face twisting into a fierce scowl the longer he read, reading faster and faster the further he went, he looked around the empty apartment, finally noticing the absolute stillness of the room. “What the hell? Xander?”
Dropping the letter, Spike darted through the apartment, looking in the small galley kitchen, each bedroom, the closets, before stopping in front of the closed bathroom door. Scenting blood, he reached for the doorknob. Surely, the boy wouldn’t do… he musta just nicked himself shaving again, Spike kept telling him he was doing it subconsciously so Spike could get a free meal…he wouldn’t really…
Realizing that time might be slipping away, he shoved the door open, sucking in an unneeded breath at the sight before him. Xander was in the tub, apparently naked, head lolled lifelessly?…gods, he better not be…against the wall, the water lapping at the sides a horrible red. Cursing, he ran the small distance, dragging the boy out and onto the shaggy bath mat, vamping out, not because of the blood which was incredibly diluted from the water, but in order to hear a heart beat, his fingertips pressing against the normally strongly pulsing vein in the boy’s neck. “Please, Xander, you’ve gotta be alive. You can’t do this to me, you bloody wanker. Who’s gonna buy my blood and watch bad movies with me and…and…”
Feeling liquid on his cheek, he realized he was crying over the boy…his boy…his friend. When’d he let the human get so close. He knew better; humans had such brief lives. Yelling happily as a slow thud finally echoed in the barely moving chest, Spike tore the nearby towel into strips, binding Xander’s wrists, not that much blood was actually flowing anymore. Patting one too pale cheek, trying to get some reaction from him, Spike cursed and prayed and swore that if “Xander would just be okay, I’ll take care of him, proper like, just don’t let him die on me.”
“Come on, Xan-pet, just stay with me, I’m gonna call an ambulance. I can’t give you any blood, you’ve lost too much, I might turn ya or somethin’ and gods only know what would happen with your luck. Just stay with me, ‘kay?”
Brushing a trembling hand over the silky, dark hair, he tore through the small living area, looking for the phone, dialing 911 as he unlocked the door and ran back to his charge, kneeling next to him as he felt for his pulse once more. “Please, Xander, don’t leave me too.”
“911, state your emergency.”
“Oh, thank the gods, you’ve gotta get here quick, me mate, he tried to off himself, slit his wrists in the bathtub, he’s almost gone, barely any pulse. Please hurry! Yeah, we’re at…”
Everything was muffled, his body felt like it was wrapped in cotton, his ears felt like they were stuffed with it. He thought he had heard a voice, Spike maybe? Lots of voices actually. He remembered getting cold, wondered if that was how Spike felt, or if Spike even felt the cold. He felt bad for leaving the mess to Spike, but it was gonna be the last mess of his anybody ever had to deal with.
What was that noise? It was beeping, but not like his alarm clock. It sounded faint and kind of foggy, maybe he did have cotton in his ears. And there were more voices…yelling? Too muffled. Was there supposed to be yelling in heaven? Of course maybe he went to hell…or maybe he was just stuck in limbo. Limbo was fun, he hadn’t played that game in years.
He hurt but he was numb. Wait, that didn’t make sense. Okay, his body was numb, but his arms hurt. Why? Oh yeah, he had sliced them open with a really sharp knife. Funny, it hadn’t hurt that much at the time, stung some, but not like the stab wounds or sword slashes he’d gotten in fights. It actually wasn’t too bad, peaceful almost, gave him a lot of time to think though. He wondered if Spike had found his body when he got home. He felt bad about that. He and Spike were actually starting to get kinda close recently.
That beeping was getting annoying, and his wrists itched, and something was all bunched up under his thigh and it was bugging him, and people were talking again…loudly. Oh wait, there they went, now they were yelling again. He felt he should recognize those voices. Maybe his dead relatives? Nobody in his family got along, it was amazing any of them managed to procreate.
Daring to open his eyes just a crack, Xander winced and quickly shut them again, blinded by the extremely bright white light. Maybe he had made to heaven, so what was with all the yelling? He tried to rub his eyes since the bright light had made them start watering only to find he couldn’t move his arms. Trying to figure out why that might be, he started moving each toe and finger make sure that something wasn’t wrong with them while absently listening to voices that were apparently surrounding him from the sounds of it.
“…your bloody fault! If you stupid bints had just taken the time…”
“Who are you calling stupid? This is your fault, you tried to kill him didn’t you!”
“How stupid are you, Slayer? If I tried to kill him, I woulda been passed out long before I succeeded thanks to this bloody chip you won’t help me get rid of.”
“Well…well, why would we? You’d just come and kill us all, or try, cause Buffy would so totally stop you first, and then you’d be all dusty. If you didn’t do that to Xander, than who did? He wouldn’t just… not Xan…”
“I showed you the bloody note, Red, in the boy’s own handwriting, how much more proof do you want? Just because you three didn’t realize what your neglect was doing to him, now you feel bad cause you almost lost him. He’s not some toy to be tossed to the side ‘til you want to play with him. And you call yourselves his friends!”
“That’s, that’s enough, Spike. We, we’ve all been through a lot these past few months and now with Xander…well, yes, we’re all under a lot of stress. There’s no need to take that tone with the girls.”
“Take that tone…Rupes, you’re as bloody clueless as they are! That boy looks up to you, like a father figure, and you just ignore him. You can’t even be bothered to properly train him to fight, but you still expect him to be there every time. And he is! To please the lot of you! How can you…”
“Spi…Spike?” Xander’s voice cracked halfway through the name, his voice raspy, his throat dry and tasting metallic. “’S’okay… I’m….not…not worth…the fuss.”
A chorus of voices called his name, but it was a cool, slender hand that grasped his own. Daring to try to open his eyes once more, he was momentarily blinded by the white fluorescent lights overhead before a pale angular face leaned over him and he was left staring up into worried eyes the most beautiful shade of blue. Xander tired to smile, to squeeze the hand clutching his, but his body didn’t quite want to cooperate. “Hi.”
“Hi? That’s all you have to say to me after how much you made me worry? When you’re better, the two of us are gonna have a little talk, luv.” Spike’s voice was soft, his free hand coming up to smooth back the tousled hair that had fallen in his boy’s eyes.
“Move, Spike! Xander! Are you okay? How are you feeling? Do you need anything? How could you do that? Did you do that? Spike did something to you, didn’t he? That’s it, me and Mr. Pointy are going to have a quick talk with Bleachy!”
As experienced with babble as he was, it still took Xander a minute to figure out what Buffy had said, the sedatives and pain killers he was on leaving him muddled. “No!” Coughing as the outburst made his throat cramp, he groaned. “Owww. No, Buffy. It was all me….just like I said… in my note.”
“But, but Xander, why didn’t you say anything to us? You know we love you. And you’re my bestest friend. We could have helped you.”
Xander turned his head enough to look at Willow who now stood at his other side, wishing he had Spike’s calm presence back instead. “I tried…talking to you. You were…always too…busy for me. Tried talking to…Buffy and Giles too. Nobody…nobody cared.”
He could here the rustle of cloth, figured Giles was polishing his glasses. Looking around the two girls, he spotted Spike huddled in the far corner of the room. “Can you please…please go…just wanna…rest.”
The girls agreed, almost too quickly, and he was sure he saw guilt in their eyes and for once, he honestly didn’t care. They should feel guilty as far he was concerned. He watched as they all filed out of the room, wishing him well and promising to be back to visit soon. He simply watched them go. Until Spike got to the door that is. “Spike! Owwww”
“Here, luv, try this.” Spike picked up something next to Xander’s hospital bed and his hand was suddenly hovering in front of his face. Giving the blonde a quizzical look, he finally felt the cold wetness brushed across his dry, cracked lips. Oh, ice chips. Opening his mouth eagerly, he couldn’t help the happy moan that slipped from him as the liquid coated his mouth and throat. He heard Spike laugh softly, but didn’t care, simply opened his mouth for more.
“If I’d known it was this easy to please ya, I woulda tried this a lot sooner, pet.”
For some reason, it made Xander blush. Which then brought up a good question…how’d he have enough blood to blush? And how’d he wind up in the hospital?
“How’d I get here? Couldn’t even manage killing myself right?”
Spike growled, eyes going gold as he fought his emotions at the boy’s careless words. “Scared me near to death you did. Came home to that note, then found you in the tub… Almost wasn’t enough of ya there to save, pet.” Spike choked up slightly, turning his head to stare at the machines that were showing Xander’s vitals until he managed to get himself back under control. “I called the ambulance, they came and got ya, started ya on a transfusion and whatnot. Been here a couple days. The others have been by to check on ya. Keep threatening me, wanting me to tell the ‘truth’ about what happened. Won’t believe that I didn’t have anything to do with it.”
“Sorry…so sorry, Spike. Didn’t mean to make things….more difficult for you. Shoulda just…taken the money…and run.”
Spike looked down at their clasped hands, at the bandages wrapped around his boy’s wrists, bright white and accusing against his tan skin. “Couldn’t leave ya. Found I…care about you. Maybe more than just a friend, not sure. Haven’t had a real friend in a very long time, ya know. But you…you’re my friend, Xander. I couldn’t just let you die without trying to help you, and I couldn’t turn you, not without you telling me it was what you wanted.”
Xander finally got his hand to work and squeezed Spike’s, the vamp’s words warming him, filling some neglected part of him he hadn’t even realized was there. “I think…think I’d like to find out…later.”
Spike looked at him surprise before smiling brightly, his free hand reaching up to smooth back Xander’s hair once more. “I’d like that. But first, you’ve got to go to some kinda shrink or somethin’ cause of what ya did. But then…” Spike paused, debating on asking what had been hovering at the edges of his mind ever since he found out his boy would make it. “Would you think about maybe coming with me? Leaving this place for good. We could go to LA and stay with Peaches for a bit, figure out what we want to do from there. Could go see the world. There’s a lot out beyond California to see.”
Xander smiled softly as he watched Spike. It was so odd seeing the normally brash man, bashful. It was cute, not that he’d tell him that to his face. “I think… I think I’d like that too.”
A nurse stepped in the room, interrupting the quiet moment. “Mr. Harris? Oh, I’m sorry sir, but visiting hours are over. I’ll give you two a couple minutes to say goodbye.”
“I’ll be back as soon as visiting hours start again. You just focus on getting better ‘cause I’m gonna kick your sorry arse for worrying me when you get home.”
Xander laughed tiredly, that was his Spike. Squeezing his hand, he nodded. “Yes, sir!” He watched as Spike got to the door, almost walked through it. “And Spike…thanks…for everything. I guess I thought wrong.”
“Yeah, ya did, but it’s okay, because you’re gonna have me to help you think right from now on.”
Xander watched him leave and tolerated the nurse fussing over him before falling back to sleep, a peaceful smile on his face. Things were going to be alright.