Title: Miles to Go (Chapt 3 of 4)
Rating: hard R
Feedback: Suit yourself, just no permanent damage, k.
Disclaimer: Unfortunately, neither set of pretty kittens are mine, and I must be content to merely play with them, but I will gladly groom and bathe them all before sending them back home to their Daddy’s (aka Joss/Mutant Enemy/et al, Kripke/McG/et al, respectively- oh, and a bunch of other corporate-type ppl who aren’t me).
Warnings/Squicks: post-Chosen, no such thing as S8, AU
Summary: Xander isn’t coping well with the aftermath of Sunnydale, but Willow thinks she may have found just what the doctor ordered…
***Chapter 3: Darkest Night of the Year***
“Where’s DM? He alright? I want to see him.”
“DM?” Wes’ cultured British voice asked.
“Right. Xander- how is he?”
“He lost a great deal of blood, but he’s a resilient young man. He’ll recover.”
Dean visibly relaxed, “Can I see him?”
“Shortly. We need to get some information first, if you don’t mind.”
“And if I do?” Dean was not a happy man. He was trying to be patient, after all these were Xander’s friends, but it was difficult when he was being treated like the enemy and wasn’t getting any real answers.
“Please, Mr. Winchester, we just need to know what happened.”
As he spoke, Angel came in. “Wes?” He pulled the ex-Watcher aside, whispering, “Could you go find Spike?”
Wesley nodded once and went in search of the wayward vamp.
Angel sat down in the chair across from Dean, “What exactly happened?”
“We were watching the warehouse, like you asked. Around 4 a.m., DM sees a group of vamps herding some humans into the building. He told me to call you and he went to check it out. Your guys showed up, all hell broke loose, you brought me back here, and I still haven’t gotten to see DM!”
Angel sighed, this was uncomfortably reminiscent of dealing with his petulant Childe and Xander Harris rolled into one.
As if on cue, the door to his office opened, “Oi, what’s the emergency Peaches? Someone nick your hair-gel?”
“You must be Penfold,” Dean smirked. He’d heard enough about the supposedly dead vamp to put two and two together.
“Uh, Peaches?” Spike was barely holding his temper in check. He’d spent the past few months as a ghost-thing getting sucked into Hell too often for his own comfort, then that crazed Slayer when he’d finally got his body back, and now some punk git who smelt of his boy was comparing him to a hamster. Spike was not amused.
“Spike, this is Dean Winchester. He and Xander were lending a hand…”
Spike might be a deca-duo-generian, but that didn’t mean his brain was slow. He couldn’t keep himself from growling, “Where’s the Whelp?”
Angel sighed again, “The infirmary. Fred and Lorne are with him,” but he was talking to a closed door. He ventured a look at Dean, who managed to look as smug as his Childe ever did. “Well, come on,” the elder vamp groused.
Spike was torn, he had spent more time than he cared to admit ‘thinking’ while he was doing his ghost impression and more often than not those thoughts had been of a dark-eyed dark-haired boy rather than a blonde, hazel-eyed Slayer. He could admit that he missed Xander. He could admit that he cared about the stupid git, wanted him even. But unless there had been some major changes in the boy- well, let’s just say, he figured his chances were better with Buffy. Still, his boy was here and he had to see him.
He didn’t stop for directions, instead relying on his enhanced senses of smell and hearing to lead him to the mortal. He purposeful stride slowed as familiar voices drifted to his ears.
“He should be fine. Wesley said he’s had a lot worse- what with livin’ on the Hellmouth and all.”
“Fred, pumpkin, who’re you trying to convince?”
“Sorry,” Spike could tell Fred was curling up on herself and looking smaller than a church mouse.
“Tut-tut, none of that. Stud muffin here is going to be just fine. Besides tall, dark, and delicious has someone waiting for him now. It wouldn’t do for him to go just when things are getting interesting.”
Well, that was it, wasn’t it? The Whelp had a girl, probably one of the new Slayers. At least it made Spike’s decision easier. He’d check on the boy, get one last image to hold, one final whiff of that heady scent, then he’d go. He didn’t care where, just as long as it was away from the reminders of what he wanted and what he could never have. With an air of calmness he didn’t feel, Spike entered the boy’s room.
The green demon smiled at the younger vamp, “It’s about time Sunshine, come to check on your boy?”
The expression on the vamp’s face was somewhere between disinterest and contempt.
“Riiiight.” Taking the girl by the arm, “Fred, sugar, why don’t we get some java,” he steered the girl out of the room, “or some scotch?”
For several long minutes, Spike merely studied the boy- how dark he’d gotten, how his hair was getting shaggy again, how his face and body seemed just a bit leaner than before. Finally, he gave in and ran his hand over Xander’s warm face before pushing the hair from his forehead and placing a tender kiss there. “Love you, ya silly git,” he breathed as he stood up.
“Mmm, love you, too Spike,” the injured man whispered, still more unconscious than not. “Don’t go.”
Spike couldn’t believe what he’d heard, he didn’t dare believe it.
Meanwhile in the corridor outside Xander’s room, Dean was getting his first up close and personal encounter with a Pylean.
“Whoa.” Dean turned to the grumpy vampire with him, “Tell me that’s Lorne and not your idea of nursing staff.”
Angel’s expression dripped disdain and rather then answer the young man he turned his attention to the pair heading towards them. “How is he?”
“Still unconscious, but he’s getting his colour back.”
The vampire made to pass the demon and enter Xander’s room, when a green hand grabbed his arm, “Ah, Angelcakes, I wouldn’t do that just yet- Junior needs a minute.”
Wrinkling his brow in annoyance, Angel snapped, “Not now Lorne.”
“Yes, now. He needs…” Lorne stopped mid-sentence and the look of shock on Angel’s face told him the elder vamp had heard the words as well.
Visibly shaken, Angel whispered, “Does he?”
His friend smiled softly, “With his entire being.”
The vamp clapped the demon on the shoulder, nodding his head in understanding and grudging acceptance as he slowly moved to the entrance of the boy’s hospital room.
He could feel the eyes on him- his Sire’s eyes. Not “Angel”, his eyes full of mistrust, regret, and self-loathing, but his Sire. Eyes that spoke of pride, possession, and protection- for the first time in almost a century Spike felt his Sire in Angel.
As the younger vampire stood transfixed on the man who’d just declared his love, Angel placed a hand on the blonde’s slim shoulder.
Spike closed his eyes, a whimpered, “Sire,” escaped his lips as cool tears escaped his eyes.
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Would you have believed me?”
“Will…” but the elder vamp knew he was right. “I’m sorry, Will, for everything.”
To Angel’s surprise and secret delight, Spike’s response was to cover his Sire’s hand with his own and squeeze.
“He’s going to be fine.”
“I know- bloody git’s like a cockroach, impossible to kill. I just…,” Spike turned to face the dark vamp, “Do you think he meant it? Or is he going to go back to hating me when he wakes up?”
“Doubt that Penfold, you’re all he talks about- hell, it’s why Eglantine sent us here, DM doesn’t know that, but it is… you are. He loves you.”
The younger vampire stared into the face of the unconscious young man and ran his pale fingers through the dark hair, “Red sent you…,” his voice filled with awe and hope, “…figures.”
Xander felt fuzzy, but he was aware of two things without doubt. The most obvious was that he hurt, a lot. The second was that someone was next to him and that someone was holding his hand tightly. When he finally got his eyes to open and focus, he realized he was in a hospital room, and almost as quickly realized he must be dreaming. He had to be dreaming because the sapphire eyes studying him couldn’t be real, anymore than the twinkle of love in them could be real. Real or not, it was a nice dream…
Spike’s hand caressed Xander’s face and his simple words were full of emotion. “Hey, pet. How’ya feeling?”
“Dreaming…,” the mortal mumbled through dry lips.
He touched the vampire’s face, “Wish you were real. So much to tell you, so much…”
“Xander, ‘m right here, luv.” He squeezed the confused man’s hand, then brought it to his lips for a kiss. “See. Real.”
“No. Spike would never be nice to me, not the way things were between us, so you have to be a dream or a hallucination. And that was awfully coherent for dream logic- going back to sleep now.”
The rich chuckle from the maybe-real-vampire surprised Xander more than the possibility that said vamp was real did.
Shaking his head Spike attempted to explain, “Anybody’d told me I’d miss your yammering, I would’ve happily skewered them. But they would’ve been right.” Spike studied the large tanned hand being held and stroked by his pale one. “Missed a lot about you. Hells, Xan, I just missed you.”
“Spike? If this isn’t real, you can’t hold anything that happens or is said against me, right?”
“Good.” Xander carefully rolled up leaning on his elbow, his face millimetres away from Spike’s. The young man laced his free hand in the vamp’s platinum locks pulling the vampire’s lips to his. *Hmm, soft, so soft. Never thought his lips would be so damn soft. He tastes exactly like I thought he would though- spicy sweet with a hint of coppery tang. Gods, I want this so bad; I wish it was real.* When he pulled back from the kiss, both men were panting and Spike’s blue eyes were rimmed with gold.
He pressed his forehead to the mortal’s, “What if it isn’t a dream?”
“Then I hope to the gods I didn’t imagine you kissing me back.”
“I can guarantee it wasn’t your imagination, pet. It was every bit as real as this,” and he took his boy’s mouth in a powerful and toe-curling kiss. Within moments, Spike had curled himself around Xander with the boy’s dark head comfortably tucked in the crook between the vampire’s shoulder and neck.
Xander wasn’t sure how it had happened, not that he was complaining; he simply chalked it up to yet another point on the ‘I Must Be Dreaming’ list. As Xander drifted off to sleep, or where ever you drift off to when you’re already dreaming, he found himself marvelling at the way the smaller man could make him feel so completely enveloped.
Several hours passed before Xander re-awoke. As familiar voices trickled to his ears, he subconsciously snuggled deeper into the cocoon-like embrace of his bed mate.
“You think he’ll wake up sometime this year?”
“I’m sure he will. He’s well outta the woods now. At this point, it’s just exhaustion and, considerin’ everything, probably more than a little shock that’s keepin’ him out.”
“He’s not that out.”
“He’s waking up,” the vamp offered by way of explanation.
“Hmph, with the way you lot ‘ave been jabbering on ‘s a wonder he slept at all,” Spike half snarled over his boy’s head.
Xander felt one of the hands around his back shift slightly and he knew Dean had just received a two fingered salute. He couldn’t help it, he smiled into the chest his head was buried against.
“C’mon, pet, stop playin’ ‘possum an’ show the gits you’re alright. Sooner they get to poke and prode you, sooner they’ll leave us be, yeah.”
Xander raised his head to the smiling face of the not-so-dusty vamp he loved, “It wasn’t a dream then.”
“Told ya it wasn’t.”