Title: Good Mojo (6/6)
Chapter Title: 6. Spooning Mush
Warnings: a little language, a little angst, a little m/m, a little violence
Notes: I'll be posting the chapters all day. Lovely banner by zoesmith
Summary: Based on this prompt from reremouse: Post-Chosen Xander needs a place to live. It's Spike's turn to take Xander in. Why is he homeless? What happened? And why did he have to turn to Spike? (Extra challenge: The reason is something other than torture, captivity, slavery, abuse, or a falling out with the scoobies)
Previous chapters here.
Whew! Last chapter! I hope you enjoyed. Feedback is greatly appreciated. :-)
Chapter Six—Spooning Mush
It was dark when Xander got back to the apartment. He trudged up the stairs as if he were going to his own execution. He felt shakier than when he’d faced those demons.
But when he got inside, all thoughts of impending doom flew away. Spike was heaped in the middle of the floor, naked and shivering miserably. Xander flew to his side.
“Spike! What happened?”
Spike looked up at him. “Y-y-you were g-g-gone,” he said accusingly.
“A-a-and I w-w-was….” Spike snarled in frustration at his inability to speak clearly through chattering teeth.
Xander scooped the vampire into his arms and carried him the few steps to the bed. He pulled the covers over him, but he continued shaking. So Xander kicked off his shoes and pulled off his jacket and shirt and jeans, and slipped under the blankets as well. He lay down and pulled Spike against himself. Spike made a tiny whimpering noise and plastered his body against Xander’s. “W-w-w-warm,” he mumbled.
It took a long time for Spike’s trembling to stop. Xander treasured every moment, knowing that once he had his say, he’d never be able to hold Spike like this again.
Eventually, though, Spike pulled away slightly, looking at Xander with eyes of blue ice.
“Wanna tell me what happened, Spike?”
“Yeah. We covered that.”
“I was…was afraid you wouldn’t come back. Wanted to catch you. But my sodding legs gave way and then I couldn’t go anywhere and I thought…I thought you were gone for good.” His voice sounded anguished.
“I wouldn’t leave you alone when you’re hurt.”
Spike gazed at him. “No. I expect you wouldn’t. But why did you go?”
“I was angry.”
“You think—everybody thinks—I just saved you because I need you to bite me. Because I need to use you.”
“But you do. You have eight more bites until you’re sorted, yeah?”
“That’s not the point!”
Spike frowned at him. “Then what, pet?”
Xander couldn’t do this with Spike still wrapped in his arms. But he did have to do this. He detached himself and sat at the edge of the bed, his back to Spike. He took several deep breaths.
“I saved you because I care about you,” he said quietly. But Spike would hear. He had vampire hearing. “Because I love you.”
There was almost complete silence in the room. The only sound was his own slightly ragged breathing. Then he heard the rustling of fabric, and a cool hand landed softly on his back. He hunched away from it.
“Pet?” Spike said softly.
“Don’t. You don’t have to be nice to me. I understand. Really. I just needed to tell you.”
“Understand what, love?”
“You…we used to hate each other, or maybe you were kinda indifferent to me, I don’t know. And then we kind of…lately…I’ve felt like we were…friends, you know? And you’ve been really nice to me, and you’re saving my life, so this was the least I could do, and I’ll find another place to live, and….” To his complete mortification, he broke down in tears. The horrible, noisy kind where the wails come rushing out of your lungs and tears make your eyes—eye—all puffy and your face turns red and snot runs out of your nose and your whole body shakes and he couldn’t stop, couldn’t fucking stop.
Spike gathered him in his arms. Unmindful of the wounds they were both still sporting, he held him tight, rubbing his back, crooning in his ear.
Eventually, Xander got himself under control. He reached down and used his t-shirt to wipe his face. He was still sniffling a little. Spike had one arm flung over his shoulders.
“Xan? Want to tell me what all that was about?”
Xander sighed. He felt worn out. It had been an exhausting couple of days. “I’m tired. I just want…just wish…just wish you needed me.” That sounded small and childlike, but his tears had apparently washed away his ability to self-censor.
Spike reached over and cupped Xander’s chin with his hand, and applied a tiny bit of pressure so Xander was looking at him.
“Do need you, pet,” he said.
“No. I mean not just to get you patched up. I mean—“
“I know what you mean. You want me to love you. You. Xander Harris.”
Xander closed his eye. He couldn’t face that intense gaze. “Yeah,” he whispered.
“But I do. I love you.”
Xander’s eye snapped open again in shock. He saw no sign of pity or untruth in Spike. Just affection and…and sorrow.
“I love you, Xander. Have for some time, I expect. Knew for certain the other night, when you apologized to me. When you said those things about me.”
“How could you love me, Spike? I’m a fuck-up, I’m—“
“Better than all of them, love. You have no special powers. No slayer strength or strong magics. You’re not a Watcher or the Key. And yet you’ve kept in there, haven’t you? For ten years. When you’ve lost those you love and everything you own and your own bleeding eye, you’ve kept fighting the good fight. You saved the day more than once. Saved me. Risked your hide against three fucking monsters and beat them and rescued me. You’re better than them all. How could I not love you?”
Xander’s breath was stuck in his throat.
“But we can’t do this.” Spike released his chin and dropped his arm, turned away from him on the futon. “I can’t have you.”
“Why?” Christ, he was not going to bawl again.
“I’m still a demon. I’ll hurt you. I will.”
Xander thought about this, then nodded. “Yeah. You probably will. But Spike, I’m human, and I hurt Anya when I left her at the altar. My parents are human and they hurt me…well, a lot. Willow hurt me when she nearly destroyed the world. People hurt each other. It’s so fucking easy to do! But we get over it, you know?”
Spike turned and looked at him. His eyes were glittering with tears.
“We forgive each other, and we move on, and next time we try a little harder. I’m willing to do that for you, Spike. Because you know what? Nothing you can do to me will hurt as much as living without you.”
At first Spike just stared. Then he smiled a little. “That’s quite a lot of wisdom from someone over a century my junior.”
“I’ve seen a lot for a guy my age.”
“That you have. That you have.” He frowned. “Pet, when I love…I don’t do things halfway, yeah? I throw myself into it. It’s my nature. I was with Dru over a hundred years, and she was as barmy as they come.”
Xander blinked at him.
“If we…do this, pet, it means you’re stuck with me forever. Long past when you’re sorted. I’ve been left enough.”
Xander reached over and grabbed Spike’s hand. “If we do this, you’re stuck with me, too. What about when I get old?”
“I’ll spoon mush into your toothless gob and change your nappies.”
“So I’ll be this decrepit, dirty old man with the hot, young lover?”
Spike smiled and scooted until he was pressing closely against Xander’s side. “You will be. It’ll be a scandal. People will see us together and think I’m your boy toy.”
They leaned their heads together and that was very nice.
“Love? Will your friends be all right with this?”
Xander laughed. “I really don’t care. They’ll have to deal. Besides, Buffy’s not really in any position to criticize me for sleeping with you, is she?”
“No. I expect not.” Spike rested his hand on Xander’s thigh.
“Angel will probably pitch a fit.”
Now it was Spike’s turn to laugh. “Well, there’s a bloody good reason to do it right there.”
“He helped me find you, you know.”
Xander turned his head, and he and Spike kissed slowly, deeply, passionately. But when Xander put his hand up to Spike’s head, he felt dried blood and was suddenly reminded that Spike had recently been injured. He pulled his lips away.
“Spike? Want me to get you cleaned up?”
Spike’s smile was warm and sweet and heart-achingly beautiful. “That’d be lovely.”
So he settled back down on the mattress, and Xander fed him more microwaved blood, then brought in some towels and a bowl of warm water, and wiped away the blood and grime from Spike’s torso and limbs. His wounds were better already, and he lay languidly on the futon, clearly enjoying being cared for. His head was a little more problematic, but the vampire didn’t have the strength yet to stand in the shower. But with lots more water and towels and a comb and patience, Xander was finally able to get his hair clean. He toweled it dry, not wanting Spike to get a chill, and suppressed a smile at the wild mop of curls that resulted.
The sheets, of course, were dirty as well. Xander tugged Spike this way and that as he pulled the bedding off, and then covered the futon in a clean blanket. Satisfied that he had done enough, he crawled next to Spike and they wrapped their arms around one another.
He would really have liked to make love to Spike. To bury himself deeply inside the vampire, or feel the vampire bury himself deeply in him. Didn’t matter. It was all good. But Spike needed to finish healing, and they both still needed some rest, and for now, this was perfect.
And then he started chuckling.
“Pet? Care to share?”
“I was just thinking about that spell.”
“The one with the nex tarda curse?”
“Yeah. Maybe I didn’t screw it up after all.”
“If it weren’t for the curse, I wouldn’t have come here. But I did, and now I’m happy. Just like the spell promised.”
Spike snuggled even closer against him, his skin cool and smooth against Xander’s. “Bloody good mojo, love,” he murmured.
Xander sighed contentedly. Yeah. Bloody good.