Title: Hours of Forever
Length: Mys is considering it completed at 3 parts...
...the first can stand-alone, the second and third need at least a knowledge of the first, and
unfortunately I already know there will be follow-up fic(let)s- the bunnies are already overflowing the HoF-hutch
Rating: PG-13 heading towards a soft R, unless you're my gran then you'd prolly consider it XXX
Feedback: No permanent damage, please
DISCLAIMER: Just playing with the pretty kittens. Unfortunately, they are not mine, but I will gladly groom and bathe them before sending them back home to Daddy (aka Joss/Mutant Enemy/et al).
Many, many hugs and thanks to the lovely estepheia *shamelessly pushes ppl towards Estepheia's fic archive* for allowing me to
Summary: This is Spike. Spike got a soul. Spike wants forgiveness.
This is Xander. Xander is human. Xander doesn't believe Spike.
This is Willow. Willow is a witch. Willow wants the boys to play nice.
See Spike prove himself to Xander.
See Spike and Xander become friends.
See Spike and Xander become more than friends!
AN1: Most of you know all those ’Hour’ fics brought on by estepheia’s challenge...
Before we go any further Mys would like to clarify that absolutely, no offense to any author is meant by the following statement, Mys is simply stating a trend she noticed.
...this is what happens when Mys reads too many of them and notices that the majority focus D/s, BDSM, or just plain sex. Now, I was a ’Nilla Wafer for many years, so I have no problem with the BDSM scene.
Anywhose this is Mys’ take on the challenge.
AN2: *…* indicate thoughts, but I can never make things easy so you’ll also find *(…)* in this fic. The difference being Spike and William. Don’t get freaked, I don’t have them as separate entities but they do have their own voices in Spike’s head, so *…* indicates either Xander’s or Spike’s internal musings and *(…)* represent the more William-y part of Spike. Sometimes you’ll see *Blah. (Blah.)* both parts having the same words, that simply means that both subconsciouses agree and are having the same thought or emotion.
AN3: It really is Joe Bob Briggs’ review of Chopping Mall; Yeah, I would have preferred to find a review of Pinata (even if it wigged the timeline it woulda been worth it!) or even Valentine *gags*, but it was not to be; although I was tempted to use the Scream 2 review, if only for the "Bimbo balcony-flinging" comment. *snicker*
AN4: Thanks to wyvyrn and geek_girl33 for suggesting Lusiphur and the Poison Elves comics.
AN5: Being the evil library monkey that I am, I just had to try to find out if there was an accepted answer to the education question. I asked around about this and, other than what the boy most likely did professionally, there wasn’t much agreement. So, I did some digging and choose University College part of the University of London as William’s alma matre, and yes, the information in the story surrounding that institution is factual.
AN6: The story title and section headings are indeed from Concrete Blonde’s Days and Days, but this is NOT a song fic- do I even have to mention how depressing this would be if it WAS a song fic based on Days and Days? *cringes*
And a final THANK YOU to counterfeitcoin for her support and patience in enduring my babble! *hugs*
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Title: Hours of Forever
Chapter: Crossroads of a Minute
Feedback: Feel free, just don’t hurt me, k.
Crossroads of a Minute
"You’d really forgive him?" Disbelief coloured Xander’s words.
"Of course I would. He’s truly sorry. He fought for his soul so he could change."
"But Wills, it’s Spike, bottle-in-your-face, microscope-to-the-head, multiple-attempts-on-our-lives, not-to-mention-what-he-did-to-Buffy, Spike."
"I know Xander, but you forgave me and I had my soul and didn’t have a demon in me."
"You’re my Willow, you were hurting. How could I not forgive you?"
"The same way you won’t forgive Spike."
He knew she was right, and that it was the ultimate in hypocrisy for him to feel the way he did, but he just didn’t know if he could say he forgave the vamp and mean it. "You know, he offered me an hour."
Willow’s brow wrinkled as she tried to work out her friend’s statement. Giving up, she asked, "An hour for what?"
"Anything. Any revenge I want. For sixty minutes, he do it, take it, whatever- no questions, no lip," the dark haired young man turned pensive as he remembered the surreal conversation, still not knowing what to make of it.
"Goddess, he really wants this. I knew it was important to him, but to make that kind of offer. Xander, at least think about forgiving him- if not for him, then for me. Please."
Reluctantly, Xander nodded in agreement.
"Hey yourself." Xander eyed his oldest friend, after a lifetime together he knew when something was on her mind. "What is it Will?"
Sheepishly she asked, "Have you thought about the thing with Spike?"
Xander sighed deeply, he had been thinking about it and about why it was so hard for him to forgive his on-again off-again roomie. "Yeah, it’s just, how can I believe him? I think that if I knew that it was really Spike or his soul or whatever and not just the Big Bad playing another game, then maybe I could forgive him and mean it."
"Really! ‘cause if you’re serious I may know how he can prove it to you."
The familiar glint of knowledge in Willow’s eye should’ve worried him, but when all was said and done, he still trusted her with his life. Stuffing his reservations away, he asked, "How?"
"You can’t be serious!?"
"You said anything!"
"But nothing, you want my forgiveness then this is the price, you want me to understand then make me understand."
Spike was floored, of all the things Xander could’ve done or asked for this wasn’t even in the same league he’d been considering. Thing was that Xander’s form of payback was either the most vicious and cruel form of torment (and considering his ‘family’ that was saying something) or the sincerest offer of redemption fathomable. Spike’s internal battle raged all of about a minute, the soul, convinced he deserved Xander’s torment and craving forgiveness, drowned out Spike’s demon. "Alright, when?"
With spike’s agreement, Xander managed to relax slightly. "Your penance, your choice. Just sooner rather than later, yeah?"
The human’s relief was palpable and Spike found himself reconsidering the boy’s motives. "When’ll you get home tomorrow?" Of course, he didn’t need to ask, he knew damn well when Xander got off work and when he’d get home, but it wouldn’t do to let on that the Big Bad paid attention to such things.
"I usually make it in by five."
"Right then, your place, tomorrow, half-past. That do?"
"Sure." Xander was still shocked that his terms had been agreed to and for some reason felt he should at least offer to make the vamp comfortable, "You gonna need or want anything?"
"Nah," Spike shrugged, his mind already going over tomorrow’s encounter.
"’kay, well, tomorrow then."
As Xander walked away he heard the vampire mutter, "Nah, don’t need nothin’, ‘cept a couple bottles of Jack and a good sharp stake."
Xander left work early the following day, giving himself plenty of time to prepare for Spike’s visit. He really couldn’t figure out why he was so concerned with making the vamp feel at home. After all wasn’t this about retribution and earning forgiveness. Still, somehow Xander found himself concerned about their once mortal enemy.
As Xander was putting away the fresh blood bags it hit him- Spike no longer fit in the category of ‘mortal enemy’, hells, he didn’t even fit in the’(supposed) allies’ category with Broodboy. Xander realized, quite terrifyingly that the Bleached Menace was actually a… a friend! And just as he realized that, he also knew that however tonight played out Spike would have his forgiveness. Willow had been right- to not forgive Spike made as much sense as not forgiving her.
Xander had left his front door ajar to ease the entrance of his combustible companion. Right on cue at 5:30 exactly, a smoking blanket barrelled through his door. In one of his more suave moves, Xander didn’t blink as he held out a steaming mug of blood, quipping, "Don’t go all dusty on the carpet! I just vacuumed."
Shrugging off the singed blanket, Spike snatched the mug and blatantly searched the apartment.
Xander barely stifled his laughter at the vamp’s confused expression. "Looking for something, Spike?"
"Jus’ checkin’ for pods and evil twins," the blonde stated matter-of-factly as he slid down next to his host on the couch.
Xander smiled into the can as he sipped his soda. "Can even wiggle my pinkies, too."
"Ha, bloody, ha."
The two sat in a surprisingly companion-like silence as they nursed their drinks.
Spike set his emptied mug on the coffee table, "Ta for the blood. Ya know you didn’t need to."
Xander shrugged, "Wanted to."
*He wanted to!?! Maybe that evil twin idea wasn’t so off. That or something equally hellmouthy.* But Spike couldn’t ponder that too long, he was here to pay a debt after all. "We gonna do this?"
A long drawn-out sigh escaped the human’s lips, "Actually Spike, I don’t think we are."
No power on earth could’ve prepared Spike for that answer. He could feel his eyes go impossibly wide, "What the bloody effin’ hell do you mean?!?"
"Calm down Bleachy, just consider yourself forgiven, okay?"
"I just… I needed to believe you meant it. You know, you weren’t just fucking with us… me. Alright? I guess your agreeing to this, not to mention your actually showing up, convinced me." For the first time since the vamp arrived, Xander meet his gaze, "I forgive you. Clean slate." Suddenly Xander’s serious look did the facial equivalent of a single somersault triple twist dive, turning into one of the boy’s brightest smiles, "So, wanna watch things blow-up? Got more blood and a bottle of Jack in the kitchen."
"Sure," was the vamp’s stunned reply as he decided that now would be a good time to explore that ’something hellmouthy’ possibility from earlier.
Four breasts, three pints blood, one liter robot blood, ten dead bodies, three dead Killbots, one exploding head, three twisted-metal explosions, kamikaze forklift, gratuitous Paul Bartel, Mary Woronov, Dick Miller, foldout Fu, pink laser Fu, and turpentine Fu later, Spike was no closer to anything resembling a reasonable answer, and Xander was messing about in the kitchen.
When the mortal returned, he set two glasses and a hefty bottle of Tennessee’s Finest on the table in front of the brooding blonde vamp. "If you’re gonna mope, can we at least get drunk first?"
Xander hadn’t finished pouring the first drink when Spike seemed to find his voice.
"You know I used to fancy myself a poet." It was more a statement than a question. Spike had come here to lay himself, his life, his un-life bare to this man who had taken him in (however reluctantly) twice, who he had wronged more than any other human, who was one of the few people- human or demon- who could take the piss with him and give as well as he got. And he’d be damned- well, more than he already was- if he didn’t give the whelp something for his …trust …forgiveness …friendship …whatever it was going on between them.
The human finished pouring and handed a glass to Spike before taking a long swig of the bitter liquid and scrutinizing the souled vampire next to him, "That my peroxide predator explains so much."
Spike downed his drink in one go and turned an arched eyebrow at Xander, "Do tell."
Xander took another gulp, "Bet you’re all educated, too, college grad and everything. Right?"
His comments were met with a stoic silence.
"Ha! I knew it. You are." Xander wasn’t even attempting to hide his mirth- sputtering and giggling merrily.
Spike, on the other hand, was trying hard to calm his demon. *Stupid tosser (Shut up.) Why’d you think he’d be any different? (Thought he meant it.) Prat. Maybe one day you’ll remember that you’re the only one you can trust. You always have and always will be ALONE.* His whole body was tense, his eyes squeezed shut in concentration, and his teeth audibly grinding as he clenched his jaw.
He barely noticed the words being spoken to him, until a large warm hand squeezed his shoulder. "NO!" he hissed through deadly fangs and his eyes shot open revealing their demon amber.
Xander blanched and the smell of fear wafted to Spike’s acute senses. But there was something else, hurt… sadness even.
"Spike?" The young man turned warm chocolate eyes on the vampire. "I’m sorry… it’s… you’re such the stereo-typical anti-hero, the snarky Big Bad helping the good guys, and to find out… well, it really does explain a lot."
*(Told ya he meant it.) We’ll see.*
"Just don’t start dressing like Heathcliff, okay."
Spike let himself relax some, "Nah, think I’ll leave that to the Poof." He poured himself another large shot of Jack before quirking a scarred brow at his drinking partner, "Where’d you learn about anti-heroes anyway? For that matter, Heathcliff? Never took you for a Bronte man."
Rolling his eyes, "For a guy who’s spent as much time as you have pawing through my stuff, you sure don’t pay attention."
The vamp continued to look quizzically at Xander.
"My comics, Spike. What’s the one thing they all have in common?"
Spike quickly ran through a mental tally of the comics he ribbed the boy about so often. *Well bugger me!*
"Not to mention, your other favourite topic of torment- B5. Hello, G’kar, Garibaldi, Marcus, Neroon!? Can’t get much more anti-heroic than that bunch."
Spike gave a smirking nod and toasted the air with his glass, "Point." Knocking back his drink, *Let’s see how much the boy does know.* "More of a Lusiphurian myself."
Xander sputtered and tried not to spew his mouthful of liquor over the vamp. "Alright, now that surprises me- you read Poison Elves!?!" He shook his head, slightly amazed, "Guess there’s hope for you yet."
"Funny Harris, I was just thinking the same about you."
The two men shared open, amused smiles and clinked their glasses in toast.
"Now then, Bronte?"
"Hardly. Your turn Bloodbreath- how educated are you?"
"Matriculated university in ’78. Bronte?"
"Not so fast, what was your degree in?"
"Didn’t get a degree- least not the way you lot mean. University College didn’t get sanctioned to grant degrees ’til close to twenty years after I was turned."
"And in English?"
Spike rolled his expressive eyes, "Was English, moron, but for you I’ll try to dumb it down."
Xander didn’t react other than to pour up more whiskey for both of them.
*Oh, sheepish Spike. Not something I ever thought I’d see. He’s kinda cute when he looks like that. And I so did not just think ’cute’ and ’Spike’. Hey, booze- talking, right.* "No problem Bleachy. It’s hard to change the habits of a lifetime… or three."
"Cheers, mate." He sipped his drink thoughtfully. "When I went to university, you read your subjects and when you finished your studies you took your exams and then received a degree. Thing was, not all universities had their own examination boards. The practical upshot was that a person could complete their studies and graduate, but, until they faced the exam board, they didn’t get a degree. Understand?"
Xander stared open mouthed at Spike. *Okay. He looks like Spike. Smells like Spike- cigarettes and leather- when did I notice Spike had a smell? It’s Spike’s voice but He’s Talking Like Giles!!!*
Spike sighed, "Don’t know how to make it any simpler."
"N…no, I get it," he managed once his jaw stopped doing its’ fish impression. "So what would it have been in?"
"Uhn-uuh," the vamp grunted as he examined the rapidly depleting bottle of whiskey, then refilled both their glasses. "Bronte first, then m’ studies."
Taking a bolder gulp, "Fair enough. But just so we’re clear, I’m not a Bronte-guy!"
"Mmm-hm." If a sound could smirk that one did.
"I’m not," Xander snapped defensively. "I just decided I wanted to understand the jokes and references in my comics and shows. That’s all."
Xander was so intent on starring sullenly into his drink, he almost missed Spike’s next words.
"You’ve actually got a brain under that mop, Harris. Why d’ya insist on hiding it?"
"Why do you Mr-ultra-educated-mockney-man… vamp?"
They finished off the bottle of booze, guffawing at Jackie Chan antics.
Spike was absently patting his pockets for his smokes, when Xander’s sleepy, drunk voice asked, "Was it any good?"
The eye and lip quirk Spike bestowed on the boy asked quite clearly, ’Are you nuts?’, but the audible question was, "Was what any good?"
Too far gone to notice or naturally oblivious, Xander waved a hand in the air as if it helped explain, "Your poetry."
"Not so you’d notice," the vamp mumbled.
"I bet it was."
Xander looked at Spike as one would a particularly dense child. "Your poetry- I bet it was good."
"Prolly, like you. All pared down, hard edges, sinewy- raw and honest and larger than life. Am I right?"
"Right, mate- think it’s time to get you to bed."
"Aw, Spikey, you really do care!" Xander practically cooed before he started giggling drunkenly.
Spike led his human to bed, stripping his pants and shirt before tucking him under the soft royal blue bedding.
Before letting himself out, Spike poured a large glass of water and set it on Xander’s bedside table. As he turned to go a warm hand snaked out to grab him.
The vampire allowed a small smile to slip out as he spoke, "’night, Whelp."